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    Milsurps Knowledge Library ** February ** Entry of the Month

    1949 C No.4 Mk1* Long Branch Rifle
    All Matching Serial Numbers (Early DCRA Rifle)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

    Caliber: ....................... .303 in.
    Rifling & Twist: ............. 5 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand
    Barrel Length: .............. 25.2 in. (640mm)
    Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in. (1130mm)
    Weight: ....................... 9 lb. (4.1kg)
    Magazine Capacity: ...... 10 rounds
    Qty Mfg: ...................... 1941-1955 (approx 5,000,000)

    Source: .... The Lee-Enfield Story by Ian Skennerton (1993) - ISBN: 185367138X

    Canadian Market Value Estimate: $

    1949 C No.4 Mk1* Long Branch Rifle

    (85 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: by Claven2
    Note: Rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member ~Angel~.

    By the late 1930s the need for new rifles grew, and the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was adopted in 1939, although widespread production did not start until 1941. The No. 4 action was similar to the Mk VI, but lighter, stronger, and most importantly, easier to mass-produce. Unlike the SMLE, the No 4 Lee-Enfield barrel protruded from the end of the forestock. The No. 4 rifle was considerably heavier than the No. 1 Mk. III, largely due to its heavier barrel. A new bayonet was designed to go with the rifle. The result - a spike bayonet with a heavy steel mount and latch - was essentially a steel rod with a sharp point, and was unsurprisingly nicknamed "pigsticker" by the soldiers. Towards the end of WWII, however, a bladed bayonet was developed and issued for the No 4 rifle, using the identical mount as the spike bayonet.

    During the course of World War II, the No. 4 rifle was simplified for mass-production with the creation of the No. 4 Mk I* which saw the removal of the bolt release catch, replaced with a more simplified notch on the receiver. It was produced only in North America with Long Branch Arsenal in Canada and Savage-Stevens Firearms in the USA producing the No. 4 Mk I* rifle from their respective factories.

    Although rifle production at Longbranch had ceased in 1945, in 1949 the No.4 rifle went back into production. Many of the rifles built during the war had been damaged beyond economical repair or given to foreign countries as military aid. In truth, a large portion of Longbranch production had been slated for Canada's allies and so the number of rifles made does not reflect the number of rifles available to the Canadian Forces after 1945. Production in 1949 was comparatively low, but picked up in 1950. 1950 is the last year of series production, though replacement receivers dated into the mid-1950's can sometimes be located. These replacement receivers would all originally have been manufactured in 1950.

    The depicted rifle would have been delivered to the DCRA for use as a service rifle match gun, likely at the Connaught Ranges. The "C" inside an oval shape figure on the butt-socket was an early DCRA ownership marking and the electro-pencilled "5G" was likely an inventory number. The "C" inside an oval shape figure also appears on the underside of the forestock, immediately after the matching serial number stamped into the wood.

    Most of these rifles were subsequently sent back to Canadian Arsenals (formerly known as Longbranch) in the 1960's to be converted to 7.62 Nato which was the new service rifle round at that time. Additionally, most rifles in inventory before the conversion would have been retrofitted with AJ Parker or Parker Hale target sights. This rifle retains its original Canadian Arsenals made stamped ladder sight. This likely indicates the rifle left DCRA control early in its life and was not given any of the upgrades typical of rifles owned by the DCRA.

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. The 5G on top of the receiver's serial number means the barrel has 5 grooves. Rifles with barrels with 4 grooves are therefore marked 4G. Rifles with barrels with 2 grooves are not marked. You see this often on Canadian made rifles from the Italian navy. In Italian it is written as: "CANNA A 5 RIGHE" for a rifle with barrel with 5 grooves and "CANNA A 2 RIGHE" for rifle with a barrel with 2 grooves. Post war Canadian Mk I * rifles have alway's more than 2 grooves. The standard for Canadian wartime Mk I* rifles was 2 grooves. .............. Feedback by "Vincent"

    2. The secret to creating and maintaining quality research data in the Milsurps Knowledge Library is you! This is your site and these MKL entries on various old milsurps are yours to add to, or change. The volunteers on the Advisory Panel (click here) can only do so much to vet and validate the information posted here, so please contribute as much as possible to help us present the most accurate and reliable data we can gather on these old milsurps. If you own a particular specimen of any MKL entry, then please send us pics of it, even though they may be duplicate views of pieces you already see here. In that way, we can build up multiple sets of pics for several milsurps of the same model, which will help in identifying markings and authenticity. For example, in the case of this MKL entry of the 1949 C No.4 Mk1* Long Branch Rifle, if you own a similar one, we'd like to receive more pics of the stampings and serial number views as shown in the "Observations" section and various "Collector's Comments and Feedback" notes. ALL pics and information received will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect of your privacy. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, which is helping to make the Milsurps Collectors Forums a prominent site for serious collectors of all genres of old milsurp collectibles. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")

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