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Thread: Long Branch Mk I*: refurbed or original?

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member Ridolpho's Avatar
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    Long Branch Mk I*: refurbed or original?

    Need some help figuring out if this rifle is a post war LB refurb. From reading a lot of old threads on the forum it seems the metal finish is key with original wartime rifles being "blued" and post war refurbs parkerized. Description of the wartime bluing is quite variable with some suggestions LB used the same "Du-lite" process as Savage. The attached photos were taken outdoors on a heavily overcast day with no flash or filters. The surface does appear "bluish" and doesn't seem to resemble the "parkerizing" I'm familiar with. But, while moderately reflective, it also doesn't look like the bluing I'm familiar with on, for example, pre-WW1 Smle's.

    Other observations about the rifle: '42 dated 2-groove barrel with bore in new condition. All small parts with markings are LB (inc size zero bolt-head) with possible exception of rear sight. Forend stamped with serial.

    I'd appreciate the thoughts of LB collectors- is this a post-war refurb? Photos of genuine original LB bluing would also be helpful. Regards.

    Ridolpho
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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    Looks way to new to be original. That doesn't appear to be blued though. Might be the picture, but it looks like regular phosphating. Never seen one that was blued. All of 'em on my MIU long ago were black phosphated. Same thing as manganese based Parkerizing. Parkerizing is a brand name. Manganese based Parkerizing is black. Zinc based is shades of grey depending on the metal it went on.
    Mind you, the S/N is very early.
    http://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=53153
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    Really Senior Member Ridolpho's Avatar
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    Sunray: Comments I recall from the various LB threads include mention of some "as new" (ie original, not freshly refurbed) '43's kicking around and that there appears to be no doubt that all wartime LB's were originally "blued". Very few photos, unfortunately. Prior to photographing this one I was pretty sure it had some sort of phosphate finish but it also resembles pretty closely a muzzleloader barrel I browned many years ago. My various original phosphate finished rifles (light green to grey to nearly black) also have quite a different surface texture from typical bluing or browning. In any case, my motive for this thread is that, if as seems likely, this is a refurbed gun I'm probably going to sell it on to someone looking for a mechanically excellent range gun. I already have another '43 LB for that purpose.

    Ridolpho

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Looks like a black parkerizing to me. I just know that we did all kinds of them and they turned out like that. I just don't think it's an as issued...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    What is it with you blokes a 43 rifle went to war got used abused then sent for repair came back looking as new that is reissued. There is no such thing as factory issue after a war unless it is very late production or it is stamped NZicon where they were not issued.

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    Really Senior Member Ridolpho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bindi2 View Post
    What is it with you blokes a 43 rifle went to war got used abused then sent for repair came back looking as new that is reissued. There is no such thing as factory issue after a war unless it is very late production or it is stamped NZicon where they were not issued.
    Bindi: I have postwar refurb SVT 40's, Mosin's, Finn Mosins, 03A3, P14, M1icon, G98, No. 1's and 4's, etc. but most of those clearly show signs of prior use even after full overhaul. This particular rifle is every bit as perfect as my recently unwrapped No. 4 Mk 2 with not a hint of a pit or blemish anywhere and, specific to the Mk I*, a bolt cutout that is perfect- all in keeping with the new appearing bore. There are instances where new production (during wartime) went straight to storage and survived in truly original condition. There are also instances where stored and unused rifles were subjected to some degree of cosmetic refurbishment for reasons unknown. I am not inclined to think this rifle is in original factory condition but I still would like to see some good photos of this wartime Longbranch bluing. Perhaps the real answer lies in specific markings on parts that would indicate they were replacements used during the 50's by Long Branch. In any case, I explained my motives- if it is clearly a refurb I'll be passing it on to someone who wants a postwar refurb LB for their collection or an excellent condition rifle for the range. Regards.

    Ridolpho

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    That looks like bluing to me. Very possibly the original Dulite. I look at the screw heads and condition of the matching serial number woodwork and it reminds me of a '42 Long Branch I have that's in newish condition with nary a mark on it. The rear sight has been changed on yours to a Mk.1. Guessing Britishicon manufacture? LB rifles in that serial number range would have had the Mk.2 300-600 yard sight installed at the factory. It's a beauty Ridolfo. I like the birch woodwork too. Both my '42 an '43 which are NZicon owned rifles are stocked in birch too. I have another '42 with the post 1955 Parkerized finish that's got Canadianicon ownership marks present on both the metal and wood. It's lovely manganese phosphate as Canadian rifles built new or refinished after that time frame are. It's distinctive and doesn't look anything like yours. It has a fabricated C Mk.3 replacement rear sight fitted too.


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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...a 43 rifle went to war..." By far most rifles made by anybody did not get used for anything but training.
    "...no such thing as factory issue after a war..." Canadianicon Arsenals - Long Branch Plant was churning out BNIB No. 4 rifles well after W.W. II ended. The very best No. 4 Lee-Enfields were made there until the FN C1 contract was started. Little tiny factory it was too. Grew up about 5 miles from it and shot in one of its converted magazines. Actually got into the building after Trudeau the Elder closed the place.
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    Really Senior Member Ridolpho's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Dickicon View Post
    I have another '42 with the post 1955 Parkerized finish that's got Canadianicon ownership marks present on both the metal and wood. It's lovely manganese phosphate as Canadian rifles built new or refinished after that time frame are. It's distinctive and doesn't look anything like yours. It has a fabricated C Mk.3 replacement rear sight fitted too.
    Brian: Thanks for the comments. I pulled out my '42 Savage to have a look at the metal finish and can see the similarity although the Savage definitely looks bluer in indoor lighting. Surface texture is similar. Certainly has a different appearance than conventional rust bluing. Regards.

    Ridolpho

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    Really Senior Member limpetmine's Avatar
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    Looks right as rain to me. Would be proud to have that one on the rack.

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