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Thread: 1941 Fazakerley No.4 Mk.1 missing pieces - questions, questions, questions....

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    Legacy Member spinecracker's Avatar
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    1941 Fazakerley No.4 Mk.1 missing pieces - questions, questions, questions....

    As I mentioned on another current thread, I bumped into a 1941 Fazakerley No.4 Mk.1 yesterday. The rifle was missing the upper hand guard, upper band screw and front sight protector and screw, and the forend, buttstock and lower hand guard were varnished (I couldn't tell if they had been sanded, but the grooves on the lower hand guard were not particularly rounded over). The rear sight was a Mk.II. The rifle was in "reasonable" condition (not too many bumps or dings and no cracks - not pristine, but not totally banjaxed) and had not been bubba'd, but the bolt head was a No. 4 and the bore was dark and I didn't have a bore light with me. The buttplate was so grimey that it looked black. There is nothing to indicate foreign service (i.e. Ishey screw, stamps, etc) or any prior major overhaul (no FTR markings) and I did not immediately see an import mark (could have been under all of the crud...). The rifle was being sold for $200. I was tempted to buy it, after haggling, because it is a 1941 Britishicon -made No.4 Mk.1 and you don't see too many of them about in my neck of the woods in the US, and I only need a couple of parts to get the rifle back to being complete (I have a couple of spare upper hands guards lying around here somewhere...). I was put off buying it because I couldn't make out the condition of the bore, and the No.4 bolt head would indicate that this rifle had been through the ringer more than once (if I am wrong, then please let me know - I have never seen a bolt head number greater on the Lee Enfields I have handled). I do not have photos, and I know the seller is too blooming grumpy to send me some.

    So, my questions are the following:

    1. Is this rifle worth saving (I know that plenty of you will always say yes :P )?
    2. When was the Mk.II rear sight introduced to British rifles?
    3. When was the Mk.II cocking piece introduced to British rifles?
    4. What type of upper band should be seen on an ROF 1941 No.4 Mk.1?
    5. How might the presence of a No.4 bolt head affect performance, safety and value of the rifle?

    This would be my second restoration project, and would not be as extensive as the 1941 Long Branch I worked on (I went a little crazy there, but it now looks beautiful). I wouldn't typically hesitate to buy such a rifle, but I have some surgeries to pay for (had one only a few hours before spotting this rifle) and I recently splashed out on an NZicon-marked Long Branch and a Russianicon 1946 M44...too many rifles, too little time...
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    Last edited by spinecracker; 08-27-2011 at 01:16 PM.

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    Contributing Member muffett.2008's Avatar
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    Between Stratton and Skennertonicon you will find your answers, advice to buy or not to buy? your decision, your money.

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    Legacy Member tlvaughn's Avatar
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    If I came across a non-sporterized '41 ROF-F at a show for $200, I would be taking it home. According to Stratton, they only made approx. 3,000 to 4,000 rifles; however, based on what others have said, his numbers are very low compared to actual '41 production. I found this out the hard way by jumping all over a sporter years ago thinking I hit a homerun. After posting my find and hearing what others had to say, I found out it is not as rare as I thought, so I overpaid for a '41 sporter. I have since seen several for sale and read others finding them as well. I would not call them rare nor common, just hard to find.

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    Spinecracker,

    Just before you take the leap, I have all the bits you require.

    The barrel I wouldnt worry too much about if the rifling is not shiny, as long as it is crisp and sharp and no obvious rust or pitting, and if it checks out with a bore gauge then no worries, very wise to be concerned about the Bolthead, this doesnt mean its ready for the knackers yard just yet, but you would need a new bolt body and a No3 bolt head to check Head space, if it fails then yep it is ready for the knackers yard.

    See article below written by Peter Laidlericon,

    Quote Originally Posted by Alan de Enfield View Post
    Posted By: Peter Laidler
    Date: Mon 28 Apr 2008 9:17 am
    You should all read and re-read this if you have ever thought about CHS, body wear or fitting a new bolt, especially in response to the recent thread about the matter.
    I was having a chat to one of the most senior examining Armourers at a huge Base Workshops at Warminster a few days ago. Long retired, he was a 1930's apprentice and one of the very strict examiners. I was asking him about chroming bolt heads to get longer life out of heads bolts and bodies when he reported back something that was VERY interesting.
    He said that during the mid 50's, there was a plan mooted to make a No4 size bolt head available so as to decrease the number of old wartime/tired/just plain worn out rifles being condemned as unfit simply because of insufficient CHS. The alternative was to increase the MAX CHS to .078".
    He was involved in this project as the research Officer, so was in from the start. The PROBLEM was that once the BOLT, Inspectors, Gauge (a calibrated slave bolt used to test wear) plus a calibrated No2 bolt head (No3 not permitted at Base/Factory don't forget) had been inserted into the inspectors gauge bolt, then making a further bolt head available was palliative and not a cure because these simple tests indicated that it was the BODY that was worn and not the bolt or the face of the barrel. And thinking about it, while it's obvious really, it's absolutely correct!
    Another problem they encountered was that with the speed of wartime production, the induction hardening of the bodies was at best, mediocre, and at worst, sometimes virtually non existant. The hardening sometimes had no depth and it was tested at Base Workshops by the old IZOD impact test method. Apparently, all manufacturers were as bad or good as each other including Savage and LB (I bet that has shocked a few of you who were probably lead to believe that some makers were 'better' than others......)
    I spoke about resurfacing bolts but he just shook his head sternly and wagged his finger as if to say. 'No, it's the BODY that's worn beyond the point of no return and once the hardness is gone, then there is no cure.'
    There, that's straight from the horses mouth and it doesn't come any clearer or louder than that. If you cannot get CHS with BOTH bolt lugs bearing evenly using a No3 bolt head, THEN trying a new bolt, then it is the BODY that is finished. Sorry about that.....................

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    Legacy Member spinecracker's Avatar
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    So all I need is a No.3 bolt head (not that common), a new bolt body (strangely enough, I happen to have 2...the things you find laying around), and correct go/no-go gauges. Anyone know a source for a No.3 bolt and and/or correct go/no-go gauges (I vaguely remember that the SAAMI gauges are not the ones to use, or am I talking out of my posterior?), or have ones I can buy/borrow?

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    Before you try a new bolt body, go through a heap of boltheads and see if there's a new or used 2 or 3 that will bring it up to CHS spec. We learned that the actual bolt head number didn't mean a lot - a bit like L1A1 or Bren locking shoulder numbers. The one that gives you the CHS is the one that you need, regardless of the size stamped on it. But if there's two that bring it into spec, then obviously fit the smaller one. But avoid a No4 size like the plague because this was NEVER a UKicon Military size nor was a No4 size made at the UK factories (..................oh no it wasn't..............).

  9. Thank You to Peter Laidler For This Useful Post:


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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    We learned that the actual bolt head number didn't mean a lot - a bit like L1A1 or Bren locking shoulder numbers
    I learned that when I bought a load of Enfield spares from a retired gun smith, out of about 40 boltheads only a handful matched the size related to number that was stamped on the head.

    A lot had been re-ground.

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    Legacy Member spinecracker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    Before you try a new bolt body, go through a heap of boltheads and see if there's a new or used 2 or 3 that will bring it up to CHS spec. We learned that the actual bolt head number didn't mean a lot - a bit like L1A1 or Bren locking shoulder numbers. The one that gives you the CHS is the one that you need, regardless of the size stamped on it. But if there's two that bring it into spec, then obviously fit the smaller one. But avoid a No4 size like the plague because this was NEVER a UKicon Military size nor was a No4 size made at the UK factories (..................oh no it wasn't..............).
    I wonder where the No.4 bolt head that is currently on the rifle came from...curiouser and curiouser....

  12. #9
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    Canadaicon possibly?

  13. #10
    Legacy Member spinecracker's Avatar
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    Well, I have ordered a set of the Okie headspace gauges that were recommended on another thread on this forum, and we shall see if they are any good or not. I also have a contact south of me who runs a gunsmithing business converting wrecked Lee-Enfields to other calibers, and he often has a bunch of spares laying around (I got the magazine for my 1941 Long Branch restoration from him),so I will see if he has any No.2 and No.3 bolt heads laying around. By the time I have all the bits together to check the rifle, it might have sold, but I am not taking any chances in this case.

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