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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Seeking your assistance in understanding No 4 Mk 1/2 Inspection Markings

    G’Day Folks,

    I’d like to call on your collective knowledge to help me decipher some marks on my recently acquired No 4 Mk ½.

    [

    As shown in the first photo, the conversion was made at Fazakerley in1956 as a FTR. In photo 2, the left side of the receiver butt socket shows it was built originally (as No 4 Mk 1) in 1942. Not sure whether that “B” indicates another factory and serial, or whether this was simply a Faz originally? Any ideas?



    Photo 2 also has a couple of hard to identify marks, as shown. Any suggestions on what there are? Inspection or Armourer’s marks along the way?



    Photo 3 is the nocks form, showing a double up of proof marks, I believe. These are GR (King George VI) so they seem to be pre-1952 when Queen Elizabeth was crowned, meaning the barrel was earlier than 1956 when the conversion was made The double struck proofs are confusing, is there a likelihood that two proof were carried out some time apart, or simply a second strike of the punch to make sure the barrel was marked? The overstrike of the “C” is not clear to me. Any suggestions on this one? I suppose the Number “1” is a factory inspectors mark?



    Photo 4 shows the left side of the chamber reinforce. I’m thinking “H43” was an original factory inspector’s mark? The “45” and “47” I’m thinking are armourer’s inspection marks of those years. The “7” is confusing. Is this likely to be another factory or armourer’s inspection mark?



    Photo 5 shows the right side of the chamber reinforce. The “F54” is a Fazakerley marking, I’m fairly confident, but it’s two years before the FTR and rebuild. Could this indicate an earlier receival and inspection date, prior to putting aside for future FTR work? The crowsfoot is understood as an acceptance into stores or Government service mark. The next confusing mark is this double arrowhead and C. Are we looking at Canadianicon service, or ownership or inspection here? Any advice will be most helpful here. The small 231PB or PS is a confusing mark, I can’t find any reference to this type of mark in research so far. The “SI 7” or “S17” on the barrel I am taking as another inspector’s mark. Any other clues on this?



    Photo 6 shows the right side of the receiver butt socket, with three readily identifiable inspection marks. The two crown like marks in the middle are poorly struck and defined. I’m guessing they are crowns. Any comments or ideas on these marks?



    Photo 7 is the Type 1 rear sight assembly. The slide and leaf are marked with F, which I take it indicates Fazakerley, and both have different codes. CR318 on the slide, CR403 on the leaf. I can’t find any correlation with particular makers from my research, so I’m thinking that post-war manufacture of these sights was done more or less in house, with the two numbers relating to batches or inspection points?

    I realise many of these little details are probably individual inspectors’ codes and finding the list of who these people were, is a monumental task worthy of book in its self, that’s not the real aim. I’m keen to learn a little more about the history of this rifle’s life and hope that some of you may know a bit here or there to contribute to its story.

    Many thanks for any and all info that you can afford.
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    Here goes. The sight. The marks are the last parts of the part number of each part. In full, they'd be B1/CR- 318 and B1/CR 403. The whole sight would be B1/CR-39A (for assembly)
    Photo 6. All those PB with an arrow above and the H prefixes are all Fazakerly MoS stage inspectors marks. E74 would indicate to me an Enfield final examiner, usually an ex Enfield apprentice seconded to the out station factories
    Photo 5. Arrow self explanatory. 23arrow, as above. S17 steel batch mark . F54 Fazakerley 1954. Double arrow C is a strange one and hasn't been deciphered yet
    photo4. probably stage inspection marks. These stage inspection marks were not owned by one person as are the Enfield and MoS marks. The stage inspectors worked at inspection stages and rotated with others while the mark/stamp stayed in situ
    photo 3. Just an overstamped proof mark by in-house proofing bay
    photo 2. Top line the Fazakerley marks as before, B= BSA. 1942 date of original manufacture. H xxxx serial or registered number
    Photo 1 all self explanatory

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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Peter, excellent, thank you. You have confirmed my thoughts on about 50%, which is great.

    Apologies for asking about the sight now, when I read the fist word of your reply sentence the Homer Simpson moment occurred. Of course it is the component number, per the drawing. A little embarrassing that one.

    Glad you confirmed the original maker as BSA Shirley. I'm still baffled by the many variations in markings and lack of consistency. I guess that was symptomatic of limited skilled workers, staff turn over and constant supply problems which lead at times to staff reassignment and re-starting work some days later with another crew. I guess we fall into a modern trap thinking manufacturing standards expected now were the same under wartime conditions. I'll park those thoughts from now on.



    Just a thought on the over stamped proofing marks on the nocks form. I can imagine the double strike, but the over stamping of the relatively large "C" seems a little inconsistent. What would that mark be likely to indicate? IS it likely to have been done at the same time as proofing?

    Learning about these details is a convoluted process, and the references I've had access to seem to only touch the surface and possibly muddy the waters with the impression that what they state "is so" when it's only part of the story.

    Very grateful for your kind assistance, thank you.
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

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