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  1. #1
    Member treboryelmul's Avatar
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    Identifying Markings on 1917 No1 MkIII^

    Salutations,

    I recently purchased the aforementioned rifle. It now represents the 5th Enfield in my collection. I note that before I make the following comment. The barrel and receiver share the same serial number. In my limited experience restoring Enfield Riflesicon, I have not run across one as marked up as this one. The knox form barely has any room for additional stampings.

    Rather than as a bazillion questions in a single post, please allow me to ask a first question.

    at the rear of the read site, where one might expect to see the letters "HV" instead the in the marking "IV".

    Might one of the forum members be able to suggest the significance and decipher the "IV" marking?

    I thought I would ask before attempting to shoot the weapon in case this marking suggest not shooting "spitzer" loaded ammunition, i.e., one should only shoot round nose in this particular rifle.

    Thanks in advance for your attention to this matter.

    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Pictures help to make a determination by the armourers here but of your question to me it makes it seem to be a mis-stamping when you consider the millions of the MkIII's produced under war time pressures to keep up with the losses for instance a MkIII rifle in WWI had a life expectancy of a few days when at the front along the expedition of the parts and completed weapons things do occur.

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    Member treboryelmul's Avatar
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    Thanks Cinders

    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    Pictures help to make a determination by the armourers here but of your question to me it makes it seem to be a mis-stamping when you consider the millions of the MkIII's produced under war time pressures to keep up with the losses for instance a MkIII rifle in WWI had a life expectancy of a few days when at the front along the expedition of the parts and completed weapons things do occur.
    My thought as well. Perhaps the "I" in the apparent marking "IV" is one half of the letter "H" making the marking "HV" rather than "IV".

    Thanks for the input.

    Cheers,

    Rob

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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...as marked up as this one..." Not unusual. No. 1 rifles got around and everybody, his brother and all their cousins added their stamp. Either proof marks or acceptance marks or rebuild marks. Keeps the civil servants busy even then.
    "...share the same serial number..." What about the bolt? Not that it matters for headspace. Thousands of Lee-Enfields have been assembled out of parts bins with no QC. Always Check the headspace and slug the barrel before shooting. If you're going to fiddle with Lee-Enfields, buying a set of headspace gauges would be a good idea. $87.00(listed under .30-40 Kragicon. Same gauges.) from Pacific Tool and Gauge.
    "...before attempting to shoot the weapon..." Spitzer or not won't matter with a 1917 Mk III*. That's all they used. Mk VII ammo with its 174 grain spitzer at 2440 FPS. No. 1 rifles don't seem to have the same barrel ID issues as a No. 4, but slug the barrel anyway. If it's bigger than .312", Montana Bullets sells .313", .314" and .315" cast 200 grain bullets. Plus .313" and .314" 180's for reasonable money.
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Member treboryelmul's Avatar
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    Thanks Sunray! It slugged out at .311. Shot it the other day 150gr Hornady 3120 Spitzer on 33.0 gr Varget. Shot very accurately. Nothing "blew up". Ao... all good. Thanks for the offered and applied guidance.

    Regards,

    Rob

    ---------- Post added at 03:04 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:00 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    for instance a MkIII rifle in WWI had a life expectancy of a few days
    Hi Cinders! From a desire for continued historical knowledge, would you be so kind as to expand on your quoted comment as noted above?

    Thanks in advance for your attention to this detail. Curiosity is a relentless mistress!

    ---------- Post added at 03:06 PM ---------- Previous post was at 03:04 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    for instance a MkIII rifle in WWI had a life expectancy of a few days when at the front
    Hi Cinders,

    Would you mind terribly expanding upon your observation as noted in the quotation above. Why a life expectancy of "a few days"? A "few days" for the rifle or for the individual operating the weapon?

    Curiosity is a relentless mistress!

    Best,

    Rob

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Fairly certain that Cinders was referring to the expectancy of a rifle being given out and either being lost or the soldier using it being killed and the rifle left wherever he fell. Supply rekindling would have been near impossible; what is out in no man's land will likely never be retrieved and so on.

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    The attrition rate as explained by Nijal was in direct reference to the losses through all causes but mainly at the front line when skirmishing, trying to survive the hell on earth artillery barrages, no mans land with shell holes men fell into and went under drowning in the filth of battle, being buried alive with your weapon by the trench being caved in by a near miss and getting pretty much vaporized like your owner by a shell blast or just plain losing it by dropping it accidentally whilst navigating the moonscape that was the Western Front.

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  13. #8
    Member treboryelmul's Avatar
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    Thanks much for the guidance.

    ---------- Post added at 11:34 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:28 AM ----------

    Thanks much Cinders!

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Contrary to accepted thought, most of the time spent in the trenches in Europe weren't day and night combat. As is normal in war, long periods were spent in nothing happening, or on the way back from the front line, resting, training, leave, on the way to the front line, digging/restoring/maintaining the trenches, and in plain boredom. Agreed, in a large scale attack or active fighting in Europe trenches the life expectancy of a rifle will be very short. Otherwise not.

    Don't forget all the other theaters where fighting with LE rifles took place, like Mesopotamia, Palestine, Turkeyicon, North Africa, Tanganyika, etc.

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    Member treboryelmul's Avatar
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    It is my understanding as well that while the troops of the Central Powers (mostly Germanicon) spent vast amounts of continuous time in the trenches of the Western Front, the Entente Powers more frequently cycled their troops through R&R (for lack of a better term). Thanks for the response.


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