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  1. #1
    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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    Lithgow No1Mk3 Questions

    Hey guys,



    I just picked up a matching numbers (as far as I can tell) 1941 Lithgowicon. I have a few questions:

    1. The previous, previous, owner removed a green paint stripe off the wrist of the stock. I've read this indicated the rifle was a cadet rifle. Is that correct? If so, would the rifle still have seen service in WWII in the Army, or did they go straight to cadet schools?

    2. The magazine in this thing is very loose (and I don't think it is original to the rifle). It sounds like a tin can jangling when you pick the rifle up. The movement is side to side mostly, however there is front to back movement as well. I pulled a mag out of another one of my No1Mk3's and it locked up tight with no movement. Any advice on what to do besides buying a different mag?

    3. What was the original stock finish on Lithgow Enfields? The wood on this one looks yellow and dry. It is the original stock though. Is there anything I can do to freshen it up? (I am anti-sanding, refinishing, etc.) Would pure tung oil work? These things are getting old enough that we need to maintain the wood a little bit. What would you Enfield aficionados recommend?

    Thanks for your thoughts!
    Jake

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Regarding the woodwork, Lithgowicon stocked the majority of its rifles with coachwood.

    I think originally treated with creosote?

    I would treat the woodwork with raw linseed oilicon to nourish it.

    If the magazine is loose, pop out the spring/platform and carefully apply pressure to both sides until the mag fits snugly in the well, a tiny adjustment will do it.

    I made a simple wooden wedge for the job, make sure you don't damage the tabs while doing it though.

    Looks like a nice original Lithgow....

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    The green stripe is OK to fire. Pity it was removed as that was part of the rifles history. Yes it would have seen service somewhere in WW2 before it was issued to a cadet unit unpainted.

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    Member pisco's Avatar
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    hi all i do to remove the old finish is spray the wood with oven cleaner leave for 15 minutes and wash off with a old toothbrush hang in the sun to dry if there are any repairs to do now is the time to do it give it a light sand with a fine sand paper then oil

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Skip the sanding.

    They were issued "finished" but not exactly "Frenchicon Polished". Being "textured / grippy" was a feature, not a bug. Remember, the initial primary role of rifles in the olden days was as a bayonet extension, (note the shape of the wrist of the butt). The ability to fire lots of bullets quickly and accurately was a secondary feature that clogged up the logistic trains with heavy boxes of ammunition..

    In service, the wood often became a very dark "chocolate brown" from constant handling and bathing in oil and more handling. "Hand-rubbed", as it were. Grubby, soldierly hands, generally.

    Avoid the use of any caustic chemicals (like oven cleaner) on the woodwork. Whilst they will remove the "character" from the timber, they will get into dark places where it will start nasty things happening to the metal components.

    If you MUST strip it right down, there are several articles hereabouts on the correct sequence; like REMOVE THE FORE_END BEFORE attempting to remove the butt. Also, the thread-end of the retaining screw in the outer (front) band is STAKED on an original build / correct repair. It MUST be "de-staked" (partially drilled out) before removal or, as it is being wound out, it will cheerfully destroy the thread in the outer band, spectacularly so if the band is a WW2 brass one. The old screw is discarded and a new one installed. Don't stake it, unless you have a steady supply of new ones; there's this stuff called LOCTITE... (290, after assembly, is good)

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    The gentle way to clean the woodwork :
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

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    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan de Enfield View Post
    The gentle way to clean the woodwork :
    That's hilarious, only a Labrador!
    My mates Lab once opened the oven door and took the roast chicken ... His cat might possibly have been involved in a rare moment of cooperation, but his involvement was never proved and he let the dog take the wrap!
    .303, helping Englishmen express their feelings since 1889

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    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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    Heartbreaking story fellas.

    Took my new Lithgowicon to my cabin and shot four shots out of it. Somehow the forestock cracked in a severe way. My loads were very modest and showed no pressure signs. I think I just had some unseen damage already in the wood. There are two brass pins right in front of the bolt handle. The wood cracked there, and it cracked from the main screw all the way up a few inches into the forend. Also, the stock "spread" out around the action. And the little block of wood that's inside between the buttstock socket and the trigger group cracked enough to be pulled out as one block. Also, there is no wood between the main screw and the magazine well.

    Long story short, I just ordered some acraglass... gonna try get this puppy put back together.

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    Sounds like the Butt has been removed before the forend. The draws are buggared. This is not just a reglue fix.

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    Member jakebevt48's Avatar
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    Bindi2 can you elaborate? I hadn’t removed either piece of wood before I shot it. What does the butt have to do with the forend since they are separated by the butt socket?

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