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  1. #1
    Member Towarzysz_Beagle's Avatar
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    BSA No.4 MkI Strange Barrel Marking

    Hello,

    First post from me, so please be gentle.

    I am currently looking a purchasing a No.4MkI. I've owned Enfields in the past and have a reasonable idea of what to look for.

    This rifle has a matched bolt, great bore, passes headspaced check, a zero bolt head and the original screw driven ladder sight. It is marked M47 1943 which tells me it's a BSA manufactured in 1943.

    There's one marking though that I have never seen on a No.4 before and can't find anything about it via Google.

    Very clearly stamped along the breech just above the wood is the word 'NOLAND'. I have never seen this mark on a No.4 before. Originally I thought it might be a reproduction barrel. I have seen Sportco barrels on No.4 rifles before, but they were easily identified by not having a bayonet lug. This barrel has a bayonet lug and the proof marks at the muzzle.

    Is this just an importer mark of some sort? Or can someone here shed some light on it for me?


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    Member 55recce's Avatar
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    Are you sure that doesn't say ENGLAND?

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    Contributing Member 303 Gunner's Avatar
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    My thoughts too...photo attached for comparison.
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    That reminds me......... Shaggy dog story coming up. About 20 years ago I got into conversation with a US visitor, visiting an old deserted USAF base here in Southmoor. She had a lot of her dads old paperwork from when he was a USAF flier by the name of Bill Mareen, in the war and was slowly going around all the places in his flying log where he was based and flew from, flying Douglas B25(?) 2 engine Havocs - or were they Bostons? Anyway. She was totally lost regarding one place, in the book as BARCHAM. Not Marcham close to Southmoor but BARCHAM. The most amazing thing about this man was post war correspondence with an English farmer on who's land the airfield was built.

    Had enough yet....., or shall I go on. We eventually discovered that the airfield was BOREHAM in Essex or Boreham Wood as it is now. So like Barcham is Boreham, your NOLAND is Englandicon! But he did fly a few times from Southmoor, hence her being here

    But back to the farmer........ It turned out that on a couple of occasions, on their was to a training flight or a look-see operation over to Caen, they revved their engines at one side of the airfield, the farmer clambered on board, sick bag at the ready and off they all went for a jolly

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    Member Towarzysz_Beagle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    That reminds me......... Shaggy dog story coming up. About 20 years ago I got into conversation with a US visitor, visiting an old deserted USAF base here in Southmoor. She had a lot of her dads old paperwork from when he was a USAF flier by the name of Bill Mareen, in the war and was slowly going around all the places in his flying log where he was based and flew from, flying Douglas B25(?) 2 engine Havocs - or were they Bostons? Anyway. She was totally lost regarding one place, in the book as BARCHAM. Not Marcham close to Southmoor but BARCHAM. The most amazing thing about this man was post war correspondence with an English farmer on who's land the airfield was built.

    Had enough yet....., or shall I go on. We eventually discovered that the airfield was BOREHAM in Essex or Boreham Wood as it is now. So like Barcham is Boreham, your NOLAND is Englandicon! But he did fly a few times from Southmoor, hence her being here

    But back to the farmer........ It turned out that on a couple of occasions, on their was to a training flight or a look-see operation over to Caen, they revved their engines at one side of the airfield, the farmer clambered on board, sick bag at the ready and off they all went for a jolly
    Thanks for the replies everyone, it was in fact ENGLAND.

    I'm glad you replied Peter I need to tap into your expertise.

    I have had a chance to take the wood off of the receiver and have a look. I noticed two things.

    - 'Z' stamped on the right side of the receiver.
    - 'E' stamped on the other side of the receiver.
    - 'FTR' stamp on receiver.
    - A very small splotch of red paint on the left hand side of the breech below the wood line.

    I'm confused because I know that 'ZF' means a condemned rifle. Does 'Z' by itself mean the same thing?
    Last edited by Towarzysz_Beagle; 11-21-2019 at 07:03 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    2 engine Havocs - or were they Bostons?
    A20 Havocs were RAF Bostons. Same thing...
    Regards, Jim

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    I've somewhat answered my own questions with more scouring of these forums and also confused myself further.

    I am satisfied that the 'Z' means it was marked for base workshop repair and with the FTR stamp and proofing am not overly concerned about it (it's definitely not the dreaded ZF).

    The only part that now concerns me is the red paint. I know that DP rifles were marked with a broad red stripe around the receiver and wood. I also believe that DP was stamped into the knox form.

    This rifle definitely does not have DP stamped into the knox form and there is no indication there was ever a broad red band around the receiver. It has not been refinished and has the original suncorite on it so I am satisfied that it hasn't just been scrubbed off. There's also no indication of paint on the wood which from the excellent fit on the draws feels original.

    The red paint in question is a small dot maybe 2mm in size on the breech just below the gas vent hole below the wood line.

    Can any of you experienced gents shed any light on what this means with respect to shooting the rifle?

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    The red paint on the rifle is a sure sign to me. We would splosh the ZF or Z-UF on the rifle in a dob of red or yellow paint. That and the other marking should be a red flag I'd suggest. DP markings were always a white band on the butt and fore-end

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    The red paint on the rifle is a sure sign to me. We would splosh the ZF or Z-UF on the rifle in a dob of red or yellow paint. That and the other marking should be a red flag I'd suggest. DP markings were always a white band on the butt and fore-end
    Thanks Peter, I value your advice. Just to be 100% sure before I pass on this rifle I've attached photos of the things I'm talking about so it's crystal clear.



    The Z is stamped into the receiver and not present anywhere else, it definitely does not appear to be part of a 'ZF' or any other acronym.



    The paint doesn't appear to be part of any lettering at all, it just looks like a dab on the receiver ring.

    I recall reading somewhere else on this forum that a splotch of paint like this in Britishicon service was used as an indicator that something hadn't yet been proofed?

    If it's worth anything there is the typical 'NP 303 22.2, 18.5 tons' proof stamping at the muzzle indicating it passed a proofing round before being exported.

    If you say I should pass I will, I just want to be 100% sure. Because outside of these two things it is a really good example of a wartime production No.4MkI that appears in very good nick.
    Last edited by Towarzysz_Beagle; 11-23-2019 at 07:12 PM.

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