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Thread: Probable Service information about a Savage No 4 MK 1*

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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Probable Service information about a Savage No 4 MK 1*

    G'Day to all the No 4 tragics in Milsurps space...

    It would be interesting to hear your knowledge and speculation (based on knowledge) of the Service Life of this rifle...



    Rather than rely on the variable dimensions and screen quality you're using, I'll point out the bleeding obvious: there's no "US Property" stamped on the top of the LHS receiver wall. Add to that, a 'flaming bomb' US Ordnance acceptance mark on the front of the LHS receiver.



    Now this is a very late, high numbered No 4, that would have been made in the last 4-5 months of manufacture (my guess, based on number).

    Now what do you know, or surmise, about this rifle's history?

    Not having the 'US Property' means it never was sent to the UKicon nor NZicon, where many ended up as part of the US supply contracts for the Allied forces. It does have later life BNP markings, but that's not pertinent to the initial story, and more on that later...

    I've not found much detail on these non Lend-Lease rifles in references, so am keen to hear some more to help my research.

    What can you add to the story?
    Last edited by 22SqnRAE; 02-08-2020 at 10:07 PM. Reason: Missed photo attachment
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    Since all Savage No.4’s were marked with the “US Property”, my uneducated guess would be that it’s been removed and refinished. I’ve seen it before but could be wrong. Is it still Dulite blue, phosphate, or phosphate and paint finish?

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    It's been refinished. Obviously after the US Property marking was removed.

    The proof is the purple on the side of the receiver from the induction hardening for the bolt locking recess.
    Last edited by Lee Enfield; 02-08-2020 at 11:31 PM.

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    Again, only my tuppence worth, but I'm inclined to agree with Brian & Lee Enfield. I have never seen nor heard of an authentic Savage rifle without the US Property mark. The few I've seen or heard of had had it removed. I must say, if this is the case, someone has done it very neatly & the refinishing has been done quite competently, but as LE mentioned, when refinished the discolouration in the steel where it was induction hardened tends to show through. We might be imagining it, but it does rather look like a subtle but distinct colour variation on the body side wall at this point.

    Even if the mark has been removed for some reason, it is a very nice looking rifle.

    Now we've all put our foot in it are you going to spring a surprise on us?!?

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    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Thread Starter

    Here's some more detail...

    Roger and all,

    Very good comments and direction, thank you.

    I believe all the views are converging, somewhat. And your views seem to support the hypothesis I had to begin with.

    Here's some more photos of the said rifle. I believe they might assist in determining the likely history.



    One of the photos might be familiar to some of you, as I posted it last week, seeking some views on what the mark on the receiver ring were.

    What we have here is a Savage No 4 Mk 1* rifle, which most likely was sent to the UK during WWII as a Lend Lease rifle. At some stage, sold out of service and bought by a Civilian Small Arms Club or individual shooter.

    The rifle was then modified. And fairly extensively, too. I believe the US Property stamping was neatly ground and polished off prior to the refitting of a .22LR barrel. The bolt was modified like the Parker Hale No 9 rifle design. The muzzle of the rifle tends to suggest that PH did not do the lining of the barrel, as there is no PH or Parkerifling stamp to the muzzle and it is not crowned at all. Not PH-like at all, a keen observer would say. The furniture shows British manufacturer marking JC N22, for John Curtis. Not a Savage item.

    The Parkerising and painting were likely to have been refinished to a light Parkerised coating all over.

    The rifle was not in Service as a No 9, as there is no indication of marking by stamping or electro-pencil (engraving) that is the hallmark of PH converted No 9s.

    That the rifle was reconfigured in Englandicon is suggested by the BNP marking on the LHS of the receiver ring.



    But...

    We're really none the wiser about the stamping on the crown of the receiver ring. Some think it might be 'Israeli,' while others think it's a mis-struck Canadianicon Land Service C-Arrow. I don't buy either suggestion.

    My guess is that the mark is of a now defunct British gunsmith, and in particular, the one who carried out the conversion to .22LR.

    The other stamping (not engraving) that no one's addressed convincingly (actually, at all!) is the 'flaming bomb' US Ordnance marking on the LHS of the receiver wall.

    I'm in two minds about that one, and one plausible suggestion was it is a fake that was included at the time of conversion.

    Happy to also consider the possibility that this rifle was not stamped US Property and was accepted by the US Ordnance inspector for US ownership.

    I mean no disrespect to any more senior and widely versed members, but I don't accept the possibility being ruled out on the basis of "...I've never seen one..." I'll make the well understood quote once again for clarity of my open mindedness on this possibility: On matters Lee Enfield, one must remove two words from their vocabulary - 'always' and 'never.' I'm sure Ian Skennertonicon would be most sympathetic to that comment.

    So... There we have the situation as best we know it.

    I have no intention of commencing an argument, upsetting anyone, or creating discomfort by advancing an idea or view. I'm just trying to explore probable history of this rifle, based on reasonable and rational logic and deduction.

    Please chime in with your knowledge to help build a better picture.

    Would really love to know if some one has chanced upon that receiver ring stamping before!
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

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    What you have is, effectively then, a N/No9 rifle, but probably converted by a civvy gunsmith here in the UK to that spec. Interestingly, back in the 90's I bought from a school five such converted No4's. Barrels were just as yours, & they bore no official N/No9 nomenclature. Neither were the muzzles crowned & Parker-Rifled stamped. Very much like yours indeed, apart from the fact that the butt sockets on mine had been scrubbed, & they had all been renumbered, presumably when converted. No odd hieroglyphics on the receiver rings either though, I'm afraid, so if your hypothesis is correct, probably not the same gunsmith!

    Re the US flaming bomb stamping; are you making the point that it is unusual by being stamped on the rifle at all, or just where exactly on the rifle it is located? I have always thought it was, broadly speaking, a US equivalent to the Enfield examiner's mark, indicating acceptance/ownership by said government. The Savage No4's were owned by the US but then provided to Britainicon & Commonwealth forces, but IIRC the US retained title to them. I just went into the gun room & checked three Savage No4 T's. All of them bear the flaming bomb, though all are marked on the butt socket, not on the body side wall. So, what I'm saying, I suppose, is that I don't think bearing the flaming bomb is anything unusual, unless you feel it may be because of where on the rifle it is marked. I could well be wrong on this as I don't see a lot of non-sniper No4's, so shoot me down in flames if I am.

    I don't know if this helps any, but it's nice way of spending a Sunday afternoon! And don't worry, I agree totally with your comments of 'never say always & never say never' with Lee Enfields. I simply meant that I've not seen heard of or owned a Savage rifle that left the factory without the US Property stamp.....to date.

    ATB
    Last edited by Roger Payne; 02-09-2020 at 08:32 AM.

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    Looks to me like a double strike on the flaming bomb striker must have indeed had a heavy night!

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post

    Re the US flaming bomb stamping; are you making the point that it is unusual by being stamped on the rifle at all, or just where exactly on the rifle it is located? I have always thought it was, broadly speaking, a US equivalent to the Enfield examiner's mark, indicating acceptance/ownership by said government. The Savage No4's were owned by the US but then provided to Britainicon & Commonwealth forces, but IIRC the US retained title to them. I just went into the gun room & checked three Savage No4 T's. All of them bear the flaming bomb, though all are marked on the butt socket, not on the body side wall. So, what I'm saying, I suppose, is that I don't think bearing the flaming bomb is anything unusual, unless you feel it may be because of where on the rifle it is marked. I could well be wrong on this as I don't see a lot of non-sniper No4's, so shoot me down in flames if I am.


    ATB
    Flaming Bomb on the sidewall is not unusual I have seen several and this is one I owned (some years ago)
    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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    Really Senior Member Sunray's Avatar
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    "...It does have later life BNP markings..." That means it was sold through Englandicon/Britain at some time.
    "...believe the US Property stamping was neatly ground and polished off..." I don't think so. Just a WHAG, but the U.S. Property stamp is fairly deeply stamped. Removing it would show. If you have or have access to another No. 4, you could measure the thickness of the receiver.
    There any more Savage stamps on it? There are usually all over the rifles.
    "...the one who carried out the conversion to .22LR..." You think it's cobbled it together out of parts?
    Spelling and Grammar count!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post
    What you have is, effectively then, a N/No9 rifle, but probably converted by a civvy gunsmith here in the UK to that spec. Interestingly, back in the 90's I bought from a school five such converted No4's. Barrels were just as yours, & they bore no official N/No9 nomenclature. Neither were the muzzles crowned & Parker-Rifled stamped. Very much like yours indeed, apart from the fact that the butt sockets on mine had been scrubbed, & they had all been renumbered, presumably when converted. No odd hieroglyphics on the receiver rings either though, I'm afraid, so if your hypothesis is correct, probably not the same gunsmith!

    Re the US flaming bomb stamping; are you making the point that it is unusual by being stamped on the rifle at all, or just where exactly on the rifle it is located? I have always thought it was, broadly speaking, a US equivalent to the Enfield examiner's mark, indicating acceptance/ownership by said government. The Savage No4's were owned by the US but then provided to Britainicon & Commonwealth forces, but IIRC the US retained title to them. I just went into the gun room & checked three Savage No4 T's. All of them bear the flaming bomb, though all are marked on the butt socket, not on the body side wall. So, what I'm saying, I suppose, is that I don't think bearing the flaming bomb is anything unusual, unless you feel it may be because of where on the rifle it is marked. I could well be wrong on this as I don't see a lot of non-sniper No4's, so shoot me down in flames if I am.

    I don't know if this helps any, but it's nice way of spending a Sunday afternoon! And don't worry, I agree totally with your comments of 'never say always & never say never' with Lee Enfields. I simply meant that I've not seen heard of or owned a Savage rifle that left the factory without the US Property stamp.....to date.

    ATB
    I would concur with Roger,the flaming bomb inspection marks were applied at the factory, as the rifles were paid for and contracted by the US Government, so they required the same legally defined and specified inspection and acceptance process at the factory as the Thompsons they also produced.

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