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Thread: JJ Jovino Enfields-a few gems form the early 90's

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    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    JJ Jovino Enfields-a few gems form the early 90's

    On other forums, I have seen much chatter about the SMLE's Jovino imported in the 90's. A lot of it is disparaging, and usually in reference to "unissued" Australianicon Mk III's that seem to command un-godly prices. I'm afraid the threads seem to morphing into ALL SMLE's marked by JJ Jovino were bitsers and highly suspect. I'm not defending Jovino's marketing practices, but they did import some real beauties in the early days. The real treasure trove Mk III's came in about two to three years before they started selling "unissued" Lithgows, which appear to made up of left over actions and new wood.

    I just cracked open the gun safe, and thought I'd share some of my Jovino purchases. These were all purchased around 1993-1994. Lucky for me, I had bought Skennertons "lee enfield story" in 1992, and had read through nearly the entire book. With my thick head crammed full of Enfield wisdom, I set about spending my college school loan and GI Bill money with careless aplomb!

    Here are the four Jovino/Australian buys:
    Rifle number one is a 1919 produced Lithgow MK III*. Still wearing its original Queensland Maple wood, and all matching numbers. I paid $129.00 (100 UK)at a local gunshow.


    Rifle number two is an Enfield Mk III. It has been re-barreled with an Australian heavy barrel. Also has Queensland property mark before sold out of service in 1926. Re-barreled to H in 1938. I found the Central Sight and L marked swivel in Australia when on vacation there 1996. Gun show price was $300 ( 234 UK) because it had volley sights. The sight and swivel cost me another $100 (not including airfare).


    Rifle number 3 is a 1953 Lithgow, serial #F39923. Rifle is devoid of any service markings. Parts and wood are a mix of 1944 and 1951 dated pieces. PAA numbers match bolt/action, and nosecap matches as well. This rifle had the muzzle/nosecap dipped in yellow paint. The shop I bought this from removed the paint. There are the tiniest remnants of yellow left. I only paid $100 (78 UK) for this one!


    Rifle number 4 is my favorite, only because it has been around and rebuilt, abused, then relegated to cadet use (I think). It is a 1913 Lithgow. Barrel replaced in 1915, and stock marked 1916. It came with its original adjustable rear sight, and Lithgow front volley plate. It was missing the rear volley arm, and I scrounged up a Britishicon made one some years later. It was also missing the cut-off plate, which I found (along with the central sight and swivel) on my Australian vacation. Bore is dark and worn, wood is beat-up (appears to be walnut), and bolt is a later MA Lithgow replacement. Stock marked to 3MD/Victoria. The stock did have a green painted band around the wrist, which the gun shop removed (see above). I bought this and the 1953 Lithgow at the same time. However, I had to pay up for this one; it cost me $350 (273 UK). This seemed exorbitant, when one considers the racks of various SMLE Mk III's priced from $79 to $99 on the shop floor. Again, the owner realized the volley sight was a rare characteristic, so it cost me. It held two surprises for me. The first surprise was under the stock disc. I had read discs were sometimes marked on both sides. The stock disc appeared blank, and when I flipped it over, I found it marked "58 IB" underneath. The 58th and 59th were militia battalions from Victoria. Surprise #2 was inside the buttstock. I found a brass oiler. It was nearly cemented in place with old grease, dirt and grime. When I finally got it out, I found it was an early brass oil-bottle with the little knob on top. That bottle is now living in my MLM Mk II.


    Hope you all enjoy the pictures.
    Last edited by smle addict; 09-11-2020 at 07:15 PM.

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    They are all nice rifles in their own rights & they each tell their own story. I think you did well - all worthy of house room here! Are the 1953 dated rifles scarce? I'm familiar with the circumstances of their manufacture, but I don't think I've actually seen one before.....

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    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    The 1953 Lithgows are rare, but I'm not sure they bring a premium over any other Australianicon Mk III. They were the last of the 1000 produced at Lithgow as machinery and tool proofing. I've not seen another since buying this one.

    If I had any business sense in me, I should have bought as many as I could have afforded. They were cheap and plentiful back then, and I thought they would always be cheap. I was young and dumb!

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    Absolute beauties!




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    Contributing Member husk's Avatar
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    It’s too bad that the Jovino’s still get a bad rap because so many of them are really nice, original rifles. Thanks for posting - great batch of rifles.

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    Very nice rifles indeed. And with interesting histories!
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Very nice. One of my 53 Lithgowicon's is close F39926.


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    Don't feel too bad about not buying more smleaddict................retrospect has 20/20 vision! This is equally embarrassing, but in about 1999 I turned down the chance to buy thirty L42's, cased, for 500 quid apiece....... I thought it was too much money to tie up in them, especially after the Charnwood auction where they temporarily flooded the market by releasing too many at once.

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    That must be hurting...still
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Nice to know there are other good JJ co examples out there, the first SMLE i purchased was a JJ co marked 1916 BSA III*, all the original numbers and parts seem to be in place with only the barrel being a correctly numbered 1918 replacement and the rear sight also being a strike through renumber.

    There are a whole load of Aussie markings on there with a D2D mark for Australianicon WW1 ownership, a D with an arrow inside, which i think is Australian defence department and also an additional 6 digit serial number which i was told was an Australian State Identification Number from the old Citizen Military Force (CMF) system

    i always wondered if it was possible to work out from the markings if the rifle was originally issued to Australian forces in WW1 instead of Britishicon, or if it was just sent there after the war had ended ? I'm presuming it saw WW2 era service in local defence rather than travelling the world again, before being sold onto JJ co. Happy to say its back in the UK now having seen a lot of the world in its travels.

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