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Thread: Longbranch No.4 Mk1 (no star) Question

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member Roy W's Avatar
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    Longbranch No.4 Mk1 (no star) Question

    I have read the reference article regarding the Mk1 rifles from 0L and 1L series.

    https://www.milsurps.com/content.php...g-Branch-Rifle

    One paragraph raises my question:

    Other bits that were slowly changed as production went along was the early style button cocking piece, the singer style rear sight, the notched front hand guard for the band hinge, and the low walled forend cut out for a magazine cut off. Later on in Mk I* production the hand guard bands were no longer milled and further in production the trigger guard was assembled out of stamped pieces and the rear sight was changed from the "L" flip type to the Canadianicon CMk 3 and CMk 4 style.

    So, based on this, could a 1L46XX rifle conceivably have a square cocking piece, Mk3 rear sight, plain upper hand guard and no mag cut off cut out in the fore-end?

    OR, are these parts likely to be replacements? I can't get photos yet, but they will follow when the rifle arrives.


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    Really Senior Member limpetmine's Avatar
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    A 1 L46xx is still a No. 4 Mk 1 (no star). Very very close to the change over at 1L5979.
    I would still expect this rifle to have the button knob, grooved upper HG and a Type 1 or 2 back sight.
    How does the serial number on the bolt look? Does the bolt font match the receiver heel serial number?
    Has the bolt been ground?
    Does the rifle "look" right, with grunge in the right places, or does it look immaculately clean.
    Post some pictures; they'd help.
    -limpetmine

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    The Mk.I Long Branch rifles I have seen all had the hole in the bolt knob; how long this continued after Mk.I* production began I don't know, but as per some other features like the Mk.I cocking piece, it may well have. I have a 1L5--- here, but just a bare receiver I'm afraid.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Advisory Panel Lee Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by limpetmine View Post
    A 1 L46xx is still a No. 4 Mk 1 (no star). Very very close to the change over at 1L5979.
    I would still expect this rifle to have the button knob, grooved upper HG and a Type 1 or 2 back sight.
    How does the serial number on the bolt look? Does the bolt font match the receiver heel serial number?
    Has the bolt been ground?
    Does the rifle "look" right, with grunge in the right places, or does it look immaculately clean.
    Post some pictures; they'd help.
    -limpetmine
    This rifle would have been manufactured with a MkII cocking piece, and a MkII 2 position flip sight - the forend wood could be relieved for the non existant cut off and the bolt knob should have a hole, but again, close to the cut off.

    The MkIII sights came on stream about June 1944 from the Canadianicon Army returns - and they were slowly retrofitted to issued rifles as they required service and all stored and newly issued rifles were to be converted to the MkIII rear sight.

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    Really Senior Member Roy W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lee Enfield View Post
    This rifle would have been manufactured with a MkII cocking piece, and a MkII 2 position flip sight - the forend wood could be relieved for the non existant cut off and the bolt knob should have a hole, but again, close to the cut off.

    The MkIII sights came on stream about June 1944 from the Canadianicon Army returns - and they were slowly retrofitted to issued rifles as they required service and all stored and newly issued rifles were to be converted to the MkIII rear sight.
    Thanks for the replies. So the squares cocking piece could be correct. The wood may not be relieved for the cut off.

    I will wait until it arrives and have a look at all the markings and go from there

    Thanks

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Only ever seen ONE LB Mk1 (no *) ever, and that was several months ago at the local "toy shop".

    I did not write down the serial number, but it had ALL of the features of the early rifles.

    How it escaped all the "upgrades" and found its way to Oz remains a mystery.

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    They're not that uncommon surprisingly. I've had four over the years and a couple of spare bolts as well. MkI* was a highly misguided modification IMHO; there was no need for such economies at Long Branch or Savage. The welded trigger guard was another idea never adopted in the one place it was justified: the UKicon.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Really Senior Member Roy W's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    Only ever seen ONE LB Mk1 (no *) ever, and that was several months ago at the local "toy shop".

    I did not write down the serial number, but it had ALL of the features of the early rifles.

    How it escaped all the "upgrades" and found its way to Oz remains a mystery.
    Apparently several thousands of the early rifles were sent to Australiaicon, so there could be more around down there.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    Only ever seen ONE LB Mk1 (no *) ever, and that was several months ago at the local "toy shop".

    I did not write down the serial number, but it had ALL of the features of the early rifles.

    How it escaped all the "upgrades" and found its way to Oz remains a mystery.
    Possibly via New Zealandicon?

    I believe NZ had a quantity of Lend lease Lb No4's.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Interestingly, despite not being "standard", No4 rifles seem to have found their way to interesting places, like the swamps of New guinea.

    My father, who was a motor mechanic for an Artillery regiment stated that he, and others were issued No4 rifles for a time, possibly because sending them to actual two-way rifle ranges introduces a repair parts issue in a combat zone. Obviously, for N04 rifles to feature in AWM photos from New Guinea, things REALY were dire. Lithgowicon SAF and its annexes at Orange, Forbes etc, could barely keep up with demand for rifles and machine-guns for quite a while, so almost anything is possible.

    Consider the "re-activation" and conversion to .303 of a sizeable number of "war-booty" MG -08 and 08-15 machine guns for dry and LIVE training use and issue to Volunteer Defence Corps units. Most of these were apparently recovered from Memorial Halls all over the country and, as one would expect were not returned post WW2, but destroyed.

    Some of these VDC units, being creative types, also started building their own, fully-functional, 3 inch mortars AND ammo, (non-HE). Dalby, Queensland VDC was one such enterprising group and their story can be found the the WW2 era, AWM-published VDC book, "On Guard".

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