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  1. #1
    Member TheAlpineWolf's Avatar
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    Question .410 Lee Enfield Enigma

    Hi Everyone,
    Haven't posted on here for a while but Ive found one of the strangest SMLE's and I have no clue of its history, value etc.
    Ive provided some photos but here's a brief description from the owner.
    "Note: Its a single shot .410 with blind mag insert. The false mag has been shorted but from the outside its looks like a 303. Shoots cycles and ejects with standard 2.5in shells. I've just put a 7.5 size through it and it chambers and goes bang the way it should, The bore does have some minor pitting - but we are talking about an old girl here. There are no other marks on the bottom of the mag but the .410 shotgun on the action."
    Let me know what you think guys, has some weird things like the v groove in the top of the barrel crown/receiver and an odd looking crown marking on the wrist.
    Best Regards,
    Sam.


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    Member TheAlpineWolf's Avatar
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    Better Quality Photos

    Some better quality photos (Didn't realise the other would be so small!!)
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    Member 303 Collector's Avatar
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    Rifle

    On the butt socket right hand side there is no makers name. If you remove the bolt and look
    on the entrance to the bolt way there should be either SSA for Standard Small Arms or NRF
    for the National Rifle Factory. These rifles are scarce but not rare. The NRF took over SSA in 1918. NRF rifles are less common. Sadly I think the old girl has seen better days.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    They came through Canadaicon a couple or three decades ago in full wood and I didn't get one. They were everything from as new to simple scrap. My mistake...I'd have enjoyed making cases from .303 brass and shooting a couple of lead ball or perhaps a slug of some design. Would have made a neat plinker.
    Regards, Jim

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    Member TheAlpineWolf's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info!
    Any idea on the reason for the v groove in the top of the receiver and the seemingly Arabic writing (Not sure) on the LHS of the receiver?
    My main worry is that it may be something from those gunsmiths at Khyber Pass hahaha

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    Member 72 usmc's Avatar
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    That is can odd one with strange markings(.410 SHOTCUN) and a cut stock, most likely not military??? I wonder if it it is some kind of gunsmith modification. The ones I see are full stocked military rifles either converted by Century for modern paper >410 ammo or the brass original ammo.410 chambering.
    Does it have an RFI stamp and date on the other side of the wrist strap? No wood plug-it still has the magazine?
    Did you see my riot shot gun with the original chambering for brass cartridges?
    see SRF .410 Enfield SMLE shot gun - Surplus Rifle Forum - www.surplusrifleforum.org

    :mad smile:

    also see forgotten weapons review:

    also an ancient post with some interesting info:
    Brittish enfield converted to .410 shotgun. ???? - The Firing Line Forums
    Last edited by 72 usmc; 03-17-2021 at 03:18 PM.

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    Really Senior Member giove's Avatar
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    The rifle is a commercial conversion, not military.

    The V groove in the top of the receiver is a "primitive" notch of aim, in my opinion. The rifle probably didn't have both the handguard and the rear sight, time ago.

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    I agree. I have a sporterised & 410'ed Long Lee that has the 'sighting groove' cut into it.

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post
    I agree. I have a sporterised & 410'ed Long Lee that has the 'sighting groove' cut into it.

    This was mine, it also had a V notch 'scratched' into the top of the breech.

    It hadn't been properly reamed for 410 commercial cartridges. The cartridge would load and fire but it could not be extracted, I had to carry a piece of dowel and knock each cartridge out, it obviously wasn't practical so I had to get the chamber reamed, it then performed perfectly.

    Unfortunately I don't have a picture showing the 'notch'.
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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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    Member TheAlpineWolf's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info 72 USMC!
    100% an odd one however I have seen .410 conversions done at Lithgowicon with the groove so I'm thinking that it might have snuck in the line and got converted along with those ones.
    Also no RFI markings, and no plug in mag however it has been cut off with a welded plate, mag just for looks it seems.
    Rare wrist markings for a .410 I guess with the SSA crown.
    Shoots regular 2.5 inch shells too so really strange!
    Best Regards,
    Sam.

    ---------- Post added at 02:08 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:07 PM ----------

    Probably the case giove, as I mentioned to 72 USMC I have seen them with the groove converted at Lithgow for commercial sale!

    ---------- Post added at 02:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:08 PM ----------

    Probably the case Roger, do you think its a worth while project to pick up if I want to re-stock it due to the SSA markings? (For a plinking/curiosity piece! Might be fun to bring to the shotgun club one shoot haha)
    Also do you know if the markings on the LHS of the barrel crown as seen in the photos are proof stamps or another language?
    Regards,
    Sam.

    ---------- Post added at 02:11 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:10 PM ----------

    A nice example Alan! Thanks for the info, patently according to the seller this one chambers, fires and extracts with no problems so I hope that is the case!

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