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Thread: N° 8 Mk I trainer fitted with an A. J. Parker 8/53 sight attachment

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  1. #31
    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    I doubt the rifles were re-numbered; but just engraved with the original number.
    It is probable that a series of rifles supplied new for cadet use would have similar or consecutive numbers and remain together.
    If years later the cadet group sent their rifles for refurbishment at the same time. This would explain the number's being close.

    This is however just a guess on my part!

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  3. #32
    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    No.1234 was forever No.1234

    Didier, the photos in your post #26 show that the number was re-stamped, with the same number as before, over the original marking, which was obviously judged to be inadequately legible.

    As the No. 8s were apparently made using surplus No.4 Mk1 and No.5 receivers, i.e. parts picked out of a bin of manufacturing overrun components, there is not going to be any simple correlation between the original date of manufacture and numbering of the receiver and its later use in constructing a No.8. There was apparently no deliberate FIFO selection!

    Furthermore, Peter Laidlericon's contributions have said (more than once, in response to repeated queries over the years) that "the receiver was the rifle". I.e. it never changed its identity, and was thus never available as a spare part. If it was made as a No.4 receiver number 1234 in 1949, then it remained number 1234 even if it was dug out of the overrun surplus bin and used to make a No.8 in 1954. If the receiver 1234 was scrapped, then rifle number 1234 was gone forever - there would not be a replacement number 1234.

    In other words, the receiver number on your rifle will not have been altered, regardless of what other stamps you may find on the rifle.

    Please refer to Peter's exhaustive contributions on this and other themes to confirm the above. I may be wrong on this topic, but I doubt that he is!

    Patrick
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 09-15-2021 at 10:05 AM.

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  5. #33
    Member Didier's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you, Patrick. I think the phrase 'the receiver is the rifle' sums it all up and I must say I do trust Peter Laidlericon, whom I highly respect for his immense scholarship.
    This is an entirely other subject altogether, but how come only No. 4 (T) rifles were selected to be converted into L42A1 sniper rifles? It is my understanding that they were all rebarrelled but I had always thought the quality of the barrel responsible for the accuracy of the rifle. These sniper rifles did keep their original serial numbers (together with their telescopic sights) throughout their entire service life, from the mid-1940s to the early 1990s.

  6. #34
    Really Senior Member Mk VII's Avatar
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    They would have had to get more brackets made, and the receivers machined to take them.

  7. #35
    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    It was easier to fit a new barrel to a scoped rifle, than fit a scope to an unscoped rifle.
    If not they could have used the No4Mk2's as per the L39 target rifle.

  8. #36
    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 30Three View Post
    If not they could have used the No4Mk2's as per the L39 target rifle.

    Ah - the old internet 'facts' getting in the way of the truth again.

    Remember that L39's were built up using 'new' Mk2 rifles, but also 'old secondhand /used' Mk1 and MK1/2 FTR rifles.

    Peter Laidlericon covered it nicely in a post many, many years ago, but still the gospel according to St. Google insists only Mk2's were used.

    Peter's old post :

    I was having a browse through the Small Arms Committee minutes relating to the L39A1 rifle the other day and found some bits and pieces that I think I ought to pass on. Including some things that I never realized either!

    The first bit is that contrary to what I firmly believed, that the rifles were built up to new rifle specification from ‘new’ components (including new barrels obviously) including bodies but the committee minutes state ‘….rifles converted from the Rifle No4 Mk1/2 and 2’ too. I was under the impression from the Armourers technical blurb that all L39’s were made ‘as new’. But this is clearly not so because Mk1/2 type L39’s will exist.

    This COULD mean that L39’s were made from brand new, unused ex c.1955 Fazakerley bodies. It could also include USED ex .303” Mk2 bodies. It could also Mk2/1 rifles unbreeched and rebarrelled at the point of conversion to L39 at Enfield and it COULD include bodies converted to Mk1/2 but UNUSED since conversion at Fazakerley in the late 40’s to mid 50’s. However, no mention is made of Mk1/3 bodies.

    Paragraph 3 of the build standard states that the rifles will be fitted with the stock butt of the No4 rifle, ‘….identical except that a small recess is machined under the knuckle to hold spare foresight blades in a suitable container. There you have it. The correct, ‘as-issue’ butt is that of the No4, modified as detailed above. But (if you’ll excuse the pun), more later….!

    Para 8 of the build standard also states that the magazine will be the standard .303” magazine that will be used as a loading platform. It goes on to state that the rifle may be fitted with a 10 round 7.62mm magazine at the users request

    Now here’s a surprise…….. Para 20 states that certain rifles are fitted with a special factory size 00 bolt head. ‘……..at the factory only, it is used when assembly tolerances require a smaller head than a ‘0’. The bolt head is special and is not provisioned as a spare’. There’s a thing to get your know-it-all mates coughing into their beer!

    Instruction 1 to the committee says that the first 50 EX type rifles (or should this be XL rifles?) were produced and procured with trigger pressures set to the SERVICE limits of 1st - 3 to 4 lbs and 2nd – 5 to 6.5 lbs. But subsequent series production is to be set at 1st - 2.5 to 3.5 lbs and 2nd – 4 to 5.5lbs pull. To cater for this permissible adjustment, the face of the sear can be adjusted to a maximum angle of 80 degrees ( to decrease the sear load pressure). Additionally, magazine catches with an additional sear spring location recess BELOW the original will be provided or may be encountered. There, that’s the answer if you have one on yours!

    Now, in conjunction with the civilian target shooting world and the Army Rifle Association, the Light Weapon Defect and Modification Committee has agreed that build standard of the L39 rifle may be altered to include the following:
    A commercial SLING SWIVEL can be fitted in place of the front trigger guard screw
    A commercial STOCK FORE-END can be fitted using commercially or UKicon Military recognized practice to ensure the correct bedding and assembly of the barrel and body
    STOCK BUTT can be replaced with the service No5, No8, No4 variants and a commercial ‘monte-carlo type with suitable face pieces (I think they mean cheek rests…..) dependent on the competitors competitive situation (type of competition rules ?)
    TUNNEL FORESIGHTS of the PH FS-22A or any similar trade pattern WITH THE CORRECT DOVETAIL ARRANGEMENT. Can be used.
    REARSIGHT: Any make of sight, similar to the PH 5C or AJP 4/47 which can be readily adapted can be used providing that it does so without resorting to any alteration of any kind to the rifle.

    The inspection of any altered or modified L39 rifle will be undertaken by the periodic REME Armourers inspection which we still call the PRE. They will take into account the competitive nature of the weapon and their inspection will concern only the safety and mechanical condition. Any weapon that includes any deviation from the build standard will be returned to that standard prior to disposal or return to Ordnance.

    Well, there it is! What is quite interesting is the fact that no sights are fitted to this weapon according to the build sheet standard, not even a standard backsight! Even to the point that Field and Base workshops required to test them for accuracy were to have available a PH5C sight in order to do so (using the authority of the SA Committee to purchase one!). The report also states that no government stores are to be used outside the build sheet standard. So this means that even if you just wanted to use a standard No4 Mk1 type (or an L42 metric version) backsight, you weren’t allowed. But I don’t expect anyone ever abided by those rules.

    There, another few useless bits of Lee Enfield knowledge that you didn’t know about. Anyone want me to go through the L42 blurb too?
    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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  10. #37
    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    Thanks for reminding me of those facts eegarding the L39 production Alan.
    However my point was more a reflection on the fact that the L42 was based on the No4Mk1T rifles because the scopes and pads were already fitted; so an easier modification.

  11. #38
    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 30Three View Post
    Thanks for reminding me of those facts eegarding the L39 production Alan.
    However my point was more a reflection on the fact that the L42 was based on the No4Mk1T rifles because the scopes and pads were already fitted; so an easier modification.
    Absolutely agree, re the L42. it was simply that you suggested that L39s were manufactured using Mk2 bodies. In 10 years time when someone reads this thread, they'll say, "told you so, the L39s were built only with Mk2 bodies' - 30three said so"



    It is important to correct internet errors before they become fully enshrined as facts.

    It is like the Ishapore 2A & 2A1's that the internet insists were built with 'superior steel' when the facts as provided by the proof-master at Ishapore explain that they were in fact built with the same steel as specified for the No1 Mk3.
    He released that information in 1979, but the stories continue to circulate and owners are convinced their 2A is built from 'better' steel than the No1 Mk3.
    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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