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1918 Enfield No. 1 MkIII*

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ajk0806 View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 15 2011 at 10:54pm
Hey guys,

I'm new to the forum and fairly new to Enfields. I've never owned one but I am in the market. My local pawn shop has a 1918 No. 1 MkIII* that looks as if "bubba" tried to sporterize it but gave up. The front hand guard and fore-end are missing after the outer band. It appears someone cut them off. The remainder of the stock is in pretty good condition. Fortunately, the barrel has not been touched. The rifling is very good. Four-digit serial numbers match on the receiver and magazine. Not sure where the others are located. The wrist guard is marked as follows:
*Crown*
   1918
  Sht L.E
    III   *

Although it does appear someone has tried to mark out the " * ". He's asking $190 for it, but I know I'd spend at least another $75-$100 in restoring the rifle. Is this worth it? I noticed that it didn't have a manufacturer's mark on the wrist guard. Where would it be located? I just would like to know if this model is worth what he's asking and restoring or if I should move on to another Enfield. Thanks!
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Bear43 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 15 2011 at 11:37pm
First, welcome to the forum! Now, is it worth it? Well, maybe. What is the manufacturer? In this case it is going to be a peddled scheme rifle. If you look at the top of the receiver, on the rear area just ahead of the butt and to the left of the bolt will be a stamp. It will be stamped either SSA or NRF. Peddled scheme rifles are more desireable, if that receiver is an NRF then definitely grab it since those are hard to find. In either case it would be worth restoring this rifle in my opinion. I would try to get the guy down a little on the price, but if it spoke to me enough then I would not hesitate to pay the asking price.
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ajk0806 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajk0806 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2011 at 2:07am
Thank you for answering, Bear! I checked with the shop and it is stamped NRF. Like I mentioned earlier, the stock is missing past the outer band and it has no nose cap. It's sounds as if this is a "rarer" version of the Enfield. The remaining stock (not sure what type of wood) is also a lighter color than the other's that I've seen. It doesn't appear to be soaked with oil. When I get there, I'm going to ask him to take the rear hand guard off to check on the barrel serial number to see if that matches. So, for $190, this sounds like something I should grab.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2011 at 2:39am
The sported bits can be replaced easily enough. The NRF receivers were made in 1918, SSA became NRF. Hence the NRF receivers are tougher to find although many have been showing up lately probably due to people needing cash and cleaning out the closets. It is a shame it was cut down like that, but as long as the barrel is uncut then it is easily restored to military configuration. I would grab it in a heartbeat.
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ajk0806 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajk0806 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2011 at 4:15am
Thanks Bear,

I've had the shop set it aside and I plan on making the purchase this afternoon. As of right now, I only plan on replacing the front hand guard, fore-end and nose cap. I don't think anything else is missing. I plan on posting pictures of it sometime tonight or tomorrow. Since it is an NFR, what does these usually go for? While I don't plan on selling it, I wouldn't mind knowing the value of one in original compared to one that has had the above mentioned parts replaced.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2011 at 6:29am
If the * has been struck out, it would indicate that it has been a No1 MkIII* that has been converted back to a MkIII configuration.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajk0806 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2011 at 9:38am
I just disassembled the rifle. I was a little worried about the rifling because the bore was DARK making it hard to tell it's condition. Cleaned it out, now it's shiny and bright with great rifling. The only markings on the stock were directly behind the trigger guard, but I can't tell what it is.

Bolt, receiver and magazine have matching serial numbers, not forced. Right now I'm trying to determine if the barrel is a match. The bolt has "W.W.G." under the stem and "FB30" is stamped on the bottom of the barrel where it connects to the receiver. Not sure what either means. On the right side of the barrel, by the receiver, is the serial number and on the left side it has what looks like an upside down "C". as well as numerous proof marks and " '37 ". in between these markings, where the barrel goes from being round to hex, is "F350".

Lithgow, it does have a " = " markings where the " * " should be.

Hopefully I can get some pictures up.


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Bear43 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 16 2011 at 10:33am
All the other marks on the barrel I am not sure of without seeing pictures. However, the '37 was when it was rebarreled (1937). Don't worry, that's normal. Most of these ol' gals have been rebarreled more than once. With the * struck out, that means it had a magazine cutoff installed. This was done between the wars for a while and then done away with again later on.
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ajk0806 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajk0806 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 17 2011 at 9:34pm
Finally got a picture of the rifle, but after one shot, the phone camera stopped working. I was able to upload it but hopefully I can get some other pictures of the stampings. Just one problem. I've never posted a picture on a forum and I can't figure out how. As you can tell, I'm not the best when it comes to "photo" related processes. Thanks again for all the help!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan de Enfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2011 at 8:53am
A bit of information about your rifle :
 

Standard Small Arms was formed by Mr S J Waring (later Lord Waring, 1860-1940) of the Waring & Gillow concern ,together with a Mr Peterson, who was a man of standing in the Birmingham gun trade. They believed that the skills of the Birmingham gun trade were being neglected and could be more fully utilised in the war effort than they were. They planned to make all of the action and the nosecap, less magazines, screws and pins, and organise eight small firms and a number of individuals in the trade (probably outworkers, of whom a great many worked in the trade at that time). The barrels were to be subcontracted to Westley Richards and the wood to be cut by Waring & Gillow and Rudders & Payne (both these firms eventually dropped out). They contracted to supply rifles at 75/- each, which was the same price that BSA was paid. After a year or so it became apparent that the factory would never produce complete arms and it was instructed to produce four items; body with charger guide, bolt, bolt head and trigger guard. The company was to produce 1500 sets of components a week, rising to 4,000 when new machinery was installed. Other firms were contracted to produce less specialist items, the sets of components being delivered to Enfield for assembly in the bayonet shop, production of which was shifted to Wilkinsons and Sanderson Brothers & Newbold.


The downside of this scheme was that it only allowed for the exact number of components needed. Thus assembly of rifles was held up for want of quite minor items which inexperienced firms were struggling to produce. The scheme was revised in 1916 and became known as the Rifle Components Pool, taking every component which the 'Big Three' could make in excess of their complete rifle production as well as all that Standard Small Arms could turn out, and those produced by the 'peddled scheme' firms. Ordnance could also draw on the pool for repair parts. A considerable stock of components was built up so that any of the Big Three could draw on it if short of some item, and this was done continuously by LSA, and occasionally by BSA, and by Enfield (the pool being on the spot). Standard Small Arms did not attain an output of 2,000 bodies a week until April 1917 and two years after the start of work only 5-6,000 had been produced. By this time SSA were in financial difficulties and a government loan had to be made to keep them going. On June 1st 1918 the factory became National Rifle Factory No.1 with Mr Peterson as superintendent and instructed to prepare for manufacture of components of the Farquhar-Hill automatic rifle, although NRF-marked SMLE bodies were made after this. SSA seem to have turned out 2,000-4,000 bodies a week, depending on the Ministry of Munitions' requirements at the time.

 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 6:20am

Has the metal been altered?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote ajk0806 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 8:26am
Thanks for the info Alan! As far as I can tell, the metal doesn't appear to have been altered. The barrel hasn't been cut, either. Where would I look for any alterations?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 20 2011 at 10:33am
Should be an easy restoration then, just a matter of finding the parts
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