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Help identifying/appraising SMLE

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GladDonut View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 07 2017 at 6:02pm
Hey everyone! First off, sorry if I sound like I don't know what I'm talking about; that's because I'm new! I recently bought a Lee Enfield and would like help correctly identifying it, appraising it, and any other general tips are welcome. It says both "No.4 Mk1*" and "No.4 Mk1 F (FTR)" on the side. The serial numbers all match and are 86C7228. If you have any questions, I'll do my best to answer! Here are some pics: www.imgur.com/a/yqLXk

Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 7:51am
You have a No 4 Mk 1* rifle built by Savage. The other mark saying "No 4 Mk 1 F (FTR)" means it went through a complete overhaul at the Fazakerley factory at some point.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 8:33am
Yes its a Savage-made simplified for wartime production, version of the No4 Mk1 (no star). It was made at the savage plant in Chicopee Falls, MA & that's what the "C" in the serial number is for. Interestingly when it was FTR'd it wasn't upgraded to the later version with the improved trigger.
The simplified rear sight is set for 300 or 500 Yds so it'll shoot high at shorter rages with 174 Gr ammo. The sight is easy to replace with a better one if you wanted to do so.
Its actually not an SMLE, if we get all exact. The "alphabet Soup" designations like MLE, CLLE, ShtLE, & so on were replaced with the Number/letter designations in the 1920's. Because of that its called a "Number Four, Mark one, star".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote GladDonut Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 9:38am
Awesome, thanks! I have a few more questions, if you wouldn't mind answering.

I want to properly clean the gun to make sure there aren't any rust spots. Any tips?

My magazine seems to be in poor condition. I load it with the strippwe clips, but it only correct feeds the first 2 or 3 rounds and then the bolt will no longer get a good enough grip to push the roand in. It just slides along the cartridge. Think it could be the spring?

Lastly, the top wood piece that runs the length of the barrel seems to be loose and has some play in it. Any idea how I can fix that?

Thanks again!
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Zed View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 11:56am
I would suggest you clean the barrel thoroughly using a good quality cleaning product. Something that will remove copper deposit's from the rifling. You may need to let it soak a while. Then inspect it.
It would also be worth checking the head-space. Because the .303 is a rimmed cartridge; the gap between the bolt face and the chamber face is important. 
Also the bolt head will have a number on it. It will be either 0,1,2 or 3. These give a guide to the size of the bolt head fitted. Zero being the shortest and 3 being the longest. If the head space fails the 0.74" Field gauge, then you need a longer bolt head. If it fails on a 3 bolt head, you have a problem!
However seeing as the rifle has had an FTR overhaul I would expect that it's still in good shape. In the photos it appears to be good condition visually.

 Also a couple of notes regarding terminology Wink(before Hoadie has a heart attack!)
The No 4 is a "rifle"and it is loaded using "charger" clips (a "stripper" clip is where she keeps her dollar bills!)

Welcome to the forum and enjoy shooting your Lee Enfield. Let us know how accurate it is; and also when you buy your second one! (you'll find they have a habit of multiplying in your gun cabinet)

Zed.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 2:20pm
Like Zed says clean everything with a good copper cleaner.

I like the M-Pro 7 which comes in 2 varieties which you interleave. Start with the bore cleaner, (any of them, they make several) it removes soot dirt & so on then go with the copper remover. You can swab the bore in the evening, just with patches, you're applying the solvent only. Now stand it muzzle down on a folded newspaper & see what drools out by the morning. Then you repeat but with 3 or 4 passes of a brush & patch out. Repeat till there's no black on the patches. The M-pro is ammonia free non etching & so on plus its water based so that makes it good for cleaning after shooting corrosive primed ammo. Don't forget the bolt body & head & even the firing pin.
You may want to strip the rifle down completely to get at all the metal hiding under the wood. That's where funky stuff is frequently lurking.
If you find cosmolene, particularly on the moving parts, remove it with a shop rag & Yellow Heet (denatured alcohol) then wipe down with a thin layer of Vaseline before reassembly. Grease or oil everything, the alcohol will remove everything. You'll need the (in)famous "oily rag", I like old T-shirt squares about 8" sq. I oil every pivot then wipe the excess off. after a while the rag becomes impregnated in itself. just keep it in a Ziploc bag.

The bolt body does not need to be stripped, just unscrew the head. now hose the heck out of it with non-chlorinated brake cleaner. that will remove all sorts of crud. do it several times till it runs out clean. Now drip 6~10 drops of gun oil in & stand it vertically so it runs down inside. let it stand overnight again on your oily rag-in-training. Wipe the excess off with the oily rag the next day & Blow it out as much as possible. Invert it & let any remaining oil run out onto your rag again overnight.

The charger has a specific way the rounds need to be stacked:

Note the order of the rims, usually drawn  as "_-_-_", then there's a technique as well. Have the thumb right up close to the charger, look at the left side wall of the breech area there's a curved cutout designed for your thumb, that's where it should push down. Also push FULLY into the mag & let them spring back, that's where "the magic" works.

In fact if you get a jam do that to clear it just push all the way down & let the remaining rounds pop back up!

The top wood is actually 2 pieces meeting under the front sling swivel band. The wood is frequently very dry & shrunken so first off get some Linseed oil & rub a thin layer in daily for a week. That will frequently re-swell the wood & tighten it up.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2017 at 6:26pm
FWIW with the serial prefix 86C it was late enough to have been MANUFACTURED as a  mkI* , 
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