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Help needed with markings on Enfield

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Thomas View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 28 2016 at 3:18am
Hi can anyone shed some light on this rifle for me. From my research it seems to be an MLE that was converted to CLLE. It was made by BSA.Co but I can not pinpoint the year of manufacture.
Info on the rifle is as follows:

6768 stamped on the back of the bolt handle, rear underside of bolt, side of chamber and side of barrel nock (I assume that this is the original serial number - would such a low serial number have been issued as a commercial rifle or military issue ??)

-> on front site, volley site dial and rear flip site (from what I can find, this indicates possible military use)

01659 on top of chamber (No idea what this number indicates - Possibly a lot / regimental serial number ??)

HH199 on side of chamber and side of barrel nock (No idea what this indicates - possibly regimental)

BSA,Co on stock clamp / strap (This makes me think it might be a commercial rifle )

BSA under 3 rifles on barrel nock top

3 rifles crossed with "trade mark" at point where rifles cross
on side of shoulder stock

52 in triangle on stock just behind the trigger guard

An S and what looks like 2 crossed flags on frame where bolt slides in.


Any help with these markings would be appreciated.

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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: July 28 2016 at 8:01pm
i do not believe this was military - i may well be mistaken but its an initial opinion to be discussed by those with knowledge , it has been updated along the way 
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Thomas View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thomas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 28 2016 at 11:48pm
I am inclined to agree with you. What has me stumped is 1: why there would be a volley site on a commercial rifle and 2: would such a low serial number (in my opinion) have been sold as a commercial rifle.

From what I could find, BSA was making 7000+ rifles per year to start. Therefore this rifle would have been made in the first year of production (if my info is correct). Would these have not all been for the military?.

What contradicts the above however is that there are so few stamp markings on the rifle and I would have expected more on a military rifle.

All thoughts will be appreciated.

PS in my haste to post I forgot to put a photo of the whole rifle. Here it is. I got the rifle with out a mag. The mag seen is not the original.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 29 2016 at 2:57am
How about a pic of the rifle in it's entirety?
Loose wimmen tightened here
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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: July 29 2016 at 5:42pm
well , it was not uncommon for the volley sights to be included on commercial arms in those days at all , if you are using military production numbers to determine anything related to a commercial arm it will be wrong , they do not relate , 

it is an amazingly complete and very nice rifle , congrats 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thomas Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2016 at 1:20am
Thanks for that info.

The rifle was taken in to a local gunsmith to be de-commissioned by the owner. Being a member of South African arms and ammunition collectors association, the gunsmith recommended to the owner that he rather pass it on to a collector so it can be preserved and that is how I came to get hold of it.
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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: July 31 2016 at 9:01pm
nice catch 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2016 at 8:03am
The rifle is a commercial or trade pattern built to military specs.

The factory serial number is 6768, the gun appears to be all matching with a only few replacement parts from original.

The additional HH serial number on the receiver ring and barrel reinforce is actually a factory marking to denote that the rifle has been inspected and certified to meet military specifications for use in service rifle competitions. It cost an extra one shilling and sixpence to have the certification marks applied.

The number on the top of the receiver ring is likely a rack number with meaning only to the unit that applied it.

So it could quite possibly have been used in rifle competitions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2016 at 6:43pm
the cocking piece looks to be marked to EFD or ROEnfield , perhaps a replacement or 'borrowed part' fitted at a later time ? right vintage tho , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2016 at 1:36pm
The underside of the EFD marked cocking piece carries the rifle's serial number. This marking of serials here was only found on BSA and LSA rifles.

So is it a BSA cocking piece marked by EFD, or is it an EFD cocking piece serialised by BSA???? curious....

I note that the front sight protector bunny ears are 'E' for Enfield marked. I also note that the factory inspector stamp beside the Service Rifle certification stamp is also an Enfield factory inspector's mark. Could this suggest that a BSA MLE went to Enfield factory for conversion to CLLE? And when the conversion to CLLE was complete, the Enfield factory put the compliance markings on there to certify it was to current CLLE sealed pattern specs? 
Is there a small factory inspector stamp towards the bottom of the left butt socket strap, which denotes a factory conversion? Very small crowned stamp, usually applied sideways, adjacent to the rear trigger guard screw tucked away by the edge of the flange flat?

Enfield only worked on Govt contracts......so curious to have a govt inspection stamps on a trade pattern arm. Unless the Govt purchased this one which I have seen. Some very obvious commercial arms that have been govt inspected and put into service wearing a second set of markings. Or this was an official refurb of a mixture of martial and commercial.

Very curious...........
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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: August 03 2016 at 8:49pm
good to know , they were outsourcing parts ? 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2016 at 5:28am
Outsourcing parts? Yes, that could be. I know that RSAF Enfield had a huge inventory of components in stores fed by other factories and subcontractors. Other factories could draw on these stores in times of poduction shortages.

It is very common to find a complete and original Enfield made rifle with a BSA marked trigger guard. It is something that I check when eyeballing a rifle. I used to think that it was just a part swapped out in service, however, a trigger guard is not likely to fail and need replacing unless battle damaged. There are just too many BSA trigger guarded Enfields out there, I believe that they were assembled like that from new.

Saying that, everybody go look at your long Lee Enfield rifles and let us know what inspection stamp is on the trigger guard. Block capital E or italic B?. I have seen trigger guards with both BSA and Enfield markings.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote evanguy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 04 2016 at 1:16pm
When mine get here in the mail, i will check it out for what mark is on it.
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