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    Posted: January 02 2018 at 1:46pm
he!!o all.
This forum seemed like the place to find out about these iconic guns. I made the mistake of going to a militaria fayre and soon purchased a Snider Enfield. My better half has allowed my to get a rack that will take 5 guns. My holy grail is a Brown Bess, but I would also like a WW1 Enfield. I have found one from 1916, or so it says, but having found out with potential Brown Bess guns, they are not always what they seem. That said, I was wondering are there definitive marking/checks that would need to be made before a purchase? The one I am looking at is obviously Somme year, albeit doubtfully ever actually in action. But who knows.
I found some great experts on the Bess, so hopefully here is the place to be.
Thanks
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 7:13am
Welcome!
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 8:19am
My 1916 is a "Vimy Vet".
Whats wrong with a Snider Enfield? Sounds like you regret the purchase.

But, you have certainly come to the right place to receive proper info on your [RIFLE].

First thing everyone will ask you is for definitive pictures of your RIFLE.
So, welcome aboard & get us some pics & more info re: the markings.
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 10:33am
Hoadie, how did your know your rifle is Vimy Vet?

Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 11:02am
Vimy. Where Canada became a nation. Sacred ground to a Canuck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 1:07pm
Where the children of the new world went to save the old world.

God Bless Canada.

It is a place everyone must visit and pray.

Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 1:27pm
Paddy;

At one time, I was engaged to be married (go figure) to a nice girl (go figure) named Susan. She was an only child. Parents had her later in life. Her father was a WWII vet (Armour), her Grandfather carried that rifle @ the battle for the ridge. He lost 1/2 his face there. He never allowed himself to be photographed - & I never met him. Susan & her father told me the stories. I bought all the firearms they had @ the farm from her father. (Her father also had a German General Staff flag he "liberated" from the H.Q. they over ran,but he left it up in
the loft of the barn,& porcupine got to it.
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 03 2018 at 3:27pm
Thanks Hoadie.

Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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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: January 03 2018 at 4:24pm
good luck on your quest , there is another site where you might find more on the brown bess -

here you will find more on enfields , glad you joined us , 
my 1916 BSA served its later WWII life in australia 3MD , not certain where it served its early years but it did serve in WWI 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 04 2018 at 12:40am
Originally posted by sc-em sc-em wrote:

he!!o all.
This forum seemed like the place to find out about these iconic guns. I made the mistake of going to a militaria fayre and soon purchased a Snider Enfield. My better half has allowed my to get a rack that will take 5 guns. My holy grail is a Brown Bess, but I would also like a WW1 Enfield. I have found one from 1916, or so it says, but having found out with potential Brown Bess guns, they are not always what they seem. That said, I was wondering are there definitive marking/checks that would need to be made before a purchase? The one I am looking at is obviously Somme year, albeit doubtfully ever actually in action. But who knows.
I found some great experts on the Bess, so hopefully here is the place to be.
Thanks
 
The first thing the I notice is that your better half has allowed you a 5 gun rack. Add that to the fact that you are in the UK I feel I must point out that if you buy an 'active' WW1 Enfield it will have to be on a Firearm Certificate and you will have to keep it in a purpose built cabinet. The alternative is to buy one that has been deactivated then no rules apply.
What part of the UK do you live in? Maybe  someone close to you can help.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sc-em Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2018 at 11:35am
Hi guys. Sorry I lost the website. Lol
I think my Snider is great as it is the first gun I have acquired. Nepalese it may be but for now, it will do and it a good example.
It was actually the chaps on the British Militaria forums that gave me advice on the Snider purchase and I am also in contact with the chap who seems to be the Brown Bess expert on the forum, so all good. He is looking at some at an auction for me.
However, as a passionate historian (albeit a medievalist) I have always been humbled by the exploits and loss of WW1. It is this reason (no logic really) that I would like a genuine WW1 Enfield. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2018 at 1:45pm
Its a broad subject, & impossible to cover fully in just a post or two.
There are books out there which form deep & detailed background on things like markings, history, acceptance dates, manufacturers & so on.
Here's a very basic start.
I'm using my 1914 B.S.A. Made ShtLE as an example, but there are many other legit ones marked differently.

If you want a rifle that saw service it should have a "royal Cypher" (crown & identification of the reigning monarch.) If the initials end in the letter "I", it's probably an Indian-made one. ("I" standing for "Imporater," or Emperor of India.) I wouldn't rule out a nice condition Indian Ishapore Arsenal one pre 1947. (After that the British managers & QC left & the Indians frankly let quality slowly slide!)


This is a British military one made as a Short magazine Lee Enfield (the rifle was shorter, the magazine unchanged) during the reign of King George the 5th (George Rex).
The No1 MkIII is a later version of the same designation, as is "SMLE" or Short Magazine Lee Enfield. They're all the same rifle type, but labelled differently by different factories.

There were also commercial rifles, Identical (except for minor details) for public sale, but they would have the factory or manufacturers trademark, like BSA's "Stacked Rifles".

"FTR" (or F.T.R.)" Is  "Factory Through Rebuild", Britspeak for "complete rebuild (& frequently upgraded to a newer version) at the makers Factory. Not a bad thing, many older guns were FTR'd after both the first & second World War.

The serial numbers should be on the rear face of the bolt handle, the receiver ring, the barrel breech end & under the front center of the forend wood & on the bayonet boss at the front. All should match if possible. The magazine may be numbered or not, but if numbered it should also match.

There were may subtle variations of a model. Things like long range volley sights sling swivels, & magazine cut off pates were added, subtracted, upgraded & even re installed after being removed, as the progress continued, these are usually denoted by one (or more) Stars "*".

As you can imagine pictures are essential, given the level of complexity!





As an example this is my rear sight. Utterly non-issue, but very popular with Target shooters using military rifles after they were "Sold Out Of Service" to civilian dealers. Then they'd be proof marked & so on as well so the little details tell the story.

AVOID (or at least verify in detail, "DP" marked rifles they are worn or dinged & for Drill Purposes (only)!

Hopefully that will start you off & there's a section of very helpful links lower down the main page.
Links:
http://www.enfield-rifles.com/links_forum16.html

http://www.enfield-rifles.com/info-for-new-enfield-owners_forum27.html


Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 06 2018 at 4:03pm
Wow. That is a powerful picture. I can't imagine, in the muck and mire that was WW1, with all due respect to opposing combatants (knowing we can't be held responsible for past history) being on the receiving end of a battalion wielding Lee Enfields. I also know the majority of casualties on both sides was caused by machine gun and artillery, but what an awesome personal assault weapon.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sc-em Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2018 at 3:50am
Thank you for that Shamu. Very helpful indeed. I have been looking on the net at the myriad of marking options there are and there are a bewildering variety (much as with the BB although here, buying the wrong option would be more costly).
I think I really would prefer an example that has seen service. Yours is a beautiful gun and clearly marked. I think a BSA made one would have a certain resonance as I only live 20 miles from Birmingham and there is still a gun quarter, albeit in name only. Not like the exceptionally busy jewellery quarter.
Of course being the UK, the dilemma is do I go deactivated or not. It would essentially be for display, but having watched a few videos of them being fired, joining a gun club and gaining a Firearms license may be an option. Decisions, decisions. Still, first I need to get one. I am angling towards getting an Enfield and Martini  Henry now, before getting the BB as combined they would not cost as much. That said, if the right one comes up. Who knows? Big smile
 
Honkytonk. I was bought a book for Christmas, on WW1 photos from the Daily Mail of the time. One just can't imagine the horror and devastation. The photos are a stark reminder of why such conflicts should never be forgotten. As you say, most causalities were caused by machine gun. Take the Somme for example. 60,000 British casualties on the first day, mostly mown down by machine guns, despite the hours of she!!ing that preceded the ill fated advance. Totally unimaginable!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote sc-em Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2018 at 4:04am
This is one I have seen locally. Not the best of photos but I have asked to go and view. There is another one by the same vendor.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 07 2018 at 11:41am
I'm unfamiliar with English prices currently so I can't comment on the pricing.
A few observations though that might help if you need to negotiate.

Is it marked as a BSA &Co rifle? The ShtLE is a Birmingham Small Arms style, but I can't read whats stamped under the cypher.

Have the seller demonstrate the magazine works (safely of course) there is a dent which may be problematic on the magazine side wall.

Its inaccurately described as a No1 MkIII, BUT It is marked as a No1 MkIII*. Even more strange is that it seems to have the magazine cut off & the early cocking piece together with the Early floorplate with the cast sling swivel loops in front of the magazine. It might be a "Bitster" (rifle built from pieces & parts of several slightly different guns) as these are a mix 'n match of a few variations. That should lower value.

Things for you to check when you view:
Find the serial numbers on the rear face of the bolt handle, the ring at the front of the action, The "stud" on the nose cap, The actual barrel (hidden under the wood) but the rear wood is held with detachable spring clips & can be (carefully) popped off to view just by swinging the rear sight up & forwards out of the way then "popping the wood up" vertically (don't twist it) & under the flat slider of the rear sight after raising it. They should all be the same. The bolt, action & barrel are critical, the others are nice for a collector & increase/decreases value as they do or don't match. Magazine may be numbered, blank or matching is fine, but mis-match is a possible problem for use & value.

Look at the sides of the rear sight base (cleverly not shown in a any pictures) Are they covered by "fingers" of wood? They should be technically, but the fingers were fragile & frequently broke off or were removed before they broke. Fingers are good & presence is a + for value.
Compare this with the fingers missing & the sight base exposed to the earlier ones taken after I replaced the original broken ones.


Look at the opposite side of the gun from all the pictures.
There might (or not) be a "sundial" looking plate, possibly with a rotating arm attached, also at the safety catch pivot there might be (but I don't think so based on the spring design) a pivoting arm with a "peep" on the top. These comprise a "Volley" sight, use for massed fire to insane distances. They were frequently removed during upgrades, & so are rare & add value.

Check the rear sight blade. Is it fixed, or does it have an adjustment knob for left<> right. If there is one does it work? (Be gentle they were fragile & were frequently replaced with a non windage adjustable or simply pinned in place). If it has a working one that's a plus.

Because of its mix 'n match parts look carefully for an FTR stamp, possibly with a date. If its there & the barrel matched the date then that's good. parts were frequently replaced during the FTR with whatever was suitable & available "in the bin".

Here's your dilemma. It may have rare parts fitted, which could (arguably) increase value, but as these were sometimes deleted during FTRs was yours FTRd & does the incorrect (historically) but rare parts increase, decrease or balance out value? Its your judgment call so I can't really help you out there, you'll have to go with your gut.
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