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New Member keen to own

Printed From: Enfield-Rifles.com
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Forum Name: New Members
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URL: http://www.enfield-rifles.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=8664
Printed Date: January 18 2018 at 7:27pm
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Topic: New Member keen to own
Posted By: sc-em
Subject: New Member keen to own
Date 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



Replies:
Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date Posted: January 03 2018 at 7:13am
Welcome!

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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.


Posted By: hoadie
Date 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.

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date Posted: January 03 2018 at 10:33am
Hoadie, how did your know your rifle is Vimy Vet?



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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.


Posted By: Honkytonk
Date Posted: January 03 2018 at 11:02am
Vimy. Where Canada became a nation. Sacred ground to a Canuck.


Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date 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.



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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.


Posted By: hoadie
Date 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.

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: paddyofurniture
Date Posted: January 03 2018 at 3:27pm
Thanks Hoadie.



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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.


Posted By: A square 10
Date 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 -
https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/britishmilitariaforums/" rel="nofollow - https://www.tapatalk.com/groups/britishmilitariaforums/

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 


Posted By: Stanforth
Date 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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Life.. a sexually transmitted condition that is invariably fatal.


Posted By: sc-em
Date 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. 


Posted By: Shamu
Date 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" rel="nofollow - http://www.enfield-rifles.com/links_forum16.html

http://www.enfield-rifles.com/info-for-new-enfield-owners_forum27.html" rel="nofollow - http://www.enfield-rifles.com/info-for-new-enfield-owners_forum27.html




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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: Honkytonk
Date 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.


Posted By: sc-em
Date 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!!


Posted By: sc-em
Date 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.
https://www.gunstar.co.uk/enfield-smle-no-1-mark-111-bolt-action-303-rifles/rifles/962134" rel="nofollow - https://www.gunstar.co.uk/enfield-smle-no-1-mark-111-bolt-action-303-rifles/rifles/962134


Posted By: Shamu
Date 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.
Confused


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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: sc-em
Date Posted: January 07 2018 at 1:08pm
This is all sounding very familiar when looking for the Brown Bess, although it does appear that Enfield upgrades and the like may be more genuine in their installation rather than the deliberate fake/composites of the BB.
That is all very interesting information, and is very welcome. I have yet to hear from the vendor. If and when I do, I will be sure to take many a photo as I am sure to come across as a total novice and therefore prone to a fleecing. I do like the idea of the magazine cut off which as I understand is on the No. 1 Mk 111 and not the Mk 111*. Wouldn't this mark also have the long range sight, or does that pre date this model. There are some interesting videos on the net, but I'm in danger of info overload at the moment. I need to see one in the flesh and then be able to make a better judgement and know what I am looking at. I am surprised at how poor the photos are and the general lack pf information, but that may be par for the course. I'm still too new to the game to really know.
 
The bolts and barrel serial number I get, the action is the part the bolt locates in? Yes? I suppose the ideal would be for me to find someone local who is knowledgeable and can show me the method of dismantling to check the numbers without the pressure of having a potential purchase. Does the FTR have varied locations, as you seem to imply? Serial numbers being alpha numeric or?
 
Prices in the UK  seem to be between about £500 and £1000 depending on date etc., with WW1 ones being around £700. A similar price to my Snider and considerably less than a BB.
 
It's all part of adding to my database on Enfields.


Posted By: sc-em
Date Posted: January 07 2018 at 1:14pm
https://www.gunstar.co.uk/lee-enfield-smle-dated-1916-bolt-action-303-rifles/rifles/937092" rel="nofollow - https://www.gunstar.co.uk/lee-enfield-smle-dated-1916-bolt-action-303-rifles/rifles/937092
Matching stamps but later dates? FTR?


Posted By: hoadie
Date Posted: January 07 2018 at 4:13pm
Et tu, Shamu??
"GUN"

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Loose wimmen tightened here


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 08 2018 at 5:12am
MATRON!
Hoadie's off 'is meds again!
Clown


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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 08 2018 at 5:21am
That's on the surface a nicer rifle, but its a London Small Arms (LSA CoLd), not a BSA if that matters. Later dates might be an FTR or just a simpler rebuild. Many of these rifles had  a hard life & various levels of repair are common. FWIW the stock unit identification washer (disc) has been removed & replaced with a wood plug, that may indicate a 1913 rifle worked on in 1916. It has the early cocking piece, but the "fingers" are missing from the handguards.

In answer to your earlier question both "FTR" & "DP" stamps should be on the metal (either barrel or receiver, depending on date) as DP'd stocks may have been used to refurbish otherwise sound rifles.

Magazine cut off is a personal preference, they were fitted, deleted, refitted & deleted again as time went on. Single shot platform is nice, but some who use the L-E bolt like a Mauser with the palm of the hand have been "bitten" by the open plate!


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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: sc-em
Date Posted: January 08 2018 at 11:41am
I did recognise the mark as being the London Small Arms from the research I have done. My other half is keen to buy me the Skennerton Book Lee Enfield a Century of etc. etc. book as that seems to be recommended. It's expensive but if a good buy then I will get a copy.
The advert I sent doesn't have the cartridge cut off or long range sight so would this technically be a Mk111* although starting life as a Mk111?


Posted By: sc-em
Date Posted: January 08 2018 at 12:36pm
Oh god there are loads of them.
A BSA but if dated 1916 is it still likely to have seen WW1 service.
https://www.gunstar.co.uk/enfield-smle-bolt-action-303-rifles/rifles/934193" rel="nofollow - https://www.gunstar.co.uk/enfield-smle-bolt-action-303-rifles/rifles/934193


Posted By: sc-em
Date Posted: January 10 2018 at 12:52pm

Shamu, do you think this one is worth a look? It's about an hour from me.



Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 14 2018 at 4:08pm
Originally posted by sc-em sc-em wrote:

Shamu, do you think this one is worth a look? It's about an hour from me.


Wha Happened, it went away?


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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: A square 10
Date Posted: January 14 2018 at 5:16pm
on the post above , he posted twice , its a nice mkIII* with the earlier forestock blank , ready for the voley dial but not milled in , and ready for cutoff - not installed , it looks al there , correct and in good nick to me 


Posted By: Shamu
Date Posted: January 15 2018 at 5:35am
OK got it, thanks.


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Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)


Posted By: Pukka Bundook
Date Posted: January 15 2018 at 6:33am
he!!o Sc-em,
 
I can't see anything wrong with the above rifle, but can't read what is says on the knox form.
 
For a shooter you'd have to find out what bore is like.
My idea is that you should get one you could use, as a deactivated may be frustrating in the end.
It'd mean safe storage, but you could let it out to play whenever you are home.  :-)
 
Is it Mark who is looking for a BB for you?  If so, he is the right lad!  I've found Mark the odd one at auction.
 
Good luck in your endeavour and keep us posted!


Posted By: sc-em
Date Posted: January 15 2018 at 12:03pm
Yes, it is Mark. He is certainly a top chap and I have just sent him two more to look at from the guy  I got my Snider off. One is supposed to be a Ketland, the other looks like an early Windus pattern but the photos of the lock are not good enough, so I have asked for some additional shots. Mark is looking at a couple at the Adam Partridge auction this week, too.
As for the Lee Enfield, I have made enquiries of the local constabulary for local clubs etc. I had no idea how involved getting an FAC was, with all the probation period on lesser calibres before being anywhere near heading towards shooting a LE. I am not even sure if any clubs in the area even shoot them.
You are right, I may soon get fed up with a deactivated version, but in the probation interim period it may be a compromise and at least I would be able to take it off the rack and discuss with my mates.



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