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WWII Issue Enfield #4 MK1, any more info???

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turp182 View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 20 2017 at 4:36pm

I’m wondering if anyone has more information about this rifle, specifically what year it was made.  The date marking has a clear month, but the year is difficult to make out. 

It looks to be British Enfield #4 MK1, I believe it was issued to my grandfather during WWII when he served in a non-combat mechanic role on Saipan, in the US Army.

Bolt and receiver numbers match, I don’t have the clip (it could still show up).  It’s been in storage since at least the early 1980’s when my grandmother showed it to me (my mom found it in the same closet and location I mentioned to her).

It appears all original.  Hasn’t been cleaned or handled in maybe 70 years.

Markings/Distinctions (numbered photos are after the overall ones below):

1.a - Manufacturer appears to be ROF Fazakerley (ROF mark and serial starting with “V2”, the 2 indicating the plant)

1-b - I can only make out a month of 12 on the date.

1-c - Serial V22736 (bolt and receiver matching)

2 - Off-bolt side of receiver appears to say V4MK1, not very clear.

3 - Bolt body appears to contain “A B” in the slot

4 - Bolt end has a small “F” and a larger “IV”

5 - Small arrow indentation behind trigger guard in the wood, no other marks in the wood parts.

6 - The top of the front metal barrel cover has letters; I can see what appears to be “VNS” with a small stamp below the letters

7/Overall - Central-upper body wood is ribbed

Anything else I should look for?

Is there anything particularly interesting here?  I’m not asking to for sale purpose, just want to know.  I plan to pass it on to my son when he’s older; he is his grandfather’s namesake.  I can’t think of a more fitting thing to do.

Also, do you know of anyone who could recondition or restore this?  I’d like to shoot it a bit if possible, but not before it’s cleaned up and tested.

Overall Photos 










Markings

#1 - Manufacturer, date, serial #


Bolt


#2 - Off-bolt side model mark



 #3 - Bolt Body



#4 - Bold End



#5 - Behind Trigger Guard



#6 - Front metal covering barrel



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Pedro View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pedro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 12:32pm

By clip, I guess you mean the magazine. Would be useful if you could find it because although you can get replacements, they are a bit like rocking horse manure. Plus, of course any replacement means it won't be all original, which I guess you'd like it to be and would have an effect on price were you to sell, but probably not disastrously so.

The rear sights are the flip up 300 or 600 yards one which is indicative of a rifle made in wartime when quantity being churned out was a priority. I note the front sight is missing the blade (fairly easily sourced and replaced I think) and does not have the protective wings either. But all rectifiable should you wish.

The broad arrow mark on the woodwork I seem to recall means that the woodwork was made by William Sykes Ltd. The first number after the letter in the serial number "2" confirms it was made at Fazackerley.
 
Hope that's helpful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 1:48pm
"I believe it was issued to my grandfather during WWII when he served in a non-combat mechanic role on Saipan, in the US Army."

Somehow I'm dubious of a U.S. G.I. being issued a Lee- Enfield. There's a saying in the old gun biz, "Buy the gun, not the story"!

The biggest mistake people make is to over-restore things like this. Keep it simple, keep it "Box Stock" & don't "Improve" it. Find a mag & fit it, replace the missing front sight blade & protective ears & get the screw. Then re oil the wood with raw linseed oil, re oil the metal inside & out with good gun oil & stop. It wasn't built or used as a collectors item but as a GI's weapon & that's what he would have done, he didn't know (or care) that it might become a collectable heirloom 75 years later.
Replacement parts sources:

https://www.libertytreecollectors.com/productcart/pc/viewcategories.asp?idCategory=63

http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/leeenfield.aspx

https://www.buymilsurp.com/british-lee-enfield-rifles-enfield-no-4-rifle-parts-c-3548_110_111.html

We can help you here just ask the questions.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 2:52pm
iirc Very few U.S. troops were issued Enfields and it always was when they were serving with British troops to ease supply of ammunition.   A rear echelon U.S. soldier might have been issued a M1917 cal 30-06 sometimes called an Enfield by U.S. troops
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pedro Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 5:10pm
Yeah, that sort of makes sense. Saipan was heavily defended by the Japs in WW2 until the Allies invaded it. Or more accurately, US Marines and US Army units. I don't think any British or other countries' soldiers that might have been issued with .303's were involved at all. After the war, it was administered by the US as well. But your grandfather obviously did get it from somewhere, maybe bought after the war, or obtained on his travels back home. Maybe a bit of detective work required there. At the risk of sounding slightly sexist, women don't take too much interest in such things and their origins, so your family's recollections of how it came into your family might be just that when he came home, he had this with him and he was a mechanic on Saipan and two plus two...
 
I agree with Shamu about restoration. Clean it up by all means, but making it pristine will be making it something it isn't. I obviously haven't a clue about gun smiths in Missouri, but in general Enfields are resilient and if it hasn't had much use may well be in a safe condition to fire. Any reputable gunsmith should be able to check it's condition and safety, which I would suggest to be the way forward before firing it. You would only need to look for someone who works on these in the event that there's something wrong with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 21 2017 at 5:45pm
The Aussies (& Dutch) were in the south Pacific. So was the Fleet Air Arm.
In fact, Mr.Cook had told me how his Fleet carrier was visiting a lot of U.S. held islands toward the end of the war.

I don't know if they had many combat troops involved in the "liberation" of the islands. Think that was mostly an American run show
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote turp182 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 22 2017 at 1:03pm
Thanks for all of the feedback, it is appreciated.

As for backstory, all I really know is that he came back from the war with it.  AUS and NZ (Commonwealth Nations) were issued these per Wikipedia (link below).  Maybe he traded.  Unfortunately, he passed away last year and my grandmother's mind isn't what it used to be.  So a mystery it will remain.

Wikipedia:

I will clean it up and post photos later, will take a few days.  Looking forward to it, cleaning a gun is a satisfying thing, and this one hold special value to me.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hans.K Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2017 at 11:32pm
he!!o friends...pl provide some update on this new purchase of mine. Any info would be appreciated. Thanks in advance.

Hans
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Hans.K Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 16 2017 at 11:36pm
Hi...am unable to add pics...pl suggest.

Hans
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