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Enfield No. 4 MK 1/2 - My First

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36IDRedleg View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 25 2020 at 1:22pm
I have just acquired a No. 4 MK 1/2 from the recent Ethiopian rifle cache that was imported by Royal Tiger Imports.  I am pleased with the purchase and it is a quality and serviceable rifle.  Once I cleaned sand out of it and de-gunked the bore, it shoots dead on the micrometer sights with service ammo.  The origins are a mystery.  As it is a No. 4 MK 1/2, I have to assume that it is an FTR that originated at ROF Fazakerley in the late 40s (1949?).  It was part of a stored weapons cache from 1974 in Ethiopia.  In the interim, I can guess that it was part of UK military aid to Ethiopia in the 1950s?

The markings are matching serial numbers on the wrist of the receiver, bolt, forestock, barrel, and magazine.  The format is "CXXXXX".  It has a #3 bolt.  Markings on the cocking piece are F51 and B65.  There is a "B" on the safety lever.  There are no other serials or electro-pencil markings.  There are a couple of proof marks such as to the right-rear of the receiver like "IW40" and an "IW70" on the barrel.  The barrel has very little wear and appears near new.  It has a steel buttplate.  There is an "S" cartouche on the underside of the wrist of the rear stock.  There is an "N79" on the top of the forward barrel band.

From all the reading I have done, I cannot determine the original manufacturer of the receiver or any other history of the rifle.  Please assist with further identification and/ or ask questions.
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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2020 at 2:38pm
HeIIo and welcome from Phoenix Arizona. 
Pictures will speak a thousand words here as will the complete serial number without the xxxxxx and  will give us a definitive answer as to original manufacturer. Examples.
AK 13056 - Maltby 
PC 25677 - Fazackerly 
B 37462 - BSA Shirley 
The No4Mk1/2 FTR'd rifles, starting in 1949 would be of one of these as listed above.
The No4Mk1/3 FTR'd rifles would have originated from either the Savage or Long Branch plant.
N79 is a Viners Ltd., Sheffield wartime dispersal code. The IW40 and IW70 are possible inspection or viewing marks. The F51 is a Fazackerly stamp. The B on the safety lever might actually be a B superimposed over a L for Long Branch.  If the S is 1/4" tall, that is indicative of being a short length  stock.
L for long
N for normal
S for short 
and very rarely will you see a B for bantam length.
Again however pictures are worth gold here and will exponentially help us to help you...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2020 at 5:54pm
The letter C in the serial number signifies a Savage (Chicopee Falls) No. 4 rifle.   If it’s a Mk 1/2, then it was a no star Mk I.  Then upgraded to the Mk 2 at Fazakerly.  The barrel should have the letter F followed by a two digit number signifying the year.  

I have a Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/2, a no star No. 4 Mk I upgraded to Mk 2 through that same program. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2020 at 6:30pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

The letter C in the serial number signifies a Savage (Chicopee Falls) No. 4 rifle.   If it’s a Mk 1/2, then it was a no star Mk I.  Then upgraded to the Mk 2 at Fazakerly.  The barrel should have the letter F followed by a two digit number signifying the year.  

I have a Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/2, a no star No. 4 Mk I upgraded to Mk 2 through that same program. 
The OP's serial number is "CXXXXX"
Savage serial numbers are formatted "12C3456"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2020 at 6:54pm
Might be that some of the early Savage rifles did not have the prefix digit in front of the “C”.  Or the prefix was struck very lightly.  A picture would help.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 12:11am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Might be that some of the early Savage rifles did not have the prefix digit in front of the “C”.  Or the prefix was struck very lightly.  A picture would help.



The first No4 that Savage made was prefixed 0Cxxxx, if there is no number prefix it is not a Savage, but, as you say, it could be a poorly struck prefix (but it would be unusual as Savage's have good strong number stamping
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 12:35am
My reasons for making my assumptions that the OP's No4 Mk1/2 was originally manufactured at either Maltby, Fazackerly, or BSA and that the Cxxxxx serial number is not a light strike from the Chickopee Falls plant is based off of an excerpt from Ian Skennerton. 
Rifles No4&No5 pg 251

Rifles so marked will have their Marks advanced as follows:
Rifle, No.4 Mk 1 to Rifle, No.4 Mk1/2
Rifle, No.4 Mk 1* to Rifle, No.4 Mk 1/3
Rifle, No.4 Mk 1(T) to Rifle, No.4 Mk 1/2(T)
Verification from the OP as to the full  sequence of numbers past the C prefix will certainly resolve this particular issue will it not?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 7:37am
 Good photo might too.  Is there other arsenal that used the letter C?  There is PC, but that’s a later Mk 2.  There may be others?  Our experienced collectors out here will know. 

Goosic, I don’t follow what your saying regarding the conversion to Mk 2.  Any No. 4 Mk I or I* rifle could have gone thru the conversion to Mk 2.  Parts were all interchanged at these FTRs.  Early Savage rifles would be Mk I no star, so if converted, would be Mk 1/2.  Just my guess, might be a letter prefix in front of the C that was a light strike.  Need a photo.  

My three rifles that were upgraded to Mk 2 are:  0Lxxxx Long Branch Mk 1/2 1952, 51Cxxxx Savage Mk 1/3 1951 and 69Lxxxx Long Branch Mk 1/3 1951.  

The five digits following 0C have been seen before according to Skennerton, but these were apparently late production after 99C9999 serial numbers.  And if one of these was converted, it would be marked Mk 1/3 and not 1/2.   So, this is a bit of a mystery so far. 




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 10:30am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

 Good photo might too.  Is there other arsenal that used the letter C?  There is PC, but that’s a later Mk 2.  There may be others?  Our experienced collectors out here will know. 

Goosic, I don’t follow what your saying regarding the conversion to Mk 2.  Any No. 4 Mk I or I* rifle could have gone thru the conversion to Mk 2.  Parts were all interchanged at these FTRs.  Early Savage rifles would be Mk I no star, so if converted, would be Mk 1/2.  Just my guess, might be a letter prefix in front of the C that was a light strike.  Need a photo.  

My three rifles that were upgraded to Mk 2 are:  0Lxxxx Long Branch Mk 1/2 1952, 51Cxxxx Savage Mk 1/3 1951 and 69Lxxxx Long Branch Mk 1/3 1951.  

The five digits following 0C have been seen before according to Skennerton, but these were apparently late production after 99C9999 serial numbers.  And if one of these was converted, it would be marked Mk 1/3 and not 1/2.   So, this is a bit of a mystery so far. 




I was reading from the big book The Lee-Enfield by Ian Skennerton and found this. It made sense to me regarding the OP's description of his rifle and his Cxxxxx serial number. I have a No4Mk1/2 Maltby serial number C15450
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 10:47am
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

 Good photo might too.  Is there other arsenal that used the letter C?  There is PC, but that’s a later Mk 2.  There may be others?  Our experienced collectors out here will know. 

Goosic, I don’t follow what your saying regarding the conversion to Mk 2.  Any No. 4 Mk I or I* rifle could have gone thru the conversion to Mk 2.  Parts were all interchanged at these FTRs.  Early Savage rifles would be Mk I no star, so if converted, would be Mk 1/2.  Just my guess, might be a letter prefix in front of the C that was a light strike.  Need a photo.  

My three rifles that were upgraded to Mk 2 are:  0Lxxxx Long Branch Mk 1/2 1952, 51Cxxxx Savage Mk 1/3 1951 and 69Lxxxx Long Branch Mk 1/3 1951.  

The five digits following 0C have been seen before according to Skennerton, but these were apparently late production after 99C9999 serial numbers.  And if one of these was converted, it would be marked Mk 1/3 and not 1/2.   So, this is a bit of a mystery so far. 




I was reading from the big book The Lee-Enfield by Ian Skennerton and found this. It made sense to me regarding the OP's description of his rifle and his Cxxxxx serial number. I have a No4Mk1/2 Maltby serial number C15450

I am still struggling to relate the Skennerton extract with rifles being numbered / renumbered with a C prefix

Your Maltby with a C1xxxx is a perfectly good Maltby number

Maltby started with A and then worked thru to AA. Ab, Ac. etc.
The 1st number (1) indicated the Maltby plant.
(2 was Fazakerley and 3 was BSA)

If the Op's is C1xxxx then it is a Maltby, C2xxxx the it is a Fazakerley and C3xxxx it is a BSA (much as you indicated in an earlier post)

Apart from the C or L prefix letter it could also have been an early savage or Long Branch

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 11:03am
I will try this again.

The original poster stated that he has a No4Mk1/2. 
He then went on to say that his serial number is Cxxxxx. He goes on to state that he cannot find out who the original manufacturer was of his rifle.

I asked that he supply the full serial number so I could verify for him and gave examples.
BV 12345 Maltby 
A 23456 Fazackerly 
H 34567 BSA

Skennerton states that:
No4Mk1 rifles upgraded after FTR will be marked  No4Mk1/2 
No4Mk1* rifles upgraded after FTR will be marked No4Mk1/3.

The original poster has a NoMk1/2 that possibly was made at the Maltby, Fazackerly, or BSA plant given that his Cxxxxx serial number starts with either a 1, 2, or 3 after the C.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 11:45am
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

I will try this again.

The original poster stated that he has a No4Mk1/2. 
He then went on to say that his serial number is Cxxxxx. He goes on to state that he cannot find out who the original manufacturer was of his rifle.

I asked that he supply the full serial number so I could verify for him and gave examples.
BV 12345 Maltby 
A 23456 Fazackerly 
H 34567 BSA

Skennerton states that:
No4Mk1 rifles upgraded after FTR will be marked  No4Mk1/2 
No4Mk1* rifles upgraded after FTR will be marked No4Mk1/3.

The original poster has a NoMk1/2 that possibly was made at the Maltby, Fazackerly, or BSA plant given that his Cxxxxx serial number starts with either a 1, 2, or 3 after the C.

Now I understand - I was reading too much into your statement :

I was reading from the big book The Lee-Enfield by Ian Skennerton and found this. It made sense to me regarding the OP's description of his rifle and his Cxxxxx serial number.

Which I read as suggesting that BECAUSE it was a C prefix and the OPs description meant it was a mK1/2

All clear now, apologies for the confusion.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 11:47am
Ahhhh, I see.  Makes sense now. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2020 at 12:34pm
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Ahhhh, I see.  Makes sense now. 

I thought it was just me.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 36IDRedleg Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 03 2020 at 2:53pm
All:  I have enjoyed the discussion thus far.  Until I have the opportunity to post photos, I can be clearer about the observations.  
Assumption: Since the marking on the left side of the receiver is clearly struck "No.4 MK 1/2" I assume this to be of Fazackerly origin on its FTR.  The strikes are very clear on the receiver, bolt handle, barrel, forestock and magazine.  The only exception being the rear of the magazine is marked "XXXXXC".  I will be more forthcoming in that the serial is "C54269".  You can see clearly on the left side of the receiver that forward of the model no. the surface has been ground just deep enough to completely obliterate the original marking and resurfaced with factory coating.  The serial on the left side of the wrist is one time, no double strikes and clear. Remember, this rifle is out of the Ethiopian cache that has been static in storage since 1974.  There were marks on the cocking piece.  Left side: F51; Right side B65.
I have a new question for the group.  
I replaced the cocking piece on this rifle as it was worn and damaged to the point that the safety would not function properly.  I replaced it with an unmarked cocking piece from Numrich that appeared to be NOS or very slightly used.  The rifle now functions flawlessly as per the armorer's technical manual. What I noticed was that the pieces were slightly different in length.  The original was slightly longer than the new one.  The original also had a "drag" to it just before closing.  The new one is smooth according to Enfield reputation.  Does anybody know if there were changes in No 4 cocking pieces from one model to another?
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