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Help with the Marking?

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AussieShooter View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 27 2021 at 12:40pm
Hi Guys,
I have a couple of odd items with a 1941 III* Lithgow I recently acquired and wanted to get some insight.  It contains all the typical Lithgow markings, and I purchased it because it was a 1941 with Magazine cutoff - makes it a little different. I like the rifle, but there are a few odds and ends that I should have done some additional research prior to purchase, but here we are.  Would you learned fellows assist with the following:
1) It has a marking on the barrel I cannot decipher even after reading the Broad Arrow 2 (see photo).
2) The metal components are "painted" in black - I'm not sure its paint, it seems tougher, more resilient than paint.  I did find a WW2 British War Department document approving the field painting of metal components - maybe the Aussies did this also?
3) There is a "K" stamp on the rear sites, and again I can't find a reference in BA2.

Additional information: the rear sites, bolt, receiver and nose cap match with a B serial number which is period correct. I haven't dismantled the rifle to check the barrel. Stock is marked 41.  There is no PAA mark on the bolt handle, but there is a PAA on the rear receiver. Also, I noticed the bolt head is stamped BA58 - I didn't realize these components were stamp - suggesting a FTR at some point, but no FTR stamp on receiver.

As usual, thanks for your insights. 





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Shamu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2021 at 1:46pm
The star means "Rust in chamber or bore" If its been FTR'd that may refer to the old barrel,not the new one, look up the bore & see.
The Black Paint often means its either Indian or has been to India.
Wild guess on the "K" India has a "Kirkee" arsenal, so maybe thats where it was refurbished.
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 Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2021 at 1:51pm
To add: The bolt not having the PAA number would indicate a replacement. Since it matches it would have been done in service more than likely as that should indicate it was properly fitted to the receiver.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2021 at 1:56pm
Thanks Shamu.  Quick response as usual.   So it's a "star" - what I interpreted as an asterix in the BA2.  Got it.  I thought it may have been a "sold out of Service" mark.  Barrel seems OK good rifling, a little frosted - but I'll take a closer look.  I thought the same on India as i had read somewhere they painted the rifles, but I couldn't find the reference.  Also, my reading suggested a double K "KK" marking for Kirkee. 

BTW: what does "Sold out of Service" mean.   Is it retired from military and sold to civilian, or does it imply a quality issue - no longer "serviceable"?   Thanks.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2021 at 2:00pm
Originally posted by Bear43 Bear43 wrote:

To add: The bolt not having the PAA number would indicate a replacement. Since it matches it would have been done in service more than likely as that should indicate it was properly fitted to the receiver.


Thanks Bear41 - that nugget can explain a lot of the anomalies.   So it appears it may have had some sort of FTR in Australia, as the replacement bolt has Aussie markings, but ended up in India where it was painted.

Is the black actually paint, or is it something else?  Thoughts and opinions -  Should I strip the paint, or leave it as is?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 27 2021 at 2:42pm
It is a paint and it is tough stuff. I usually leave it alone as it is hard to get it off. Plus it is part of the rifle's story.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2021 at 11:53am
That's a common confusion the SOS is 2 broad arrows facing each other, & the Rust indicator is a 6 point star, the main difference is size. The SOS is usually about 2 1/2 X bigger than the star stamp. (the asterix stamp would be from the set of stamps used for letters & numbers), so it would be about the size of a single letter or number. Also SOS is frequently misaligned & so more obvious as 2 broad arrows.
SOS is "struck off" military inventory & sold (usually so some kind of dealer/distributor) for sale to the general public. Its not a quality issue, anything with that kind of problem would be made inoperable by various methods & stamped as D.P. (Drill Purposes)
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 AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2021 at 1:05pm
Thanks for the updates and clarification on SOS. 

I would like to follow-up on the rust marker - Are the 6-point star and the asterix the same?  Is it a case that what I called an asterix is more accurately a 6 point star?  I try to do my research before I post on the board, and I could not find a reference to a six point star for rust.  The only reference I could find is an asterix like symbol-see picture. Also, the star on my rifle is quite large (see photo with reference) where as I agree that an asterix would likely be much smaller - a single digit - the size of one digit in the serial number??  If they are different markings could you point me to a reference as I would like to add it to my knowledge base.  I appreciate the lesson.

I think I will leave the rifle painted as that is its history.   You are absolutely right.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2021 at 2:42pm
Yes, just two different names for the same character.
As near as I can get it with a keyboard.
* = Asterix 6, evenly spaced "arms", kind of small, the same size as a single letter from the serial number.
>< = S.O.S no vertical "arm" 2 arrows facing each other & larger,Each broad arrow is the size of a single letter/number, points may well not align.
Yours looks more like a SOS than rust warning.

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 smerdon42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2021 at 4:44pm
the Aussies painted there enfields with a green paint during ww2 on the barrel mainly due to jungle conditions .it would suggest perhaps another country of service with black paint . Most of the 39-41 saw service in the Middle East then onto New Guinea 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2021 at 7:21pm
The paint is probably original to the rifle. I say probably because I haven’t seen it, but certainly a 1941 MkIII Lithgow was painted with a very thin semi gloss black paint from factory. That is only my opinion from observation. Its not hard to remove with solvents but I wouldn’t touch it. 
I’ve no idea the K, but I have had rifles with same..... I would say nothing to do with India if that’s the only mark that suggest Indian service.
Is there an official source to prove khaki paint was applied to rifles in tropical climates? The instruction to armorers only states rifles returned to ordinance workshops will have khaki paint applied in lieu of petroleum jelly for the prevention of rust. No mention that it is theatre specific. It could be correct, just haven’t seen an official source.
More photos of the rifle would be helpful.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 28 2021 at 7:37pm
I wouldn’t try to read anything from the BA58 bolt head, it certainly doesn’t indicate an FTR. Gents I’ll toss this one out there. An FTR is a total strip and rebuild of a rifle. Can be from new and used parts but the rifle would be refinished and present nearly as new, apart from reused wood......usually the butt. In Australian factories these are all marked, post war 45/46/47 on the butt, 1950 to 1960 the action. A bolt head or any lessor repair does not constitute and FTR. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Myles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2021 at 9:43am
he!!o
I have a similar question about a new purchase. 1941 no4 mk1
Serial A8915. Marked with a C inside a circle.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2021 at 10:35am
Canadian property mark?
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 (1) Thanks(1)   Quote SGonger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2021 at 10:50am
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

Canadian property mark?
Howdy 🤠again 😉.
The the C inserted the O is listed as a competition grade,usually 7.62 conversions,but refers to as Location (Barrel,Canada)
Source Skennerton library books.
Cheer’s 👍 
Anyone seen the Tardis Box anywhere? 🤨
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Myles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 29 2021 at 1:14pm
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