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Looking for info on No1 MKIII

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AussieShooter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 19 2020 at 9:42pm
Hope I can join this conversation with a similar question on a different rifle - No.1 Mk III* 1941 Lithgow manufactured Enfield. I uploaded a couple of photos.  Firstly, can you help decipher these stamps.  I have been able to interpret a few of the prominent stamps, but not the entire "story". 
Lee Enfield No.1 MkIII SMLE Lithgow 1941 .303 Brit Bolt action rifle-img-17

The second photo is of the underside of the Nose Cap.  I can't decipher this stamp either.  The nose cap serial # matches the receiver serial # and it appears to be a correct 1941#.  Thanks so much for your expertise.

Lee Enfield No.1 MkIII SMLE Lithgow 1941 .303 Brit Bolt action rifle-img-30
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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: October 20 2020 at 11:55am
If i am seeing correctly the first is a proof and noted for mkVII ammunition , the second is an inspection mark and ordinance arrow of acceptance - excuse if my terms are slightly off ive not really gotten engrossed in these minutia markings 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smerdon42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2020 at 2:35pm
armoires I have a lithgow with all its markings on the receiver that was redone and reserialized to the original Lithgow serial number  it is in the 3000s from memory so it has no date on the wrist under the shield I am assuming a 1914 based on 2 others I have one with a slightly higher serial number in the British army and the last one ended up in the Austrian police force 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 20 2020 at 3:37pm
Originally posted by AussieShooter AussieShooter wrote:





Lee Enfield No.1 MkIII SMLE Lithgow 1941 .303 Brit Bolt action rifle-img-30


I'm really tempted to say that that is 
Broad arrow acceptance mark, (over) Crown (over) 24 (over the styalised BSA mark) B

I think it could be a BSA part approved by inspector number 24.

I could be wrong - is there any sign of reworking ? is EVERYTHING Lithgow ?
 

Speculation : 'At the front' in WW2, nose piece damaged and replaced by a Field Armourer with the next nose piece out of the parts drawer.
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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: October 20 2020 at 10:43pm
probably , but then who knows what might have been changed over the years - do the numbers match ? that will tell more of the story , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2020 at 12:50am
Originally posted by A square 10 A square 10 wrote:

probably , but then who knows what might have been changed over the years - do the numbers match ? that will tell more of the story , 

He does say the 'numbers match' but that would be expected if it was fitted 'oficially' by an Armourer.

The nose piece was one of the 5 rifle parts* (that were mandated by the 'Instructions to Armourers') that must be numbered to the body, so, during maintenance all critical parts could be kept together.

* Nose piece, Forend, Rear sight, Barrel & Bolt


Section 3.—Examination Rifles No. 1 and No. 2, Mk. IV* 

The following instructions are for general guidance; the sequence may be varied to meet special circumstances, e.g., when a particular defect due to unfair wears or other cause is prevalent, or when a brief examination only is called for. 
Reference should be made to Section 4 for Modifications, Repairs and Adjustments and to Chapter III, Part I, for special markings. 
1. General.—Examine the rifle to see that the number, and the series letter where marked, on the nose-cap, fore-end, sight leaf, barrel and bolt agree with the number on the body, and that the rifle is complete. Record deficiencies, if any and damage due to unfair wear for report. 


17. Each rifle must invariably be used with the breech bolt bearing the rifle number, otherwise the lugs may not bear evenly, and the rifle may fire to the right or left; the distance from the bolt to the end of the chamber may also be affected. When, owing to loss or damage, it becomes necessary to fit another bolt to a rifle, the rifle should be fired for accuracy on the range. The fore-end and nose-cap are also fitted and numbered to the rifle. Accuracy tests must always be carried out when either or both of these components are exchanged.  

18. When spare bolts, sight leaves, fore-ends and nose-caps are fitted to rifles, they will be marked with the body number. When fitting a spare barrel with body, the whole of the components before mentioned will be re-marked with the new body number. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2020 at 8:09am
That marking is a BSA inspection mark. So it's just a typical nosecap was replaced at some point by a unit armourer situation. You can get some interesting part combinations from repairs sometimes. Neatest one I ever owned was an all matching 1916 Mk III* that had a Mk I nosecap. I would love to have that rifle back.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 21 2020 at 3:06pm
Great responses and I am learning.  I agreed with the BSA markings, and the MkVII ammo stamp makes sense now, especially if this was applied later in life.   This is a gun I am thinking of bidding on - the seller is very cooperative and published lots of photos.  Happy to share link if you promise not ot out bid me!  It has some matching numbers.  It has matching Proof Action Assembly (PAA) numbers on bolt handle and the area under the bolt handle.  It has matching serial number on Nose Cap and barrel (breach end). I don't see any other numbers on the Forend, Rear sight, or Bolt.   Bolt does have a OA stamp, which I believe is ORANGE, and consistent with assembly made at Orange, but still considered MA Lithgow.  Seller reports no import marks.

New information:  The right side of the stock has some very faint markings that the current owner provided close up photo -MAO SMLE III*  There is a prominent HV and 1945. There might also be a faint V next to the III* stamp.   Not sure??   The serial number matches a 1941 lithgow number, and the receiver metal band is stamped 1941.  the HV stamp could represent the MkVII ammo, but that should be stamped on the barrel, not the stock?  The 1945 stamp concerns me.  Let me know your thoughts. 

Lee Enfield No.1 MkIII SMLE Lithgow 1941 .303 Brit Bolt action rifle-img-44
Thanks, Geoff
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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: October 22 2020 at 11:03am
Originally posted by Bear43 Bear43 wrote:

That marking is a BSA inspection mark. So it's just a typical nosecap was replaced at some point by a unit armourer situation. You can get some interesting part combinations from repairs sometimes. Neatest one I ever owned was an all matching 1916 Mk III* that had a Mk I nosecap. I would love to have that rifle back.

i was thinking that and along that line a mismatch might indicate an after service parts change , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: October 22 2020 at 2:41pm
Possible it has been through FTR in 1945 hence the date on the butt, look for any FTR marks.

I have a 1943 Lithgow that has had a new barrel fitted in 1946 as part of the FTR process, typical MA (lithgow) marks but assembled at the Orange Armory sub-factory (OA marks) and some B marked components which would have come from the Bathurst factory.   Typical wartime setup with each sub factory making components at different times then the parts all coming together for assembly.
More knowledgable members on the forum have commented about earlier 1930's manufactured parts (pre war work to keep lithgow going) being used for wartime assembly.   Bear is also right that the field armourers would use whatever was at hand as spares where necessary, unless it went through the FTR it might not get re stamped to match the rest of the rifle.

have a look at the right side of the reciever under the edge of the wood just under where the bolt handle is for more markings.
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