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Maltby with early bolt?

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m38swede View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 18 2023 at 5:53pm
Thanks for adding me to the forum, I recently retired ad am finally having time to focus on my hobbies so it will be good to be able to bounce some questions off of the experts!
I am considering adding another No. 4 to my collection.  A local gun store has a NO. 4 MK1 ROF (F) 9/43 for sale for $400.  The receiver and bolt appear to be matching but it is an earlier bolt design with the round cocking piece.  I have read that some earlier Enfields were issued with these bolts and that some units requested them if the bolts if they were going to be sent to cold climates etc. where heavy gloves would be worn.  The receiver and bolt do have matching numbers and is not look like there are any FTR markings.  Could this be the original bolt issued with the rifle?

Also, the serial number is 21900. If I am correct the first number "2" would indicate ROF Maltby with the serial number then being 1900.  If so, would that be in conflict with the (F) that indicates Fazerkerley or?

The receiver and bolt are in good condition. the stock needs alot of work and the bore is pretty dark.  Just want to get a feel for how original this might be and if it is worth $400 for a refurbish project.

Thanks!











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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shiloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2023 at 4:36am
Its a first batch Fazakerly rifle according to the serial number.
But then you say it has a date of 9/43, which by then should have a letter in the serial.
This seems strange.
shoot em if you got em
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2023 at 5:09am
Original markings may have been scrubbed.  Are there markings on the left flat side of the receiver? I can’t see any in the photo.  Should have “No. 4 Mk 1” markings there.  ROF (F) does indicate Fazakerley. 

It’s missing the ejector screw that should be in that small threaded hole on the left side of the receiver. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Enfield trader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2023 at 6:47am
Have never heard that they were requested for cold climates, do you have a reference to this? 

Serial number font on the receiver looks odd and the bolt was renumbered to match the receiver, so that could explain why it has a round cocking piece. 

I have only seen Savage, Long Branch and SM marked round cocking pieces.

I believe the rifle is marked as such and this is where he is getting the date 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38swede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2023 at 7:22am
I found one reference here in this forum from 2012 in which muffet.2008 stated "The early rounded knob was preferred and often refitted by Units where conditions required it, Korea being a good example, where gloves made it difficult to grasp the straight sided cocking piece in the Winter months".

I also found another early Fazerkerley that had hard to read electric pencil example on a site for sale described as follows:  

"Rifle, No. 4 Mk I. ROF Fazakerley, 1942. An early production No. 4 rifle with round "button" type cocking piece (marked "SM" for Singer Manufacturing) and forestock relieved for a magazine cutoff as found on the No. 4 Trials Rifles. This piece is fitted with a North American - i.e., Savage or Long Branch - 2 groove barrel. This piece bears no FTR markings and all components bear correct WWII manufacturers codes (i.e., N74 on forestock, CEW on front band, etc.) A truly exceptional early No. 4. Matched - bolt, receiver, barrel, and forestock. No import marks". Their pic is below:


I know the date of '43 seems odd with the serial number range but could it be original??  I went back and looked at again yesterday, the price is actually $499.00 USD.  

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2023 at 12:58pm
<Dons asbestos flame suit>
Star
Is it me or is the font of the serial number on the butt socket "wrong" & "too large"?
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 britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 21 2023 at 2:30pm
Yes it does.  Something not right here…


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Enfield trader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2023 at 12:37pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

<Dons asbestos flame suit>
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Is it me or is the font of the serial number on the butt socket "wrong" & "too large"?

Agree
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2023 at 1:08pm
In the military in the field, when would the cocking piece be used?  Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2023 at 6:32pm
in the event of a misfire. 1st action was to re cock.
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 Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2023 at 7:28pm
Thanks Shamu. I was wondering maybe something like a "double" safety feature when having one in the pipe while in the field.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38swede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2023 at 9:27pm
I went back and looked at the original serial number pic and zoomed in on it and noticed that above the 21900 is a very faint serial number that appears to be the same number but begins with what looks like a GB? see zoomed pic?  Were they at that point in 1943 to use the letters GB as a prefix to the numbers?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Enfield trader Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2023 at 6:09am
 No.4 and No.5 rifle serial numbers can readily identify manufacturers. British No.4 rifles have five numbers, usually after one or two letter prefixes. The same letter prefix(es) were used by Maltby, Fazakerley & BSA Shirley, A to Z then AA, AB to AZ, then BA to BZ, CA to CZ &c. Maltby rifle serial numbers commence with a number '1', Fazakerley with a '2' and Shirley with a '3', e.g. 1xxxx for Maltby, 2xxxx for Fazakerley and for Shirley, 3xxxx, after the letter prefix. Late Shirley numbers then supposedly ran A4000 to A7999 and with PS prefixes at the very end of production. Post-war Fazakerley No.4 rifles had PF letter prefixes. The only exception to the 5-number sequence for No.4 rifles was the initial BSA Shirley production which ran from 0001 to 9999 then went with A to Z prefixes (A0001 to A9999 to the Z prefix) and some early dual letter prefixes (e.g. AT 0303), but then went over to A30001, &c. So early M47C No.4 rifle numbers could be confused with the Jungle carbine in having four rather than five numbers.

Long Branch (Canada) serial numbers incorporate an 'L' in the serial number while US Savage numbers include an 'C' in a similar relative position amongst the numbers. Both of these No.4 rifle series commenced with 0L1 and 0C1 respectively.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote m38swede Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2023 at 7:30am
Thanks for the info, so the GB two letter prefix would have been correct and part of the progression along with the five numbers, 21900.  It may simply be that they chose to restamp the 21900 because the original number was so hard to read?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2023 at 12:53pm
No it was absolutely forbidden in fact.
The 1/2 cock notch & its associated action blocking is effectively removed if you do it so it was going to get you a "right Rollocking" from "Sarge" if you did it!
https://i.pinimg.com/736x/ea/b5/f2/eab5f2a99cdcbf3dc1bfc81c4dfeae65.jpg
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 scottz63 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2023 at 1:43pm
Originally posted by m38swede m38swede wrote:

Thanks for the info, so the GB two letter prefix would have been correct and part of the progression along with the five numbers, 21900.  It may simply be that they chose to restamp the 21900 because the original number was so hard to read?

That's a possibility I suppose. Maybe an armorer did it.
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