Enfield-Rifles.com Homepage
Forum Home Forum Home > Enfields > Enfield Rifles
  New Posts New Posts RSS Feed - New 1941 Lithgow! Did I get Fleeced?
  FAQ FAQ  Forum Search   Events   Register Register  Login Login

New 1941 Lithgow! Did I get Fleeced?

 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
Author
Message
thrawnformbi View Drop Down
Newbie
Newbie
Avatar

Joined: November 29 2019
Location: New York
Status: Offline
Points: 9
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote thrawnformbi Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Topic: New 1941 Lithgow! Did I get Fleeced?
    Posted: November 29 2019 at 7:25am
he!!o all and thank you for letting me join the forum. I'm new to the Enfield world but have always wanted one of these iconic rifles. Unfortunately, I didnt do enough research and when I saw this rifle in my local shop I immediately decided I wanted it. Spur of the moment will be the death of me. 

I'm unclear on this mismatch of serial #'s and markings. I've done a fair amount of investigating and eventually found a JJCO stamp (rats!) and that immediately sent up a red flag of panic. The damn thing was hiding (see pic) and I didn't spot it in the shop. The condition was excellent and we were all gushing over it in the shop - but now I'm realizing that this was most likely one of their janky rebuilds. 

I'm very familiar with the John Covino shop in NYC and was aghast when I made the connection. It's a terribly run shop these days and a notoriously unfriendly/unhelpful place. I wonder if you all would mind sharing some insights if you have any. I'm not too familiar with Enfields so this is all new territory for me. Im incredibly concerned that its missing the brass recoil pads but I may be wrong. I've put maybe 30-40 rounds through it and it shot wonderfully but I'm concerned about its longevity without them.

Many thanks for all of your help. I made a little wrap for the stock - I'm sure it might offend some purists but I like doing it so what can I say. There are ZERO markings on the stock however so no information is lurking behind that bridle leather. 





























Back to Top
Sponsored Links


Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 11190
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2019 at 8:45am
I think you're OK.
Your serial numbers do match, the ones on the underside of the bolt handle (L1381) are "assembly numbers" only, the actual serial number is on the rear face.
They're also in the correct format (X #####)for a real Lithgow-built rifle. most of the bitsters were ####A, formatted.
Also not every Lithy had recoil blocks. The trick is deciding if yours needed them, or not. If It should have been, but wasn't, then, yes its a problem. However if it was early enough that they hadn't designed the upgrade to them than its OK. The real serial number (B 82454) should also be stamped on the end of the bayonet boss at the muzzle, OR under the forend wood, but not both
.
Yours is a 1941 & most of the fakes were '43 or '44 dated thats a plus as well. See if you can positively identify the wood type, the early ones had better wood & so the blocks weren't needed, it was only after they switched to "coachwood" that the problem occurred.

Here's most of what I've been able to track down & piece together.
"No. 1 Mk III* (Lithgow - "New")

Often advertised as “collector grade” or “mint - unfired” or “unissued” and selling for $200 and up.

Watch out for these! Quite a few “new Lithgow” rifles have been built just within the last few years from spare parts bought from the Australian government. The parts are new, and the rifles were never issued--but they aren’t Lithgow factory rifles by any stretch of the imagination! They’re recently-built parts guns.

It is possible (though not likely) that some Lithgow-manufactured rifles with late-1945 (or later) dates were kept in storage and subsequently surplussed out in unfired or unissued condition. Such rifles would have 5-digit serial numbers with either an “E” or an “F” serial number prefix, and the serial number would be stamped on the rear of the bolt handle and on the bottom of the fore-end, as well as on the receiver ring. Neither the nose cap nor the bottom of the backsight leaf will carry a different serial number on these rifles. Also, legitimate factory rifles will have 1/4-inch square brass or copper recoil plates installed on the fore-ends where the sear boss bears against the wood. These plates will be attached with small brass wood screws.

If you find a “new” Lithgow with a 1943 or 1944 date, be highly suspicious. This was the height of the war, and virtually all rifles manufactured were issued. If you find the receiver marked with a “JJ CO NY NY” import stamp, assume it’s a parts gun unless you have clear evidence to the contrary. (Many “new Lithgow” parts guns appear to have been assembled on receivers imported by John Jovino & Co.) If you find a 4-digit serial number with no prefix letter and an “A” suffix, this is clear evidence that it is not a Lithgow factory rifle. If you find different serial numbers on different parts, this is clear evidence that it is a parts gun. And if the recoil plates are missing, it is not only a parts gun--it could be dangerous to shoot. There’s a possibility that the fore-end will be damaged with as few as 20 or 30 round fired.

Where JJ Co used unissued receivers, they did not have serial numbers on them from Lithgow.
JJ Co numbered these receivers themselves, using a letter suffix (usually A) in the serial instead of a letter prefix as was customary markings for Lithgow.
If any doubt, a quick look at the serial number and date on the rifle will soon sort it.

For knowledgeable collectors of Lithgow Enfields, these assembled new rifles are pretty easy to spot by their light colored stocks and parkerized finish. Another dead give away for the assembled rifles is that they are not in the normal Lithgow serial number ranges. Most of the assembled rifles have serial numbers that either start with a "G" prefix or have a "A" suffix.

import marks on your Lithgow on the right hand side of receiver just above the woodline in front of the bolt handle? If so, I think it you look hard at your import marks, you will see that they are actually IA CO SAC CA but the first "I" looks like a "T" due to the mark being stamped at an angle. I have had a couple of the IA imported Lithgow rifles with the IA CO SAC CA import marks on the location I mentioned and others with the import marks on the bottom of the charger bridge on the right side. IA was the "Inter American" company and they imported a lot if military surplus arms as well as new AKs and Sks. If I remember right, they went out of business around 2005 or so. Anyhow, they had some pretty nice Lithgows as well as some not so nice like any importer. They did not assemble rifles from NOS parts either like Jovino did."


Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
Goosic View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 12 2017
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 2632
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2019 at 8:52am
Howdy and welcome from Phoenix Arizona. 
Mismatched serial numbers??
The bolt,receiver,and rear sight serial  numbers are all marched. The furniture is on par with being new wood and the metalwork appears to be in pristine condition. Someone here with more knowledge of No1Mk111 type rifles will be able to give you a better assessment but in the meantime, enjoy it. You have a very fine example of an Enfield rifle..
Back to Top
Canuck View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member
Avatar
Donating Member

Joined: January 17 2012
Location: Agassiz BC
Status: Offline
Points: 2608
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2019 at 9:51am
I like it! I think you did well, enjoy shooting it.
Castles made of sand slip into the sea.....eventually
Back to Top
Honkytonk View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 30 2017
Location: Brandon Mb
Status: Offline
Points: 2346
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2019 at 10:09am
Very nice rifle! I, too, am not a purist but I gotta ask... reason for the leather?
Back to Top
pisco View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie
Avatar

Joined: November 21 2018
Location: australia
Status: Offline
Points: 70
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pisco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2019 at 12:20pm
hi as i stated on another forum it is easy to fit the copper blocks just take your time
Back to Top
A square 10 View Drop Down
Special Member
Special Member

Donating Member

Joined: December 12 2006
Location: MN , USA
Status: Offline
Points: 9867
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 29 2019 at 5:06pm
welcome , glad you joined us 

JJCo had acquired a lot of parts and assembled into rifles , it is why there are folks looking closely at what they offer , they were not a war producer - that would be lithgow , they were an aftermarket seller , nothing wrong with the product at all that i know , just not collectible provenance so to speak , so no - you did not get fleeced as long as you got what you wanted and paid what you were willing , all is good , let us know how it shoots for you , 

im not certain about the stock sock tho - that could be hiding damage or just a shooting aid , rest of it looks like typical JJCo to me , everything has been refinished tho - anything of 41 vintage went to war , it was the height of the production , very little got wasted or neglected 


Back to Top
shiloh View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 08 2019
Location: Ontario
Status: Offline
Points: 306
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shiloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 3:11am
Looks like a very nice refinished Australian rifle to me.
Good find, if by fleeced you mean did you pay too much, hard to say, all original will fetch more coin then a refinished rifle, you did well.
So if you're happy use it and enjoy your new find, good ones are getting harder to come by.   
shoot em if you got em
Back to Top
MJ11 View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 18 2008
Location: A warm beach
Status: Offline
Points: 1287
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MJ11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 8:58am
I'm not seeing how you got fleeced ?

Numbers fit right in 1941 to 1942.

And where is the JJCO stamp ?

I think you got a complete Lithgow rifle. 

Unless you had to throw in your dog on the deal I don't think so.




The Spartans do not ask how many the enemies are but where they are
Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 11190
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 9:31am
"And where is the JJCO stamp?"
5th image from the top, looking down on rear-sight base, kinda hidden under the other stamps.

I'm not even sure it's refinished?
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
pisco View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie
Avatar

Joined: November 21 2018
Location: australia
Status: Offline
Points: 70
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote pisco Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 10:47am
hi fit some copper blocks to save the forend go and shoot it and let us know how it goes
Back to Top
shiloh View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: January 08 2019
Location: Ontario
Status: Offline
Points: 306
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shiloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 2:56pm
Its in too nice of shape to be an early 1941 rifle.
My guess is JJ&Co got a complete rifle in one of there buys that only needed spit and polish.
Still an excellent buy.
shoot em if you got em
Back to Top
Goosic View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: September 12 2017
Location: Phoenix Arizona
Status: Offline
Points: 2632
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 3:22pm
... the general consensus being that, you have a very nice example of a No1Mk111 Enfield rifle.  Take it out and kill some paper with it...👍
Back to Top
Honkytonk View Drop Down
Senior Member
Senior Member
Avatar

Joined: December 30 2017
Location: Brandon Mb
Status: Offline
Points: 2346
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 3:26pm
Actually...  total rip-off! Clone, used parts, etc... I'm not sure what you paid, but it was too much. PM me... I will reluctantly give you $100 CDN to relieve you of this obvious hideous example of a Lee Enfield. (Of course, you will need to pay for shipping...)
Back to Top
Shamu View Drop Down
Admin Group
Admin Group
Avatar
Logo Designer / Donating Member

Joined: April 25 2007
Location: MD, USA.
Status: Offline
Points: 11190
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 3:41pm
Honkytonk:
Tree Fiddy 'Murican!
Thumbs Up
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
Back to Top
BJ72 View Drop Down
Groupie
Groupie
Avatar

Joined: August 24 2019
Location: Qld Australia
Status: Offline
Points: 25
Post Options Post Options   Thanks (2) Thanks(2)   Quote BJ72 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 30 2019 at 3:55pm
For what it's worth here's my take on your rifle. I don't think you got fleeced BUT, is it a factory new rifle? I don't think so. It’s possible but unlikely and here are my reasons why.

My interest is Australian built No1 Mk3 and 3* rifles. Apart from experimental trials rifles, they are the only variations of the Lee Enfield made in Australia. I can't speak for British built rifles and when it comes to No4's, I haven't got a clue. I don’t consider myself an expert but I do know a bit about our Australian rifles.

Your rifle carries a B prefix serial number. These B prefix rifles were manufactured from the early 1920's (about 1922) until early 1941. Each prefix, A, B C, D etc went through all the numbers from 00001 - 99999. All B prefix rifles were manufactured at the Lithgow Smalls Arms Factory. Your serial number is clearly towards the end of the B series which accounts for the 1941 date on the action body. The 1941 date on the action body is not necessarily the year the rifle was assembled; it’s the year that particular action body was made. Why is that important? It’s why you often see later production timber on an earlier receiver.

A lot of the B series rifles were stocked in Qld Maple however the later ones were stocked in Coachwood. Coachwood was used in Australia from 1940 to the end of new production in 1955. Your rifle is stocked in Coachwood which would be correct.  Qld Maple is much lighter in colour.

There’s a couple of photo’s missing from what we for a positive ID on your rifle.

A factory new No1 Mk3*from 1941 will have the serial number applied throughout. It should be found on, the bolt, receiver, nose cap, rear sight, underside or the forend just behind the nose cap and on the barrel. Some also had the serial number stamped into the butt. If the serial number is missing from any of these places, it’s not factory new, but a refinished rifle.

Someone wrote above about the serial number being applied to the nose cape or the forend but not both. That is definitely incorrect for factory new Australian built SMLE’s. The serial number was applied to the forend as well as the nose cap for the entire Australian production of new rifles. If you have a rifle with an un-number forend, it’s not the forend the rifle left the factory with when it was new. During World War 2, production of the SMLE was moved from the Lithgow Small arms factory to Orange. It was during this time the serial number was omitted from the barrel and rear sight on new rifles. It was never omitted from the forend or nose cap.  

Australian refurbished and FTR rifles are a different story again when it comes to serial number markings. Rifles refurbished in the late 40’s at Lithgow will have a large stamp on the butt, R over MA over the month and year of refurbishment. Example R MA 11/45 for a rifle refurbished in November 1945. These refurbished rifles normally have no serial numbers other then on the bolt and receiver.

Rifles that went through the Factory Thorough Repair Process (FTR) in the 1950’s seem to be a bit of a rule unto themselves. They will always have matching bolts, receivers and nose caps, but sometimes forends, barrels and rear sights are or aren’t numbered. Your rifle is NOT a FTR rifle because it does not have the FTR stamp on the receiver above the serial number.

Rifles that were refurbished at Lithgow will either have the R MA stamp on the butt for 1940’s refurbished rifles or the FTR stamp for the 1950’s FTR process. If it doesn’t have either, it wasn’t refurbished by Lithgow but by someone else.

Your rifle is wearing coachwood stocks manufactured by Slazenger. Slazenger was contracted to produce the SMLE stocks and bayonet grips from December 1941. Your forend is marked SLAZ 42 meaning it was made by Slazenger in 1942. The stock butt is marked under the wrist SLAZ 44 meaning it was made in 1944. For your rifle to be factory new, the action body and bolt sat in storage from 1941 and wasn’t assembled until at least 1944 to account for the production date on the butt. Considering the urgent need for rifles in 1941, I can’t imagine your receiver just sat around until 44?

Your rifle is also made up of parts made at various feeder factories. The OA stamp on the rear sight protector wings is for the Orange feeder factory which later in the war is where all No1 Mk3* assembly took place. The Orange factory didn’t commence component production until March 1942. The sling swivel also appears to be marked OA.

Your nose cap is marked BA for Bathurst feeder factory. Bathurst started producing parts in September 41 so that does fit.  

The MA code on your rear sight, trigger guard and trigger is correct for a 1941 rifle. MA being the code for Lithgow production.

I don’t see any markings on the end of the magazine. It should be marked with the Lithgow 7 point star or the MA code. There’s something that looks it could be a star near the top but I can’t be certain from the picture supplied.

The final thing that makes me think your rifle is not factory new is the finish on both the metal and wood itself. The metal finish is very dark and appears too new. The parkerizing on original Lithgow rifles tends to fade and take on an almost greenish appearance. Also, the rear sight leaf is normally not blackened on top. The top section of the sight leaf where the graduations are marked are normally left in the white. The timber finish is also way too light for an original gun. It has the appearance of new timber recently fitted and oiled. The Linseed oil applied to the stocks darkens over time and yours does not have that aged appearance.

On the up side, from the photo’s you supplied, your rifle is made of all original Australian World War 2 components. The market is starting to fill with modern reproduction parts which I for one dislike. It just makes it even more important to look very close when buying something that’s being sold as “original”. To me, your rifle looks like an original rifle that was refinished by JJCO. They purchased complete rifles as well as parts, including lots of new stocks. Some of the rifles they sold were original Lithgow or Orange assembled rifles. They refinished others and some they completely built from parts which are the ones which normally have the letter at the end of the serial number. It's these total parts build rifles that tarnished the JJCO marked rifle reputation. Providing your stock has been correctly fitted, you've still purchased a very good rifle that you can shoot enjoy and be proud of.

Here’s a picture of a factory new Lithgow rifle from my collection. This is what a new unissued Lithgow stocked in coachwood should look like.

My idea of gun control is hitting what I aim at and nothing else.
Back to Top
 Post Reply Post Reply Page  123>
  Share Topic   

Forum Jump Forum Permissions View Drop Down

Forum Software by Web Wiz Forums® version 12.01
Copyright ©2001-2018 Web Wiz Ltd.