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englishman_ca View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2019 at 8:58am
A couple of notes on the proof markings.

When the barrel was made, it went through a production line of many stages. Each stage was done on dedicated machinery and tooling doing just the one operation to the barrel. At each stage, dedicated gauges were used to check it. After inspection, and if the barrel passed, the underside of the barrel (below the wood line) was marked. Here you will find a dozen process markings or more.

The barrel was then sent off to the factory proof house for a first proofing. It was tested with a proof load, or 'blue pill' as it was called, in effect a 25% overloaded cartridge. After firing, the barrel was inspected and carefully measured to see if anything had moved, bulged, cracked etc. If it passed, it was marked with the 1P stamp along with a factory inspector's view mark. Good barrel.

The manufacturing process continued and the barrel was mounted onto its receiver, a bolt was fitted. The barrelled action then went off to the proof house again for a second proof. This time an oiled proof round was used to test. 

The oil prevented the brass casing from gripping the walls of the chamber, which greatly increased the amount of thrust that was taken by the bolt. Amongst other things, this thrust set the locking lugs of the bolt into their pockets. 
Inspection was carried out and if it passed, both barrel and receiver were marked with the 2P marking along with another inspector view marking.

The rifle at this stage got its serial numbers applied to the receiver, barrel, bolt and rear sight leaf. The rifle was assembled into its wood and off it went for accuracy testing against a target. If it passed it was ready to go.

Mil spec proofing is to a chamber pressure 18-1/2 tons per square inch. It never changed over the life of the Lee Metford/Enfield series. Only when later some models were chambered in 7.62 NATO, their  proof load spec was increased to 19-1/2 tons per square inch. 
So even the first Lee Metford in 1888 was proofed to the same specs as a WWII and later rifle firing cordite or nitrocellulose loaded rounds. The Lee was intended to shoot smokeless from day one.

If you see NITRO PROOF or NITRO PROVED on a Lee Enfield, that is a commercial marking, not military.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 11 2019 at 12:08pm
Very interesting analysis. I think we all get pleasure from reading and learning from your experience englishman.
Thank you!
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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: February 11 2019 at 6:28pm
that was a great summing up , it does tell us a lot of that rifle and its life , these are sometimes very interesting which is why i never stand on the traditionals and seek to learn from the nontraditionals as well , thank you simon for your superb input , 

FYI - when posting photos it is not necessary to make each a separate post , when you get your first in place , enter down and repeat the tree actions , you end up with multiple photos in a single post , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Thudclang Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 13 2019 at 4:52am
That’s was a pleasure. Thank-you again for that thorough analysis. When I get time to disassemble the old girl I’ll post more photos of her underbelly. In the meantime I look forward to reading everyone else’s discussions. Next step is to hunt down a magazine and some chargers and take it out to the back 100, for a mad minute...after it warms up 30 some degrees. It’s a bone chilling -30 C right now. Cheers! 
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