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lee enfield rifle


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Guest gumbirsingpun

hi friends

i wonder if the lee Enfield rifle, as used by the allies at gallipoli, hae a serial number stamped onto it?

if so,where?

regards

tuna

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hi friends

i wonder if the lee Enfield rifle, as used by the allies at gallipoli, hae a serial number stamped onto it?

if so,where?

regards

tuna

On the bolt body (also known as the receiver - on the front right as you hold the rifle) on the barrel (on the chamber, just forward of the number on the bolt body), on the rear of the bolt handle, under the cocking piece (dispensed with on later manufacture rifles), on the end of the bayonet locating boss of the nosecap and the timber furniture fore end (under the bayonet lug).

The British didn't number the magazines, although the Indians did. The serial may also have been stamped in to the butt as a defacto rack number.

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Hello Tuna

Here are two websites on the Lee Enfiled rifle whcih may be of use to you. Borden Battery

The Lee-Enfield Rifle

This site was created to provide basic information on the many variations of the Lee-Enfield rifle, with particular emphasis placed on pictorial references. The site is ordganized under the following: Part One - General History, Part Two - Technical Information, Part Three - Rifle Pages, Part Four - Sub-Caliber Training Rifles, Part Five - Sporterized and Commercially Made Enfields, Bayonets, Links Page , Basic Enfield Identification and the Facts about Serial Numbers, Parker’s Rifle Shot’s Register. [Jay Currah Website][CEF Study Group - July 2006]

http://enfieldrifles.profusehost.net/

Enfield Rifle Research

The webmaster states the this comprehensive was created for collectors, shooters, and fans of the Enfield rifle, a rifle which in its various forms has seen duty for over 150 years as a main battle rifle, a home guard and constabulary weapon, a competition target rifle, and a game hunting rifle on five continents. There is much material and several links to other sites. A good website on the topic. [CEF Study Group - July 2006]

http://www.webpages.uidaho.edu/~stratton/en-page.html

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Hello

Just to add to what was posted SMLEs are also numbered on the underside of the rear sight. Some of the serial numbers were arsenal applied, others were applied by armourers in the field (headspacing/ fitting the bolts on SMLE No1s was a matter of hand fitting so bolts are numbered to rifles, the same is true for zeroing sights - hence the numbering of rear sights, and forend furniture.) Perhaps contrary to the comment above I have several British and Australian built and marked No1s which do have numbered magazines although the reasons for this is not entirely clear.

Surviving examples of rifles have frequently been through what is referred to as Factory Thorough Refinishing (FTR) and serial numbers are struck through and new ones stamped on - which tends to complicate things

In addition to these marks identifying the rifle many No1MkIIIs have brass discs set into the stock on which units stamped identifying marks. These would likely be your best bet to linking a particular rifle to a particular action although it would be a long shot and it would be very hard to PROVE a link.

Bayonets (p1907) are not in my experience numbered to rifles but are also unit marked, usually on the pommel

The author of one of the web sites above (Skip Stratton) has also written a very comprehensive guide to all aspects of the No1 Mk IIII published in the "For Collectors Only" series

I have photo examples of most of the above if it would helpful.

Chris (a newbie)

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Hello

Just to add to what was posted SMLEs are also numbered on the underside of the rear sight.

In addition to these marks identifying the rifle many No1MkIIIs have brass discs set into the stock on which units stamped identifying marks. These would likely be your best bet to linking a particular rifle to a particular action although it would be a long shot and it would be very hard to PROVE a link.

Perhaps contrary to the comment above I have several British and Australian built and marked No1s which do have numbered magazines although the reasons for this is not entirely clear.

Bayonets (p1907) are not in my experience numbered to rifles but are also unit marked, usually on the pommel

Chris (a newbie)

Yes, you are correct, Lee Enfields of the Great War era were numbered under the rear sight (knew there was one more bit I should have mentioned).

The Australians used to stamp the serial of the rifle they had been issued to on bayonets, but I am yet to encounter a matching set (although every time I encounter one I always rack my brain for my rifle serials), and I think they obviously quickly got mixed up.

Later in World War II, Australia ceased numbering the nosecap, foreend, rear sight and barrel, but the numbers were applied again on rifles manufactured and re-built post-war.

You will encounter Australian-made rifles with numbered magazines, but these numbers were generally applied after the rifles were sold off in to Indian service - it was never a British or Australian practice for SMLEs. Likewise, the New Zealanders numbered the magazines of their Savage and Longbranch Number 4 rifles post-war, which was not a practice of either manufacture. Later British made No4 and No5 "jungle carbines" had factory serialled magazines.

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The Australians used to stamp the serial of the rifle they had been issued to on bayonets, but I am yet to encounter a matching set (although every time I encounter one I always rack my brain for my rifle serials), and I think they obviously quickly got mixed up.

hahaha me too! I do have a Siamese contract SMLE and bayonet which are a couple of numbers apart

You will encounter Australian-made rifles with numbered magazines, but these numbers were generally applied after the rifles were sold off in to Indian service - it was never a British or Australian practice for SMLEs. Likewise, the New Zealanders numbered the magazines of their Savage and Longbranch Number 4 rifles post-war, which was not a practice of either manufacture. Later British made No4 and No5 "jungle carbines" had factory serialled magazines.

This is interesting, I hadn't picked that up from Skennerton or Stratton's books.

Although as the magazine is about the most removable part of the rifle it is perhaps not suprising but I just had a quick squint through my case and interestingly found I had 5 rifles with numbered magazines:

1918 BSA, 1917 Enfield, a 1916 Lithgow and 2 WWII dated British "Dispersal rifles". none show any outward indication of Indian ownership. My No5 does not have a numbered mag. None of my Ishapore rifles of any date or any of the No4s have a numbered mag.

Chris

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I just had a quick squint through my case and interestingly found I had 5 rifles with numbered magazines:

1918 BSA, 1917 Enfield, a 1916 Lithgow and 2 WWII dated British "Dispersal rifles". none show any outward indication of Indian ownership. My No5 does not have a numbered mag. None of my Ishapore rifles of any date or any of the No4s have a numbered mag.

Interesting - I have never encountered an intact British or Australian SMLE with a numbered magazine, although having built a few for range work it does make sense, as I generally need to sort through a pile of spares before I find one that fits with no slap.

I can certainly state it was never done in any era by Lithgow, and I am almost as sure the same applies to British made SMLEs.

India still has the SMLE in service in huge numbers and hence eagerly grabbed any good condition surplus rifles from other nations. Quite often they stayed in the configuration they arrived in if they were servicable, but during rebuild all sorts of sins were inflicted upon them - with all original markings being scrubbed off in most extreme cases. Generally, the mags were numbered and the infamous "Ishy screw" installed through the stock just forward to the magazine to strengthen the fore end.

Indeed, as Britain and Australia purged the Enfield from their war stores, these military aid caches are often the best source for intact rifles in servicable condition (I landed a superb 1913 BSA No1 MkIII SMLE still sighted for MkVI ammunition from a batch of otherwise ordinary mismatched rifles imported in to Australia from Turkey).

Often an SMLE looks to be a standard Lithgow, BSA or Enfield with no readily apparent Indian markings, but closer inspection reveals a strap around the base of the fore end similar to the No4, which is a distinctive subcontinent trait.

Bear in mind also that SMLEs were supplied to many weird and wonderful nations post war by the British - including, ironically, to Turkey - and all sorts of strange numbering of parts could have been applied. Likewise, many rifles went in to cadet service in Australia and Britain,

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