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Discussion Starter #1
I have an extra Lee Enfield that I have had for over ten years, shot it a few times at a range, then kept it in the safe. It is the top gun in this picture:



It is a US PROPERTY Savage Lend Lease from 1943. It appears stock at first glance, numbers match, but research showed that the stock is not quite correct; it is a couple years and one style newer than what Savage put on it. Plus a previous owner began "restoration" and sanded all the markings off the stock as well as the bluing off the nose cap. I found the correct Savage stock in England (funny, that!) for a reasonable price & cheap shipping, but not sure how much I want to get it back to perfect original. Yes, I know, the sling is NOT correct; have no idea what it is off of!

Took it to work and showed it around, a friend was very interested. Priced it $250, he was interested, but had just bought an $800 gun and had a baby.

I dropped the price to $225 and put it on a garage sale, but was not advertised. Since dropped it to $200 for the guy at work, but he still doesn't have the money.

Is the price right? Low, high?

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT trying to sell it here; I don't want to go through the hassle of shipping a gun. Just want some feedback. Thanks!
 

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I used to have a Mk 4 No 1 and I wish I never sold it! I'd snatch it up from you for $200 in a heartbeat! PM me if you decide that you would be willing to sell and ship!
 

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Do the serial numbers on the bolt handle and stock socket match? What other markings are on the receiver - 1942 or later, etc. and any "S" stamped small parts would indicate the parts are original Savage issue. It appears to have an elevation adjustable rear sight and, if so, it is most likely stamped FTR with a two digit date indicating it went through an armory update which would explain the later issue stock.

I have two Savage No. 4s - one is configured as it came from the factory with the original flip two position rear sight and the other has been "FTRd. and has the elevation adjustable sight:

No. 4 Savage Mk I* as issued in 1944:




According to the serial number this rifle was manufactured in 1943. The serial numbers stamped on the bolt and stock socket matach and all the marked small parts and bayonet are stamped with the Savage S. I paid just under $100 dollars for it across the counter at J&G Sales in Prescot, Arizona, back in the early 1980s.

No. 4 Mk I Savage with adjustable rear sight:




The Weedon Royal Ordnance Depot stamp on this rifle indicates that it probably went through the FTR work at that depot.

The manufacture date of 1942 is stamped on the receiver and all serial numbers on this rifle match. The stock was stamped with the same serial number sometime during its history. I paid $180 to an individual at a flea market for this rifle 7 years ago .

If the serial numbers on the bolt and stock socket match on your rifle, your asking price of $225 seems quite reasonable considering the stock and nose cap has been sanded. Someone looking for a good candidate for restoration may pay more.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks.

The bottom gun in my picture was my first high-powered rifle I bought when I was 15 (40 years ago) for $65.

When I got this one 10 years ago it was priced at $165. I had a Norinco SKS tricked out with a folding black stock & 30 round magazines. Had $250 in it, traded it straight across for the Enfield.

I have since picked up a bayonet for the Enfield. The really neat thing about the bayonet is that there are numbers stamped on the bayonet that match the last three numbers of my serial number! Don't think it is a Savage bayonet, though.
 

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Here is a closeup of the markings on my Savage Bayonet:


The markings read No.4 MkII over a S in a square.​



You can find more information about markings on your rifles by clicking on: Lee Enfield Rifle Markings
 

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If you compare the serial number on the bolt make sure you look under the bolt handle and not on the face of the bolt handle. They often force matched the bolts when they were FTR'd.
 

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If you compare the serial number on the bolt make sure you look under the bolt handle and not on the face of the bolt handle. They often force matched the bolts when they were FTR'd.
Thats a new one on me. All 7 of my Lee Enfields (2 SMLE No. 1s, 4 No. 4s and a No. 5) have serial numbers stamped on the rear face of the bolt handle with no indication of any numbers having been stamped or struck out on the bottom of their bolt handles.


Serial Number on the rear face of the bolth handle of my 1944 No. 4 Mk I*​

My two SMLEs have bolts with serial numbers that don't match the rifle, but the numbers are stamped on the rear face of the bolt with no indication of serial numbers having originally been stamped on the bottom of the bolt.​


Only my Eddystone P14 Enfield has a serial number stamped on the top face of the bolt handle and a struck out serial number stamped on the bottom face of the bolt handle.
 

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Thats a new one on me. All 7 of my Lee Enfields (2 SMLE No. 1s, 4 No. 4s and a No. 5) have serial numbers stamped on the rear face of the bolt handle with no indication of any numbers having been stamped or struck out on the bottom of their bolt handles.

Only my Eddystone P14 Enfield has a serial number stamped on the top face of the bolt handle and a struck out serial number stamped on the bottom face of the bolt handle.
A bolt with no serial number on the bottem indicates it was replaced with a new spare. Often when the rifles went in for FTR they were all taken apart and parts mixed. Then when they put them together again they would match the best bolt to a rifle which might not have been the one that came out of it.

The rifles you have with the serial number on the back have they been FTR'd?
 

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I just checked the serial number on my No 5 and its on the back. I wonder if they stopped doing it on the bottom on the No 4's? I'll check all of my No 1's and 4's in the morning.
 

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A bolt with no serial number on the bottem indicates it was replaced with a new spare. Often when the rifles went in for FTR they were all taken apart and parts mixed. Then when they put them together again they would match the best bolt to a rifle which might not have been the one that came out of it.

. . . The rifles you have with the serial number on the back have they been FTR'd?
The 1942 No. 4 Mk I Savage has the Weedon Royal Ordnance Depot mark and the 1944 No. 4 Mk I* Long Branch has a 1951 FTR mark on the stock socket above the serial number. Both have what appear to be original serial numbers stamped on the rear of the bolt handles and no indication of there ever being anything stamped or "scrubbed" on the bottom of the bolt handles.

The remaining two No. 1s, two No. 4s, and No. 5 in my collection have no markings indicating that they were FTR'd and all have serial numbers stamped on the rear of the bolt handles and, as mentioned in my previous post, no indication that serial numbers were ever stamped on the bottom of the bolt handles.

Perhaps you are confusing the practice of stamping original serial numbers on the bottom of the bolt handles on the Pattern 14 Enfield rifles as being also a fact for the Lee Enfield rifles?
 

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The 1942 No. 4 Mk I Savage has the Weedon Royal Ordnance Depot mark and the 1944 No. 4 Mk I* Long Branch has a 1951 FTR mark on the stock socket above the serial number. Both have what appear to be original serial numbers stamped on the rear of the bolt handles and no indication of there ever being anything stamped or "scrubbed" on the bottom of the bolt handles.

The remaining two No. 1s, two No. 4s, and No. 5 in my collection have no markings indicating that they were FTR'd and all have serial numbers stamped on the rear of the bolt handles and, as mentioned in my previous post, no indication that serial numbers were ever stamped on the bottom of the bolt handles.

Perhaps you are confusing the practice of stamping original serial numbers on the bottom of the bolt handles on the Pattern 14 Enfield rifles as being also a fact for the Lee Enfield rifles?
It wouldn't be the first time I was confused. I think they also did this for the No 1's though. All my Lithgows are like that. I've been trying to find where I read it. I haven't found it yet but I think its in one of the Skennerton or Stratton books
 

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I know nothing about the various Enfield models, but to address your original question...I attended an auction yesterday in the inventory of 590 guns and ammo lots , they had Five Enfields, four of the five were Mod 4's. I didn't look at them as I have no interest in that rifle...but for your info, they all went for $180, except for one that sold for $210. I think it was the first of the Enfields to go up for bid.

That will give you some idea of the auction value (in Indiana) as of yesterday.
 

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I don't have a Lithgow and I am unfamilure with their markings. Perhaps the stamping of the bottom of the bolt handle is only common to them. I can say that every other Lee Enfield I have examined at gun shows etc., have always had the rear of the bolt handle stamped with the serial number, but I must admit that it has never occured to me to examine the bottom of the bolt handle for stampings.

I have Stratton's Volume 1 SMLE (No.1) Rifles MK I and Mk III and on page 22 the first paragraph regarding serial number placement states:

"Serial numbers are also often found on the rear of the bolt handle, on the bottom of the backsight leaf, on the nose cap, on the bottom of the fore-end (just behind the nose cap) and on the magazine. Serial numbers in these locations were not stamped at the factory; rather the were added in the field by unit armorers. Achieving proper chamber headspace often involved hand-fitting the bolt (actually, the bolt head) to a particular action body. In order to keep bolts from getting mixed up when a number of rifles were disassembled, armorers would stamp the action body serial number on the rear of the bolt handle . . ."

This information refers to the No. 1s only and I don't know if the same applies to No. 4s or 5s but in any case, stamping the rear of the bolt handle doesn't appear to indicate that the practice was the specific action of a "Factory Thorough Repair" but was done at the hands of unit armorers so that they could reassemble the rifle with its original parts when making field repairs on or cleaning a number of rifles at a time.
 

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I know nothing about the various Enfield models, but to address your original question...I attended an auction yesterday in the inventory of 590 guns and ammo lots , they had Five Enfields, four of the five were Mod 4's. I didn't look at them as I have no interest in that rifle...but for your info, they all went for $180, except for one that sold for $210. I think it was the first of the Enfields to go up for bid.

That will give you some idea of the auction value (in Indiana) as of yesterday.
Without knowing the condition of the rifles and whether the serial numbers on the various serialized parts matched for each individual rifle, I suppose the prices you quote are probably in line with the value of a majority of the number of No. 4s imported in the last few years that have mismatched or "forced match" serial numbers.
 

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I don't have a Lithgow and I am unfamilure with their markings. Perhaps the stamping of the bottom of the bolt handle is only common to them. I can say that every other Lee Enfield I have examined at gun shows etc., have always had the rear of the bolt handle stamped with the serial number, but I must admit that it has never occured to me to examine the bottom of the bolt handle for stampings.

I have Stratton's Volume 1 SMLE (No.1) Rifles MK I and Mk III and on page 22 the first paragraph regarding serial number placement states:

"Serial numbers are also often found on the rear of the bolt handle, on the bottom of the backsight leaf, on the nose cap, on the bottom of the fore-end (just behind the nose cap) and on the magazine. Serial numbers in these locations were not stamped at the factory; rather the were added in the field by unit armorers. Achieving proper chamber headspace often infolved hand-fitting the bolt (actually, the bolt head) to a particular action body. In order to keep bolts from getting mixed up when a number of rifles were disassembled, armorers would stamp the action body serial number on the rear of the bolt handle . . ."

This information refers to the No. 1s only and I don't know if the same applies to No. 4s or 5s but in any case, stamping the rear of the bolt handle doesn't appear to indicate that the practice was the specific action of a "Factory Thorough Repair" but was done at the hands of unit armorers so that they could reassemble the rifle with its original parts when making field repairs on or cleaning a number of rifles at a time.
Thanks, I have the same book. During WWII the Brits were making No 4's but the Australians continued to make and use the No 1. After WWII a lot of the No 1Lithgow rifles were sent to Ishapore, India for a FTR. It might be that only the Lithgow rifles had the serial number on the bottom or I could be wrong all together. I know Ishapore put the "Issy" screw in the stocks during the FTR.
 

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Interesting that you used the term "Forced March" I was not familiar with that, but one of the gun descriptions included that wording in their 'ad'.

QUOTE from Auction List--

Lot # 204

No. 4 MKI Enfield, .303 British, forced matched, excellent bore. Cond: 80%

Sold for: $175.00



Lot # 222

Enfield No. 4 Mk 2 (F), .303 British caliber, import marked, good bore, matching visible numbers. Cond: 70%

Sold for: $180.00


Enfield Sht. L.E. III*

Lot # 227

Enfield Sht. L.E. III*, .303 British caliber, B.S.A. Co. 1936, mis-matched, good bore and wood, Arab marked stock disc. Cond: 75%

Sold for: $180.00


Enfield No. 1 Mk 3* R.F.I.
Lot # 238

Enfield No. 1 Mk 3* R.F.I., .303 British caliber. Good bore. 1955 date. Import marked. Mis-matched. Cond: 70%

Sold for: $180.00


Lot # 275

No. 4 MKI* Enfield Long Branch 1942, .303 British, matching visible numbers, excellent bore. Cond: 80%
Sold for $210.00
 

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Interesting that you used the term "Forced March" I was not familiar with that, but one of the gun descriptions included that wording in their 'ad'. . .

"Forced Match" in regards to the Enfields is a term used to discribe the practice of numbering or renumbering a bolt serialized to another rifle by applying a number that matches the rifle's original serial number on the stock socket or by renumbering the receiver to match the bolt. This is often very apparent when the renumbering is done with an electric "pencil" engraver and not stamped.
 

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Interesting that you used the term "Forced March" I was not familiar with that, but one of the gun descriptions included that wording in their 'ad'. . .

"Forced Match" in regards to the Enfields is a term used to discribe the practice of numbering or renumbering a bolt serialized to another rifle by applying a number that matches the rifle's original serial number on the stock socket or by renumbering the receiver to match the bolt. This is often very apparent when the renumbering is done with an electric "pencil" engraver and not stamped.
Correct either by an electric pencil or if stamped the font and size will be differant than the receiver serial number. I think the Commonwealth nations were the most active for putting cartouches on rifles and bayonets.
 

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Correct either by an electric pencil or if stamped the font and size will be differant than the receiver serial number. I think the Commonwealth nations were the most active for putting cartouches on rifles and bayonets.
My 1954 "Irish Contract" Faz No.4 Mk2 came with a bayonet and sheath serialized to the rifle as well as were the rear of the bolt handle, forestock and magazine. It is apparently an unissued rifle and only exhibits storage "dings". These were on the market back in the early 1990s and I wish I had bought more than one at the time. They were available "in the wrap" as stored but I chose to pay less for a specimen "out of the wrapper" and in about 95 to 97 % condition due to the minor dings in the wood.





A little history on the Irish Contract Rifles:​

"About 40,000 No. 4 Mk. 2′s were manufactured to order for the Irish Republic, but the order was never delivered for political reasons. In 1956, the last British Lee-Enfield rolled off the assembly line. The machinery was sold to India, where the 7.62x51mm ‘Ishapore’ Lee-Enfields were later manufactured.



What makes this particular Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk.2 an ‘obscure’ object of desire: it’s in abso-fracking-lutely 100% condition, unfired, and as clean and bright as the day it was born in the Fazakerly arsenal in Liverpool in 1954. The beechwood furniture is smooth, bright and unblemished, and the steel is either a deep smooth black or in the white and impeccably preserved. You will not work a smoother rifle bolt in your life.
A supply of these came State-side in the mid-1990s. Priced at around $400, they didn’t stick around long. A 100% example with matching serial numbers books for around $1,000 today."

From: Obscure Object Of Desire: 1954 Irish Contract Lee-Enfield
 
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