By Charles R. Stratton
The SMLE rifle of the British army forces was once in non-stop entrance line use for greater than seventy years and remains to be present in day-by-day use within the arsenal of many army and police companies worldwide. It was once some of the most rugged and effortless army rifles built in the course of early twentieth century and served in each of the British Empire's army activities from India's Northwest Frontier to the colonial wars of the Fifties and Sixties. The SMLE underwent many adjustments in the course of its years of creation in dozens of factories and arsenals in nice Britain, Canada, India, Australia and South Africa. deciding on the place a specific SMLE used to be made is frequently subordinate to trying to work out which version and version of rifle one has. The British constructed a truly systematic approach of accounting for versions and layout alterations yet one that could be very complicated. in short, versions are "marks," abbreviated, "Mk." significant alterations to that version, or mark, are indexed by way of Roman numerals, i.e., SMLE Mk I or Mk III. Minor adjustments to that version are indexed via the addition on an asterisk, "*". within the mid-1930s, a brand new approach of version designation used to be brought. The SMLE Mk III grew to become the "No. 1 (but after all, the rifles, all made ahead of the swap persisted to hold the unique designation stamped into the receiver). After India accomplished Independence in 1947, they persevered to keep on with the British marking procedure, yet with codes and particular to their wishes. the next move is figuring out which manufacturing facility made the rifle's receiver (after seventy a few years of use there are only a few rifles with no a number of substitute parts). The manufacturing unit identify or abbreviation used to be frequently stamped at the receiver yet can have been obscured by way of use. different markings and symptoms although are continually current should you comprehend what to seem for. a similar holds precise for almost every thing. and because elements for the SMLE are in considerable offer, returning a rifle to its unique manufacturing facility situation can more often than not be finished. as well as manufacturer's markings, British armorers and "storekeepers" (ordnance varieties) stamped the SMLE with a large quantity of markings that after translated can usually supply a beautiful thorough historical past of the rifle's use, all the way down to the devices within which it served. and at last, whereas the SMLE is a rugged conflict rifle, good verified through the years, elements nonetheless do holiday. it really is necessary to comprehend the version and version of your rifle so as to change the half properly
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Additional resources for British Enfield Rifles- Volume 2 - Lee-Enfield No 4 and No 5 Rifles
Thus, the rifle with serial number OC 12345 would be the 1,012,345th rifle manufactured by Savage. Following WWII, the factory designation code (see above) and in some cases the year of manufacture were incorporated into the serial number on rifles manufactured or converted at the various British rifle factories. A1146 Serial numbers on No. 5 rifles consist of a one- or two-letter prefix and a 4-digit number, as indicated in Table 1-7. Table 1-7 No. 5 Rifle Serial Number Prefixes Prefix Rifle Factory Comments FE Fazakerley Initial run of 1000 in early 1944 A thru Z Fazakerley Letters "I" and "J" nor used AA thru AC Fazakerley 1947 Dates BB thru MM BSA-Shirley Letters "BA" and "BP not used CONVERSION/UPGRADE DATA In the years following WWII, many No.
Fourth Variation: Characteristic of late war-time and post-war Long Branch No. 4 Mk I* rifles, this locking bolt has a distinctive fishtailshaped thumb piece (Figure 2-14). It is of two-piece construction, like the second and third variation locking bolts. Fifth Variation: Found on No. 5 rifles and on the No. 4 Mk 2 (and conversions), this locking bolt (Figure 2-15) is identical to the first variation locking bolt except that the hole in the thumb piece is noticeably larger. Like the first variation, it is of one-piece construction.
Letters painted on the buttstock and foreend and by copper-colored bolt bodies and cocking pieces, as well as by the conspicuous milling and relieving on the left side of the action body and barrel. Fig. 13. L59A1 Drill Rifle. The L59A1 rifles are chiefly of interest to collectors; they fetch about half what a functioning No. 4 rifle will bring. 18 No. 4 AND No. 5 RIFLES CHAPTER 1 RIFLE MARKINGS British service rifles—especially the Lee-Enfields—are profusely marked with various stampings and engravings, numbers and dates, and logos and abbreviations, although the No.