Questions about the Lee Enfield Mk4 No 2

Discussion in 'Shooting, Hunting and Fishing' started by IndianaDel, Oct 24, 2008.

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  1. I own a Lee Enfield Mk 4 No 2
    Being as this is the obvious place to get information. Here goes!

    The only "obvious" difference to the Mk 4 No.1 I can see, is the Brass but plate. Anything else?

    Would I be correct in thinking that from the viewpoint of accuracy the two models are identical?

    Does anyone know where I might be able to track the rifle's factory of origin, based on its serial number? So far I have come up a blank.
  2. WikiWikiWikiWiki

    i found this on the wiki page,

    i didnt know about the buttplates, on the ones i'v seen and played with the models had a mix of both, (this in NZ) i guess a lot got mixed up over the years.

    for your info re serial num, i bet 4T will know within a twinkle of his eye when he reads your post.
  3. I am not a gun-smith, but as-I-understand-it, the advantage of this modification was that the trigger-pressure wouldn't vary if the wood-work expanded with humidity; e.g. The Burma/Malaya climate.
  4. Rub the magic Enfield and 4(T) will appear.... poof!... (er, as in puff of smoke, not...)

    As mentioned, the Mk2 has a boss on the receiver for the hung trigger. The only components that differ from a Mk1 are the trigger guard (has no pin hole for the trigger) and the forend (is open at the back for the trigger boss and is kept tight by a new cross-bolt).

    Brass, alloy or steel buttplates were used by all five manufacturers during WW2, but Mk2s were built in 1949-57 and reverted to brass.

    In 1949, there was a huge FTR (Factory Thorough Repair) programme to convert thousands of Mk1/Mk1*s to Mk2 specification - ie they took wartime rifles and brazed the trigger boss onto the receiver. Typically, these rifles also had new beech furniture, new barrels and Mk1 micrometer sights fitted. Converted rifles had a special designation: Mk1s became "No4 Mk1/2", whilst Savage/ Long Branch Mk1*s became "No4 Mk1/3".

    Accuracy in a No4 depends upon bore condition and the way the wood is fitted to the rifle. Hence there is no difference in accuracy between a Mk1/1* and Mk2 of similar quality. About 25,000 No4 Mk1 (and a few Mk1*) were turned into 4(T) sniper rifles, and these were used until the 1970s (1990s as L42s) with no thought of converting them to Mk2 standard.

    Mk2s only slight advantage is that they are less prone to having the trigger pull buggered up by civilian owners taking the thing apart and losing bits....

    With about 4 million No4s made, it is usually impossible to tell anything about a particular rifle's history. The markings and serial number do give a broad indication of the rifles origins and conversion history, if any. I don't know what your rifle marking are, but here are some common ones:

    The old factory serial numbering systems changed in 1949 to the form "PF xxxxxx". PF stands for Fazakerley, which was the only factory making them by then.

    The changeover from Mk1 to Mk2 production is believed to have occurred at rifle number "PF 100000".

    Most of the last PF-marked Mk1s and early Mk2s seem to have gone to South Africa. Such rifles now appear with an SA property mark on the knox form - an "arrow inside a U".

    Because the British Army had millions of Mk1s in store they didn't need Mk2s, so most of the Mk2 production was done in batches for export to Commonwealth countries, or for commercial sale, or for RAF service.

    An incomplete list:

    PF301548-PF304047 Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
    PF309348-PF359347 Irish Republic
    PF359748-PF359817 Zambia
    PF359818-PF359952 Singapore
    PF359953-PF360052 Jamiaca
    PF360053-PF360202 Trinidad
    PF360203-PF360238 St. Vincent
    PF360239-PF360258 St. Kitts
    PF360259-PF360459 War Office
    PF360460-PF381159 Uganda
    PF361160-PF361259 Parker Hale
    PF361260-PF401086 Burma
    PF401087-PF401459 Allocated for T conversion
    PF404157-PF404206 Parker Hale
    PF405393-PF405412 St. Vincent
    PF405513-PF405712 Admiralty contract
    PF405813-PF405848 Fulton
    PF407649-PF407648 Trinidad
    PF407649-PF407728 Zanzibar
    PF411229-PF411264 Fulton
    PF411265-PF411461 Kenya
    PF411462-PF411471 Hong Kong

    Some of these contracts were not delivered. A case in point being the "Irish Contract". Daft spams pay a premium for these because they think they're getting a piece of Oirish history. In fact most of the rifles never left UK warehouse until they were sold as surplus.

    In 1954, the numbering system changed to the form "UF Axxxxx", which is the version still used today for the SA80. The 1950s "UF A xxxxxx" rifles are built to a better finish compared to most of the "PFs". These rifles were built for RAF use, but mostly stayed in store until they were sold off.

    You can still find brand new Mk2s - £500-600, re-imported back from USA:

    • Informative Informative x 3
    • Like Like x 1
  5. 4T,

    Am I right in thinking that Long Branch (Canada) continued to make the No. 4 Mk 1* until they ended production in the early 50's? My 1* was made at Long Branch in 1950 and I believe the line closed in 1953.
  6. Thats right. Most of the post-war Long Branch rifles were given a slightly altered designation as CNo4 Mk1*. They are very good quality rifles.

    The UK nO4 machinery was sold to Pakistan, and the arsenal at Wah carried on making "new" No4s until sometime in the 1960s. These rifles are usually marked with "POF".

    The very, very last Enfields in regular production appear to be the .303 No1 MkIII*s made at Ishapore. The latest date so far seen by collectors is 1988! Because of the secrecy about Indian arms production, it is not known if this was the last year of SMLE production, or if there exist even later ones - the Indians are thought to still have c.1 million Enfields on issue and in store.
  7. I know when the 7.62 SLR was issued to the military,some of the old 303's were sold off,and some went to cadet units like the Sea cadets,Army cadets ect.
    When i joined B sqdn,support troop 17th/21st lancers in Omagh,Co.Tyrone in 1970.We went to the rifle ranges at Gorton glen and achieving a high score on the range,i was presented with a MK3 with a telescopic site for my endeavor.
  8. I was aware of one other difference too.

    The 1 if I can remember had a cutout in the bolt slide to enable removal of the bolt , whereas the 2 had a pushdown button to engage before removal, i'm almost sure that's correct....if not, someone put me right...

    BTW that piccy of one coming out of wrapping still greased up has made me go all "unneccesary".......I can feel my "spike bayonette" jumping out of it's frog already.....ummmmmmm
  9. The bolt head is released by a spring catch on the No4 Mk1 and Mk2, but by a cut-out on the bolt track on No4 Mk1* made by Savage and Long Branch.

    Both Savage and Long Branch started off by making No4 Mk1 rifles (with bolt catch) before moving production to the slightly simplified 1* version. These early Mk1 rifles from North America are relatively scarce.
  10. Are you saying that you were given a scoped No.1 MK3 as a prize? Wasn't it a bit unusual for them to give away Army property?

    Please tell me more about the rifle and scope, I'm intrigued.
    • Funny Funny x 1
  11. Thank you 4 (T) for the information, most informative.
    It would appear that my rifle does NOT have an "official" serial number stamped on it. :cry:
    While it is marked as a No4 Mk 2 (as may be just made out in your picture), there is no serial number underneath.
    Instead, behind the screw it is stamped "0114"
    It has at least one W/O "arrow" stamp on it, as well as what I take to be proof stamps on the various parts of the bolt assembly.
    While it is in good condition, it is certainly not museum quality either. However, it is accurate to at least 300 yards and at $185.00 I do not think that I have lost money on "Ermentrude 7" :D
  12. It sounds like your rifle might be a "new" FTR: when they were refurbishing large batches of Mk1/1*s to bring them up to Mk2 spec, they probably did them in batches - maybe 10,000 per contract. Obviously they found a few rifles in each batch which had to be scrapped, or which they buggered up brazing the lug onto. They then seem to have made up the numbers by using brand new Mk2 receivers. Thus we find today rifles which have "FTR" marks or non-standard Mk2 production marks, but which seem to have been made that way. Some typical examples include:

    "No4 Mk2
    FTR(F) 57
    OL 3645"

    or just

    "No4 Mk2
    OL 3645"

    If you were able to post a photo of the left receiver wall, I might be able to tell you a lot more.
  13. 4T
    Previously, I "forgot" the serial number on the rifle (Noticed it yesterday while shooting!) :x
    On the "arm" of the bolt, it is marked "PF365460".
    So it would certainly seem that the bolt itself was Fazakerely made.
    I assume that this is a Factory reconditioned weapon Mk4 No 1*, as you mentioned above, as there is not a serial number on the rifle itself to match this.
    (We wondered if the "0114" were the last four of the original serial number?)

    Although the number, on the bolt, falls within the range of those in your listing above, it is not actually covered by any specifically.
    so, in the spirit of being a ongoing pain in the arrse, any help with the weapon's history?
  14. ther were also 40000 made in the US for the Chinese Some of these were sold as new in the US
  15. Really? I've never heard about this before. Do you have any more information?