I got a Enfield Long Branch No 4 MK1* now what?


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Rob62
November 28, 2004, 09:01 AM
Having suffered from Enfield withdrawal syndrome since I sold a previously owned Enfield No4 MK II that was FTR’d I knew that eventually I’d get another one.

Well today I came across what I thought was a good deal on a great condition rifle.

Here are the specifics:

Long Branch, No 4 MK I*. Serial number: 281XX. Made in 1942 by the stamp on the receiver, 303 Enfield caliber of course. This is a 2 groove barreled gun. It’s a little funny getting used to looking down the barrel and only seeing the 2 grooves. The rear sight is the MK 2 if I understand the picture I saw of various rear Enfield sights correctly. It’s a simple flip type with 2 apertures (300 and 600M?). I’m planning on replacing it with the elevation adjustable MK 1 rear as soon as I can find a source. The bolt head is a #0. The number 14L8805P is on the gun as well as the front of the bottom part of the fore stock. The bolt handle as well as the magazine has the number 28106 stamped on it so I presume that this is an all-original parts gun. Something that I have not seen before.

The stock seems to be in very good condition with it looking like it has not been oil soaked or rotted. The metal finish is also very good. The overall metal finish on rifle appears to be in very good condition – well in the 90% range IMO. While I can’t tell for sure if the metal finish is original, I’m guessing it is.

The person I got it from said he bought it along with 70 or so other vintage military rifles at an estate auction from a deceased collector. He said that he believed that all of these guns were acquired before the USA started being flooded with various military surplus rifles. I could not find any type of importer marks or stamps on it.

There is a fair amount of cosmoline (sp) still on the gun. I’m not sure where this came from but if in fact this gun came out of someone’s private collection then I guess he might have stored these great rifles in cosmoline.

My plan is on taking everything apart and doing a good cleaning. I had planned on using this rifle as a general plinker and getting back to loading for it using lead bullets with pistol powders. I had lots of fun with my FTR’d No4 shooting low velocity lead bullets and am looking forward to doing this again.

Any thoughts, comments, or suggestions about this rifle would be appreciated.

Regards and TIA,

Rob

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No4Mk1
November 28, 2004, 10:11 AM
Sounds like a great find! The only comment I can add is that my two-groove Savage is the most accurate of my Enfields. Find a good load and you could have a great shooter!

jem375
November 28, 2004, 10:52 AM
I bought a Long Branch 1950 couple of years ago and it is one of my favorite rifles....really nice stock and metal, am going to use it in the Bolt Action meets at my local gun club.......

SMLE
November 28, 2004, 10:25 PM
All you can do is treat the symptoms by periodically buying another Enfield. :neener:

If I'm reading your post correctly, the number on the bolt lever matches the serial number on the action body and the magazine, but not the fore end? It is possible that the rifle has been restocked at some point as the fore end numbers are supposed to match the action body numbers.

Springfield Sporters (http://www.ssporters.com) should have the rear sight.

Click the link in my sig. and check out some of the links on my web page.

tex_n_cal
November 28, 2004, 10:48 PM
and check the headspace before you shoot it, regardless of how good it looks :D

jefnvk
November 28, 2004, 11:40 PM
I, too, have a 1942 Long Branch. Got it off a friend who's uncle brought it back from France. Covered in some sort of oil, not cosmo, but more like an axle grease.

Anyway, clean it up, headspace it (free or cheap at a local gunsmith), shoot it. I hit three touching at 50 yards with Iraqi surplus ammo. They are great guns.

OH, sice that is a 300 yard sight, it WILL hit quite high. IIRC, in that area of about a foot or so.

swingset
November 29, 2004, 04:35 AM
As an Enfield collector, I'm embarassed to admit I have no Long Branch rifles at the moment. Everyone I've owned has been in poor condition, so I'm on the hunt for one just like you found.

Congrats on a great No4, enjoy it.

Mk VII
November 29, 2004, 05:11 PM
"The number 14L8805P is on the gun as well as the front of the bottom part of the fore stock. The bolt handle as well as the magazine has the number 28106 stamped on it so I presume that this is an all-original parts gun. "
Bolt number should match receiver number. Magazine would probably have been unnumbered at this time. As magazine number and bolt number match we can assume that they were both donated by the same rifle. At a guess, the gun store had two of them in and mixed up the bolts and mags at that point

Rob62
November 29, 2004, 10:04 PM
Yesterday I took this rifle completely apart to do a detailed cleaning and remove the cosmoline that was on the gun. As of earlier this evening I’m almost finished. I’ve still got to clean the bottom piece of the fore stock and then apply a liberal coat of boiled linseed oil to all the wood. If I’m correct boiled linseed oil would be the only “authentic” stock finish for this vintage of rifle. Then I have to put everything back together again.

I probably could have been clearer about the markings / numbers and where they are. On the butt socket there are 2 numbers the first is 14L8805, below that is 28106. There is also a large letter “P” on the butt socket. I presume that 28106 is the rifle’s serial number. I’m not sure what the other number is. The only other place I can find 28106 is on the bottom of the magazine body and on the bolt handle. The number 14L8805 is also located on the bottom of the magazine body as well as on the bottom front end of the forestock. There are lots of other markings on the rifle, the predominant of these markings is the Long Branch “B” in the “L”. I found the B in L on lots of parts some that are quite small like the safety lever.

I can’t get over the rifle’s overall condition. It is really superb IMO. The bore looks better and brighter than on some modern rifles that I own. The wood is also in great condition with there definitely not being any oil problems or other wood problems. The wood is Walnut and all 4 pieces match perfectly, something that further leads me to believe that all the parts are original to the rifle. The barrel has what appears to be a date stamp near the chamber of which is the same as the date mfgr. on the receiver (’42).

The butt plate is zinc something that I believe to be less prevalent than the brass type I’m used to seeing. For those that may care there is a stamp on the inside of the butt plate. It’s the letters “P” and “C” intertwined inside a small shield.

I can see where in 1942 the war machine was in full swing and the workmanship and quality was still very high.

I'm very excited about this rifle, more so than I have been with any other recent acquisition. If it shoots half as good as I hope, and as some of you have commented on, I know I'll be very happy with it.

Weather permitting I hope to get out to the range this weekend and do some shooting. I’ve still got a little bit of Greek surplus ammo left and can’t wait to see how it shoots.

Rob

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