Enfield Collectibles


March 17, 2008, 01:01 PM
anyone have any thoughts on the collectibility/desireability of the Enfields being sold on the surplus market? Indian, .303, .308, etc? more expensive than many MNs and less than any of the American surplus arms.

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March 17, 2008, 01:23 PM
This is just based on my observations and interest as the owner of a couple of Lee Enfields but....

It tends to depend on the condition of the rifle, the age and if or how much it has been sportorized. Most of the shootable Lee Enfields I have encountered have a small degree of desireability. If the rifle hasn't been too beat up or modified it probably has a little collectors value as well. Even the "Genuine Imitation" Golden State Imports have appeal but are to be avoided if one is looking for an "authentic" Lee Enfield.

Lee Enfields are fun rifles to shoot, generally accurate, kind of a technical challenge to reload for, and usually turn a head or two at the range. There are as many good books and information on the internet about them as there seems to be variations of that rifle. That is probably as much as I can say without making this a really long story....

March 17, 2008, 01:43 PM
Another take opposed to mokin's point of view is that there are no technical issues in reloading for the Enfield rifles compared to other cartridges. The .303 is a piece of cake to reload, which I have done for 6+ years. You will never be able to load a "magnum", but then again, the rifle action was designed in the era of black powder, and is not capable of withstanding high pressure loads without damage to the rifle or the shooter.

mokin's point on collectability is a good one. The market of relativly inexpensive Enfields, be they the ShtLE, #1mk3, #4mk1, #5mk1, and the Ishapore 2A and 2A1 .308 rifles, are drying up. Surplus ammo of any real quality is pretty much gone. Reloading is the way to go for the .303, IMO. All matching is more desirable than non matching serial numbers, and the better the shape, the better the collectability. Savage #4mk1*'s are a bit more desired in the US, since they were manufactured in the US.

There are some gem's out there though. Check out www.gungoards.com and scroll down to the Enfield discussion boards. A wealth of knowlege is available. Once you get an Enfield, the sickness will spread to you and you will want more all the time!



Yes, I have the sickness!:what::D

Full Clip
March 17, 2008, 02:10 PM
Wow, that's a lotta Enfields!

March 17, 2008, 08:15 PM
Am I counting right? 16? Wow, nice collection.

March 17, 2008, 08:24 PM
The Ishaphore 2A's and 2A1's are on the market again now and relatively cheap. There never were all that many of them to start with. If I already didn't have both I'd be adding them to my collection while the getting is good.

The guess is that of about 400,000 made of the Nato Enfields, the earlier 2A's were the fewest made. Probably something like 50,000. So if you have the choice for the same money... take the 2A.

March 18, 2008, 10:45 AM


March 18, 2008, 10:51 AM
Enfields are plenty desireable and valuable if you find the right buyers. Recent barrel-bottom imports aren't terribly expensive, but no-import-mark rifles that're complete and matching, or versions like legit Jungle Carbines, RIC carbines, Mark III without *, the .22 trainers, and various other rarities.

March 18, 2008, 10:57 AM
They seem to have doubled in price in about 12 years. Below the rate of inflation I would say. Still, they are not making any more of them and they are fine rifles for the price.

March 18, 2008, 11:07 AM
Outside of "Sniper Rifles", which are very valuble, as an investment, Lee Enfields have never increased in value as much as American Rifles, or Nazi rifles. I suspect that is because Americans like their home grown rifles, or the rifles they see in the hands of the compotent "Bad" guys in WWII movies.

There was a massive importation of surplus rifles before the 1968 Gun Act. In the middle 60's, Lee Enfields were at $12.00 , and 03 Springfields from $30.00 to $40.00 (if memory is right). Twenty years later, before the great importation of the late 80's, I would see Lee Enfields priced at $90.00 and M1917's and Springfields at $250-300. You never saw a Garand, so I have no idea what they were worth.

While the prices of all Mil Surplus keeps on rising, I will predict that Sniper dude guns, American guns, Genuine Nazi guns, will always outpace all other mil surplus rifles.

I believe that Lee Enfields will keep their value above Nagants, french MAS's, Italian. The Arisaka rifles keep on increasing in value, and they are bringing better prices than Lee Enfields, which surprises the heck out of me. Used to be no one wanted one.

Of the rifles I have handled, British No 1 Mk III were not valued as much as No 4 Mk 1's. The best built Mk III's were Australian, in my opinion, the WWI Australian rifles are extremely well made. British were next, with Isapore third.

When you get to WWII, Savage made No 4's have a lot of tool marks, but because they are American built, I think they will have a higher value than any other. The absolute nicest finished No 4Mk I*'s are the Canadian Long Branch. These rival commerical actions. The British built rifles are excellent.

The best, in my opinion, are the post war No 4 Mk II's. These rifle are well built and have all the improvements.

The 1960's Isapore's are crudely built in comparison to the Isapores built under the Empire. However, they will go bang and are interesting rifles.

The handiest Lee Enfield is the No 5, Jungle Carbine. Everyone needs at least one. That rifle is one of the very few military surplus rifles that would also make a good hunting rifle, as is.

If you want a Lee Enfield, just go buy it. There is nothing wrong with a Lee Enfield, I have always thought that the No 4 Mk I, or Mk II was the best battle bolt rifle ever built. That ten round box magazine gets five more votes than any five round magazine, the sights are excellent, the action slick.


March 18, 2008, 04:45 PM
SlamFire1, why is your front sight whited out? Trying to hide something?:neener::D

Nice looking rifle (wish I could see the front sight though!)


March 18, 2008, 04:48 PM
Thanks transformerguru.

Oh great, MJ showed up!:barf::banghead:
MJ, you know we love you though (at least yout T's:D);)

March 18, 2008, 09:23 PM
anyone ever see an original 2a cleaning kit?

i ahve a nice al matching 2a with one repair on the small top handguard and i have always wanted to get a correct bayonet and buttstock cleaning kit

the bayonet is no problem to fnd just have other priorities now but i never have seen a metching kit forsale

March 18, 2008, 10:18 PM
SlamFire1, why is your front sight whited out? Trying to hide something?

Nah, that's white duct tape. I covered the front sight and rear sight with duct tape so the blue finish would not get worn.

I have not shot that rifle since I bought it back around 1988 or so, just want to keep it in the great condition that I found it.

Its a 1945 Long Branch.


March 19, 2008, 10:48 AM
Enfields...you gotta love em! But be warned..your 1st one won't be your last one! Just look at DougW's post and see what will happen to ya. GREAT post and picture for DougW by the way! You'll send hours looking at all of the proof marks , unit marking , and other misc markings found on these rifles. Some of them will bear the scars of fighting in two world wars as well as numerous other places, and you'll spend countless hours wondering where in the world did these old warhorses wander about while serving "God and Country". Plus, did anyone mention that they're a hoot to shoot? WAIT..maybe you shouldn't start collecting these old, worn out , bolt action rifles...at least until I get my #5 Jungle Carbine, and on of them eye candy 55 FAZ with the honey blonde wood stocks, and maybe a 1918 BSA,or maybe a #4 mk 11 MALTBY, or another Lithgow from the "Land Down Under".......be warned!

March 19, 2008, 11:12 AM
than getting one of the current ones at wholesale, I'd recommend getting a Brit rifle (as opposed to the Ishipures) on gunbroker or other auction site.

They will be worth more in the long run IMHO.

Now, if you want a shooter - then by all means get a nice Ishy.

I currently own 7 SMLE's, which includes two Ishys- one .303 and one 2A 7.62x51 NATO - and really like em all.

If you are older and getting to the point where reading glasses are needed, then I sugget getting the No.4 with aperture sights.

March 19, 2008, 08:45 PM
plus one on the long branch, beautful finish, and a great shooter I have one all matching from 1944. Sold my other 3 enfields, this is my keeper.

March 19, 2008, 09:37 PM
M-58 is correct. I have spent hours looking at all the markings. One of the Fazakerly #4mk1's was FTR'ed twice; once at maltby in '43 and Fazakerly in 46! Quite unusual. And all the '43 era rifles with the manufacturing expedient shortcuts (and later prooved to be rather dangerous) things that were not replaced like they should have been. I wish these things could talk!

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