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Enfield collectors I need your help!

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by hobgob, Nov 20, 2009.

  1. hobgob

    hobgob Well-Known Member

    I have a BSA co. no1 mk3* with all matching serial numbers. I bought this hoping i could shoot it, but it is really just a collector. Anyway, I am having regrets about putting this rifle up for sale. It has a lot of history. I was wondering if anyone can help me find out more info on what some of the markings mean. Here are some pics. Also, here is the big question. Should I sell it?

  2. X - Man

    X - Man Well-Known Member

  3. hobgob

    hobgob Well-Known Member

    Been to that website. I was unable to find any cartouche markings that resembled the ones on my rifle. I didn't want to fire the weapon because there is yellow paint below the bolt and on the butt-stock which sometimes means that the rifle was meant for drill purpose only, depending on where it was made or where it was given the yellow paint.
  4. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    I would check the bore (for sharp, shiny rifling) and take it to a smith to have him check headspace and overall function...then if given a passing grade...fire away. If it is found to be in poor condition...it is my opinion that you should sell it.

  5. robmkivseries70

    robmkivseries70 Well-Known Member

    Hi Hobgob,
    I seem to remember something about safety problems, warnings, having to do with Enfields. It's been some time back and did have to do with wear. I believe the article was published in the Rifleman, so you might check with the experts at the NRA. That really is a good looking rifle. :)
  6. DougW

    DougW Well-Known Member

    That is a nice 1918 BSA Sht LE Mk III, or basically a #1mkIII. The 1942 and 7/45 are stamps from some units, and can be as randommas the grains in the wood. A lot of stuff was marked on the stocks that ment something to that unit or armory, but are almost impossible to decypher. Structurally, there is nothing wrong with that rifle. It is as safe today as it was in 1918. Shooting it would be a pleasure. If it has matching serial numbers everywhere, then there is additional value in therifle.

    The markings would suggest that the rifle saw duty in WWII, and probably was inspected many times by various armorers. The British took great care of their rifles, as the soldiers were well trained in their use and maintanence.

    You would really enjoy shooying it, but keeping it as a wall hanger is a good use. That rifle has a lot of history that would be difficult to unlock. I have always wished my rifles could talk. The stories they could tell.
  7. hobgob

    hobgob Well-Known Member

    i put the rifle on gunbroker for about 14 hours before i talked myself into keeping it...at least for a little while. I really need to get the thing checked! I just need to find a gunsmith in my area that I trust.
  8. Jefferson Herb

    Jefferson Herb Well-Known Member


    Maybe after checking headspace, [ bolt faces are of different dimensions to change if necessary ] get some mil surp and enjoy.If you decide to handload,keep pressures sane,as the rear of bolt is lockup. NOW for the fun!!!
    Find a bolt shooter,and fire for rapid controled fire. The canadians had a team that could keep up with Garand shooters.The bolt is to the rear allowing faster movements,and it's a joy to see an experienced smle marksman in action. Also they are very dependable.Note:Due to headspace on rim the brittish made chambers oversized for combat,as much as 1/16in at the shoulder of case.longer life is possible by backing sizing die off a turn +-.
  9. DougW

    DougW Well-Known Member

    hobgob, to properly headspace, the closest you can get with commercial (SAAMI) gauges is a "field" gauge, which is close to the military "no-go". But, since the .303 headspaces on the rim, and different manufacturers rims are different thicknesses, checking the headspace with a gauge may not really tell you anything. Unlike the #4mk1's and #5mk1"s, you cannot adjust the headspace on a #1mkIII by changing the bolt head, since on the #1mkIII the bolt head was hand fitted to each rifle.

    The good thing is that if the rifle is all matching, and it doesn't have "DP" stampped anywhere, I am certain that it is in shooting condition.

    A good way to check headspace is to find an unfired piece of brass, and slide the empty case into the barrel, closing the bolt on it. Then, remove the brass, and put a piece of electrical tape on the case head, reinsert and close the bolt with 2 fingers pressure. Repeat until the bolt will not easily close with 2 fingers pressure. If you have used about 3 or 4 pieces of tape total at the most, I would shoot it myself. You are within "military" acceptable headspace.

    I can show you rifles in my collection that will not close on a SAAMI Field gauge, and some that will. The ones that will have never shown any headspace issues at all. Start out with some Federal or Remington ammo as it is loaded to the lower end of the pressure scale, and try it out. As good as the rifle looks, I would not have any problem shooting it myself.

    Only for reference,I do have a few .303' around here:


    I have only 13 right now, as I have moved out some duplicates. I do have a 1917 BSA SHtLE MkIII=, a 1942 Kithgow #1mk3, and a 1950 #1mk3 Ishapore with the discharger cup. Everything else is #4mk1's, and 2 #5mk1's.
  10. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Well-Known Member

    Doug, if I ever need to outfit a squad with Enfields I know who to contact. ;)
  11. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Well-Known Member


    If you ever plan to drive through the Memphis area, would be glad to let you shoot my #4 and #5s, and try to teach me how to shoot them.
    You are hereby nominated to be a LE Guru.
  12. hobgob

    hobgob Well-Known Member

    for any LE fans, as i am, youtube jollygreensslug. That guy has a collection for collectors! to say the least!
  13. gunnutery

    gunnutery Well-Known Member

    I made a wooden rack for mine and it sits on top of my entertainment center. I'll try to post a pic later.

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