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Old May 1, 2016, 11:02 AM   #1
DaisyCutter
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Impulse Lee Enfield No4 Mk4, manufacture date?

I snapped up a Lee Enfield No4 Mk2 yesterday for $400. I know very little about them, and hadn't done any homework prior to buying. I literally saw the gun-store owner put the tag on it, along with a dozen other nice milsurps he purchased at an estate sale. I didn't want to wait because it looked cleaner than the usual Enfield's I see.

BTW, I love collecting WW2 era-ish msurps. The way they are overbuilt and machined from forgings, just seems to take me back in time to the industrial revolution.

When I saw it, I noticed it appeared original and complete, except for the sling. It has all matching visible numbers, PF 209354, and the bore appears near new, very bright, with sharp rifling.. From what I can determine online, it was made in 1949 or 1950 (ish), at the Fazakerley arsenal.

I presume I got a fair deal on it. Regardless, I adore the fancy rear sight, the beefy forged hardware and brass butt plate. So it was worth $400 to me regardless or provenance or rarity. In my experience, I usually regret not buying, when I see milsurp prices balloon a few years later.

Are there any Enfield fanatics that can elaborate on my observations?
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:03 AM   #2
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More pics
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:05 AM   #3
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If anyone can elaborate on the numbers or arsenal markings, I'd be appreciative. Thanks in advance.
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:22 AM   #4
Sergei Mosin
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5/50 is the build date - your rifle was produced in May 1950. I would say that is a fair price for a nice example of a No4 Mk2.
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:35 AM   #5
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Daisy Cutter, looks like you got a real beauty there, for $400.00, is a fair price for the Jungle Carbine. The recoil is nothing to write home about, I refurbished a much older Carbine for a friend of mine a couple of years ago, and went out and test fired it, let me tell you the recoil was very vicious.

I recently got a MK4 No.2 from a gentleman for $230.00 with a couple boxes of 303 factory ammo. Mine is very clean and made around 1950, you can tell the year right under the serial number on the left side of the receiver. Note my bolt and the serial number all match, and the lands and grooves were also very sharp. The recoil is stout, but nothing like the carbine version.

The accuracy is fair, 2" groups at 100 yards using my hand loads, with Sierra 174 gr. HPBT .311 bullets, H335 powder, and Federal Magnum Primers. I've been trying to get it down to 1" groups but I believe it is quite futile. I haven't been doing much shooting lately, due to my wife recuperating from major surgery, but plan on getting out again soon.

Incidentally I believe your Enfield is a MK5, not a MK4, as the MK5 is the Jungle Carbine.
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:46 AM   #6
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DaisyCutter

Well done sir! I think you did pretty well on your No.4 Mk.2 as it looks to be in decent shape and as we know all too well the price of military surplus rifles in nice condition continues to go up.
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:49 AM   #7
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daisy, may have a #5, but the picture is of a #4. eastbank.
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Old May 1, 2016, 12:27 PM   #8
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nice rifle

My 1948 BSA Shirley is in much worse condition, but I do enjoy shooting it. The surplus 303 that was once so common is hard to find anymore, but that is probably for the best. Most of that stuff was not only corrosive but erosive, as all those cordite solids blew through the barrel. Mine only sees commercial stuff these days.

Every time I take mine out, it brings to mind the British empire and mindset. No time for aesthetics on these very functional tools.
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Old May 1, 2016, 01:33 PM   #9
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Loose Noose said:

Quote:
I recently got a MK4 No.2 from a gentleman for $230.00 with a couple boxes of 303 factory ammo. Mine is very clean and made around 1950, you can tell the year right under the serial number on the left side of the receiver. Note my bolt and the serial number all match, and the lands and grooves were also very sharp. The recoil is stout, but nothing like the carbine version.
You got the deal of the century, Loose.

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Old May 1, 2016, 02:15 PM   #10
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very nice

my #4MK1 only see's commercial ammo and handloads as well.

if its rough on the shoulder loads of 160-180 gr cast bullets (with a gas check is my preference) with 12 grains of Trailboss makes for a really sweet shooting load. Not hard on the ears or shoulder and runs VERY accurate on my SMLE.
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Old May 1, 2016, 02:26 PM   #11
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The rifle pictured is the one I came home with. Thanks for confirming the 5/50 was the date of manufacture. One link I saw was equating the letter on the stock to a year, and I was getting confused. Plus, apparently there were mk1's and mk2's made in the 200,000-230,000 S/N range.

Thanks guys.
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Old May 1, 2016, 04:21 PM   #12
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loose noose "Incidentally I believe your Enfield is a MK5, not a MK4, as the MK5 is the Jungle Carbine."

????
It says No4 Mk2 on the side of the receiver.
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Old May 1, 2016, 05:59 PM   #13
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The rifle pictured is not a No5. That is very clearly a Rifle, No 4 MkII.
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Old May 1, 2016, 09:53 PM   #14
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I was wondering where the reference to a #5JC came from also, nowhere is that even mentioned by the OP. The OP did get a decent deal on his rifle though, seems like the Ennies are jumping up in price lately.
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Old May 1, 2016, 10:32 PM   #15
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Really like the wood on that one.

I think you got a good deal for $400 if it shoots as good as it looks.

How's the bore?
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Old May 1, 2016, 11:52 PM   #16
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The bore is brilliant. I can't get a pic that does it justice. I don't think it was shot much at all.
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Old May 2, 2016, 08:03 AM   #17
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CHOOT IT!!!

I picked up a #4Mk1 that was arsenal rebuilt sometime in the early '50's. The barrel was replaced but not the dog-leg rear sight. I replaced it with the machined vernier rear sight like yours. It too is a Fazerkerly, to include the rear sight.

I paid a bit less, but, my stock has been refinished, and lacked your rear sight. You did well with a fair deal.

I got got mine for three reasons.
1. First centerfire rifle I ever shot was a #4Mk1.
2. They are the best bolt-action battle rifle ever made, IMO.
3. I plan to use it to shoot Vintage Military matches at CMP Talladega.

I've worked up several loads. It's a SHOOTER. It's about 2-3moa, but easily holds the 10ring at 200yds if I do my part. I picked up 10 clips, and an after market magazine. I've been using a cast bullet load to practice the rapid fire.

Last time I was at Talladega, there was a fella 4 targets to my right. He was shooting a K31. Accurate rifle!, but I "ate his lunch" with the SMELLY! I shot a few 9's against his X's. But when "cease fire" was called, I had 10rds in the black.
He had two still in the magazine...

I modified an SKS sight pusher. I can make minor windage adjustments between stages now!
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Old May 2, 2016, 09:08 AM   #18
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In my opinion the No 4 MKII were the best built of the Lee Enfields. Now I have never handled any original SMLE's, all the ones I have handled or owned were war models or rebuilds, so they were hastily built and beat up. I believe the pre WW1 Lithgow SMLE's could have been works of art when first made, based on the beat up example I own. The No 4 MkII's that came into the country in the 90's were new to almost new and they were not built under war time conditions.

These are good rifles and you are lucky to have one.
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Old May 2, 2016, 11:09 AM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
The bore is brilliant. I can't get a pic that does it justice. I don't think it was shot much at all.
Most of the military surplus rifles I've seen have been the same way.

If they look horrible it generally seems like it's because of bad storage.

The ones that did get shot tended to get shot a whole lot.
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Old May 2, 2016, 12:14 PM   #20
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Everyi No 4 I ever purchased had a excellent bore. I had 8 of them at one time. Several were mixmasters, no matching numbers. They were priced around 50 bucks at that time. Sold 6 or them while cutting back on the numbers of firearms I owned. Kept two 1955 buildt ones that came new in the wrapper. Guy at a gun show in Jacksonville, Fl had them stacked deep for 90 bucks a copy. There was a time when Enfields were flooding the market but those days are gone.
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Old May 2, 2016, 12:19 PM   #21
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Enfield's weren't even really on my radar. If anything, I was more in the market for a Mauser variant. This particular Enfield spoke to me, and EVERY single milsurp I've passed on, I've regretted later. And for every milsurp I've bought, I've regretted not buying two or three.

So I literally had to buy this one.

I cleaned and lubed the recently acquired Enfield, and I've got to say it's far faster than and much more refined than my Mosin and Mausers I've handled. The Enfield bolt almost works itself.
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Old May 2, 2016, 04:06 PM   #22
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Sorry folks I got confused as to what type of Enfield he had, I had to pull mine out of the safe, and it is a No.4 MK2, same as the OP's, man it's hell getting old. Any way I apologize for the error.
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Old May 2, 2016, 09:23 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DaisyCutter View Post
I cleaned and lubed the recently acquired Enfield, and I've got to say it's far faster than and much more refined than my Mosin and Mausers I've handled. The Enfield bolt almost works itself.
Having spent a fair bit of quality time with all three types, I think it's the cock-on-closing feature of the Lee-Enfield bolt that makes it so smooth and easy to operate. It works with your natural body mechanics - you use more force to close the bolt and less to open it. The Mauser and Mosin bolts cock on opening, which is all wrong from a biomechanical standpoint.
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Old May 3, 2016, 06:15 AM   #24
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Guess I got lucky with my No 4 Mk 1 BSA '42. All numbers match (even the stock and magazine.).
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Old May 3, 2016, 09:33 AM   #25
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You did more than okay when you bought that rifle. In my experience, most postwar No4's were used very little if at all.

I recently traded into a couple of Endfields, one is a No4Mk1 made in 1942, still in original condition and the other is a Mk1** originally made in 1903 and upgraded to No1Mk3 configuration in 1915. Both shoot very well. My very first centerfire rifle was a No4 that I bought back in 1967 for $20. I paid the equivalent of $600 for the pair. Prices have certainly gone up on these old war horses.
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