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View Full Version : Lee Enfield - Replacement Magazine & General Warnings


HeadedNorth
November 15, 2010, 05:05 AM
My brother has recently been given a Lee Enfield rifle from a mutual friend. I've only examined the rifle once and do not have it available for further referencing. As the rifle was a gift and my brother and I know nearly nothing about it, I hit the net looking for some answers. I am unaware (though based on what I've read, I can suspect) how the magazine became so severely damaged, but prior to my knowing anything about the weapons existence my brother had already attempted to "repair" it with a pair of needle nosed pliers.

It's OK, I won't get offended if you laugh at my brother, I know I did when I saw what he had done to the magazine in his frustration. :)

For information: between my brother and I, I am the one who does the handloads, I'm the one who cleans and maintains the weapons and performs what minimal smithing / repairs there is to be done. He enjoys a periodic trip to the range, I'm the one who is passionate about it and goes every week (when possible).

So, on to the question. I've found any number of sites which will aid me in the identification of the rifle, but as I do not have it at present it is my intention to ask my brother to photograph it and email it to me for ID purposes. The question I would pose of you is related to a replacement magazine for said rifle. Are the magazines universal to the design? I know from another thread that the .303 & .308 are not interchangeable but is there a compatibility issue between the various versions of the rifle? Can someone link me a resource to help me identify which magazine will work and possibly a manufacturer of a good quality reproduction mag? Anything I should know about this rifle, potential pitfalls, you are inclined to warn about? (I've read about the magazine designed to remain in situ, pretty confident that is what resulted in the aforementioned damage.)

Thank you in advance for your time and comments.

wogpotter
November 15, 2010, 10:02 AM
The magazines for the #4 & #5 rifles are interchangeable within a caliber. In other words any .303 magazine for any #4, or #5 can be swapped. However you may need to do some minor fitting to the feed lips to get good reliability as the magazines weren't designed to be interchanged.

#1 magazines are not interchangeable between #1 & #4 rifles.

Magazines for different calibers are (mostly) not interchangeable.

Try NUMRICH ARMS (e-gunparts.com), or SARCO for a replacement.

Quick & dirty reference for which rifle you have.
Almost no barrel visible at front end of stock, there is a big metal reinforcement of the wood at the muzzle & the sights are a V-notch type part way down the barrel, you have a #1.

There is about 2~3" of barrel sticking out the end of the wood & the sight is a peep at the rear of the receiver, you have a #4 rifle.

There is no wood on the forend past the band with 18" or so of barrel sticking out & there is a cone-shaped gadget on the end of the barrel, you have a #5 rifle.

Hardcase
November 15, 2010, 10:15 AM
Take a look at the rear band that the buttstock goes into (or have your brother do it). It should be marked on one side or the other with the rifle model.

I bought a magazine for my No.4 Mk.I* from Sarco and it was a perfect fit. It was obviously surplus, but the wear on it matched the wear on the rifle, so I was quite pleased.

Beyond that, I can't top what wogpotter said.

madcratebuilder
November 15, 2010, 10:27 AM
Lot of info here. (http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewforum.php?f=27&sid=0b64729b131b5c05cf16515e0c62f559)

gyvel
November 16, 2010, 08:14 AM
#1 magazines are not interchangeable between #1 & #4 rifles.

Not entirely true. Due to manufacturing tolerances, some No. 1 rifles will function with No. 4/No. 5 magazines. As a rule most No. 4/ No. 5 rifles don't allow the use of No. 1 magazines as readily the No. 1s are able to function with the 4/5 mags, but there are some No. 4s made during the war that exhibit max tolerances, and will take a No. 1 mag.

And here's a "Lee Enfield 101" lesson:

The No. 1 rifle's rear sight is mounted on the barrel, and if your rifle is in original condition, the stock will cover the entire length of the barrel, terminating in a very heavy steel end cap with protective sight ears, and leaving only about 1/32-1/16" of barrel exposed.

All No. 4 rifles have receiver mounted rear sights, and, if in original condition, have stocks that cover most of the barrel, leaving about 3" or so exposed at the muzzle end. The protective sight ears are a separate piece held on by a screw that goes through the front sight base, and still leaving about 2" of barrel exposed to the muzzle.

At any rate, there are plenty of mags out there , but they aren't as cheap as they used to be...:(

HeadedNorth
November 17, 2010, 05:12 AM
Thanks for the replies! It's definitely a #1 but as I've yet to receive the pictures I still can't be sure if it is a #1 or a #1*. As others have stated, plenty of mags out there but not as cheap as one might wish. Luckily I'll only need the one and striper clips are cheap enough :)

Thanks again, all.

gyvel
November 19, 2010, 05:40 AM
No1 Mk III and No. 1 Mk III* are essentially one and the same gun, the primary difference being the elimination of the magazine cutoff. Magazines intended for the No. 1 will generally work in either, although some early magazines intended for use in rifles with the cutoff have a "swivelling" feel lip at the right front of the magazine. (The right forward feed lip is rivited to the magazine body to allow it to fold down out of the way when the cutoff is being used.)