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View Full Version : Unissued - Enfield No.4 Mk2: what's it worth?


Dave Kay
February 15, 2011, 08:47 PM
A brief intro about myself; been away from the shooting sport for some time now and after aquiring too many other hobbies and years gone by, I've decided to maybe sell some of my gun collection.

The only firearm I ever bought as an "investment" (17 years ago) is this No.4 Mk 2 which is still sealed in cosmoline and paper wrapped. I figure I'm never gonna' unwrap it and make it a shooter, so what the heck, maybe I can find it a good home. Can't swear that it DOES NOT have import stamps because only the serial number has been exposed. And this is something I'm curious about, how can I tell if it is--- or isn't--- import stamped unless I unwrap some more?

It also has an as issued blade bayonet and scabbard also cosmoline-wrapped and it's a UF 55 AXXXX serial number. (no, it's NOT Irish Contract rifle) Anyway, a gun-dealer friend says he can get minimum $500 retail/consignment for the rifle. Meanwhile, I'm seeing online auctions where guys are asking a lot more for UNWRAPPED No.4 Mk2 models and prices seem all over the map. Can anybody here point me the right direction about these model Enfields and what they're really worth? Would be much appreciated.

All comments are welcome and thanks for reading my post.

wogpotter
February 15, 2011, 10:18 PM
It sounds like one of the RAF contract Fazackerly blonds that have been popping up.
Some were import stamped on the barrel & the wrap was removed there to allow the work to be done. Check that area.
I'm guessing $500~$450 with the market softening because of the economy.

gyvel
February 16, 2011, 12:30 AM
The import marks will be near the muzzle.

I see you mention that it's NOT an Irish contract rifle. How does one tell the difference between the Irish contract and the RAF contract?

madcratebuilder
February 16, 2011, 06:38 AM
Your UF55 No4 should have an import marking on the end of the barrel near the bayonet lugs. It well be very small, lightly engraved lettering.

This rifle in the wrap well bring $700-900 on Gunbroker. They sell very well in that price range. You well see some listed as high as $1200 but no bids at that price.

The Irish contract rifles are PF309348-PF359347

wogpotter, were did you find the RAF contract documentation? I have never seen anything relating the UF55 No4's to the RAF. The US55 rifles were imported in number in the late 80's and early 90's followed by the PF3XXXXX rifles. I should have bought ten of them at $90 each.:cool:

Tikirocker
February 16, 2011, 07:57 AM
In Australia that rifle would fetch $1500 no sweat ... Aussie dollar and U.S are parity right now to give you an idea.

Tiki.

BlueTrain
February 16, 2011, 08:27 AM
I owned one of those late production rifles but I foolishly traded it off, thinking I'd never do any rifle shooting again (which I haven't). I think mine was dated about 1957, maybe even later. The markings appeared to have been engraved with one of those pencil type engravers, not stamped. I don't remember if there were importer markings. It also came with a bayonet with a metal scabbard. The bayonet was the style with the so-called Bowie blade with no grip. I've never seen one wrapped up like that.

The rifle was indeed stocked with a blond wood, beech probably, but was clean of any preservative. I'd say it was worth from $600 to $800, perhaps more.

wogpotter
February 16, 2011, 08:34 AM
wogpotter, were did you find the RAF contract documentation?
It was in several places. Unfortunately I don't remember the exact source now but it listed all the late contractys by serial number.
Basically the Fazackerly factory was running contracts to keep in production that late on. Even refurbishing was closing out & they had to do something to keep going so there were several "contract runs" the RAF batch being one of them.

Dave Kay
February 16, 2011, 03:27 PM
Thanks a heap TO ALL, for all the replies. Am now curious about the RAF connection, THAT--- I am assuming is the Royal Air Force? Any numbers available to support thesis?

Regarding Irish Contract, perhaps my assumption is premature. Again, assuming the info is correct; somewhere online I saw numbers that proport to be the true and accurate Irish Contract run. While several other sites seem to post this info as law. One point being the S.N. PF prefix is supposedly IC, while my rifle is UF. However, in any case no source or reference is noted in support.

And yes, saw where client in Australia bought a 'wrapper' for $1000 online and while I spoke to the broker, he said it's another $300 to export--- wow! Guess there's fair amount of Aussie interest but how do I go about posting exclusively there? As I said, my goal is to find the rifle a good home where it will be cared for and appreciated for what it is... (pretty sappy, no?)

S.N. markings are stamped on reciever and sure enough, import stamps at barrel's end are who else--- but CAI! (see photos)

Thanks to all for the great info... but where might we find references to settle this Irish Contract/RAF mystery?

Best regards,

wogpotter
February 16, 2011, 04:08 PM
Firstly I'm not buying any mummy-wraps from you guys! I paid $550 for mine & thought it a little high.:eek:

Yes RAF is Royal Air Force. Let me go digging back through my usual haunts looking for the info again. It was on line somewhere & listed all the later contracts by name & serial number range. RAF was only one, Irish was another & there were several other named countries. If only I could remember where it was:o I do remember it was one of the MilSurp collectors forums, but I don't remember which one. I actually thought it was common knowledge so I never bothered to save the info or links to it.
IIRC all the Irish Contracts were "PF" prefixes & most of them were 1954 dated, but a few extended into '55.

Mike Irwin
February 16, 2011, 05:52 PM
Damn. I could have had one of those for $175 some years ago and I passed on it because I didn't feel like trying to either store a greased up rifle, or cleaning it off. :(

wogpotter
February 16, 2011, 06:05 PM
Here is the result of a quick internet search on the RAF contract rifles.
I'm trying to find the original source where I go the info but this should start you off for now. The bit about the "UF 55 RAF block" is towards the end.
Purely anecdotal but I ordered several of the "Faz blondes" (although I had no idea that was what they were at the time, never having heard of the whole business) when in the RAF to upgrade our existing target rifles & recieved them. I've since found a mummy from the same serial number range & it's my current Enfield.
http://i60.photobucket.com/albums/h29/moosp/DSCF6177.jpg
============================
http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=34901
The so called "Irish Contract" rifles are in the serial range PF309348 to PF 359347.Most were never delivered and put in storage until sold as surplus.

The UF suffix rifles are generally identified as Ministry of Defence contract rifles thought to be for the RAF but put directly into storage and never issued. It is speculated the contract was a "make work" contract to keep the factory open.

http://www.arrse.co.uk/shooting-hunting-fishing/96133-questions-about-lee-enfield-mk4-no-2-a.html
The changeover from Mk1 to Mk2 production is believed to have occurred at rifle number "PF 100000".

Most of the last PF-marked Mk1s and early Mk2s seem to have gone to South Africa. Such rifles now appear with an SA property mark on the knox form - an "arrow inside a U".

Because the British Army had millions of Mk1s in store they didn't need Mk2s, so most of the Mk2 production was done in batches for export to Commonwealth countries, or for commercial sale, or for RAF service.

An incomplete list:

PF301548-PF304047 Anglo-Egyptian Sudan
PF309348-PF359347 Irish Republic
PF359748-PF359817 Zambia
PF359818-PF359952 Singapore
PF359953-PF360052 Jamiaca
PF360053-PF360202 Trinidad
PF360203-PF360238 St. Vincent
PF360239-PF360258 St. Kitts
PF360259-PF360459 War Office
PF360460-PF381159 Uganda
PF361160-PF361259 Parker Hale
PF361260-PF401086 Burma
PF401087-PF401459 Allocated for T conversion
PF404157-PF404206 Parker Hale
PF405393-PF405412 St. Vincent
PF405513-PF405712 Admiralty contract
PF405813-PF405848 Fulton
PF407649-PF407648 Trinidad
PF407649-PF407728 Zanzibar
PF411229-PF411264 Fulton
PF411265-PF411461 Kenya
PF411462-PF411471 Hong Kong

Some of these contracts were not delivered. A case in point being the "Irish Contract". Daft spams pay a premium for these because they think they're getting a piece of Oirish history. In fact most of the rifles never left UK warehouse until they were sold as surplus.

In 1954, the numbering system changed to the form "UF Axxxxx", which is the version still used today for the SA80. The 1950s "UF A xxxxxx" rifles are built to a better finish compared to most of the "PFs". These rifles were built for RAF use, but mostly stayed in store until they were sold off.
===========================
Interestingly there are several "blocks" listed for commercial sale to Parker-Hale, or Fultons (of Bisley) which seems to support the "keeping the doors of the factory open" theory.:D

madcratebuilder
February 17, 2011, 08:52 AM
Most of the last PF-marked Mk1s and early Mk2s seem to have gone to South Africa. Such rifles now appear with an SA property mark on the knox form - an "arrow inside a U".

I have two MkI's, 1948 with the PF prefix and one MkII, 1949 with a PF prefix. Unfortunately none have the SA markings. Still looking for a nice SA rifle.


The so called "Irish Contract" rifles are in the serial range PF309348 to PF 359347.Most were never delivered and put in storage until sold as surplus.

The good ole "Irish Contract" It's a great gun show story! I have one in the wrap and one I removed from the wrap, a third one I found at a local gun show had been in service and from the looks of it in Asia some place. I exchanged e-mails with a guy who said while he was in the Irish National Guard he unwrapped many of the IC MkII's and saw many dumped in the ocean as surplus. The IC was 50k rifles, only a few, 2-3K, have made it to the US as surplus.

The PF contract rifle were not made in numerical sequence. I have the following.

PF330386-Irish contract built 11/54
PF330615-Irish contract built 11/54
PF338799-Irish contract built 1/55
PF369065-Burma contract built 9/53


The 1950s "UF A xxxxxx" rifles are built to a better finish compared to most of the "PFs".

I have one UF55 I unwrapped, while the metal finish is the same as the PF's the wood finish is head and shoulder above the PF's. If I had not unwrapped this rifle I would say someone refinished it.

Tikirocker
February 17, 2011, 08:59 AM
It gets worse ... there are some people who believe that any blonde No4 MkII is instantly Irish Contract. The use of contracts based on serial blocks as a selling point is an area of collecting that I find pretty asinine - to me they are No4 MkII's. The only time a serial number block is worth paying real attention to is when that block confirms a year of very low manufacture output ... such is the case with certain Lithgow rifles - not to be found among standard British and North American made Enfields, unless they be trials rifles.

Tiki.

wogpotter
February 17, 2011, 09:18 AM
While I was doing more searching for a definitive list I found these 2 references to "Irish Contract Rifles" that were sent to "The Other Island" but never issued:eek:
*Note:
Before someone goes postal on meI post this exactly as copied I make no claims to the accuracy, or otherwise of the comments.:rolleyes:

I have included links so if someone wants to try & continue the commentary feel free.
"Did I just find something interesting?
http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?p=61726606

In relation to Lee Enfield No.4s 'Irish Contrat'. I've seen this mentioned in other, often American forums and invariably they quote some guy called Stratton who said
"...the rifle was manufactured for the Irish Republic, but because of political problems (duh) the rifle was never delivered and was kept in storage.
Well (duh) I don't recall any political problems in 1953 that would have stopped the delivery of those rifles. I can't help but think it's one of those myths that grew legs.

When I was in the FCA and trained on the .303. I saw brand new .303s both wrapped and unwrapped in the armoury in Griffith barracks. I also believe after the FCA transitioned to the FN, that many older .303s were dumped in the Irish sea but the 'new' and cleaner rifles sold onto the market. There was a so called controversy at the time from certain newspapers who worried they would fall into the hand of terrorists. This at a time when all terrorists had an AK-47.

So does anyone here know the truth. Was there an Irish contract that was never delivered or were they in fact war surplus British stocks as suggested by some. Or are they in fact actually surplus ex Irish army never issued and sold on to America?
AFAIK what are referred to as "Irish Contract" are the ones sold by the Irish Government after the FCA were given the FN

Do a search on
http://www.vcrai.com/phpBB/phpBB3/index.php
(the Irish Classic rifle forum) and you will get more info

NB updated link !

Pedroibar, I can safely that I never saw a .303 dated earlier than the 1950s when I was in the FCA. Some were actually 'new' out of the wrapping and dated 1953. They were all No.4 rifles. The ones you refer to must be No.IIIs and were probably issued to the army in the 1940s until replaced by the No.4s probably in the 50s.

I never saw any rifles dated earlier than the 1950s, which is not to say they didn't exist.

Thanks bunny, I think so too. I just wonder where this idea of an impounded batch came from.

In reality the "Irish contract" rifles were nothing more than rifles that had the FF Oglich na Eireinn stamp on them.They ran a specific serial number.[Cant remember what it is]
They were apprently only partially deliverd due to either money problems in the Govt here[Whats new ] or the FN SLR was starting to debut and Army decided to upgrade totally to the FN.
ASFIK they were sold to the US in the late 1980s early 1990s,or when the FN went to the FCA.They were sold to Century Arms in Canada for the US and Canada markets.Those that I have seen are pristine never fired rifles ,and some smart buyers still have them in their "sleeping bags".Be lucky now if you could get one for around $400 plus.Alot of US collectors have twigged the FF stamp value.

Irish Contract "Blondes" dated 1950 - 1955 with the PF serial number where sold to Century Arms in the us for £10 punts a rifle I believe. These where the ones stored in Ireland. There was I believe a consignment of Irish Contract Rifles held in the UK that where manufactured in the Fazerkly plant but the consignment never left the UK

As to why they didn't get delivered, well if you look at the fact bolt action rifles for general military issue where being phased out in other European countries and the FN was being looked at in most as the replacement plus the cartridge of choice was moving to the NATO 7.62 x 51 round not the .303.

To re-barrel all those rifles, estimated 50,000 in the contracted, to the new smaller 7.62, not economical . I think this is why they were not delivered personally.

and
In reality the "Irish contract" rifles were nothing more than rifles that had the FF Oglich na Eireinn stamp on them.They ran a specific serial number.[Cant remember what it is]
They were apprently only partially deliverd due to either money problems in the Govt here[Whats new ] or the FN SLR was starting to debut and Army decided to upgrade totally to the FN.
ASFIK they were sold to the US in the late 1980s early 1990s,or when the FN went to the FCA.They were sold to Century Arms in Canada for the US and Canada markets.Those that I have seen are pristine never fired rifles ,and some smart buyers still have them in their "sleeping bags".Be lucky now if you could get one for around $400 plus.Alot of US collectors have twigged the FF stamp value. "

Some of this is of course incorrect, it wouldn't be Irish if there was no Blarney involved.

divil
February 17, 2011, 11:24 AM
You might also find this thread, and indeed this military forum, useful:
http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2056176428

A lot of the same guys that use the boards.ie Shooting forum (referenced above) use this one too.

By the way, the "FCA" referred to in those posts is Fórsa Cosanta Áitiúil (Local Defence Force), which is kind of like Ireland's equivalent of the National Guard.

James K
February 17, 2011, 01:15 PM
Back in the mid 1960's Interarms bought tons of rifles and other arms (including artillery) from the Irish Republic. The rifles were British surplus No. 1 Mk III's but I never saw any with Irish markings. At that time, they traded at least some FALs for the old weapons.

Jim

madcratebuilder
February 18, 2011, 08:43 AM
It gets worse ... there are some people who believe that any blonde No4 MkII is instantly Irish Contract.

I still see that a lot on Gunbroker, occasionally at gun shows. Any story to get a higher price:mad:


it wouldn't be Irish if there was no Blarney involved.
:D

Tikirocker
February 18, 2011, 09:33 AM
that crazy bloke downunder

Hey! I resemble that remark ...

Tiki.

Slamfire
February 18, 2011, 10:00 AM
I have one of those, new in the wrap except where the wrap was cut by the importer to verify serial number and stamp the muzzle.

I am going to wait a couple of more decades before I decide to sell it.

The number of rifles new in the wrap just keeps on getting less every year.

I believe it is a better investment than Treasuries. Heck, the Fed is printing $800 Billion right now.


Buy Gold, buy guns :D

Tikirocker
February 18, 2011, 10:02 AM
Yup ... invest in guns and precious metals - silver is an even better deal than gold, since silver is a perishable commodity.

Tiki.

kilimanjaro
February 23, 2011, 09:51 PM
Got two of 'em, myself, should have bought a crate !

$800 minimum would be a fair price up here. The consignment fee should be added to that, or some such arrangement, no reason you should take a 20% discount on a scarce rifle that's worth what the buyer pays.

Dave Kay
February 27, 2011, 05:38 PM
Wow, since my last reply this post has gotten thick w/info--- thanks again gents! A lot to digest for now...

One thing I have to say though is that the photos of cleaned up Mk 2's are very impressive. Beautiful in fact! Making me think-twice now about selling my peice (or maybe a$king a fortune?)

And actually, in my research, just getting on the forums and gun websites in general piques my interest in firearms all over again... how could I ever have let that passion wane is a mystery of old age I suppose...

Best regards~!

Tikirocker
February 27, 2011, 05:54 PM
Dave ... click to Enfield Forum link in my sig, come and join us and get to know more about the rifle you have before you sell it. ;)

Tiki.

Dave Kay
February 27, 2011, 10:21 PM
Thank you kindly Mr. Tiki, will do!

Dave Kay
April 30, 2011, 04:48 PM
Well I finally did it! Listed for auction:

http://www.gunbroker.com/Auction/ViewItem.aspx?Item=227684189

Let me know what you think; too much, too little, crappy pictures--- I know?

Hope this isn't out of place as an ad, if so, no offense taken if moderators can this post.

gyvel
April 30, 2011, 08:21 PM
The market will decide for you; You can always go down if it doesn't sell.