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Old December 9, 2012, 04:14 PM   #1
Doug8857
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Savage .303 Enfield

This is my first forray posting onto the forum. I hope I haven't embarrassed myself more than usual.

I recentrly inherited a WWII vintage Enfield. The serial number is "64C5031". Unfortunately the bolt (#64C4894) and magazine (#28544 G) do not match.

Stock cartouche markings ar located on the flat surface adjacent to the receiver. Most pictures I've seen do not place them there. the Markings are a vertical line ("I"?), "J", what appears to be a tiny ordinance bomb (too small to be sure), and "P".

The wrist band contains a "B" underneath the serial number. The bolt side of the wrist band contains a "7" and a "4".

The L-type battle sights are marked for 200 and 600 yards.

The Savage squared "S" appears on the left of the receiver adjacent to "No 4 MKI*". The squared "S" is also found on the front barrel band, center barrel band, forearm sling swivel, and in front of the magazine bracket.

The inside of the butt oiler gate displays a circled 8 and either "ILCo" or "LCO".

There is a mystery though. The United States Property marking does not appear on the receiver. Can someone provide a plausible explanation for this omission?

Initial cleaning gives me hope that upon qualified inspection, this veteran will be speaking out at the range soon.

Thank you,
Doug
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Old December 9, 2012, 04:49 PM   #2
wogpotter
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Lots of the "U.S. PROPERTY" marks were removed from the rifle, many of them when they went on to a 3rd (or 4th, or 5th) country.
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Old December 9, 2012, 05:38 PM   #3
tahunua001
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I know little about markings but if I'm not mistaken the L type sights are 3 and 6 hundred meters rather than 2 and 6.

I haven't researched them enough to know what years the savages were manufactured but it may be possible that yours was made after the US entered the war and was no longer hiding behind the land lease act.
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Old December 9, 2012, 06:09 PM   #4
RJay
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Prior to the U.S. entry into WWII , our law made it illegal to export help to foreign wars. This change on Dec 7th 1941 when we declared war on Japan, and on Dec 11 when Germany declared war on us ( no one really knows why Hitler decided to do so. they can only guess , even his staff were caught by surprised ). Prior to these dates FDR got around the law by " Lending or Leasing " war material. Because we were only loaning equipment it had to be marked " Property of the US ". Once we actively were engaged in hostilities this marking was no longer necessary and the markings were dropped as a unneeded step in production. I don't have a book handy but those who are better versed in the history of the Enfield can confirm it, but I believe it was in 1943 when the markings were dropped. could be wrong, been wrong before and I'm pretty sure I might be wrong again in the future
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:24 PM   #5
Doug8857
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Follow-up

Thank you for the quick responses.

The sights are indeed marked 300 and 600.


I suspect my uncle may have picked this up in India in '44 or '45. He was one of the Lido road crew. This could account for the absence of the markings. Then too, this serial number appears to have been produced after US entry into the war. In either case, it appears the rifle had not been stamped... there is no evidence I can find that it was machined off.

By the way, I am curious about the single screw appearing on the receiver near the "No 4 MKI*" marking. Was this used for a scope mount or is it simply there as a conversation starter?

Thanks,
Doug
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Old December 9, 2012, 09:33 PM   #6
tahunua001
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the screw you are referring to is the ejector. when you retract the bolt after firing a round the extractor hooks onto the far right portion of the case rim and as the bolt travels back the rim catches on the tip of that screw protruding through the reciever, flipping the shell out and allowing the extractor to disengage the casing.
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Old December 10, 2012, 08:39 AM   #7
wogpotter
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Quote:
Once we actively were engaged in hostilities this marking was no longer necessary and the markings were dropped as a unneeded step in production.
Um, not really, see pictures. This is a late 1943 No4Mk1*



Quote:
the screw you are referring to is the ejector. when you retract the bolt after firing a round the extractor hooks onto the far right portion of the case rim and as the bolt travels back the rim catches on the tip of that screw protruding through the reciever, flipping the shell out and allowing the extractor to disengage the casing.
Not quite!
One of the odder aspects of the Lee-Enfield design is that the ejector screw has noting to do with ejecting fired cases! In fact fired cases are ejected by tension & friction against the left side reciever wall applied by the extractor spring. (That's why so many problems are cured by replacing a weak or broken one). Trust me, try it with a fired case while looking into the top it will eject long before it reaches the ejector screw.
The screw actually ejects only UNFIRED rounds.

Regarding the "L" flip sight.
The settings are indeed 300/600, but the 300 only works correctly with a bayonet fitted, without it is 400. SOP at the time the flip sight was fitted was to fix bayonets if the enemy was under 300 yds so it was set up this way.
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Last edited by wogpotter; December 10, 2012 at 03:48 PM.
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Old December 10, 2012, 02:07 PM   #8
James K
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AFAIK, the No. 4 rifles without the USP mark were made BEFORE the Lend Lease Act was fully implemented, when the British were still buying those rifles. The Lend Lease Act was passed in March 1941 but details of arms markings were not put in place until about September of that year. Production at Stevens-Savage began in July 1941, and some number were made before the USP marking was put on. The Lend Lease act remained in effect until the end of WWII, not just until the U.S. entered the war.

Jim
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Old December 10, 2012, 03:52 PM   #9
wogpotter
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Quote:
there is no evidence I can find that it was machined off.
The Indians were famous (infamous?) for "scrubbing" markings when they got a rifle & then re-stamping it. I don't think yours is acrubbed because they'd usually remove everything & re-stamp & you have several original stamps like the US Army Ordinance flaming bomb.

There were a lot of un-stamped US PROPERTY Savage rifles & no-one has ever come up with a definitive proof of why. Also it's an Enfield, so never say "never" or "always"
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