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Old February 1, 2013, 02:25 PM   #1
archetype_wyo
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1903 Enfield need help identifying

I will have better pictures of it next Wednesday but this is what I have so far...


One question I had was, what's the AMI stamp mean?
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:45 PM   #2
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More pictures....
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:49 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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Beats me.
The acton and buttstock are clearly a Lee Enfield made 1903.
The front barrel band looks like something off a Mauser.
I find nothing about the LE stamp under the date and the big AMI is a mystery to me.
Something out of Pakistan, maybe.
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Old February 1, 2013, 02:53 PM   #4
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What puzzles me is that it almost looks like a "Long Lee" but the action area says different. It does have a Royal Crown stamped above the date, so that to me says it was of UK mfg.... hmmmmm
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Old February 1, 2013, 04:21 PM   #5
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Most likely a Afghan border made copy of an Enfield. The E in Enfield is mistamped.
It may have some original Enfield parts, but like as not the whole thing was handmade in a cavern workshop in Dara.
Best left as a wall hanger, though it might handle light loads.

There are Turkish modified captured WW1 SMLE rifles with provision for a Mauser bayonet, usually rebarreled for the 8mm cartridge as used by the 1888 Commision rifle. Those are not safe to fire with more powerful 7.92x57 Mauser cartridges, though some have gotten away with it in the past.
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Old February 1, 2013, 04:52 PM   #6
archetype_wyo
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Hmmmm, I hope its operational. It came with 48 rounds....
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Old February 1, 2013, 06:47 PM   #7
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On another forum its suggested that my rifle is a CLLE mk1? Something about armory retrofitting of charger capabilities?
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Old February 1, 2013, 10:22 PM   #8
James K
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I will go along with the copy idea. The markings are just wrong. The crown is the wrong shape, the E.R. letters are wrong, "Enfield" appears to be hand stamped, the LE is wrong. Some more pictures might be interesting, but I doubt very much they would indicate other than that the rifle is a fake, though where and by whom made, I don't know. The AMI means nothing to me.

Looking at the receiver ring, the thought occurs that it might be a non-firing replica made for sale in places where gun ownership is restricted. I would definitely NOT fire or attempt to fire that rifle without having it inspected carefully by a competent gunsmith.

Jim
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Old February 1, 2013, 10:31 PM   #9
archetype_wyo
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The guy before me has definitely fired it before, but thanks for the warning.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:04 AM   #10
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Workmanship varies greatly on these rifles, from fairly good to Fred Flintstone.
This looks better made than others I've seen, but my main concern would be metalurgy.
Lee Enfields are made of some of the best Nickle Steel alloys of their day. If not for the properties of the alloy the design might not have made the transition from compressed Black Powder to Nitro Glycerine based Cordite quite so well.

Dara rifles may incorporate unknown steels, from looted railway tracks to Homogenous Nickle Steel armor plate bought from Turkey when they broke up WW1 warships sunk in their harbors.

During WW2 the British bought tens of thousands of Dara made Enfields for use as training and drill rifles by Indian recruits.

The Pakistani government had a program intended to keep rifles out of the hands of bandits by buying up all the Dara production and stockpiling the rifles to issue to police departments. The police were not too happy with that arrangement.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:18 PM   #11
archetype_wyo
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Hmmmm, definitely something to think about. Another source suggested it might be an Enfield sold to the Italian Air Force, hence the AMI. *shrugs*
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:27 PM   #12
Mike Irwin
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The ER is the monarch's mark, I think...

In 1903, it was King Edward, so I would think that ER would be correct.

That said, it does look... odd.
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Old February 2, 2013, 01:31 PM   #13
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And, am I nuts, but the front barrel band in that picture... does it not look like it's off a Mauser?
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Old February 2, 2013, 03:01 PM   #14
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Victoria died in January 1901, and Edward VII in 1910, so the E.R. is right for the period, but the style of the lettering is wrong and the crown does not conform to the sealed W.O. pattern established after Edward's accession. Also, by 1903, the rifle should have been the SMLE with the marking Sht L E, rather than just L E.

Unless I see some evidence to the contrary, I will continue to think the markings are fake and that there is something "funny" about the rifle.

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Old February 3, 2013, 07:18 PM   #15
archetype_wyo
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Was at the range with my 91/30 today and showed the pictures to a guy that arranges service rifle shoots and he said it looked like No.1 Mk.3, but that it looked a little different and that he definitely wants to see it. So come Wednesday I'll have some better pictures and a verdict on what it is. I'll break down the gun and look for proofs under the stock and such.
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Old February 3, 2013, 11:18 PM   #16
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It appears to be or have been a Short Magazine Lee Enfield, Mark III, later renamed to Rifle No. 1, Mark III, so your friend is correct in that respect. It is the "little different" that we are discussing here. Some of us don't think it was made in England or in any Empire government arsenal.

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Old February 4, 2013, 09:15 AM   #17
archetype_wyo
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Thanks for your faith and info James. Like I said before and what the pictures lack is showing the uniform lettering and how uniform the workmanship is on the rifle. The nosecap looks off, my thought on that is that either someone put an incorrect nosecap on it or that picture shows some shadowing that makes it look wrong. I only had a couple of minutes with the gun as I was at work and had to get back inside. My only guess on the AMI stamp from what I've read and the only thing that even really makes sense is the Italian Air Force after 1946 was renamed Aeronautica Militare Italiano. Which makes sense because the Brits sold a batch of Enfield rifles to the Italians after WWII, some went to the Navy, others went to the Air Force. As for the odd font on the wristband, I will take better pictures on Wednesday, the spacing and whatnot was straight and even. Not sure what to say, but I know its been fired with commercial winny ammo as well as privipartizan
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Old February 4, 2013, 02:24 PM   #18
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I did some looking around and I think the AMI might mean just what you say, but it doesn't really answer the questions about the butt socket markings which don't seem to be right.

Just another "mystery" gun, I guess.

Jim
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Old February 4, 2013, 04:29 PM   #19
archetype_wyo
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I know right, I wish I was cut and dry on what gun it is.
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:02 PM   #20
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Besides rifles made from scratch some Paki rifles may have started out as discarded condemned parts or deactivated DP rifles sold off for parts. No doubt some rifles captured in battle were rebuilt over the years.

BSA sold commercial manufactured duplicates of the British military rifles they had produced under government contracts. They sold some to Afghanistan government agencies when the country was a kingdom.

The action body may be a legit Enfield product, with the mis stamped E being an attempt to correct a missing letter after sanding away rust.
Even on near new condition SMLEs the lettering is sometimes not very well stamped with letters lightly struck at either end of the stamping.

While I've heard of SMLE rifle bayonet lugs or bosses altered to take the Carcano bayonet, I have not heard of any Italian owned SMLE with a Mauser type upper band and lug.

The rifle in the photos looks identical except for condition and markings to one posted on another forum several months back.
That rifle was a faked BSA and was most certainly a Dara copy.
While looking into that rifle we found a couple of much rougher specimens with the same appearance and features.

Most Dara copies have the E in Enfield stamped backwards.
If a backwards E were over stamped that might explain the odd look.
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Old February 4, 2013, 06:53 PM   #21
archetype_wyo
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This rifle has me so very intrigued. I am very anxious to have it in hand.
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Old February 4, 2013, 09:58 PM   #22
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If it is a Darra copy, the "AMI" has to be a fake, also. I don't know how the Italians marked theirs, but I am sure the British would not have handed out fake Enfields to the Italians, and the Italian Air Force would not have gotten rifles from the Khyber pass.

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