View Full Version : Lee Enfield Question

October 15, 2007, 03:11 PM
Sorry, I posted to the wrong forum. I have moved it appropriately.

My uncle passed away earlier this year and left my aunt with some interesting pieces from the back of a hallway closet: 1) a Colt New Line revolver 2nd Model (~1882); 2) a Marlin Model 39 with octagon bbl. and case hardened receiver (~1938), and 3) a No. 1 Mark III SMLE battle rifle manufactured by Lithgow (Australia) in 1940. This last piece has seen some battlefield use I reckon. However, the stock fore end (original to the piece) appears to have been cut back around 9.75" giving a "semi-sporterized" look to the gun but retaining the forward stock clamp. I have not been able to find any photos of this configuration on the web, so I am assuming someone "cut it back". Everything else looks right. Any opinion on this configuration? Did the Aussies modify these weapons? The job appears to have been done reasonably well.

October 20, 2007, 02:32 PM
I've never heard of a factory cutdown. Sounds as though it was sporterized.
http://www.britishbitsnbobs.com/ has quite a few reference books on the Enfields and a couple on Australian guns in particular.

October 20, 2007, 03:00 PM
Thanks, fal308. I sent off an email to G. Greg Young, the site owner, to see if he might have any info on this matter. My sense is that someone simply altered the fore end of the original stock to give the rifle more of a "hunting rifle" appearance as opposed to military battle rifle. Interesting, though, the butt stock retains the original cartouche and mfg. date. In addition, I might add, the top of the butt stock has "notches" cut into the wood. Don't know if these originally signified battlefield "kills" or game successes.

James K
October 20, 2007, 05:22 PM
That kind of "hacksaw sporterizing" was done to millions of surplus rifles from the end of WWII right up to today. Now, though, folks recognize the historical value of those rifles and most try to keep them intact, but when they were all of $9.95 mail order, they were simply a cheap deer rifle and the foreend represented needless weight and bulk.


October 20, 2007, 09:36 PM
Thanks, Jim. I suspected as much. Too weird to be a military "thang" if you get my drift. Too bad too. Has the magazine cut-off and the whole 9 yards.