View Full Version : Lee Enfield No 4 mk 1

Fishing Taco
December 21, 2011, 10:57 AM
Hello all, Im new to shooting and hunting, but have allways been interested. My parents and girlfriend were asking what i want for christmas, i have everything i need for the time. so i jokingly said a rifle. well they got me one :D
My dad told me it is a enfield no 4 mk1. after that i wont know anything else till christmas. I have done some research but havent really gotten anything usefull out of it(just history babble). and i have lurked in these forums and did a search to no prevail

So i ask you,
What are the pros and cons of the Enfield no4 mk1? do their innerworkings break or malfunction? could i claim a deer from 100 or 200yrds with practice?
Any other info you care to share?
Thank you all.

December 21, 2011, 12:28 PM
Lots of information here, you do need to poke about in there just because there is so much.

Lee-Enfield was one of those rifles that just goes on for ever, the .303 round is adequate for anything that lives on the North American continent.
Do be a little picky with ammunition though. There are 3 standards for dimensioning & only one is correct so most US-made brass is a sloppy fit. It'll fire fine & there is no risk as long as the rifle is in good condition. Reloading is a tad trickier, but far from impossible. I'd suggest getting Prvi Partizan as that is currently one of the better (& better priced) loads available. Factory sights are set up for a 147 Gr load, but you can use 150 or 180 with no problems as long as you realize the sights will be "off" after about 300yds.

Enfields were made in multiple factory in several different countries so the actual stamps, marks & so on will need to be researched a bit to find out which you particular one is from. Do check for matching serial numbers on (at least) the bolt handle & Receiver, matching magazine would be nice as well as these are designed to stay in the rifle & swapped out ones can have feeding problems. If they don't match have the Headspace checked by a competent gunsmith who uses Mil-Spec, not SAAMI gauges as SAAMI spec is not the correct one & it could "fail" while being fine.

It cocks on closing, which takes a little getting used to if you have cock on opening guns previously. One of it's unique features is the bolt handle rising a little ( about 1/4~3/8") on firing. If yours does this don't worry it is normal for the Enfield action.

Can you hunt with it? Sure, it may be a bit heavy though & you might want to look into finding out if you can legally hunt with a 10-round magazine where you live.

Fishing Taco
December 21, 2011, 05:10 PM
Thank you very much, very usefull.

December 21, 2011, 08:01 PM
The Enfields were great guns, I had one years ago that I bought for around $85. Sold it because I wasn't shooting it, regret that decision now especially with current market prices. Mine shot great especially with my handloads. It was the rifle that made me realize I'm a sissy when it comes to recoil. Shooting that rifle off the bench while working up handloads caused me to go out and buy a PAST magnum recoil sheild. That steel buttplate hurts, off hand or siting it's not bad, but off the bench it hurts.


December 21, 2011, 08:19 PM
http://i312.photobucket.com/albums/ll354/plumbernater/IMG077.jpgThis is a enfield no.4 mk1 1944

December 21, 2011, 08:25 PM
I love those old Enfields. I have had several and regret letting them go. I currently only have one, a Mk 3* made at the Enfield Armory in 1917. Crisp perfect bore and good unmolested finish on all metal. Shoots good to. This one stays. I had an Australian Mk3 years ago made in the Lithgow Armory in 1916. and stocked in Australian Coachwood. I NEVER should have traded it off but I did in a moment of gunshow weakness. Great guns. In my opinion, the best bolt action battle rifle of all time.

December 21, 2011, 08:34 PM
http://world.guns.ru/rifle/repeating-rifle/brit/smle-lee-enfield-e.html Try this link

December 21, 2011, 08:58 PM

December 21, 2011, 09:37 PM
No. 1 Mk. III* (Lithgow, 1944) top, No. 4 Mk. 2 (F) (1949) bottom.


Much longer sight radius on the No. 4 (peep sight) but the Mk. III* (semicircle rear notch) is ranged out to 2000 vs. 1300...


The wood runs all the way out to the tip of the Mk. III* and the bayonet lug is below the barrel while the No. 4 lugs are part of the barrel.


One weakness is that the bolt locks at the rear instead of two front lugs like the Mauser designs. With practice you could easily hit targets out to 200 yards.

Ignition Override
December 22, 2011, 02:58 AM
The Enfields were my motivation to learn reloading.

It is a single-stage Lee press and some cases from Prvi Partizan have been used over ten times: 147 grain bullets with low loads of IMR 4064 powder.

They have only been neck-sized and with limited exceptions, allow only the bolt on the same gun
(which first used the same rounds) to close.

If you have a Savage or LB, these have two-groove rifling.
Ammo which does Not have boat tail bullets sometimes works better. Boat tail bullets can keyhole at 100 yards with some of the 'S' or 'Longbranch' #4s rifles.
I traded my Longbranch for a "ROF (F)" because of this, and the LB had a bright bore and apparently good rifling.

Of the group of Enfield #4/Mk. 1s which were built in England, most have 4 or 5-groove rifling and boat tail bullets seem to have no issues.

December 22, 2011, 07:09 AM
I took my first deer with my first rifle. A No4 Lee Enfield, it cost $20 from the back of some gun rag in 62 or 63. I gave that rifle to a friend when I entered the service, but I kept my love for the LE.

A attempt at reliving my youth?


December 22, 2011, 07:16 AM
I have two #4 Mk1's and both are WW2 era Maltby's. Both rifles are very accurate. I scoped one with a B-square mount and a 40 mm 3x9 scope. I have shot deer up to 175 yards with iron sights and up to 275 yards with the scoped one. I have never had a malfunction with either rifle. Surplus ammo can still be found but it is becoming pretty scarce. Newly manufactured ammo is pretty available for around 90 cents per round.

Joe Chicago
December 22, 2011, 09:27 PM
I have a No 4 Lee Enfield manufactured in 1943. Like all Lee Enfields, it is ugly, heavy, accurate, practically indestructable and has one of the smoothest actions you will ever work. It has aperture sights that are easy to use and adjust. I have taken two deer with it and the .303 British round is more than up to the task. I like to think that my Lee Enfield was used to hunt both deer and Nazis.

You are quite lucky to have parents and a girlfriend who would give you such a wonderful present.

December 23, 2011, 12:20 PM
We've had steel plate matches out to 650 Yds with Iron sights.:D ( & that's only 1/2 the range marked!):eek: Bit far for hunting, though.

Regarding the metal butt plate. Make 101% dead certain you have it tucked in fully to the shoulder pocket before firing. Once you get the technique & position down it isn't going to hurt any more. Personally I take up first pressure then confirm I'm snugged down again, just to be sure! Just don't give it a running start against bone!:o

Jack O'Conner
December 23, 2011, 12:25 PM
This rifle is more popular in Canada than in USA. This fact alone says a lot for the 303 as a hunting cartridge. Deer, moose, bears, caribou have fallen to the 303 Enfield.



Fishing Taco
December 23, 2011, 10:15 PM
Thank you for all your input, i talked to some coworkers and just about the same as you all.

Fishing Taco
December 26, 2011, 06:58 PM
Its a sante fe special sporterized.
all the serial numbers i found seem to match.
but theres one thing i couldnt figure out through the various sites i visited. on the top right of the reciever it has no4 mk1 rof (f) 4/43 ... what does the 4/43 mean? any significance?

also i couldnt find any info on if the sante fe sporters are good guns or not.
any experience? i know there not originals but sante fe didnt ruin them did they?

December 26, 2011, 07:12 PM
From Wiki:

Though they did not invent the name, the designation "Jungle Carbine" was used by the Golden State Arms Corporation in the 1950s and 1960s to market commercially sporterised military surplus Lee-Enfield rifles under the "Santa Fe" brand.[14] Golden State Arms Co. imported huge numbers of SMLE Mk III* and Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifles and converted them to civilian versions of the No. 5 Mk I and general sporting rifles for the hunting and recreational shooting markets in the US, marketing them as "Santa Fe Jungle Carbine" rifles and "Santa Fe Mountaineer" rifles, amongst other names.[14]
This has led to a lot of confusion regarding the identification of actual No. 5 Mk I "Jungle Carbine" rifles, as opposed to the post-war civilian sporting rifles marketed under the same name.[2] The easiest way to identify a "Jungle Carbine" rifle is to look for the markings on the left hand side of the receiver; a genuine No. 5 will have "Rifle No 5 Mk I" electrostencilled there,[15] while a post-war conversion will generally have either no markings or markings from manufacturers who did not make the No. 5 Mk I (for example, Savage or Long Branch).[2] Santa Fe "Jungle Carbine" rifles are so marked on the barrel.

December 26, 2011, 11:26 PM
Your rifle was a No.4 Mk1 rifle produced at Fazakerly( think I spelled it correctly) in April of 1943.

December 27, 2011, 06:32 AM
the reciever it has no4 mk1 rof (f) 4/43

Royal Ordnance Factory (Fazakerely) 04/1943

The "Santa Fe Special" by Golden State Arms are special. They should have a five round mag the is legal in most states for hunting. It's the only five round mag that works for the No4. They (mags) came out of Japan and are hard to find.

I have a Santa Fe built on a post war Faz MkI.

December 27, 2011, 06:43 AM
There is an old witticism about three great rifles, all used in WWI and after.
it goes something like:
The Germans made the best hunting rifle.
The Americans made the best target rifle.
The British made the best battle rifle.

Mauser, Springfield 1903, Enfield respectively.

About the Enfield - take a look at some videos of rapid fire with an Enfield.....absolutely amazing.


December 27, 2011, 09:47 AM
i know there not originals but sante fe didnt ruin them did they?
Yes & no.:confused:

To a collector it is ruined because it has been modified from it's original condition. Collectors want it all original, even the rust (Oops, sorry. "Patina":D).

To a shooter NO. Its been lightened, shortened & made "handier".

There were a couple of firms making sporter, or "#5 Carbines out of #4 Mk1 rifles, why? Because the rarer #5 "Jungle Carbine" was "Cooler":cool:
Later there came "Bubba"!

Bubba hacked on things with Sawsalls & did other horrible things, & so all conversions got to be called "Bubb'ed" whether they were or not. Now some of the real conversions are beginning to become collectable in their own right.

Fishing Taco
December 27, 2011, 08:46 PM
thanks for the info everyone
and those videos were pretty good also :)

October 20, 2012, 07:34 PM
I was wondering if someone could maybe help me out. Today I bought my first no 4 mk 1 it seems to be manufactured by savage in 1942, it also has no visible import stamp. My problem is, after disassembling the stock and a thorough cleaning and full reassembly I had been working the bolt to get used to the cock on closing and noticed the part of the bolt that stops It from being removed was no on its track, once I noticed that I placed it back on its track and worked the bolt a little more and noticed it was off of its track again preventing me from closing the bolt (it comes off when I cycle the bolt fast as I would in the Mad Minute) Is there something that I could be doing wrong or is it mechanical? also I was Cycling dry. I apologize for not knowing the correct terminology I am new to bolt guns.

October 21, 2012, 06:50 AM
Welcome to the forum. First it's better to start a new thread than to revive a old one, it well get more views.

Both the North American made No4's, the Long Branch and Savage use what is called a "war time expedient" bolt release. Instead of a spring loaded release near the rear of the bolt travel, a slot was cut in the "boltway" near the front of the receiver. This slot is just wide enough to lift the bolt head out.

Some times this slot can become chipped causing the bolt head to lift out of the boltway. The bolt heads used on the MkI* models have a slight bevel in the boltway slot to reduce the chance of chipping. It's very common to see a standard bolt head in a MkI* receiver.

The bolt head lifting during fast bolt closing with a unloaded rifle is not terribly unusual. If you have some dummy rounds made up see if it cycles with those. The bolt head is not likely to lift while it's pushing a round in to the chamber.

Joe Chicago
October 21, 2012, 02:32 PM
You will love your Lee Enfield. They have a very smooth action that is easy to cycle quickly. They also have great aperture sights. It is a good rifle for hunting as long as your eyes are up to the task.

October 22, 2012, 10:30 AM
Santa Fe magazines.


October 22, 2012, 11:51 AM
alright I haven't read the whole thread so forgive me if I repost old information.

the no4 MK1 is a combat rifle from before the age of optics so none of them have scope rails except for the very expensive and hard to find sniper models. therefore you will either have to use Iron sights or take it to a gun smith to have a rail mounted. the open sights were set to hit point of aim at 300 yards so you will actually be hitting several inches high at 100 yards.

most will hold hunting accuracy but some may have been shot too much and the barrels may be shot.

303 brit is comparable to 308 Win for hunting and due to a heavy number of enfields that were imported following WWII there is a great deal of quality hunting ammo available for 303 brit.

short and simple answer, your new enfield is more than capable of killing a deer at 200 yards but you may not have the skills to make that shot with open sights. if you keep within 100 yards and understand that you have to hold low on your shots then the enfield NO4 MK1 will be a fantastic hunting companion.