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Old June 20, 2017, 03:59 PM   #1
Surp
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MkI* questions

Had some questions about Savage MKI* marks.
First I've noticed some savage S marked are just the square S and some have the box around them is that a time frame thing? Also mine has this witch if I'm not mistaken is a Canadian acceptance Mart.
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Old June 20, 2017, 09:15 PM   #2
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IIRC, it is the Union of South Africa property mark.

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Old June 20, 2017, 11:55 PM   #3
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IIRC? This rifle is US property marked. I'm just wonder what the mark on top of the receiver is.
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Old June 21, 2017, 12:53 AM   #4
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Old June 21, 2017, 07:05 AM   #5
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Question:
Quote:
IIRC? This rifle is US property marked. I'm just wonder what the mark on top of the receiver is.

Answer:
Quote:
IIRC, it is the Union of South Africa property mark.
Lend-lease guns were "loaned" (given) to England in WWII. In order to get around some stupid law or the other (the Neutrality Act?), the guns were marked "US Property". Once the British had them, they passed them around to other members of the Commonwealth.

BTW, your rifle is not a Mk1*. It is a No4Mk1*. I know it sounds petty, but there is an actual Enfield Mk1*. They were made around 1900 are a modified version of a Magazine Lee Enfield. The Mk1* designation was given to the rifles when the cleaning rod was omitted and they pretty much share no parts with the later No4 rifles.

The name for the new rifles was Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield, or SMLE.

Here is a picture of a 1903 Mk1* that has been converted to a Mk1**



Last edited by highpower3006; June 21, 2017 at 07:12 AM.
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Old June 21, 2017, 11:50 AM   #6
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"Lend-lease guns were "loaned" (given) to England in WWII. In order to get around some stupid law or the other (the Neutrality Act?), the guns were marked "US Property". Once the British had them, they passed them around to other members of the Commonwealth."

Yep.

Over the years I've seen "US Property" marked S&W revolvers with Canadian, British, Australian, New Zealand, South African, and Kenyan markings.

My guess on the Kenyan markings is that the gun made it to Britain as part of either Cash & Carry or Lend Lease, went to Kenya either during or sometime after the war, and remained in Kenyan hands after independence.
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Old June 21, 2017, 11:53 AM   #7
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Everybody and his Commonwealth brother that used No. 4's used 'em from wherever they came from and put their own stamp on it. The Broad Arrow in a 'U' is South African acceptance mark.
The picture of a 1903 Mk1* is a No. 3 Mk I** made in 1903. Not a "1903 Mk1*". No such thing as a "Magazine Lee Enfield" either. The 'S' in 'Sht LE' refers to the rifle's length, not the mag.
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Old June 21, 2017, 01:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
The picture of a 1903 Mk1* is a No. 3 Mk I** made in 1903. Not a "1903 Mk1*". No such thing as a "Magazine Lee Enfield" either. The 'S' in 'Sht LE' refers to the rifle's length, not the mag.
Sorry, you are wrong on this one.

The Lee Endfield was established as the Magazine Lee-Enfield in 1895. The rifle went through several design changes in it's service life including shortening the barrel, thus becoming the Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield or SMLE. SMLE's had several different marks including the MkI (in service from 1904-26), and a MkII (in service from 1906-27). It wasn't until 1907 that the pattern was called the MKIII.

Look at the receiver on the 1903 dated one I posted, it is clearly marked as a ShtLE Mk1*(*) a second star was added indicating an upgrade (I believe) to the 1907 bayonet. The new ShtLE was first introduced on 1 January 1904 and I suspect that the one I pictured was originally produced as a earlier pattern rifle and was almost immediately upgraded to the new pattern, thus gaining it's first upgrade star.

Nowhere on it is it identified as a No3 although it was further upgraded or rebuilt in 1915 which is the date of the rework mark on the left side of the butt socket. Interestingly enough, this particular rifle has survived all these years with the magazine cutoff and the windage adjustable sights.

Last edited by highpower3006; June 21, 2017 at 01:58 PM.
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Old June 21, 2017, 01:57 PM   #9
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Thank you for the answer on my question about the South African acceptance mark. I really appreciate it.

Anyone have any information on if the two different Savage marks are from different time periods? All the ones on this rifle with the exception of the one on the wood are a block style S without the square surrounding them. I'm curious because I'm looking for a replacement part and didn't know if the two styles of marks were mixed and matched or if I should seek out the block style S without the Box like I'm thinking so that everything is period-correct.

Last edited by Surp; June 21, 2017 at 02:06 PM.
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Old June 21, 2017, 07:47 PM   #10
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I have no idea why the two types of "S" marking, except that stamps were changed from time to time due to wear, breakage, etc. and often new ones would be made at that time. Changes to the stamp might or might not have any significance.

The British small arms nomenclature system is a study in itself. At the time in question, they were using a system of two names, the first being the name of the inventor (or manufacturer) of the weapon, the second the name of the inventor of the rifling system. So a rifle designated "Lee-Metford" would have a Lee action with Metford rifling*, and a "Lee-Enfield" would be the same action, but with the barrel having rifling developed at Enfield Lock.

Major changes were indicated by a change in "Mark" (model); minor changes as one or more "stars" following. Sometimes, to clarify, it is useful to read the nomenclature "backward", so SMLE stands for Lee-Enfield, magazine type, shortened. (As noted above, the "short" applies to the rifle, not to the magazine.)

HTH

Jim

*The Metford rifling system has what might be called "rounded" rifling, in contrast to the sharp-cornered Enfield rifling. Metford believed his rifling would be less susceptible to erosion; in fact, the opposite was the case. It was about that time that the British exerted a great amount of influence on the Japanese military; one result was that the rifles developed by Col. Arisaka were made with Metford rifling, often called "that funny Jap rifling" by Americans who encountered it during and after WWII.

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Old June 22, 2017, 09:43 AM   #11
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"The Metford rifling system has what might be called "rounded" rifling, in contrast to the sharp-cornered Enfield rifling. Metford believed his rifling would be less susceptible to erosion; in fact, the opposite was the case."

The Metford rifling profile employed not just a rounded or polygonal land, but very shallow grooves.

The intention was to make the bore easier to clean when using black powder, as black powder was still the standard propellant when the Lee-Metford was adopted.

Lee-Metford rifling worked as intended with black powder.

It wasn't until the much hotter burning, higher pressure cordite propellant was adopted as service standard in the .303 that problems began to appear and the rifling was changed to standard Enfield style, giving the Lee-Enfield rifle.

But, the problem wasn't with the rifling, the problem was with the early Cordite, which burned exceptionally hot due to the high nitroglycerine content and the soft early steels in use.

The same problems with rifling damage that plagued the Lee-Metford also showed up in Lee Enfield until two things happened:

1. Cordite was reformulated to reduce the nitroglycerine content.
2. Better, harder, and more durable steel blends were used in the barrels.

It should be noted that the Japanese employed Metford-style rifling starting with the 8mm Murata rifle and continuing with the Arisaka series of rifles, which were produced until 1945.

The apparent difference? The Japanese never adopted Cordite. Once they dropped black powder, they went to a single-base nitrocellulose powder, which burns significantly cooler than double-base powders like cordite.
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Old June 22, 2017, 10:01 AM   #12
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The Japanese also chrome plated their barrel bores, which had to help.
And their rifling plan is anything but shallow. A good Arisaka muzzle looks like a square with the corners rounded off.
The present fad of "polygonal" rifling is an obvious descendant of Metford rifling, even if Ol' Gaston's people had never seen one.
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Old June 22, 2017, 11:10 AM   #13
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"The Japanese also chrome plated their barrel bores, which had to help."

Chrome plating didn't come about until well after the adoption of the Arisaka and its Metford-style rifling, sometime in the late 1920s or early 1930s, and the Japanese didn't start chrome-plating their rifle bores until AFTER the start of general hostilities...

But, oddly enough, they started using chrome plating because their supplies of high quality steel suitable for use in rifle barrels had been greatly limited by the American embargo and they were trying to figure out how to make lower-quality mild steel more durable.

So, in a way, they were going forward while in reverse.

http://weaponsman.com/?p=12779
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Old June 23, 2017, 10:49 PM   #14
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The USP business was a bit trickier than that. Remember, the whole thing was run by FDR, as sneaky a so-and-so as we ever had as president up to Reagan. He was told that the Neutrality Act banned the US from giving or selling weapons to combatants, so some bright guy (FDR himself?) came up with the idea of "lending" war materiel to the Allies.

But you can't lend what you don't own, hence the USP marking.

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