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Old March 27, 2012, 07:02 PM   #1
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British 303

I have a 303 that wife bought at a yard sale . If any one can give some info on it i would appreciate it.It has all the normal markings on it,2.222,8.5 tons per,bmp.on top of barrel in front of receiver it has a d with a circle around it.It6 has the Parker hale front of stuff is in pictures.!oZZ1QQcu!oZZ3QQcu!oZZ4QQcu!oZZ6QQcu!oZZ8QQcu
If i should post any thing please please let me know.
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Old March 27, 2012, 07:36 PM   #2
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Looks just like my 303 after I sporterized it in '61. I see nothing unusual in the photos so I assume it's one of the many thousands manufactured just prior to or during WW2.
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Old March 27, 2012, 10:14 PM   #3
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No.4 mk I....or is it No.1 Mk IV, I always get them confused.

Anyway, its is a WW II pattern SMLE with the stock sporterized to reduce the weight for hunting.

There should be a date and an arsenal marking on the metal between the fore and rear stocks.
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old March 28, 2012, 08:09 AM   #4
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A small correction if I may. The way British rifles were identified was changed so there is no "#4 S.M.L.E." rifle.

The original way of identifying was to have a descriptive name, such as M.L.E, (Magazine Lee-Enfield), or S.M.L.E. Short Magazine Lee Enfield. (the rifle was shorter,not the magazine.

This was changed to a [NUMBER] denoting an actual version, a [mark] meaning a revision to the basic model, & a [* asterisk, or star] meaning a minor update, not quite big enough of a change to be a full [mark] change.

The change happened at the time the older S.M.L.E. was being upgraded to the then new #4 model so the old S.M.L.E. became the Rifle No1 Mk III (or III*) depending on the fittings.

You have a #4 mk1 that has been turned into a sporting rifle by removing, cutting down & shortening/lightening the wood & metal. It has no collector value because of this but may be a very nice hunting rifle. Caliber should be .303 British, but check as some sporters were changed to different calibers. Have the smith check headspacing as well, this is changed with different bolt heads on the #4 & if the head has been swapped (or even the bolt) the headspace could be off. You have the simplified "L type flip rear sight that was set up for 300/500 yards with the original sights & bore, but you'll need to see where your zero is with the changes.

Your rifle seems to have been "scrubbed" (all the original markings removed) during factory rework at some time as there is usually a bunch of stuff stamped onto the right side of the butt socket. Yours has just "England" (an import mark) on the left hand side.
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”

Last edited by wogpotter; March 28, 2012 at 08:24 AM.
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Old March 28, 2012, 12:05 PM   #5
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Okey what you have is a Lee-Enfield No4 Mk1, the "D" with a circle around it is a proof mark (for what, I don't know), it should say 18 tons not 8 lol, the barrel is chambered for the .303" X 2.222" (.303 British) BUT HAVE IT CHECK ANYWAYS built anywhere from 1939 to 1957, since it's been sporterized it's only worth a couple hundred dollars.

44 AMP: they made a no1 mk4 from 1930 to 1933, only about 1000 rifles made though.

Last edited by Mr_Raw; March 28, 2012 at 12:11 PM.
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Old March 28, 2012, 01:15 PM   #6
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Try here:
for a catalog of the stamps & other marks. Enfields are famous (infamous?) for arcane stamps & hieroglyphs.

The proof (BNP, not BMP) should be 18.5 tonnes as has been said. The BNP stands for Birmingham Nitro Proof (from the Birmingham Proof House, London Proof House was just "NP") & was stamped when military rifles were released for civilian sale. The 18.5 tonnes was a system of pressure measurement in use at the time & doesn't mean it can take an 18,5 ton weight or anything, its just nomenclature that was in use.

There are makers marks, proof marks, ownership marks, inspector's stamps & so on so it takes a while to figure them all out & some you probably never will find as they were just "Inspector 12's" mark he checked something.
Allan Quatermain: “Automatic rifles. Who in God's name has automatic rifles”?

Elderly Hunter: “That's dashed unsporting. Probably Belgium.”

Last edited by wogpotter; March 28, 2012 at 01:22 PM.
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Old March 28, 2012, 04:17 PM   #7
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My brother has two, a No4 Mk 1 made in Canada, I believe, still full length stock, v heavy, which it needs to be since it kicks like a [email protected] He got that at an auction years ago for about a hundred bucks. He has another I found him that had been sporterized like this one. The guy I bought it from didn't like the kick on his repaired shoulder, so I got it for about the same price with most of a box of ammo.

Neither would be my choice for a purchase, but he likes them quite a bit.
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Old March 29, 2012, 11:14 AM   #8
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Your wife buys guns at yard sales? Wow!
Shoot low, sheriff. They're riding Shetlands!
Underneath the starry flag, civilize 'em with a Krag,
and return us to our own beloved homes!
Buy War Bonds.
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Old March 29, 2012, 06:25 PM   #9
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I bought a 1918 SMLE/No. 1 Mk III at a yard sale-here in NJ! It's all a matter of luck-and a healthy bank balance.
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Old March 29, 2012, 07:11 PM   #10
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If you have a wife that buys you guns at yard sales you better hang onto her. A wife like that is more rare than any gun you will ever find.
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Old June 24, 2012, 11:09 AM   #11
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Is the magazine missing or did you take it out?

Should be fun to shoot, I have one, it among my favorite rifles.

If you've never shot one, you will have to give the bolt a pretty quick fling to get it to eject properly. Knowing that may save you a future question.
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