Lithgow SMLE, Rifle No1 MkIII* 1941

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  • mawkie

    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    3,916
    Catonsville
    Thanks. There's some discussion whether its "too nice"
    -Thanks for posting the fantastic photos. You weren't exaggerating about condition. When you find something this pristine there are 3 scenarios...
    1.) Unissued - Harder to swallow with a '41 date. Cannot imagine any SMLE assembled in '41 didn't make it into the field, not with the Japanese knocking on your doors and Australia desperate for small arms.
    2.) FTR (Factory Through Repair) - Much more likely with many wartime SMLEs getting refurbished post war then put into reserve storage when the SLR was adopted in the late 50's.
    3.) Assembled from NOS or refurbed components post war. JJ got a massive pile of spares along with rifles from reserve stores. I've got one of the No2 MKIV .22 trainers that was built by JJ using a spare barrelled action. It got a unique JJ stamped SN so easy to ID. All of the JJ assembled No1s using NOS spare actions have a unique JJ assigned "A" suffix, unlike yours which has a correct B series prefix. So not a NOS action. Don't think JJ refinished any actions, though I have no proof of this, just my observations over time.
    -At this point I'm leaning towards you having a factory refinished barrelled action that was installed into a NOS stock set as I don't see any FTR refurb marks and it has an original SN. It's also possible that it has the original metal finish though I'd be surprised that if that was the case. Just too pristine.
    -In cases like this my go-to component is the nose cap. If my guess is correct the nose cap will not have a matching SN or be blank (another NOS part). If the action and stock set left the factory mated the nose cap will have a matching SN.
    That said, I defer to 303 Enfield as his knowledge in all things Enfield is superior to mine. Love to hear what he thinks.
     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    Sounds about right.
    I bought it as a Factory refurb (new woodwork & refinished, but not a full FTR) that had been bought by JJ&CO.
    I does not have the ####A serial numbers though.
    Nor is there a "G" prefix
    I've also found a bunch of B ##### serialized rifles that are virtually identical.
    I can NOT find a "JJ& Co" stamp. Others swear they can right here, on the lug for the charger bridge. There's something there, but I get ?E7?????F at best.

    nosecap is unserialled as is the forearm.
    Depending on who you talk to many (including some Aussie mates, who have contact with Lithy workers), claim nose cap serials were dropped at some time. This is pretty controversial, as is the black Park which they also remember, though.
     

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    Doco Overboard

    Active Member
    I can NOT find a "JJ& Co" stamp. Others swear they can right here, on the lug for the charger bridge. There's something there, but I get ?E7?????F at best.
    It could be marked just underside of the charger bridge on the right side. If the main screw is staked I can see why you wouldn't want to pull it apart.
    It also looks like it has some green paint in front of the knox and in some of the lettering on the wrist socket. Faint remnants or very tiny flecks.
    I looked through the Lithgow survey and your right plenty of B marked rifles just like it.
    Also plenty of bodies manufactured well before the barrel date and then paired up in 40-42 time frame.
    There was some interesting discussion centered around the two different types of proof marks on barrels/bodies from very near the same time period.
    Also blued backsight bed and slight contrast to rest of rifle finish was the talking point on some, but not many examples that were listed.
     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    It could be marked just underside of the charger bridge on the right side. If the main screw is staked I can see why you wouldn't want to pull it apart.
    It also looks like it has some green paint in front of the knox and in some of the lettering on the wrist socket. Faint remnants or very tiny flecks.
    I looked through the Lithgow survey and your right plenty of B marked rifles just like it.
    Also plenty of bodies manufactured well before the barrel date and then paired up in 40-42 time frame.
    There was some interesting discussion centered around the two different types of proof marks on barrels/bodies from very near the same time period.
    Also blued backsight bed and slight contrast to rest of rifle finish was the talking point on some, but not many examples that were listed.
     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    I think that might be the results of me using a "non-marring" Right! Tool to pop the lower hand-guard off? :tantrum:
     
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    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    Can anyone confirm the small piece of wood between the rear of the Main Screw & the Front of the magazine well was omitted on the Coach-wood stocks at the factory?
    I haven't taken it down yest as I'm awaiting some stuff I want to use when I reassemble & I don't want to break it down twice if I don't need to. On everything else I've seen its present but the Aussie stocks had some differences to them because f the wood used.
     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    After a little "birthday".
    A couple of coats of RLO thoroughly rubbed in.
    A nice new 1907 sling.
    A center (main) bolt sling swivel (I do this on all my Lee-Enfields).
    & the frosting on the cake a "Central No4" peep sight on a "Universal" mount, with a 6-hole eyepiece.
    Just ignore the "odd" brass headed bolt, its a "spare" mounting bolt in an oddball thread & I didn't want to loose it so I used an unused eye relief mounting hole to keep it in.
     

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    mawkie

    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    3,916
    Catonsville
    Wow, an Aussie Central sight! Good job mounting it, very tidy setup.
    You don't run across them often.
    I had a Lithgow ex-cadet rifle with a Central that's now consigned to auction with Redding. Hopefully it'll come to auction soon as it's been with them since last Oct.
     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    I just have to figure out if its a 1/2 moa, 1/3 moa, or 1/4 moa clicks one!
    If the sight is rare, the manual for it is Dilithium-Unobtanium!
     

    TI-tick

    Active Member
    MDS Supporter
    A little google fu seems to indicate 1/3 MOA and perhaps a source for a copy of instructions?


     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    Thanks.
    No instructions I could find,
    I did send a PM to the guy with the picture of the screw as it seems to be resting on a set though.
    including:
    but lots of good info there.
    3 clicks to the minute in vertical and horizontal plane, no backlash
    Very good condition, little use. Has large threaded hole to accept fitment of Centra or Gehmann irises”!


    Oohh!


    Be still, my heart!:party29:
     
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    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    "Victoria" my 1914 BSA with the A.G. Parker No9W & "close up" mount (front)
    &
    "Bruce" (an Ausse objected to "Sheilah") with the Central No4 sight both now with 1907 slings (rear)
    Hopefully off to Marshyhope R&G to sight in & zero this weekend.
     

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    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    Update:
    OK she's a shooter!
    Got to go to Marshyhope Rod & Gun range & zeroed her
    She prefers 175 Gr Sierras to 150 Gr Hornadys, just like my other SMLE. Targets 1 & 3 were with Sierras, 2 was the Hornadys.
    I haven't fired in almost 2 1/2 years & the rifle, range, sling, & sight are all new to me so I'm pretty happy for slung unsupported off a bench at 100 yds.

    I messed up on target 1, I think with a 4th sighter! S1, S2 & S3 were my sighting & adjusting rounds from the 25 yd bore sight & basic zero
    I think the Central sight is 1/2 MOA, not 1/3 MOA clicks as it seemed to be over correcting when I used 3 clicks to the inch. Next time I'll "do a box" & see.
     

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    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    Some Central info:

    From an antipodal comrade that doesn't frequent boards!


    There was no "manual" as such for the Central No.4 sights. A flimsy A4ish sized sheet of instructions was folded into the red tin or cardboard box in which the sight was stored. I have never seen one in person, but I have found a few photos on the internet that I downloaded. There are not many of the flimsy sheets left around, probably because the paper was so thin and flimsy that they soon fell apart or were lost. I was able to get someone to copy one for me some time ago (2009 according to the jpg) and that is attached to this. Also another little bit of info. The Central No.4 range plate calibrated for 7.62 is also the same scale for .303 Mk.VII up to 500 yards. Hope that helps mate.
    Central pages.JPG


    Central sight instructions.jpg

    & That's all she wrote apparently.
     

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,589
    Western MD
    OK I have sourced the "LeverLock screw"
    I'm trading it for a "trucker's hat" with a place in Oztralia.
    Slight issue, whats a "truckers hat"?
    I assume a ball cap?
     

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