Lithgow SMLE, Rifle No1 MkIII* 1941

The #1 community for Gun Owners of the Northeast

Member Benefits:

  • No ad networks!
  • Discuss all aspects of firearm ownership
  • Discuss anti-gun legislation
  • Buy, sell, and trade in the classified section
  • Chat with Local gun shops, ranges, trainers & other businesses
  • Discover free outdoor shooting areas
  • View up to date on firearm-related events
  • Share photos & video with other members
  • ...and so much more!
  • mawkie

    C&R Whisperer
    Sep 28, 2007
    3,885
    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
    1,548
    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.
     

    Attachments

    • DSCF4081.JPG
      DSCF4081.JPG
      527 KB · Views: 5
    Last edited:

    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
    1,548
    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
    1,548
    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:
     
    Last edited:

    BFMIN

    Active Member
    Nov 5, 2010
    1,548
    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.
     
    Top Bottom