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Lithgow Lee Enfield No1 MkIII/III*
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Not all JJCO were junk or bitsa's. As with any rifle, you have to carefully inspect and do your due diligence. I've made my share of mistakes and have a box of worthless "collectables" to prove it! :( However, I also have a 1941 JJCO Mk III Lithgow that is a great battle rifle with the magazine cut-off and the original barrel. Numbers match bolt, receiver, barrel, sight and nose. No number on the forestock. No FTR marks but at some stage it received a new bolt, which was numbered to the rifle - I don't think JJCO did this. Head spaces correctly (using Forster Field & Go gauges) but I have not fired it. Barrel is dated 3 '41, receiver dated 1941, stock dated 1941.
 

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As Doc Martini stated blackened brass was used as a war economy measure,Lithgow also made brass inner barrel band’s & blackened brass butt swivel brackets.
One thing I noticed on the OP rifle is they used a large head (nose cap front,side screw) Lithgow used a smaller head (counter dunce) flush type screw.
Cheer’s.
 

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Not all JJCO were junk or bitsa's
Exactly.

Some were parts guns
Some got new barrels
Some got refinished
Some weren't messed with at all

IMO this one is the third case. The rifle may be matching but the wood & metal "just ain't right".
 

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Not all JJCO were junk or bitsa's.
As I said in post #8 JJco bought everything that wasn't screwed down (and some that was) they purchased, (firearms wise), everything from the smallest screw to part builts, to rifles in for refurbishment, to finished rifles.

The rifles that were fully built and assembled by Lithgow were perfectly good, normal quality, lithgow rifles.. the rest ............ well ........... the put togethers leave a lot to be desired.
 

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Discussion Starter · #26 ·
JJCO was most often stamped in very small letters on the flat of the charger bridge where the bridge is attached to the right side of the receiver.
There is no JJCO stamp there or at the end of the barrel. Were they all marked that way with no exceptions?
 

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There is no JJCO stamp there or at the end of the barrel. Were they all marked that way with no exceptions?
No, but it "seems like" the ones they rebarreled are marked on the barrels:

Wood Gas Fixture Composite material Metal


They are commonly marked on the right side base of the charger bridge:

Sewing machine Wood Gas Bumper Machine
 

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Some were complete rifles.

 
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I have the almost identical rifle to you.
I bought it intentionally knowing it had been IMPORTED by JJ&CO.
There may, or may not be, something there. My "JJ&CO" (or whatever) stamp is darned near invisible, very lightly struck on the charger bridge as shown above. I literally had to use a 10X high quality loupe & some very fancy lighting to even find it. with the naked eye it looked like a machining blemish it was so light.
IT IS NOT A KISS OF DEATH if you find one. It is a warning to check deeper though.
Personally I'm like you a shooter not (primarily) a collector.
To a "Pure Collector" they are considered junk, but that's viewed from a Pure Collector's specialized (& rather narrow IMO) viewpoint. EVERYTHING MUST BE "STRAC", down to the most minute detail, except when there are exceptions.
I have no problem with the importation, but if it was one of the ones "assembled from buckets of random parts, with no fitting" then I be looking at it askance too.

BUT
There were 6000 absolute by the book Lithgow-Made, gauged, inspected & approved complete original rifles.
Then there were the "large number" (I can't find a head count), of rifles that had been issued & for some reason were back at the factory, overhauled & awaiting distribution back to "Stores" & eventually to the Military Districts & then on to the regiments as requested or needed.
Then there were the ones that Needed a "full to like new" "FTR" rifles. These were restored by the factory to 85% "Like New" condition. They are stamped "FTR" & so easy to tell.
To put it into perspective tens of thousands of SMLE's, maybe more, have been FTR'd worldwide. Almost nobody looks down on them.

Now we get to the gnarly stuff.
The "endless buckets of miscellaneous, random parts"
Yes, they existed
Yes JJ&CO did "fling together with no fitting" many many of them.
I'd avoid them, except as parts donors too.

But there's a lot of perfectly good blond Lithgow SMLE's out there mixed in with the trash.
You have to do a bit of detective work to sort the wheat from the chaff IMO.
Don't blindly accept the statement about recoil blocks being present or not as a blanket truth. That is simply not accurate.
Some factory rifles were not fitted with them at Lithgow.
Some were retrofitted in the field.
There are those knowledgeable experts that will argue that with full & correct fitting ("stocking up" of the metal to wood they are unnecessary), but with shoddy stocking up they are vital.

My rifle is suspect as a "bitster" to a Purist Collector, but that's not necessarily a flung together bucket of parts gun from the collectors viewpoint. Mine has been refinished & restocked. No argument, I knew that & accepted it as a shooter. Many SMLEs from all over the world have been FTR'd or restocked for some reason, but the Lithy blond with nice wood are a special case because they're a bit of a crap shoot.
Take out your magazine & pull the bolt.
Now look up inside & to the rear with a flashlight & ideally a dental mirror. You can just see the blocks if they are fitted, but you need to be a bit of a contortionist.
My 41 blond has them, yours might too.
This is NOT the whole story though. It is a big clue.

Door Wood Air gun Yellow Trigger


Wood Door Natural material Yellow Wood stain


Things like serial number format are another as are correct numbers & prefixes for the date of manufacture.
If it is "####A" or "####G" its more suspect than if its (like mine B #####) correct for 1941.
Fitting of parts, trigger pressures & "Feel" are good clues too.
Is there a second number UNDER the bolt handle, does it match its twin on the upper right rear of the receiver?
Do the serial numbers on the breech & rear of the bolt match?
These are all good things.
Get yer magnifying glass out Sherlock & have at it.
That area under the rear sight on mine is stamped 4 rows of letters/numbers
"L"
"HV"
"SC" (edited, thanks)
"MA41"
on the base of the actual sight, right by the hinge in tiny letters the (matching) serial number for the rifle
:love:
 

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Double check those blocks for correct angle and equal engagement.

You bought it second hand. There was the time when nearly every owner was installing their own. Some knew how. Some only thought/believed they knew how.
Don’t be surprised if they remind you of an electrical contact.
Perhaps bits of aluminum flat stock.
 

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Double check those blocks for correct angle and equal engagement.

You bought it second hand. There was the time when nearly every owner was installing their own. Some knew how. Some only thought/believed they knew how.
Don’t be surprised if they remind you of an electrical contact.
Perhaps bits of aluminum flat stock.
No problem I will.
Like I said "cautiously optimistic".
I just keep finding things that scream well made & fitted. Not what I'd expect from a "bucket special" This thing is as well fitted as my '55Faz mummy was.
Stock to butt socket tight & even, I can't even get a 3 thou feeler in there, I won't try a 1 or 2 I'm afraid I'll bugger them up.
Same with the hand guards & butt.
Bolt has the same "sticky" feeling as the '55Faz did too, till it broke in after a few hundred rounds.
Overclocking of the bolt head is (my best guess 2~3°) F/Pin protrusion is dead on, lug engagement is equal on both lugs at my estimated 35%.
Headspaces on a 0.067" Okie NO GO with about 1/4" bolt movement left at the knob
Trigger has a good clean 2 stage pull with consistent 3 1/2 Lbs at first stage, minimal creep & 5 1/2Lbs at second stage.
Under all the grime & grease the bore is bright sharp & fully rifled.
The main screw has been indexed with a witness line & is staked!
Once my RLO arrives (none locally) I'll pull from the stock give it a good drink & check into hidden things.
I don't know who did it, but they seem to have done a bang up job. Every bit as good as say the Lithgow factory!
 

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Double check those blocks for correct angle and equal engagement.

You bought it second hand. There was the time when nearly every owner was installing their own. Some knew how. Some only thought/believed they knew how.
Don’t be surprised if they remind you of an electrical contact.
Perhaps bits of aluminum flat stock.
As I'm sure you know these 'blocks' are identical in shape and size to the 'blocks' that trap the wiring in our old type domestic 240 volt mains 'plugs'.

They have been used for many years to fit into Lithgows assembled without the correct 'blocks'.

Many of the commonwealth nations used the same system of 'cable clamping' and speculation has it that they are what Lithgow used (and then had manufactured themselves) for the 'blocks'.

The modern plugs simply use the screw to trap the wires, with the old ones the screw pressed the 'brass block' down onto the wires and actually made a better contact, but, that's progress for you.

Modern plugs :

Circuit component Font Grass Electronic component Recreation
 

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Discussion Starter · #39 ·
Photos of the numbers. What story does this tell? As for removing the bolt and looking to the rear, I looked. Not sure what I am looking to see?

Bumper Wood Automotive exterior Gas Tints and shades
Bicycle handlebar Motor vehicle Bicycle part Automotive tire Wood
Trigger Automotive tire Motor vehicle Automotive lighting Bumper
 

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