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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Hello! Please tell me the history of the Enfield N2 Mk I/II revolvers of the WWII period is interesting. I have compiled some brief information on the main options. If anyone shares a photo or additional information, I will be grateful to you!
Thank!


These versions were produced:
1.Enfield N2 Mk I.
Developed in 1926-1930. Mostly copied from Webley Mk IV .38/200. Introduced into service with the British Army in 1932.




2.Enfield N2 Mk I*.
It was distinguished by the absence of a protrusion on the hammer, which clung to protruding parts in armored vehicles (hence the nickname "tankers revolver"), and by the presence of a self-cocking (simpler) double-action mechanism that did not allow firing from a pre-cocked trigger.




3.Enfield N2 Mk I**.
Simplified wartime model. Created in 1942 as a technologically simplified version of the Mk I* without a fuse. There were also versions with a barrel shortened by 1 inch (?). The production of the second modification did not last long.




4.Enfield N2 Mk II.
Option Enfield N2 Mk I* with improved grip. (?)
no photo
 

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In your description of the **, what is a fuse?

Also, I have seen photos of a revolver with a hammer spur dovetailed back onto the revolver. I do not know if the DA/SA functionality was also restored.


-gonzo. ISO ac42 mag #4848b, PPK mag #285129K-2, P38 IV box
 

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If you see one with the barrel shortened, it was done after military service.
The ** version omits the safety stop, and the slot in the body in which it moves up and down. These versions are unsafe if dropped.
 

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There is no Mk2 version.

And the removal of the hammer spur to the Mk1* wasn’t to satisfy the tankies. It was a change in British Army Doctrine. It just so happened the Tank Corp asked for a spurless hammer and that is what became folklore as a sales ploy. In reality the British Army knew the days of an average officer/soldier being a pistol marksman was over and that the pistol would only be used for close in, last resort snap shooting in self defence. No need for a fancy, nicely finished revolver anymore.
 

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There is no Mk2 version.

And the removal of the hammer spur to the Mk1* wasn’t to satisfy the tankies. It was a change in British Army Doctrine. It just so happened the Tank Corp asked for a spurless hammer and that is what became folklore as a sales ploy. In reality the British Army knew the days of an average officer/soldier being a pistol marksman was over and that the pistol would only be used for close in, last resort snap shooting in self defence. No need for a fancy, nicely finished revolver anymore.
brit plumber,

WHO was responsible for the British adoption of the ANEMIC .38 S&W cartridge over the .455 round? Is this another example of "Military Intelligence?" Just asking. Be Well.

Webley
 

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I don’t have a definitive answer but I suspect it was down to a change in Doctrine again. The .38 already being in use, cheaper to produce and easier to use and be trained upon than the .455

Perhaps they also knew the colonial days were numbered and with it, the need for a man stopper. I would imagine all the armies involved in WW1 probably saw that killing a man removed him from the battle. But injuring a man removed him, and many more men to evacuate him from the battle and the medical support and the demoralising effect of seeing your mates suffering.

They tried to improve the .38 S&W with the 200g bullet but it was soon replaced.

Hopefully others may chime in with their thoughts as it’s a lesser discussed historical matter than the gun itself
 

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brit plumber,

Where are you residing? I own far too many SMLEs, Webleys and Enfields. I would like to know WHY the Brits adopted the Anemic .38 S&W round as their Military cartridge in the 1930s ? I can only assume the Committee knew little about handgun cartridges. The .38 S&W round was a lesser mouse burp. Whatever?

Webley
 

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The version I read said they found the 200 grain lead bullet -somewhat similar to the 200 grain bullet 38 Special Super Police load-was just as good a man stopper as the .455 and the late great Bill Jordan noted that the 38 Special was the most powerful round the average man could be expected to master.
I wonder if part of their thinking was adopt an issued handgun and get away from the proliferation of privately owned handguns-officers purchased their own back then. Makes it easier for the armored at repair time.
 

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A good book is shown here:


Allweaponsww2 is almost right about the versions... he just got a little confused.

The No. 2 Mk 1 had the Mk 1 grips - the wood ones.

The No. 2 Mk 1* had the Mk 2 grips - the "improved" bakelite grips with the thumb-rest.

The No. 2 Mk 1** also had the Mk 2 grips.

The other comments about the changes are correct as far as they go.

The change from Mk 1 to Mk 1* consisted of: "bobbing" the hammer spur or replacing it with the new design hammer, lightening the mainspring from 13-15 ft-lbs to 11-13 ft-lbs or replacing it with the new design mainspring, and replacing the Mk 1 grips with the Mk 2 grips.

Note that the change order (§B2289) from No. 2 Mk 1 to No. 2 Mk 1* (issued June 1938) included the line "No. 2 Mk 1 pistols will be converted to Mk 1* pattern as and when they are passed through Ordnance Factories for repair".

The change (§B6712) to Mk 1** involved changes to the design of the body, hammer, and trigger to eliminate the holes, recesses, & slots for the safety stop. The order also required that if a Mk 1 or Mk 1* pistol required repairs to the safety stop, the stop was to be simply removed, and the second asterisk applied to the Mk #.

Thus, there are not many original-condition Mk1 pistols around.


However, I was lucky enough to find and purchase this one (refinished over some rust pitting, but it functions and shoots very well)! All serial numbers match (of course).

 

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The round was chosen specifically because it was so docile a round - the experience of mass-conscripts in WW1 with the .455 Webley showed that lightly-trained "hostilities-only" soldiers had difficulty handling the recoil, with resulting poor accuracy - so they went a bit far in the other direction.

In addition, the lower-power round allowed the pistol to be lightened significantly, weight also being a strong complaint concerning the Webley of WW1.

Unfortunately, lengthening the cylinder to accommodate the .38 Special round would have negated much of the desired weight savings, and the "form over function" thinking of those who do not have to rely on the end result for their survival dominated.


The original .38/200 round did indeed have a 200gr bullet - the initial tests in 1921 showed that the US-standard .38 S&W ammo was too weak* - so in August 1922 a new round (Mk 1) was tentatively approved - with a 200gr uncoated lead bullet and a new UK-specific powder load (2.8 gr of Neonite, or 3.7gr of cordite) that increased the muzzle energy (~190 ft-lbs).

Of course, the lawyers had to have their say, and the uncoated lead bullets were deemed to violate the international ban on "expanding/dum-dum projectiles", and a 178gr copper-coated bullet was substituted (Mk 2)**.



* the test weapon was a break-top S&W "pocket model", with the expected low-powered powder load!

** The test rounds for the jacketed bullets in the mid-1930s were 189gr - the acceptance of the 178gr bullets was based on the performance of the 189gr ones!
 

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The bakerlite grips weren’t improved, they were gas impervious and were replacements for all walnut grips. They were introduced separately to the Mk1* but it coincided with Mk1* production. The original thumb test grips were walnut, there were versions with and without the marker disc and there’s a version without the thumb rest on one side which is extremely rare and believed only a test sample. Later in service, there was an EMER to remove the thumbrest from the right grip on both walnut and bakerlite grips so these shouldn’t confused with a bubba mod.
 

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Thanks for the info - that thumbrest doesn't work with my hand shape, so if I want a "bobbed" No. 2 Mk 1 (either * or **) I'll look for one without the thumbrest.

My "improved" was to connect the Mk 2 grips with the misunderstanding of the earlier poster about the grip change being a new pistol mark. The bakelite grips were considered an "improved" design over the walnut grips.

I've handled a No. 2 Mk 1*, and I don't consider the bakelite grips an improvement at all - the walnut grips fit my hand (large palm, short stubby fingers) very well - and the presence of the hammer spur is definitely superior for me to the bobbed hammer.
 

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A friend of the family (who was Tank crew in WW2)once told My Father That most of them carried a pistol to use on themselves in the event of the tank taking a hit and leaving them trapped in the burning wreckage.Presumably Germans did likewise by carrying Walther Model 9s and similar .25 pistols.
 

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I am not an Enfield collector but I do have this one Australian example as Australian manufactured weapons (back in the day when this country actually had manufacturing) are one of my interests. I understand these were made in only very small numbers.
Air gun Trigger Gun barrel Revolver Gun accessory
Wood Automotive exterior Bicycle part Auto part Metal

Automotive tire Revolver Light Motor vehicle Tread
 
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