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I figured that I would make my first post a good one! Over the weekend I got an Enfield rifle from my father-in-law that is in far from stellar shape. The stock is pretty much shot, it has a few missing parts, and the metal has a lot of pitting. However, I would like to get it put back together before Christmas and be able to tell a little about the rifle.

Here is the receiver:



Is Enfield the actual manufacturer and is 1917 the date of manufacture?

The bolt handle, receiver, barrel, and nose cap are stamps 432 with an X over or under it. I am guessing that 432 is a serial number, but what does the "X" mean?


There are also some marking on the bottom of the barrel that I do not know what to make of:


I apologize for the quality of the pictures, but a camera phone doesn't exactly produce museum quality pictures! If anyone can provide me with any information about this particular rifle or what these markings mean, I would be very thankful!
 

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Your rifle was indeed made in 1917 at the Enfield factory.

The X is part of the serial number.

You will find that a lot of countries will run serial numbers in blocks (1 to 99999, say) and then start over with 1A to 99999A, 1B to 99999B, etc.

The British did this, along with the Germans, the Russians, the Czechs, and a number of others. The Japanese also did a variation of this, using series marks instead of alphabetic codes (which their written language doesn't have).

A lot of those marks you mention are inspector's marks which were applied at the factory as the rifle and its parts passed certain inspection steps.

The '.303" 2.22" 18.5 Tons' marking was applied when it was proof tested as the rifle left British service to be sold on the civilian market, consistent with British proof laws at the time.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the clarification! For the most part all that I knew about the rifle was that it was purchased at a retail store in the Niagara Falls, NY area sometime in the late 50's. Are there any import marks that I should be looking for? The stock was stamped with a "362", but most of the other markings have either rotted away or replaced with plastic wood many years ago.
 
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