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Discussion Starter #1
I have a line on an unfired one but I have only seen pics not the gun in the flesh. The stock appears made of a dark wood. Where any of them made with walnut stocks, I have been led to believe they were at best made of maple? I have always liked the walnut stocks as found on some English guns.

Sights: What was the most common rear sight used on the Long Branch? I have always liked the English micro meter sight as found on my Jungle Carbine but I have little hope of finding this quality sight on the Long Branch produced guns. Did any of them have it?

What is your opinion on the North American produced short cut, in other words that of slotting the receiver instead of putting in the more positive English plunger bolt release. I have heard some people complain that the slotted guns do experience problems with functioning on some worn models that are slot cut, especially if the ends of the slot are chipped.

Lastly what is your opinion on the best workmanship between the English, American and Canadian produced guns? Which had the better machining?

Which manufacturer is noted as being the more accurate?

Which had better barrel lapping?

So far I am leaning towards a nice early war English gun with walnut stock and micrometer rear sight and plunger style bolt release.

Which ENGLISH manufacturer had the best workmanship and accuracy?

Of course it may be hard to pass up the unfired Long Branch as well? When in doubt buy them all.
 

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So far I am leaning towards a nice early war English gun with walnut stock and micrometer rear sight and plunger style bolt release.
That's the way I'd lean. I happen to be a Maltby fan; my two (a '42 & a '43) are pretty consistent 2 or 2.5 MOA shooters, and I have no doubt that they could better that with a more highly skilled driver behind the wheel.

That said, there is an awfully large crowd of Long Branch enthusiasts out there; and they are certainly fine rifles. The fit and finish on the N. American rifles is possibly a bit nicer as there were no bombs raining down here. I've just never warmed up to the Mk1* configuration.
 

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Long Branch qns

Regarding the Long Branch rifles

Where any of them made with walnut stocks
Yes, quite a few, all my post war ones are walnut.

I have always liked the English micro meter sight as found on my Jungle Carbine but I have little hope of finding this quality sight on the Long Branch produced guns. Did any of them have it?
Yes, but finding an original LB marked one on a rifle is pretty difficult. They seem to have used a lot of the 2 position flips during war production and after the war they do not seem to have gone back to producing the Mk 1 milled sight like the British, but rather went with the stamped adjustable sight developed during the war. Then again it is not hard to substitute a Mk 1 "temporarily" for shooting. As an aside, the boxes of Mk 1 sights that AIM sold about a year ago seem to have been mostly LB marked refinished sights.

So far I am leaning towards a nice early war English gun with walnut stock and micrometer rear sight and plunger style bolt release.
My unscientific looking through many rifles indicates you have a better shot at a good functioning rifle from about 1943 onward, unless gone through FTR. Maltby maybe earlier, like 1942. Wartime relaxation of standards seem to have happened nearly immediately. There are not too many wartime dated British No. 4s with a Mk. 1 sight unless they went through FTR.

Which had better barrel lapping?
I think that went out with the SMLE.
 

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i think you need to take a deep breath , i dont belive the "unfired" hype stories with these rifles ,

the walnut was quite common , there are beech as well but you will find them equally pleasing , other woods you will see right away and can avoid if you dont like them ,

the mkI bolt release is nice but the mkI* simplification was a bit less cumbersome really , but by all means get what you prefer as both are available ,

the flip peep is less user friendly for target shooting , the mkI micrometer is available on both the british and canadian rifles - there is a simpler variation that uses a spring loaded slide in leiu of the screwdriven , and both work great [i have both- i know] you will like eather i believe ,

if you want the best - i think you would prefer the mk2 , it has the better trigger and the sights as well as the bolt release , and you are more likely to find a wrapped one of those that truely is close to unfired ,

you didnt mention it but i think you might prefer the fluted top handguard as well - mostly cosmetic but it 'feels' a bit better in the hand to me
 

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"What is your opinion on the North American produced short cut, in other words that of slotting the receiver instead of putting in the more positive English plunger bolt release. I have heard some people complain that the slotted guns do experience problems with functioning on some worn models that are slot cut, especially if the ends of the slot are chipped." --bph9

It works fine. The Mk.I* bolt-heads were beveled for and aft to transit the slot. The beveling isn't documented and appears more of a running change. Chipping of the slot usually usually indicates an unbeveled bolt-head was/is in the rifle. FWIW, the slot is actually an English consideration that wasn't implemented there. Savage and Long Branch changed the location of the slot and the rest is history.

"Lastly what is your opinion on the best workmanship between the English, American and Canadian produced guns? Which had the better machining?" --bph9

Workmanship is pretty equal across all of the manufacturers. I know that sounds like a cop-out, but it's true. (Like jrhead, I'm a Maltby fan and everybody has a favorite manufacturer.)

"Which manufacturer is noted as being the more accurate?" --bph9

Pretty much the same answer as above.

"So far I am leaning towards a nice early war English gun with walnut stock and micrometer rear sight and plunger style bolt release." --bph9

This will take a bit of luck and a lot of patience, but worth the hunt.

"Which ENGLISH manufacturer had the best workmanship and accuracy?" --bph9

BSA-Shirley consistantly had the best finish throughout the war years tho' all were pretty equal up to about mid '43.

"Of course it may be hard to pass up the unfired Long Branch as well? When in doubt buy them all." --bph9

Unless it's in cosmo (still not iron clad) it's been fired/issued, IMHO.

Regards, Brad
 

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That's the way I'd lean. I happen to be a Maltby fan; my two (a '42 & a '43) are pretty consistent 2 or 2.5 MOA shooters, and I have no doubt that they could better that with a more highly skilled driver behind the wheel.

That said, there is an awfully large crowd of Long Branch enthusiasts out there; and they are certainly fine rifles. The fit and finish on the N. American rifles is possibly a bit nicer as there were no bombs raining down here. I've just never warmed up to the Mk1* configuration.
Hush now! Maltby is a name some of us do not wish to have bandied about. LB fans are correct in leaving the Maltby sitting in the rack. Not a nicely finished example of the No.4 at all. Rough sort of rifle. All other arsenals produced nicer looking rifles.
 

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"Hush now! Maltby is a name some of us do not wish to have bandied about. LB fans are correct in leaving the Maltby sitting in the rack. Not a nicely finished example of the No.4 at all. Rough sort of rifle. All other arsenals produced nicer looking rifles."

1 Picture=1000 Words, my 1941 Maltby.
-----krinko
 

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Arfter looking at that 1941 Maltby I have strange thoughts about taking out to international waters and marrying it.

cheers,
Lachy.
 

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I was fortunate enough to find an all matching number No4 Mk1* Longbranch last year. It is an IAC mid-80's import to the USA. It is in original as manufactured finish, wood and metal about 98%+, mirror bore. Beveled bolt head with perfect cut slot and no chipping. A 1943 example and I just found a Canadian Marked bayonet and scabbard w/frog for it. Lovely rifle, with a "B" marked milled micrometer rear sight, and the rich, deep red brown furniture, possibly beech or maple I think. You cannot go wrong with a beautiful Canadian No1 MkI*, wartime manufactured but nicely made without bombs dropping in the middle of production and other such distractions.
I was very lucky, as I happended into a shop where they had 55 pieces of an estate collection for sale by the family. Many of the enfield pieces had been buffed out in factory refinishing, faded markings and the black shiney suncorite paint applied over the metal. I avoided most, but cherry picked out original finished rifles with clear original markings, and mirror bores. I bought the best pieces in the whole collection. Prices were very high on each single piece, but I negotiated and bought the matching numbers Longbranch, a matching number No4 Mk II Faz, and a 1942 Savage No 4 Mk I* all in the same condition, all for under $225 USD each, and added a nice very good + original condition No.5 for $300 more. All the rifles were from the mid-80s or earlier and the family was willing to discount them some 35% if I bought them all at the same time on the spot. I could not resist, so wrote the check and now have my dream Enfields, all in a row. Macaroni and cheese with hot dogs (American Bangers) for a few weeks was a small price to pay!
---DD
 

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1 Picture=1000 Words, my 1941 Maltby.
That picture always has me looking towards international waters myself! :D

A real gem.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Just got back from a gun show and bought a gorgious No4 MKI. Outside finish on stock about 95 per cent and metal is about 95 per cent. Stock appears to be walnut with a lot of figure in the forward stock.

Finish appears actually to be a varnish, is this original finish?

My question is this, its dated 1943 and has FTR stamped on the stock. Under the 1943 date is stamped either BC or BG , looks more like BG to me. Is this the manufacturer and if so which manufacturer was BG?

Bore is very bright and shiny but not mirror, I really cannot tell this time whether the bore was not lapped enough when made or whether it really is slightly frosted. It has 4 grooves.

A buddy of mine bought a Savage that looked all the world to be unfired, the bayonet was locked onto the gun with dried cosmoline. His bore was a two groove but it looked mirror bright. It shot my cast bullet loads very accurately. I have not got a chance to shoot my gun yet.
 

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The 'BC' or 'BG' is the serial number prefix, and with a '43 date, it's likely to be a Maltby. Is the s/n 5 digits long beginning with '1'?

FTR stamped on the stock? There's something you don't see every day. Same with a 4 groove barrel. I was under the impression that those were only found on a relatively few Savage rifles.

Any chance of pictures?
 

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obviously we all think alike , toung-in-cheek aside , the no4 in good nick will be very pleaseing in all manufacturers , there are no unfired examples - they were all test fired , and there are very few that escaped issue = more fireing , but you could find a close to unfired mk2 or a rearsenal that was stored with little handling ,
you will be happy with any manufacturer in very good nick , just look before you buy as recent imports have more use ,
all my currently held no4 rifles are FAZ & LONGBRANCH , but ive had BSA , MALTBY , SAVAGE and cant cast a stone at any of those , i know nothing of the POF but cant see why these would not be equaly cherished by their owners ,
good luck on your purchase and enjoy , welcome to the enfields addict club
 

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Discussion Starter #15
The serial number is 4 digits long starting with 1. Is the serial no. the way you trace the manufacturer?

Made a mistake on the stock its stamped FR

Took another look at the bore ,its a 5 groove.
 

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A 4 digit s/n would make it a BSA Shirley produced rifle., probably late '43, judging from the prefix. 5 groove barrel is right, most mid war Maltbys seem to have two groove barrels...nasty inaccurate things that they are (is that better, bezoar? ;) :D).

As for being beautiful...I have no trouble believing that. I've got a '43 BSA that's an obviously well used veteran, and the wood is still eye-popping. It looks like it belongs on an expensive old piano or something. It's a fatter profile than any of my other No.4 forestocks and does have an almost varnished look to it. I wish the I had a picture that would do it justice.
 

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Helping out here, with a Beautiful BSA photograph. It's not a 1943, it's 1944, but it is used and does have a fabulous finish on the furniture.*
Get a camera, jrhead----just pass on one rifle and you will be able to swing the cash. It will only hurt for a little while.
-----krinko





Alliteration brought to you by Miss Counts' English Class.
 

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I've got a camera, such as it is, but will have to wait until about July for good enough weather to take any outdoor pics around here. That or invest in some good indoor lighting.

Here's the best I can do with the flash...
 

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I should also mention that it has a stained beech butt.
 

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A 4 digit s/n would make it a BSA Shirley produced rifle., probably late '43, judging from the prefix. 5 groove barrel is right, most mid war Maltbys seem to have two groove barrels...nasty inaccurate things that they are (is that better, bezoar? ;) :D).

As for being beautiful...I have no trouble believing that. I've got a '43 BSA that's an obviously well used veteran, and the wood is still eye-popping. It looks like it belongs on an expensive old piano or something. It's a fatter profile than any of my other No.4 forestocks and does have an almost varnished look to it. I wish the I had a picture that would do it justice.
Well... I doubt that anyone is going to take your disclaimer very seriously but I may find fortune in some few believing it. I would have added "lacking a fine metal finish and having a second-rate final wood result" and several other distractors as they might have come to mind.

Speaking of outdoor/seasonal photography and poor internal lighting conditions - can anyone give some help with indoor lighting/backgrounds/reflectors, etc.?

No doubt about it, the BSAs tend to be beautiful rifles; as do the LBs. Mention of the POF brings to mind the fact, I believe, that Wah produced its No.4s on BSA machinery - I held a POF for a time and considered it easily the equal of any fine BSA from the U.K.
 
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