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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi for everyone, and thanks in advance.
After some nights reading about Enfields, I don't have all the answers to my questions, so please, I need some help to confirm my presumptions about my Enfiled and its history. For this purposes, I'm posting some pictures.
I think that this is the original Nº 780.788 service rifle, model No 4 MI I, built in late 1943 by Savage Arms to The British Goverment under The Lend-Lease agreement. Despite the extensive discussion there about the meaning of FR, this stamp is on buttstock right side, and the stamp 7 51 on the lower side of buttstock indicate (or probably) it was field/factory repaired, somewhere in England on July 1951 (by who?). This beauty was rebarreled with a new Long Branch (LB stamp) 2 twist unit (by gunsmith or inspector 4?). Although word "ENGLAND" export mark isn't stamped on receiver ring, the barrel has the NP Nitro Proof test done in England to all rifles for export (to where?. NO US Federal import mark code). I'm aware that some companies or regiments mark their number in lower side of forend, but I'm not sure what they mean in my original Savage first variation forend (7 CO = 7th Company??, 07 C( )=??).
Another mystery to my are:
* The marks on the bottom of the action body (inspector marks),
* The letter P and the rare stamp (inspector crown?) on upper side of bolt handle,
* A No 1 in the lower side of bolt handle,
* The same rare stamp (crown?) on bolt handle is also stamped on receiver, right side,
* Why the serial number is stamped on lower side of magazine?
* 3 C W stamp on buttstock lower side, above to the 7 51 stamp.
* Some letters and numbers stamped around the action body and barrel (4, 5, 8, K, E).

I hope that the knowledge on the subject of many of you can help.

Regards
Enrique

PD: Excuse my English, but I live outside the US.
 

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Hi for everyone, and thanks in advance.
After some nights reading about Enfields, I don't have all the answers to my questions, so please, I need some help to confirm my presumptions about my Enfiled and its history. For this purposes, I'm posting some pictures.
I think that this is the original Nº 780.788 service rifle, model No 4 MI I, built in late 1943 by Savage Arms to The British Goverment under The Lend-Lease agreement. Despite the extensive discussion there about the meaning of FR, this stamp is on buttstock right side, and the stamp 7 51 on the lower side of buttstock indicate (or probably) it was field/factory repaired, somewhere in England on July 1951 (by who?). This beauty was rebarreled with a new Long Branch (LB stamp) 2 twist unit (by gunsmith or inspector 4?). Although word "ENGLAND" export mark isn't stamped on receiver ring, the barrel has the NP Nitro Proof test done in England to all rifles for export (to where?. NO US Federal import mark code). I'm aware that some companies or regiments mark their number in lower side of forend, but I'm not sure what they mean in my original Savage first variation forend (7 CO = 7th Company??, 07 C( )=??).
Another mystery to my are:
* The marks on the bottom of the action body (inspector marks),
* The letter P and the rare stamp (inspector crown?) on upper side of bolt handle,
* A No 1 in the lower side of bolt handle,
* The same rare stamp (crown?) on bolt handle is also stamped on receiver, right side,
* Why the serial number is stamped on lower side of magazine?
* 3 C W stamp on buttstock lower side, above to the 7 51 stamp.
* Some letters and numbers stamped around the action body and barrel (4, 5, 8, K, E).

I hope that the knowledge on the subject of many of you can help.

Regards
Enrique

PD: Excuse my English, but I live outside the US.
The serial number is actually 78 C 0788 which means that is it the 780,788th rifle built at the Savage (C = Chicopee) factory.

If a rifle is marked with 'England' that is an IMPORT mark from the receiving country - it is NOT an EXPORT mark, we did not mark for export.

The NP mark means it has been proof tested in the UK for sale to the UK civilian gun trade, so, it was sold to a UK civilian dealer and then either to a UK civilian, or to a US importer. The NP is NOT an export mark.

Hope that is a help for some of the markings.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Dear Sir:
Thanks for your time to answer me. In reference to the word ENGLAND, I took the reference form Charles R. Stratton Manual, Vol. 2, page 32, "British Export Marks. "...This indicates that the rifle was approved for export." I think it means this is approved for export from UK to another country. I will apreciate your opinion.
 

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A couple of minor things to add.
Looking at your close up pf the bolt head I see the cut in the rail for bolt removal. That would make your rifle a No4 Mk1* (The star indicating a revised design) which is more likely in late '43 than the (no star) which signified simplified wartime production shortcuts.

"ENGLAND" might possibly have been stamped in England, but if it was it was the pre 1968 U.S. "Import Mark" requirement that specified the "Country of Origin" had to be marked. This in turn led to some confusion as Australian made rifles had to be stamped "ENGLAND" as it was where the design came from, not the individual specimen.

"NP" was the London Proof House, there were 2, one in London & another in Birmingham, they used "BNP" mostly.
 

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A couple of minor things to add.
Looking at your close up pf the bolt head I see the cut in the rail for bolt removal. That would make your rifle a No4 Mk1* (The star indicating a revised design) which is more likely in late '43 than the (no star) which signified simplified wartime production shortcuts.

"ENGLAND" might possibly have been stamped in England, but if it was it was the pre 1968 U.S. "Import Mark" requirement that specified the "Country of Origin" had to be marked. This in turn led to some confusion as Australian made rifles had to be stamped "ENGLAND" as it was where the design came from, not the individual specimen.

"NP" was the London Proof House, there were 2, one in London & another in Birmingham, they used "BNP" mostly.
I think there will always be a debate about the ENGLAND stamp being either a Import or a Export stamp, a large percentage of No5s in NZ have the ENGLAND stamp but we have no requirements for import/export stamps on firearms so to us its a Export stamp as it was stamped in England (& imo that makes it a Export stamp no matter where you are) if they were stamped on arrival then its a import stamp.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Dear Sir, thank you to take your time to answer me.
* You are right. This is a No4 MK1*, with U.S. PROPERTY stamp on left side of action body.
* Good point about word ENGLISH.
* About NP, I'm agree with you and with Alan De Enfield.
I'll appreciate any other opinion.
I'll try to upload more pictures.
Thanks again.
 

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A lot of the miscellaneous letters that you find stamped in various locations on the rifle are inspector marks that were stamped on the part during production indicating that the part (so far) met specifications. The actual 'meaning' of most of those inspector marks are going to be pretty difficult to track down.

The FR mark on your buttstock is still open to interpretation. It is commonly referred to as a 'field repair' designation, but that answer doesn't satisfy everybody. Personally, I am skeptical.

I have a Long Branch No.4 with an FR on the butt that was virtually factory new when I bought it, and by ALL indications never went through a factory rebuild (FTR, or whatever designation was being used by those in charge).

On a rifle that new, I just can't imagine what would have needed 'field repairing'.

Plus, the question remains if the rifle actually WAS "Field Repaired", WHY would that fact need to be commemorated by being stamped into the wood?
 

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Australian rifles were marked "Australia", as were British made rifles that came to the US from Australia...I own one. Import stamps were/are often applied in the country of origin, before they leave for the US...thus you find Jovino marked rifles in Australia, and since brokers/importers are in it for the money, it doesn't seem at all odd that some rifles originally earmarked for the US ended up elsewhere. According to several of the prominent British members here and on other sites, there is no export marking requirement in British law, which would seem to be the main requirement of an "export stamp".

Per a highly respected but distinctly modest REME gentleman...FR is a known mark within the British system denoting an issue requiring Repair at the Factory level, but not requiring a full Factory Thorough Repair. He did not specifically tie the mark to the Lee Enfield, but did mention it in the company of similar butt stampings such as the various 'Z' marks (ZF, Z-BER, etc.). The FR has been observed in various formats exactly the same as the Z stamps (stenciled in paint, stamped, and both) in the same location on the right side of the butt. Make of it what you will, but IMO, where there's smoke, there's fire...but nothing to do with Field Repair.
 

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Australian rifles were marked "Australia", as were British made rifles that came to the US from Australia...I own one. Import stamps were/are often applied in the country of origin, before they leave for the US...thus you find Jovino marked rifles in Australia, and since brokers/importers are in it for the money, it doesn't seem at all odd that some rifles originally earmarked for the US ended up elsewhere. According to several of the prominent British members here and on other sites, there is no export marking requirement in British law, which would seem to be the main requirement of an "export stamp".

Per a highly respected but distinctly modest REME gentleman...FR is a known mark within the British system denoting an issue requiring Repair at the Factory level, but not requiring a full Factory Thorough Repair. He did not specifically tie the mark to the Lee Enfield, but did mention it in the company of similar butt stampings such as the various 'Z' marks (ZF, Z-BER, etc.). The FR has been observed in various formats exactly the same as the Z stamps (stenciled in paint, stamped, and both) in the same location on the right side of the butt. Make of it what you will, but IMO, where there's smoke, there's fire...but nothing to do with Field Repair.
As i said above, the ENGLAND stamp will always be debated, if the requirement was for the stamp to be made prior to export, then to my mind it has to be a export stamp, maybe we have to stop calling the ENGLAND stamp a import or export stamp & just call it for what it is......a Country of origin stamp!
 

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Regardless of where "ENGLAND" or "AUSTRALIA" stamps ended up, they were placed there to comply with US importation laws. To us here in the USA it's an import mark. To the rest of the world....sorry you got stuck with it. Blame us if you like.
 

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As i said above, the ENGLAND stamp will always be debated...
My point being that it really shouldn't still be debated. It was, as JB states, strictly a US import requirement...nothing to do with export.
 

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Per a highly respected but distinctly modest REME gentleman...FR is a known mark within the British system denoting an issue requiring Repair at the Factory level, but not requiring a full Factory Thorough Repair. He did not specifically tie the mark to the Lee Enfield, but did mention it in the company of similar butt stampings such as the various 'Z' marks (ZF, Z-BER, etc.). The FR has been observed in various formats exactly the same as the Z stamps (stenciled in paint, stamped, and both) in the same location on the right side of the butt. Make of it what you will, but IMO, where there's smoke, there's fire...but nothing to do with Field Repair.
This is exactly what the FR indicates. It was usually applied when a gun needed something minor-a replacement piece of furniture, for example. I believe it was a peacetime luxury, as I've never seen the mark on an original WWII-condition Enfield.
 

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If that's all the repair that was needed, why send it back to the factory? If it had to go back for something like that, why bother to train armorers?
 

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If that's all the repair that was needed, why send it back to the factory? If it had to go back for something like that, why bother to train armorers?
Not saying I KNOW what FR means since I only know what I have read in books and online debates. However, when I see a hole in the reasoning I will call attention to it. :)
 

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As far as I recall (and mine has these markings) WWII Savage Rifles had U.S. Property marked on the receivers with horizontal groves on the receiver and on the hand guard! And as I recall, they had 6 grove barrels!
 

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Hi ya 5th Whiskey Whiskey Charlie Tango
Alpha Co. NP, Bravo Co. Wang. or Charlie Co. ???
I was Alpha Company NP in 1978
X758170
Hi, My Dad was a member of the band there back in the late 70s after moving here after a 29 year career in the British army first with the band of the Blackwatch & then the band of the Royal Military Academy at Sandhurst, i was a bit young (but only just) to actually join at the time but as a Cornet player myself i was also allowed to play in the band & so a honorary member, that plus the fact my business is just across the road is the reason for my choice of 5th Batt WWCT as a handle
 

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Not saying I KNOW what FR means since I only know what I have read in books and online debates. However, when I see a hole in the reasoning I will call attention to it.
Anyone with more than about a week under the authority of military regulations knows that chasing holes in the reasoning behind them is an exercise in madness JB. It is what it is. The REME gentleman in question (who should certainly know) did mention a couple of examples...one had something to do with a barrel issue I believe. Don't remember it all, I'll try to dig up the conversation. Again...nothing specific to tie the FR mark to the Lee Enfield family.

Known:
FR is or was at one time a recognized (albeit rare) marking within the British system, denoting an issue requiring repair at factory level, but not rising to full FTR.

FR is found marked in exactly the same area and fashion as other known condition/condemnation codes...Z, ZF, Z-BLR, Z-BER.

Other than that...for the time being...until some solid proof is found...it's still the wild west in Enfieldland and open to whatever interpretation suits the individual.
 

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Wild west it is. Do we really know the reason behind the choice of the letter Z, or the actual meaning of the F following the Z? For all we know the FR might not mean Factory or Repair. What we do know is that FR stamped on the steel is always 99.9% India in origin. Shows up on what we know as both FTR and conversions, but always on a rebuild of some sort and to varying degrees. FR on the wood as you stated is mostly in the area of the condemnation marking...but not condemned.
Nobody has ever been able to tell what exactly was done on an FR marked rifle. Everything we've seen so far could easily have been done at a base workshop level without having been within 1,000 miles of a factory.

So saying that a forend was changed, a bolt refitted, a barrel was swapped etc. is misleading to the newcomers who haven't been following the hobby as long as some of us have. It can only perpetuate misinformation through guesswork and that's something many of us have been combating in more recent years. All the internet rumors/wives tales that run on a wild tangent to the known facts. Some we have the evidence to disprove. Others we don't. People being people want to know and will often accept the most plausible sounding guess as fact. That only steers us in the wrong direction. For now we need to consider the British FR as, "We don't know for certain yet" and run with that while it's still being investigated.

Here's a rumour to run with: During the "FR Program" rifles were called from stores in lots to be inspected for FTR. Those not in need of an FTR were handed off to an inspection team headed by Frances Adkins. Rifles determined to be used but fit for service were returned with the marking FR for Frank's Review. ;)
 

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Ok guys, my 1944 Longbranch has "England" on the receiver, and nothing on the right side buttstock. My 1943 Longbranch has the "FR" stamping. The '43 is the Sterling Conversion and has what should be a proof mark on the receiver where the "England" stamp usually is. The front of the barrel on the '44 has the .303/ tons" gobbledygook. Here are some photos. The '44 is the bottom rifle, '43 Conv. On top.
 

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