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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
First foray into the realm. Never seen so many stamps and cartouches. Far from matching. Not as nice as my memory served (cracked/repaired forestock). Took plenty of pics. Aside from a Short Magazine Lee Enfield, what the heck is it? All comments welcome.






























Thanks for looking.
 

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You've one of the few JJGS Lithgows that I've seen with a split fore end; I'd suspect possibly no recoil blocks and/or loose front magazine screw when fired. Looks to me as if the fore end might have been repaired previously and split (again?). It is late in the night and this wood makes me want to go to bed and dream of solid wood.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 · (Edited)
Hope you slept well, Ed. Er, I think?

I've had fair luck finding the inspection and proof marks from this link: http://www.enfieldrifles.ca/main.htm

1. But I still have a question on the HV mark on the left buttstock?
2. Where the heck is the barrel serial number? (still haven't disassembled, waiting to get a long screwdriver)
3. Also, on the right rear receiver, the designation is:

MA
Lithgow
S.M.L.E.
III *
1941

I'm wondering if the asterisk is just another star inspection stamp?

4. #20 on the left buttstock, just a rack number?
5. And as Homer had mentioned earlier about the possibility of a painted mark for Cadet rifles, here is a pic of the front of the stock fore end. It perhaps does look like some yellow paint was removed from the wood?

please excuse poor exposure in sunlight....
 

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Nice use of a A in a star Lithgow mark for a asterisk for the MkIII* designation. I think this rifle has been rebuilt and rebarreled in 1945. The barrel has a '45 date on it and so does the sight and bolt head. The butt is a 1941 with a later 1945 date added too. The forstock has had brass screw wire added to hold a small crack but this hasn't worked. I think the HV mark on the stock is for High Velocity but I dont know why they add it there, mine also has the same.
 

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A 1941 action with the MA means either Munitions Australia or Made in Australia. You have a variety of sub feeder manufacturers to Lithgow where the rifle was assembled. OA is Orange, BA is Bathurst. It also appears that you may have some British parts, i.e. the magazine which looks to have the broad arrow. It has gone through a refit in 1945 but was never officially refurbished or it would have a FTR stamp (Factory through Repair). This is borne out by the number of differently stamped years on the parts. It would also have the year of FTR stamp usually found on left hand side of the butt collar like 9/45. It also appears to have the serial number on the bayonet boss stamped out but it is the correct one from 1942 onwards when holes were milled into the ears. Nice pickup.
 

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It has gone through a refit in 1945 but was never officially refurbished or it would have a FTR stamp (Factory through Repair). This is borne out by the number of differently stamped years on the parts. It would also have the year of FTR stamp usually found on left hand side of the butt collar like 9/45.
I've never seen FTR markings as described above ('FTR' on the receiver ring & 'MA/XX' on the buttsocket) earlier than 1950...anyone have pictures?
 

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originally a 1941 "C" series Rifle, further refurbished Post-war and entered into store (Butt date) of September 1945 (Note 45 etc dated parts. Barrel also replaced.
This indicated that the rifle , after issue in 1941-42, saw extensive service up to 1945, before being returned to Lithgow for overhaul. (Barrel replacement).
From early 1945 onwards, Lithgow was dedicated to overhauling rifles, rather than manufacture, as the workforce was demobilised for peacetime.

The crack in the fore-end...various causes, the major one being trying to remove the Butt screw BEFORE removing the fore-end ( the other reasons mentioned above are also valid).

Regards,
Doc AV
 

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Jr's right. No FTR stamp before 1950. This rifle has all the signs of being refurbed as the butt indicates in 1945. Rifles FTR'd from 1950 to 1959 were stamped as Brian mentioned with FTR in bold on the receiver ring and MA/date on the butt socket under the safety. Butt's were new or old but all previous stamps removed to the point of being barely visible. Rifles refurbed from 1945 to 47 were stamped R over MA and date on the butt exactly like this one and not marked at all on the metal parts. Again new and used butts were utilised but previous stamps were not removed so butts would be completely mismatched but very much legitimate. Barrels, nosecaps and wood could be new or used, numbered, renumbered or not numbered at all, like this one. I'd love to see a closer photo of this nosecap. If this forend was fitted to the gun during the refurb it will most certainly have recoil inserts fitted. The repair looks like a factory job but I have not seen that sort of repair before.
Nice gun.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thank you for all the answers. Placing the detailed observations with the evidence of the markings makes a lot of sense.

Which angle(s) of the nose cap would you like to see? I'll try to get some pics later this evening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
I think that they really wanted to obscure the number. Nosecap is BA marked on the bottom.






Not sure how recent it is lined out, but long enough to start pitting in the cavities.


 

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Martin08; I did sleep reasonably well. I agree with DocAV's comment about the possibility that the butt bolt was removed prior to fore end removal as a likely cause of the fore end split, especially in respect to rebuild which would have placed the recoil plates if not previously installed..but, have you looked to see if they are present? My comment about the John Jovino Gun Shop imports has to do with varying sources of SMLEs imported. With respect to the altered appearance of the muzzle-end of the fore end and front handguard - I'd bet that the rifle was a 'yellow cadet' before paint was removed. I hold one and repainted it because of the damage to the wood fibres when the paint was removed with likely very caustic chemicals. My 'cadet' functions perfectly well with a slightly dark bore - probably from blank-firing. Your rifle is a very nice one and I trust that you'll be able to have the split permanently repaired and remember...fore end removed before butt bolt is turned. ed
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I did disassemble (fore stock first) to investigate the recoil lugs and the crack. The wood has certainly been cracked in more than one place. The rear has an aluminum(?) insert, which is pinned through in a similar manner as the underside crack. There is a small chip missing, just behind the trigger guard pillar. There are two metal lugs held in with screws. And I did find the evidence of the yellow paint on the nose.

But with as many "crack" issues that this stock exhibits, it is remarkably solid and fits with no play. I'm sure that this piece of wood is something that is a bit difficult to find and match up with the rest of the gun, so as long as it doesn't fly apart when it's fired, it will likely stay with the gun.

Some more pics of the furniture and a bevy more inspection/production stamps in the metal. Thanks for the info, guys.










 

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Nice to see the recoil blocks in place. I agree with working to keep the wood with the rifle. I've had split wood glued, pinned and doweled by a gentleman I know and I'm rather proud of the repairs - I point them out in fact. Thanks for showing the rifle; tonight I'll dream of glue, pins and dowels. :)
 

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Nice Lithy. Too bad the yellow paint was removed. I've been looking for an original yellow paint rifle. I have a nice green paint cadet, but still hunting for the yellow. Anyway, agree with above. Another reason the stock could have split was recoil. The forend shrank, which put a gab between the receiver and rear of forend, fire the weapon, and whamo split under recoil. Your first photos appear to show the gap. I suggest sending it to Scott Stonehill, Evens obsolete screws for repair. He does top notch work. I assume he is still in business? Have not looked in a while. Also, can use a section of aluminum can or cardboard as a spacer to close the gap. Split forends are common on lithys. I watched a buddy split his at the range. best regards, shannon
 
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