Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 20 of 24 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Picked this up a while back, and never gave it any thought. I never got into Enfield's but the condition on this one was to nice to pass up, picked it up for the price of a refurbished Mosin. Not sure what I have here, I know it's a BSA, matching numbers, and the guy I got it from said it was a commercial gun, and what is the brass disc ? It does have the British Crown Proof. What model, make do I have, and is it a military or commercial ? World War I or World War II ? Thanks for any info, not a Enfield guy.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
676 Posts
It's a Lee Enfield No.1 Mk.3 made at BSA (Birmingham Small Arms). The year has been scrubbed, but it retains its magazine cutoff which is desirable. It was sent to Iraq sometime in its history, due to the Iraqi marking on the bolt handle and the Arabic on the stock disc. It looks to be all there and in really nice shape. Excellent find! Congrats!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thank you for the info. You said it went to Iraq ? Do you know when it could have been there, what years ? What was scrubbed off the gun ? Also, has no import marks. Would this be a nice piece for the Enfield collector ? Thanks again for any info.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,461 Posts
It's a Lee Enfield No.1 Mk.3 made at BSA (Birmingham Small Arms). The year has been scrubbed, but it retains its magazine cutoff which is desirable. It was sent to Iraq sometime in its history, due to the Iraqi marking on the bolt handle and the Arabic on the stock disc. It looks to be all there and in really nice shape. Excellent find! Congrats!

I am not sure I agree with all of this.
In my view it is a BSA commercially produced rifle which was never British military issue (which is why it has not date on the side) - I don't think it has been scrubbed.
I also think the mark on the bolt is a BSA mark of three piled rifles (mirroring the mark on the barrel)
The general format would suggest it dates to the 1930s (there were several overseas contracts, the stock marking disk suggests middle east as suggested but I don't know enough to know it is Iraq, my 2 Iraqi rifles have several clear triangular stamps on them)
If you provide the serial number (does it have an L prefix?) someone might be able to identify the contract.

I do agree however that it is an excellent rifle!

EDIT = what he said! (drat too slow)
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
1,770 Posts
I have one very similar to it which others have suggested might be from a Bahrain contract? The date of manufacture was never really determined in a thread on milsurps a few years ago- the in-house commercial rifle experts, at the time, didn't have too much to say when presented with photos of all the barrel markings, etc. But yes, no scrubbing of anything- that's the way it was marked as supplied to whoever. Mine has a similar very dark and above average quality forend.

Ruprecht
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
277 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Thank you for the information. It does have the BSA stacked rifles on the bolt, and below the rifles it has BSA. It also appears to have some markings under the hand guard next to the British crown. Are the commercial rifles rare and hard to come across ?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,885 Posts
The Arabic discs should always raise an eyebrow here in the States. While it was the norm to have an empty slot on the buttstock, owners wished to plug them with a disc.
British marked and British blanks (some having only a broad arrow) sold quickly in spite of the slightly higher price over the Arabic discs. Thus the Arabic ones were not only cheap, but pretty much the only ones left until the repros hit the scene.

So, one must always question whether the Arabic disc came with the rifle or was added once in the private sector.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
275 Posts
The commercial rifles seem harder to find and at a guess would be a lot less produced during that time period, compared to service manufactured rifles. Have a search thru the web and you will find BSA brochures listing variants of BSA made firearms that were sold to the public. You could get a military specification BSA but not marked with the crown cipher that you could purchase and would only have the BSA on the receiver.

There are some commercially made BSA rifles that have been seen with military service markings, but again pretty scarce on the ground.

cheers

Thank you for the information. It does have the BSA stacked rifles on the bolt, and below the rifles it has BSA. It also appears to have some markings under the hand guard next to the British crown. Are the commercial rifles rare and hard to come across ?
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
2,783 Posts
The disc was added, looks like one of he ones Nurmrich was selling some time ago.

How to tell:

1) No tarnish

2) Sits proud of the wood.

3) does not have a coating of linseed oil that fills the void between the disc and the wood cutout.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
261 Posts
There were a lot of those BSA commercial rifles that came out of Egypt in the late 1990's along with a lot of inter war BSA military marked Mklll's with cutoffs. Many had similar butt discs. Word at the time was they were left by the British when they were re-armed with No4's for the Italian campaign. Most of the rifles were total junk, few nice ones though.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
79 Posts
Interesting discussion. I also purchased (according to Gunboard members) a No.1 MkIII several years ago from a consignment sale (about $375 at the time). It's a BSA 1939 with a magazine cutoff with the Iraqi "jeem" markings (looks like an upside down 2 in a triangle, according to Gunboard contributors). Date of manufacture had not been scrubbed off, and all serial numbers match. At the time I was told the rifle was part of a 16,000 Iraqi government contract with BSA. I was also told that during WWI the magazine cutoff, along with other early WWI No.1 MkIII features like the volley sights, had been eliminated due to wartime pressures to streamline production. Evidently the Iraqi government was willing to pay for the magazine cutoff feature, and BSA was able to comply.

Here are some pics of my Iraqi SMLE:




BTW I absolutely love this rifle. It was in outstanding shape, and nutz-on accurate.
 

·
Gold Bullet Member/Moderator/Administrator/
Joined
·
27,675 Posts
The disc was added, looks like one of he ones Nurmrich was selling some time ago.

How to tell:


3) does not have a coating of linseed oil that fills the void between the disc and the wood cutout.

A good lesson as to why tearing down an old rifle and cleaning it beyond tomorrow, IMHO, is wrong. It removes the patina of age which can not be replicated.
Holding one of these old guns is the best way to learn about them. I too, think the stock disc is very suspect. But a very nice commercial BSA No. 1 Mk III.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
59 Posts
The BSA "stacked rifles" logo would indicate the rifle was built for commercial not military sale. The crown over "BM" is a military "view" mark also indicating a commercial Enfield. BSA built its commercial rifles to military specifications which were then inspected by the Army and given the view mark. Its not clear whether the Army did this to signal approval for purchase by other military units or whether BSA was simply using it as a "quality mark" in support of its commercial sales.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,143 Posts
BSA charged extra to submit the gun for military inspection.This was required if you wished to use your commercial [and therefore higher quality] rifle in range shooting.I am not suggesting that this gun was used for this purpose.But for a small volume purchaser,this would have been a cheaper option than employing his own viewer.What is the date on the disc? Doc will tell you.Does it make sense? Maybe it is genuine,as it looks like the stock has an old refinish[or maybe the wood has shrunk in a dry climate].Regards John.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,693 Posts
If I wanted to sell, or trade the Enfield off, what would the value be on this rifle being a commercial model ?
It is only worth what somebody is prepared to pay for it. I have several BSA commercial rifles and commercial target rifles because they fit a slot in my collection.
I paid military price as that was the benchmark I was prepared to pay. They are very well made and do not have or show the tales of being used hard as military rifles do, unless it was handed in in Australia for military use which most range rifles were.
 
1 - 20 of 24 Posts
This is an older thread, you may not receive a response, and could be reviving an old thread. Please consider creating a new thread.
Top