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Old 03-08-2011, 03:51 PM
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Default 1918 Enfield Rifle Questions

My father has one of these and is looking to sell it. He doesn't think it's worth much, but I would like to get some more info before he sells it to the first guy to offer anything.

What i do know from the markings is that it was made in 1918 by the London Small Arms LSA Company and is a ShtLE

Also, from the pictures he sent, i do know it's missing some of the original wood.

If anyone here knows about these things and can speak about potential prices i'd appreciate it.

-Brian
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Old 03-08-2011, 04:13 PM
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Interesting that it still has the volley sights. Too bad the stock was cut.
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Old 03-08-2011, 05:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by walnutred View Post
Interesting that it still has the volley sights. Too bad the stock was cut.
Yeah, they were supposed to have discontinued manufacture of those sights in 1916. I would guess the rifle is worth $100 to $125 as a shooter.
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Old 03-09-2011, 12:57 AM
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Looks like it still has the magazine cutoff, too. Wonder if the rear sight is adjustable for windage? Hard to believe it was made in 1918.
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Old 03-09-2011, 01:59 AM
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I agree $100. to $125. It's missing the nose cap also.
popgun
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Old 03-09-2011, 07:57 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Navy96 View Post
What i do know from the markings is that it was made in 1918 by the London Small Arms LSA Company and is a ShtLE
Actually, that's SMLE.

It's a #1MkIII. If you find that designation somewhere on it, it may have one or more "*"s to indicate changes.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:39 AM
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Hi:
Neat rifle for a "Project" weapon.
I would be interested for $125.00.
Jimmy
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cmort666 View Post
Actually, that's SMLE.

It's a #1MkIII. If you find that designation somewhere on it, it may have one or more "*"s to indicate changes.
Actually, I think it's both. I've seen it abb. both ways.

Means Short Magazine Lee Enfield. Doesn't mean that it has a short magazine, just that it's the short version of the original Magazine Lee-Enfield.

It was called that to indicate that it was a magazine-fed rifle, not a single-shot like the previous Martini-Henry.

The first SMLE was No. 1 MK 1, dating from Dec., 1902. It was a compromise between the long Lee-Enfield and the carbine. It was to be used by both cavalry and infantry, after experiences in the Second Boer War, 1899-1902.
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Old 03-09-2011, 09:55 AM
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It's sad the stock was butchered. The old walnut stocks and handguards like that are almost impossible to find these days.
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Old 03-09-2011, 10:06 AM
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Thanks for all the info, and the offer. I'll have to pass all this along and see what my dad wants to do with it.

I imagine he'll want to have an expert give a hands on appraisal before we consider any offers.

I'll be sure to update you when he does.

Thanks
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Old 03-09-2011, 06:47 PM
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It could be a good project rifle to put back to original form. The early ones with the volley sights and cut-off are getting hard to find.

Does it still have the rear volly site staff on the left side of the receiver?
Bore condition, headspace, condition of the butt stock (original butt plate?, repairs, splices in the wood?), original magazine?, does the bolt function correctly (many old No1 rifles are worn to the point where the bolt head slips off the guide rail during operation), is the bolt a matching ser# to the receiver.
Lots of questions to answer before a final value can be placed on it I think.

It'll need front and rear hand guards and a rear sight protector (wings). The forend could be fixed by splicing a front piece to the cut off original,,hiding the splice under the front band.
That saves coming up with a very hard to find early style forend that was made for the volley sight, but you still need a forend to get the front end from.
Nose cap and the assorted screws and hardware in the forend needed also..
LSA kept the cut-off later than the other mfg'rs of the No1. It looks like the cut-off plate itself is missing on the rifle, the slot being empty(?). A plate and it's attaching screw is needed then.

A windage adj. rear site would would be a real nice accessory on it but if the rifle was converted to MkIII* from MkIII, then either the original adj site could be pinned in place or replaced altogether.
The cut-off would have been removed in the conversion also. Sometimes they mearly removed the volley ft site 'pin' and the rear staff in the '*' upgrade.

LSA parts are marked with an 'X' to denote the factory if you're getting real picky in hunting down parts to restore.

A bbl date that matches the receiver date of 1918 would be a plus to someone thinking of restoring it. The bbl date is usually on the left side of the bbl right up close to the receiver and is generally punched in as '18 along with a boat load of proof marks and inspectors stamps.
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Old 03-10-2011, 03:09 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 2152hq View Post
It could be a good project rifle to put back to original form. The early ones with the volley sights and cut-off are getting hard to find.

Does it still have the rear volly site staff on the left side of the receiver? NoBore condition, headspace, condition of the butt stock (original butt plate? (Yes), repairs (Not sure), splices in the wood?), original magazine? (I think so, but how can you tell?), does the bolt function correctly (Yes, as far as i know) (many old No1 rifles are worn to the point where the bolt head slips off the guide rail during operation), is the bolt a matching ser# to the receiver. (Not sure, will check)
Lots of questions to answer before a final value can be placed on it I think.
2152hq,
thanks for all of this info, very good to know. I tried to answer some of your questions above, and will see if I can learn more about it.

Here are a few more pictures, which may give you a better idea of it.
I know it's in bad shape and needs a lot of parts, but the knowledge and history about these rifles is amazing. Looking forward to having an expert look at it.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:00 PM
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You may be surprised at what interest there would be in the rifle even in it's present condition.

The magazine first off should have the cartridge guide indentations on the side walls extending completely to the bottom of the sides.
Magazines for the later #4 rifle have the guide indentations stop about 1/2 inch from the bottom. I think the pic shows a proper magazine for a MkIII rifle.

The back edge of the magazine (spine) should have a number stamped into the lower portion.
Most likely a '4'. That is a standard WW1 type magazine assembly for the Mk7 ammo. Also proper would be one marked with a '3'.
Those are older #1 & #2 magazine assemblys that were made for Mk6 ammo, but converted for use with the later Mk7 ammo.

These #3 magazines also have a rivited pivoting 'stop clip' on the upper right hand side wall of the body to ID them. The #4 does not.

Both #3 and #4 magazines have a small spring clip rivited to the lower spine of the case (takes care of magazine 'rattle'!) and that number is stamped just below it. Collectors like the #3 magazines and pay a bit more for them.

There should NOT be any serial number on the magazine at all. The only SMLE mfg to serial number the magazines was Ishapor (India).
So there is no telling if the magazine is THE magazine the rifle left the factory with. But if the small inspectors mark, also on the spine, is that of the LSA factory, it then matches the mfg and is another plus for collectors/restoration.

The LSA inspectors mark would a Crown/X/number.
'X' was the letter used to denote LSA mfg.

These rifles are rightly called MkIII or MkIII* 'SMLE' or 'ShtLE'
The use of the No1 designation did not come till 1926 when a change in nomenclature was approved.

Up untill that time the SMLE was designated only by a 'Mk'. The '*' given to show changes with in the Mk designation.
In 1926, the SMLE became the No1 (in both MkIII and MkIII* variations),,the .22calRF training rifle became the No2, and the Pattern '14 303 rifle became the No3.
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Old 03-28-2011, 05:05 PM
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My father brought the rifle down, and he had it appraised. Apparently it was a 1916, not 1918...the date was a little hard to make out.
The rifle was in bad shape, like the comments above, it was missing a lot of pieces. He appraised it at $100-$125, and he was able to sell it for $120.
Now he will invest that in a more suitable hunting rifle...looking for a marlin, or win 30-30.

thanks again for all the information.
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Old 03-28-2011, 06:27 PM
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The London Small Arms production was smaller than BSA's or Enfield's output. Shame about the stock.
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