AR15.Com Archives
 SMLE Enfield with Chinese or Japanese markings?
Jon-L  [Member]
7/2/2013 7:08:46 PM
I was at the local shop and found this for $250. What's the story? I have never heard of such a thing--it almost looked as if the markings were stamped over previous markings. I only put it on layaway so I don't have any pictures.

Am I wasting my money?
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mech4matsnova  [Team Member]
7/2/2013 7:54:40 PM
Is it a No.1 or No.4? Im not an Enfield guy but I could imagine many made their way to the colonies during the war, including SE Asia. May be authentic but again I have no idea.
Jon-L  [Member]
7/2/2013 8:17:28 PM
Originally Posted By mech4matsnova:
Is it a No.1 or No.4? Im not an Enfield guy but I could imagine many made their way to the colonies during the war, including SE Asia. May be authentic but again I have no idea.


I gave it a once-over and could only find these markings and no indication of the action model--I'm taking my brother in the morning to look it over and give his opinion (he's as curious as I).

I'll see if I can find a serial number as well.
dsroten  [Team Member]
7/2/2013 8:18:11 PM
Pictures are worth a thousand words you know.
1srelluc  [Team Member]
7/2/2013 9:42:35 PM
The markings may be Burmese, Nepalese, or Chinese. Need pics to be sure.


If memory serves the Burmese Enfields has a tiger on the socket. I have a bayonet so marked I've kept around for years in case I find one someday.
Jon-L  [Member]
7/3/2013 11:08:45 AM
All right, I went in today to see what the deal was but the guy wouldn't let me take any pictures (as odd as that sounds) so I examined it for a few minutes. I have this to say:

I could not locate the serial number or receiver/action type.
The numbers I could find seemed to be stamped, then restamped over the previous stamp to just make it downright illegible. These leads me to believe it was lent out to the Nepalese and they put their own markings on it.
I found on the stock (or rather the metal band near the grip and trigger) there was a stamp with a crown that stated "B. S. A. Co." Which stand for Birmingham Small Arms
I found this mark on it, without the "BNP" mark (but it was overstamped as I said so I couldn't read the "18.5" or anything--the "303 2.222" was definitely there)

Export Marks Now this may well be one of the more common set of stamps. A set of information marks, that were stamped onto the rifle when sold out of service. That the rifle fired a ,303 projectile, the case max overall length was 2.222 in inch’s and it was pressure tested to 18.5 to ton. The BNP stood for British Nitro Proof, it was tested and passed Nitro proofing.

One last thing I noticed was this little mark towards the front of the receiver:

Here's what is means:
Now this symbol is known as the “Broad Arrow“, there are many variations and it may be found with other markings. It denotes acceptance / issue as a military rifle into a specific country( such as NZ either side denoting New Zealand) or on its own. This mark may be found on various part of the rifle including woodwork. This particular stamp was on a No5 other marks may be more sweeping in their appearance.


So what do you guys think?
SGT_Lord  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 11:18:46 AM
I don't know much about Enfields but I think the fact that he will not let you take pictures of it even though you have it on layaway should send up all sorts of red flags OP. It sounds like he doesn't want you to identify it until its too late. I've put lots of guns on layaway and was always allowed to take pic's of them, I would proceed with caution if I were you.
mech4matsnova  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 2:15:16 PM
If it has a BNP marking then it was sold from the Crowns military into civilian use. Proof testing is required by the "empire" to determine if a service rifle is safe for civis to shoot. If it is BSA marked on the socket then it was made in england, usually there is a date just below the manufacturers stamp. I've had both No1 and No4 rifles, that's how they were marked. Im a bit concerned that the seller wont let you have any pictures with it on layaway. Kinda makes me think it might be a Khyber Pass rifle... if it is LEAVE IT THERE(not safe to shoot, built in a cave in Pakistan/Afghanistan). Not saying it is but those weapons do exist, the Pakis have a bunch of them. Photos needed to clear this up before final purchase. It is .303 correct?
Jon-L  [Member]
7/3/2013 2:22:35 PM
It is .303.
SJetwrench  [Member]
7/3/2013 2:30:50 PM
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.
SGT_Lord  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 2:53:44 PM
Originally Posted By SJetwrench:
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.


Thats an excellent question, I know the Japanese used captured Chinese Mausers as well as captured U.S. Springfield's, Garand's and BAR's. They also used captured Russian Mosin's as training rifles but I've never seen an account of them using captured British weapons. They certainly captured enough of them at Singapore not to mention in the China-Burma-India theater so its definitely possible but I've never seen a picture of one.
TNgan  [Member]
7/3/2013 3:08:21 PM
The are couple of Chinese divisions were re-equipped by the Commonwealth in India and fought under Joe Stillwell in the 2nd Burma campaign.
Jon-L  [Member]
7/3/2013 3:40:38 PM
Originally Posted By SJetwrench:
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.


It's a sporterized stock, much like the one in this link: http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_info.php?cPath=350_351_360&products_id=22270

Really sorry I can't be of much more help.
mech4matsnova  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 3:42:42 PM
Originally Posted By SGT_Lord:
Originally Posted By SJetwrench:
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.


Thats an excellent question, I know the Japanese used captured Chinese Mausers as well as captured U.S. Springfield's, Garand's and BAR's. They also used captured Russian Mosin's as training rifles but I've never seen an account of them using captured British weapons. They certainly captured enough of them at Singapore not to mention in the China-Burma-India theater so its definitely possible but I've never seen a picture of one.


Id probably rule that out. Im a japanese collector, and in my research and speaking with japanese ww2 experts it was very rare for the IJA to use captured weapons unless they were useful on the spot, such as a garand or LMG over their standard bolt guns. I've seen the Mosin trainers you referred to as well as mausers but I don't think they were front line issue. Another possibility is it was captured at the Singapore disaster and marked/reissued to collaboration forces in the area. The most interesting piece of captured equipment I've seen was a Browning Auto 5 riot 12ga with japanese navy brands on the stock. It is possible it was captured by the japanese but I think its unlikely. May be from the Chinese nationalist army post ww2, they took any weapons they could get their hands on. I think that is the more likely explanation though the Singapore capture scenario is not totally out of the question, they captured around 100k of the crowns troops.
backbencher  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 5:36:22 PM
Originally Posted By mech4matsnova:
If it has a BNP marking then it was sold from the Crowns military into civilian use. Proof testing is required by the "empire" to determine if a service rifle is safe for civis to shoot. If it is BSA marked on the socket then it was made in england, usually there is a date just below the manufacturers stamp. I've had both No1 and No4 rifles, that's how they were marked. Im a bit concerned that the seller wont let you have any pictures with it on layaway. Kinda makes me think it might be a Khyber Pass rifle... if it is LEAVE IT THERE(not safe to shoot, built in a cave in Pakistan/Afghanistan). Not saying it is but those weapons do exist, the Pakis have a bunch of them. Photos needed to clear this up before final purchase. It is .303 correct?


Khyber Pass rifle not safe to shoot, but fascinating. Someone in the future will decry our chicken scratch ARs that were made on home mills as pieces of junk - but the receiver on a SMLE takes the load on the rear bolt lugs. Kinda important.
1srelluc  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 5:49:46 PM
Originally Posted By backbencher:
Originally Posted By mech4matsnova:
If it has a BNP marking then it was sold from the Crowns military into civilian use. Proof testing is required by the "empire" to determine if a service rifle is safe for civis to shoot. If it is BSA marked on the socket then it was made in england, usually there is a date just below the manufacturers stamp. I've had both No1 and No4 rifles, that's how they were marked. Im a bit concerned that the seller wont let you have any pictures with it on layaway. Kinda makes me think it might be a Khyber Pass rifle... if it is LEAVE IT THERE(not safe to shoot, built in a cave in Pakistan/Afghanistan). Not saying it is but those weapons do exist, the Pakis have a bunch of them. Photos needed to clear this up before final purchase. It is .303 correct?


Khyber Pass rifle not safe to shoot, but fascinating. Someone in the future will decry our chicken scratch ARs that were made on home mills as pieces of junk - but the receiver on a SMLE takes the load on the rear bolt lugs. Kinda important.


Heck, most LGS personel would not know a Khyber Pass Enfield if it walked in on two feet and poked them in the nose.

SGT_Lord  [Team Member]
7/3/2013 7:41:56 PM
Originally Posted By Jon-L:
Originally Posted By SJetwrench:
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.


It's a sporterized stock, much like the one in this link: http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_info.php?cPath=350_351_360&products_id=22270

Really sorry I can't be of much more help.


Hey OP, the pic you posted of the sporter resembles a mk5 jungle carbine, have you compared pics of those with the rifle in question?
Jon-L  [Member]
7/3/2013 8:49:06 PM
Originally Posted By SGT_Lord:
Originally Posted By Jon-L:
Originally Posted By SJetwrench:
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.


It's a sporterized stock, much like the one in this link: http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_info.php?cPath=350_351_360&products_id=22270

Really sorry I can't be of much more help.


Hey OP, the pic you posted of the sporter resembles a mk5 jungle carbine, have you compared pics of those with the rifle in question?


I have and no match. The barrel is longer (I suppose I should have clarified this point in quote message) and the sight is in front of the action, not behind.
pennsylvaniaboy  [Member]
7/3/2013 10:46:34 PM
Originally Posted By Jon-L:
Originally Posted By SJetwrench:
I have a question could it be a rifle that the Japanese captured from the British? But yea it's a little odd he won't let you take pictures. Does it have a nose end cap or does apprx. 3" of the barrel protrude from the end of the handguard? That would tell if it's a No. 1 or a No.4.


It's a sporterized stock, much like the one in this link: http://www.simpsonltd.com/product_info.php?cPath=350_351_360&products_id=22270

Really sorry I can't be of much more help.


I bought the twin to that at an auction.......$75, a little steel wool and it's back to new. Great rifles, tho the stocks are a little short IMO. $250 seems high, I would go 175-200ish
Jon-L  [Member]
8/12/2013 1:40:09 PM
So I was incorrect with the markings--some of them were just incomplete proof marks. I have some okay-ish pictures I'd like some input on, if that's all right with you guys. Also, sorry it took me so long.

Here's the album: http://imageshack.us/g/1/10274580/
backbencher  [Team Member]
8/12/2013 2:32:42 PM
There's something odd about the rear bridge - can you get us some close ups of the charger feed lips, OP? It's been a long time since I had a No 1 Mk 3 *, but it almost looks like a Long Lee conversion?
Jon-L  [Member]
8/12/2013 2:52:42 PM
The Enfield is a mystery to me, so I'm not sure what you mean by "charger feed lips." I do know what the bridge is and it is odd because it simply isn't there.
MVolkJ  [Team Member]
8/12/2013 3:27:55 PM
There's nothing odd or unusual about that rifle. It's a sporterized 1915 BSA SMLE Mk. III. Looks like the windage-adjustable rear sight is still present.

Probably worth $150 on a good day. It's unrestorable as the charger bridge is gone.

You might be able to break even by parting it out. If the bore's good, pull the barrel and sell it, it's a Brit barrel and might fetch $100 or so. Add $30 for the magazine, probably another $30-40 for the windage-adjustable rear sight leaf, then the bolt + small parts and you'll be close. Use the wrecked stock for firewood and torch cut the receiver, or use it as a paperweight/doorstop/whatever.

Another option would be to make a brush/trunk gun out of it, or rechamber it into .45ACP, .45-70, etc.
backbencher  [Team Member]
8/12/2013 4:52:28 PM
[quote]Originally Posted By Jon-L:
The Enfield is a mystery to me, so I'm not sure what you mean by "charger feed lips." I do know what the bridge is and it is odd because it simply isn't there.[/quote]

Are we sure it's not a 1915 conversion of a Long Lee Metford or Enfield by BSA? That would make it antique : ) I like antiques : )
Jon-L  [Member]
8/12/2013 5:00:35 PM
[quote]Originally Posted By backbencher:
[quote]Originally Posted By Jon-L:
The Enfield is a mystery to me, so I'm not sure what you mean by "charger feed lips." I do know what the bridge is and it is odd because it simply isn't there.[/quote]

Are we sure it's not a 1915 conversion of a Long Lee Metford or Enfield by BSA? That would make it antique : ) I like antiques : )[/quote]

Tell me what to look for and I will check.
backbencher  [Team Member]
8/12/2013 5:56:01 PM
Google Image Long Lee Metford & Long Lee Enfield, & see if you recognize things. I'm not familiar w/ the BSA stamps, but my SMLE just said SMLE, not Short Lee Enfield. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but do you see where the rear bridge was? Think that's part of the receiver - most folks don't grind that off to sporterize.
MVolkJ  [Team Member]
8/12/2013 6:15:43 PM
[quote]Originally Posted By backbencher:
Google Image Long Lee Metford & Long Lee Enfield, & see if you recognize things. I'm not familiar w/ the BSA stamps, but my SMLE just said SMLE, not Short Lee Enfield. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but do you see where the rear bridge was? Think that's part of the receiver - most folks don't grind that off to sporterize.[/quote]

It's a plain old SMLE Mk. III, trust me. All British SMLEs read "ShtLE" on the wrist.

The charger bridge is a seperate part from the receiver and it's not hard to remove it. However, getting a replacement is effectively impossible.

A 1915 conversion would be very late, and would have been a Mk. IV ConD. These were converted only by Enfield, and would retain their original MLE or MLM right side markings (i.e. the right side would read VR Enfield 1898 LE I or similar). On the left side, underneath the safety lever, would read "Enfield 1910 ShtLE ConD IV" (or other post 1907 date).
Jon-L  [Member]
8/12/2013 7:28:23 PM
[quote]Originally Posted By backbencher:
Google Image Long Lee Metford & Long Lee Enfield, & see if you recognize things. I'm not familiar w/ the BSA stamps, but my SMLE just said SMLE, not Short Lee Enfield. Maybe I'm barking up the wrong tree here, but do you see where the rear bridge was? Think that's part of the receiver - most folks don't grind that off to sporterize.[/quote]

I'm going to have to agree with MVolk here. There was a place for a Bridge but it's missing (sad to see that I won't be able to get a replacement)
backbencher  [Team Member]
8/14/2013 9:56:06 AM
Good to know. It's been awhile since I let my Mk 3* go.
mech4matsnova  [Team Member]
8/14/2013 10:47:32 PM
It may be a good candidate for a Golden State/Santa Fe Arms style Jungle carbine conversion for use as a truck gun. Thats what I would do with it. Its collector value is long gone. There's something I really like about the No1 jungle carbine conversions, they look odd but they run so good. Yeah, id make it a truck gun.


ETA:
backbencher  [Team Member]
8/15/2013 4:20:14 PM
Needs more AK mag.
Jon-L  [Member]
8/15/2013 4:56:22 PM
My intentions with this rifle were to convert it to .45 ACP and maybe get Special Interest Arms to make it into a DeLisle clone. Now that I know it isn't a collectible I can do this with a clear conscience.
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