Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

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HK_USP_45
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Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by HK_USP_45 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 2:44 pm

Hi,

Today at Cabelas I found a SMLE that I think I might buy, but I wanted help finding out more about it. I don't own one and don't know a lot about them yet. It's on 5 day hold, so I don't have time to order a book on the subject. The tag was marked, "Enfield, MkIII" so I'm assuming it is a No.1 MkIII. The barrel is flush at the end of the front stock, like the No 1.

I took a couple of pics, but they didn't turn out that great. It's marked 1918, the rest of the markings are hard to read. It does have what I'm thinking of a serial number that is 4 digits: 51xx.

The crown looks good, the bore looks good, from what I could tell, I haven't taken a light to it yet. The inside of the magazine has minor pitting and is well used. A lot of it looks to be in a lot better shape than I would imagine, so I don't know if it was arsenal refinished. If it was, it looks good. It's not a home-bluing job. The wood stocks look almost immaculate so I figure they are not original.

The cost is $299, which is the absolute cheapest I've found a N0.1, and cheaper than most of the No.4's I've seen.

I've wanted an No. 1 SMLE for awhile, and I like the price of this one. And just to explain my philosophy on collecting mil surp guns -- I like to shoot my guns, and I'm not looking for a perfect, matching parts gun. All I'm looking for is a Good Representation of what a particular gun is supposed to be.

Can anyone tell me more about the gun I'm looking at? Do you think it's a good buy, at that price?

Thanks for any help
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m3bobby
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by m3bobby » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:33 pm

Looks like a very nice MkIII (I say MkIII* as it is 1918 dated and only later when the designation changed did it become the No1 MkIII and the later became the No.1 Mk3). I'd say it has had a FTR at some point, can you post a pic of the whole rifle?
HK_USP_45
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by HK_USP_45 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:49 pm

m3bobby wrote:Looks like a very nice MkIII (I say MkIII* as it is 1918 dated and only later when the designation changed did it become the No1 MkIII and the later became the No.1 Mk3). I'd say it has had a FTR at some point, can you post a pic of the whole rifle?
Silly me, I forgot to take a pic of the whole rifle. The entire stock looks as nice or nicer than what is in that pic. It's almost unblemished. What is FTR? (Factory T__ Refinish?)

Thanks for the info. I didn't realize it wasn't called a N0. 1 until later, that would explain why the tag just says Mk IIII. I also didn't know there was a difference in a MkIII and a Mk3. I don't see any of this written on the rifle, so how would one know all of this?
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DuncaninFrance
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by DuncaninFrance » Thu Jan 27, 2011 4:58 pm

Not sure if these are an improvement but they might help ID it better :cool:

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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by Woftam » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:17 pm

I can't speak much to price as it's a very different market in the US to Australia, but over here $299 would be very reasonable.
Woodwork looks very clean, I'd say its been cleaned up recently.
The arrow within a C (shown in the first shot in the first post) denotes Canadian use.
The piling swivel on the triggerguard (just ahead of the magazine) is incorrect.
The repair on the handguard looks service rather than civilian.

Just a word on the proper designation -
First came the MkIII - 1907 to 1916
then came the MkIII* - 1916 to 1926
then came the No1 MkIII* - 1926 to end of production.

The change from MkIII to MkIII* involved deletion or modification of certain parts to reduce complexity of manufacture.
The change from MkIII* to to No1 MkIII* was simply a name change - had this rifle been in service in 1926 it would have woken up one morning to find it was no longer a Lee Enfield MkIII* but a Rifle No1 MkIII*.
The power of accurate observation is frequently called cynicism by those who don't have it.
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Niner
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by Niner » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:27 pm

Made by Enfield during a run from 1916 to 1919. The inspection mark with the crossed flags would indicate land forces use. The 111* model is thought to be the most common of the Enfields on the open market...or least it was according to Charles R. Stratton in one of his books.


I think the price is high.....even with gun price inflation of recent years. That doesn't mean you aren't finding a lot of same or higher asking prices. I went to a gun show last week and people were "asking" astronomical amounts for some guns. Makes me consider selling out and buying a newer and bigger boat. But it is all more greed than supply and demand dictated prices right now. I'd offer $200 and see if they take it or if they come back with something close. $200 is still about twice what I paid for one like it a couple of years ago.
HK_USP_45
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by HK_USP_45 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:32 pm

Woftam wrote:I can't speak much to price as it's a very different market in the US to Australia, but over here $299 would be very reasonable.
Woodwork looks very clean, I'd say its been cleaned up recently.
The arrow within a C (shown in the first shot in the first post) denotes Canadian use.
The piling swivel on the triggerguard (just ahead of the magazine) is incorrect.
The repair on the handguard looks service rather than civilian.

Just a word on the proper designation -
First came the MkIII - 1907 to 1916
then came the MkIII* - 1916 to 1926
then came the No1 MkIII* - 1926 to end of production.

The change from MkIII to MkIII* involved deletion or modification of certain parts to reduce complexity of manufacture.
The change from MkIII* to to No1 MkIII* was simply a name change - had this rifle been in service in 1926 it would have woken up one morning to find it was no longer a Lee Enfield MkIII* but a Rifle No1 MkIII*.
So if a Troop were carrying around this rifle in 1927, wouldn't he just call it a No 1 MkIII* ? I would assume if it was just a name change, they would just call it the new one. Also, like for our rifle in the US, we say M16A2 in conversation. So how would you say it with the asterisks? Would you say, "Yeah, I carried around a Mark 3 Asterisks"?

Most No4 Mk1's that I have found in good condition are aroudn $400-500. I haven't seen that many No1's, so I can't tell you a price, but I would think they would be more than the N04's just due to rareness, but I could be wrong on that. I know what I've seen on gun broker has been more pricey than No4's. I thought the price on this was very low, which made me wonder if something was wrong with it.

Is there anything other than bore and crown that I should be looking for in telling if it is in good shape?
HK_USP_45
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by HK_USP_45 » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:35 pm

Niner wrote:Made by Enfield during a run from 1916 to 1919. The inspection mark with the crossed flags would indicate land forces use. The 111* model is thought to be the most common of the Enfields on the open market...or least it was according to Charles R. Stratton in one of his books.


I think the price is high.....even with gun price inflation of recent years. That doesn't mean you aren't finding a lot of same or higher asking prices. I went to a gun show last week and people were "asking" astronomical amounts for some guns. Makes me consider selling out and buying a newer and bigger boat. But it is all more greed than supply and demand dictated prices right now. I'd offer $200 and see if they take it or if they come back with something close. $200 is still about twice what I paid for one like it a couple of years ago.
So you think $300 is high? I thought it was a good price. The N04's I've seen are over $400 for a good one. I haven't even seen one of these for a long time, more than a couple of years.
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by Aughnanure » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:44 pm

Looks a reasonable rifle and as Woftam says that price would be OK in Australia.
I note that the dealer has a trigger lock fitted to it and someone has managed to cock it, probably by operating the bolt. So . . .?
The dark piece in the hanguard is an original means for re-inforcing it.

If you buy it, check the fit of the butt stock as there seems to be a bit of a gap and take the forend off before you do otherwise you might split the forend.
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Niner
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Re: Need help with ID'ing possible first SMLE

Post by Niner » Thu Jan 27, 2011 5:58 pm

$400 for a No. 4 is high too. Even in todays market you can get them for less by shopping around. SOG , for instance is offering No. 4's in "good to very good condition" For $189. But you would need a firearms license or get a dealer to transfer it for you. I think Century did have some too for about the same kind of price.....and these are working models not the $79 drill purpose MKIII's that are also around.

Now what you are looking at seems to have an above average condition stock and I don't see any Ishaphore screw. No DP marks. Do you see any import mark on it? No import will mean it has been in the country for a while and no import mark is worth a few extra dollars.

Try a few pawn shops in your town. See what they have. But it's your money and if you are happy with the deal that is all that counts. And....prices will be different in different parts of the country I'd imagine.
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