Updated: Aug 12, 2020
The No4 rifle was in development to replace the venerable No1 SMLE during the late 1930's - of which the major goals for improvement were parts standardization for manufacture and service (no more special "Enfield threads"), the bayonet type and fixation were greatly improved and so was the ladder rear sight and longer sight radius. After the massive loss of men and material as the BEF were pushed back to Dunkirk the British government opened contracts for millions of the new rifle from various sources internal and external to the British Isles. These proved themselves in North Africa and were the principle rifle in the push back into and through France to Germany.
An original (standard) 1943 Savage No4 Mk1* built for Britain as Lend - Lease - marked "US PROPERTY" on the receiver.
All numbers matching (receiver, bolt and magazine). Most components clearly marked with the Savage "S" - or unmarked. Includes Savage bayonet and scabbard, came with a reproduction Bren sling. The wood is near perfect and the metal is over 90% condition original finish. The front sight projector has taken a hit and is slightly twisted as is the stamped Mk2 battle sight- straighten or replace.
The butt plate is currently brass and an alloy one may be more appropriate for this year, maker and model. Bolt head is marked for size "3" and passed head space in my hands.
This item sold on privately July 2020.
A standard (complete) 1942 Longbranch Lee Enfield No4 Mk1* Rifle made for Britain during WW2. A super nice example exhibiting many L over B marked parts and early features - low side fore wood and rounded cocking piece.
The wood shows scuffs and bruises from handling - may clean up even nicer, metal is 90+ condition original finish. Marked with a stamped DP on the top of the receiver ring and with a small DP just ahead of the magazine.
These early rifles were put in the DP program for various reasons - most of which would not bother the modern shooter / collector.
This items sold on Gunbroker March 2020.
A standard (complete) 1949 Fazakerley No4mk2 rifle. The Mk2 is hard to differ from the original Mk1 - the key change was to hang the trigger pivot on the receiver so the trigger stayed with it and maintained its relationship with the seer. The Mk1 rifle had the trigger mounted on the trigger guard and its location was subject to the thickness and fit of the wooden fore-end and so the relationship of the trigger to the seer had extra variables. So the Mk2 was essentially a trigger performance improvement - it did make the Mk2 a marginally better shooter, although the official sniper rifles all remained in Mk1 configuration. To achieve the design (and conversion) a pivot lug was added to the underside of the receiver for the trigger, the rear of the fore end had then to be split where this was and so the rear band was eliminated and a new fore-end cross screw created and installed to pinch the fore-end together slightly and anchor it to the trigger lug on the receiver (through a cross hole). So a quick determining visual factor to know a Mk1 rifle from a Mk2 is the external evidence of the cross strap ends and brass pin on the Mk1 and the slotted head of the cross bolt and nut on the Mk2. This example was made in the Fazakerley factory, located just outside of Liverpool in England, all Mk4 production and rebuild was switched there post war.
This example has not been arsenal rebuilt (Factory Thorough Repair) and shows the remains of the black paint (suncorite) over a parkerised finish on all metal components and beech wood furniture that is sooted to darken it and browned with dye and long term effects of linseed oil and cosmoline. This rifle as per other Mk2s is a good shooter.
The singer format micrometer rear sight is a standard feature on all new and rebuilt rifles after 1945. By this stage all major components are made within Fazakerly and are marked F and with a two digit date code - most rifles were built with minimum variety in the date codes, but some modern collectors want to go the extra mile to try and get all one year part coding. Of interest is the original electro-penciled mark, maker and serial number. No4Mk1 (F) then the build date of 11/49 (November 1949) and then the serial number (PFXXXXXX). The spike bayonet would still be in use for the No4 rifle at this time - not serialed to the rifle in British service (as it was seen as a breakable / consumable item). This one is made by Singer (N69). The wider "Bowie" blade was introduced soon after and also made at Fazakerley in 3 major production runs in distinct years.
This item sold on privately July 2020.