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Thread: 303 Enfield

  1. #1
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    Default 303 Enfield

    I just bought a Ment 303 Enfield, 1942, Mk III No 1 Collectors Grade, Unfinneshed Stock, Metal is 100 o/o black, not one ding any place, Glascow SMLE. Can not find a import mark any place! Any Thoughts on a price?
    Cheers
    Doc

  2. #2
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    I did find a small JJCO NY NY on the right side of the receiver!
    Cheers
    Doc

  3. #3
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    The Jovino company had some that came in in mint condition... and MANY more that they refinished and added new stocks to.

    Words Conquer!

  4. #4
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    Brad,
    Any idea on a price? I would like to keep this one for the Grand Kids!
    Cheers
    Doc

  5. #5
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    Does the serial number have an alphabetic prefix (A12345) or suffix (12345A)? Makes a huge difference in value.

    SlimTim
    Budweiser's Real Man of Genius: Mr. Gun Show Junkie

    Georgians! Tennesseans! Join your neighbors in the TN/GA Shooters forum.



  6. #6
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    There were alot of Lithgow #1's in that batch, from part guns to FTR'd and put away rifles.

  7. #7
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    Oh dear....

    John Jovino Co. is VERY well known in Lee Enfield circles as making up rifles from new parts and selling them as new.

    Enfield wasn't making No.1 receivers in 1942, and nowhere in Glasgow made No.1s either - I suspect you mean Lithgow (in New South Wales, Australia) which fits in with what JJ Co. were doing, buying new surplus parts from Australia.

    Very sorry to burst your bubble - I would love to be proven wrong. We will need to see some pics. A dead give away is that the bore is blued...

    I owned one for a few years in the late 1990s and couldn't give it away...... I ended up selling it for half of what I paid.

  8. #8
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    I have been collecting Russian rifles for over 45 years and have done well with it! The 303 is out of my league but was helping a friend who
    needed some cash ASAP. So I could eather put it in the safe or sell it as is ! I paid 150 cash ! I will send pics once my wife can help me out!!
    Cheers
    Doc

  9. #9
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    Either way it is a good deal. If you shoot, Enfields are a must have.

  10. #10
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    Slim Tim,
    The receiver has X****! And it is Lithgow!! The left side has a crown with cross flags.
    Cheers
    Doc

  11. #11
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    Unfortunately, Lithgow used letter prefix serial numbers running from Axxxx through Fxxxx.

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    Default Some more info

    To expand:

    That serial number is a dead give away clue the weapon is a parts put together that JJ Jovino was selling and they are in mint unused condition when being sold. Usually has a black parkerized type of finish and no marks like MA VII on the butt stock. They are real Lithgows with real parts on them ....just not original rifles.

    You got the rifle for a great price, I think these Enfields will end up like the Bannerman 1903 Springfields and have a collector value associated with them as a hybrid variant specialty item. THey are beautiful looking rifles and do tell you what a Lithgow would have looked like in metal and wood condition fresh from the factory way back when.

    CAUTION: many of those do not have recoil blocks put in the forends. If you are not familiar with what recoil blocks are and what to look for, find someone to help you. You do not want to shoot that weapon without these blocks or else you chance the forearm splintering and some chance of injury.

    Second caution: do not screw the huge screw inside the butt trap...either to tighten it or to loosen and remove the stock...you must take off the forearm first before messing with this bolt or your will crack the forearm and damage the irreplaceable New Old Stock wood on the weapon.

    Installation of recoil blocks. I have not done it personally but I do have one rifle that requires this procedure. Brian Dick LTD might have the recoil blocks and screws so pulse him. Maybe some forum members can help out on these parts. The installation of these blocks does take fitting so it might be something you want to do or not want to do.

    I would recommend getting blocks installed and shooting the heck out of the rifle and enjoy it. The rifle is essentially a new condition Lithgow so its accuracy will be very fine indeed and why not enjoy it.

    Lastly, the sour grapes about it not being original is a collector thing and while collectors are accurate in telling you that fact, what they fail to recognize is that it is 2010 and rifle such as yours is still desirable and the sum of its parts exceed $300 in value which is twice what you paid. Enjoy the bloody rifle is what I am saying and who cares if its a parts gun / bitzer , just shoot it ...after recoil block check of course.

  13. #13
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    My recollection is that the alphabetic prefix is an original Lithgow, suffix was a JJCo bitser. Someone will undoubtably correct me if I'm wrong.

    That would mean your rifle, albeit a JJCo, would be valued somewhat higher than the bitsers.

    SlimTim
    Budweiser's Real Man of Genius: Mr. Gun Show Junkie

    Georgians! Tennesseans! Join your neighbors in the TN/GA Shooters forum.



  14. #14
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    We have reached the point of speculation that photos are a must for the detail you are looking for.

    Words Conquer!

  15. #15

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    Without a crystal ball or a picture we re just spinning wheels doc.



    ....:D.....
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    George Carlin

  16. #16
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    Milprileb,
    I have checked several Enfield manuals and to no avail the blocks are not mentiond! This is why I think this Board is outstanding! People are willing to
    share all their knowledg about the guns!
    Cheers
    Doc

  17. #17
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  18. #18
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    +1 for what all of the previous posters have said...it's new to you...perform the minor bedding, check the headspace..(.tho I've never found one out of spec), and shoot it ! If you don't already, learn to cast and reload for it and your Mosins(same bullet)...
    I'll gladly pay even today's inflated prices for a box of Wolf or Prvi Partisan(boxer primed), knowing that I'll get roughly 25 firings out of each piece of brass if I neck size.I know that lots of collectors don't cast and reload..I don't understand it, but it doesn't affect me.
    My AR15 sits crying in the gun safe.....

  19. #19
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    [B]Swabbie: I beileve the reluctance on reloading and casting is due to milsurp ammo being widely available and still reasonably priced. Still...reloading
    is an investment that has paid dividends all my life and casting is just another great option to making these milsurp riflles shoot well and last longer.

    I agree with you entirely. Problem in my area is wheel weights to make bullets from has become near impossible to find due to most tire outlets saying its a EPA hazmat
    item and they got contracted removal of them. Hard for me to find wheel wts.

  20. #20
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    I tried Brian at BDL and he was out of them. There is a nice thread on Surplus Rifles forum how to make them from scratch and install. What ever you do dont fire your Lithgow till the recoil blocks are in place. Your coachwood stock will shatter sooner or later.

    Good luck. Its a bit**ch of a job.
    "Vertroue in God en die Mauser".-Faith in God and the Mauser.

    The motto of my ancestors, that gallant band of brothers, who fought an equally gallant enemy in 1899-1900

  21. #21
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    That only confirms the drama I had a hunch was looming ahead on this project.

  22. #22
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    I wouldn't recommend taking apart a SMLE and messing around with the bedding unless you know exactly what you're doing. There was a lot of hand fitting of the wood to these things, and it's easy to mess it up.

    BTW, Jovino did also bring in quite a few perfectly original rifles, that weren't parts guns. I've got one, a 1941 dated Lithgow that completely original and close to mint condition. On some of those - mine included - the import marks were applied so small, lightly struck and hidden that you have to know exactly where to look, and even then, you almost need a magnifying glass and just the right light to see them. They're on top of the barrel, under the rear sight leaf. Basically, invisible. Nothing like the billboard nonsense people slap on rifles these days.

  23. #23
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    I believe mine is FTR'd and then was stored.

  24. #24
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    Jungles: totally agree. JJCO did bring some original weapons in, and some were unissued originals. THey also brought in used original weapons and then they took used parts and new parts and made up parts rifles . Its a big menu and sometimes its cloudy to identify what the weapon is.

    For instance: If the weapon is all new looking, has a 1945 date and then a MA 51 on the wrist: Is it a FTR (not marked FTR) or was it a weapon that was MA Lithgow rebuilt but not stocked up in wood and JJCO took the refurbed rifle parts and stocked up.

    Some of these JJCO new looking No 1 Enfields are tough to really ID.

  25. #25
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    Mine is completely original, down to the last part, all 1941 and completely matching. It's one of the ones's with the green school stripes on the buttstock. But I agree, with these Jovino imports, you've really got to know exactly what you're looking at. Most of the "new" parts guns are pretty easy to spot, as are the true originals, but I've seen some in between that can leave you scratching your head.

  26. #26
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    I am under the impression that the JJovino built rifles had serial numbers that were 4 digits and ended in "a". I have not seen many only about 4 total.

    Finestkind
    Last edited by finestkind; 02-09-2010 at 09:59 PM. Reason: spelling

  27. #27
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    So my Jovino Lithgow .303 with a "C" prefix (C6xxxx) is an original? Is it that simple?

    The bolt has the serial number without the C prefix....is that proper for an Aussie built .303?

    The serial number on the receiver is stamped rather askew, "C" above the numbers which zig zag a bit and are not at all evenly spaced. Is that just 1941 nerves? Receiver dated 1941..wood is 1943.

  28. #28
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    Ammolab

    That rifle sounds like an original to me. A 41 dated rifle could have had wood replacement and 43 SLAZ wood installed. Is there any FTR marks on it or a R mark on metal or butt stock? Is the 1943 the fore end and if so: does it have the weapons serial number stamped on the underside up near the nose cap?

    The only JJCO serial numbers I have seen stamped on a receiver were done over XXXX 's put on the original serial number and its obvious it was re serial numbered and those will show the bolt re stamped as well.

    My guess is your serial number is correct and unless your bolt shows re stamping or milling off and re stamping: I think yours is one of the JJCO original weapons that was imported.

    JJCO when it was in full swing did batch together wood to metal and make weapons ..... old parts / replacement parts to used weapons in all manner of condition, new parts to unissued bbl actions, new parts to reconditioned / reblued bbl actions , and new parts to FTR weapons that were in various state of repair/refurbishment.

    The is a leap made every time someone sees JJCO as importer to assume its not originial. This is entirely incorrect. They did import original weapons without messing with them and sold them as such. Many had the painted stripes for cadet use on them but not all.

    Thus, a JJCO marked Lithgow requires a pause and hard look to see what it really is. Many are truly original Lithgows right out of storage from the Australian MOD and legit as can be.

    Then, there are some that could be , might be and remain always to be : QUESTION MARKS . I have one of those that American collectors say is 100% and Australian guys say: no way that is right. The upside is I like it and it looks brand new and I side with the Aussies as I think they got the edge on spotting a bitser .

    Two clues push the Aussies case: the butt stock has no marks on it and is brand new SLAZ replacement wood ( No MA VII on it) and the new SLAZ wood foreend has no recoil blocks inside of it. Those two clues tell me this MA 51 stamped rifle (refurbished rifle and all metal looks new and is correct) is a correct bbl action that was FTR'd but never completed and JJCO stocked it up with new old stock SLAZ wood and sold it as a complete original rifle. All original new or FTR to new correct parts but its not a correct rifle in the sense it left the FTR site all put together with out recoil blocks in 1951 and they also did not serial number the fore end wood either. Too many things undone by the FTR site ....and that just does not ring true.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by milprileb View Post
    Ammolab

    That rifle sounds like an original to me. A 41 dated rifle could have had wood replacement and 43 SLAZ wood installed. Is there any FTR marks on it or a R mark on metal or butt stock? Is the 1943 the fore end and if so: does it have the weapons serial number stamped on the underside up near the nose cap?
    .
    The receiver, bolt and rear sight leaf are numbered and matching... NO number on the fore end OR the nose cap (looks scrubbed). The rear of the fore end shows brass pins in the proper place...does that mean recoil block are in place or do I have to remove the fore end to verify?

    Maybe this rifle was a incomplete rifle stocked up by Jovino?

  30. #30
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    Thumbs up Ammo Lab: some feedback

    The pins you see are reinforcements to the coach wood forearm and are proper for a Lithgow in that wood. Not a problem and good to go. No..........that has nothing to do with the recoil blocks.

    The lack of a serial number on fore end wood between the bayonet lug and first HG band on the underside may mean its a replaced forearm done during depot repair and post war (as I understand it from Aussies) the scrubbed nose cap was done post war during such repairs of rifles.

    That your receiver, bolt and rear sight leaf have same serial number is a very good sign. Is the barrel serial numbered to the receiver with same number? You will have to (CAREFULLY) pull off the little wood cover behind the rear sight to see the barrel for that serial number and usually there is a date stamped there. You may find a date other than what is on the receiver wrist and that could mean it was rebarreled at one time. If the wrist is 1942 and the barrel is 1/47 then your front end was repaired and wood replaced when rebarreling happened. If the wrist date is 1942 and the barrel is 4/43 then its most likely the original barrel as there was a delay from receiver manufacture and installation of the barrel. These are examples so pls look under that wood and see any dates or serial numbers on the barrel. We can Identify more on your rifle when that is done.

    Now : is there anywhere on the receiver a marking like R or FTR ??? What about on the butt stock: is there a R/date like R/44 as example?

    JJCO did not stamp R or FTR, . I do not believe they put on any barrels and faked those stamps.

    Let me go into an example of what I found on my JJCO Lithgow: 1941 dated receiver, bolt and receiver serial numbers match as does the nose cap. The barrel has one serial number that is different and then there is my serial number on it too and there is a 1/44 stamp which means it was rebarreled using a used barrel in Jan 1944 and they re serial numbered the used barrel to match the rifle. Now, it gets interesting: the wood butt stock is SLAZ 41 and the Forend wood is SLAZ 45 and no serial number on the fore end wood. The butt stock has two marks on it: R/44 and R/47. Those marks tell me it was repaired in 1944 (old barrel tossed out and used barrel put on it then) and the R.47 tells me that in 1947 they replaced the front wood with 1945 dated used wood that has a different serial number than the rifles receiver serial number. This is all normal depot level repairs and not JJCO funny business. The stamps all correspond to what I see on metal and wood repairs. All is good. What I like about it is this tells me this rifle shot so much(hopefully bad guys) from 1941 to 1943, then got a replacement barrel put on: went back out and shot bad guys again till end of WWII . Then in l 1947 it got replacement wood on front end. This is a WWII well used veteran rifle and I really like that aspect.

    So pls get back with any marks on metal and wood for R or FTR stamps and any dates and info on the barrel like serial numbers .

    The mystery has clues on that rifle to tell us what happened. Interesting stuff if you are into Lithgows !!!!!!

    Pls email me at milprileb @aol.com so I can send you photos of what recoil blocks look like. I will info you on the email I send DOC today with that data and pictures. Standing by.// Skip

  31. #31
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    Milprileb,
    So far all the ser. no. match on the JJCO. The only number that is off is the one on tang under the striker. The no's that match is E 27*** The no under the striker X 27**. Also the butt stock has the SMLE stamp next to the tigger guard!
    Cheers
    Doc

  32. #32
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    i made the recoil pads for my rifle from bits of scrap copper..they work great

  33. #33
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    One other thing about a real Lithhow and an assembled one is the the real one will have an assembly number on the receiver just to the right of the cocking piece and under the bolt handle. These numbers should match. The parts guns will not have the assembly numbers. I just checked mine to verify that the numbers do exist on the real ones and not on the parts guns.

    Finestkind
    Last edited by finestkind; 02-12-2010 at 08:10 AM. Reason: typing

  34. #34
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    Doc where I live and considering current prices, if I had the rifle you've described and wanted to sell it, I would value it at $300 to $400. And I would not care if it was a put-together rifle or parts rifle or whatever.

    But that was just to answer your initial question. If I had that rifle, I would want to keep it and shoot it!

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
    One other thing about a real Lithhow and an assembled one is the the real one will have an assembly number on the receiver just to the right of the cocking piece and under the bolt handle. These numbers should match. The parts guns will not have the assembly numbers. I just checked mine to verify that the numbers do exist on the real ones and not on the parts guns.

    Finestkind
    You can have a "real" Lithgow .303 with non matching assemblly numbers. Bolts do get replaced during repair, FTR and also swapped in the field. Even a mismatched Lithgow is an authentic Aussie Build. Mine has a bolt that looks like it was scrubbed and then numbered to my rifle... so assembly numbers do not match.

  36. #36
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    I bought two of the John Jovino rifles back in the early 90's and they were nice, almost like they just came from the factory. I sold one and kept the other to shoot. You have to be careful with the Coachwood stocks because they damage easily even with the recoil blocks. Now mine is a "Wall Hanger" but still the most beautiful looking Enfield I have ever had...

  37. #37
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    Ammolab, You are correct in that the assembly numbers do not have to match. I should have said a matching bolt would have the same assembly number.

    Finestkind.

    Quote Originally Posted by ammolab View Post
    You can have a "real" Lithgow .303 with non matching assemblly numbers. Bolts do get replaced during repair, FTR and also swapped in the field. Even a mismatched Lithgow is an authentic Aussie Build. Mine has a bolt that looks like it was scrubbed and then numbered to my rifle... so assembly numbers do not match.

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by finestkind View Post
    Ammolab, You are correct in that the assembly numbers do not have to match. I should have said a matching bolt would have the same assembly number.

    Finestkind.
    Yep...my Lithgow has a "matching" bolt but the assembly numbers do not match. I guess the more proper designation on my rifle would be "forced match"? Maybe even called a "turd" on the Mauser Boards!

  39. #39
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    Thanks all for the help!
    I plan on getting Light Ball Ammo, Accessories for the Enfield at the next Gun Show here in Phoenix. I have a Bud who has Gun Shop down the road
    that will sell me 50 round Bandaleers with strippers in like new condition for $30 a wack! What is the right sling, leather or canvess? And "O" yes,
    the recoil block is a must!
    Cheers
    Doc

  40. #40
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    Brad,
    The Butt Stock has the right stamp on it!
    Cheers
    Doc

  41. #41
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    A canvas sling is correct. The Australians actually used a good deal of Canadian manufactured web gear, so if you can find one with Canadian markings (a large "C" with a broad arrow in it), so much the better.

  42. #42
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    Jungles,
    I am now on the Quest for the Enfield!!!
    Cheers
    Doc

  43. #43
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    Any body knows of a place in the Phoenix area that would have accessories for the Enfield?
    Cheers
    Doc

  44. #44
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    Default My Immaculate 1941 Lithgow J Jovino ? matching #'s

    I had this up on Parallax's C&R Forum about 6 mths ago and started a big mess of comments about this. The stock is a work of art.
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  45. #45

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    '44
    Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.
    George Carlin

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