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Thread: Australian - Lithgow - 303 Lee Enfield No1 Mk3 1919 ShtLE

  1. #1

    Default Australian - Lithgow - 303 Lee Enfield No1 Mk3 1919 ShtLE

    I had a very close friend who die one year ago who left me a rifle and his family brought it to me last night. It is a Australian Armory 303 Lee Enfield No1 Mk3 manufactured at the Lithgow factory in Australia in 1919.

    It was never issued for service to any unit and the only use was it being tested at the factory at Lithgow and then stored. It is not a fake or later build of parts bought from the Australian Amory. We know this because the serial numbers are the SAME in the FOUR places (Nose Cap, underneath and at the bottom of the Back Sight, the front right hand side of the Receiver Ring and the back of the Bolt Handle) where they are suppose to be and the Butt Plate is brass as manufactured by the Aussie's. Here are some pictures.

    You will note the stock condition as unused in the field. Note the bluing on the bolt and inside the receiver as well as the bluing still on the back and front sight due to not being used. Also note the rifling is new and unused in the field. When I used foam bore cleaner and let it set for 45 minutes in the bore it was almost white just a tad of blue tent due to testing at the factory. Of course it will be shot by me for sure.







    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  2. #2

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    More pictures:







    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  3. #3

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    More Pictures:







    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  4. #4

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    Final Pictures:







    :grin:
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  5. #5
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    I've never been much of an Enfield fan, but your particular acquisition and excellent camera work gives it beauty for sure BT. Looks like your friend took good care of it, and I know you will as well...sorry for your loss, sir.

    I acquired a Springfield after my father passed away many years ago. My son enjoys shooting it from time to time at the range. We keep it looking good as well. They are classics for sure...even if they made a bijillion of them.

    Doc

  6. #6
    Sponsor ADfields's Avatar
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    That is one sharp looking piece of Colonial British history for sure! I have laid eyes on many a Enfield but none even close to that one, your friend must have thought very highly of you to leave you such a wonderful rifle.
    Andy
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    Supporting Member Amigo Will's Avatar
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    Sorry for the loss.You now have memories and a fine rifle. Col. Jeff Copper thougth the 303 Enfield the finest battle/survivor weapon

  8. #8
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    Is it import marked?

  9. #9

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Is it import marked?
    There are no import marks
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
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    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  10. #10
    Member GrassLakeRon's Avatar
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    Sorry about your friend. My "friends" will only leave me harsh words if that. I had a Lithgow. The Aussie's really know how to make them. Mine was a 43'. It, to this day, is the only gun I wished I never sold! Happy shooting!

    Ron

  11. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by GrassLakeRon View Post
    Sorry about your friend. My "friends" will only leave me harsh words if that. I had a Lithgow. The Aussie's really know how to make them. Mine was a 43'. It, to this day, is the only gun I wished I never sold! Happy shooting!

    Ron
    Yes, this on is truly put together nice and the action is really smooth and when I put a light coat of Tri-flow it was extremely smooth. Really Nice!!
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  12. #12
    Member Float Pilot's Avatar
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    I have only ever seen one other in that condition. Wished I would have bought it.

    That is a real sweetie.
    Think about your friend whenever you take her out to the range. I am sure he appreciates your thoughts and how you are taking care of his rifle.
    Floatplane,Tailwheel and Firearms Instructor- Dragonfly Aero
    Experimental Hand-Loader, NRA Life Member
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  13. #13

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    Quote Originally Posted by Float Pilot View Post
    I have only ever seen one other in that condition. Wished I would have bought it.

    That is a real sweetie.
    Think about your friend whenever you take her out to the range. I am sure he appreciates your thoughts and how you are taking care of his rifle.
    I will always think of Sonny when I go to the range, handle it, just look at it or hunt with it. This was truly nice of him and his family. I would rather have his friendship but all good things come to and end down here so the rifle is cool and keeps good memories alive.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  14. #14

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    Sorry to hear about the loss of your friend BT. That was very cool of him to leave you the rifle.

    Thanks for posting the pics... a very nice rifle

  15. #15

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    Thanks MontanaRifleman, I am actually going to hunt with it some, just because Sonny always got a kick out of my shooting, load development and hunting.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  16. #16

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    My rifle is marked FTR - Factory Thorough Repair. The history check of the serial number shows that it was refinished, restocked and rebarreled at the armory in Australia. This is similar to the rebuild system we had after WW2 at Augusta Arsenal, Ogden Arsenal, Rock Island Arsenal and San Antonio Arsenal. What I wind up with is a brand new rifle and this rifle has never been fired except at the factory. The Swedes also rebuilt their M96 Mausers at several Arms Stations. They are beautifull when rebuilt.

    I have decided to hand load for this rifle and I will be using a 180gr Sierra Pro-Hunter SP, Winchester Brass, Federal 210 primers and AA2495BR powder. Should get 2475fps or a little better while staying under pressures for the cartridge in this rifle. It will give me a 210 yard zero and only -5" at 270 yards -10" at 300 and at this point hold on top of shoulder and it will be -14" at 370. I will let you all know how it shoots.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    There are no import marks
    So nowhere is it marked JA CO NY or something similar? What about at the right rear receiver, what are those markings there?

    have you checked for thee presence of the brass recoil plates?

    Your rifles serial number bears an "A"..that is evidence that it's a Jovino assembled Lithgow.

    Check for those plates before you shoot it.

  18. #18

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    So nowhere is it marked JA CO NY or something similar? What about at the right rear receiver, what are those markings there?

    have you checked for thee presence of the brass recoil plates?

    Your rifles serial number bears an "A"..that is evidence that it's a Jovino assembled Lithgow.

    Check for those plates before you shoot it.
    The right rear has Australia .303 and on the charger clip guide it has IA CO SAC CA

    Talk to me about brass recoil plates so I know just what you are referring to. Thank you
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by beartooth View Post
    The right rear has Australia .303 and on the charger clip guide it has IA CO SAC CA

    Talk to me about brass recoil plates so I know just what you are referring to. Thank you
    Your rifle was imported by Import Arms Company of sacramento ca, otherwise known as Old sacramento armory. Its interesting because I cant find any reference to IA importing FTR Lithgows.

    Take the magazine out and look on either side of the sear boss..or remove the forend (buttstock first) and look for the brass recoil shields.

    As your rifle was dated 1919 it was clearly issued as coachwood (like your stock) wasnt used until 1939.

    What markings are on the stock?

  20. #20

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    Quote Originally Posted by Wildalaska View Post
    Your rifle was imported by Import Arms Company of sacramento ca, otherwise known as Old sacramento armory. Its interesting because I cant find any reference to IA importing FTR Lithgows.

    Take the magazine out and look on either side of the sear boss..or remove the forend (buttstock first) and look for the brass recoil shields.

    As your rifle was dated 1919 it was clearly issued as coachwood (like your stock) wasnt used until 1939.

    What markings are on the stock?
    I will look for the brass recoil shields in a moment but until then FTR is stamped on the receiver. On the stock I have the number 266 on the left side of the butt stock.
    A GUN WRITER NEEDS:
    THE MIND OF A SCHOLAR
    THE HEART OF A CHILD
    THE HIDE OF A RHINOCEROS

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