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Lee Enfield No.5 Mk.1

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by charlievcx2, Aug 11, 2014.

  1. charlievcx2

    charlievcx2 New Member

    Aug 11, 2014
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    Melbourne, Florida
    Let me begin by apologizing if any of my terminology is wrong, I'm not sure what the correct names are for some of the gun parts I am about to describe.
    I recently bought a Lee Enfield No.5 Mk.1 rifle, nicknamed the "jungle carbine". Unfortunately, I purchased it with very little knowledge about this particular type of rifle and after doing some online research I realized that my rifle has a couple of 'issues'. I understand that this type of rifle was copied a lot and there are many fakes out there.
    On mine, I believe that everything forward of the stock retaining band is original. It appears to me that where the Brits removed excess metal in order to lighten the No.5 is all correct on mine, even the scalloped marks on the barrel beneath the upper fore stock are there. From the research I did I understand that is the best way to determine if it is the real thing. Plus all the numbers match and going by the markings on the rifle I am pretty sure this one was manufactured at the BSA Shirley plant in 1945.
    The "issues" it has are firstly, the rear site. It is graduated out to 1300yds when it should only be 800yds. It also is stamped with an 'F' on top of the sight, which would indicate it came from the Royal Ordinance Factory at Fazakerley. However, I believe it is not uncommon to find No.5's with this sight mounted on it. The second "issue" is with the bayonet lug beneath the front sight....As you can see from the photos, it's not there. Again I believe No.5's are regularly found like this due to ignorant people who bought these weapons as a hunting rifle, did not like that feature and took to it with a grinder. On mine you can see where that has occurred. Neither of these two "issues" really bother me that much as I'm not an avid collector who demands total historical accuracy, I just want to shoot it.
    The third "issue" does bother me a little however, and I am sure anyone who is reading this can figure out from the photos what it is....the butt stock. I believe it probably came from a No.4, as I have one of these and it is identical to that one. My questions to everyone are these. Are replacement stocks available, and if so, how much? Or, and I say this in hopeful desperation, could my stock actually be original? Were any No.5's produced with a stock like mine before they began fitting them with the rubber recoil pad? It is the one thing I would like to be correct as it is blatantly noticeable.
    Thank you everybody for any possible help you can give me.

    Ok, an update! I bought a No5 stock assembly online at e-sarcoinc.com for $39.95 (see photo). The problem is the color difference from the fore end stock. I kind of want to return the entire rifle to its original wood color which would involve removing the glossy varnish finish it currently has and rubbing it with linseed oil. I have read that sandpaper should NEVER EVER be used on milsurp stocks. Is that true? If so, how do I remove the glossy finish and return it to natural wood?

    Attached Files:

    George Patton likes this.
  2. George Patton

    George Patton Canadian Refugee

    Aug 22, 2010
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    Ontario, Canada
    Lee Enfields are not my area of expertise. In fact, as a Canadian I'm a bit ashamed to admit that in my collection of 30+ military firearms I don't have one L-E! I was tempted to buy a Jungle Carbine at a gun show yesterday morning for $425, but passed on it. I've been focusing on Finnish Mosin Nagants for the past couple months. As such, take my comments with a grain of salt.

    Issue 1: The 1300 and 800 yard sights are identical, and many 1300 yard sights found their way onto Jungle Carbines during regular arsenal refurbishment.

    Issue 2: Yes, its common to find the bayonet lug ground off. It won't effect function or accuracy.

    Issue 3: That's not a Jungle Carbine buttstock. Prototypes had no recoil pad, but testing quickly revealed that it was an unpleasant rifle to shoot due to excessive recoil. I believe the buttstocks for the No4 Mk1 and No5 are interchangeable, so you're probably right. Numrich has replacement buttstocks for 80 bucks: http://www.gunpartscorp.com/ad/527230.htm#527320

    As an aside, it looks like the entire stock has been varnished. If you're going to replace the buttstock you might as well replace the forestock too -- this will hopefully eliminate any color mis-match issues. There's nothing like an old milsurp rifle with new wood!

    In conclusion, I'd say that its an original Jungle Carbine that's been lightly sporterized by chopping off the bayonet lug and having the stock refinished. The rear sight is most likely correct. No4 Mk1's had (IIRC) 4 lengths of buttstock depending on the length of the shooter's arms. It could just be that one of the civilian owners found the "stock" stock uncomfortable and swapped it with one off a No4 Mk1.
  3. mac_bolan00

    mac_bolan00 Member

    Feb 22, 2008
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    a bit OT but isn't it true that some police forces in india still use wartime enfields and some can actually be purchased?
  4. CAC

    CAC Ace of Spades

    Dec 1, 2010
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    Enfields were made by many countries...its fun to compare and try to pick which is from where...the quality differed enormously...
  5. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr

    Jun 20, 2002
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    London, England.
    Jungle Carbines were manufactured at Fazakerley and Shirley. Yours is a very nice-looking gun, but really does need the correct butt for originality.

    BTW, the 'excessive recoil' has been found to be rather an exagerration which is maybe why yours graduated to a standard stock. I've fired one wearing only a light shirt and jacket, and the recoil is much less than shotguns I've fired. It was found that the main problem is noise due to the shortened barrel (yes, it really IS loud ! ). This caused many soldiers to 'flinch' from the weapon, making the classic error of holding back a little from the gun rather than tucking it good and tight into the cheek & shoulder.

    Result - big bruising........
  6. Dave55

    Dave55 Member

    Sep 25, 2011
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    Ishapores are available in the US. I saw one at a gunshow with a shortened barrel and forend that the seller was trying to pass off as a No V.
    I think there were some Mark IIIs converted to single shot .410s used by Indian police.


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