I picked up a couple of magazines for my Enfield the other day, the price was right ($10 each), but their condition is doesn't look so good.
After some research I discovered that these are for a No.1 model and will not work in my No.4 Mk.1*, something I didn't know when I bought them.....oh well, I'm sure I can get my money back out of them.
They appear to be in working order
I checked with the milsurp collectors and found that there is some disagreement on the proper way to restore these. Some say the magazines were originally parkerized. Some say they were blued. These look as though they were originally blued to me, but it is hard to tell. Others say to leave them alone.
If you have been following my blog you may have seen my posts on the restoration of a Springfield M1903A3 rifle. That project has jump started my interest in military rifles.
I figured this might be a good time to collect all the accouterments that my Enfield rifle should have with it.
The rifle is a No.4 Mk1* made in 1943 in the Canadian Arsenal at Long Branch (near Toronto).
I purchased this gun in the early 90's, from a surplus house that I was selling these "shooter grade" Enfields for $59 + shipping.
I originally checked the chamber by adding shims to the back of a cartridge (too make sure it didn't have too much head space). I then fired it by laying it on the ground, placing a large log on top of it and using my shoe string to pull the trigger........The gun fired just fine and I have fired it (from the shoulder) a few times since.
I had purchased this No.4 MkII bayonet a few years after acquiring the rifle. The No.4 MkII is the proper one for this rifle. I understand that these were once so plentiful and inexpensive that people bought them for tent stakes....
You can look into the history of Enfield bayonets here.
So I got on ebay and bought 10 surplus 5-round stripper clips for $1 each including shipping.
They had some light rusting, but a little 0000 steel wool and Hoppes #9 and they were again ready for service.
After removing a metric ton of cosmoline and dirt from the magazines, I decided to leave them in the "rustic" condition they are in.
I also purchased an original WWII surplus khaki canvas sling from an online vendor, when I got the sling it had the stench of storage, that familiar musty smell. I let it air out for a couple of days in my garage before installing it.
The sling is stamped ME Co. 1941, just like the one below.
I had to go to the experts at the Lee-Enfield Forum for instructions on the correct way to install the sling, the brass end plate goes in, towards the rifle.
For those that don't know, the Lee-Enfield was never meant to have its magazine removed for loading. It was designed to use the stripper clips as "chargers" to load or top off the magazine. You could also load them by hand one at a time, but the charger clips were designed to speed up the reloads during battle
Another unique tidbit, the "charger" clips are loaded with the middle and outside cartridges loaded on the bottom and the other two loaded with their rims sitting on top of the middle and outside ones.
I tested the new magazines out and one of them fit and sort of fed ammo, the other was a no-go. I will probably sell them both, don't really need more than one magazine anyway.
At any rate, here we have the rifle, with the sling mounted, the bayonet, extra magazines, stripper clips and some ammo.
I'm still missing the bayonet frog, a bandoleer and a cleaning kit, something to look out for when I cruise the gun shows!