A neighbor of mine recently asked me if I wanted to buy some old rifles that he had. He's a real nice old guy, and I know that he doesn't shoot any more, so I popped over to look at them. They are three Enfield rifles, #1MkIII, Caliber .303.
Yeah, I seem to be coming across a lot of Enfields these days, don't I?
The old things were caked with dust and haven't seen daylight in many years. He had no idea what they were worth and was willing to take far less than current value for them. Talk about tempting...
Had it just been some guy at a gun show I could have scored these rifles for next to nothing, but like I said, he's a neighbor, and a really nice guy who would do anything for anyone, and he really does need the money. So I gave him a fair price for them even though I
And here they are:
From left to right, BSA-manufactured (Birmingham Small Arms) rifle built in 1917. This rifle also bears Australian markings, so it's obviously one of the batch that was sent to Kangaroo Land after World War One. The stock markings indicate that it was refurbished by Lithgow (Australian arms factory) in 1947. The upper handguard has cracked, no doubt from drying out, and will have to be replaced. Rest of the wood is screaming for linseed oil.
Rifle Two, center, is a Lithgow-manufactured rifle produced in 1941. Far as I can tell, it was also refurbished in 1947. Both of these rifles bear small import marks and probably came into the country with the big batch of Australian rifles imported in the late 1980s.
The third one is a gem. This one was produced at Enfield in 1912. Has the magazine cut-off and original volley sights still intact. And unlike the other two, it's neither Aussie-marked or import marked. It's biggest negative is a scorched stock on the left side where it got too close to a fire at some time in it's life.
Top to bottom: 1917 BSA, 1941 Lithgow, 1912 Enfield.
All are still caked with dust and grime and it's going to take me a bit to clean them up and see what I've got here. The Lithgow and the BSA seem to have decent bores but the Enfield looks pretty dark and sketchy. I'd guess that someone fired a some corrosive ammo through it and didn't clean it. And coincidentally, my neighbor had some corrosive .303 that he threw in with them. (Hmmmm....) I won't shoot that stuff, but I will sell it and give him whatever I can get for it. Anyone need 90 rounds of pre-war cordite-filled .303 on clips and in bandoleers?