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A tale of two Enfields

siriusrisingsiriusrising Member Posts: 14

I was helping a friend of mine sell guns her husband who had passed away had acquired. As part of the deal I bought a few from her. Two were Enfields. One is a 1916 SMLE, the other is a MK4 1943. The MK4 has nothing out of the ordinary about it. I put a box of rounds through it and it was accurate and no issues. Same with the SMLE but here is where the rub comes in. I posted both rifles on a couple of Enfield forums. At first I was told I should not shoot either one. Then someone came on and said your SMLE has a Z which is code for scrap or a factory repair not safe to shoot. I noticed that the Z was a suffix also on the nose with the serial no. Then someone said OK but the top of the breach of your gun has been sanded or lightly ground. It was a DP Drill purpose gun and is not safe to shoot. I replied that I did a bore inspection, the seems to lock up nice and I see nothing obvious that its a danger. Then they all started to pile on. Its a junk, wall hanger, parts gun bla bla bla. I replied that this is a lot of ifs, If it was a DP, if it was ground a bit because of it being a DP, if it was not repaired if it was a DP ect. They told me it was junk and don't shoot it. So I took it to a local full service gun shop. I asked the smithy to take a look at it and tell me if its safe to shoot either one. Do a bore inspection, head space, and over all safety exam. When I told the forums they said there is only one person in the USA that can tell if an Enfield is safe to shoot. I told the forum that this is just garbage of the first order. Only one smith in the whole USA that can check an Enfield? That sound so ridiculous that I would be ashamed to have posted that. Any way I wanted to get some gun smiths opinions. Thanks


  • Anti KueAnti Kue Member Posts: 176 ✭✭✭

    I bought a DP rifle for the hardware and stocks to rebuild a good action. It had a big hole drilled from one side of the breach to the other side and a deep DP stamped on top. The stock had a red and white stripe painted on it also. I would recomend finding a good reference book on SMLEs and finding out what the "Z" stamp really means.

  • siriusrisingsiriusrising Member Posts: 14

    The Z is the serial no suffix. You can see it on the serial no of the Nose with the same Z. Its nothing to worry about.

  • TfloggerTflogger Member Posts: 3,156 ✭✭✭

    I lurk occasionally at the site in question, I looked at the post and just like any place else there were know it alls and over cautious people. It's a good place for learning history .

  • dunbarboyzdunbarboyz Member Posts: 1,800 ✭✭✭✭

    Every rumor on the internet is a fact when the next expert posts it.

  • MIKE WISKEYMIKE WISKEY Member, Moderator Posts: 9,901 ******

    every "DP" rifle I've seen has had the barrel drilled at the chamber end and marked in more than 1 place. If headspace checks out and the rest looks good I would have no problem shooting them.

  • mmppresmmppres Member Posts: 2,960 ✭✭✭

    If that was a DP marked gum every part on it would have dp marked on it. Plus it would usually be a matching numbers gun. If this was a rebuild rifle using a * an barrel it would have been a very early one to not have a hole through action. Some DP rifles were sent to schools for use. But the bores were toast. Possibly something was ground off action an barrel shank that is unknown. This is what I have seen first hand.

  • hoosierhoosier Member Posts: 1,433 ✭✭✭

    My Book shows Z as a 1916 Prefix.

    Some of these rifles were take out of serve after WW2. And stored, for home guard use and not reissued to the regular Army. And as such may have had DP and Broad Arrow markings on some of these. Just showing taken out of service. Not necessarily , craped for Drill use only, depending on where the were at the time..

    I Ended up with 50 + of these in a buy out of a distributor here in the US. Rifles showed the Red and White painted and DP on Parts but bores were great and head space was good. I couldn't detect any problems with them, other than some surface and grime.

    Magazines, Gun Parts and More. US Army Veteran, VFW, NRA Patron
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