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Lee Enfield No5 Mk1 ( Jungle Carbine )


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#1 Tikirocker

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 02:36 PM

G'day all,

As the moderator of the Lee Enfield forums at Collecting and Shooting the Military Surplus Rifle (2006) - Surplusrifle.com I thought I might add some Enfield content to this section; hopefully it will meet with interest. Both my Grandfather and Great Uncles fought in the Burma Campaign during WW2; my Grandfather was with the Royal Sussex Regiment ( The Shiny 9th ) and my Great Uncle who is in his 90's fought with the Chindits under Maj Gen Ord Wingate. The No5 Mk1 was specifically developed for fighting in the far east and Burma campaign was where this rifle found it's major point of issuance.

I am presenting my own rifle here which as by the text attached to the images you will recognise as a Fazakerley built No5 from the 12 month, year of 1945. I have created a FAQ sticky at the Enfields forum and will re-post it here for the benefit of those curious. There is a great deal of history on the development of the No5 rifle which I could expand upon if members are interested but for now I'll let the FAQ sticky suffice.



No5 Mk1 specs ... by Tikirocker
-----------------------------

Overall Length = 3ft 3.5"

With bayonet = 4ft.01"

Barrel = 20.5" with flash hider.

Bayonet overall = 12.0"

Weight Rifle without bayonet = 7bl. 1oz ( 3.2kg )

Rifle with bayonet = 8bl.3oz (3.7kg)

Bayonet No5 = 7oz (.2kg)

Barrel rifling = 5 groove

Twist = Left hand 1 in 10 or 33 calibers.

Sights Mk1 and MkII = 200-800 yards.

Magazine capacity = 10 rounds - capable of 11 with one up the spout.

Loading via 5 round charger clips, NOT from the magazine.

Caliber. 303 in British.

Production costs at time of production = Pounds 8/8/Od.



No5 MK1 Jungle Carbine FAQ's.
--------------------------------

1# - What factories made the No5 rifle?

Ans - Only two factories ever made the No5 Mk1, Royal Ordnance Factory ( ROF )Fazakerley ( F ) in Liverpool and BSA Birmingham Small Arms ( M47C )



2# - What manufacture codes should be present on the parts of my No5 Mk1?

Ans - See answer to question 1.



3# - Where do I find the manufacture I.D on a No5?

Ans - All manufacture information, dates and serial numbers are found on the left of the receiver and are electro pencilled not stamped.



4# - My No5 doesn't seem to have any markings at all, what now?

Ans - In some cases the markings are very faint and barely noticeable at all - this is especially the case with many BSA rifles where it's common to only find the M47C code to identify it.



5# - Where should I find matching serial numbers?

Ans - On the left of receiver, on the rear flat of the bolt, on the left of the barrel knox form and magazine also stamped in the stock in some cases. In less common cases you may find the serials E/P'd on other parts such as the inside of the trigger guards.



6# - What is the story with overlapping serial number codes and dates?

Ans - Fazakerley was running three assembly lines at once for No4 rifle production in WW2 but these lines each had their own letter code sequences, so the multi-line system is easy to see. Perhaps the explanation for the wild letter prefix overlaps is this three line system operating without the special letter codes, which would look like chaos with lots of anomalies?


7# - How many digits do No5's have in their serial numbers?

Ans - Usually you will see a 4 digit serial code system on 99% of Jungle Carbines but there are instances of 3 letter codes and there will likely be 2 letter codes also. The main point here is that 4 is the biggest number you will see. If you have a rifle with a 5 digit serial number then you will likely have a No4 conversion and not a No5.




8# - What are the major clues to identifying that my No5 rifle is real and not a fake?

Ans - In no particular order you should check that ...

# - Your bolt head is hollowed out.

# - Remove the handguard and check that your barrel knox form has the lightening cuts that are unique to this rifle.

# - Check that the rear sight is the correct type Singer style Mk1 or Mk2 sight with a max setting of 800 yards and not 1300 yards as found on No4 back sights.

# - A fast check for the novice is to look at the receiver from the left side and see if it has a distinct step beneath the back sight. If it does not then this is a No4 receiver or even maybe a No1 receiver.

# - You will not find the rectangular lump on the front right side of the receiver wall unlike a No4 receiver.

# - The action cover loop of the No5 trigger guard is a rounded loop and waisted unlike the even U of the No4 cover.

# - Your rifle should have a conical flash eliminator at the muzzle end with bayonet lug beneath.

# - The butt stock should not look the same as a No4 or No1 butt stock. You will see a distinct groove on the rear right side of the stock with a unique D shaped steel sling keep protruding.




9# - What is all this about a wandering zero?

Ans - Back when the No5 was still being manufactured there was a period of time when the No5 was seen as being the logical successor to the No4 rifle as the standard battle rifle. After performing various trials it was ( apparently ) reported that the No5 would not hold it's zero and under certain circumstances would lose it altogether. More trials were conducted and there were various reports of the lightening of the receiver being a cause of the issue as well as stocking up in some instances.

In the context of the period the rest of the world was moving toward SLR or Self Loading Rifles and it is now largely believed that the Wandering Zero story was an expedient means of the MOD justifying re-tooling and scrapping the No5 to the Government bean counters so they could move to the SLR. After all the trials and R&D that had already been done for production of the No5 they needed an excuse for this change as Britain was now also facing a struggling post war economy unlike the U.S. It is now widely held that the Wandering Zero was the excuse they required. Few if any No5 owners today find any accuracy issues with their rifles and fewer still can replicate the wandering zero - it is believed to be a created myth ( That all No5's suffered with innacuracy ) and this seems to be well supported by the many owners who can not find any evidence of it.

It is widely believed that the effects of the so-called wandering zero were environmental - the sheer volume of damp, rain and humidity found in Burma is now understood to be the culprit as when the furniture of the rifle was repeatedly swelling and drying out it would cause shifts in the bedding of the rifle relative to the receiver; this in turn would cause erratic shifts in accuracy. Under heavy or sustained fire the stocks would heat up considerably after being soaked for long periods and not having chance to dry out properly.

In later years during and after the Malayan Emergency the Malays decided to finish their No5 Mk1's with lacquer to stop moisture and damp from entering the furniture - lessons well learned from the Burma experience; the correct finish for all Lee Enfield rifles however is and has always been Linseed Oil. Linseed Oil works in just about every other environment as it is still permeable and not entirely waterproof ... most if not all Enfield's are usually finished with a wax to create the final barrier to moisture. In the case of Burma where torrential downpour and heat are a daily occurance, this method simply was not enough. Published British Armorers such as Peter Laidler have confessed that most No5's were as good as gold and I can vouch for the fact that I have no such accuracy issues with my own No5 Mk1.



10# - What is the significance of the capped fore-end?

Ans - We see the capped fore-end beginning in early 1946, so post war period. Some were found very early on ( 1944 experimental models ) but the majority are post war. As for significance of the fore-end, it was requested that a fore-end cap be introduced for protection of the fore-end itself and also to guard against moisture entering the end grain.


PRODUCTION NUMBERS.
=================

ROF Faz - 169,807.

BSA - Shirley - 81,329.

For more information see my No5 Info and Serial Number sticky here Surplusrifleforum.com • View topic - No5 Mk1 Jungle Carbine info and Serial Number Survey! - or if anybody needs any additional information on No5's feel free to ask.




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The No5 Mk1 rifle first began production in September of 1944 but did not find issue to troops in the Far East until 1945. I hope this information has been educational and informative.


Best regards, Simon.

Edited by Tikirocker, 14 December 2008 - 03:10 PM.

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#2 Skipper

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 02:55 PM

Great quality pictures ands some useful descriptions too, I like it when I learn something new and the reading is a pleasure. Thank you for sharing. Do I deduce the number 5 was first used in Arnhem or at the Battle of the Bulge or did it last even longer before it got into service in Europe too?

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#3 Tikirocker

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 03:05 PM

Hey Skip,

I am very glad to provide useful information to the forum, my pleasure - my goal is to attempt to not make these things a dry read if I can help it. The No5 never saw service in Europe or Africa ... it was first issued in 45 to the Far East and Burma specifically but never anywhere else but perhaps rare cases in the South Pacific. It came very late in the war and was popular with the troops it was issued to. The rifle was still in use during the Malayan Emergency where Australian troops carried it ... the Malayan Emergency lasted for near on 10 years into the early 60's if my memory serves me.

Hope that helps,

Best, Simon.
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#4 Skipper

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 03:10 PM

Ok , thanks for the precision. The reason I aske dis because I read it went into service in Asia in 1945 only, so I thought that maybe Europe being the closest theatre it could have been used there before. This drives me to 2 more questions. Is this the one that is still used by police force in India (I thought i recognized a few on Tv during the terror attacks from a few weeks ago )? And can I deduce this model is harder to get in Erope because it was not used there?

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#5 Tikirocker

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 03:28 PM

Skip,

The No5 saw it's first development in Sept of 1944 but was not issued to troops in the Far East until 45 as I stated above in the original post ... so you are correct that it only saw service in the Far East in 1945. However, we have a caveat with Enfields that goes "never say never ...". There are sometimes exceptions to the rule but this is the 99% skinny from official records.

The rifles you have seen in India recently are not No5's but rather No4's and SMLE's - some would be No1 MKIII's and others have been the Indian made Ishapore 2A's. I would imagine that the No5 rifle is quite rare in England to this very day let alone Europe itself since England sold off most if not all of its surplus Enfields to 3rd Party nations long ago. You can still find Enfields in the UK but they are far and fewer between these days and quite expensive.

By the way ... the No5 has been a favourite Hunting stick of Australians for many years. Here is a picture taken by a fellow countryman putting his No5 to use in the Outback. My No5 is my personal pick for a wilderness/hunting rifle without question; they are light and pack plenty of punch if you hand load them for your requirements.

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[IMG]http://www.ww2f.com/weapons-wwii/%3Ca%20href=http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h271/Tikirocker/JungleCarbineBuff2.jpg%20target=_blank%3Ehttp://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h271/Tikirocker/JungleCarbineBuff2.jpg%3C/a%3E[/IMG]

Best, Simon.

Edited by Tikirocker, 14 December 2008 - 03:45 PM.

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#6 Skipper

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 04:32 PM

Excellent picture. Not the same prey , but it still works after all those years.

I have a WWI Enfield bullet at home. It was hard to neutralize because unlike many other bullets, when you drill a hole in them , the powder is not just powder but rather small powder strings which are hard to get out of the bullet through a tiny drilled hole.

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#7 Tikirocker

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 06:19 PM

Skip,

The strings that you were pulling out of that bullet were more than likely fibrous cordite as used in British ammunition of that period. The British developed various types of ammunition for the .303 over the years - some of it very interesting.

Picture on the far right shows British cordite ...

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I imagine that is your stuff right there. :)
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#8 Skipper

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 07:48 PM

That's exactly the one I have. I didn't know know the exact word was "cordite", it was quite difficult to get the bullet inert with these. Thanks a lot for showing.

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#9 DAVEB47

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Posted 14 December 2008 - 10:22 PM

I've heard people say they kick like a mule. A very nice example of a great rifle.

#10 Martin Bull

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:30 AM

Thanks, tikirocker, for a most informative discussion about the No5 Enfield, one of interest to me as a No. 5 was the last live weapon I fired a few years ago.

The owner wanted to prove a point to me - it does NOT kick like a mule. I was wearing a business suit and shirt ( no shoulder padding ) , and provided that the stock was kept tight to my cheek and shoulder, recoil was not appreciably worse than any other rifle ; certainly I suffered no bruising, etc.

But the gun was very ( VERY ) loud ! Ear defenders were essential and made me wonder if perhaps recruits' nervousness led to them handling the gun incorrectly, and thus giving rise to the strong-recoil legend......
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#11 ghost_of_war

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 04:02 PM

Great photos....
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#12 Skipper

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:19 PM

So they are noisy too. If I ever have a chance to try one, I'll wear ear plugs then.

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#13 Tikirocker

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:39 PM

But the gun was very ( VERY ) loud ! Ear defenders were essential and made me wonder if perhaps recruits' nervousness led to them handling the gun incorrectly, and thus giving rise to the strong-recoil legend......



Martin,

Glad to know you enjoyed the piece mate. The No5 is one of my favourite rifles of all time - it is also a design that has been copied the most by companies trying to recreate the class this gun has. The Gibbs and Santa Fe conversions are two such types in the U.S. These turn up from time to time with people thinking they are genuine No5's ... there are plenty of No5 fakes out there and we see more No5 fakes than just about anything else. Most often these are No4's chopped and converted to look like a No5 - less frequently seen is the No1. One of my pet hates is bubba'd Military Rifles.

As for the recoil ... you will find that most carbines have a reputation for more kick as is the case with the Russian M44 Mosin Nagant. This is naturally occurring with lightened rifles such as the No5 and with the Mosin M44 you do not have the Flash Eliminator of the No5 so the muzzle flash from the M44 really is quite incredible when firing at dusk!

The No5 has manageable recoil for most people with a solid frame but some smaller framed people can suffer a bit firing a full military round through a lightened carbine. There are surely instances of flinch that people can develop if they fear the kick ... this happens amongst new shooters in target shooting with heavy barrels as well. I have found the No5 to be a most pleasant rifle to shoot and think it is a superb all purpose hunting rifle.

P.S Any full power military round is going to be loud but carbines will always be louder than standard length barreled actions due to the round exiting the muzzle closer to you than otherwise. Anybody not wearing hearing protection shooting ANY caliber is a fool - responsible education at any range is always to wear hearing and eye protection.

Best, Simon. :)
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#14 Tikirocker

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 06:43 PM

Skip,

As I have stated above ... you should be wearing hearing protection firing any rifle of any caliber; without question. If you don't you can look forward to early hearing loss.
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#15 Martin Bull

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Posted 15 December 2008 - 07:22 PM

Martin,

Glad to know you enjoyed the piece mate.


Hi Simon -

Yes - it was enjoyable and came about through one of those 'I heard they're awful to fire' remarks to a dealer who promptly invited me to 'Come out the back and try it !'.

I've fired a SMLE and the No.5 just seemed to have a more 'wallop!' quality to its sound - with ear defenders, actually quite satisfying.

The one I fired was a genuine No.5, not a mock-up - and yes, being subjective, it also had the benefit of looking very :cool:......
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#16 KRASHED

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Posted 21 January 2009 - 11:27 PM

Great photos....


Funny to see a Bones member one here :P

I just got a Jungle Carbine from my Opa for my 20th birthday recently. I am just itching to shoot but im in university so I can't :(. This was a enfield that had been passed through the family. Apparently it's had less than 20 known rounds through it, everything is matching except the magazine. All the wood is in excellent condition and the metal is also fantastic!

#17 John Louies

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Posted 22 January 2009 - 07:44 AM

wow great pics!:D

#18 ghost_of_war

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Posted 24 January 2009 - 01:24 PM

Funny to see a Bones member one here


Hello Krashed! Yes, this is one of my favorite places to visit (off topic, sorry).
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#19 wtid45

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Posted 25 January 2009 - 01:08 PM

I have a picture of my Dad, in march 45, situ just outside of Mandalay at Pagoda Hill and i think he could be holding a no 5 short L.E, but there is shadow on the pic and it is hard to work out i will try to scan the pic and post it.
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#20 paratrooper506

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Posted 30 January 2009 - 01:01 PM

I,ve never seen something like that

#21 wtid45

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 12:33 PM

I have a picture of my Dad, in march 45, situ just outside of Mandalay at Pagoda Hill and i think he could be holding a no 5 short L.E, but there is shadow on the pic and it is hard to work out i will try to scan the pic and post it.

Have posted the pic on the military records thread under 4/4th prince of wales own gurkha rifles.
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#22 pj308

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 07:49 PM

Nice history of the #5 Mark 1. I have a #4 mark 1. This is the most accurate rifle I have compared to all my military bolt rifles. The .303 Brit. is a great round.
I noticed the pic of the cordite. I purchased some .303 that were marked 1943 from Greece. I figured I would pull the head off and when the strands came out I was shocked as I didn't know what it was. I counted 26 strands in the case. I ran a few out to the Enfield and it worked w/no problems.
Thanks for sharing the pics and info.

#23 spoolerdog

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Posted 22 February 2009 - 11:35 PM

Hi there. I am new to this site - and what a great site it is. I have been offered the chance to buy a jungle carbine. I have not actually seen the beast itsel but have been advised it is in great condition. Only ne things bothers me now I have read your great article and see your pix - was there ever a version produced in India with 7.62 barrel? Also if I go ahead with this purchase is there anywhere I could get a copy of the skill at arms manual for this rifle. And if you could give any other bits of advice i would be most grateful.

Thanks

#24 paratrooper506

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Posted 25 February 2009 - 10:16 AM

some advice don,t buy it until you see it the rifle may be damaged or the firing pin might be broken or the stock may be broken

#25 Ben Cartwright SASS

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Posted 24 October 2009 - 05:48 PM

I current own two Enfield #4s while at the Springfield Mass gunshow, I picked up a No 5 Jungle Carbine. This guy was selling it for a friend who had passed away, so didn't know much about it.
I took it to a local gunsmith, an old German who was in WWII (not on our side) and he checked it out, felt it is a very good gun, it was his opinion it has never been fired, he took the bolt apart and there was not indication of firing. If it was fired it was very little and someone spent some serious time cleaning it. I had to clean cosmoline or some preservative out of the barrel. The stock is fantastic.
It looks real to me. And looks pretty pristine. I paid $275 for it.

It is serial number 1612 the serial number is on the stock, the receiver, the band connecting the parts of the stock and the magazine. It was made at Fazakerley (F) and has that on the sideplate.

The question I have is on both side of the side plate someone used an electric pencil to scratch in the following number

V562-733-33-068

It is not an FFL license or import number, could it be a British Servicemans serial number? or what?

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