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Lee Enfield Barrel Markings Decoded

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Alan De Enfield
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Lee Enfield Barrel Markings Decoded

#1 Post by Alan De Enfield » Wed Jul 12, 2017 3:24 am

Barrel Markings.jpg
"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over many years,

the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic". Dresden James

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Re: Lee Enfield Barrel Markings Decoded

#2 Post by englishman_ca » Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:11 pm

Interesting info. I note that it mentions Mk.VII ammo, so it was published post 1910.

I find this all very intriguing, thanks for posting.

No idea if this was 'official' information, but I would question some of the interpretations as they are different as to how we see them today.

R on the nocks form is for Rust? Rusty what? There is already a marking to denote rust in the chamber (asterix). I am led to believe that this was once how 'R' was seen, but 'R' on the nocks flat is also used to denote 'Reserve' grade of weapon, commonly found on ex NZ service rifles. Similar meaning as that of '2' for second grade on Brit arms.

Alternative sale mark to the opposing broad arrows on the nocks form being a straight line??? That's a new one to me.

S.C. is small cone? or is the term actually 'Short Cone' ??

An asterix in other position than in front of reinforce means external rust??? Hmmm. New one again, never seen asterix marked in other places than around the breech, on sight ramp or leaf, or on the wrist with the model and mark info. Never seen it randomly on barrel or receiver anywhere.

Broad arrow under condemned mark (opposing Rs) means 'U/S S.A.including DP when sold'...huh???? (UnServiceable Small Arms?)
Seen the broad arrow in use. Seen the condemned mark (often called the 'twins sisters', back to back Rs). Not ever seen arrow and sisters together (yet).

Not disputing the validity of the info, but it has me asking myself questions, one of them being as to who originally published this stuff??
I also note that this chart makes reference the Nock's Form as 'Knox Form', which, like the use of the terms 'strippers' and 'clips' is a clue to perhaps a publication of USA origin?

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Re: Lee Enfield Barrel Markings Decoded

#3 Post by Alan De Enfield » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:07 am

englishman_ca wrote:
Wed Jul 12, 2017 8:11 pm

Not disputing the validity of the info, but it has me asking myself questions, one of them being as to who originally published this stuff??
I also note that this chart makes reference the Nock's Form as 'Knox Form', which, like the use of the terms 'strippers' and 'clips' is a clue to perhaps a publication of USA origin?
I have no other references to the points that you raise except the 'KNOX'.
To me it has always been the KNOX.

In the British Army REME Armourers refer to it as the KNOX form and particular emphasis is placed on the spelling - as can be seen by this extract from an article by Peter Laidler :

.....I must stress that we were all taught the correct method of breeching up but to be honest, and I’m going to be simple now, you were relying on a parallel gauge, one end of which crossed the flat we call the KNOX FORM. And as you are well aware, while it is meant to be a datum surface and therefore accurate, in MOST cases so far as I was aware, it simply wasn’t! What I’m going to tell you ignores the relationship of the knox form with this that and the other and relies on good, sound, honest, common sense!


His capitals - not mine.

The KNOX form was developed / introduced by Henry Knox (1741 - 1804) on the first black-powder firearms and has been carried over onto the modern military firearms we all know & love.
"When a well-packaged web of lies has been sold gradually to the masses over many years,

the truth will seem utterly preposterous and its speaker a raving lunatic". Dresden James

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Re: Lee Enfield Barrel Markings Decoded

#4 Post by englishman_ca » Fri Jul 14, 2017 12:07 am

Yeah, I think it is just semantics. It's all in the spelling.

Originally it was termed 'Nock's form', now it is often seen as 'nocks form'. I guess some spell it 'knox', it sounds the same.

Peter Laidler might be the first one to say 'I could be wrong..'
Knox then is what Brit armourers use, I'll not dispute that.
Sometimes they seem to have their own colourful language!!

Brits often bastardise words and use slang. I refer to the original 18th century term for Nock's knox. (who's there?). Things change. Nocks form and knox form refer to the same thing.

The Henry Nock, Gunmaker, London (1741-1804) that I am thinking of, is the one who manufactured the seven barrelled flintlock volley gun, 'Nock Gun'. He was a contractor to the Board of Ordnance. Also his company was famous for high end pistols and shotguns.

He was an engineer and inventor, came up with the shape on the barrel reinforce termed the Nock's Form. Of this I am sure.

I could not find anything on a Henry Knox other than a US Major General who served under Washington, after whom a fort was named. No mention in his bio of fire arms design. so I am looking at the wrong guy.

Unless there were two gunmakers called Henry, one Nock and one Knox......


Anyhow, back to your posting of that legend sheet. Very interesting. From what pamphlet is it taken and is there a date on it?

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