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1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

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DaleH
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1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#1 Post by DaleH » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:36 pm

Newbie to the SMLE No1 Mk3 world checking in!

Intro - This post here (below) cautions readers about parts guns being imported as new by John Jovino, but that which are made up from new parts ... assembled here, not Lithgow factory arms.

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewto ... f=16&t=388

My No1 Mk3 - I just picked one up, w/ 22LR insert barrel & matching 22 bolt. The SMLE action is a B prefox, 5-digit serial number, dated 1941. Bolt is non-matching for s/n, but headspace is 0.068" using the 'spent primer trick' on 3 new cases that measured the same overall and for rim thickness.

I took her apart and it does have the recoil plates assembled on the action. In fact all looks well! Possibly TOO well!?! As the barrel rifling looks ... mint! I was led to believe w/ corrosive primers and cordite rounds that the bore would be a dark dingy hole ... but it looks good, or barely shot or ... new?

The wood is certainly old/used, and while I doubt I've ever handled coachwood ... this appears medium dark in color (natural state, interior recesses), tight in grain, and solid ... like walnut. Yet I'm to believe that all Lithgows were coachwood. Thoughts here? Anyway to tell one wood from another? Weighed other milsurps stocks once before to prove to someone both weren't walnut; that one was beech.

It has the 'JJ Co' import mark on the charger bridge, so I'm confused whether this is truly a parts gun or a legit Lithgow gun, perhaps made by them and imported by JJ Co before they started assembling parts rifles. I've never seen ANY firearm w/ so many cartouches, stamps, and markings over them ... so I'm a tad kerfuddled as to what I really have.

Other tidbits
- The trigger pull is excellent as is, like someone who knew what to do had worked on it.
- The wood fit too, and barrel pressure at the muzzle, is excellent ... much better than I'd expect a slapped-together parts gun to be. At least from my experience as a (former) gunsmith/machinst, albeit a newbie to Enfields, but I read copius articles on fit & bedding ... even though I did not stay at a Holiday Inn last night.
- The 22LR insert/liner is a hoot! Using Aquila indoor gallery (no powdah) loads it had no problem keeping them in the black of my std Olympic bullseye pellet targets always hanging in the trap. Can't wait to try this out outside at the range w/ good std velocity ammo.

So ... any ideas as to what exactly I may have - Lithgow factory rifle or a parts gun? (If a parts gun, I guess I got lucky where the recoil plates are already installed and fit well.

ffuries
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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#2 Post by ffuries » Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:21 pm

Should post some pictures so the smart people here can help. I look forward to hearing what they have to say.
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DaleH
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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#3 Post by DaleH » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:21 pm

ffuries wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:21 pm
Should post some pictures so the smart people here can help. I look forward to hearing what they have to say.
True, but all my photos are tied up in Photobucket's recent extortion scheme ... and I haven't determined a new path forward, versus paying the $399 ransom.

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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#4 Post by ffuries » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:35 pm

DaleH wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:21 pm
ffuries wrote:
Tue Jul 25, 2017 3:21 pm
Should post some pictures so the smart people here can help. I look forward to hearing what they have to say.
True, but all my photos are tied up in Photobucket's recent extortion scheme ... and I haven't determined a new path forward, versus paying the $399 ransom.
You can upload pictures to your post straight from your computer, if you have copies of them.

Heres the link to the instructions on how to do that.

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewto ... ?f=79&t=66
Mike
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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#5 Post by B32dominator » Tue Jul 25, 2017 5:52 pm

Not all JJ Co rifles were parts guns. They imported full rifles and parts. Mostly rifles dated 44 and 45 looking brand new are to be questioned.

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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#6 Post by Tommy Atkins » Wed Jul 26, 2017 9:24 am

Apart from the missing recoil plates & Minty condition, is there any definitive feature distinguising between the bitsters & the assembled rifles?

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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#7 Post by Techsupport » Sun Jul 30, 2017 3:17 am

Where JJ Co used unissued receivers, they did not have serial numbers on them from Lithgow.
JJ Co numbered these receivers themselves, using a letter suffix (usually A) in the serial instead of a letter prefix as was customary markings for Lithgow.
If any doubt, a quick look at the serial number and date on the rifle will soon sort it.

The missing recoil plates isn't always definitive. There was a period of several months where the recoil plates were not fitted to production rifles, IIRC from late 1942 to mid 1943.

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Re: 1941 Lithgow - but marked 'JJ Co' - not a parts gun?

#8 Post by Tommy Atkins » Sun Jul 30, 2017 5:20 pm

Great, thanks.

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