It would be wonderful if we had official records of all of the No. 4 (T) sniper rifles made, but we do not. As a result, we have to piece together the information from what documents remain and from observation of surviving sniper equipment. Often the information is partial and it is like archaeological investigations, intelligence gathering and detective work. As well many now have mismatched scope sets.
I have been gathering any and all data on No. 4 (T) sniper rifles and kits for years now, as have some other collectors. My database now holds over 2,500 No. 4 (T) serial numbers which is about 10% of those made. Patterns start to emerge on when various manufacturers sent rifles for conversion, serial number changes, changes in telescopes etc.
When these rifles were converted to sniping equipment, each one was carefully fitted with a telescope in a bracket. This pairing was to continue through the service life of the rifle so as to ensure the greatest accuracy possible. As of January 2022, I have been able to “match-up” over two dozen pairs of serial numbered components (scopes to rifles, scope case to scopes and/or rifle etc.). Sometimes the owners are able to reach a deal for physical reunification. Examples include a scope case in New Brunswick, Canada now reunited with a rifle in B.C., Canada, about 5,000 Km away; a rifle in Scotland reunited with its scope out of the USA; a rifle in B.C., Canada reunited with its scope set in Nebraska, USA; a scope from Indian Army surplus reunited with its scope case in Canada via Australia! Sometimes I can only advise someone that the matching scope or rifle was sold by so and so on this date. Then at least they know it still exists and have a lead to follow. Sadly some owners do not care and will not cooperate, but such is life.
I very much welcome data on original No. 4 (T) rifles and am happy to check to see if your mismatched components have turned up. Rather than writing out my questions each time to each owner, here they are. There are more questions of course that I could ask, fussy little details, and if an owner is willing, so am I.
For Internet security, please use my contact page to establish email contact. Then you could send in your information. Photos are always welcome and I am quite willing to try to answer any questions you have about your rifle and scope. If you are buying, I am happy to try to help you assess a potential purchase. If you are selling I am also happy to help. I am always looking, within financial constraints of course as I am a retired museum Curator, for No. 4 (T) to upgrade or to fill gaps in my collection. I also am asked by people where they can find one so if it is not something I want or need for my collection, I can pass the word along.
|Questionnaire for Database – No. 4 (T) research
Maintained by Colin MacGregor Stevens in Canada
|Note that serial numbers can be very difficult to read. Verification using a magnifying glass is recommended. Some are very small. In wood they are less distinct. “3” usually has a flat top on British made rifles and is thus very similar to a “5”. Curved numbers such as “6”, “8” and “9” can be confusing. “1” and “7” can also be confused. Even “1” and “4” can be confused if one does not notice the full number.
If there is no scope set, please say so. If there is no serial number or the bracket and or scope is a replica, please say so.
When brackets and or telescopes were reassigned or replaced, the old numbers were cancelled, not erased. If you can read the old numbers, please include that information stating that this is the old number, even if partially recovered e.g., 234?6
C/|\ was stamped with arrow inside the C. Note that the post-WWII, but still collectible, Canadian Arsenals Ltd. marking was almost identical with an A inside the C.
|BASIC INFORMATION REQUESTED||EXAMPLES & LOCATION||YOUR DATA|
|Serial number on rifle||· Enfield – A1234
· Maltby – 12345 (5 digits, first number is 1)
· Fazakerley – 23456 (five digits, first number is 2)
· BSA Shirley – 1234; AB1234; 34567; X34567, (five numbers, first number is 3)
· Long Branch in Canada – 71L1234 (note the “L”)
· Stevens-Savage in USA – 0C1; 11C1234 (note the “C”)
· Ishapore renumbering – A1234T
· New Zealand renumbering – N/|\Z 123
There are many variations, and not all are necessarily listed above.
Marked on left side of body (receiver). Often faintly on flat sidewall (rolled, engraved, or stamped) and deeply stamped on socket. Remember to include any letters in the serial number. These may be stamped above, to the left of (prefix) or to the right (suffix). Some duplication of numbers has been observed if the prefix letter is left off.
|Rifle serial number on bolt handle|
|Rifle serial number on scope bracket||· As above
· Original bracket, no serial number
· Replica Bracket
Left side of body. Remember that the letter above or to left is part of the serial numbers. If it matches the rifle, great. If not, it is mismatched, and the database may help to find a match for the rifle and/or scope.
|Telescope serial number||· 1234
· 1234 REPLICA SCOPE
Canadian made examples have a “C” suffix e.g., “123-C”. There can be from one to four numbers before the “C”.
|Telescope serial number on butt at the wrist||As on scope. Without the “-“ on Canadian rifles.|
|Maker making||· ENFIELD
· R.O.F.M.; M with centre leg = Maltby
· B; M47, M47C = BSA
· ROF (F); F = Fazakerley
· LONG BRANCH (two words)
· S (square corners) = Stevens-Savage)
|“TR”||On left side of body below the serial number|
|“F.T.R.”||Factory Thorough Repair (i.e., an arsenal rebuild)|
|“S”||On right side flat area of body, just below the bolt head.|
|“S51”||Underside of butt|
|“T”||Left side of body, just forward of and slightly above the ejector screw.|
|Where you live||John Smith, Waco, Texas, USA|
|Optional Advanced Questions|
|Is front scope pad staked?||· No
· 3 times etc.
|Markings on body on each side of the bolt way, beside the cocking piece.||Crown over a capital letter over|
|Is there a marking on the top of the front scope pad?||Unique to R.S.A.F. Enfield conversions|
|Markings on backsight (left side and upper rear left corner)||E.g.
· N67 (NOT No.67) Singer wartime code
· S squared corners
· LB (L superimposed on B) for Long Branch
· SM (on left side)
|Are there C/|\ markings?||May be on:
· Upper rear of backsight
· Front scope pad
· Underside of butt near trigger guard
· Underside of fore-end
· On body, possibly on left side of breech
· On barrel
|Rifle serial number on barrel (only visible when wood removed)||May only be lest digits of number|
|Rifle serial number on butt. Only visible when butt is removed from socket. Prefix letters omitted.||· 34567|
|Maltese Cross (like German Iron Cross medal) tiny stamp||· On back of backsight
· On underside of fore-end
· On front scope pad
· On rear leg of scope bracket
· On underside of cheek rest (best to leave cheek rest untouched usually)
|Rifle serial number on fore-end||Please advise is stamped cross-grain or lengthwise. Omits prefix letter. e.g.
|Is there a sniper sling swivel in front of the magazine?|
|What if any serial number is on the magazine?|