Ok, the topic of ‘Khyber Pass’ made Enfields has popped up here yet again and the reason for writing this post is to draw attention to those of you who may not be knowledgeable in deciphering the many and varied markings on a Lee Enfield, nor spot the minor little flaws that can determine a fake from the real deal.
Over the past couple of months I’ve noticed a couple of these ‘Khyber Pass’ made Lee Enfields pop up here, and a No5 Jungle Carbine on another forum, at this stage you’re probably asking ‘what the hell is a kybher pass made Lee Enfield??’ so I think wikipedia might explain best:A number of British Service Rifles, predominantly the Martini-Henry and Martini-Enfield, but also the various Lee-Enfield rifles- have been produced by small manufacturers in the Khyber Pass region of the Indian/Pakistani/Afghani border. "Khyber Pass Copies", as they are known, tend to be copied exactly from a "Master" rifle.
There seems to be a trade in that general area for making these weapons from literally ‘scratch’, from what I have heard materials such as old railway lines etc have been used to make receivers and barrels. Been made under such conditions you can imagine that quality control and proofing is pretty lax, or non existent.
The craftsmen who make these weapons pay amazing attention to detail with regard to the receiver, nosecap, magazine and the overall comb and finish of the stock (in some cases), for that they have to be applauded, when you think about the amount of work required to make these pieces, unfortunately the machining isn't quite up to standard
The downfall for these guys is, however, when it comes to the various (and many) markings that are associated with the Lee Enfield. For instance they have been known to spell words wrong, have letters stamped upside down, backwards and in the wrong or incorrect order. As you’ll see in some of the pictures below:
The pictures of this particular 'Khyber' copy were provided with thanks to TBone:
Ok, so on first glance it looks to be a 'legit' No1 MkI with desirable rear handguard, early MkI nose cap, volley sights etc. But to the trained eye, one will notice that firstly the 'unit disc' is in a slightly wrong position. Also notice the fresh wood at the break on the butt/wrist band joint. Then there are two bolt, or pins going through the stock in an odd area, these obviously aren't the 'Ishy screws'.
Ok, so she's flipped around, now we see there is only one pin present, and still in an odd place, definitely not an Ishy screw, so there is no legitimate reason for that pin there. Also of interest in the Eastern text written on the buttstock which we'll look at closer in another bit.
Note in the pic above the Eastern text, which appears to be written on with a marker and the sunken unit disc.
In this pic you can see again the writing on the stock. Also to note is the machining of such components as the safety lever which is a little out of shape.
Also note the nosecap, a good copy of a rare MkI nosecap, but unfortunately just a copy. As you can see the wood doesn't extend through the nosecap and the screw doesn't fit, having to be flattened to hold the nosecap secure.
The markings as can be seen in the picture below are the dead giveaway:
The markings are in no way consistent with markings for a 1917 Enfiled produced at RSAF Enfield. The text is the wrong font, too loose and too big. Below is a comparison which show HOW an Enfield produced LE should be stamped:
As you can see from the picture above, although worn, the Enfield stamping is much more defined, professional, a Times New Roman like font not the Arial type font seen in the Khyber Pass example shown.
Ok, next example, with pictures supplied with thanks to EVOC ONE,
In all respects this No1 MkIII appeared to be legitimate, just like TBone's MkI, however, again, on closer inspection the flaws appear.
A. Sloppy machining on cocking piece guide.
B. Poor butt stock to Wrist band fit.
C. Very poor rear of forearm to wristband fit.
D. Again, poor machining.
E. Compare the straight red line with the line of the bolt rib, notice the bumps and uneven-ness.
Although buttstock repairs are not uncommon, the one pointed out is too fresh and not of the quality you'd expect from an armourer. Also note the poor machining around the triggerguard, the general uneveness as well as the rough and squared edges of the magazine rib. Again, we come to the markings.
Well, first things first, the ER should be GR.
Like TBone's, the stamping is loose, uneven, spaced too much and stamped in an arial type font, compare this with the 'legit' stamping below:
Ok, the one above is LSA, but that does not make much difference, what is of importance again is the general type font, neatness and the ShtLE, which on EVOC's example appears as 'LD' which again is down to poor grasp of the English language. Also note the 'I' on Evoc's where it should in fact read 'III*'.
Nice example you might think
.......yep, you guessed it, its a Khyber special too!
See the marker written text on the buttstock? The 'filled in' unit disc hole......like TBone's example, in the complete wrong position. Also the poor machining around the receiver.
A. Poor stock repair.
B. Sloppy machining around base of charger guide and fitting of rivets.
C. Look at that wood line, its far too crooked!
Take a closer look at them markings...........
Where do you start with them??? Backwards, upside down, the wrong way around.........
Khyber Pass LE's aren't just confined to No1's, I've also seen a couple of Afghan made No5 Jungle Carbines, the one pictured below is courtesy of 'breakeyp' from Gunboards.com
Note the machining of the flash hider, them extra little slots should not be there. The poor, sloppy and rounded machining of the bayonet lug too. Also of interest in the last picture is the stamping 'No5 Mk' The writing is again a little sloppy, in the arial font and missing the 'I' from the 'MK', the two examples of Jungle Carbines I've seen as simply stamped 'No5 Mk'. Also of note is the '303' on top of the receiver, there is no reason for that to be there, just someone being idle with a stamp, trying to make it obvious to the buyer that this is a 303. EVOC also mentioned how various components of his No1 were stamped 'LE', there is no need or purpose for these markings where there should be minute, well stamped proof marks.
Wow, well that's me done. I hope this has been of help to some of ye guys who are going out to purchase Enfields in the future, that ye know what to look for as regards stampings, machining etc etc. If anyone has more info to add, pictures etc etc then please don't hesitate! IT DOES GO WITHOUT SAYING THAT UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD THESE RIFLES BE FIRED!!!
[mod="Preachere"]Excellent post! Was slightly edited for readability.[/mod]