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Lithgow No1 Mk3
1919 ShtLE  III*                  1941 SMLE  III*
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Updated Jun 05

    These are my Enfields from Australia.  They were both manufactured in a little place called Lithgow.  According to Charles Stratton the Lithgow factory made the MkIII from 1913-1918 and again 1922-1941, and the MkIII* from 1941-1953.  The problem occurs with my 1919 ShtLE III*, this must of been a factory cleanup where the factory workers took all the leftover parts and assembled whatever rifles they could. 
    All of the Enfield rifles have proof marks but the Lithgow rifles have more proof marks and manufacturing stamps than rifles produced at any of the other factories.  The Lithgow factory mark on the but socket also was changed, from an A inside a star over a shield, to MA over the text.  This change seems to occur about 1926-27.  The designation of the rifle also was changed from ShtLE to SMLE at about the same time.  At sometime in the mid 1930's they started using a heavy barrel on some rifles, many of these were later converted to sniper rifles.  The heavy barrel was never put into wide spread production. 
    Lithgow never switched over to making the No4Mk1 rifle.  I suppose that with the war requirements for rifles and the time and cost involved in re-tooling a factory this made sense.  They did make trial rifles based on the No1 action.  One was a shortened and lightened version much like the No5Mk1 'jungle carbine' these rifles were designated the No6 Mk1 and Mk1/1. 
Pictures ot the different but socket markings.

1919 ShtLE III* on the left,
1941 SMLE III* on the right.

I would presume that the 1919 rifle would be the better of the rifles.  I say this based on the premis that in 1941 they were more concerned with production of rifles to stop the Japaneese than in 1919 with the Great War just finished so no rush on the rifle production.  

 

 
   
   

Royal Australian Naval Reserve Rifle Club
weapons pages, - Australian Navy site
Jay Currah's Enfield Site