Early in 1926, 6 prototypes of the MkVI rifle were set up for trials.
In these trials there were several critical elements that were being  paid very close attention to. These included the strengthening and streamlining of  the body of the receiver, allowing a faster more efficiently produced rifle to be made . The stiffening of the barrel construction, (the barrel weighing slightly more with the addition of bayonet lugs and the effects of this). The bolt design even got the once over. The front and rear sights were also the focus of some very clever re-working, it saw the foresight housed and protected within its own block, whilst the rear sight being well moved rearward to increase the sight plane. The rear sight being housed in a similar fashion to that of the No3 or Pattern 14.

No4 trials rifle

However, as with all trial rifles there were teething issues. These ranged from the oiler bottles falling out of the butts when the rifle experienced vigorous movement, through to problems with accuracy and the change in POI when a bayonet was attached and then concerns around the rear site.
These  matters were reworked and largely overcome and in the following years saw further barrel tests, as well as  other changes made. By 1931 around 1000 rifles were being trialled by an Infantry Battalion and a Cavalry Regiment. The overall response and result was that of a higher standard of marksmanship was being achieved, it was looking like a success.
A further set of tests were carried out again in 1935 and again the resulting heavier barrels and stocking had further enhanced the accuracy of the rifle. The one down side was a nagging issue with the bayonet, however these accuracy issues were far less comparable than those of the No1MkIII.

No4 Trial Rifle early serial

On the 15th November 1939 official approval was given for the manufacture and production of the No4Mk1 rifle.
The No4 represented years of trials and upgrades, it was both an attempt at upon improving the SMLE with the ability to mass produce. It was to become the main service rifle for British forces of World War two, ironically however, not to be made at the great Enfield factory.
As to the trials rifle, they were re serialed, restocked and issued.

No4 trial rifle re serialed

In the following pages under the No4 banner, I will outline and disribe  the other variations and  ensure that there are plenty of images in which to compare and reference from.
Interesting fact, that larger numbers of the No4 were made overseas rather than in England! Mind you with the ability to purchase lend lease items from the USA and having factories far removed from the bombing raids in Canada it made perfectly good sence.

Re serialed No4 prototype

With World War Two on the horizon, two new factories were built to manufacture the No4, These Royal Ordnance Factories were established at Fazakerley and Maltby.
Specifications of the  No4
Calibre                       .303
Rifling and Twist       5  and 2 Groove left hand
Barrel Lenght             25.2 inch or 640mm
Total Length              44.5 inch or 1130mm
Weight                        8lb 11oz or 3.9kg
Magazine                    10 round

No4 Manufacturing and Production

Enfield      Fazakerly      Maltby      Shirley      Long Branch     Savage
No4 Mk1
No4 Mk1                                   619900            737000     665000
No4 Mk1 &1*                                                                                            910730            1,236706
No4 Mk2                                  450000
No4 Mk1/2 & 1/3    10000   350000           Minor

15 Responses to No4

  1. Wes Johnson says:

    It appear i may have a No4 Mk1* but not sure it has no date onteh side but the hand guards are groved can you tell me anyhing. You remove th ebolt witheh button at the rea o fthe receiver?

  2. Mark says:


    Flick me a email at and i can have a quick look at it for you, should be able to help out. Just take good photos that clearly show the markings and then one of the entire rifle.


  3. Ian Porritt says:

    Thank you for the great website,
    Just purchased a No4 Mk1* all the serial numbers match including the magazine (NZ76) stamped on rifle and mag. Woods reasonable and rifle is generally pretty good. Needs a the front sight cover and rear sights which the previous owner is sure he has in a box and will locate for me
    Needs a good clean up, I was thinking of working on the wood to remove the darker staining but leaving all the dents ect (without any sanding of course) and bluing the metal parts.
    I still want it to look and feel like a WW2 rifle and don’t want to lose any of it’s history and charm, will it enhance the rifle with the above or is less more

  4. Mark says:

    Ian, thanks for the kind words re the web site. Do send in some pictures of your new rifle. In respects to the cleanup project just remember less is more! I applaud your decision not to sand, sanding in my opinion is to be avoided at all costs. The dents are there as a part of the history of the rifle. I have in some instances seen some good results in steaming out vice marks that have been inadvertently damaged the stock when people have been tinkering with their rifles. I would also leave the metal work as is, as again the marks are part of the history. But do give it a good clean and tidy up. But I think you are on the right track and that way you will keep the look and feel of the rifle. Good luck and well done on the purchase!

  5. Sullivan, John P says:


    I have recently purchased a ‘sporterized’ Enfield rifle from a local fellow here in the Alaska village of Kivalina. I determined from some obvious markings that the weapon was made in Australia. However, there are some markings I am curious about. I have many pictures I would like to share with a person having more knowledge than I. Would you be willing to help? I have another Enfield back east that I will be researching while home on vacation.
    Thank you for your time,

  6. Mark says:

    Sully, more than happy to help, flick me some images, the more the better! Lets see if we cant work out exactly what you have.

  7. Sullivan, John P says:

    Yes, thank you for your offer to help! I was able to learn a few things from the interent, but as I said, there a few details I was unable to define. Thank you again.
    I will send you some pictures from my private email.

    Best regards-

  8. Ryan says:


    Excellent job with the website! I was hoping you’re still taking private emails to further identify Enfields? I have a No1 Mk3* at home and a No4 Mk1 on the way that would love your attention!

    Thanks, Ryan

  9. joe gonzales says:

    I just acquired a sporterized lee enfield. I am having trouble identifying it. I believe it is a no 4 mk 1. I want to make it original again. But don’t know which stock or hardware to buy. Any info would be helpful thankyou in advance-Joe

  10. dave says:

    love your website, good job keep it up. I have got no4 mark 1 have reinstated the wood
    as was sporterized. but am having trouble locating the front sight protector.
    Do you know anyone who would have something that would suit. pity I have left it so late, as the Anzac day service rifle shoot is just about here. all ways next year I suppose.

  11. dave says:

    love the website, good job keep it up. I have got a number4 mark 1 fz, and have reinstated the wood as it was cut down. but am having trouble finding a front sight protector, do you know of anyone who would have one to suit. Pity I have left it so late as the Anzac day service rifle shoot is just around the corner. any help would be much appreciated.

  12. Mark says:

    Had a look in the spares kit but cant find one, i will keep my eye out for you, i have your email address so i will flick you an email with some places to try.

  13. Mark says:

    Ryan, email away :)

  14. Zane says:

    My granpda was in korea during WWII and broubacn enfield no4 mk1 he pasased away before I was old enough to Wall and left the gun to his son my uncle and I am trying to see if it is still the original he brought back . What is the best way to do that .

  15. Mark says:

    Two ways really, have a look at some of the pictures here on the site, or send me some pitures, (make sure they are clear!)and i can tell you if the old girl is in an original state or if she needs some work and what is needed.

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