Military surplus gun fans rejoice, as Navy Arms just announced the release of a pretty cool martial arm. The company recently secured a number of World War II-dated Enfield #4 Mark 1 rifles, chambered in .303 British. These Enfields likely saw use with the French Resistance fighters after the fall of France to the Germans.
Enfield #4 Mark 1 Rifles
These Enfield #4 Mark 1 rifles shipped to French resistance fighters and commandos. They most likely helped liberate Europe from Nazi occupation. The Allies dropped these rifles by parachute into France by the thousands, all in large metal pods. Purchased directly from the French government, the rifles since lay stored in deep underground caves in Southern France.
Each Enfield comes with the original World Ward II-issued sling still attached. The French stored the rifles with the original slings attached, never removing them after wartime service. All rifles wear the #4 Mk-style stamped rear sight. Bores spec out excellent, with little to no wear no pitting. They light up bright and shiny under inspection, according to Navy Arms.
The original walnut stocks adorn the rifles as well. They exhibit no cracks, with original finish and inspection marks/cartouches intact. Bot brass and zinc buttplate models make up the collection. The French stored the rifles with both the bolts and magazines removed. Navy Arms went through a painstaking process to match up as many bolts to original rifles as possible, using serial numbers on the bolts. Not all rifles will include its original matching serial number bolt. Sadly, all of the original magazines were lost to time and never located.
Found Deep Within French Caves
“The French government had stored these guns without the magazines over 75 years ago deep inside underground caves, and in that time had misplaced the magazines,” says Val Forgett, President of Navy Arms. “Each rifle comes with a Navy Arms Parker-Hale reproduction magazine made in the identical style as the originals. These are truly exceptional examples of World War II Enfield #4 Mk 1 rifles. There is a very limited supply, do not miss out on adding this unique example to your collection.”
The Navy Arms collection comes in several different options and grades. Prices range from under $1,000 up to $3,500. Visit Old Wester Scrounger at ows-ammo.com, to look through the offering and purchase. Or visit navyarms.com for more info.
Back in the 1980s, military surplus rifles helped fuel the interest in all things shooting. You could find SKS rifles at the local gun store or gun show, going for around $60. Sigh, those were the days. We benefited from a robust surplus market back in the day, and companies like Navy Arms helped drive that market. Guns were plentiful, and these companies tracked them down and brought them home for U.S. shooters.
Those markets have slowed down, for sure. We’re entering a point in time when you simply don’t known, not for sure, how many big caches of WWII arms companies will find overseas. Finding them is one thing; bringing them home is quite another in today’s climate. So the discovery and offering of this Enfield #4 Mark 1 represents a pretty awesome opportunity. A WWII rifle, with provenance, original parts and a cool backstory. Jump on these, folks. This is living history.