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The Lee-Enfield Rifle C. No.7 (Canadian)
and the TRAINING MANUALS for the rifle
The C. No.7 Rifle is a .22" training version of the No.4 Rifle Manufactured at Long Branch
1944 C No.7 .22 Caliber Lee-Enfield Training Rifle
Caliber: ....................... .22 in. (LR)
Rifling & Twist: ............. 6 Groove, Right Hand Twist
Barrel Length: .............. 25.2 in. (640mm)
Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in. (1130mm)
Weight: ....................... 8 lb. 15 oz. (4.0kg)
Magazine Capacity: ...... Single Shot
Qty Mfg: ...................... Estimated at 20,000+
Source: .... The Lee-Enfield Story by Ian Skennerton (1993) - ISBN: 185367138X
Text only extracted from "Canada - Milsurp Knowledge Library"
Observations: by MILSURPS.COM Advisory Panel Member "Stencollector"
Most militaries manufactured or modified their current issue rifle with a .22 caliber counterpart, primarily for use on indoor ranges and as a cost saving measure. In this way, the operating drills could be practiced along with the principles of marksmanship. Prior to the introduction of the no4mk1 rifle in Canadian service (Circa 1941/42) the no2mkIV rifle served this purpose. Basically it was a no1mkIII rifle modified to .22 caliber, and in Canadian service, had a Ross type rear sight attachment.
To mirror the no4mk1* rifle, Small Arms Ltd (SAL) began to manufacture, in 1944, a .22 caliber version. It’s designator was no7mk1, which was later changed to Cno7mk1. The rifle was essentially the same as the no4mk1*, with a few minor differences. The newly made (not sleeved) .22 caliber barrel omitted the locking lugs for the bayonet and the corresponding lugs for the indexing of the front sight assembly, which was pinned into place. The rear aperture sight was graduated for 20 and 100 yards and had a windage adjustment.
The bolt contained a 2 piece firing pin to allow for the offset rimfire required along with an appropriate extractor. Bolt heads were available in 6 sizes ranging from 0 to 5. The “22” marked magazine housing had a platform in it which acted as a loading guide and allowed the spent cases to drop into the shell of the magazine.
The Canadian no7 rifle, unlike it’s magazine fed British counterpart, was a single shot manually fed rifle. Lastly, a target swivel, the same as that installed on a “T” sniper rifle, was installed just forward of the magazine on the king screw. An interesting anomaly of the target swivel is that many Cno7s can be found with the small action cover attaching loop, located between the magazine and the target swivel, missing. They are likely broken off by the rotation of the target swivel.
The receivers of the rifles were purpose built for the 22 caliber version. Besides the different nomenclature on the left sidewall, they had a small threaded hole on the right side for the attachment of the rear sight windage detent spring.
On the left side rear, the body had a small index mark which would align with the windage graduations on the rear sight cross screw. On the underside of the Knoxform of the early production (1944) receivers, the numbers 22 usually be found. Later receivers omitted this but would usually have a large 1S stamped under the wrist. The forestock must be removed from the rifle to view these markings.
The nomenclature on the side of the rifles changed during the first 3 years of production. Early receivers, primarily dated 1944 but occasionally found dated 1945, were engraved:
This marking is referred to in collectors circles as the type 1 marking.
During 1945 the nomenclature changed slightly, and was roll stamped (vice the earlier engraving):
No 7 .22 IN.,MKI
This marking is referred to in collectors circles as type 2.
Later in 1945 and through to 1946, the marking was slightly changed to what is referred to in collectors circles as the type 3 marking:
C No7, .22IN.,MK.I
Interesting variations to the above markings occur when earlier type 1 receivers were upgraded to the later markings. Sometimes it was done by engraving, and sometimes by stamping. Some examples are:
Initially the rifles were produced in a batch of 20,000 by SAL (which changed to Canadian Arsenals Limited (CAL) very soon after the war) so serial number rationalization will fall between 0L1 to 0L9999, then 1L0001 to a high of 2L0000. There were also some smaller runs of the Cno7 rifle in the Korean war period. Examples of these observed show the serial numbers to be consecutive with the Cno4mk1* rifles then produced, somewhere in the 9XLXXXX range.
Finish on the early 1944 examples are usually a gloss very deep blue/black, while later production rifles were a matt black finish.
During the 1950s, many Cno7 rifles were stripped down into parts by the Canadian military and the serviceable items were returned in to stores. The receivers were burnished of their serial numbers, resulting in a slight flat spot in that area, and the finish in the area was touched up. While some of these receivers will have been used over the years to repair damaged rifles in service, many more were either sold as surplus or liberated from the DND. As of year 2000, the DND still held approx 500 receivers in this condition. Enterprising individuals would often assemble Cno7 rifles from parts, and stamp new serial numbers in to the receivers. Sometimes they knew enough to use a serial number in the right range of production for the year of receiver, but quite often the rifles would be serialized to whatever number happened to be on the No4 bolt handle used in the assembly. Some of these post factory rifles can be found with serial numbers well beyond the 2L0000 mark, and even with Savage or British numbers stamped in to them. These “garage workshop” assembled rifles are often lacking in the quality controls which include un-indexed barrels, improper head spacing, and poor stocking up conditions. As a guide, proper serial number rationalization can be broken up into the following years:
1944: 0L1 to 0L7000
1945: 0L6000 to 1L4000
1946: 1L2000 to 2L0000
These are a rough guide only. While they exceed annual production numbers quoted by Skennerton in “The Enfield Story”, they take in to account some observed examples of unaltered factory rifles along with the likelihood that receiver production exceeded annual assembly.
The “L” in the serial number was for Long Branch, the place where these rifles were produced. It was the practice for North American Commonwealth arms production, beginning during 1941, that the letter indicated the place of production. Other letters found on North American made commonwealth firearms include “T” for Toronto (Inglis), C for Chicopee Falls (Stevens-Savage), and W for Walkerville (Border City Industries).
The Cno7s were issued with a wooden chest similar to the no15 sniper rifle chest, but a few inches smaller in height. Besides the rifle, the chest would contain the items from the Equipment Issue Scale (EIS) no 3023, which consisted of a cleaning rod with bristle brush attached, a wire brush, a jag, and a loop attachment, the sling and an oil bottle. The rifle could be issued with any of the 4 available butt sizes and would be marked on the end of the chest. Originally the chests were painted a matt khaki, but most were repainted and remarked to the semi gloss olive green during the 50s and 60s.
Most chests will have the makers mark (an intertwined VC) on the right end bottom, along with a date, but often this area has been damaged.
After 60 years, the Cno7 rifle still serves in the Canadian Forces, primarily as a cadet training rifle, although with the closures of most indoor DND ranges, along with the general anti-gun climate in Canada, many have been withdrawn from cadet units in the past decade. In keeping with the Canadian forces policy of disposal of small arms and their components, the remaining Cno7 rifles in DND inventory are destined for teardown into basic parts (in support of the Rangers, who still use the no4 rifles which can use many of the Cno7 parts), a few to military museums, and the remaining rifles and components will be smelted. Releases of original rifles are rumored to be of only a couple batches during the early 1960s, consisting of 200 or 300 rifles each, along with some individual releases through various unit shooting clubs.
The trigger's upper section above the fulchrum in the trigger-guard can be seen bearing on the cranked tumbler (the upper part of which forms the sear engaging with the bent in the cocking-piece). Careful observation will just afford sight of the two "bumps" resting on the tumbler. As the trigger is pulled, first one of these protrusions, and then the other, bears on the tumbler. The 'feel' this lends to the trigger pul is of first one and then another pressure needing to be applied to fire the rifle. This is how the "two-stage" trigger was designed into the Lee-Enfield rifle, previous marques having no protrusions on the trigger lever, and affording only one long pressure to the trigger "pull".
It is well worth making the comparison between thsi triiger arrangement and that of the even earlier design of single-stage trigger utilised for the Lee-Metford, Lee-Enfield, and Lee-Speed rifle and carbine over the turn of the Nineteenth to Twentieth Century.
See also the Training Manuals for the rifle
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