SOLD FOR: $1315.55
Make: Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Sparkbrook, England.
RSAF Sparkbrook was acquired by Birmingham Small Arms Company (B.S.A. Co.) in 1906.
Model: SHT LE I*** (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mark I*** or SMLE Mk I***). Each “ * ” indicates an Arsenal Upgrade.
Serial Number: G 2180
Year of Manufacture: 1904. Sparkbrook produced rifles from 1904 to 1907.
Caliber: .303 British
Action Type: Bolt Action, Detachable Magazine
Markings: There is no visible import mark. The right side of the stock collar is marked “crown / E.R.” (Edwardius Rex – King Edward VII) and “SPARKBROOK / 1904 / SHT L.E. / I***”. The front of the receiver and face of the nosecap each marked with the serial number. The rear of the bolt handle is marked with a number that does not match the serial number. The bolt body is marked with stampings that include “crossed flags” on the bolt handle and bolt head. The right side of the receiver is marked with “crosses out numbers”. The left side of the receiver is marked with a “crown / ER / crossed flags / 2P” proof and with a “crowned” inspection stamp. The metal parts are marked with various British stampings that include “crowned” inspection stamps. The top of the barrel is marked “HV” behind the rear sight signifying an upgraded high velocity ammo rear sight base. The front volley sight is marked “LES 2” and with small inspection stamps. The marking disk on the butt is marked “1320”. The bottom of the grip is marked with faded stampings. There are other small stampings on the rifle.
Barrel Length: Approximately 25 Inches
Sights / Optics: The front sight is a bladed post set atop a ramped base and between two protective ears. The rear sight is a “U” notched sliding sight escalator assembly marked from “2-20”. There are 2 protective wings directly to the rear of the sight.
The front volley sight is a rotating dial with a point at one end and the sight at the other. The sight is rotated to the desired distance. It is marked “1700” and from “18 – 28”. The rear sight is a tall flip up aperture attached to the safety.
Stock Configuration & Condition: The wood stock has has a straight grip with finger groove, nosecap assembly with bayonet mount & sight wings, stacking loop, 2 sling loops, barrel band, scallop for the volley sight on the left forearm, marking disk on the right buttstock and a brass buttplate with a hinged door for storage. The buttplate shows several scratches & small dents as well as oxidation. The top rear of the butt shows a repair. The right side of the forearm shows a repair at the volley sight screw. The belly of the stock shows filled drain holes. The handguard shows a long repaired crack as well as a repair ahead of the rear sight. The rear of the handguard is missing small pieces of edge wood next to the receiver. The wood shows numerous scrapes and scratches. Many are located around the barrel band. Several of these marks have damaged small portions of the surface wood. These marks have been oiled. The LOP measures 13 1/4 inches from the front of the trigger to the back of the buttplate. The stock rates in about Very Good overall condition as refurbished.
Type of Finish: Blue
Finish Originality: Original. The receiver and stock collar have been treated with cold blue.
Bore Condition: The lands are light grey, the muzzle & grooves are grey and the rifling is deep. There is erosion in the bore. The erosion is more prominent at the muzzle and in the grooves.
Overall Condition: This rifle retains about 33% of its metal finish. The receiver and stock collar have been treated with cold blue. The metal shows scrapes, scratches and discoloration from oxidation. The the nosecap and bottom metal show light surface erosion. The screw heads show use and oxidation. The markings on the metal are deep. Overall, this rifle rates in about Good to Very Good condition.
Mechanics: The action functions correctly. We have not fired this rifle. As with all previously owned firearms, a thorough cleaning may be necessary to meet your maintenance standards.
Box, Paperwork & Accessories: The rifle comes with a refurbished magazine that shows scrapes, thinning, discoloration and surface erosion. The feed lips were repaired during the refurbishment. It is in about Good condition as refurbished. The rifle has a leather sling attached. It shows creasing, light surface cracking and discoloration. It is in Very Good Plus condition.
Our Assessment: The Enfield SHT LE I is also known as the SMLE Mk I. This Rare Short Magazine Lee Enfield Mark I*** was made back in 1904 at Royal Small Arms Factory (RSAF) Sparkbrook, England. The 3 asterisks (***) after the designation indicate different upgrades done to the rifle during its service life.
Sparkbrook Enfields are scarce due to their limited numbers. Sparkbrook only produced rifles from 1904 to 1907. RSAF Sparkbrook was acquired by Birmingham Small Arms Company (B.S.A. Co.) in 1906. Many 1906 and 1907 dated Sparkbrok Enfields are marked “B.S.A.Co. / SPARKBROOK” on the stock collar making “SPARKBROOK” only rifles more scarce.
This is a rare rifle that was made under the reign of Edward VII who was King of the United Kingdom (as well as the British Dominions and India) from 22 January 1901 until his death in 1910. The rifle has tons of great markings, its original magazine cutoff and intact volley sights.
The major distinguishing feature of the Mark I series is the lack of a charger bridge (stripper clip guide bridge) on the receiver. Instead a sliding charger guide is mounted on the bolt head. It lines up with the left charger guide (on the top left of the receiver) when the bolt is opened and pulled to the rear.
For more see pages 2 – 5 of Charles Stratton’s book, British Enfield Rifles Volume 1 / SMLE (N0. 1) Rifles Mk1 and Mk III, 3rd Edition. Good luck.