Sunday, February 20, 2011

"Look! Is genuine EИFIELD!"

Borepatch links to some interesting stuff on Khyber Pass Enfields.

Probably more than one US importer has been spoofed over the last several years by Khyber Pass "Enfields" and "Martinis".

Their agent overseas gets told a tale of old British rifles recently found at some armory out in the sticks back of beyond. Over a couple of bottles of black market whiskey, they get shown some genuine Lee-Metfords or Enfields, which would be a collector's dream if they could get them imported into the 'States. Then comes the hard sell: "You no want these rifles? That man over there, he work for your competitor. He buy. I have other importer on phone. He buy. Never mind. You no get rifles."

They strike a deal to buy the lot, and when the container gets opened in the customs bonded warehouse, they find that they've just bought a tractor-trailer load of back alley Peshawari scrap less authentic than a Luis Vuitton bag in a New York City flea market.

A lot of collectors, myself included*, have found out about this the hard way.

*A lot of what I now know about Enfields and Khyber copies I learned from bitter experience after buying a "1916 Enfield" back in '05 or '06 that, had it been jewelry, would have turned my finger green.


West, By God said...

I'd actually like to have a Khyber rifle just because it'd be a neat addition to my collection. Next time I'm in Afghanistan, I may try to pick one up. Some of my buddies have picked up antiques over there, and did the paperwork to legally send them home. Well, at least they think they were antiques.

TinCan Assassin said...

Fake or no, want.

Borepatch said...

I remember a trip to Korea, where my colleague wanted to go shopping in Itaewon. I tagged along for the local color, and colorful indeed.

We saw a street vendor selling Rolexes out of a box. The exchange went like this:

Street Vendor: Hey Yanqee, you want Rolex?

Me: No thanks. I like the ones that keep running a week from now.

Street Vendor: (pulls out a new box) No problem. I have real ones here.

Ooooh kaaaay.

But unfortunately not much is this easy to spot.

Joel said...

But do they still kill Russians?

Mr.B said...

I'd live to have one in my collection....say a Lee-Metford. , just for the story.

I'd be afraid to fire them, but it'd be cool to have some.

Old NFO said...

Meh... One more reason to stay FAR away from those "antiques"... Thanks for the update and the links!

Tam said...


"But do they still kill Russians?"

When they don't blow up.

Old NFO,

"Meh... One more reason to stay FAR away from those "antiques"..."

Good! More antiques for me. :)

Rob said...

I'd keep one, just to show to anti-gunners.

"Look here: this rifle was made by a bunch of barbarians with hand tools, using nothing but scrap metal and whatever parts they can scrounge. If they can produce such a thing with their poor technology, what do you think our criminal element might be able to accomplish with modern machinery?"

George in AZ said...

This is no longer the U.S of Thomas Jefferson, or even Teddy Roosevelt.
I'm surprised the current administration doesn't call for a cessation of reference to the Somali 'pirates'. I'm certain they're just 'wealth redistributors', much like the home invaders who are now 'unauthorized occupants'.

mc said...

I saw some nagants in a crate this weekend all smelling to pretty.

Just didn't add up to the whole story and price thing, as suggested in the post.

I still had my fingers looking for the money.

"Isn't it pretty to think so?..."

mc said...

Ugh--that was supposed to read "so pretty" not "too pretty"--either way an errant finger.

Ed Foster said...

A buddy came back from Afganistan 18 or 20 months ago with the god-damndest collection of Sniders and Martinis. He was sending one every 2 or 3 weeks to his old man.

If I turn up enough brass for him I might get one of them, so I suspect that the lathe out in the garage will have to get that new motor and a few hours of my time.

Unless I can convince my boss there's money in making .577 and .577/.450cases. And I wonder if I can swage a Minie ball to fit a .577 case?

Robin said...

mc, except real Moisin-Nagants are cheap by the crate.

mc said...

50 bucks cheap?

sounded too cheap, my very rickety sucker alarm went off.

Though it is clearly rickety and this is not a great week for me buying anything other than gas and food quite frankly.

oh well. There will be other moments, other times etc.

Stan in Minnesota said...

That $50 per rifle? Yes the deal was probably legit. They are selling singles for $69.95 plus shipping.

og said...

The Snider thing I can understand. Maybe even Martini.

Who in their right mind (or, for that matter OUT of their mind) would go to the trouble of counterfieting an Enfield? A real one is nice, but the whole assembly may be the most complex bolt action (Short, of course of a Swiss or a Krag) that was ever made. A Mauser, by comparison, is a rock for simplicity.

MauserMedic said...

Two purchased so far, one in .450 with dual civilian mfr/royal armory markings, thus at the very least faked markings, although the rest of the rifle is good enough to possibly be a real trade rifle. The second is looking like a officially made Afghan armory model in .303, based on web research. I need to get some pictures up of these. Very rough Khyber specimens are easily found in the bazaars on Camp Phoenix and Bagram, along with a wide assortment of locally made bayonets, Turkish Mauser bayonets (ASFA marked) with fraudulent Enfield overstamps, Solingen bayonets, and at least one (now purchased by me) Czech 1923 export pattern engineer's bayonet marketed to me as "Nazi German Bayonet!". Fun way to kill time, if you can get some time off duty and don't mind a constant hard sell.

MauserMedic said...


for a long time, Enfields were cutting-edge here, until AKs were being fielded. My reading I did during initial deployment asserted The US Govt even purchased large amounts of surplus .303 in the 1980s for the mujahadiin (sp?)at one point. Currently I haven't seen any No.1 Mk IIIs in the bazaars, but one of the local sellers told me there's a large nostalgia market in India for the relatively new middle class with disposable income.

Caleb said...

All I can think of when I read this story is "same guts as Sony!"

og said...

I can see if they're selling them as nostalgia pieces, a wallhanger doesn't have to function. But to put that effort into a wallhanger which can't or shouldn't be fired seems a waste of effort, when for the same effort you could make a functional Mauser or even a Nagant.

mikee said...

There is currently a SMLE for sale at Action Pawn on I-35 North in Round Rock Texas, that is a Khyber Pass rifle as far as I can tell. It has none of the appropriate markings of a SMLE, neither model, year of manufacture, or place of manufacture, and all parts that should have a matching number have, well, none. There are a few vague inspection-mark like things that are not those used that I have seen on any other SMLE.

Price is $300, and likely very negotiable.

Anonymous said...

Enfields are complicated? Maybe if Abdul is making them, certainly not John Bull. IIRC the only boltgun action with fewer parts is the Arisaka.

Gewehr98 said...

Still holding out for a Turkish Enfield/Mauser hybrid in 8x57. Ankara, not Khyber Pass...

og said...

"IIRC the only boltgun action with fewer parts is the Arisaka."

A 98 mauser has seven parts. An Arisaka, five. An SMLE, ten. The mauser and arisaka can be taken apart without tools, not so the SMLE. The mauser bolt and the arisaka bolt are one piece, and can be taken out of the rifle with no practice, by an amateur, in seconds. And they are almost invariably the same. The SMLE and MK4's vary from era to era and from mfr to mfr and wartime expedient or not, and even if headspace were not an issue, the parts aren't always even similar. I've seen consecutively serial numbered SMLE's that the trigger screws would not interchange. The Arisaka bolt head is also the safety. The mauser safety is also part of the bolt. The SMLE has a whole other assembly to function as the safety.

The number of machining steps to make a mauser or Arisaka bolt is orders of magnitude smaller than anything built by John Bull.

Yes, demonstrably more complex to manufacture, service, and use.

WV: Aftmas. The holiday between Boxing Day and New years.

TOTWTYTR said...

mc, counterfeiting Mosins is like counterfeiting $1.00 bills. No profit in it because there are so many of them and they have so little value.

Joel, they only kill Russians who try to shoot them.

I bought what I think was one of these from an online seller of C&R rifles. Not cheap, and not authentic either. Fortunately, he took it back when I called and complained about the quality of the piece.

mc said...


Now that you put it that way it's making cents.


That pun is just shy of funny.

I'll keep at it...!