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Remembered Today:

How many types of SMLE nose caps are there?


BStaples

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Asking the experts...

How many different types or variation of SMLE nose caps were manufactured?

I've started a small collection of SMLE nose caps (5 so far) and would like to know what I'm getting into.

...I know, putting the cart before the horse but it never hurts to ask

Any pictures or reference sources would be greatly appreciated.

Thanks,

Brad

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I know of 7 variations of true nosecap for No1 SMLEs. In addition, there are nosecaps that were fitted to Dummy / Bayonet rifles. This later type is turning up with some regularity on Ebay, they are relatively crudely made and look cast, and resemble no6 below. I have a dummy rifle I believe to be WWI vintage which has similar.

The details (with pictures) of all but the last, are covered in Skip Stratton's book, but in summary:

1) Early (in MkI and MkI*) with inwardly curved site protector ears.

2) Standard (most commonly seen) site ears flared slightly out.

3) Ishapore variant of 2 but with solid sides (no oval lightening holes in side - NB not referring to light holes in protector ears see No. 5)

4) Identical to no2 but with a solid piling boss (no fitment for piling swivel) - made in Australia WWII.

5) As no2, except with square holes milled in sight protectors to allow more light fall onto the foresight blade - made in Australia WWII to mid 50s IIRC).

6) Ishpore made, fitted on both .303 rifles and 7.62 2a and 2a1 rifles - no piling swivel boss and square straight sight protector ears.

7) As 5 but with round hole on left. I think an Australian alteration dating from the 1950s.

Chris

Edit: These are the ones I could get to easily. I do not have a first variant and No 3 and 5 were inaccessible.

Edited by 4thGordons
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A few additions to 4thGordons' excellent post.

First, here is a pic of the first variation he mentioned, used on Mk. I and Mk. I* rifles.

Next, here is one he didn't mention. Call it #8. Naval variant of the #1 type, with the ears straightened. Used on ConD. Mk. II/II*/II**/II***/IV rifles in naval service.

Finally, there are at least two types of #2's. The very early ones (1907 and early 1908) were remanufactured #1's. They can be recognized by the lightening hole inside the bayonet boss. Later, purpose made ones did not have this feature.

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Hi John,

Thanks for that! I knew of the "straightened" and remanufactured types but, as I previously had no way of reliably identifying them, I always bracketed them as types (and as I would have no way of identifying them excluded them from my answer) however, now you have resolved that for me.....

I did not know about the lightening hole in the bayonet boss! (I assume this is also present on the Naval variant #8 you posted) excellent stuff!

Thanks again,

Chris

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Would this be yet another variation or a flaw in manufacturing?

It's the one I listed at no3 (in post 2) I think

Quote: "3) Ishapore variant of 2 but with solid sides (no oval lightening holes in side - NB not referring to light holes in protector ears see No. 5)"

IIRC these were originally fitted on Ishapore produced rifles from 1918 to the mid 20s Does it have any manufacturing stamps on it? FTRs mean they show up on others of course.

Chris

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Would this be yet another variation or a flaw in manufacturing?

That looks familiar ;)

oooh yeah

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That looks familiar ;)

oooh yeah

:lol::lol:

Well, B#$%* H!@@

I had TOTALLY forgotten that! at least I didn't contradict myself! (and learnt something new to boot!)

Chris

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Yeah,Chris!

While ago that one & I closed it 'cos of bandwidth or something similar.

Turned out to be a proper Heinz 57 but,still.

Thank gawd it wasn't mine ^_^

Dave.

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:D

Ok well just for the sake of completeness and so we have pictures of all the main types in one thread.....

Here is Variant No 5 (Australian but with square holes in both of the sight protector ears)

Also note: Like those posted by John, this has the small headed front-nosecap screw (and the cap is pin punched to show tightness!) as oppsed to the larger headed/broader slotted one visible on several others I posted.

Chris

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Thanks for all the information.

It looks like I have another four nosecaps to find before I complete my collection.

Cheers!

Brad

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Where does one find just nosecaps? I'm a bayonet guy and since I lack the room and funds for a whole rifle I have been thinking about getting a nosecap to fit one of my 1907s to for display.

Thanks!

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I got me one of those Indian solid nosecaps, came attached to my de-ac 1918 MkIII*, I quite like it, they are rare enough it seems!

enfieldwrist.jpg

nosecap.jpg

Its clearly marked 'RFI' and the bayonet boss does have a serial number, sadly however, not that of the other parts. But it is a correct nosecap for an '18 Ishy. The only times I have seen such nosecaps were from deac's that turned up in the UK a couple of years back. My rifle, I believe, spent the latter years of its life in Nepal, thats where I believe a batch of these came from, some with there solid nosecaps still intact. And also with a strange marking (see over the Crown GRI) D.P.P.B/D.B.B.B/D.P.B.B???? I cant make it out, its stamped in a couple of places on the rifle, also, some of the other de-acs had this marking also. None of the LE buffs that I have been in contact with can tell me what this marking is, Skennerton hasnt any mention of it in his book even! :P

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Where does one find just nosecaps? I'm a bayonet guy and since I lack the room and funds for a whole rifle I have been thinking about getting a nosecap to fit one of my 1907s to for display.

Thanks!

Hi N White,

I've found most of my SMLE nosecaps at area (Toronto, Canada) gun shows & military shows.

Great deals can be found... I've paid as little as $2 (CDN) for a No. 2 nosecap to a maximum of $5 (CND) for a Lithgow No. 7 nosecap.

...all original (no copies or reproductions) and all marked

They can also be found on eBay... average price seems to be about $20 (US) and shipping can be a little expensive.

Good Luck & Happy Hunting!

/Brad

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