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SMLE Muzzle or Magazine


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SMLE, doe's it stand for Short Muzzle, or Short Magazine. I have always been lead to believe it was magazine and most of what I have read it has thus been described, and have only rarely have I come across muzzle, but if you look at earlier Lee's they also have the same magazine, but have a longer muzzle, so I am thinking it has to be Short Muzzle Lee Enfield.

Here is a pic of my MK IV SMLE

post-46522-1251282848.jpg

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M = Magazine

Correct if I'm wrong (not unusual) but I thought that Short referred to the short barrel as opposed to the earlier infantry Long Lee Enfield.

Garth

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It's the Lee Enfield that is short, not the magazine, so Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield - ie. short Lee Enfield with magazine.

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Thx lads.

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The previous "long" rifles and their abbreviations were:

MLM - Magazine, Lee Metford

MLE - Magazine, Lee Enfield

Occassionally in official publications you will see the full title of the Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield abbreviated to RSMLE as well.

Evolution - What are the wrist markings on your Mark IV and what date was it converted to .22?

Regards

TonyE

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Occassionally in official publications you will see the full title of the Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield abbreviated to RSMLE as well.

Not just official - Hesketh Pritchard habitually calls it that in 'Sniping In France'.

Regards,

MikB

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The previous "long" rifles and their abbreviations were:

MLM - Magazine, Lee Metford

MLE - Magazine, Lee Enfield

Occassionally in official publications you will see the full title of the Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield abbreviated to RSMLE as well.

Evolution - What are the wrist markings on your Mark IV and what date was it converted to .22?

Regards

TonyE

And also of course CLLE as the immediate predecessor CHARGER LOADING Lee Enfield.

The magazine on the MLM was actually of a different design - far deeper and single row.

I think formally as people have indicated it would usually be written: Short, Magazine Lee Enfield (note comma as per Tony's post indicating it is a: short, magazine fed rifle)

and without being too picky the pictured rifle is a No2 MkIV rather than just a MkIV I think (using the later nomenclature)

Chris

Making a bid for the Pedant's crown

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Ah, but if you are using post 1926 nomenclature does it not become a Rifle, No.2 Mark IV*?

Pedantry lives!

Cheers,

TonyE

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Ah, but if you are using post 1926 nomenclature does it not become a Rifle, No.2 Mark IV*?

Pedantry lives!

Cheers,

TonyE

was there a Long Magazine, Lee Enfield, LMLE?

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No. The earlier rifles were simply the Magazine, Lee Metford, MLM, or Magazine, Lee Enfield, MLE.

It only became known as the long rifle after they introduced the short rifle in 1902, but it was never an official description.

Regards

TonyE

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was there a Long Magazine, Lee Enfield, LMLE?

Seeing as pedantry seems to be the name of the game at the moment, punctuation is everything and 'Long Magazine, Lee Enfield' suggests a rifle with a long magazine. But it was the rifle that was long or short, not the magazine (although there was actually a long magazine, but that's another story) and, as Tony says, the long rifle wasn't referred to as long until the short one appeared – rather as WW1 wasn't called that until WW2 came along.

Hope that is now clear. A committee of experts is still working on how to construe references in a number of national servicemen's memoirs to the 'Dirty Magazine Lee Enfield' ... :D

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What about the 20 round magazine? that would certainly be a Longer magazine.

How about Short Long Magazine Lee Enfield.

Ducking now.

Andy

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What about the 20 round magazine? that would certainly be a Longer magazine.

How about Short Long Magazine Lee Enfield.

Ducking now.

Andy

I've seen reference to a 30 round magazine so that would make the 20 round a Medium not a Long. :rolleyes:

Garth

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I've seen reference to a 30 round magazine so that would make the 20 round a Medium not a Long. :rolleyes:

Garth

Hi Garth,

i had heard of the 20 round mag, as rare as hens teeth ime sure but never heard of a 30 round one. Was this designed for WW1 or later?

Andy

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What about the 20 round magazine? that would certainly be a Longer magazine.

How about Short Long Magazine Lee Enfield.

Ducking now.

Andy

And so you should!

Actually I have no knowledge of a thirty round magazine, only the twenty.

I used to have one of those many years ago and regret selling it so much now (for about £25 if I remember correctly). The last one I saw sold for £1,000 in about 2003.

Regards

TonyE

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rather as WW1 wasn't called that until WW2 came along.

I believe I read that the term the "First World War" actually predates the second, the author, possibly in the Times in the 1920s was predicting that there would be more global conflicts and that the "War to End War" would not. I do not recall the author but it may have been Norman Angell? :devilgrin:

I should of course know better than to challenge TonyE for his crown, indeed, I did omit an Asterisk. As pennance I will try an summarize the Marks of .22 calibre trainers based on the short rifle.

Post 1926 it would have been the Rifle No2 MkIV* - prior to that it would have been .22 Short Rifle MkIV (again demonstrating it was the rifle not the magazine that was short!) This conversion was approved in 1921

Prior to this, there was the .22 Short Rifle MkIII (which was converted MkII and MkII* rifles) and the .22 RF Pattern 1914 Short Rifle No1 (also conversions of MkII rifles but using a parker tube lining to the original barrel) This is a fun one as originally it was called the .22RF Pattern 1914 Short Rifle No2 but in April 1916 became known as the ".22RF Pattern Short Rifle No1" and the ".22RF Pattern Short Rifle No2" was applied to conversions of SMLE MkIII rifles. :wacko:

looking at these sub calibre rifles opens another related can of worms as there are .22short and .22Long CARTIDGES....

I'll get my anorak.....

EDIT

HJR Reider converted Bren Magazines to fit his automatic conversion of the SMLE - there is a picture in Skennerton of him firing said rifle conversion (from the South African Archives)

and didn't the NZ Charlton conversion use a Bren mag with a 30 rnd capacity too?

these were of course automatic conversions, not normal rifles

Edited by 4thGordons
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Andy

I'm sure it was mentioned on this forum, some years ago, during a discussion about the number of rounds the original magazine held. I seem to remember that their was a disagreement about whether the magazine held 5 or 10 rounds. The matter was satisfactorily resolved as I recall but various diagrams were posted; one of which was a 30 round magazine that made the SMLE look a bit like a Thompson ( I think that's the weapon I mean).

Sorry I can't be more specific but it was a few years ago and I didn't pay all that much attention.

Garth

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I believe I read that the term the "First World War" actually predates the second, the author, possibly in the Times in the 1920s was predicting that there would be more global conflicts and that the "War to End War" would not. I do not recall the author but it may have been Norman Angell? :devilgrin:

I should of course know better than to challenge TonyE for his crown, indeed, I did omit an Asterisk. As pennance I will try an summarize the Marks of .22 calibre trainers based on the short rifle.

B&gger - I should have known that Chris, in relentless pursuit of the pedantry crown (all divisions), would raise the earlier references to the 'First World War' ! Once again, typography is everything and such references were to <the first 'World War'>.

If I remember correctly, the SMLE .22 conversions that I fired in the CCF were single-shot, and the magazine was either deleted or stuffed with old newspaper or something - so there was presumably also an acronym for the no-magazine or no-working-magazine .22 Lee Enfield ...

Jesting apart, thanks as ever to the true experts.

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If I remember correctly, the SMLE .22 conversions that I fired in the CCF were single-shot, and the magazine was either deleted or stuffed with old newspaper or something - so there was presumably also an acronym for the no-magazine or no-working-magazine .22 Lee Enfield ...

The magazines were initially deleted on the .22 versions, then later (mid 20s) reinstated with the platform and spring removed so they were just an empty box for the collection of spent cases. This is the norm. There was a special .22 conversion of the magazine that is very scarce and I think used only on later rifles).

On one great war model (.22RF Short Rifle Pattern 18) "cartridge conveyors" were used - these were "dummy .303 cartridges" that carried a .22 round so the normal loading (using the charger) and firing/extracting of the rifle using the magazine could be accomplished. I suspect TonyE may have one to show? This was relatively short lived as a model.

My .22 conversions have an empty magazine case with .22 stamped on them.

India converted a number of SMLEs to single shot (blocking the magazine well with wood with the platform fixed to the top of it) these have S/L (single load) stamped on the lefthand side of the wrist under the safety. Most conversion I have seen date from the 1940s. I am talking here about .303 single loaders - the .410 conversions were also single shot weapons.

Chris

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I have 2 working smelly's & 6 relic/semi relic.

I also have a 40,yes,40 round mag.

If you play nice,I'll tell you all about it :hypocrite:

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The previous "long" rifles and their abbreviations were:

MLM - Magazine, Lee Metford

MLE - Magazine, Lee Enfield

Occassionally in official publications you will see the full title of the Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield abbreviated to RSMLE as well.

Evolution - What are the wrist markings on your Mark IV and what date was it converted to .22?

Regards

TonyE

GR below crown - 1918 - SHT L.E III

On Brass Disc on butt TD C2 so not regimental, which I think was discontinued in 1915.

Did'nt think it was converted to .22

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