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Remembered Today:

1912 SMLE III.


Rob Bulloch
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A couple of years ago this fire arm was due to be thrown into the Pacific Ocean. At the time I worked for a Tugboat Company and one of the crewmen, was about to take this, and another Sporterized SMLE to get rid of them by deep-sixing them off the boat. They had belonged to the lads Grandfather who had passed away, and were now a part of the house clearance and he was not sure what to do with them! he asked if I wanted them, so now they are "Work in progress" I would be very interested in any information that can be given from the markings

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Another all the numbers match with the exeption of the sight

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Blimey - three 1912 enfields in 1 day!

This one is Enfield made (the two in the other thread BSA)

It too has probably been through an FTR (before being "sporterised" as the forend is a later war MkIII* variant - you can tell because it covers the slot for the cutoff.

The barrel does not appear to have been shortened and the original foresight is in place so restoration would be mostly a matter of finding some appopriate furniture (not as easy as it used to be) and fitting it. Of course you would need a foresight protector and barrel band too. You are lucky - it looks like the forestock was cut forward of the internal barrel band... if this had been cut off as they sometimes are it would have made restoration much more of a chore as you would have had to remove the foresight base (a big pain!)

I have restored a number of these (somewhat unkindly called "bubba" rifles) as they can usually be found cheaply and are sometimes interesting variants.

All the markings I can make out on your rifle are standard proof and inspection marks.

Chris

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Thanks for saving another SMLE. There are some reproduction or continuation of production parts, depending on whom you believe. Send a PM or email to me and I'll supply the information.

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Rob,

This, plus a cutoff and a couple of screws/sling swivels is about what would be needed to restore it. Actually this forend would be a good match as it is an Enfield produced one and cut low/relieved for the cutoff. The band is a later non-hinged type - an earlier hinged one would be prefereable on a rifle of this age.

I had a closer look at the markings and as far as I can see they are all pretty standard. The '12 is the barrel year (so original to the rifle) out of interest is it stamped HV SC just beind the rear sight?

The 18 tons is the proof pressure and 2.222" the case length BNP is British Nitro Proof (indicating that the rifle has been sold in the gun trade in the UK - ie after surplussing out) the crossed flags with GR over and P below is a British inspection/proof mark - these are all pretty standard.

Chris

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Chris. Wayne. MkVII Thanks all for your comments and help.

Chris. Thanks for the information on the marks and on the parts required. Yes under the sight (Rear) are the marks SC and below that HV on the part that meets the barrel are the marks looks like a miss stamped T and a large wide A with feet I though it was an arrow but it is an A.

Wayne... Thanks for the information you sent via pm.

MkVII. Yes there is a repair to the stock. But it will not be getting refitted so it doesn't matter.

I have added some more photographs there are a couple of marks on the underside of the barrel, Will I be able to use the butt stock ?

And again marks on underside of barrel

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I have two rear sight protectors which is the correct one for my 1912 (If any)

Cheers Rob

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I have two rear sight protectors which is the correct one for my 1912 (If any)

Cheers Rob

Rob

The buttstock has been re-shaped (compare yours and mine - looks like yours has been shaped to give a semi-pistol grip shape - and rounded off) so although you could use it (functionally) it will not be the correct military configuration. Buttsocks are the easiest part of the furniture to find- if you get desperate give me a shout as I have a couple knocking around

The more correct rear sight protector is the assymetrical one. This is for use with the windage adjustable rear sight - the offset goes on the right to allow for access to the windage adjuster screw.

The straighter one was a production simplification for the MkIII* when non windage adjustable rear sights were fitted.

HV SC means "High Velocity - Short Cone", means your rifle is sighted to fire MkVII ammunition (the WWI standard)

I can't really make out enough on the other markings to guess - sorry.

Chris

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I've seen an No. 1 Mk. III stock set at a local antique store here for like $40. Unfortunately it's only the buttstock and forestock ... none of the hand guards.

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It's 'Small Cone' and refers to modification of the dimensions of what US parlance would call the shoulder.

Quite correct. Apologies for the error.

Chris

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It's 'Small Cone' and refers to modification of the dimensions of what US parlance would call the shoulder.

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This seems odd to me as a shooter and reloader of over 25 years. When referring to "cone" on a rifle barrel it's always been my understanding it refers to what in some circles is referred to as 'lead'.

The 'forcing cone' as I know it in a rifle barrel is the amount of taper in a rifle barrel from the chamber into the rifle barrel. For example the typical german 7,92 rifle will have a forcing cone 2 to three calibers long. When the brits transitioned from the longer and heavier Mk VI bullet which required a longer forcing cone to the shorter MkVII bullet that required a shorter forcing cone. If you shoot "shorter"... generally lighter bullets than designed for in most military rifles you will find the amount of freebore they travel in the forcing cone of those military barrels can often be quite detrimental to accuracy. I have had on more than one occasion went to 'soft loading' a bullet to get accuracy back on par but it does add to the initial pressure spike and for some loads/rifles it's obviously not something you would make a habit of doing.

I have never heard reference to the 'cone' definition being applied to the cartridge case before..does not add up to me from my relaoding experiances and having a handfull of 303 rifles I 'feed' .

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I believe that in reference to the SMLE stampings it refers to "Short lead from chamber to rifling for MkVII Ball" (cf Skennerton p484), which would seem to match GEW98s description.

Whichever it refers to, I was inaccurate in identifying the abbreviation as "Short" rather than "Small" Cone - which was an error of memory.

Chris

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Thanks for all the responses and information, I will post photographs when project re-fit is complete.

Aye Rob.

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