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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

Remembered Today:

Charger evolution


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My understanding of the evolution of chargers is courtesy of TonyE and is thus:

Mark I LoC 11753 16 Jan 1903

Mark II LoC 13465 24 April 1906, said to be strengthened by the addition of three ridges on the base.

Mark III LoC 18973 15 Feb 1916, "...having circular pips and lightening holes and no ribs across the bottom".

Mark IV LoC 19786 20 Oct 1917. "Differs ....in having four holes in the sides instead of five, which leaves more room for the spring in the lug end, and makes it less stiff".

I have a number of Mark IVs in my collection - some marked MKIV and some marked Mk4. Each has four circular holes in the base (as opposed to the four elongated ovals of, say, the MkII).

Were there any design or other changes after 1917 - i.e a MkV perhaps - to differentiate these chargers from post-war examples? Or could mine cover the time up to the relatively recent period?



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The Mark IV charger is the last of the series for the SMLE, used right through to WW2 and beyond by British and Commonwealth countries (and others)

The various countries such as India and Australia did have slightly different periods of changeover to the newer Marks, India producing Mk.II much later.

Cheers, S>S

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There was going to be a Mark V in 1918. It was a simplified design by Hinks Wells based on the Russian 7.62x54mm charger that they and others were making.

They are very rare now but I used to have one. It was siezed by a certain irishman and never seen again after he died unfortunately. I suspect it was treated as an ordinary 7.62mm charger.

Anyway, here is the drawing.

The only difference between the Mark IV and Mark 4 is that we changed from Roman to Indo-Arabic Mark numerals in 1944. The mark 4 served from 1917 until the end of the life of the .303 with the cadets in the 1980s.




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When I saw the thread title, I thought you meant chargers, as in horses issued to officers. That too would be an interesting question.

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