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The Great War (1914-1918) Forum

1916 SHT L.E III


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Good afternoon, I lost my father on Monday and we were going through his affairs yesterday. My brother and I could not figure out what some of the markings on this gun were. I was able to figure out what kind. We would just love to know the different markings.

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Edited by Guest
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Others will comment, but at basic, you have most of a 1916 mfg No1 mk 111*.  Parts to restore it can be found without too much difficulty.

 

The ENGLAND stamp is one added by importer.  This type of mark was used from 1968 to 1986, so that gives a rough idea when it was imported.

 

The marks talking about tons is a British commercial proof, required when the gun was surplused. .303 is caliber, 2.22 is case length, and the pressure it was proofed to was measured in tons.

 

The green paint (or what is left of it) is ww2, usually seen on guns used in tropical climates.

 

So, a nice ww1 rifle that served through ww2, was surplused, sold to an importer, and bought by someone in the 1970s or so who disassembled it, probably intending to make a deer rifle.

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Agree with all of the above - although (green) paint was authorized for use in all zones of the conflict as a wartime (WWII) expediency  in place of annual disassembly and inspecting/greasing the metal below the woodwork.

Just to add - the rifle was made by BSA. CO. (Brimingham Small Arms Company) who produced very large numbers of MkIII/III* rifles

 

The bolt and rear sight are mismatched (the serials should match those on the receiver and barrel knox form) most of the other stamps there are inspection stamps and proofing marks. It is also dated 1918 ('18) strongly suggesting this is the original barrel.

The FR stamp on the side of the butt Is usually found on rifles that have been through Indian service and in that context indicates "Factory Repair"

 

It would indeed be relatively straightforward to restore it to original appearance but would be quite expensive. While the needed metal components are available and pretty cheap - a forestock and upper handguards are quite hard to find and increasingly expensive these days. Fitting the forestock is not all that simple either to do it correctly (it is important it is fitted correctly of accuracy will suffer if you intend to use the rifle . In this case one additional complication is the inner barrel band has been cut off and to put that back would require removing the front sight block etc which is a bit of a palaver.

It was very common from the 1950s-1990s for rifles to be modified like this for use as a deer rifle. Either with the original stock cut down and reinstalled or a commercial stock (wood or "plastic/zytel") substituted.

 

Chris

Edited by 4thGordons
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