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Steve1871

Had this many years, Never took time to clean it. Someday

 

Here in United States, we have had, used Military Target rifles since before the Great War I believe. The Springfield 1903 being  out main rifle for military target shooting.That said, I do not know about you Gents ' Cross the ol' Pond

The site and base have no official Stampings . A military converted, used target rifle or just some old surplus rifle. I do not know , but I still like it.

It would be great if any of you could help with any info. Thank you guys

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22SqnRAE

What you have is a 1942 Lithgow (probably Orange Annex by then - need to see more stamps to confirm) Rifles, .303", No 1 Mk III* or Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield (SMLE or "Smellie"),

 

Post war, it was bought by a civilian rifle club member and barrelled with a Heavy barrel, which is the original Long Lee Enfield (No 1 Mk 1*) cut down from the 30.2" barrel to 25.2" of the SMLE. This barrel was thicker and more rigid, better for target shooting.

 

On the left side of the action, mounted from the rear trigger guard screw and the safety spring screws is a mounting plate for a Central No 4 micrometre sight. Calibrated in minutes, the "clicks" are one-third minute of angle movements.

 

Classic 1950s-60's Target Rifle used from 300 - 1000 yards in competition. Replaced, eventually in the 70's by the Sportco or Omark Model 44 single shot 7.62 x 51mm NATO cartridge as the standard Big Bore target rifle.

 

How much other stuff can I bore you to death with? :thumbsup:

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Steve1871

Thank you very much 22sqbRAE

 I had no idea they changed barrels, and to actually use an earlier enfield barrel instead of simply getting a new made one is pretty cool, you are a great help!

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MikB
2 hours ago, 22SqnRAE said:

....

How much other stuff can I bore you to death with? :thumbsup:

 

Don't wanna add to the yawn by teaching grandmothers to suck eggs, but:-

Presumably you all know the rifle and sight are Aussie?

Only nobody actually said... :innocent:

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JMB1943
Posted (edited)

22SqnRAE,

 

Welcome to the forum, and thanks for sharing your knowledge.

You can certainly bore me to death by explaining the Central / No. 4 (maker and model of sight?) and the multiple Australian star markings on the receiver.

 

Regards,

JMB

[edit: Who is/was Central and where located etc]

Edited by JMB1943

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Steve1871

I did not know the site was Aussie, and I was wondering what all those stars were, I still do not know what all those stars mean though????

Thanks again

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MikB
Posted (edited)

Well, I recognised the Central sight as being very similar to the one I used to have on the Lyttleton/Musgrave 7,62 target rifle I was using in the 1990s, and somewhere along the line I found out it was Australian. The 1/3 minute clicks were a bit non-standard in the UK - most target sights here used 1/4 minute. 

 

I was a bit worried that 1/3 minute clicks would be a bit of a coarse adjustment, but I shot out what was left of the accurate barrel life long before I got good enough for that to even begin to matter! :D Best I ever did was 73 out of 75 with 10 Vs in a 2+15 at 600 in a 4 minute wind, and that put me about 1/3 of the way down the list.

 

I don't know enough to identifythe star markings, but I *think* they're multi-stage inspection approval stamps during manufacture.

Edited by MikB

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Steve1871

Best you ever did was 73 out of 75!That is very high expert!

I have not shot a rifle in many years, had Catarack surgery last month, have no idea if my "poor" shooting skills just went way down. No think my best would hit 65

thanks again

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MikB
29 minutes ago, Steve1871 said:

Best you ever did was 73 out of 75!That is very high expert!

...

 

Nah, compared to the average level it was *quite* good, but that's about it. It was the peak of my target rifle game, it was about 15 years ago, and I never got to that level again. 

 

But there was nowt wrong with that Central sight.:lol:

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Steve1871

Thanks, I remember the bore look great, forgot if chromed or not. Just one of many many " projects" to do someday clean it up right nice.......someday!

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22SqnRAE

G'Day JMB1943,

 

Apologies for tardy response, been off air for a while.

 

Central sights were made by the Dunn family, from Melbourne. The design dates from around 1935. They are no longer made, but there are plenty in Australia still. I still use one on my .308W Target Rifle most weekends. There are several versions and the number of "clicks' per minute of angle adjustment varies between models. Its an easy test to work out which one you have by reading off the Vernier scale.  The transition from .303 Service Ball ammunition in Target Rifle competition to the 7.26 x 51 NATO Ball ammunition in the 1970s was catered for simply by replacement of the graduated elevation scale plate.  I've got some further information that I could share privately, if any one's interested to learn more.

 

Here's a good discussion on another great forum about Central Sights:

 

https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=29209

 

My recommendation is to read what Muffet has to say. Son is helpful, but Muffet is the man to go to re: the Lee Enfield Target Sighting options.

 

Now on to the wonderful Lithgow stars on the rear of the receiver. In short, they were inspection marks. Being a good Commonwealth manufactured article for The Crown, every stage of the manufacture of the SMLE was inspected, gauged, accepted or rejected. The receiver had 20 separate inspection points. Hence, the many stars.

 

The star was simply a seven pointed Australian Federation Star, the same as the big one on our flag (representing the seven states and Territories of Australia, surrounding an A. We didn't want the Poms [an Australian term of endearment to the good British folk - for the benefit of our International readers...;)] to mistake one of our fine crafted rifles for one of theirs. We're a bit touchy about being different to the former Mother Country!) Anyway, the myriad of stamps, inspection marks are just a permanent record of the Quality Control process of: make, measure, test and approve.  Springfields and Garands don't have as many marks, but like all Government purchased items, do have a US Inspector's stamp accepting the product on behalf of the Quartermaster-General.

 

The myriad of stamped markings on Commonwealth Service equipment seems to hold its own fascination to many collectors or students alike. To others, the infuriating one step forward, three sideways and half a pace backwards in researching, uncovering, learning and mistaking these marks is endless... "fun?"  Much like the Indian (now Pakistani) Unit markings on this Pattern 1903 bayonet. :thumbsup:

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Steve1871

Thanks 22SqnRAE

 

that's a ton of info, am looking forward to taking my piece apart and doing my own clean and repair if anything need's it. I want to see all the other markings when I get a good digital macro camera.

Sadly, it will be awhile 😹

 

Two thing's if you do not mind 

Looking at side pick. The stock is inletted or cut far too large from forward to rear for just my Central No.4 mount.looking at the stock inletting, it had a larger, broader mount.A mount should be flush with the inlet.Do you have an idea what type was mounter there first ???

Second. Would the No.4 O have, be theost common? 

You have been a great help, thanks again

Steve

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22SqnRAE
Posted (edited)
On 11/06/2019 at 12:21, Steve1871 said:

Two thing's if you do not mind 

Looking at side pick. The stock is inletted or cut far too large from forward to rear for just my Central No.4 mount.looking at the stock inletting, it had a larger, broader mount.A mount should be flush with the inlet.Do you have an idea what type was mounter there first ???

Second. Would the No.4 O have, be theost common? 

G'Day Steve,

 

That inletting cut is rather extreme. Usually the mounting plate for the Centrals will require a shave of about 1/8" deep, about 1.5" from socket forward to flatten out the profile to allow bracket clearance. That excavation is quite generous and not what you would usually see.  I'm not an expert, but I'm thinking that this has a similarity to the Parker-BSA No 9 sight mount.  Here's a good spot to get some helpful info.

 

http://www.rifleman.org.uk/PH_Service_sights.htm

 

On to the Central No 4 sight, the answer is "yes."

 

The No 4 model was last produced and is the typical Central sight arm that you still see on Fullbore 7.62 x 51 Target Rifle (TR Class) rifles in Australia. The photo below is my old Omark Model 44 which I used up until last year. It was replaced by another similar, but newer, single shot TR with a similar Central No 4. Back to that Milsurps thread I provided, Muffet's collection shows the development of the Central throughout the years from 1935 to about the late 1950's early 60's.  The No 4 popping up everywhere is pretty good indication that they are still fairly plentiful and of good quality. Unfortunately, they're more abundant now, because people are switching to F Class shooting, because it's far easier. (Cue the angry mob...)

 

My No 1 Mk III Heavy Barrel TR has a Central Bisley Model sight, which is very similar, but is quite sturdier in construction. Chunkier, perhaps. It's certainly the forerunner to the No 4, which is more slender, but both are very robust, positive and have no frailty in their design or application. I'll see if I can take a photo over the weekend when I head off to the range.

 

 

M44.Rearsight.06.jpg

Edited by 22SqnRAE

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