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Great War Rifles


Steve1871
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Very nice rifle.

I believe the "C" is  indeed the cyrillic alphabet S for Serbia. Is there anything on the side rail or the rifle?

 

So what calibre is the rifle in? I have not been able to find one in it's original calibre. All of those I have seen (and even the one in Ball's Military Mausers of the World) have been modified to more closely resemble the post WWI model 24 in 7.92mm the original 7mm seems even harder to find than Turkish mausers in their original calibre. 

 

This is a nice example.

I believe there were bayonets made for this rifle by Plumb in the USA during WWI. I had one but it appears to be AWOL which is a little concerning.

 

The crests are indeed very confusing(and Ball is not much help as the captions seem to label identical things differently!) I believe that the crest used by Serbia continued to be used in the inter-war period by the Kindom of Yugoslavia (see your pics of Model 24s) and was then replaced post WWII with a Republic of Yugoslavia crest (with a star on top)

 

Chris

Edited by 4thGordons
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Sorry, I have not been home since February to check the caliber. I should have photo of receiver rail, being in a rush back then to try photograph as much as could of collection, I missed lot of pics and lot more just out focus Just more pics to add to my to do list next time home

I have seen maybe a dozen of these Serb M99 short rifles over the years at gun shows, about half had poor crest left and another 20 I guess on line photos, web sites/sale and auction sites, yet never seen the original long rifle regiments 

thanks Chris

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A little history from ( carbines for collectors

22C0DF5E-8294-4346-BA6A-BC89512FDF3A.jpeg

D671AFFF-7799-4242-A940-886A4DCA43A3.jpeg

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The text You copied from side is partly  from Branko Bogdanovic book of Serbian Mauser (Srpski Mauser), i personally known him and talked many time with him about yugoslavian rifles he is a Serbian museum curator, wrote many books and is a expert on that area, historian of Kragujevac plant.

Your rifle started life as M1899 the side rail of DWM in cyrilica is not present now ,same as origin serbian crest is out filled (only one crest with C letters not 3 crest inside on breast of eagle), the real model was not destined by M1899 C only Model 1899. The small numbers of M99 that escaped WW1 were refurbished in Kragujevac to new accepted 7,92x57IS caliber that was standart since 1923 in Yugoslavia, as the new modell started 1925/6 production, the refurbishment are declared as started early 1927, about 25000 were reported to recalibered into new configuration based on M24 design.

Origin M99 have longer barell,different buttstock wout the pistol grip and mostly in 7x57 caliber, which was standart. the configuration of bayonet is identical to M1895/99/03 systems. so very high positioned barell ring with MRD 15,5mm, this refurbished rifle is already for M24 bayonet with 4cm long Mauser rail under barell and was equiped with Kragujevac bayonet M24.

The serials are typical wout letter.

This rifle is certainly hard to find, but as obvious by greek and other balkan countries all the items were in life more time refurbished and reworked to newer standarts. Your rifle is good , scarce for any Yugoslavian but is already not in M1899 configuration, You couldnt attach a doubble edged M99 bayonet on it.

The crest on the rifle is mostly for Kingdom SHS wich means Serbian , Croates and Slowenes which was used prior 1929, when it was switched into Kraljevina Jugoslavia, so Your rework rifle should be placed to period 1927-29.

http://randyrick.us/AustrianFirearms/rm1899.htm - Carbine of Steyr M1908

https://www.iwm.org.uk/collections/item/object/30034972

Edited by AndyBsk
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Here is the origin configuration of  M1899 Serbian rifle, delivered by DWM , 7x57 caliber, and similar bayonet as M1895 for Chile, same mounting system. The picture is of well gun collector in US. J.P.Sheehan. thanks for it.

The reworked M99/24 got a new barell for 7,92x57IS , new sights and new buttstock with fittings. So from M99 there is only receiver with bolt and magazine body.

1068063697_SerbianM99JPS.jpeg.628680975e37b375c0b6469ef1f1f87a.jpeg

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Your rifle M99/24  was equiped with normal M1924 bayonet, as there is 4cm long Mauser rail. The M1899C designation was applied by Yugoslavia postwar as denoting the rifle was from Serbian Kingdom C- Serbia in cyrilica. All this is written by H.Hintermeier too. Same as on Stankovic book about Serbian rifles.

About yugoslavian and serbian bayonets, i was 10 year on croatian bayonet forum, as member together with Mr. Jim Maddox.

yugoM24_ATZsm.jpg.7a5268d1404d20ee75c569dc333cb047.jpg

Edited by AndyBsk
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Offcoarse Chris is wrong on crest as Kingdom of Serbia used different crest as in Kingdom SHS which was changed to Kingdom of Yugoslavia. Even the crowns and side haengers are nearly identical, most important is the crest inside, which is divided by Yugoslavia to 3 independent nations.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Coat_of_arms_of_the_Kingdom_of_Yugoslavia.svg the serbian crest is on left side, right side is Croatia , and lower part for Slovenia

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kingdom_of_Serbia#/media/File:Royal_Coat_of_arms_of_Serbia_(1882–1918).svg

Edited by AndyBsk
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Thanks for the correction/clarification Andy. I was basing my comment on the pictures in Ball's Military Mausers and already knew there might be some confusions as some of the pictures/captions seem contradictory.

Chris

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So according to you AndyBsk, even though this Serbian Mauser was used in Great War, most likely Balkan wars too, because it was upgraded, modified, I should not include it in this post, same as the Greek and others I might add to list?

 

 

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Andy can speak for himself of course, but that is not how I read his comments. I think he was  simply adding information (correcting my errors) and indicating that the rifles had been modified extensively since the Great War. All interesting and relevant stuff it seems to me.  
Chris

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I am frustrated, I do value AndyBsk knowledge, he reads German and Guess Slovak?, I pm him many times when I not sure of stuff, but with my 2 ongoing post here, it just seems, feels like going overboard on his critiques of EVERYTHING I post

 

To you Andy, I Apologize, 

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Dont worry about, You have a extra ordinary collection, that all here collectors could be only envy for it.

I would correct You in the details so Your rifle is very interesting and significant for the balkan area, more time refurbished, started life as a M99 serbian delivery from DWM equiped with Simson&CO Suhl M99 bayonet, used intensively in balkan wars and in WW1, mostly remained in serbian hands prior the opening on greek front, restamped with Jugoslavian crest post 1920 and added C letter for Serbia and post 1927 recalibered and reworked into M24 standard, serialed together in good condition, most real in 7,92x57IS, so certainly some of the rifle went trough heavy period,and should be remain here, same as with detailed information that we known.

I speak bad english, better german, bad russian, and little serbian, czech and slovak offcoarse.

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Steve, take heart - without you posting your example we would never learn all these other details!

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22 hours ago, trajan said:

Steve, take heart - without you posting your example we would never learn all these other details!

indeed. you post stuff i've only seen in books. and thanks to the many experts on this board.

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Rifle #3

6/5/21 

Enfield No. 1. Mk .1. I think

SHT. L E

BSA & Co.

1904

with the wrist markings, think read as a 

No 1***    Is that correct, these “stars”/ asterisk look overly large to me

Sorry, do not have very many photos of this rifle at this time

The forum GWF being based out of Britton, I sure many of you have this rifle, most in better shape than mine, but just add to fill out the post on variaty

 

Split charger guide. I am missing the half/piece mounted on bolt piece. One of you gents posted a link, name of a guy who use to work in Enfield, semi retired but makes actual yew made copies along with the correct screw.  If anyone knows this person, I would dearly love to get this piece! 
 

This rifle is another “ project” for me, besides the charger guide, I really do not like how dark the stock is. I will never sand a stock, but being so dark, mostly from over a century of oil, grime on, in the wood, there must be many cleaners I could try, lightly try to clean, lighten

anyone with nicer examples you would like to share ( for me to drool over) . You are more than welcome 

I do not know the stock disk unit? Anyone?

thanks

7E149F2D-CFD2-4821-88AA-2C06D106C5F9.jpeg

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59B3987C-AD41-44A6-80CE-2D5D41DA9380.jpeg

6ABC5711-F580-442D-B790-4AA77C85DF51.jpeg

67C8496A-0D8E-45FF-9255-C9ADE1AEB338.jpeg

37917848-FA0B-48A9-B34E-D7215D27E041.jpeg

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That's a nice complete example! ShtLE MkI*** (Basically a MkI brought up to MkIII standards at least as far as function)

 

I believe the additional serial prefic ER indicates it is one of a large batch of these rifles supplied to the Irish Free State immediately after WWI. These were sold in large numbers in the US through a hardware chain just after WWII If I recall (I saw a period ad for them)  correctly there are ER, CR and GR prefixes

I have several of these in various states of completion - there is some variety in the format of these rifles some have later sights and a rear sight protector like a MkIII not the original like yours, some have charger bridges added and some are a mix.

IIRC mine are a 1904 ER prefix a 1904 CR prefix and a 1906 CR prefix. It'll take me a couple of days to get to them (and actually none are as nice as this)

 

Personally I wouldn't do anything to that rifle! (well I might wrap it in newspaper and put in a black bin bag in a car in full sun for a couple of hours and then wipe off any oil that leaks out of the stock with a cloth and then repeat a few times -- this will remove a lot of the extra oil and with it the dirt but retain the patina etc)

 

Chris

 

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Thanks a lot Chris! I did not know there were so many variations, that Irish Free State sounds like icing on the cake so to speak. 
 

Any idea on unit disc

HSD.    
R E. Or A E?

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I think probably HS = Hampshire, D=Depot, RE = Royal Engineers.

So Hampshire Depot, Royal Engineers Rifle number 8038 would be my semi-educated guess.

Chris

 

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Sounds good!?😊

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RE is certainly Royal Engineers, but Hampshire would be HTS... Let me look further...  

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'CS RE' was 'Colonial Survey Section, Royal Engineers' in 1916, so possibly HSD RE is 'Home Survey Section Depot RE'? BUT, the date of issue is usually found on the top...

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Broad Arrow gives HS D as an example for Hampshire Depot I believe, I’ll check.

Chris

 

 

Edit: It does:

 

p124 Country designations HS or HTS for Hampshire (county of)

p126 Regimental abbr. HTS for Hampshire (regiment)

P132 D- "Depot (after a county or area designation eg HS for Hampshire)..."

 

(Broad Arrow Mk2 - second ed. Skennerton 2020)

Edited by 4thGordons
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For comparison:

A 1905 MkI*** (also Irish prefix ER)

1905a.jpg.e7bf3de9f00689b24865a6b4b802f1ea.jpg

 

1905b.jpg.2ea60fb14ca5f6ee3aa2553ca175276d.jpg

 

A 1911 EFD conversion of an 1895 Lee Metford to MkIII config: (so formally  a Sht LE ConD. IV)

1554046957_MLMcond.jpg.d4b39741a9ada37de186ceacfefef4c0.jpg

 

MLMcond2.jpg.16d84a3309cc8fb371ee03ae46bcd824.jpg

 

CJM_0030.JPG.3e83f5851b9241348e548cd43ae60e09.JPG

 

and finally an India Pattern (IP) MkI** (Con'd 1916)

IP-1.jpg.e761d7796979177accbbc6f7b05d3668.jpg

 

IP-2.jpg.dda779d929120e7cce9fe187591abe3f.jpg

 

CJM_0033.JPG.5d2c7c7945151f89127423def1a4fb4c.JPG

 

 

 

 

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Posted (edited)

I knew I could rely on you Chris to make me Jealous😁 Nice collection there. 
I do have “ The Enfield Story”, but as you may remember, I am stuck in a truck ( by choice) try save up for down payment  on a home. I simply do not have a lot of room for a bunch of books to study. 
Because if the Metford rifling, was it re-barreled or what?............ The Indian pattern new made in India or another early rifle, converted?

 

I am curious, I only have 2 Fair No.1 Mk.3’s, my early Enfield and my 2 smelly’s all have volley sites and Mag cut off’s. When did Enfield stop making those??

Thanks again for the pics Chris!

Edited by Steve1871
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Hi Steve,

On the "conversion" from the Meford, pretty much all that remains of the original rifle is the receiver/modified bolt - I suppose this was the most complex/expensive element to produce so it was  worth rebuilding a rifle (in ShtLE format) around an existing receiver/bolt.  This conversion was approved in 1907 and they were carried out at EFD between 07 and 1914.

 

The IP MkI** was converted in India from a BSA Co MkI (date is very hard to read but may be 1903) Ishapore carried out these conversion between 1913-1922 according to Skennerton.

Again not much of the original rifle beyond the receiver and bolt and trigger-guard remain.

 

I'm not sure if you are asking when did Enfield stop producing ShtLEs or when did they stop including magazine cut-offs and volley sights.

Generally cut-offs and volley sights were omitted from late 1915 early 1916 onward (when the MkIII* was approved) however cutoffs were reinstalled on quite a large number of rifles in the inter-war period (so they are marked MkIII(with the star crossed out).

Enfield stopped producing ShtLEs MkIIIs in 1920 after which they switched to MkV rifles (1920-24) BSA made ShtLEs up through 1944 and Ishapore made them up through 1986! (with a couple of breaks but more or less continuously up to 1974)

 

Chris

Edited by 4thGordons
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