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SMLE or SHTLE?


birkettm
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Cracks like this are very common even if the proper procedures were followed. Many of my SMLE's show these cracks and most show no attempt to turn the bolt with the forend installed. I have seen some forends nearly destroyed by trying to screw in the later style bolt with the forend attached.

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My gollygosh! What an education this thread is proving to be! Seriously, thanks one and all!

Trajan

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Picked the rifle up today and he did a fantastic job of tightening up the butt stock. I've also decided to go and put the mag cutoff onto it since you so very rarely see one with it and that would bring it back to how it probably looked when it was first produced. And yes, it will need a different magazine as the one in it definitely blocks the cutoff from sliding into position. My guy is on the look out for one that will work. Said he can also get me a sling for it for around $1.00 as he knows someone who has dozens of them. Also, if anyone is looking stripper clips he has a source he uses that has boxes full of them for about $1.00 apiece. Once I have everything done I'll post an updated pick. Still have to order the cutoff wing and a brass regiment disc.

Cracks like this are very common even if the proper procedures were followed. Many of my SMLE's show these cracks and most show no attempt to turn the bolt with the forend installed. I have seen some forends nearly destroyed by trying to screw in the later style bolt with the forend attached.

By the way, when he checked the gun, the butt stock bolt didn't screw in anyplace near the forend.

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Picked the rifle up today and he did a fantastic job of tightening up the butt stock. I've also decided to go and put the mag cutoff onto it since you so very rarely see one with it and that would bring it back to how it probably looked when it was first produced. And yes, it will need a different magazine as the one in it definitely blocks the cutoff from sliding into position. My guy is on the look out for one that will work. Said he can also get me a sling for it for around $1.00 as he knows someone who has dozens of them. Also, if anyone is looking stripper clips he has a source he uses that has boxes full of them for about $1.00 apiece. Once I have everything done I'll post an updated pick. Still have to order the cutoff wing and a brass regiment disc.

By the way, when he checked the gun, the butt stock bolt didn't screw in anyplace near the forend.

I'd be really interested to see a picture of that mag. I don't see how a properly fitted mag could possibly block the cut-off.

If your chap can get genuine British slings at a $1.00 a piece I'll take 100 of them (and I am not joking! seriously if he can get them at anywhere under $9.00 per I would be very interested in some of those dozens - they don't need to be WWI vintage!) Drop me a PM is he is interested in shifting some.

Any update on the font sight numbering thing?

Glad the forend is sound.

Chris

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Sounds like you may have the wrong stock bolt installed if it doesn't stick through too the forend. Does the stock bolt have the square end on the front or is it slightly round and smooth with threads all the way to the end. Also if the magazine blocks the cut-off is it possible you have a #4 magazine and not one for the #1 MkIII?

Picked the rifle up today and he did a fantastic job of tightening up the butt stock. I've also decided to go and put the mag cutoff onto it since you so very rarely see one with it and that would bring it back to how it probably looked when it was first produced. And yes, it will need a different magazine as the one in it definitely blocks the cutoff from sliding into position. My guy is on the look out for one that will work. Said he can also get me a sling for it for around $1.00 as he knows someone who has dozens of them. Also, if anyone is looking stripper clips he has a source he uses that has boxes full of them for about $1.00 apiece. Once I have everything done I'll post an updated pick. Still have to order the cutoff wing and a brass regiment disc.

By the way, when he checked the gun, the butt stock bolt didn't screw in anyplace near the forend.

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Also if the magazine blocks the cut-off is it possible you have a #4 magazine and not one for the #1 MkIII?

I raised this possibility above, but now I don't think even that explains it. I just tried a couple of different rifle/magazine combinations and if anything the magazine for a No4 rifle sits slightly lower than the correct magazine. I could not get any variant of issue Lee Enfield magazine to block the cutoff, which makes me wonder if it is an after-market or modified one.

Chris

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I have a third variation mag that works well when it is in any of my #1 MkI's but when placed in most of my #1 MkIII's it blocks the cut-off. None of my other third variation mags do this so must be an anomaly with just that magazine. That could be the problem here. I have not had any problems with any 4th variation mags blocking the cut-off.

I raised this possibility above, but now I don't think even that explains it. I just tried a couple of different rifle/magazine combinations and if anything the magazine for a No4 rifle sits slightly lower than the correct magazine. I could not get any variant of issue Lee Enfield magazine to block the cutoff, which makes me wonder if it is an after-market or modified one.

Chris

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Ok, I'll try and answer all your questions, etc.

#1: the mag definitely blocks the cutoff and is seated properly as it feeds fine without a problem. A bit later I'll take a photo of it and post it.

#2: I didn't see the bolt so I have no idea where it goes once it is screwed in or what it looks like. But at this time it's a moot point as the butt stock is nice and tight again and nothing is cracked.

#3: I looked at the sight and there definitely are numbers stamped on the blade plate. I'll try and get a photo today to show the placement of them.

#4: I'll try and remember to check on the slings and double check on the price.

No matter what, though, I have a fantastic piece of history and a very accurate shooter which makes for a lot of fun at the range.

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Found this information today:

During the First World War, the standard SMLE Mk III was found to be too complicated to manufacture (an SMLE Mk III rifle cost the British Government £3/15/-),[20] and demand was outstripping supply, so in late 1915 the Mk III* was introduced,[19] which incorporated several changes, the most prominent of which were the deletion of the magazine cut-off,[17] and the long range volley sights.[21] The windage adjustment capability of the rear sight was also dispensed with, and the cocking piece was changed from a round knob to a serrated slab.[

Based on this information and the fact my rifle is stamped "1916" it would appear, at least on the surface, this rifle most likely never had the cutoff installed on it. It also is missing the windage adjustment and the cocking piece is a serrated slab, and, of course, I did find the little * on it which confirms it is the MarkIII*.

I want to thank all who have contributed to help me figure out exactly what it is I have here. So, this again changes what I will do with the gun as now it appears to be accurate in all respects. I guess we will probably never know the answer to the bolt in the buttstock as I'm in no hurry to remove it just to satisfy our curiosity. If it ever gets loose again I'll revisit it.

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Here are some close up shots that might help with some questions. seems the allotted quota for file size won't let me upload anymore. I'll put them on a site I own and you can look at them there.

My Enfield

Well as far as I can tell the foresight blade is indeed numbered to the height like the examples I posted (030) - there are numbers on the other side but I cannot make out what they are and as I have indicated I know of no practice that would have the a serial number added here - it is possible they are a manufacturer code if the rebuild is of WWII vintage, I have found no refrence to serialing sight blades on SMLEs and cannot think of any purpose of so doing as relates to scoping the rifle.

As you indicated in your first post your rifle appears to have been produced in 1916 as a MkIII* and then (probably in the inter-war period) refinished as a MkIII (with the fitting of a magazine cut-off and "barring out" the * This is relatively common. Under the rear handguard (which is just clipped in place and can be carefully pried off) you will probably find lots of stamping including a serial number (or numbers) and possibly a rebarrel date) Barrels are usually dated on the left hand side in the format apostrophe year (so '17 is 1917, '39 is 1939 etc) It might be the original barrel but lots were refinished and rebarrelled between the wars and the barring out of the * strongly suggests that might be the case to me (which would also explain the resighting of course).

The magazine does not look unusual to me so if it blocks the cutoff is an anaomoly like that described by SMLEenfield. It looks to me as though your rifle has the correct MkIII low cut wood and that a cut-off would fit, magazine allowing! The high cut MkIII* wood covers the slot entirely.

All in all a nice representative rifle - thanks for posting the pictures.

Chris

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Can you supply a picture of your cut-off. Maybe you have a cut-off for a Long Lee and not an SMLE. The profiles and relief cuts are slightly different.

Well as far as I can tell the foresight blade is indeed numbered to the height like the examples I posted (030) - there are numbers on the other side but I cannot make out what they are and as I have indicated I know of no practice that would have the a serial number added here - it is possible they are a manufacturer code if the rebuild is of WWII vintage, I have found no refrence to serialing sight blades on SMLEs and cannot think of any purpose of so doing as relates to scoping the rifle.

As you indicated in your first post your rifle appears to have been produced in 1916 as a MkIII* and then (probably in the inter-war period) refinished as a MkIII (with the fitting of a magazine cut-off and "barring out" the * This is relatively common. Under the rear handguard (which is just clipped in place and can be carefully pried off) you will probably find lots of stamping including a serial number (or numbers) and possibly a rebarrel date) Barrels are usually dated on the left hand side in the format apostrophe year (so '17 is 1917, '39 is 1939 etc) It might be the original barrel but lots were refinished and rebarrelled between the wars and the barring out of the * strongly suggests that might be the case to me (which would also explain the resighting of course).

The magazine does not look unusual to me so if it blocks the cutoff is an anaomoly like that described by SMLEenfield. It looks to me as though your rifle has the correct MkIII low cut wood and that a cut-off would fit, magazine allowing! The high cut MkIII* wood covers the slot entirely.

All in all a nice representative rifle - thanks for posting the pictures.

Chris

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Well as far as I can tell the foresight blade is indeed numbered to the height like the examples I posted (030) - there are numbers on the other side but I cannot make out what they are and as I have indicated I know of no practice that would have the a serial number added here - it is possible they are a manufacturer code if the rebuild is of WWII vintage, I have found no refrence to serialing sight blades on SMLEs and cannot think of any purpose of so doing as relates to scoping the rifle.

As you indicated in your first post your rifle appears to have been produced in 1916 as a MkIII* and then (probably in the inter-war period) refinished as a MkIII (with the fitting of a magazine cut-off and "barring out" the * This is relatively common. Under the rear handguard (which is just clipped in place and can be carefully pried off) you will probably find lots of stamping including a serial number (or numbers) and possibly a rebarrel date) Barrels are usually dated on the left hand side in the format apostrophe year (so '17 is 1917, '39 is 1939 etc) It might be the original barrel but lots were refinished and rebarrelled between the wars and the barring out of the * strongly suggests that might be the case to me (which would also explain the resighting of course).

The magazine does not look unusual to me so if it blocks the cutoff is an anaomoly like that described by SMLEenfield. It looks to me as though your rifle has the correct MkIII low cut wood and that a cut-off would fit, magazine allowing! The high cut MkIII* wood covers the slot entirely.

All in all a nice representative rifle - thanks for posting the pictures.

Chris

It's definitely an interesting rifle, that's for sure, and the more I delve into it, the more interesting it becomes. On the pic of the magazine, that curved piece on the right hand side is what would stop the cutoff from sliding in. now, my research revealed that the refinishing between the wars would have been to refit the rifle with the MarkIII* wood and no cutoff. But, some were brought back into being with the cutoff in place until 1942, so it just gets curiouser all the time. No matter what, I'm happier than a pig in a puddle to have been able to add it to my now growing military rifles. My only other one at the moment is a Wasr/10 AK-47 that is a blast to shoot and very accurate also. I've got my guy at the gun store on the lookout for one of the so called "jungle carbines". He recently found one for $150 at a gun show he had a booth in, bought it and sold before the end of the show...grrrr. I"m also adding a Mosin Nagant, but I can say it won't be nearly as much fun to shoot as the Enfield. I will keep checking at the saddle and blanket shop where I found it in hopes he gets another one it. They guy gets some very cool rifles from time to time.

Again, thank you for all the help and information you've provided, it's been very educational.

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  • 4 weeks later...

As an addendum, a local shooting gallery/ammo supplier here in town just scored 1000 rounds of military .303 brit and is selling it for $10 for 20 rounds. I see more shooting in my future.

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As an addendum, a local shooting gallery/ammo supplier here in town just scored 1000 rounds of military .303 brit and is selling it for $10 for 20 rounds. I see more shooting in my future.

That's a good price.

Any word on those slings?

Chris

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That's a good price.

Any word on those slings?

Chris

To tell the truth, I've been so busy with other things I forgot all about them. I'll check this coming week and see what I can find out as I still want one for my rig. Will be taking it out again as I have 2 new guns to fire..LOL. Nothing as cool as the Enfield though.

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Hi again, Fuzzy,

I recently purchased from a dealer a Canadian cloth bandolier dated 1915 , with, wait for it , all matching Canadian .303 ammo still in their clips all dated 1916.price including bandolier and ammo $90. Not too bad I thought.

regards

khaki

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Please Khaki! These are .303 inch rounds you are talking about. They come in Chargers, not clips!

Cheers

TonyE

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Thank you Tony, for reminding me of the appropriate nomenclature for the .303 cartridges and chargers, I tend to bounce back and forth with terminology, the only one I try to stay with is The Great War.

regards

khaki

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That's a good price.

Any word on those slings?

Chris

The guy has had his shop closed for the past few days. he must be at a gun show someplace, but as soon as I see him open I'll stop and check on them.

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The guy has had his shop closed for the past few days. he must be at a gun show someplace, but as soon as I see him open I'll stop and check on them.

He was open today, but had forgotten about checking on them. He is going to a big gun show in April and will start looking around to find some. I'll update when he gets back.

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Please Khaki! These are .303 inch rounds you are talking about. They come in Chargers, not clips!

Cheers

TonyE

Just to make sure I am on the right page I just purchased a 'clip' of 1916 dated FA 30.06 cartridges.

See, I am learning!

Came with a handful of British coins half crown 1914, florin 1918 ,shilling 1916, sixpence 1914, threepence 1909, five pennies 1879,,1898,1900,1898,1915. Silver coins all very good condition, pennies slightly worn as usual.

khaki

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He was open today, but had forgotten about checking on them. He is going to a big gun show in April and will start looking around to find some. I'll update when he gets back.

Thanks!

Chris

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Just to make sure I am on the right page I just purchased a 'clip' of 1916 dated FA 30.06 cartridges.

See, I am learning!

Came with a handful of British coins half crown 1914, florin 1918 ,shilling 1916, sixpence 1914, threepence 1909, five pennies 1879,,1898,1900,1898,1915. Silver coins all very good condition, pennies slightly worn as usual.

khaki

A good effort but still a little work to be done!

Whilst "Clip" might be the preferred terminology of our American cousins, in British (and hence Canadian, Australian etc,) nomenclature the 30-06 round still uses a charger.

A charger is used to replenish the magazine and then disposed of. It has no part in the feed mechanism of the rifle. On the other hand, a clip (a la Mannlicher, Garand etc.) is inserted in the magazine and the rifle will not feed and fire without it.

See 1929 Text Book of Small Arms for reference.

I know, I'm horrble.

Cheers

TonyE

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