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Remembered Today:

My 303


Pmasson
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Hi all,

I traded my cousin some things for a 303 he had, and I would like to try and figure out what year it is and what all the markings or stamps on it mean. Is there anyone who would be able to help me out, I don't know anything about this.

I did take a picture of it, but it is at home and I am at the office right now.

Thank you

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Post some pictures and describe the markings and I and others will do our best to answer your questions.

Regards

TonyE

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Your post is a little unclear.

If by 303, you mean a live .303 round, you should be aware that under Sec 1 (1) (B) Firearms Act 1968, possession of such a live round with a licence constitutes quite a serious criminal offence (even if it is an old WW1 souvenir).

If, however, it is an empty case or an inert round, you'd be fine.

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Your post is a little unclear.

If by 303, you mean a live .303 round, you should be aware that under Sec 1 (1) (B) Firearms Act 1968, possession of such a live round with a licence constitutes quite a serious criminal offence (even if it is an old WW1 souvenir).

If, however, it is an empty case or an inert round, you'd be fine.

Of course, that only applies to people living in the UK.

I assumed the writer was talking about a weapon rather than ammunition.

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Post some pictures and describe the markings and I and others will do our best to answer your questions.

Regards

TonyE

Sorry, I mean I have a rifle not a live round

I mean a rifle not a live round thanks

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Sorry, I mean I have a rifle not a live round

I mean a rifle not a live round thanks

Very good. However, in the case of a firearm in the UK, the same consideration would apply - unless it had been de-activated and made incapable of reconversion.

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Lift up the bolt-handle and on the band beneath it you should find the maker's stamp and the year of production. (And possibly also which Mark it is).

Tom

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possession of such a live round with a licence constitutes quite a serious criminal offence ).

You mean without a license,dont you?

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Here's where to look.

PICT0764-1.jpg

And this one fire's a treat.

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Lift up the bolt-handle and on the band beneath it you should find the maker's stamp and the year of production. (And possibly also which Mark it is).

Tom

I know it is an MK III but I don't think it says what the year is... I will take a pic of that area and post it later.

Thank you all for your help.

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Here's where to look.

PICT0764-1.jpg

And this one fire's a treat.

Gosh - That's identical to mine!

Gunner Bailey

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Gosh - That's identical to mine!

Gunner Bailey

Hardly surprising as BSA were the main manufacturer during the war years, I believe, making about 14 million individual rifles.

Tom

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Gosh - That's identical to mine!

Gunner Bailey

Okay, here are some pics of my 303, I hope some of you can help me with the markings or lead me to a website that might have a glossary of them.

Okay, here are some pics of my 303, I hope some of you can help me with the markings or lead me to a website that might have a glossary of them.

Here are some more markings

post-27733-1195081706.gif

post-27733-1195081779.gif

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Paul.

That shot is from the left side.Can you do one from the right hand side?Like the photo I posted?

Dave.

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Hello Chums,

Its just a long shot, but studying the logo beneath the 'FR' for the last pic that Paul has posted, I would say that Pauls SMLE could be one of the batch supplied (British markings erased) to the Siamease government in the 1920's. Ive posted a pic of the logo (enlarged) and one from a Siamese '07' from my files.

Seph

post-18081-1195088357.gif

post-18081-1195088402.jpg

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FR is the standard Indian "Factory Repair" mark (it is often FTR on British rifles - Factory Thorough Repair) although I admit I have not seen it on the "wrist" before - it is usually on the receiver.

The tiger stamp and numbering on the siamese rifles is pretty distinctive I have one and have inspected two or three others. (I'll post a pic in a bit)

The No1 MkIII stamp is also indicative of Indian rifles produced 1942-48 (as opposed to the SHT LE stamp) The date would usually be here but the No1 Mk III designation makes it WWII production

The other markings on the barrel knox form etc are "proof marks" which again indicate its Indian origin as they are GRI (Georgius Rex Imperiatus - King George Emperor) indicating it was produced at the Ishapore factory.

To return to the original rifle Skennerton/Stratton suggest that BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) produced 435, 212 No1 MkIII* rifles in 1916

(and about 2,071,735 NoI (various marks), between 1903 and 1944. - about 1.8 million up to 1918. (Tom this is a lot lower than your figure - what is the source? of course Tony E will tell us the real number!)

Chris

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For comparison:

A 1915 BSA no I MkIII with later FTR stamp(low) note designation SHT LE III as opposed to No1 MkIII (the later numbering system used on the Indian rifle)

A Siamese contract rifle

and, just for Seph, the Siamese bayonet with correct metal scabbard!

Chris

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Nice pics Chris!

Thank You for the one of the Siamese SMLE... thats just completed my records.

Seph

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Of course I will tell you the actual figure - I am not the official small arms pedant for nothing you know!

BSA production was:

Aug- Dec1914 - 56,416

1915 - 275,927

1916 - 435,212

1917 - 468,547

1918 (to Nov) - 345,751

Total - 1,581,854

Total UK production (RSAF, BSA, LSA plus peddled) was 3,954,226

Source: Ministry of Munitions production records.

Glengarry - First let me welcome you to the Forum. Whilst entirely agreeing with your admonition regarding the Firearms Act (or at least what you were trying to say), I think you will find most members of the Forum are fully aware of the strictures of the act and comply with them.

To re-assure you, I have a full FAC varied for any calibre of ammunition plus the necessary Section 5 authority for AP, incendiary etc.

Regards

TonyE

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Apologies for my error - my 14 million should have been 1.4 million, which is the figure I had in my notes. (If it was 14 million the Armoury Road ghosts would still be turning them out!)

Tom

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FR is the standard Indian "Factory Repair" mark (it is often FTR on British rifles - Factory Thorough Repair) although I admit I have not seen it on the "wrist" before - it is usually on the receiver.

The tiger stamp and numbering on the siamese rifles is pretty distinctive I have one and have inspected two or three others. (I'll post a pic in a bit)

The No1 MkIII stamp is also indicative of Indian rifles produced 1942-48 (as opposed to the SHT LE stamp) The date would usually be here but the No1 Mk III designation makes it WWII production

The other markings on the barrel knox form etc are "proof marks" which again indicate its Indian origin as they are GRI (Georgius Rex Imperiatus - King George Emperor) indicating it was produced at the Ishapore factory.

To return to the original rifle Skennerton/Stratton suggest that BSA (Birmingham Small Arms) produced 435, 212 No1 MkIII* rifles in 1916

(and about 2,071,735 NoI (various marks), between 1903 and 1944. - about 1.8 million up to 1918. (Tom this is a lot lower than your figure - what is the source? of course Tony E will tell us the real number!)

Chris

First off thank you all for your help I really appreciate it ... but I'm confused, I seem to be getting 2 different opinions here, maybe I am misunderstanding. I'm getting that it is Indian, from India I presume... but I am also getting that it is Siamese, between 1916 and 1948. Who is right? Obviously you guys know what you are talking about, but I'm not familiar with this so you'll have to bare with me.

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First off thank you all for your help I really appreciate it ... but I'm confused, I seem to be getting 2 different opinions here, maybe I am misunderstanding. I'm getting that it is Indian, from India I presume... but I am also getting that it is Siamese, between 1916 and 1948. Who is right? Obviously you guys know what you are talking about, but I'm not familiar with this so you'll have to bare with me.

Your rifle is Indian, produced between 1942-48 (it has No1 MkIII as opposed to the SHT LE III stamp) The date would usually be here but the No1 Mk III designation makes it WWII production

The other markings on the barrel knox form etc are "proof marks" which again indicate its Indian origin as they are GRI (Georgius Rex Imperiatus - King George Emperor) indicating it was produced at the Ishapore factory.

The Siamese Rifle was Seph's guess as to the source of your rifle - but as it turns out it is not the case.

I added the pictures of the Siamese markings for comparative purposes.

So - just to clarify: your rife is a WWII period INDIAN produced rifle - manufactured at the ISHAPORE works it has also been "Factory Refinished" at some point in its life..hence the deleted date.

sorry for the confusion.

Chris

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Your rifle is Indian, produced between 1942-48 (it has No1 MkIII as opposed to the SHT LE III stamp) The date would usually be here but the No1 Mk III designation makes it WWII production

The other markings on the barrel knox form etc are "proof marks" which again indicate its Indian origin as they are GRI (Georgius Rex Imperiatus - King George Emperor) indicating it was produced at the Ishapore factory.

The Siamese Rifle was Seph's guess as to the source of your rifle - but as it turns out it is not the case.

I added the pictures of the Siamese markings for comparative purposes.

So - just to clarify: your rife is a WWII period INDIAN produced rifle - manufactured at the ISHAPORE works it has also been "Factory Refinished" at some point in its life..hence the deleted date.

sorry for the confusion.

Chris

Thank you so much... that's excellent. Hey Is there anyway to find out what the other markings are or do they matter? I just want to find out as much about it as I can, for curiosity sake, it would be nice to track it and see what it has gone through. Are there any manuals online that show what these markings are and what they mean?

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