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Remembered Today:

SMLE question


GRANVILLE
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Can any member advise on what appears to have been fastened to the front of this SMLE No1 MkIII*?

Hopefully the picture will speak for itself. The hole on the top of the hand guard is 3/8" dia, and is neatly drilled through the wood, but does not in any way affect the barrel. Whatever it was, was secured by two bands, about 3/4" apart.

Davidpost-23614-1211996532.jpg

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It is possible it was a spring loaded plunger (similar to that in the lower fore-end) for some form of target bedding. What does the rest of the rifles look like? Are there any signs it has been converted back from a target rifle?

Regards

TonyE

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There are a couple of features on the rear hand guard, the scan should make clear. I hadn't considered their significance, but maybe they hold the key? They look like wood has been let into slots that have been cut into the wood at some point in time. David

post-23614-1212002292.jpg

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I think the wooden inlays in the rear hand guard are re-enforments or repairs, normally carried out by the armourers.

Gaz

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Gaz is correct on the inlays on the rear handguard - these are very common and done to prevent splitting.

I am not sure on the front hole... I will have a look at my refs but I don't think I have seen that before.

Chris

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I take it, members would rule out something like a wire cutter, or grenade launcher, which I had rather presumed, being unsure of how these were actualy attached?

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Wire cutters were usually attached to the foresight protector (immediately behind the sight protecting wings using a clip and bolt. They were mounted on the right hand side of the rifle.

Grenade launching cups of various designs also attached here.

David I cannot quite make it out but what is the stamping on the barrel/receiver visible under the rear handguard?

Chris

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Chris,

Delay in reply caused by needing to find magnify glass in order to make out!

Various marks/stamps; most prominent:

Crest with three stacked rifles & BSA under.

Circle enclosing letters AJP

Crown with BNP under.

Crown with BM under.

Crossed swords with DA and what looks like 96 under them.

Large letter C

Serial No.

and further along barrel evidence that at one time it was bored out to .410!

Now make sense of all that!

David

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The BSA logo of Piled Arms suggests means it has been fitted with a BSA barrel (Is the rifle a BSA?). The AJP is for A.J.Parker, the noted target gunsmiths which supports my suggestion that the rifle has been used for target shooting and the BNP and BM are Birmingham proof marks. The crossed swords, DA and large C suggest it has been in Canada at some stage but if so I would expect the large C to enclose a Broad Arrow.

However, what is the evidence that makes you think it was bored to .410" at some time?

Regards

TonyE

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Hi TonyE,

I never dream't my original enquiry would lead to such indepth research!

You ask if the rifle is a BSA. Clearly stamped into the body, is a large crown, under which is ENFIELD 1913,

SMLE III*, so to me it's presumed to be an Enfield?

When I lifted the hand guard rear, I found a cluster of other stamps, one of which is a diamond with .410 inside it, which I took to indicate the barrel must have been rebored in the past?

Other marks in the same area are:

Crown with BNP under

2 1/2"

Cirle containing BB3

and 3 1/4 TONS ----?

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Hi TonyE,

I never dream't my original enquiry would lead to such indepth research!

You ask if the rifle is a BSA. Clearly stamped into the body, is a large crown, under which is ENFIELD 1913,

SMLE III*, so to me it's presumed to be an Enfield?

When I lifted the hand guard rear, I found a cluster of other stamps, one of which is a diamond with .410 inside it, which I took to indicate the barrel must have been rebored in the past?

Other marks in the same area are:

Crown with BNP under

2 1/2"

Cirle containing BB3

and 3 1/4 TONS ----?

Are you sure it is 1913? I think it is more likely to be 1918 as the MkIII* was not introduced until 1916!

I does sound to me as if Tony is correct regarding use as a target rifle. The BSA marking you have described is not usually found on military rifle barrels in my experience but would be on commercial barrels - this was why I asked originally regarding the stamp.

Chris

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The rifle was made at Enfield and if a Mark III* will be 1918 as Chris said. Those are certainly Birmingham .410 Proof marks, so is the rifle a .410 now? Re-reading your post I realised I assumed it was still a .303" as you did not actually say.

Regards

TonyE

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