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OldManMontgomery View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 12 2016 at 11:46am
I like history, and I consider the Great War to be the last really decent war.  Valor continues, but it seems WWI was the last show of chivalry.  Perhaps it will return.  So I thought a collection of infantry rifles of the era was in order.  I have several from the U. S.  

Being an American of mostly Scot's ancestry, I decided the British rifle of the era was required.  Now I have two.  I have a good idea of how to operate them and such.  However the history and provenance throws me a bit.

The first and eldest of the two is rather nice.  I've shot it - still working on getting it (the front sight) properly adjusted for windage.  I was rather pleased to find the headspace isn't bad.  (I do reload and have for a number of years; I recognize such things and all my reading indicates to watch this particular rifle for the problem.)

The information from stampings show it as serial number D 6176.  This appears on receiver and bolt and front sight protector/bayonet mount; except the bolt number lacks any prefix and the protector has a W vice D.  (And the protector shows it was either used in hard close combat or dropped on it's head a couple times.)  

The wrist band (that may not be official nomenclature) is marked on the right side (in firing position) of the arm has a 
somewhat off sided crown mark, I presume representing His Majesties' approval;
the word "Enfield" (the 'd' is rather faint) which I presume is location of manufacture: 
the number "1917", which I presume is year of manufacture: 
a fuzzy stamped "SMLE" which confirms my suspicions of the type of rifle: and 
the legend "III*" which I understand to be the early symbol for "third variation"; similar to the U. S. "A3" following a model number.  

Is that correct? 

I just bought the second SMLE rifle.  This rifle doesn't seem to be 'used' as much.  I haven't fired it yet, but have plans to do so soon.  Serial number is 2118Z on receiver, with Z2118 and what I think is an X following.  (Replacement?)  Nose cap/sight protector is also Z 2118.  

I note this rifle has a screw in the rear sight assembly for windage adjustment.

Wrist band reads (marked on left side of arm), 
Broadhead Arrow mark, 'official stamp' of acceptance, I presume;
No. 1 Mk. III, type of rifle;
"F R", which I take to be manufacturer, but I cannot find such a code; and finally
" '38 ", presumably year of manufacture.  

Any corrections?  (I might well be misreading the intent of some of this.)

Neither rifle has the brass disk still in the butt.  The newer rifle has the void filled in with a bit of wood; the elder rifle is just missing the piece.  

Currently, I'm shooting Privi Partizan .303 British FMJ ammunition in these.  I know just enough about old ammunition to be concerned over shooting up some valuable collector's rounds.  Supposedly, the PPU ammo is loaded to match the Mk 7 issue round.  It seems to shoot to the sights and I do not plan to experiment with other bullet weights.  

I don't plan on shooting these a great deal, just enough to see how they work and keep a record for posterity.  They've both been fired before, so that isn't a problem.  

Photos of band markings.  The older rifle first, the newer rifle following.  I'm still getting the hang of 'size'.




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Shamu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2016 at 2:55pm
There was a change in the way British rifles were marked, & this can lead to some confusion as both overlapped for a while.
The original convention was to name the exact version of the rifle.
MLE Magazine Lee Enfield
CLLE Charger Loading Lee Enfield
& so on.
The SMLE (sometimes marked as ShtLE) was the Short, Magazine Lee Enfield, (The rifle was shorter, not the magazine).

Then they changed the system, (we assume to keep the dreaded fuzzy-wuzzies confused)
Confused

The new system was different it was tiered in 3 stages.
No
(number) was a major redesign, almost a new rifle entirely.
Mk (mark) was a substantial change within the Model No.
* (star) was a minor change, within a mark, not as big as a new Mk. Some had more than one star as well just to confuse the issue even more. The SMLE was also the No1 MkIII (or MkIII*). You could think of it as "First model, 3rd variant, (& with a *) modified".
Ermm

So you have 2 different variations of the basic Rifle, Short Magazine Lee Enfield, a No1 Mk111 & a No1 Mk111*

I believe one of them is actually an Indian-made rifle (The No1 MkIII), does it say "GRI" anywhere, have a cross bolt in front of the magazine? The big clue is the type font & the "FR" mark which is usually Indian.

The crown is a notification that that rifle was in military service, as opposed to a civilian owned one.

Others who are more knowledgeable wil be along to correct any errors of mine & give you more on the other stamps.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OldManMontgomery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2016 at 5:13pm
I can't find GRI anywhere.  (I haven't pulled the stock off yet.)  

However the importer mark (Century Arms Int'l; CAI) does have 'INDIA' in very small stamp next to the importer mark.  However, I know enough about Customs markings to know this may only mean the rifle came from India when imported; and lots were transferred when the rifles were replaced in Great Britain.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 12 2016 at 8:02pm
india often mark theirs as no1 mk3 - it throws a whole nuther wrinkle in the learning curve , but if you hang out , do some reading and ask questions you will get what you need here - along with a rash of chit that is all good natured , do pay attention to the proper nomenclature given less the gnomes and piy bulls let loose their wrath , 

nice rifle by the way - the change to no1 nomenclature occurred in the 20s for what its worth , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SW28fan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2016 at 5:13am
FR    is  "Factory Repair"   and mean the rifle has been refurbed
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2016 at 5:17am
Sorry I wasn't clear.
If there was a "GRI" it would be right above the crown on the wrist.
& yes "india" means its probably an RFI made rifle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2016 at 6:43am
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

Sorry I wasn't clear.
If there was a "GRI" it would be right above the crown on the wrist.
& yes "india" means its probably an RFI made rifle.


Or a rifle rebuilt / remarked from India.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2016 at 9:06am
Yes, quite possibly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 13 2016 at 4:12pm
can just barely make out the left half of the photo - looks to have been made at enfield in 1918 if im seeing right [but you say 17 and you have better view than i do] which fits with the mkIII* designation , went thru FTR in 38 but cannot say where 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OldManMontgomery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 6:26pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

Sorry I wasn't clear.
If there was a "GRI" it would be right above the crown on the wrist.
& yes "india" means its probably an RFI made rifle.


I checked.  No GRI on the wrist.  But the import marking - to import it into the U. S. - is definitely 'INDIA'.  The import mark also identifies Century Arms Int'l (CAI) as the importer of record (such a shock!).  The rifle came (physically) from India, whether it was originally made there or not.

I didi shoot it today with PPU FMJ ammo (suspected to be much like official Mk 7 ammunition in performance).  I shot it at about 30 yards (our range has been 'redone' and some of the target locations have been muddled); the point of aim is pretty good, centered and a trifle low.  We'll see how it registers at 100 yards and further.  Average velocity was 2377 fps.  As one source claims the 'official velocity' is 2440 fps, that seems to be within the parameters.

Fired cases look 'proper' with no protruding primers and no visible stretching of cases or any failures.

We won't discuss my offhand rifle shooting technique.
I am always ready to learn. I do not always appreciate being taught.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 15 2016 at 11:53pm
On the left picture, the marking under the year would be Sht (underline under the "ht") LE with III* under that. The marking above that means it is a rifle built at the Enfield factory. The right picture, the left wrist proves it was in India and refurbed in 1938. The scope of the "FR" mark is debated to this day but it does indicate repair of some sort in India. If the right side of the wrist is blank then that means it was scrubbed of markings which is typical of Ishapore, India refurbished rifles and the original origin will always be a mystery.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 3:46am
Just rememberd..both my No1 MkIII* rifles are 100 years old this year!
Methinks I'll hold a birthday party!!
[<:o)] Hey wait!..I can hold TWO parties!! [<:o)]
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 8:25am
I will bring the strippers, no, no, chargers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 1:07pm
I think this is the one time I think "strippers" is the correct term!Evil Smile

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote OldManMontgomery Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 1:13pm
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

I think this is the one time I think "strippers" is the correct term!Evil Smile
A perfect example of how one can be completely accurate and misleading, all at once.  Love this language.  LOL 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 16 2016 at 3:05pm
...heathens..
Loose wimmen tightened here
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