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Rifle 1 MKIII* Question

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    Posted: January 12 2018 at 3:30pm
  New to Enfields and new to me is a 1918 SMLE, appears at first blush in v.good condition, picked up for 250 a week ago.  I'm a reloader (RL15 powder) and I just ordered some dies for the .303 along with some .311 bullets for a Nagant and an Arisaka. 

  However somewhat bothersome is a screw "boss" directly in front of the trigger guard which I think is there to attach a chain from a proper or correct magazine. I don't like it empty, shouldn't this have a screw engaged ??  If so where's the best place to find one ?  Also I did a brief search for an early mag with a chain with no luck. I presume they are as scarce as hens teeth ? TIA ! 

Pat B. NE Florida  
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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: January 12 2018 at 8:13pm
this loop was actually used to tie down the canvas receiver cover on these later rifles , the chain was a throwback to earlier rifles and the SMLE did not have that - nor the matching loop on the magazine to join the two , 

the magazine was a proprietary element of the rifle intended to stay with it always [interchangeable but not intended to be so for reloads or such] replacements had to be hand fitted to the rifle  , these were charger loaded rifles , 

BTW i have a canvas receiver cover but i lost my photos to photobucket crashes one and two , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RCB1917 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 4:28am
Thanks for the info. I have seen the canvas cover but when I saw one side of the "loop" was threaded it didnt seem to make sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Stanforth Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 5:10am
The canvas covers are available on E-bay UK at about £13. I bought one and am pleased with it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 8:50am
If I'm understanding you correctly you have a pair of threaded "ears" about 1/4" size, cast into the metal of the floorplate just in front of the mag well. Not the "D" shaped wire loop?
Like this:


If so that's the earlier fitting for a sling swivel, but by 1918 it should have been replaced by the wire loop others are describing. You can find the swivels sometimes & the screws frequently (they are regular sling swivel screws). #52 & # 53

BUT: if you're thinking of the big honking screw head that goes up into the action from the bottom its the "KING screw" (#26) & is vital as it holds the action, trigger assembly & stock together!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 9:01am
Shamu beat me to it!

If you have a pair of ears in front of the magazine and one of them is threaded, it is suggests to me that what you have is actually a guard with a sling swivel mount. Introduced in 1907, they were intended to offer sling mounting options on the 'new and improved' Mk.III. rifle. The rifle regiments attached the sling to the trigger guard and to the nose cap. A legacy from the Martini Henry days.

The trigger guard sling swivel mount was deleted in late 1915 as one of many war time manufacturing concessions. The sling mount was replaced with a wire loop reintroduced (identical to that of earlier long Lees) for the attachment of the canvass breach cover. The mark of rifle advanced from Mk.III to Mk.III*.

So although you have a 1918 manufactured rifle, the trigger guard is 1907-1915 vintage. Not uncommon for service rifles to have mixed matched parts.

This style of trigger guard is often retrofitted to rifles and is used for attaching a two point sling for target shooting.

Nice rifle by the way, it looks to have been well looked after. Howzit shoot?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 9:04am
Yes the close up I posted is from a 1914 BSA.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 9:09am
Shamu. I do not see a 'King screw' listed anywhere on your schematic. Wink
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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: January 13 2018 at 9:20am
ahhh , i missed that nuance without a photo , my earlier 1915 has the loop , my younger vintage has the boss , but since its a dispersal rifle its not D&T'd , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 9:25am
That's cuz its a British exploded diagram! "Front Guard Screw"
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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: January 13 2018 at 9:38am
i just found my photo file again , here are my trainers , the top and middle have the loop and boss of the trigger guard , oddly enough the bottom has the loop on the jmag for the old chain , its a lee metford Cond II smle trailer , 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 10:08am
Asquare, a very nice group of trainers.

The mag with the loop is from a very early Sht.LE, is it empty of spring and platform?
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yes , no guts , it came with the rifle but was not original to the conversion i think whomever added wanted to cath the brass to reduce the cleanup , 

the Cno7 has a target sling loop added to the king screw for what that's worth to viewers , it sits in front of the loop mounted to the trigger guard , 

thanks for the kind comment simon , missing from the photo is my cooey trainer , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 10:46am
As I understand, non of the .22 trainers had an empty mag body fitted as a brass catcher until 1924 when the Sht.22 Mk.IV was fitted with such. 
This advanced its designation to Mk.IV*, consequently the Mk.IV version is quite rare and can command a premium due to the lack of the one little asterix marking.
The mag body is simply stripped of its platform, platform spring and auxiliary spring, the left side is marked .22

Most collectors shoot these fun rifles, the empty mag body gets fitted so the brass doesn't end up all over the floor. Thumbs Up.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote MJ11 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 11:12am
RCB1917 should post a pictures of the bottom of the magazine area.



Good lick.
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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: January 13 2018 at 7:40pm
like those , im looking for a long lee trainer - hoping for luck but thinking along the lines of the ausie mk6 m the ausie HAK and a nice lee metford rifle , but those are a long reach these days for me , 
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