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Charlton 303 Machine Gun

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303Guy View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 28 2012 at 4:01pm
This would be taking modifying the SMLE to extremes.  Are you ready for this?


Pretty cool!  First time I heard of it was today when I came across this specimen advertised for sale in a local paper.  Cheap at the price!  NZ$9000.  It is believed to one of three examples on the planet.

Wink I would like to take the opportunity to bask in the fact that this machine gun was a Kiwi innovation. (Kiwi being New Zealander).

It was a wartime mod so no relics were destroyed.  Have a look at this link; http://www.guncity.co.nz/303-charlton-machine-gun-c-cat-xidp129426.html

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2012 at 9:47pm
Not sure but I think they used the Lee Metford or early LE action bodies for these conversions.
 
It would be super cool if a legal semi-auto version were made available.
 
Original blueprints for the conversion were found some years ago, and offered for sale. I had downloaded the images from that site but lost them when the PC I was using got fried.
 
There were several select fire or semi-auto conversions developed, and similar conversions of several types of turn bolt action or straightpull rifles (the Ross for one) were attempted, with varying degrees of sucess.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 28 2012 at 11:51pm
Nice looking rifle very interesting ! but a Maintenence nightmare
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2012 at 12:55am
Wow! That's the first picture I've seen of one of these. I think they were produced as an emergency measure when there was an extreme threat of a Japanese invasion of New Zealand - weren't most of them destroyed in an accidental arsenal fire shortly after the end of the war?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2012 at 1:38am
would be easier to just stick with the Bren gun!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2012 at 2:09am
Originally posted by hoadie hoadie wrote:

would be easier to just stick with the Bren gun!
Hoadie


I think they were hard to find at the time LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2012 at 2:27am
Wow so many places to get a finger stuck! *cringe*
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote caseyjay Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2012 at 4:00am
Fascinating, never heard of these thanks for sharing Cool
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 29 2012 at 3:54pm
I had never heard of them either until yesterday when I happened to glance at a page of gunsale specials.  So I looked it up on the net and found the one on sale.  Fascinating!  I do believe these were built on MLE actions and not SMLE's as pointed out (just going by the pictures).

I'd say it would have been easier to just build a new design machinegun using LE barrels (?) rather than to modify a Lee Enfield but by now the thing is its rarity and collectors interest (not to mention the amazing ingenuity of it all!)

And indeed, one would want to keep one's fingers away from all the moving 'finger cutting off' parts!

The sights seem a little optimistic!  How would one see them with the thing jumping around during firing?LOL
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote John Sukey Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2012 at 3:53am
Letrs not forget the Howell, a conversion of the No1Mk3 with a 10 round magazine intended for the Home Guard
Then there was the South African Reider, again with a 10 round mag
Of course there was also the Charlton Automatic Rifle, Electrolux model
The Australian self loading rifle
And last of all
The Howard Francis self loading carbine chambered for the 7.63 Mauser pistol cartridge
Last of all the Slazenger .22 Hornet on a No1Mk3 acdtion (have one of those)  not a conversion but rather built as such for hunters
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flanker Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2012 at 4:30am
Wow! Anyone got pictures of these?

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 30 2012 at 5:30am
Amazing information, I did not know of their existance!
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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: August 30 2012 at 10:07pm
very innovative and pretty complicated ,
 
oh , BTW , for those who dont know about john sukey , he probably has a copy of this in his closet somewhere , along with a copy of the others he mentioned ......
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2012 at 1:43am
Originally posted by John Sukey John Sukey wrote:

Last of all the Slazenger .22 Hornet on a No1Mk3 acdtion (have one of those)  not a conversion but rather built as such for hunters
Was that also a self loader?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 31 2012 at 6:21am
No they were a bolt action sporter.
They used to be quite common in Australia and you still see them for sale every now and then.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Story Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 01 2012 at 10:13am
There's at least one gunsmith over on the weaponeer forums working on a modern semi-automatic copy of this -
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlton_Automatic_Rifle
Also, as mentioned, the Canadians where trying self-loading designs based on the Ross during WWI
 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Huot_automatic_rifle
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