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captaincaveman View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 19 2021 at 12:40pm
First Post here from Devon, UK!

I've had a quick search for info on the different styles of SMLE or No.1 Mk. III/III* nose caps on this forum and google but to no avail currently.

Would any of you be able to point me in the right direction?

I know about the swivel lug etc but are there subtle differences in manufacturers or date of manufacture as I appear to have several which are just a little bit different from each other and from what I've digested from Skennertons book and searching online!

Thanks for any help you may be able to offer :)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2021 at 8:00am
Hi Devon.  The experts on the forum will want photos, and lot's of them!  My reference is the Skennerton bible, so if you have this already, unfortunately I am not much further assistance.   But I look forward to seeing what the they say.  Good luck.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2021 at 10:41am
Try here:
apparently there are seven!

"1) Early (in MkI and MkI*) with inwardly curved site protector ears.

2) Standard (most commonly seen) site ears flared slightly out.

3) Ishapore variant of 2 but with solid sides (no oval lightening holes in side - NB not referring to light holes in protector ears see No. 5)

4) Identical to no2 but with a solid piling boss (no fitment for piling swivel) - made in Australia WWII.

5) As no2, except with square holes milled in sight protectors to allow more light fall onto the foresight blade - made in Australia WWII to mid 50s IIRC).

6) Ishpore made, fitted on both .303 rifles and 7.62 2a and 2a1 rifles - no piling swivel boss and square straight sight protector ears.

7) As 5 but with round hole on left. I think an Australian alteration dating from the 1950s."

** Posted under the "fair usage" clause of Copyright, calm down, lurkers!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 20 2021 at 4:58pm
Also 1B, ears drawn out straight for the MkI** Navy, 5B with holes in ears and solid piling swivel, and 7B with hole and solid piling swivel. Plus 8, the MkV nosecap.
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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: February 20 2021 at 7:21pm
the mkIII were drilled and tapped for the stacking swivel , IIRC the earlier mk III* were as well but late production skipped the D&T as the stacking swivel was dispensed with but im open to correction as ive not got my references at hand at the moment , 
great discussion , and if ive not already said it welcome to the site , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote captaincaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2021 at 4:25am
Thanks for the replies!

I came across that thread on the Great War Forum and so got to looking closely at what I have here!

I'll post (or at least try) pictures below of the variants I have.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote captaincaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2021 at 4:30am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote captaincaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2021 at 4:31am
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SGonger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2021 at 6:09am
The Mk l Smle nose cap also described as having the rabbit ears type.
There also is 3 different size nose cap side side screws (heads & lengths) to be aware of for thought.
Cheer’s.
Anyone seen the Tardis Box anywhere? 🤨
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AussieShooter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2021 at 7:03am
I think this is amazing.  We (the royal we!) determined 7 variants and the fact you have four of them is terrific. I was amused the Aussies had so many variants. I will check mine and post if different.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote captaincaveman Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 21 2021 at 7:59am
The second Aussie variant marked SAF is apparently an Indian made nose cap -

"These are Indian manufacture. SAF is an Indian feeder factory for Ishapore. These nosecaps were made without a piling swivel boss because they were intended for wire-wrap grenade rifles - on these rifles the front wire binding is retained by an L-shaped metal tab screwed into the nosecap screw hole."

The First Aussie one is marked BA for Rifle Factory No.2 Bathurst.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2021 at 1:28pm
Definitely going to delve further into this. I have found two different sizes of lightening hole inside the bayonet boss, and two different types of knurling on the ears of MkI nosecaps so far. So I suspect there are probably quite a few minor differences.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SGonger Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2021 at 1:50pm
Originally posted by WilliamS WilliamS wrote:

Definitely going to delve further into this. I have found two different sizes of lightening hole inside the bayonet boss, and two different types of knurling on the ears of MkI nosecaps so far. So I suspect there are probably quite a few minor differences.
Llthgow Mklll nose caps;
Modification for the Rectangular‘windows’ production started in 1944.
In 56 Armourers Instruction for that modification an alternative was advised for convenience in machining,in which the rectangular aperture could be cut out on the right side only, the aperture on the left side being replaced with a 3/8”diameter hole,conforming with the center of the rectangular aperture on the opposite foresight protecter.
Hope this is of help.
Cheer’s.
Anyone seen the Tardis Box anywhere? 🤨
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2021 at 2:18pm
So, I have a Mk2?
I never knew till this thread popped up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 22 2021 at 7:31pm
I have sorted through my seven SMLE MkI nosecaps and identified four separate variations. This does not include the fifth MkI variation, the naval altered MkI** nosecap which could start as any of the first four variants. I'll call the MkI** nosecap the Type 1E.

1A. Raised squares in the knurling, ears are thick - 0.125" to 0.130" at the narrowest point. Large hole in the bayonet boss. Both of mine in this style have the same inspection stamp.

1B. Raised squares in the knurling, ears are thin - 0.110" to 0.115" at the narrowest point. Large hole in the bayonet boss.

1C. Raised lines in the knurling. Large squares - approx. 0.035" to a side. Knurling is very deep. Thick ears 0.125" at the narrowest point. Small hole in the bayonet boss.

1D. Raised lines in the knurling. Small squares - approx. 0.020" to a side. Knurling is shallow. Very thin ears - 0.095" to 0.105" at the narrowest point. Large hole in the bayonet boss.

1E. Any of the 1A through 1D variations altered by drawing the ears out straight for the SMLE MkI**.

All other aspects of the nosecaps appeared to be the same. Interestingly, apart from the Irish CR serial on the nosecap from my CR rifle, all of them that have been numbered are numbered on the inside of the nosecap. The Irish CR nosecap also has older serials on the inside of the nosecap. I'm going to keep sorting through my MkIII/MkIII* nosecaps, get some decent photos and compile this all into a document I think.
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