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Please Help Identify SMLE

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rchoat View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 22 2020 at 7:22am
I’m new to the form, trying to learn more about my rifle. Can someone help me identify the maker?  Here is a picture of the thumb plate.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2020 at 11:53am
Unfortunately I cannot open the photo.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2020 at 12:14pm
I cant even see a link!
Maybe this will help anyway.
"OC1- Savage

OL1- Long Branch

Or:

All factories in the North were prefixed with a "N", those in the Midlands were prefixed by "M" and those in the South prefixed by "S"

M47A = Small Heath (Nr Birmingham)
M47B = 3 small assembly plants at Redditch, Hereford and Worcester
M47C = The main factory at Shirley (district in Birmingham)

OR

To work out which factory that your No4 was made is to look at wrist markings where the serial numbers are. Now this only equates to British No4MkI here. The British made No4MkI’s use a prefix and number – (Alpha numerical) system to identify manufacturer.  Numbered serials starting with 1 indicated ROF Maltby, 2 indicated ROF Fazakerley and 3 indicated BSA Shirley. However as one soon learns with anything to do with life there are exceptions, early in on the game BSA Shirley did a production run  which used only 4 numbers and went from Axxxx to Zxxxx.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rchoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2020 at 1:28pm
Sorry the pic didn’t work. Its a No. 1 Mk 111*, made in 1943. 

Thumb plate looks like this:

Crown
G.R.
Possible “L” or “E” the rest can’t be read
1943
SHT LE
III*

Proof marks:
Crown
G.P.
Cross Flags
L

Best I can do, thanks.
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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 22 2020 at 6:21pm
welcome - will help when more is available to work with , glad you joined us 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 22 2020 at 7:05pm
Welcome from Brandon, Manitoba, Canada!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 12:56am
Originally posted by rchoat rchoat wrote:

Sorry the pic didn’t work. Its a No. 1 Mk 111*, made in 1943. 

Thumb plate looks like this:

Crown
G.R.
Possible “L” or “E” the rest can’t be read
1943
SHT LE
III*

Proof marks:
Crown
G.P.
Cross Flags
L

Best I can do, thanks.


Could that "L" or "E" be a single letter "B" ?

If it is then it is a BSA assembled rifle from the 'Dispersal scheme'

If it turns out to be a B then I'll post up more information.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rchoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 23 2020 at 5:14am
It could be a lower case “b”, it looks double struck. I wish I could get the picture to upload.

Thanks for the help.
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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 23 2020 at 7:11pm
in 1943 a no1 mkIII* built in england would have been a BSA made dispersal rifle - they were the only one making them at that time in that place , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2020 at 12:43am
Up until 1940, BSA made normal high-quality No1 MkIII* on limited military contracts, marked with the usual Crown and BSA&Co, as well as identical rifles just marked "BSA&Co" for commercial sale and export.

With the invasion scare, the Ministry of Supply ordered BSA to make rifles out of whatever parts it could get together. Hence the rifles were made of mixtures of commercial and military parts, mixed walnut and beech wood (or all-beech), later on No4 butts and firing pin/cocking pieces. A second wave of production in 1945 even used recycled and re-dated receivers.

About the same time the emergency rifle production was started, BSA was ordered to disperse its many Birmingham factories away from the bomb-target central area, and also to increase war production by diluting experienced staff with war staff. BSA was a huge engineering group, and this "Dispersal" programme led to 70 seperate factories being set up, moved and/or expanded. Rifle production involved several of these factories (both No1s and No4s), and this type of "all available parts" No1 has become known as a "Dispersal rifle". Technically, even the No4s were Dispersals, as well as motorbikes, bicycles, aircraft parts, machine guns and heavy weaponry...

BSA marked these rifles with just the first "B" of BSA&Co. Presumably this was to dissociate the company from these slightly less-than top quality peacetime rifles!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2020 at 12:45am
Originally posted by rchoat rchoat wrote:

It could be a lower case “b”, it looks double struck. I wish I could get the picture to upload.

Thanks for the help.


If you want to send me a PM with the picture (or an email address and I'll contact you) I'll add the picture to the thread.

Here are a couple of pictures of Dispersal BSA's (Note the B below and to the left of the crown & GR)
Note the 2nd picture is using a re-cycled, scrubbed and re-dated action. Anything just to get it out into the 'field'.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rchoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2020 at 6:31am
Thank you for the information, I’m thinking this is what I have. Pictures provided by Mr. Armourer look like the stamping on mine, only difference is on my rifle the “b” looks to be lowercase and double struck/punched one on top of the other.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2020 at 7:53am
Here is the OP's rifle.
Don't think there is any question, it one of the BSA 1945 dispersal rifles looks like its one of the scrubbed and re-used / remarked actions.

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rchoat View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rchoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2020 at 7:56am
Thanks for the help. I was trying to learn what I had, you put it to rest.
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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 24 2020 at 5:08pm
i agree , save i think it 43 , nice rifle - if its original you have a keeper 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote rchoat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 24 2020 at 6:54pm
Thank you, it look all original. All serial numbers match. Bore/barrel are great.
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