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Rear sight differences?

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VAnimrod View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 22 2010 at 8:15am
What were/are the different variations on the No.1 rear sights?
 
Anyone have a reference?
 
Thanks,
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LE Owner View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2010 at 12:57am
I'm not up on all variations but I'll tell you what I can.
 
The SMLE MkI had a very nice sight entirely different from the later SMLE MkIII windage adjustable rear sight. A Square10 has a prime example in his collection and has posted nice images of this rifle on a couple of threads. I believe his rifle has the bone tipped elevation adjustment buttons.
 
The SMLE MkIII rifle has a more sturdy and simple rear sight, with larger dia elevation buttons of bare steel without bone inserts. The windage adjustment is by a wheel on the right side, which is why the sight protector is not symetrical.
 
The MkIII* specification is for non windage adjustable sights among other simplifications. There are at least two variations of the non adjustable rear blade. You can download the SAID drawings from a link I placed in the British Manuals sticky. The SAID has images of a couple of variants IIRC.
 
A good reference work on the Lee Enfield with drawings and explanations of rear sight variants among other great information is Reynolds Lee Enfield Book. Milsurps forums has a free download of Reynolds book available in PDF, you can find the download link in their knowledge library.
 
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VAnimrod View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote VAnimrod Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2010 at 1:57am
That's about what I thought.
 
I've got a No.1MkI with the "speed sight" and bone buttons.  I've got a MkI*** with the MkIII* sight.  But, I've recently seen a bubba'd (wood only, thankfully) MkIII* with the MkIII windage adjustable sight, and I swear what looks like a retro'd (factory) MkI bolt.  It's a 1918 BSA No.1MkIII* (looks to be a factory non-refurb *), but with the odd for that variant sight (patina shows original), and bolt.  If I can get it a bit more cheaply than the current ask, I'll have it for a restore.
 
I'll see if I can find that link and download the book.
 
Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 23 2010 at 2:24am
Originally posted by VAnimrod VAnimrod wrote:

That's about what I thought.
 
I've got a No.1MkI with the "speed sight" and bone buttons.  I've got a MkI*** with the MkIII* sight.  But, I've recently seen a bubba'd (wood only, thankfully) MkIII* with the MkIII windage adjustable sight, and I swear what looks like a retro'd (factory) MkI bolt.  It's a 1918 BSA No.1MkIII* (looks to be a factory non-refurb *), but with the odd for that variant sight (patina shows original), and bolt.  If I can get it a bit more cheaply than the current ask, I'll have it for a restore.
 
I'll see if I can find that link and download the book.
 
Thanks!
Interesting bit about the bolt. My SMLE MkIII has a numbered to the action bolt that has the notched shank bolthead which was used with the SMLE MkI. The notch being used to unscrew the earlier type firing pin that had a hump on the collar that matches the scallop cut in the shank during disassembly. My MKIII is a 1915 Enfield Lock manufacture. It had the original MkIII windage adjustable sight still in place and numbered to the action, but the windage wheel was broken off with the sight offset from the centerline. I replaced the broken sight with a good condition used MkIII sight from APEX.
 
Some WW1 MkIII* rifles were refitted with the MkIII sight later on during servicing, and apparently not all MkIII* marked rifles actually met the specification when produced. Shortages of components due to wartime pressure resulted in substitutions using whatever parts were in stock.
If the sight was on the rifle when it left the factory it should be numbered to the action body.
 
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A square 10 View Drop Down
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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: May 24 2010 at 6:30am
"Some WW1 MkIII* rifles were refitted with the MkIII sight later on during servicing, and apparently not all MkIII* marked rifles actually met the specification when produced. Shortages of components due to wartime pressure resulted in substitutions using whatever parts were in stock.
If the sight was on the rifle when it left the factory it should be numbered to the action body."

thats a good point about the numbering , and another thing that came out of the mkIII-to-mkIII* change and parts situation were the windage adjustable rear sights that got 'pinned' or 'screwed' to conform to the change , the windage wheel is fairly fragile and when the sight is pinned these can be "twisted" off , DONT ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS Cry
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 24 2010 at 6:56am
Originally posted by A square 10 A square 10 wrote:

"thats a good point about the numbering , and another thing that came out of the mkIII-to-mkIII* change and parts situation were the windage adjustable rear sights that got 'pinned' or 'screwed' to conform to the change , the windage wheel is fairly fragile and when the sight is pinned these can be "twisted" off , DONT ASK ME HOW I KNOW THIS Cry
 
When I found the original sight's windage knob broken off it crossed my mind that the sight might have been deliberately disabled, but there was no sign of pinning or staking. I never could get the threaded rod out though, and messed up the threads trying to drill it out with hair fine machinist bits.
 
I've considered having a gentleman I know weld a section cut from another rail in place of the damaged portion.
He has done work for me before, and his welding shop looks like something you might see at cape canaveral.
He can cut parts so perfectly and weld them so cleanly that you can't see the weld with a magnifying glass. Somehow his outfit makes the metal grow together like it had never been two separate pieces.
The machinery he repairs on can cost millions to replace, and downtime can cost tens of thousands per day, so his clients can afford to pay for the best.
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