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Smle #1 mk3

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WilliamS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2020 at 6:59pm
Personally, if a customer brought in a rifle marked Z, ZF, DP, U/S, RR etc, unless I had the gauges and standards to check over everything, they would be signing a document outlining that the rifle was unsafe to fire before I handed it back to them.  And I keep a copy of those on hand in case the customer fires an unsafe firearm after it goes through the shop.  Someone with more Enfield-specific knowledge and experience than I determined there was a problem with the rifle and without the right inspection tools I am not going to second guess them or risk my job and maybe a criminal case on the off chance it was an OK riflestamped for DP at need. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2020 at 7:15pm
Originally posted by The Armourer The Armourer wrote:

Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Are these markings made with a punch or electro pencil?  The back to back R marking in Skennerton appears as a standard font and not stylized like the Rust marking.  


The "unsafe" R marking is very stylised as per the extract from the Armourers Manual.

Repeat of previous attachment :



Right, and the markings on this rifle look nothing like what is shown in Skennerton as an unsafe rifle.  I’m not suggesting the rifle is safe to fire, merely pointing out that these markings are two stylized letter R’s In the same orientation that resemble the “Found Rusty by Armourer” marking and not the “Unsafe barrel, usually drill purpose for Cadets” marking.  

So, if you really want to fire the rifle, strap it down to a bench, tie a long cord to the trigger and shoot a few proof rounds thru it.  Then send it for a mag particle inspection.  Check for cracks in the bolt lugs.  


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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2020 at 8:13pm
I had a friend who bought a genuine 1941 issued Remington Rand 1911. The gun store owner told him it was a wall hanger and to never fire it. The store owner made him sign a waiver not holding him or the store liable if he did fire it. The friend took it home put an aftermarket barrel and firing pin in it along with an extended slide guide. Took it out to the desert,set a target up,loaded the mag,racked a round,pulled  the trigger and immediately lost a thumb,forefinger and ring finger. He was warned and still went out fired it regardless. 
If the gunsmith,(visually) finds nothing wrong with this rifle then bravo. Unless you have the equipment to evaluate the receiver and barrel for finite stress cracks internally you you have absolutely no certainty that the rifle is sound. There are the various what ifs out there but why take a chance? britrifles suggests clamping it in a fixture and firing it remotely.  Fair enough. Why take a chance of having a very nice looking rifle end up as firewood kindling though.  The simple resolve would be to keep it as is. According to the OP,between him and his friend, no one knows if it has ever been fired in a minimum of 4 decades. Leave it alone and get a rifle you know is safe to fire.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2020 at 10:24pm
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

The simple resolve would be to keep it as is. According to the OP,between him and his friend, no one knows if it has ever been fired in a minimum of 4 decades. Leave it alone and get a rifle you know is safe to fire.


Agreed 100%


Another little story regarding DP rifles from Peter Laidler in 2008

I have mentioned ‘Britain’ here but while I can’t include Canada, I can certainly include New Zealand and Australia with a degree of certainty plus India, whose Army liaison Officer at work ran his eyes over this paper for me. I have also mentioned DP too and in this respect, it isn’t meant to mean ‘DRILL’ in the parade square context, it is meant to indicate practicing your rifle ‘training drills’. And it’s not only rifles that were downgraded to DP either because in the days of the old ‘number’ radio sets, many of these were classified as DP sets too.

When I read about DP rifles in various places, I get the impression from the armchair experts that they are formulated by someone in the Armourers shop who decides that he’ll make/convert a few rifles in order to …………. NOTHING could be more dangerous nor further from the truth. One other thing too. Do not mix up DP rifles with the ‘higher’ standard (?) ‘sub-standard’ rifles that trickled out of service in the early 50’s. At least there were gauging limits for those!

When need exists for such rifles, the idea is put up to the Brigade Training Major for example and ‘staffed’ up the chain of command where a decision on the matter will be reached after due questioning of all concerned. I’ll take a fictitious unit training for an operational role in bongo-bongo land. The attrition rate of the weapons on the training team, due to the arduous nature of the training is critical is such that they need 20 rifles and 6 GPMG’s that can be used and abused. Authority is given for them to be issued these ‘extra’ DP classified weapons from Ordnance stockpiles. So, in the normal course of events, these are issued from training stocks.

But, let’s say the DP stocks aren’t available, then authority will be issued FROM THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE no less, for such weapons to be made available. Ordnance stores would then select from returned weapons that are deemed to be ‘ZF’ (that’s an Armourers technical explanation that I won’t go into) or BER (Beyond Economic Repair) to select the required amount for conversion to DP specification.

Now, if the required amount cannot be made from the ZF and BER stocks, then the remainder will simply be converted from standard war stocks. You will see from this, that while on the face of it, some 30 years down the line that your bright and shining No1 or No4 rifle LOOKS bright and shining, under the bright and shiny surface might be lurking a metallurgical nightmare ……………… Let me give you an example

During the 60’s and 70’s there was a constant need for No4 DP rifles, not only for cadet Forces but Parachute training too where the actual carrying of a rifle was more important than what the weapon was for. The reason for the attrition in this case was quite understandable. So a small but continuous rolling programme of ‘DP-ing’ was undertaken. Naturally many ZF/BER No4’s plus otherwise serviceable rifles were put into the programme plus a healthy dollop of L1A1 rifles too. Not only were these worn out rifles put into the pot, but we later learned, several thousand extensively fire damaged No4, L1A1 rifles and Bren guns that had been involved in a massive fire. These were aesthetically cleaned down, rebuilt to DP standard and profusely marked JUST so that there could be no doubt about their status.

Let me give you another example too. NO dates here of course but ‘recently’ several hundred assorted weapons were recovered from a fire ravaged/damaged ship, sunk in low water (and later towed out to sea and scuttled). These were all quickly earmarked for scrap and eventually side tracked for DP/Training use. Like the other example, these were also cleaned, and refurbished, painted and ‘restored’ to aesthetically ‘serviceable’ condition. Oh, they looked good but within a couple of years, these had started to rust from under the welds, seams and joints.

And before I forget, let me remind you of something else too, JUST in case you’re tempted to buy one to use as spare parts. This is what the Armourers bible says. ‘……..it will be assembled as far as possible with components which are below the standard required for a service weapon’. And another thing you ought to remember. There were NO gauging limits for DP rifles. Mmmmmmm, food for thought there!

That’s about it. In my very limited experience as an Armourer and having overseen some of these DP programmes, I can tell you with certainty that they were all profusely marked DP so that their status was unambiguous. Agreed, some might be taken straight from stocks, but the rest ……………

Would YOU trust one? There certainly IS a place for a DP rifle in a collection as it forms a place in the lineage of the breed. But in the cupboard or rack or on the wall. NOT on the firing point.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 18 2020 at 11:17pm
Zed had made reference to the bolt raceway looking as if there were no marks indicative of use. The metal looks as if it was sandblasted down to bare metal at some point in time from the supplied photos.  That for me is a huge red flag and a to good to be true scenario. The OP is adamant about eventually using it for whatever reasons he has come up with and it is of no concern to me from that perspective alone. I offered my reasons as to why I would not tempt fate and he took it under advisement and thanked me as such and added that his gunsmith will look it over.
I apprenticed under a man named Steve Beisen as a gunsmith and a gentleman had brought in an ancient Hopkins&Allen side by side with one barrel that looked as if someone had tried to smack the hide off a baseball. Steve looked at the shotgun and then asked the guy if he used modern ammunition when he was told specifically not to just the week prior. It was actually etched into the barrel. Use of modern ammunition not recommended. The man asked if it could be repaired without answering the question.  The shotgun was one of the earlier conversions from percussion to self contained shot she!! still retaining the original Damascus layered steel barrels.  He later confessed to the need to hear it go boom once more and all he had on hand was a Winchester deer slug. I have learned from past experiences that you can offer unsolicited advice and it will be taken under consideration or it will be given a thank you and left to drift off to nowhere. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BIGDOG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 12:17am
Goosic

You sound a bit snotty over my post, I simply asked for advice I never discarded you or your advice I simply replied I would take it to be looked at by an expert in the future before I’d consider firing the said rifle.

No one has come up with an exact decisive answer as to what exactly the double R stamp stands for including yourself 

Is it a big deal if for whatever reason I do or don’t fire the said rifle, No.
It’s an smle #1 mk3 there’s sh*t loads of them here in Australia if it was a must I’d just buy another one as I’ve done in the past It’s not that big of a deal.

I’ll thank you again for your input your clearly not an expert of the matter as such I will take it to an expert as most others have advised and clearly the safest option going forward, I’m not here to stroke your ego if that’s what your looking for I’m just a smle enthusiast like others on here and yes asking others for advice.

So thanks again Goosic for your input.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 2:35am
I do tend to get a tad snotty when I believe that someone is about to put their life in potential danger but, I digress.As you have clearly stated, you will have your mate give it a solid once over, making sure the headspace is correct as well no doubt. 
I only ask that, when you do get to the point of firing it. Make sure it is done remotely and that the receiver and barrel are firmly clamped down in some form of vice,without any wood/furniture in place. That will lessen the chance of the wood becoming potential splintered shrapnel if the rifle decides to do the opposite of what you are hoping for.

Good luck and God Bless BIGDOG!!!


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 3:29am
This comment and accompanying photo was taken from a gunboard forum discussing a particular stylized R on Lithgow No1Mk111* rifles.
[QUOTE]
Cursive "R" "Rust damaged Barrel". Cursive "R" over cursive "R"  "Extreme rust damaged barrel unsafe to fire".
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 3:49am
Also found this on yet another forum and this one indicates that the Lithgow cadet rifles with a stylized R or stylized R over another stylized R also had three different paint colors on the rifle to let you know how bad the rifle was and it had been discovered that some unscrupulous folk would simply sand away any visible paint just to make an extra buck.
[Quote]  · #3
Green stripe, fully serviceable Yellow stripe, serviceable but not quite as good Red stripe, don't let a live round anywhere near ittisk tisk (Used strictly for square bashing British, white stripes, mean the same as red ones Indian, red-white-red stripes. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote BIGDOG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 3:52am
”Not my mate” license gunsmith that will look at the rifle as a professional I would hope, I’m not taking the risk of any personal injury to myself or others if it’s is undoubtedly dangerous, if it’s found to be in any way dangerous I’ll look at a couple of options 1 replace the barrel or defective ares, 2 donate it to a local RSL as a wall hanger as you put it or 3 donate it back to once it came the Lithgow small arms museum.

Thanks 😊 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 3:58am
Myself, I would not fire it with just a visual inspection. When I worked in oil/gas, pipe that had been overstressed by pressure or showed external signs of corrosion were routinely checked. Either by ultra sound (for thickess as each pipe was allowed a +/- on documented thickness before being condemned) or for the best inspection for fatigue cracking, an x-ray. I'm not sure about Australia, but Canada has several independent x-ray inspection companies that service industrial businesses. Might be worth a look... wouldn't even have to take the rifle apart.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote flatheadsal Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 4:57am
how about making it in to a .22 trainer????
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 5:03am
Much of today’s sophisticated non-destructive test equipment did not exist at the time the No. 1 rifles were in service, I don’t know how else they would determine the barrel was rusted other than a visual inspection,  they didn’t have borescopes then either.  If all this is truly down to a concern over a rusted barrel, change the barrel.  If it were me, I’d run my borescope down the barrel, perhaps you will see obvious pitting and solve the mystery.  

If the rifle were marked DP, there would be no question, but the markings appear to be related to a rusted barrel which in my opinion aught to be detectable by borescope and external inspection.  

But nothing wrong with the all the advice given, safest thing to do is hang it up on the wall and don’t fire it.  That’s true for all our Enfields.  Some of these rifles are 100 years old.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 5:41am
britrifles brings up a great point. Unless the rifle has markings from an armourer indicating flaws or condemning, how many Lee Enfields have been been bought and sold with only a quick peek down the bore, cycle the action and pull the trigger? In the end, as stated in previous posts, the final decision to fire the rifle or not is up to the individual. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 10:30am
I agree with the idea of making it a .22
They are so much fun! Lithgow converted quite a few so you may even find a .22 Lithgow barrel
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: June 19 2020 at 12:34pm
The conversion kits show up occasionally on E-Pay, they don't consider them a firearm. They tend to be mucho $$pendy though, more than $$ome rifle$$!

More info here & a link: Unfortunately it seems to be sold out.

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