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RICC Metford Conversions

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coggansfield View Drop Down
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    Posted: May 06 2020 at 3:21pm

While we’re at it, can you please tell me the original serial number of the replacement Enfield barrel? Sometime you can see it, partially buffed off, next to the retro-stamped serial number impressed to match the LMC receiver number. If not, you can almost invariably find it on the backsight, crossed out but still readable.

 

Thanks v. much,

 

Coggo

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote coggansfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: May 03 2020 at 3:35pm
RICC Metford Conversions

Guys,

As you may know, I’m working on a large study of Lee-Enfield Royal Irish Constabulary carbines. My database is up to 212 carbines by now.
Can you do me a favor, please?

I am having a hard job figuring out exactly when the RICCs were converted to RICC. The butt roundels nearly all say 1902 or 1903 (very rarely 1901 or 1904), but this may not be correct. The production records, which I have, say mostly 1903 to 1905, or even later, but that may not be correct either.

The Metford-converted carbines offer a good clue. The RICCs converted from Lee-Enfield cavalry carbines kept their old barrels, as you know, and these are dated 1896 to about 1902, which is no use to us. The Metford carbines, on the other hand, all got new barrels. These barrels are dated — and this date must, by definition, be the true date of conversion. My own LMC-converted RICC’s barrel says ’03, which agrees with its roundel’s 1903 — even though the records say the first LMCs weren’t converted until 1905. I would be interested to know if the roundel and barrel always agree on all the LMCs. If they do agree, then the production records categorically are wrong. I suspect this may have to do with waiting until an entire order was complete before reporting any of it as complete, if you see what I mean.

If you have an LMC RICC, the next time you take it apart, would you please check the barrel date for me and send me a pic?

As a secondary issue, I am finding that a surprising number of RICCs are converted from the decidedly scarce third and fourth pattern LMCs. These were made in 1896 and 1897: third pattern n = 735 (1896); fourth pattern n = 1030 (30 in 1896 and 1,000 in 1897). The third patterns retained the butt slingbar but did not have the buttsocket saddle ring. The fourth patterns had neither slingbar nor saddle ring. To date, I have 10 carbines on my list converted from third or fourth pattern.

However, I suspect there may be more. The trouble is that owners often don’t know they have them, particularly the fourth patterns, which look just like Mk I LECs. Here’s how to tell (see attachment):

If the buttsocket says DATE (over) “I” (over) “L.E.C”, then the thing is a third or fourth pattern conversion, and the “L.E.C” is a retrostamp to let people know that the carbine now has an Enfield barrel. If, on the other hand, the buttsocket says DATE (over) “L.E.C” (over) “I”, then the “L.E.C” and the “I” were stamped at the same time and the thing was an LEC Mk I to start with.

Anyway, I’m particularly interested in these late pattern LMCs so, if you have one, please let me know. Their serial numbers are in the 6000A to 9000A range (always with an “A” suffix). Known low = 6331A; known high = 9975A.

I really appreciate it!

Coggo
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