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    June 2016 - Featured Milsurp Library Entry of the Month

    No.3 MkI* (T) Rifle - (Pattern 1914 Mk1* W (T) Sniper Rifle)
    (Manufactured by Winchester - Serial #W226763)


    c/w Model 1918 (3x) Scope Serial #226763 (Mfg by B.S.A Guns)
    c/w 1907 Pattern leather sling


    For Sale - No.3 MkI* (T) Rifle - (Pattern 1914 Mk1* W (T) Sniper Rifle
    For Sale - No.3 MkI* (T) Rifle - (Pattern 1914 Mk1* W (T) Sniper Rifle

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    Caliber: ....................... .303 in.
    Rifling & Twist: .............. 5 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand, 1 Turn in 10"
    Groove Depth: ............. .005 in.
    Width of Lands: ........... .0936 in.
    Overall Length: ............. 46.4 in. (1175 mm)
    Barrel Length: ............... 26.0 in.(660 mm)
    Weight: ....................... 10 lb 9 oz (4.76 kg) unloaded
    Action: ......................... Modified Mauser turn bolt
    Scope: ......................... B.S.A. Guns Model 1918 (3x) Scope
    Qty Converted: ............. 79 by B.S.A. Guns
    Contract date: ............. July 27, 1935 and was completed by Dec 9, 1938
    ("Irish Free State" mark appears on back of left rear scope mount)

    Source: .... The British Sniper by Ian Skennerton (1983) - ISBN: 0949749036
    Source: .... The Lee Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826
    Source: .... Small Arms Identification Series #10 by Ian Skennerton (1998) - ISBN: 0949749362

    Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $


    No.3 MkI* (T) Rifle
    This item has been reviewed by members of the Milsurps Advisory Panel.This item has been judged by members of the Milsurps Advisory Panel, to be authentic by original manufacturer, with all correct markings and components.
    (182 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: .... extracts from Skennerton's "The U.S. Enfield" (Page 125) and "The British Sniper" (Page 93) by Ian Skennerton
    With thanks to Advisory Panel members Lance and Wheaty for their assistance.
    Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member ~Angel~.

    Introduced in 1918, this rifle is more commonly referred to as the "Patt. '14 sniper" and was also on issue in Australia and India. The designation was changed to Rifle No.3 MkI*(T) in 1926. Only Winchester made rifles were used for this conversion and the Winchester rifles can be identified by the "W" prefix to the serial number.

    The telescope is designated the Model 1918 and has a magnification of 3x with a field of view of 7 1/2 degrees. Pattern designation and the manufacturer are marked on the telescope tube. This is usually "Periscopic Prism Co. Ltd. Makers London", however during the 1930's an interesting order for No.3 MkI*(T) was placed with B.S.A. Guns for 79 units. The contract was dated July 27th, 1935 and completed by December 9th, 1938. Further details were "Rifle No.3 MkI*(F) converted to Rifle No.3 MkI*(T) including supply and fitting of telescopic sight." Sniper rifles from this contract can be readily identified because the B.S.A. trademark of stacked/crossed rifles is engraved on the telescope tube.


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    In all other respects they are identical to the 1918-19 contract filled by the Periscopic Prism Co. Ltd., and B.S.A. would have followed all of the proper detailed specifications.

    All those specimens noted from the B.S.A. contract have had the Irish Free State marking (Fianna Fiel) (Men of Destiny) on the back of the left rear telescope mount, so it would appear that these sniper rifles were assembled for an Irish contract.


    Irish Free State marking (Fianna Fiel) (Men of Destiny)


    (Click PIC to Enlarge)(Click PIC to Enlarge)



    The quantity of 79 may seem somewhat odd, but on an issue scale of 6 rifles per battalion this would be sufficient for 13 battalions, with one as a sample pattern. Virtually the whole lot of these rifles was later disposed of in North America as military surplus.

    The scope is quick detachable and the range drum is graduated from 100 to 1,000 yards in 100 yards increments. Lateral adjustments are made from inside the front end of the telescope using a special key. Telescope mounts are soldered and screwed to the receiver with a release latch on the left side of the rear mount. This latch is lifted up to disengage the cam and release the foot of the rear mount for removal. Mounts are of the "craw" or "clawfoot" design, with a double claw at the front. A special aperture sight with fine adjustment was fitted to the rifle, although calibrations remain the same, from 200 to 1,600 yards. The fine adjustment screw on the top of the leaf is for elevation only. Lance observed and noted that collectors should be aware that the rear sights on the "Patt. '14 sniper", both (F) and (T) versions very rarely match the rifle, as they were all removed converted and then just randomly picked out of a bin.

    When examining one of these rifles for authenticity, check for the following. The receiver markings and serial number will be obscured by front scope mount. W prefix to normal Winchester serial number, should be just visible at rear edge of front mount, plus W marks on components. Serial number (with no W) should be stamped on right side of rear sight protector. Note: The rear long range aperture sights normally found on Pattern 1914 rifles, were removed during the sniper conversion, however, the front dial side plate was left in-place on the stock fore-end. The scope serial number should appear on the left side of the scope tube just under the elevation dial and it should be matched to the rifle serial number, as in the case of our Knowledge Library example here. The B.S.A. stacked/crossed rifles logo should appear on top of the scope tube. Finally, on these 79 manufactured B.S.A. scope conversions, the Irish Free State marking (Fianna Fiel) (Men of Destiny) shown in the pic above, should appear on the back of the left rear telescope mount.




    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. In reference to the special aperture rear sight with fine adjustment screw on the top, they were all Winchester made and converted by the British. All had the original Winchester rifle serial number on the back (as per unconverted Winchester sights). If Serial No. is barred out, it means that sights were taken off rifles, converted at Enfield, and then the sights were sent to WW1 sniping schools to retro fit on existing rifles at the school. If Serial No. is not barred out, then the same conversion process occurred, but the sight was put back on the original rifle held at Enfield. From the 30 or so that I have seen the ratio of barred out to not barred is 70:30

    The giveaway on the fakes is a slightly larger adjustment knob with cross checkering. Real ones like the one mounted on the rifle which is the subject of this Knowledge Library entry (see pics below), have vertical lines on the knob.


    P14(F) Authentic Sights
    (Pics Courtesy of ~Angel~)

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    P14(F) Reproduction Sights
    (Pics Courtesy of Terryinvictoria)

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    It took a while to search through a large ammo tin holding about 5000 P14 and M1917 rear sights but by the law of averages I thought I would find a few P14(F). Found about 20 and another ten or so turned up later. Sold most to friends and we formed a P14(F) team. Only got one spare left. You can get your elevation dead on so hitting Fig 14 Huns Heads at 400 yards was easy! ....... (Feedback by "Nigel Greenaway")



    2. To get a better idea of valuations for this rifle, watch the For Sale or Auction Elsewhere (click here) of the Quartermaster Stores (click here). Using that venue, we try to keep our members advised of premium collectible pieces that may be found at auction or outright sale across the Internet. For example, check the recent J.C. Devine auction in our Commercial Auction and Sale "Gossip" Forum (click here), for a No.3 MkI* (T) Rifle c/w BSA Scope (click here) and compare its markings and authenticity against the "all correct" version, which is the subject of this Knowledge Library entry.

    It should be noted that any item found in the For Sale or Auction Elsewhere section of the Quartermaster's classifieds area and placed by the member named Quartermaster, are purely Notices Only. They indicate an item that might be of interest to our milsurp community which is being auctioned or sold elsewhere on the Internet, so please do not contact the Quartermaster to try and purchase it.



    3. The Lee Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826 is an excellent general reference book on the evolution of Lee-Enfield rifles, however, it doesn't go into great detail on their use as sniper rifles. Ian Skennerton published an earlier 266 page work in 1983 called The British Sniper (British & Commonwealth Sniping & Equipments 1915-1983) - ISBN 0 949749 03 6. For anyone wanting a lot more detail research with pictures covering the evolution of sniping, this is an excellent supplement to his later work. It is out of print, so I'd suggest you use a "Google" search on the title to see if you can find a copy from one of the rare used book sources on the Internet. I found my copy on eBay. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")

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    4. For anyone wanting to get a sense of what it was like to train and operate as a sniper during the Great War 1914-1918, a must read is Sniping in France 1914-18 by Major H. Hesketh-Prichard DSO, MC. ISBN: 1874622477. This is a highly interesting read and discusses the use of tactics, equipment, training methods and the creating of the first official sniper training school for British forces. To realize that their engagement ranges for early SMILE and Pattern sniper rifles with Winchester A5, Aldis and Periscopic Prism scopes was between 200 and 400 meters (average distance between trenches) is fascinating, when we think about modern military sniper engagements today starting at 600 meters and going out to 2,000 meters with heavy caliber rifles. It is out of print, so I'd suggest you use a "Google" search on the title to see if you can find a copy from one of the rare used book sources on the Internet. I found my copy on Amazon.com. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")

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    5. The following is an excellent 110 page research article for anyone interested in sniping during the Great War. ..... (Feedback by "Badger")

    "Making Their Mark"
    Canadian Snipers and the Great War 1914-1918
    by Leslie P. Mepham (1997)




    (Click PIC to read and save Adobe PDF File)
    (Right Click on PIC and choose "Save Target As..." to download PDF file)



    6. Here's some pics of the workers at a Weedon Repair Depot, working on Pattern 1914 rifles. Although the pics are not dated, it is presumably some time between the first and second world wars ....... (Feedback by "Badger")

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    7. The secret to creating and maintaining quality research data in the Milsurps Knowledge Library is you! This is your site and these MKL entries on various old milsurps are yours to add to, or change. The volunteers on the Advisory Panel (click here) can only do so much to vet and validate the information posted here, so please contribute as much as possible to help us present the most accurate and reliable data we can gather on these old milsurps. If you own a particular specimen of any MKL entry, then please send us pics of it, even though they may be duplicate views of pieces you already see here. In that way, we can build up multiple sets of pics for several milsurps of the same model, which will help in indentifying markings and authenticity. For example, in the case of this MKL entry of the No.3 MkI* (T) Rifle (BSA Scope), if you own one, we'd like to receive more pics of the stampings and serial number views as shown in the "Observations" section and various "Collector's Comments and Feedback" notes. ALL pics and information received will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and respect of your privacy. Thanks to everyone who has contributed so far, which is helping to make the Milsurps Collectors Forums a prominent site for serious collectors of all genres of old milsurp collectibles. ....... (Feedback by "Badger")
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