Just thought maybe you had thrown it in as another example of a '44 with an older scope.
We discussed it here in a thread last year. It is my $10 (in 1972) prize rifle.
Thanks for looking out for 9745 -- I been hunting it for almost 8 years with no luck yet, and it is not on Capt. Laidler's list either.
12-01-2010 04:40 PM
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Yah, there's some prefix overlap with BSAs. However, the first run did not all have the first digit "3" and only four digits total. With the second "A" prefix S/Ns went to five digits, but the first number was "always" "3". (So where's the exception?) Sorry for the delay in clarification, but it wasn't even an item that I thought of discussing and had to double check some references.
Originally Posted by Lance
So, back to the weirdness.
Thanks for the various theories as to how this incongruity might have occurred. I bought this thing eight or ten years ago ONLY because it was a bit out of the ordinary. I also like the scope can and it's little "homemade" adjusting tool. With the turrets set per Captain Laidler's instructions, the tool works fine for fine tuning purposes.
ETA: added some more captions to the photos on the first page.
Upon the revisit the scope bracket was examined. The drama w/ Lance's second theory is that the bracket condition matched the scope much more close than the rifle. Granted, the brackets have a far different finish regardless, it's just that the "brown-ness" works well with the scope. Wouldn't rule it out, though, IF the scope assembly were stored separately from the rifle in a more humid environment.
I will do some more photos of the bracket rings screws.
Last edited by jmoore; 12-01-2010 at 06:23 PM.
Thanks for posting the pictures. It really is an odd one, & I don't pretend to have any definite answers, either. Rifle is fine as are scope & bracket. I think it possible, but unlikely that an early scope would be recycled (as it were) into the system at H&H's to be fitted to a new rifle. Peter would be able to comment with far greater authority, but I would have thought it more likely the scope would go to REME workshops to be refitted to a suitable needy rifle, rather than going back to H&H. If the scope was fitted there my hunch would be that it was because it only got there in the first place in 1944, after a rather long delay, the cause of which is unknown. I don't think there is any great mystery about the WW 1944 dated Mk1's being fitted.....they were of current production at the time; WW were just late in changing over from Mk1 to Mk2 scope production, IIRC due to bomb damage to the factory.
Originally Posted by jmoore
Whilst I think the rifle is honest enough the wood does look to have been taken down a little, IMHO. Just take a look at the edges of the stamping of the S51. I'm not suggesting this means it has been renumbered with the 1990, but it is just possible. It would have to have been extremely well done, & I would concede one still has to account for a very plausible looking scope tin label.
Do we have any details on the rifle & scope numbers of the other examples you've seen?
P.S. If I've got it straight a very few 44 BSA rifles went out with A? (2nd letter towards end of alphabet such as V or X), but judging by how infrequently these are seen, the 5 digit serial number starting with 3 must have come in very early in 44 indeed. Certainly rifles without a letter prefix exist & I have owned one or two. I would just presume these were the first production run, followed by a batch with an A prefix, then a batch with a B prefix, & so on. The 44 to 45 change over seems to be in R, as rifles with either date can be found.
Last edited by Roger Payne; 12-01-2010 at 06:41 PM.
Thank You to Roger Payne For This Useful Post:
I need to get in touch with a friend who has another 1944 "A" prefix No.4 Mk.I(T). IIRC it's a very nice but otherwise "plain vanilla" rifle w/ transit chest. (He's the one who held my Vickers UIC 2/1 scoped (T) for a number of years until I worked out a "hostage" swap.) He is the one who first brought the second 'early scope/1944 rifle' to my attention. Maybe he can share info on both the Mystery Rifle and the "A" prefix weapon!
I don't disagree about the soft edges on the "S51", but it's that way all over. Almost what the target shooters call a "boned" finish. Boning implies that the wood is rubbed rather firmly with a hard, non-abrasive, rounded edged tool. However, it doesn't really go that far in this case.
Nothing that struck me as unusual for these rifles. It's the really crispy ones that are worrying!
Last edited by jmoore; 12-01-2010 at 07:14 PM.