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Thread: Sterling L2A3 NZ contract

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  1. #21
    Really Senior Member Woodsy's Avatar
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    According to Peter's excellent 'Guns of Dagenham', NZicon purchased 2006 L2A3's, 5 L34A1's, 776 bayonets, and 16,030 magazines. I remember seeing L2A3 Sterlings in 1959, and I first fired one as a cadet in 1961 as part of a 'Barracks Week' fire-power demo on the school 300 yard range (that was my prize for winning the Bren stripping competition). They were all crinkle finish and in the KR serial number range. The Waiouru Army Museum kept about 50 in their armoury after they were withdrawn from service. The 'turret heads' used them on the range from time to time until they got their short AUG's. The Museum has been selling them off at auction (4-5 per year) for a few years now. I have one in my safe just to keep my Mk 5 company.

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  3. #22
    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lugerfan View Post
    Hi all,
    just thought I'd upload some pics of my Sterling Mk4 L2A3. Old Spec UK Deact It was my final purchase before the Old Spec sales ban.

    UK deactivated by Worldwide Arms it seems to be in pretty good condition, I'm guessing that the smooth finish is original ex works (Suncorite ?) as the markings all look nice and deep. The only negative is the horrible blob of weld on one of the barrel screws and the body (as seen in the picture), but I guess there's no fixing that.

    Despite some serious effort I have failed massively over the last couple of year to pick up Guns of Dagenham (refusing to pay the £400 or more it's now going for) so its one of the weapons I don't have much info on, but from what I can work out it was made in approx. March 1959 ? (please correct or confirm if you know)

    can anyone also confirm if the original NZicon batch of January '59 was an order for 2000 and were they all this smooth finish? and if they ordered any more subsequently? (800 more at some point?)

    The Mag it came with is the version that has "Magazine Sterling 9mm 34 Rds" on the spine, is this the correct variant for an NZ export.

    One final request for help, it seem to have the ejector retaining grub screw missing, is there anyone in the UK who sells them ?

    I'd be interested to know why so many of the NZ guns ended up back in the UK for deactivation, I'm guessing direct from NZ as army surplus, or did they perhaps end up back with our army first for use somehow?

    many thanks
    Really well done for buying one while you had the chance, they form an important part of a Britishicon Military firearm collection.

    I think the ex NZ L2A3's were imported to the UK along with a few thousand ex L1A1's and a very small number of L2A1 Section Automatics​.

    As Peter said, the vast majority of these Firearms were deactivated or reduced to parts kits for onward sale to the USAicon.

    NZ stopped property marking firearms with the NZ stamp and census number in 1960. So any post 1960 batches won't be marked and you would need the good book to find out what S/N's fell into what contact.

    A book I also wished I had too!

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  5. #23
    Senior Member tombear's Avatar
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    Well, the wife's put my copy on eBay a couple of days back, I was having a big clear out and she did a bunch of manuals on last week. Unfortunately she's seen how much US dealers are asking for it so the start price is eye wateringly high.



    Brilliant book but I'd not used it for several years, interests having turned to other areas, so it's going along with a lot of other stuff.

    I've a old spec ex Kiwi Sterling myself, when I got it there looked to be about 5 layers of paint on it.

    ATB

    Tom

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    Really Senior Member Brit plumber's Avatar
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    Maybe Luger fan should compile serial numbers and see where it goes.

  7. #25
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brit plumber View Post
    Maybe Luger fan should compile serial numbers and see where it goes.
    Sounds like a good idea sir - I'll see what I can find on the net first with uk deacts etc and get a list together.
    Any thoughts of what to record? serial number, NZicon "serial number", finish, deact / live - anything else?

    I guess start a new post that people can then add to if they see fit.?

  8. #26
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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    Do you mean a list of NZicon census numbers or a list of NZ KR numbers? The acquisition/disposal list might be readily available from NZ Army archives. My boss in NZ came to the UKicon in order to oversee the production of the UK guns and then spent time at the REME Training Centre putting what he had learned into practice, teaching new REME Armourers and apprentices. Then went back to NZ to teach the NZ Army about them as the NZ guns plus spares holdings came into the big Ordnance Depot at Ngaruawahia. A TRUE Gent with no airs and graces.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by lugerfan View Post
    Sounds like a good idea sir - I'll see what I can find on the net first with uk deacts etc and get a list together.
    Any thoughts of what to record? serial number, NZicon "serial number", finish, deact / live - anything else?

    I guess start a new post that people can then add to if they see fit.?


    Here's mine to get you started... https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=56495

    ---------- Post added at 02:33 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:31 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    Do you mean a list of NZicon census numbers or a list of NZ KR numbers? The acquisition/disposal list might be readily available from NZ Army archives. My boss in NZ came to the UKicon in order to oversee the production of the UK guns and then spent time at the REME Training Centre putting what he had learned into practice, teaching new REME Armourers and apprentices. Then went back to NZ to teach the NZ Army about them as the NZ guns plus spares holdings came into the big Ordnance Depot at Ngaruawahia. A TRUE Gent with no airs and graces.
    Unfortunately Peter, I think the old Census number information has been lost/destroyed, I'm sure Kevin and Woodsie can expand on this.

  10. #28
    Contributing Member Flying10uk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tombear View Post
    Unfortunately she's seen how much US dealers are asking for it so the start price is eye wateringly high.
    I have checked how much I paid last year for my copy of "The Guns of Dagenham" and it was a little more than I thought @ just over £170.

    They are worth what anyone is prepared to pay for them, like anything else.

  11. #29
    Really Senior Member peregrinvs's Avatar
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    I borrowed a copy of The Guns of Dagenham through an inter-library loan via my local library a few months back. I think it came from Glasgow University Library.
    Nature and nature's laws lay hid in night;
    God said "Let Newton be!" and all was light.

  12. #30
    Member lugerfan's Avatar
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    Thanks - good idea, I'll check with my local library to see if they can do the same.

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