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  1. #1
    Contributing Member enfield303t's Avatar
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    Trials Rifle??

    There is a SMLE MkV listed on Gunbroker as a Trials rifle. The seller is in North Dakota. Is it a Trials rifle?

    ENFIELD SMLE #1 MARK V TRIALS RIFLE w/ BAYONET : Bolt Action at GunBroker.com


    Last edited by Badger; 08-13-2010 at 11:15 AM. Reason: Edited post to add link to auction in-line with thread ...
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    Could be, but the he's not showing a lot of pics….

    Check the United Kingdom Milsurp Knowledge Library to view an "all correct" 1924 ShtLE No.1 MkV Rifle and compare whatever pics can be obtained from him against the MKLicon example.

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    Badger

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    Ummm, no. It IS a SMLE Mk.V rifle, though. Or a No.1 Mk.V.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I guess they could be considered a trials rifle because they didn't make many. The bayonet looks more like the first Owen blades.
    Regards, Jim

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    Advisory Panel Son's Avatar
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    They were considered a troop trials rifle because they were made for evaluation, but not accepted into service. They made 20,000 between 1922 and 1924, so they are almost as common as No4 T's!

    It looks to be pretty much complete as made, so he can't call it a rare prototype...

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    OK, I'm getting a bit muddle headed, here.

    From previous discussions, one or more of the three following was decided NOT to be properly called a "Trials Rifle":

    SMLE Mk.V/No.1 Mk.V
    No.1 Mk.VI
    Enfield mfg'd No.4 Mk.I

    Set me straight, again, please! "CRS Syndrome", apparently. (Apologies, for wandering a bit off topic, but I believe enfield303t's question was answered.)

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    Really Senior Member RJW NZ's Avatar
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    SMLE Mk.V/No.1 Mk.V = I'm with Son on this one, the No 1mkV's had a thorough, broad evaluation, ie a trial, as a potential fix for shortcomings learned during ww1, but were not accepted for general issue, and it was decided that some major retooling would be inescapable to get a really better rifle. Along comes the ...
    No.1 Mk.VI = truly a small production number for trials, with some shortcomings of the no1mkV, like the fragile rear sight and 'light' barrel were addressed. Almost exactly what was needed but some refinements were still needed and along comes the ...
    Enfield mfg'd No.4 Mk.I, the mass produced battle rifle in the hour of need. Heavier barrel than the no1mk3 for better accuracy, and a fully rear mounted back sight to improve the sighting. Fixed items from the no1mk6 include using a plunger on the rear sight instead of a ball bearing, and removal of the fore end checkering as being not necessary enough to justify the machining time.

    Just my tuppence worth ...

    I do have a worthwhile question, The no1mkV had an extra band by the nosecap. This was obviously to make something stiffer, but what exactly? To stiffen the wood work to more securely hold the barrel for better accuracy? (A common idea in target shooting)
    Perhaps to strengthen the front end against the rigours of bayoneting?
    If its the former, can anyone verify from experience that the no1MkV is more accrate than the no1mk3?

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    Advisory Panel Son's Avatar
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    I think RJW pretty much nailed this one, but not being a student of the No4, as always I'm open for discussion.
    Just to add, the biggest reason for developing a rifle to replace/ improve the No1 was to fix problems encountered in WW1. The design of the MkV improved the perceived problems with the rear sight and weakness at the front for supporting a 17" bayonet, but by the time they were done it probably would have made it more expensive to manufacture and was not adopted because it was even too expensive to convert existing stocks of No1 rifles.

    Development of the NoI MkVI was well under way soon after (1926) and it's main aim seemed to be modernising the manufacturing process as well as the fixes that we done with the MkV and other things like a heavier barrel. There were 1025 made and Skennertonicon's writing says they were considered a troop trials rifle.

    I see from reading P425 in the LES, the No4 was accepted in 1939. Trials batches totaling around 2,500 rifles were made at Enfield during the '30's. Production began in 1941 and Enfield did not make any more No4 MkI rifles.

    Well, I've learned something today.... All three would be considered as trials rifles from what I've read.

    Just to add for RJW, the extra band on the nosecap was to stiffen the front end up for bayonet use.
    The addition of the receiver mounted aperture sight was for increasing the sight radius, this didn't make the rifle more accurate, but it was much easier for the operator to achieve better accuracy.
    Last edited by Son; 08-14-2010 at 05:48 AM.

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    OK, then! Now to figure out from where my wrong-headedness on this issue originated...I really think y'all are right, but sometime in the murky past, an argument was made the other way. Maybe if we just drop the "Trials" from the description of each...

    BTW, RJW, my No.1 Mk.V shoots very well IF the ammo MV is consistant. Even a 50fps variation makes a huge differnce at 100yds. Probably a bedding issue, but I'm NOT gonna go tweaking things on an original, matching scarce rifle that won't be shot much anyway.

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    Son

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    In my considered opinion, the No1 Mk5 has not been researched even remotely as fully as it should have been at this late stage in the game. Quite how many went out for 'trials' also remains a mystery but many of the left-over/incomplete Mk5 rifles were later used in the trials of the later Mk6 and subsequently, No4. Also don't forget that there were two types. The 18 shilling conversion and the 22 shilling 'new build' but the new build still used compatible components of course. One type (I forget which..........) didn't have a top band while the other did.

    No, I think there is more to the Mk5 than is generally known and it needs a lot more research before it's pigeonholed into a big slot. And quite how many of those out there were released post-war as 'incomplete' and have been made up, very probably incorrectly, are now regarded as absolutely correct after the passage of time is also another question................... Like RJW, that's just my tuppenceworth

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