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Thread: FrankenLithgow or Fun De-sporter? (**photos)

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  1. #1
    Member Arlo's Avatar
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    FrankenLithgow or Fun De-sporter? (**photos)

    I recently purchased this SMLE No 1 Mk III* 1944 Lithgowicon (see pics below). The price was right, er, seemed good at the time.

    Iíd hoped I was onto one like 1944 ShtLE (Short Lee-Enfield) No.1 MkIII* Infantry Rifle, although I had no illusions that it was in quite such good shape.



    Nevertheless, it came advertised as full wood, good bore, most parts matching, shoots fine.

    On the plus side, itís in good shape, the bore does seem very good, it cycles smoothly, the metal seems good overall (Ozzie parkerized), and the wood is pretty nice, particularly the butt stock and the front lower. Metal parts have BA and MA marks. There are a bunch of marks on the butt stock that seemed familiar and a few others elsewhere on the wood that looked promising. The handguards both looked a bit inconsistent.

    However, it turns out that pretty much nothing matches (bolt, receiver, band, nose cap, etc). The main receiver serial looks like it might be one of those US Franken-Lithgows although no recognizable importer mark. The receiverís been drilled for a scope (anyone know what kind?) and patched and has a series of three small holes drilled (bad scope work? venting?). As well, the rear hand guard is marked DP.

    Iíve got some more research to do, and a happy ending will be that itís perfectly functional but a bit of a mixmaster de-sporter.

    I know that I should look for recoil pads for what appears to be soft coachwood and would love to know how to check Ė especially if thereís a way to do without complete disassembly.

    Your thoughts most welcome. Iíd appreciate any advice/deciphering from all.

    See photos for the deets:











    Last edited by Badger; 07-12-2011 at 04:34 PM.

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    Contributing Member xa-coupe's Avatar
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    Would love a complete picture. The holes on the side are for venting, they all have them and from what I read, they work a treat so don't touch them! It's hard to tell without seeing the whole side of the reciever but it looks like it could be a Field brand mount which were common way back when. The mounts come up on EBay from time to time but go for around $150
    The woodlooks like coachwood to me as it looks like the ones I have. You really do want to pull it apart to have a look as there is no other way to look for the plates.. that and it is always interesting to see if there is anything unusual going on under there.. perhaps I am just curious ?
    MA is Lithgowicon, BA is the Bathurst factory which is a feeder to the Lithgow factory, amongst others. Check that the draws aren't worn (ie: the stock fits properly ) and take it out and give it a thrashing and see how it goes.

    ---------- Post added at 11:38 AM ---------- Previous post was at 11:35 AM ----------

    Oh, I don't see DP anywhere else so I expect you are right and it is just the handguard used to desporterise or fix it.
    Last edited by xa-coupe; 07-12-2011 at 09:36 PM. Reason: bad typnig

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    Senior Member Demo's Avatar
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    You can inspect for recoil plates through the top of the action either side of the sear but sometimes if there is a build up of grime it can be hard to tell. I would agree with the previous post that it's probably a good idea to pull it down and inspect the draws.
    The action serial number looks normal for a 44 date.

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    Member Arlo's Avatar
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    Thanks gents. Will take/post a couple more pictures, tear down and inspect, and give her a go.

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    Contributing Member xa-coupe's Avatar
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    I have been resisting this but now can't help it .. perhaps it was Mao's personal weapon ( MAO on the butt ), used against the forces of Chiag Kai-Shek and is worth a fortune ??

    sorry, feeling sick.. poor humor is likely ....

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    Member Arlo's Avatar
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    That would be confirmed by the mark "HV" for "High Value."

  9. #7
    Member Arlo's Avatar
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    Hi again all,

    For xa-coupe, a complete photo:



    And following a quick strip down, a shot of the rear forestock, where the recoil pads should be:





    Sigh, looks like nothing, although it's definitely an OA product:



    It all seems to be in reasonable order otherwise - a few loose threads and bumps etc.

    Thoughts on how best to proceed? Is this a scream bloody murder with the vendor scenario, or should I suck it up and get it fixed?

  10. #8
    Contributing Member xa-coupe's Avatar
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    my opinion is that if you paid a good shooting non matching price for it then maybe keep it and just enjoy it as it looks like a nice clean rifle. If you paid a price that reflects matching parts and so on then take it back.
    As for the lack or recoil plates, if it is nice and tight I wouldn't sweat it.

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    From this thread and the lack of the copper recoil plates in Arlo's fore-end, are we to believe that some Lithgowicon rifles/fore-ends were manufactured without them. Or are they just missing?

    If they're just missing Arlo, might I suggest that you just replace them by wood patching. If you can't do it, thgere will be someone nearby who can. Just follow the photographic instructions on a sub thread here. Afterwards, you'll have a nice tight fitting fore-end too

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    Senior Member Demo's Avatar
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    There was a period in Lithgowicon production when they left the plates out.

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