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Thread: Reference Thread - Australian Arms Auctions (May 4th, 2008)

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    Post Reference Thread - Australian Arms Auctions (May 4th, 2008)

    Reference thread for Australian Arms Auctions (click here) which took place on May 4th, 2008.

    From their web site:

    Australian Arms Auctions is the largest specialist auctioneers of antique arms, militaria, sporting arms, fine edged weapons and memorabilia in Australasia.

    Australian Arms Auctions holds auctions twice yearly in early May and October. Each auction features large collections and single items. We offer a full range of services to private collectors, estates, government departments and museums. For more information, go to About Us.

    Next Auction: Sunday, 5th October, 2008.

    Some samples of premium pieces that were auctioned off.

    Lot 32 LITHGOW SMLE HIGH MOUNT SNIPER RIFLE: .303 Cal; 25.2" barrel; f. bore; receiver ring marked lithgow sht le iii 1917; scope marked sight telescope patt 1918 (aust) acc over v 1944; g. military grey finish to receiver & fittings; g. forend with bored out nose cap; non matching bolt & receiver; replaced new butt stock with cheek piece; scope fitted with leather lens protectors; gwo & f to g cond, would improve with little effort. Serial #76464 L/R $2000 - 2400



    Sold for $3,200 AUSD



    Lot 332 AUSTRALIAN MKIII* HT SNIPER RIFLE: built on a B.S.A. & CO SHT LE III 1913 action; .303 Cal; 25.2" barrel; f to g bore that would grade up; high mount scope marked sight telescope patt 1918 (aust) aoc over v 1944 dád; with quick detachable mounts; vg profiles & clear markings; military grey finish to barrel, receiver & fittings; 40% blk finish to scope; exc stock with cheek piece to butt & marked m.a. 5/45; h stamped under forend & the top of the butt near the socket; matching bolt & receiver; all complete; gwo & vg cond. Serial #61177 L/R $2000 - 3000

    Note: The rifle mounts are numbered 1175 and the scope mount is numbered 561



    Sold for $5,400 AUSD



    Lot 321 SCARCE LITHGOW EXPERIMENTAL NO.I B/A SHORTENED & LIGHTENED RIFLE: .303 Cal; 20.2" barrel; bore packed in grease; receiver ring marked m.a.lithgow smle iii* 1944; this rifle is new, unissued; all complete & orig with correct bayonet & scabbard. Only 100 of these rifles were made at Lithgow Small Arms Factory. Serial #XP45 L/R $3000 -4000



    Sold for $7,000 AUSD

    Note: Check the Australia - Milsurp Knowledge Library (click here) for a detailed entry covering a sister experimental rifle to the one in the auction, complete with 138 pic photo montage.

    1944 No.1 Intermediate Shortened & Lightened Rifle Serial #XP53 (click here)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)


    Lot 331 BRITISH SNIPER RIFLE NO.3 MKI* (T) (P.14): .303 Cal; 26" barrel; f. bore that would grade up; receiver marked á & inspection marks; scope marked model 1918 á periscope prism co ltd makers london; g. profiles & clear markings; grey patina to barrel, receiver & fittings; blk enamel finish to scope having g. optics; g. stock with minor bruises to forend; butt marked patt 14; iw within a circle á * 00; all complete; gwo & cond. Serial #228732 L/R $1500 - 2500



    Sold for $4,500 AUSD




    Lot 545 CANADIAN LONG BRANCH NO.4 MKI* T B/A SNIPER RIFLE: .303 Cal; 25.2" barrel; vg bore; clear receiver markings & dated 1943; fitted with a Lyman Alaskan telescopic sight; with renumbered mounts; vg profiles & clear markings; grey military finish to all metal; g. stock with replaced butt & hand guards; all complete; gwo & vg cond. except for 2 sml holes in the butt where cheek piece has been removed. This rifle is reported to have come from the Govt Ammunition Factory, Footscray in the late 1950's & was possibly used for ammunition tests. Serial #38L 9908 L/R



    Sold for $4,500 AUSD





    Prices DO NOT include auction house Buyer's Premium of 12.5% and all prices are shown in Australian dollars.

    Prices Realized at Australian Arms Auctions - May 4th, 2008


    (Click PIC to read and save Adobe PDF File)
    (Right Click on PIC and choose "Save Target As..." to download PDF file)
    PDF file size = 66 Kb
    Regards,
    Badger
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    Last edited by Badger; 07-10-2008 at 01:34 PM.

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    The first rifle (lot 32) can easy be called a fake due to the library of HT s/n's, this rifle does not exist, I hope someone is not disappointed.

    I was interested in the 1913 BSA converted to HT but due to the funny scope I had to pass. To date all the rifle s/n's were hand engraved on the scope and this one definitely is not hand engraved making it appear to be a garage mating of scope and rifle.

    The LongBranch TP is way out in the serial number range and if it is armour assembled example without paperwork would you drop $4500?

    With the price these rifle's are going for it almost makes sense to travel to the auction now and look the rifle over first hand.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lance View Post
    I was interested in the 1913 BSA converted to HT but due to the funny scope I had to pass. To date all the rifle s/n's were hand engraved on the scope and this one definitely is not hand engraved making it appear to be a garage mating of scope and rifle.
    The other thing I found interesting was the mount numbers you dug up and sent.

    According to Skennertonicon's book "The Britishicon Sniper (1983)", he says "Progressive numbers, about 2 - 3 mm high, will be noticed on the mounts, and these appear to range from 1 - 2500, with those from about 1620 on being uncompleted scopes. It will also be noticed that sub-1250 numbers are on high mounts and over-1250 numbers being generally low mounts."

    The rifle mounts on the high mount HT in Lot 332 are numbered 1175 and the scope mount is numbered 561. Based upon Skennerton's research, this would indicate that at least the numbers, although mismatched, are within the correct range.

    Like you, I also found the fact that the multiple serial numbers on the scope, plus the fact that the last serial number appears machine engraved and not hand engraved another oddity.

    Based upon the mismatched mounts, the scope anomalies and considering the kind of prices that these high end pieces seem to be garnering nowadays, we passed bidding on this particular rifle.

    Regards,
    Badger

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    Interesting to see the final prices on these two "less than appealing" rifles. As Lance suggested... when you start getting into this sort of price bracket it nearly warrants a trip and first hand inspection.

    Going off the frenzied action seen on e-pay in recent months over firstly a set of mounts and then a couple of scopes in less than desirable condition, the price for the bogus rifle (lot 32) was probably only a bit above ballpark for the components- which to this point, I haven't seen reproduced. Probably hasn't been the need for them. There were only 1612 used (plus the 100 of the leftover scopes used in the FTR program in the '50s) out of the 2500 sets manufactured, so everybody that wants a set can realistically hope to get them.

    Rifle 61177 came in a little higher than I thought. I was reckoning on 4 to 5 grand but said I wouldn't be surprised if it went higher. It does seem that demand for these rifles dictates the only important facts are the rifle serial number being on the list and the unit being complete. Matching numbers and even being in better than ordinary condition are secondary considerations that may not effect value as much as we'd think. This makes me wonder if they are being bought by collectors or investors, or are they "rich mugs" willing to pay mega bucks...
    The numbers on the scope were the only real concern here. Having had one engraved number obliterated, and a second number engraved didn't light the fires as much as the style of engraving used for the third number. I have dozens of scope serial number pictures on file and haven't seen anything like that one.

    All up, comparing these two with the recent sales at the Julia auction, and five I know of that have changed hands here in Aus since xmas, we are going to have to accept the prices as they are.
    The experimental Shortened Lightened SMLE at 7 grand may have been a bit cheaper than I thought... these have always been close to double the price of a good Lithgowicon sniper, even more with the correct bayonet and scabbard! (Ha, always... I only know of two of these and three of the No6 experimental carbines being sold in recent years) Yep, I'd say somebody got a pretty good buy at that.

    The quote from Ian Skennertonicon's "Britishicon Sniper" seems to have been an assuption made at the time (1983) based on a few observations. I can tell you there were 1132 High Mount and 480 Low Mount rifles. Although the scope and mount sets were used prettty closely to in order, there seems to be about 120 or so missing from near the start of production. That, in turn means the last few rifles had scopes numbered over the 1700 mark. Then there were 100 rifles FTR'd in the '50s. They all received Lowmount scopes out of the left over production. A couple of these that have turned up in my research have scopes numbered from the high 1700's into the low 1800's.
    There was also a number of rifles that served in Korea that seem to have been re-worked at workshop level on return (not a factory FTR). They were all given new woodwork and some scopes and mounts may have been replaced then too. (I'm still to prove this conclusively)

    I'm currently putting together a photo instructional piece for adjusting the Patt18 scope on the Lithgow snipers. I'll let you know when it's done.

    Cheers,
    Son.

    And here's the pic I stuck up everywhere else too.
    Last edited by Son; 09-05-2009 at 06:51 PM.

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    Son said:-
    The experimental Shortened Lightened SMLE at 7 grand may have been a bit cheaper than I thought... these have always been close to double the price of a good Lithgowicon sniper, even more with the correct bayonet and scabbard! (Ha, always... I only know of two of these and three of the No6 experimental carbines being sold in recent years) Yep, I'd say somebody got a pretty good buy at that.

    Yes - the bayonet must be worth close to $1000 on its own.

    Also I think slings were issued seperately to the rifles.

    Mine was one of the ones puchased in the group auctioned off by Lithgow and it came in a box with bayonet and cleaning kit.

    Somebody had opened the box and listed the contents as - 1 Rifle, 1 Oil bottle, 1 Pullthrough, 1 Scabbard, 1 Bayonet.

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