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Thread: Photograph of rare Canadian Telescopic Rifles from WWII (Expert opinions wanted)

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    Member CheesyCigar's Avatar
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    Photograph of rare Canadian Telescopic Rifles from WWII (Expert opinions wanted)

    I recently came across a photograph of my grandfather from his scout-sniper training course at Camp Borden. It's dated for January 1945. I am going to give my interpretation of what I see, based on research I have collected. Don't count on it being totally correct.

    As soon as I took a look, I noticed that the man standing 2nd from the right (bottom row) was holding a cut-down Lee Enfield. Upon closer inspection, I discovered that (with the exception of 1 rifle) every Lee Enfield in this picture is quite rare, or mounts a rare scope.

    The two men on the left are holding regular No.4 configured sniper rifles, however the scopes (and presumably the scope mounts) are not standard. I quick reference to Skennertonicon's book reveals that these scopes are 2 of about 100 Lyman Alaskan telescopic sights that were purchased for the Canadianicon Army. As well, the mounts appear to be the Griffin & Howe type mounts that were purchased along with the scopes.

    The 5th man from the left appears to be holding a plain-jane No.4 telescopic rifle. (unless someone can spot something out of the ordinary)

    The man 6th from the left is holding a cut down rifle. I am almost certain that it is (or is closely related to) this rifle: Milsurps - 1943-44 Enfield No.4 Mk1* Experimental Long Branch 'Scout' Sniper Rifle



    Like the rifle listed in the Knowledge Libraryicon, it has a cut-down stock, a totally new buttstock (rollover cheekpiece and a rubber butt), and no charger bridge. From this angle, it's difficult to tell whether or not it's fitted with the windmill-style 4 position backsight (which was mounted on the left side of the receiver) As well, this rifle mounts a different scope: the C No.32 Mk 4 (C No.67 Mk I) onto what should be a Griffin & Howe mount. (which was what the type was configured with. I, however, might be incorrect. But from I can see, it appears to be a match)

    Finally, the last man (and my grandfather) is holding a regular No.4 that has a different buttstock: the same as the previous rifle. It also appears to have the same No.67 Mk I telescope and mount. (once again, I might be wrong here) The book reveals that the rifles with the sporter-esc buttstocks were tested (I don't know how many), but it doesn't reveal whether or not they were put into service. For all I know, my grandfather may have been issued an incredibly rare trial rifle.

    Take anything I say with a grain of salt. Truth be told, I know next to nothing about this particular topic, and what I am saying is pretty much taken from Skennerton's book and pictures of the rifle from the Knowledge Library.

    I would greatly appreciate it if a Lee Enfield expert could weigh in on this photograph and tell me more about it. (and correct any mistakes I might have made. I wouldn't want to give other people incorrect information) Why was my grandfather's unit issued with non-standard rifles? Was it an experiment to see how the rifles and scopes performed? As well, I'd like some more information about the particular rifle my grandfather was issued.

    -Please note that I did not use Skennerton's book about Britishicon Snipers. Unfortunately, I don't own a copy-

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    Last edited by Badger; 06-15-2012 at 10:44 AM. Reason: Edited to point out to members that pic can be enlarged to full size ...


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    Really Senior Member newcastle's Avatar
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    That is a cool (no snow related pun intended) picture. Yep I'd like to know bout all that stuff too.

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    Very nice photo of a very interesting subject. I think this will be an intresting thread to watch.

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    This thread is to be watched. Copy that photo and put the original in a very secure place.

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    Really Senior Member superbee's Avatar
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    great photo!

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    Come on guys some comments from the GURUS would be nice or is this photo a bit heavy to handle.

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bindi2 View Post
    Come on guys some comments from the GURUS would be nice or is this photo a bit heavy to handle.
    You put the keyboard to my thoughts. I was sure "stickey thread" status would be forthcoming with the wonderful subject matter,contrast and detail of the photo.

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    Senior Member buffdog's Avatar
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    If you keep clicking the photograph will enlarge from thumbnail to full screen.

    I think you are right in your assessment of the types of rifles used. The one next to your Grandfather is definitely the experimental Long Branch sniper rifle, and you Grandfather is holding the later Canadianicon version of the No. 4 with the pistol grip and Jostam recoil pad.

    Good work in identification. It also proves that the Long Branch experimental sniper rifle was actually used and tested at the time.
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    Really Senior Member trooper554877's Avatar
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    I am no expert but I see 4 different models of rifles. Two standard No4T's with the Lyman Alaskan scopes. One experimental lightened? rifle with is it the No32 Mk4? experimental scope and the last one is a bog standard No4T with "pistol" grip butt and the "experimental" scope.

    I am with BIndi on this one, the experts need to chime in on this bit of evidence.

    Great picture of some history!!
    Cheers
    Ned
    Last edited by trooper554877; 06-13-2012 at 01:34 AM.

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    Member The Queens Medalist 86,87's Avatar
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    I live a few Kms from where that photo was taken. I know a few vets at the nearby legion and will try to get some more info.
    I do know that the photo says CITC -Canadain Infantry Training Centre, S of I -School of Infantry. Proper cap badge on the 1 Infantry instructor. Man with the winter wedge and zip up boots probably administrative/instructor, infantry or weapons RCEME type. All #4T's being used and looks like Langemark Range for final exams on all fieldcraft learned and a group photo. I was also Infantry and Sniper course qualified in the 80's, spent about a year and a half of my life on Borden's ranges. Such courses now are usually at CTC Gagetown.
    As someone mentioned this photo shows some Long Branch models possibly being tested in the field, which sounds right to me.

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