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Thread: A study of No.4 Mk.I "Trials" rifles: information requested!

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    A study of No.4 Mk.I "Trials" rifles: information requested!

    We've discussed these in numerous threads over the years and the other day I finally got irritated enough by the 'information diaspora' to start an Excel spreadsheet- which first showed me how chaotic my own gleanings about this subject were!

    I now have about 50 rifle serial numbers gleaned from old postings, auctions etc. going back about fourteen years. The beauty of these spreadsheets is that patterns often emerge from the data that are otherwise undiscernable.



    The details I've collected so far are:

    1. Serial number
    2. Date (& last digit separately struck?)
    3. Status (No.4 Mk.I(T) or No.4 Mk.I)
    4. Bracket (N92, JG etc.)
    5. Screws staked? (pad screws obviously)
    6. "T" & "TR" stamps? (added later obviously, but patterns might emerge)
    7. Original No32 number (from the buttstock if present and #s legible)
    8. Proof marks
    9. Misc. details/notes

    Suggestions for other relevant details that would be worth recording are welcome.

    I have been recording owner's "handles" or initials because as new details emerge to be recorded one has to go back and forth through the data and photos and it can be hard to keep track, but that of course won't be made public.

    Those of us who are willing to provide that data about their rifles, or others they have seen, please PM me or post here if you prefer.

    As I came across No1 MkVI Rifles in my records and No4 MkI rifles built on No1 MkVI bodies I started recording those also, but probably we should make that a separate study as the relevant details to record need to be decided on.

    The spreadsheet will be made available in whatever way contributors prefer, so input is sought here about that also.

    Spreadsheet database updated with current information received as of October 5th, 2014 at 3:00 pm EST

    Last edited by Badger; 10-05-2014 at 02:56 PM.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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    Surpmil,

    Another Number for you, It was in a Scotarms auction, a Trials 1931 No4 Mk1, serial No A0676. A really nice example.

    1. A0676
    2. 1931 (all one date IIRC)
    3. No4 Mk1
    4. NA
    5. NA
    6. NA
    7. NA
    8. ?
    9. sold at Auction May 2012 complete with a PH 5C sight.
    Last edited by bigduke6; 09-27-2014 at 04:48 PM.

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    1. A0972, (on your list)
    2. 1933
    3. No.4Mk.1T
    4. Mismatch JG w/Watson Mk.1 scope
    5. No
    6. No
    7. 1024
    8. British commercial proofs present. Englandicon export stamp on top of the receiver ring.
    9. Purchased without a scope. Unaltered from what I can see with it's original barrel. It has a brass marking disc from it's pre sneer days marked V/6.33, 5 EK/972.

    ---------- Post added at 02:25 PM ---------- Previous post was at 02:24 PM ----------

    should read - "pre sniper days"

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    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    Surpmil, do you require photos of wrist band markings? I have A2306 and A1038. You are welcome to pics if required.

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    Thread Starter
    Thank you Lance for your 32 serial numbers provided by PM! I have removed the "owner/informant" column for now, but 10 or 11 of your numbers were previously unknown to me and are now incorporated and credited.

    Thank you BigDuke, Brian & Chosenman for those numbers.

    Here is the list at present; additions and corrections gratefully received. My PDF converter program crapped out after this conversion and the "notes" were unfortunately cut off. Will see if I can fix this later. Ignore the No1 MkVI notes at the bottom of page 2.

    Note that some entries appear meaningless without the owner info, but refer to rifles seen or reported that need to be checked with the owner or former owner.

    (List removed for editing)
    Last edited by Surpmil; 09-29-2014 at 01:16 AM.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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    Really Senior Member chosenman's Avatar
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    Trials T's A2306 & A1038

    Rob, I have the following.

    1. A1038 (on your list)
    2. 1933 (last digit looks to have been struck later)
    3. No. 4 Mk. 1 (no T stamp)
    4. Rose Brothers JC bracket re-numbered to match
    5. Yes
    6. TR only
    7. 1568 barred out above current number
    8. Britishicon proof marks with ENGLAND stamp on the wrist
    9. FTR'd



    1. A2306 (on your list)
    2. 1931
    3. No. 4 Mk. 1 T stamped
    4. Rose Bros JC marked re-numbered to match
    5. yes
    6. T and TR both present on the wrist
    7. No
    8. British proof marks with ENGLAND stamped on the wrist
    9. FTR'd. Woodwork is all Canadianicon ordnance marked with fixtures & fitting being LB

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    Thread Starter
    I removed the spreadsheet for revision and because it was not very useful in that PDF I hurriedly created. I have sent it to Doug and I hope he is equipped software wise to present it in a clearer form shortly.

    Moderator Edit: See FIRST post in this thread. Spreadsheet database has been added and will be updated as new iterations are received from Surpmil

    Updates continue, we're up to 70 rifles with 15 of those being unconverted to "T" specs. Lots of blanks on the form yet which hopefully will get filled in. Suggestions for other details to record are welcome. (Doing yours now Chosenman!)

    This business of the last digit of the date being struck separately I am not 100% sure about anymore as if one looks at the last character on the lines above and below that, they are sometimes deeply struck as well, which must be due to the punch being struck more heavily on that side. I do believe some ARE separately struck, but it takes some looking to decide which are which.
    Last edited by Badger; 09-30-2014 at 07:47 AM.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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    Rob,

    A1631 is currently on Gunauction.com at the moment.

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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by chosenman View Post
    Rob,

    A1631 is currently on Gunauction.com at the moment.
    I couldn't find it listed - do you have a link?

    Badger, I've sent you the wrong file! I'll send the updated one now.

    1. Eliminated "bracket" column as all had Rose Bros. brackets originally AFAIK and we're not trying to log present status where it doesnt' tell anything about the original issue or service life.
    2. Added column for SBN number, if present (might tell us something)
    3. Added column for barrel date. (ditto)
    4. Added column for cocking piece (No4 or No1 MkVI) This may seem trivial, but without a column for easy comparison with action date etc. it is hard to discern any patterns in details like this.

    So for ease of communication:

    1. Rifle serial number
    2. Date on butt socket
    3. Status: No4 MkI(T) or No4 MkI
    4. Cocking piece: No1 MkVI pattern with cross-screw or No4 MkI pattern ('button type')
    5. Barrel date: two digits found on left side of barrel under rear handguard, near Nock's Form.
    6. Steel Batch Number: "SBN 165" etc. found on underside of bolt handle.
    7. Other Marks: such as "ENGLAND" export mark, "FTR" for "Factory Thorough Repair", or the "TR" marks sometimes added retroactively.
    8. Proofs: proof marks such as found on the barrel near the muzzle, the bolt handle and "receiver ring"; that is proofs other than the originals.
    9. Location of proof marks
    10. Staked, ie: the scope pad screws on the No4 MkI(T) rifles. This SOP was introduced in the UKicon in the late 40s acc. to Peter so it's presence or absence may tell us something about the history of these rifles
    11. "T" stamp: needs no explanation except to say none are original and there are variations.
    12. Original Tel. No.: is found on the wrist of the butt just below the cocking piece. Obviously only on the original butts and only where they have not been sanded out or totally overstruck.
    13. Maker: of the original No32 where that number is present to allow the deduction of the maker.
    14. Tel.: the present scope number fitted - this is not historically relevant, but may help to keep things straight!

    Blimey, what an exercise this is turning out to be!
    Last edited by Surpmil; 09-30-2014 at 11:48 PM.
    "Deer-stalking would be a very fine sport if only the deer had guns." W. S. Gilbert.

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