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Thread: New Purchase: 1916 Lithgow from Italy

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  1. #1
    Member jb303's Avatar
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    New Purchase: 1916 Lithgow from Italy

    Hi Men.

    Just picked up a 1916 Lithgowicon that was in Italyicon ( government storage) for decades.
    Interesting rifle, still retains its maple stock, apart from the top hand guard which is coach wood.
    Has had a barrel change in 1917, has a stock dick with 78 then N, it keeps the original nose cap, safety, bolt and rear sight base, trigger group, front sight and barrel band.
    It looks like it went through a refurbish by the Brits at one stage as it has an English rear sight, rear ears early type, trigger guard and brass butt plate.



    Of interest is the maple wood work which is stamped MA 41, then B under the fore wood, the butt has the rack number stamped into it and show a 7 /17 date,.
    It is further more marked with a 2 MD on top of the receiver and it was absolutely covered in black grease. Barrel is around 6/10. I have degreased the rifle and re-oiled the wood in the traditional fashion.
    Of interest is the three holes in the stock, were these mounting holes?? was it on a bracket?? these have been filled with a reddish putty long ago.

    Please view and any info would be appreciated.
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    JB303

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    I think you'll find the repair in the stock is just that. Screws or something and then filled. They could have used something closer to color though. You can fix that though. Real nice honest rifle though, one any of us would be pleased to have. More I'd say than one that's been fiddled with and "Rejuvinated" by some well meaning sod...even the steel stock disc...I forgot they did that. Haven't seen one in a bit.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    Very nice rifle, nice to see it made it back home. Just a couple of observations for you:

    Looks like the nose cap has been cleared so not interfere with the muzzle. My guess is for target work(?)

    The two pics below illustrate. The second pic is of a MKIII heavy barreled (H) target rifle, with the inside of the nosecap "opened" up. The first pic is of a standard Lithgowicon MkIII*. I checked my other Mk III's, which include 1913, a 1919, and 1921 dated Lithgows. All the nose caps fit tight around the muzzle.

    Perhaps in the past, your rifle had been a club target rifle. The barrel has been changed at some point in its life.

    Either way, its a nice looking rifle. Congratulations!
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    Last edited by smle addict; 11-09-2014 at 01:54 PM.

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    Really Senior Member Homer's Avatar
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    Yes the nosecap hole has definitely been opened up. Cant see any signs of an English rebuild though. What gives the barrel away as being changed in 1917? Both this rifle and the rifle the barrel was originally on were issued to the MD's sometime around mid 1917 so the barrel could have been changed anytime after.

    Interesting rifle. Is the forend numbered?

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    Thread Starter
    Hi Jim, SMLE addict and Homer

    Yes good spot on the nosecap, I didn't even notice that in my excitement, The forend is not numbered at all apart from the MA41 then B, the top hand guard is also numbered MA41 underneath, I dare say you are correct, it was probably someone's pride and joy at some stage as a club or target rifle before it went back for service?. Of interest is the Britishicon bits on it and I get a feeling that this old girl saw some service in both wars, before it was given to the Italians, I am fortunate that it retains it original maple butt, rear ears and still has the maple forend..I am at a loss to the steel disc with the the 78 and the N, was this rifle 78 and N for Navy, hmmm this rifle has had an interesting path and I am happy that a 2MD rifle has made it back home to NSW.

    Thank you guys for all the feedback it is appreciated and its good to know I have some experts on hand to advise.

    thanks
    JB303
    JB303

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    Member HarryB's Avatar
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    [ATTACH][ATTACH] [/ATTACH][/ATTACH]

    Hi there jb303,I too have an early Lithgowicon that has seen service in Italy and would be interested to know if yours has Italianicon proof marks on the trigger guard above the trigger LHS and a rack number on the LHS of the butt like mine. Thanks
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    3 Serial No.s ?

    This is weird 3 different serial numbers on it, also that damn question mark again as my '16 Lithgow 5MD bears the same mark and no one has been able to give a definitive answer on that mark so why do we have 2 Lithgows on different sides of the country both No I Mk III '16 Lithgows one a 2MD and mine a 5MD bearing the same mark.
    Theres one for you that posses a far better understanding of the markings than I as my research has not yielded anything I have yet to read fully the 2 Lithgow books the factory and its people yet perhaps the source is in there. Good find jb303 and to bring it back to its home in Australiaicon.
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    Last edited by CINDERS; 11-15-2014 at 08:17 AM.

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    Really Senior Member Homer's Avatar
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    Three serial numbers? I only see one serial number and one inventory number. The question mark looking stamp appears on nearly all if not all rifles in the 50000 to 70000 serial number range. Don't know what it is but it's very common.

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    So if you may excuse my ignorance please which is what as is it not typical to have a serial action and barrel the same not 3 differing sets of numerals, I have heard the mark could be from an inspector that came over from the UKicon to Lithgowicon but with no provenance I have to treat that one with skepticism. TIA

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    Really Senior Member Homer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    So if you may excuse my ignorance please which is what as is it not typical to have a serial action and barrel the same not 3 differing sets of numerals, I have heard the mark could be from an inspector that came over from the UKicon to Lithgowicon but with no provenance I have to treat that one with skepticism. TIA
    The rifle serial number 57093, the inventory number for the 2nd MD is 45712 and the barrel is mismatched

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