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Thread: Irish Contract Pattern 1914 Mk1* (T) rifles

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  1. #11
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    In the late 60's I owned two of the "Rifle No. 3 Mk1 T". (P14 Snipers)

    The first one was Winchester Sn W80529. I purchased it thru the mail from SARCO for $35.00. minus the scope. This rifle might have come via the irish Free State but i doubt it - more likely just a surplus Britishicon WW1 sniper.

    The second one was Winchester Sn W159158. This rifle came with the matching Irish Free BSA marked scope (also sn 159158). It was in excellent condition overall no signs of refinishing of the metal or wood.

    Initially, the second rifle belonged to a friend who was able to locate a second, Irish Free State, BSA model 1918 scope and mount (Sn 179656) which he gave to me.

    One fine summer day we took both rifles to a local range in Va to shoot them side by side. After about five rounds my friend complained of a problem. He could no longer see thru his scope. On inspection we determined that one of the aspirin-sized image erecting lenses in the middle of the scope had disintegrated on discharge. Since i was more into snipers he gave the rifle and scope to me on the spot.

    Later I used parts from my scope to repair the damaged scope. NB: BSA at the time had not completely mastered the concept of interchangeable parts!

    Over time i sold off both rifles.

    But it was probably me who posted the warning about shooting any rifle with essentially unrepairable optics. Just not worth it.

    One final note as to the numbering. I suspect the rifles were selected based on their shooting characteristics and the scopes were then assigned the rifle serial number.

    Regards,

    Jim

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    The Irish rifles are pretty distinctive by the square type front bases and the fact that the serial number on the right side of the receiver bridge at the rear is machine engraved and with W prefix (Britishicon are stamped and most without W prefix). If you still have pictures of your rifle, I might be able to tell you if the rifle without scope was made post WWI, or is an original WWI sniper.

    Since all of the Irish rifles were sold to the US market plus we know of the Irish not only receiving newly made rifles but also leftover rifles from WWI it is obvious some WWI rifles were among those brought to the US market in aswell.

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  6. #13
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    Sorry pics are not available. The notes in my previous post were manually recorded in a small notebook.

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    I believe the Britishicon government did supply a minority of the No3 (T)'s to Ireland from existing stock, although the majority were new production. Can't be absolutely sure where I got this from, but I think it's in Ian Skennertonicon's books somewhere. I have no idea why that should have been the case. It's quite easy to tell a UK from an Irish one as the front mount base on the BSA produced conversions in side view has a much squarer look to it than the WW1 era British examples. (In fact the BSA/Irish version looks very reminiscent of the later Lithgowicon No1 Mk3* (H) T rifles' front base).

    Sorry, just noticed Promo had already made the point about the squared look to the front base!

    Last edited by Roger Payne; 03-24-2018 at 04:40 PM. Reason: corrigendum

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