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Thread: Wood furniture solid wood and laminated date of use

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member nzl1a1collector's Avatar
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    The NZicon pattern carrying handle didn't appear until about 1980, the earliest photo Ive seen is on a rifle in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe where the Kiwis were there for the independence change over.

    How frequently are NZ pattern carrying handles found on Malay contract rifles? its possible they have been fitted when the rifles were imported into the UKicon? a large quantity of ex NZ L1A1 SLRs made it out into the wild, about 7000 were sold to CAI and from there they were turned into parts kits and also sold elsewhere as complete rifles. A lot of NZ rifles had the carrying handles removed by a directive, the carrying handles to be replaced with a neoprene washer.

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    The main problem with wood L1A1 handguards was splitting longitudinally from the front cupped and threaded insert forwards for an inch or so. We had to patch those PDQ otherwise the screw and threaded insert would just rotate and nothing would get it out. for some years during my time in Malaya, a longitudinal split along the top rear along the rear of the gar cylinder could be repaired by roughing up the wood and overlaying that section with a 1" wide 2+" long 3/16" or so thick piece of wood beveled at the edges. It worked well and stood up to the rough treatment they got out in the Far East. But never saw it adopted in the UKicon. Laminated was the best things we had. I seem to recall that the quarter guard who formed up for visiting dignitaries couldn't have the laminated hand guards french polished or varnished because they were treated with some special chemicals. Probably the same stuff that they put into the single blokes tea!

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nzl1a1collector View Post
    The NZicon pattern carrying handle didn't appear until about 1980, the earliest photo Ive seen is on a rifle in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe where the Kiwis were there for the independence change over.

    How frequently are NZ pattern carrying handles found on Malay contract rifles? its possible they have been fitted when the rifles were imported into the UKicon? a large quantity of ex NZ L1A1 SLRs made it out into the wild, about 7000 were sold to CAI and from there they were turned into parts kits and also sold elsewhere as complete rifles. A lot of NZ rifles had the carrying handles removed by a directive, the carrying handles to be replaced with a neoprene washer.
    Hi Kev,

    I have seen it on quite a few Rifles, I bought the furniture sets from five ex Malay Rifles that were slated for dismantling, three had NZ spec carry handles plus rather rough two slot handguards.

    I've seen the same NZ handles on ex Malay Rifles in Germanyicon too.

    Why they are on there I don't know. I assumed surplus NZ examples supplied to replace the worn out wooden handles during the final years of Malaysian service.

    They appeared to have been on the Rifles for some years.

    ---------- Post added at 12:26 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:22 AM ----------

    Probably the same stuff that they put into the single blokes tea!
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    Really Senior Member nzl1a1collector's Avatar
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    That's possible, maybe we sold them some surplus carrying handles after they had them removed and returned to base workshops.?

    Here's some photos showing some of the various handguard repairs


    and the same on the Butts

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info kev, I think I have examples of slip patch repaired butts and forends in my spares box. I will have to dig them out.

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    We used to repair the front of the hand guards by completely cutting away the front at 60 degrees to half depth and wood patching at 90 degrees to the grain. That seemed OK. But once the threaded insert came loose again - as it would - it was the end of the line. That's a LOT of slip patches in a butt. But if needs must, then that's what you do.

    As apprentices we would patch butts and grips time and time again until the cows came home just for the experience but it was NEVER good enough for Paddy Reilly or Jack Hobbs the class instructors. Some examples of superb work were presented to visiting dignitaries and a brass plate tacked on. But mine work was usually just piled in the corner with the remainder of the 'also rans'


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