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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member 5thBatt's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ed42 View Post
    Wow. Thanks for the pictures mrclark303!!! I've been over every inch of mine and it is not NZicon marked that I found but I guess others could have kept their sling swivel lugs too??
    Nothing to do with the NZ mark as such, here in NZ there are plenty of 1918 SMLEs followed by 1917 SMLEs because (as the story goes) NZ troops waiting to come home after the war were issued with new rifles to bring home & so handed in their battle worn rifles so finding a nice early NZ marked MkIII (especially with Volley sight) in NZ is tough.

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  3. #12
    Really Senior Member Roy's Avatar
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    Is there any basis to the story NZicon troops turned in their worn SMLE's for new ones in 1918? I cant imagine the NZ army paying for new rifles at the end of WW2. My theory why there are so few NZ marked MkIII's is that there where never many in the first place, as they were only issued to Mounted Rifles, Artillery and Engineers, perhaps less then 15,000. These pre WW1 MkIII's would have been consumed by the war and many worn examples turned into .22 trainers. SMLE's drawn from Britishicon stores by the NZ reinforcements may never even been NZ marked. The 1917-18 rifles would have still been available from British stores long after WW1 and the NZ army in WW2 probably received British SMLE stores to replace battle losses.
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    Really Senior Member englishman_ca's Avatar
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    The trigger guards with the sling swivel lugs are often a replacement by owners who wish to use a sling for target shooting.

    Plus, post war there were refurbishment programs where used rifles were gauged and if found good, were rebuilt to like new condition. Many, many rifles were not up to snuff and were stripped for spare parts which were then inspected, refinished and repackaged for reissue. A later rifle with such an early trigger guard could even be a legit later armourer replacement. Parts is parts.
    Last edited by englishman_ca; 04-24-2018 at 09:54 AM.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    "A later rifle with such an early trigger guard could even be a legit later armourer replacement. Parts is parts."

    Good point, its rare to find an original "as built" WW1 SMLE. The vast majority going through (at least one) rebuild.

    My rifle is, as far as I can tell, as built, stock WW1 well used battle rifle . She was proofed in 2000. I guess she was just lost in the ordnance system and "mislaid" after the war as some sort of private keep sake.

    ---------- Post added at 04:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 04:25 PM ----------

    "Is there any basis to the story NZicon troops turned in their worn SMLE's for new ones in 1918? I cant imagine the NZicon army paying for new rifles at the end of WW2. My theory why there are so few NZ marked MkIII's is that there where never many in the first place, as they were only issued to Mounted Rifles, Artillery and Engineers, perhaps less then 15,000. These pre WW1 MkIII's would have been consumed by the war and many worn examples turned into .22 trainers. SMLE's drawn from Britishicon stores by the NZ reinforcements may never even been NZ marked. The 1917-18 rifles would have still been available from Britishicon stores long after WW1 and the NZ army in WW2 probably received British SMLE stores to replace battle losses."

    Good point Roy, I would love to see pics of an example like mine with an intact Census number, all the other examples I have seen have the barrel flat machined and the SS sold out of service marking.

    There must be more survivors out there surly?
    Last edited by mrclark303; 04-24-2018 at 11:22 AM.
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    Really Senior Member 5thBatt's Avatar
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    I dont think NZicon "brought" them, my understanding is we were given them for our contribution, the story is quite well known over here & i know of at least one person who heard it directly from a veteran who did exchange his rifle for a new one, as for the guards being swapped out later, let me ask you this, where did they all come from (the source must have been huge) & where are all the ones taken off? & i dont think for a single minute that just about every 1917 & 1918 SMLE in NZ (except the SSA & NRF ones) were used as target rifles. In the 30 odd years i have been collecting SMLEs i have viewed countless 17 & 18 SMLEs & have been well aware of the LoC of 1916 stating the swivel boss on the trigger guard maybe omitted (that does not mean deleted!) for a long time so my observation is not a recent thing based on a couple of examples but rather an educated & deliberate one.

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    Really Senior Member Roy's Avatar
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    It would be interesting to find any period documents referring to the possible rifle exchange. I believe there are verifiable reports to the troops from Gallipoli exchanging their MLE's for SMLE's with the Egypt garrison (6th div IIRC)

    As for lugs/loops, It would seem BSA, LSA and Enfield, just continued producing rifles with lugs rather than stop production and re tool to produce trigger guards with loops, whereas SSA and NRF with newly setup plant, or using equipment or spares left over from Sht LE Mk1 production (they are the same I believe) made the simplified trigger guard.
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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    My rifle also has the dished forend for the volley sights, not uncommon on 1917 Rifles either.

    The pressing need was for the maximum number of Rifles for the front line. So list of changes aside, a swivel trigger guard, or a dished forend will do just fine.

    But, you can only use the small number of original, not FTR'd or Civvy rebuit (as far as you can tell) Rifles as your control group,to prove that point.

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    Member equyst's Avatar
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    subscribed, this seems like a very interesting thread

  13. #19
    Member Ed42's Avatar
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    Mine has the dished forearm as well. Cheers.

  14. #20
    Really Senior Member 5thBatt's Avatar
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    The "dish" continued into 1918 as well, all my 1918 SMLEs have the dish but to varying degrees depended on factory with the only exception being Lithgowicon.



    ---------- Post added at 12:32 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:25 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by mrclark303 View Post

    But, you can only use the small number of original, not FTR'd or Civvy rebuit (as far as you can tell) Rifles as your control group,to prove that point.
    This is just what i have in my collection, thats the thing with the NZ 1918 SMLEs there are plenty of unmolested examples around.

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