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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    MLE I* Barrel

    So I've been restoring this old MLE I* lately, and it seems a barrel is the last thing I need.

    I know they are the same profile as the Lithgowicon 'H' barrel, and the length is something like 30.2", and I have put up a request in the WTB section of the forum, but nowhere on earth, online, or in person have I ever actually seen one.

    I know I am new to collecting old guns and its not like I have been waiting 10 years for this piece, but I still feel like I am just not reaching the right places looking for this thing. Is there anyone out there that any of you think might have one, or know someone that has one? I will be very thankful for any kind of help with tracking one down, and if anyone has any tips for fitting one I would appreciate that too (I assume the procedure is quite similar to that of the No4's which Mr Laidlericon has written about before).

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    Really Senior Member henry r's Avatar
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    talk to sprinter arms in Hahndorf South Aust.

    i can't remember exactly what he quoted me but from memory it was within $100 or so of a new SMLE barrel from T-Bone.

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    Contributing Member Kiwi's Avatar
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    I have some MLE full length barrels but its that little bit of water between you and I that is the problem. Once sent an H Barrel over to Australia but apparently that was ok as it re-repatriating an Australianicon made item.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Providing Nijal has the correct paper work there should be no issues think its either a 705A or 709A anyway he needs that form to import it the other way is to send it to tbonesmithicon as he imports barrels much easier then the barrel is there ready to be fitted to Nijals rifle.
    That's the way I would do it.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Interestingly, Lithgow was knocking out "long" LE barrels into the 1930s, until the regulations for the rifle clubs changed and all barrels had to be SMLE length. Thus the peculiar Australianicon "Range-Pattern" rifles that retain all of the front end features of the LE, but on a SMLE-length barrel. In the crazy days of early WW2, many of these club rifles were recalled and issued to VDC and "odds and sods" establishments. Unfortunately a high proportion never made it back to their previous owners; surprise, surprise. Of those that did, many ended up as "beginner" bush rifles in the 1950s and '60's.

    That "chop-job" was the genesis of the "H" barrel. With decent sights, the shortened L E barrel was considerably stiffer than the standard SMLE barrel. Yes it still had the clunky L E trigger and massive cocking piece / safety lump to slow the striker fall, but they shot quite well for all that.

    A barrel of equivalent profile fitted to a SMLE proved to be something of a revelation, especially once characters like Motty and Sweet started tinkering with bedding.

    The final cherry on the cake was the much-anticipated complete changeover to Mk Vll ball.
    Last edited by Bruce_in_Oz; 06-21-2018 at 03:02 AM.

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    Really Senior Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    Kiwi: check the markings on your stash of L E barrels. You may be lucky and have a Lithgowicon-made one among them!

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Wow got a few hits here haha.

    Henry, I found a phone number for Sprinter Arms and I might give them a ring soon. Thanks a heap.

    Kiwi, I know you can send other parts of firearms but if I am not mistaken is a bit different with barrels and actions. However, if that were possible there is no way I would accept a full barrel for nothing haha.

    Cinders, I have completed a 709A and am not far off of being able to take it in and get a mag in the coming weeks. If I were to go through Tbone it could done as a Dealer to Dealer kind of operation which customs seems to be a bit more relaxed about.

    Bruce, yeah its an interesting story behind the 'H' barrel. I have a few new ones tucked away for when I want to have a go at building my own target rifle. Seems I can find them anywhere, but the LE's are just nowhere haha.

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Kiwi I have messaged you.


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