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Thread: 1940 Lithgow with Mag Cut-off Provision and other stuff

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    1940 Lithgow with Mag Cut-off Provision and other stuff

    I suppose it is that time again where I have a rifle and I guess its history based on my limited knowledge and you all tell me I'm wrong . I have an interesting one here.

    So this rifle, Lithgow 1940 SMLE MKIII (no star), I am cleaning for a friend has a mag cut-off slot and has no '*' in the designation. The star was added in 1916 (I think?) and the mag cut-off and volley sights done with if I remember right. However I also remember reading that Australianicon manufacturing was a bit hazy on this and didn't always follow, and in general military rifles are subject to not always following logistics, but as late as 1940 sounds strange to me.



    As well as that I found on the fore-sight band/block a few somewhat familiar looking markings (When I firstly saw the rifle I noticed the marks in the slots of the nosecap where I guess they didn't have to remove anything to mark). To me it looks like ".CO" and two places where they tried to mark the same "N.Y.C." stamp. I originally thought there was also the very feintest of "J.J" before the "C.O" but after cleaning it I it seems to just be minor pitting, which kind of throws my original idea of it being a John Jovinco rifle. That being said I have pictures of the "J.J.C.O" markings on one of my other rifles (Which I still have no clue about). Which brings me to my other question as to what the go with John Jovinco actually was; I've found bits and pieces of info but nothing really solid and it seems like no one talks about it that much. Did he import rifles over and then send some straight back? Its all confusing.



    The Lithgow also has a 'B' and a 'P' both in separate circles on the underside of the fore-end forward of the trigger guard, but considering that the fore-end serial does not match that of the action I presume it is not original or anything and that those marks really don't pertain to this rifle, but at the same time the nosecap is still the original so maybe the fore-end was changed in service with one an armourer had laying around from another dismantled rifle or something? Which brings me to something else; the butt. It has, what I presume, is a barred out rack number, but I don't know why that would have been barred out in service, as well as a few dates "2.39", "8/44", and "7/45". Since the reciever is dated 1940 and there is a date in 1939 is that reason enough to believe this is not the original butt? Problem is that all the wooden furniture seems to have copped the same amount of abuse and be pretty much the same colour, making me think its all been there for a very very long time. If these markings do have any meaning then I can guess that the 7/45 might be for a barrel replacement, as the current barrel is date '45 but unserialed along with the sights (Which are III* without windage), and that the 8/44 might be for a little repair on the butt itself.



    For a while everything on this gun made relative sense but the more I look at the more confused I get. Its certainly an interesting one to me at least.

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    Really Senior Member Roy's Avatar
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    Looks to me like a real bitza, Unserialed barrel a giveaway I think. The Butt with disk is from a much older rifle. I find it odd a JJ co rifle came back to Oz.

    sorry for the stunted reply.
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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Yeah like I said I'm not sure this Lithgowicon is a JJCO, but my old BSA definitely looks like one compared to other marked rifles I have seen. But yeah same question; why did it come back?

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    Really Senior Member Paul S.'s Avatar
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    It is a Jovino bitser import. There are two discernable JJ Co stamps visible in the pictures.

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    So did he assemble some guns from spare parts? Because that would make sense for this rifle. Also keep in mind that one set of those stamps is off a separate rifle just for reference.

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    Really Senior Member Homer's Avatar
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    Not necessarily a bitzer. Unserial numbered barrels are very normal for a rifle repaired or refurbed in 1945/46/47 in lithgow. And these can have reused parts as well.
    Canít tell anything from these photos.

    And lots of JJco rifles in Australiaicon. Mostly very good ones
    Last edited by Homer; 08-12-2018 at 04:17 AM.

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    I remember hearing something like that and it makes a bit of sense, but still who knows. Cheers for confirming that. If JJCO rifles are supposedly nice then that would make sense: My old BSA JJCO is my most original and complete rifle, and this Lithgowicon here looks nicer than even it.

    With the mag cut-off is it possible this reciever was originally cast and milled out back before the '*' model came out, but was then put in storage without being dated and sent into service until 1940? Did lithgow ever have blank recievers laying around from the WW1 era? Doesn't sound likely.

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    Contributing Member muffett.2008's Avatar
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    Lithgowicon made both MkIII and MkIII* receivers up to 1941, so both types were on issue.
    JJCO rifles were stamped at Horsley Park by the Abella Family for John Jovino, the stamp on the foresight was usually for very good collectibles, a lot of these rifles that were stamped, never left the country, having been pre purchased by the OZ dealers.

    Please add the rifles details to the Lithgow Survey in the sticky pages.

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    PERFECT. Thank you muffet that is just what I was wanting to know, and yes I will. I have a few Lithgows to add and I might do them all at once one day soon. Thank you very much.

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    Really Senior Member Roy's Avatar
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    Cool. I only just got a 1940 MA MkIII a few weeks ago and restored with wood I have had lying around for a decade. Always something to learn with Enfields.




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