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Thread: MkIII peened windage slide and bolt serial number

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  1. #1
    Member BBBQ's Avatar
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    MkIII peened windage slide and bolt serial number

    Hi all, it's my first post of milsurps.com!



    I'm working on restoring a MkIII and have a question about features and bolt markings.

    My rear sight windage slide is peened so that it can't move side to side more than 0.5 - 1 mm. The mechanism on the back would work if not for the peening. I've post a photo here,
    Ross - Google Photos

    I've also seen another members rifle posted in this forum that has this feature,
    https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=57218

    From what I understand this was not an official change to the rifle... but there is more than one that has had this done. So I was curious to know if anyone know who did this work?

    Also, the back of my bolt has a stamped combination of three numbers on top of two letters, the same as shown in photos of another members rifle posted in this forum,
    https://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=57218

    From what I understand there should be no stamped numbers/letters here from the factory. I was curious to know if anyone know who did this work? Maybe it's related to question 1. I've poked around using the search function for answers to these questions and so far have not come up with anything. Thanks all.
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  3. #2
    Contributing Member boltaction's Avatar
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    Good morning:
    I am not familiar with the peening but have to admit I haven't looked closely at my various Mk III to see if they have it or not. It may well have been something done in the field to prevent inadvertent movement--I do know on one of my early production Mk IIIs the windage can move with vibration. It may just have been done to keep the average soldier from p-ing around with it too once the rifle was sighted for standard ammunition.

    You are correct that the bolts were not stamped by the RRCo. However, many Mk III rifles ended up in Britishicon hands in exchange for the SMLE's, and the British issued them to the Royal Navy Marines--stamping such as PH for Priddy's Hard, CRB for Crombie, PLY for Plymouth spring to mind and those are often found on the bolts. Some of those rifles ended up on HMS Canadaicon which went to Chileicon and those rifles acquired DA numbers on the bolt and receiver. Still others went to Lithuania where they largely were swallowed up in the following years. Quite a few went to India where they acquired VERY long serial or armoury numbers stamped on the top of the receiver and I have seen bolts stamped. So, I would bet your two letter bolt stamping is a Royal Marine stamp. Depends what it is.

    Ed

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    The peening or rather center-punching of the backsight windage adjustment was U.K. standard I believe. Sort of a "if everyone can't have it, no one can have it" sort of thing. The argument being that "the men aren't trained to use that etc." and of course neither were the NCO's trained to teach it. Which was true, but you'd think the average soldier could be trained and trusted to periodically check that the lines lined up, and adjust the little screw accordingly if not; but no...
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Member BBBQ's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Hi, I've uploaded some photos to this website for future reference.

    My restoration is pretty much complete! The bayonet band and its screw are reproductions from altadiver. After some sanding, cold blue and steel wool, it looks just right. It's a great product. The stock is black walnut off a duplicator from Alberta Gun Stocks, another great product, which I finished myself. It took quite awhile to get the fit just right. The finish is an espresso gel stain followed by 2 coats Minwax Tung Oil. I used 0000 steel wool after each coat to get the look of BLOicon.

    Every other part is original to the rifle including the handguard. It has the later 0.043" thick wall mag, large bolt stop, E mark on barrel above the chamber, last revision of the extractor cut on the bolt head, bolt sleeve has the rivet, and late version of the buttplate door. So seems like its a later production, but the original stock was heavily sporterized so no idea about the serial number and year of manufacture.

    Thanks for the info about UKicon service gents. Yes it must have been in UK service at some point, as it has Birmingham proof marks, crown-over-BM, on the barrel, receiver ring, bolt head and bolt sleeve. There is no "Not english made" stamp anywhere.

    Also there are no PH, CRB, PLY markings... however along with the 3 numbers over 2 letter marking on the back of the bolt handle, there is also a large two letter mark "TZ" on the front of the bolt handle. Has this one been seen before? Cheers
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  8. #5
    Member BBBQ's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    On second look the T in the TZ mark on the front of the bolt handle is more like an I. So it's really IZ, or ZI. Still don't know what it might mean, or how common this is.

    Here's something related to the center punching of the rear sight from Page 50 of the Ross Rifle Story,
    "About this time, Ross suggested discarding the windgauge of his screw elevating rear sight. The idea was considered and dropped as was his request to have the sight replaced by the new Britishicon War Office pattern made up for the 100,000 Mark III B Rosses Britain had ordered September 15, 1914."

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