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Thread: The Guns of Degenham, Part 2

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  1. #11
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    Peter Laidler's Avatar
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    Apart from the obvious Sterling pistol grip, nobody at Sterling seems to know anything about that rifle, not least, David Howroyd. And you'd think that he would probably know - him being the engineering manager and then director of the company.

    As for the Q in post 2. Ord were destroying large amounts of worn out Sterling SMG's in the late 70's and 8o's and as Sterling had always had good relations with Ordnance, supplying spares and tech info regarding the use of the ex India order guns broken up for spares, they asked if they could buy back the remaining 6,000 or so ex India Mk4 KR marked casings. They did - and these brand new KR marked/numbered casings were made up into complete guns and sold on the market along with the current 'S' marked guns. And a healthy profit was made as they'd already been paid for once so all Sterling had to do was to assemble new parts into them.

    At the same time, Sterling asked to purchase the ex military guns that had been reduced to scrap by welding (see photo in book) or guillotining. This was agreed and as 'scrap carriers' Sterling were required to become industrial scrap merchants!!!!!!! These old casings were totally unpicked of thousands of valuable parts by the work force during slack periods and even better, on a bit of overtime pocket money on Saturday mornings. Many tons of parts including 'welded detail' trigger frames, mag housings, front and rearsight protectors, latch brackets, finger guards etc etc were unpicked, tumbled and re-used on new production guns. KR, US, UF (not the flanged type) marked mag housings were sent out on new made or FTR guns to other nations.

    It is for this reason that you will occasionally see F/Fazakerley 'welded detail' marked parts on Sterling made guns. Backsight ears and foresight protectors are the most common.

    I have been asked to elaborate on this in more detail for the new edition of the book

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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

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    I will be up for a copy of the book when it is reprinted!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    13 holes = L34 firing Mk2z for obvious reasons. Some of the other Q's asked have been answered on this forum very recently. But I'll answer them again later....

    Added at request of someone that didn't understand. 2z= hot propellant with faster bullet. Need to slow the bullet down to sub sonic means venting off more propellant gas so extra ring of holes that JUST does it...... but only JUST!
    Just to clarify where the question regarding how many ports in the L34A1/Mk5 barrel comes from:

    Sterling Mk5/L34A1 1967 dated addendem to the EMER states 72 holes.

    The EMER dated 1969 states 78 holes.

    Sterling commercial user manual c.1974 states 72 holes.

    The Guns of Dagenham book states 72 holes, but the illustrated barrel shows 78 holes.

    Just a typo that Sterling never caught and corrected? Or did the Mk5 have 6 fewer ports than the L34A1?

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    Contributing Member Vincent's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    It is for this reason that you will occasionally see F/Fazakerley 'welded detail' marked parts on Sterling made guns. Backsight ears and foresight protectors are the most common.

    I probably would, if I knew what to look for. How does one tell they are Fazakerley made parts?

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    There is a small F57 or F58 mark on the part. Generally speaking, any part marked with an F indicated Fazakerley - which in itself generally indicated Faulty.

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    Does the number following the "F" indicate the year that the part was made or is it a code referring to something else, please?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Peter Laidlericon View Post
    There is a small F57 or F58 mark on the part. Generally speaking, any part marked with an F indicated Fazakerley - which in itself generally indicated Faulty.
    Thanks, Peter.

    Sterling bought parts and services from other companies to make the Mk4. Did Fazakerley buy some of the same parts and services from the same companies or were they just very good copies?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Flying10uk View Post
    Does the number following the "F" indicate the year that the part was made or is it a code referring to something else, please?
    It's the year of manufacture F10

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    I'm not sure that Sterling actually bought in complete MADE parts from other suppliers except for the consumables such as the allen bolts, pins etc and the like. They were a true MANUFACTURER asopposed to an assembly plant, unlike Enfield and BAe with the SA80. So far as the backsight axis pins and butt frame pins, Sterling got those in lengths and had a machine that could cut to length and countersink each end in seconds...., by the bucketful, They were a VERY profitable spare part for Sterling because each time they were stripped out, they had to be replaced! Pistol Grips from Helix, the punched casing tubes from A&P but that was simply the bare punched and cut-to-length tube. The same would apply to Fazakerley - and Enfield too! Sterling did buy in the pre-punched and folded top butt frame because the steel supplier who supplied them pre-cut and punched could also fold them at the same time for pence. So it was really a question of economics

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    Good stuff, Peter. Thanks.

    Attachment 99652

    I see F 57 and UF stamped on the grip frame. UF 58 is stamped on the flanged type magazine housing. Do you know why the flanged type magazine housings were not reused Sterling?

    I don’t see any other markings on the other welded detail. Even the endcap locking ring has no markings. It does have the fixing pin but clearly different from the Sterling locking rings and the cap is hard to get on and off.

    I know the pistol grip could have been replaced, but it’s interesting that it’s doesn’t have the Sterling patent markings on the right side. You can also see where the tail was bobbed unevenly. Done by hand from the look of it.

    I can’t see a spot weld on the butt stock trunnion. It looks like it’s just brazed on.

    The whole Fazakerley episode is interesting to me. It’s amazing the government would go to so much trouble to copy the Mk4 Sterling.
    Last edited by Vincent; 04-02-2019 at 11:50 AM.

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