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  1. #1
    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    1918 SMLE .22

    I recently bought a 1918 peddled scheme SMLE MkIII* .22 trainer.
    It is not marked No2MkIV* but appears to be that specification. It has a one piece .22 barrel; not sleeved.
    What I do find unusual is that it has a steel butt plate fitted; which has a brass cleaning trap.
    Was the steel butt plate standard on the peddled scheme rifles?

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    Advisory Panel breakeyp's Avatar
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    Are you sure it is steel? Does a magnet stick? Steel butt plates with out traps do exist on some Canadianicon No.4 rifles.

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    Contributing Member 30Three's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Yes a magnet does stick to it.
    I have found a reference in Skennertonicon's "The Lee Enfield" on page 177. Regarding the introduction of the shorter "Bantam" butt. Apparently some of these had cast iron or steel butt plates with gunmetal traps made by Linley & Co for the peddled scheme.
    So it look's like it's original to the rifle.
    I'll try and get a photo over the weekend.

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    A nice bit of detective work there 30Three. I would have just assumed that the butt plate was a codge up. Just shows how one shouldn't jump to conclusions.

    By chance I have a barrelled action exactly the same as yours, a 1918 peddled scheme .22LR, which I picked up in a trade recently & am about to rebuild. Sadly it has been smoothbored so I need to get the tube (re?)sleeved first. It should make a nice piece. Lovely little rifles......

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post
    A nice bit of detective work there 30Three. I would have just assumed that the butt plate was a codge up. Just shows how one shouldn't jump to conclusions.

    By chance I have a barrelled action exactly the same as yours, a 1918 peddled scheme .22LR, which I picked up in a trade recently & am about to rebuild. Sadly it has been smoothbored so I need to get the tube (re?)sleeved first. It should make a nice piece. Lovely little rifles......
    Is it smooth bored or full of lead. Do check it closely.

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    I wish it was Bindi. It's even proofed .22 smooth. It's an historic thing. For many years over here it was popular to smooth bore rifles as it was much easier to get a shotgun certificate than a Firerams Cert., so lots of people collected military 'rifles' on shotgun ticket. No worries about getting permission for each individual firearm that way, & if you just collected & didn't want to actually shoot it it didn't matter a lot. Now the rules have changed & to satisfy the legal definition of a S.2 shotgun it also has to be magazine restricted. Consequently these guns turn up not infrequently, & often inexpensively. I have a beaut of a matching BSA 1915 SMLE in 410 (unrestricted) & a very clean 303 smooth Winchester P'14 to sort out as well, when I get around to it!

    Luckily an old pal is the former gunsmith at Charnwood Ordnance, now working in his own right, & he does a very nice job of sleeving barrels to 22, so all is not lost!
    Last edited by Roger Payne; 06-22-2019 at 08:35 AM. Reason: addendum

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post
    I have a beaut of a matching BSA 1915 SMLE in 410 (unrestricted) & a very clean 303 smooth Winchester P'14 to sort out as well, when I get around to it!
    I have got (and had) several SMLE's and No4 LE's in 410 but have yet to find any magazine that works with them hence, are they not, by default 'single shot' ?
    Most of the ones I have seen have a wooden 'blanking plate', in place of the magazine and it is then used as a 'loading ramp'.
    The last No4 (410) I bought had a thin steel plate shaped & held in place by the trigger guard.
    The nearest I got to a working magazine was to fit (trial & error, and then 'resin' into place) a Saiga 410 magazine into the Enfield magazine (a la No7 and the BSA .22 mag)

    It worked fairly well but not consistently.
    Last edited by Alan de Enfield; 06-23-2019 at 02:55 AM.
    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Alan de Enfield View Post
    I have got (and had) several SMLE's and No4 LE's in 410 but have yet to find any magazine that works with them hence, are they not, by default 'single shot' ?
    I suppose it just depends whether you want to be the next test case.....

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    Salutary, very wise words there Doc.........


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