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Thread: Help with my SMLE history please...

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  1. #1
    Member Mikehaspey's Avatar
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    Help with my SMLE history please...

    Hi all,

    New member here, I apologise in advance for another ID thread but just want to confirm if what Iím thinking is correct.

    I have a 1917 dated LSA SMLE, it has matching receiver, barrel & bolt.
    On the left side of the barrel it has the various proof marks and a Ď42 date.
    On the top of the barrel & receiver it has 12.46 date along with SA crowsfoot inside U markings.
    Under the serial number on the receiver it is marked XSAW.

    Going by these markings Iím thinking that it was manufactured in 1917 and refurbed in 42. Then in 46 it was transferred to South Africa and proof marked. Fairly recently it was imported back into the UKicon, hence the XSAW marking.

    Does this sound about right? Im also a bit stumped by the .4 mark above the crown on the band?!

    Any help much appreciated!
    Thanks
    Last edited by Mikehaspey; 10-22-2019 at 03:31 PM.

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    Roger Payne's Avatar
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    A few years ago a quantity of SMLE's were imported into the UKicon from South Africa which had been on issue to South African police units. I have a rifle from this batch that also bears the XSAW marking & which has been quite nicely refurbished. It is also originally of WW1 UK mfr.


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    Member Mikehaspey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post
    A few years ago a quantity of SMLE's were imported into the UKicon from South Africa which had been on issue to South African police units. I have a rifle from this batch that also bears the XSAW marking & which has been quite nicely refurbished. It is also originally of WW1 UK mfr.
    Do you know when they were sold to SA? Was it post WW2?
    Couldnít find too much online but found one site saying 1930s and another saying post Second World War.

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    I'm afraid that I don't know Mike. However, the outfit that imported them (I don't know if they got the lot or just a proportion of them) was World Wide Arms. Most would certainly have been chopped for deacts, although I was allowed to select a few tidy examples to save from the mig welder!

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Definitely South African military with XSAW, never police. XSAW only when it was sold out of stock to military members, as we could purchase No 1 and No 4 rifles for many years until the new government stopped it. Broad arrow with U is Union Defence Force marking carried over up to the SANDF today.

    An LSA 1917 with different dates on barrel and body, unlikely to be matching. Interesting and needs photos.

    South African didn't reproof at that time AFAIK, no proofing house.

    Photos will help a lot.

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    Daan, would the SA police have marked 'their' rifles in any identifiable way?

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    Member Mikehaspey's Avatar
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    Help with my SMLE history please...

    Quote Originally Posted by Daan Kemp View Post
    Definitely South African military with XSAW, never police. XSAW only when it was sold out of stock to military members, as we could purchase No 1 and No 4 rifles for many years until the new government stopped it. Broad arrow with U is Union Defence Force marking carried over up to the SANDF today.

    An LSA 1917 with different dates on barrel and body, unlikely to be matching. Interesting and needs photos.

    South African didn't reproof at that time AFAIK, no proofing house.

    Photos will help a lot.
    Thanks for the info Daan.
    Pics now attached
    Last edited by Mikehaspey; 10-23-2019 at 06:34 AM.

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    Roger, in answer to yours at Q6, yes, they did according to a dealers table I saw recently. DP =- Durban Police. The OTHER DP only relates to the UKicon apparently

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    I bought a 1918 dated SMLE last year October which had literally come into the country from South Africa a few weeks earlier, which begs the question how many did we sell to SA?
    The butt disc is stamped S.A.P. in a rather modern looking font and it shows all the traits of being refurbished with good looking wood etc.

    I feel the need the examine it further but Mrs SB wont allow me in the attic as I'm still on crutches from another spinal op.
    Mick

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