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    Member Dknight's Avatar
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    Advice on SMLE Purchase

    I'm interested in a SMLE for sale and would like to pick the forum's collective brain. The seller is not local to me so I can't handle the rifle myself. It's a 1916 BSA. Serial numbers are matching on receiver, nose cap, and bottom of magazine. The bolt has been ground off and forced matched, and the rear sight has been struck through and forced matched. I'm trying to talk the seller into removing the rear handguard so I can see the barrel info (he doesn't seem to know a lot about SMLEs). Other things of note...the rear handguard and front handguard are both missing ears. The rear sight has no windage adjustment. There is a "R" stamp on the bottom of the stock. There are a couple arsenal repairs in the stock (I love the individual character of them). The muzzle is in good shape, but I don't know about the bore. There is no rust or pitting on the visible metal parts. There is no brass marking disk and no accessories. I'm located in the U.S. and the seller is asking $1300 but will entertain offers. What do you guys think?


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    Member BurtonP's Avatar
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    If that was in Canadianicon dollars it would be about $400 too much in my opinion. In US dollars it seems way too much. However, I don't know how scarce they are in the US. From my own research the lack of windage on the sight is probably correct on a 1916 rifle. The lack of ears on the top wood is a bit suspect, probably the result of a not too careful disassembly. It would affect what I was willing to pay for it.

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    Member lithgow1918's Avatar
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    From what you have said I wouldn't pay anywhere in the range of $1300 for it, especially without handling the gun in person or getting detailed pictures. Maybe I'm missing something or prices are alot higher than I thought but $1300 for a force matched, arsenal repaired smle sounds outrageous to me, especially if you don't know bore condition either. For perspective I am also in the us and recently paid $425 for a 1918 Lithgowicon mostly matching, in good condition, and it came with a sling. Metal was in good condition, wood was beaten but functionality fine. Again, I might be wrong, and am by no means an expert, and am rather new to the game, but that's my 2 cents.

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    It sounds like perhaps a $300 to $350 gun in the south east US. When the pandemic subsides and gun shows return there are still some good ones out there. Be patient, and they will come.

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    Thanks for shooting me straight guys. I’ll let this one pass and keep my ear to the ground.

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    Contributing Member Singer B's Avatar
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    That is way too much. There is a non-matching serial numbered 1916 at my local gun shop for $600 and it has been sitting there for awhile. It's got some rust and non-matching wood. Since your potential gun is non-matching, you are basically getting a "shooter" with some neat history. Maybe $450 at the most here in California. I agree with Hooked on History. Be patient and get one you are able to hold, examine and ensure it is in good firing condition.

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Lacking more information I would pass.

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    Senior Member twh's Avatar
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    $400-$500 will get you a nice No.1 Mk III just keep your eyes open.

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    Contributing Member mmppres's Avatar
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    For 1300 you better be getting a matching correct No3 rifle. Last all matching one I sold I only got 1100.00 that had magazine cut off too boot

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    Really Senior Member Bindi2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmppres View Post
    For 1300 you better be getting a matching correct No3 rifle. Last all matching one I sold I only got 1100.00 that had magazine cut off too boot
    A No3 with a cut off. I would like to see that.

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