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Thread: Flanders mud flaps, post WW1 use.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Flanders mud flaps, post WW1 use.

    Hi all,

    I came across a picture of troops training in 1938 with SMLE's, curious thing, on closer inspection, all the rifles have Flanders mud flaps fitted...

    When were the flaps made obsolete?

    Could it be that:

    A,The picture is actually WW1, doesn't appear to be the case.



    B,They are WW1 rifles from store, issued during the pre war expansion period, still fitted with flaps?

    Opinions gents....
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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    Also noticed, the far rifle does have the transitional forend, with the volley sight dish area in evidence, suggesting a 1916/17 production rifle.
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    That's either the indoor range or the classroom?
    Regards, Jim

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    Note that the "trainer" is about to run a model train with targets downrange! Moving target practice. How often did they have to replace cars?

    Bob
    Last edited by Bob Womack; 07-10-2021 at 07:56 PM.
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    The near rifle looks to have had a neat patch over the site of the volley sight plate (the machining for the rear volley 'arm' is still evident). I suspect it may just have been a unit that had flaps to hand & so fitted them to aid in keeping the bores free of dust/muck. But even this wouldn't have been an ideal solution; the round dimple on the Flanders Flap is of a size intended to sit in the muzzle of a 303" calibre weapon, & these, on an indoor range, are likely to be No2 MkIV*'s....aren't they?..........Odd.
    Last edited by Roger Payne; 07-11-2021 at 08:13 AM. Reason: typo

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
    How often did they have to replace cars?
    Working on a theory that I observed when teaching small arms under a SME from Warminster, the train wouldn't be shot. I see the sights are set at battle and should be set high if the small bore range was in use. The bullets go high. This is probably just learning to lead a target.

    Quote Originally Posted by Roger Payneicon View Post
    on an indoor range, are likely to be No2 MkIV*'s....aren't they?..........Odd.
    I would have guess too, but perhaps just classroom instruction on "Leading targets"? I'm sure they wouldn't fire fullbore inside a building like that one?
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    It does seem odd - I would not have though that a great number survived when records suggest that only 200,000 of the steel version were manufactured.

    The 'Flanders Flap' were manufactured during 1915 by J. Purdey & Sons, A. Purdey, M. Myers & Son and Brandauer & Co.

    Prices varied from 2 1/2d per 100 (or about 1p today, these were made from canvas) for 10,000 units from A. Purdey. 1/3d (6p) per 100 for 50,000 units of basic protectors from J. Purdey & Sons.

    The sheet metal version War Office purchases were /|\ marked and bore the contractors name, these cost 10/- (50p) per 100 on 100,000 ordered from Brandauer and 8/-(40p) per 100 on 100,000 ordered from Myers.

    The correct nomenclature was I believe "Protector, muzzle, No.3 Mark 1"
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    Tough to tell, but to me the cocking pieces look like the later No. 4 type. By this, note that all rifles are cocked and safeties are engaged.

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. So we have no reason to doubt the attributed 1938 date.

    I seem to remember that the flaps were declared obsolete after WW1?

    To me, this suggests a TA unit, they would have older rifles and flaps would possibly still be 'on a dusty ​shelf'.

    It suggests a photographic opportunity with their full bore rifles.

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    I’ve never seen a train used this way before! I just assumed that it was to run the targets back and forth, don’t know how effective it would have been as a moving target drill given the short distance of an indoor range, relatively slow speed of the train and the speed of the bullet. My guess would be that there were sand bags to protect the cars so only the targets were visible. Being a train guy it was the first thing that I noticed. Way cool!
    Last edited by baltimoreed; 07-11-2021 at 07:37 AM.
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