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Thread: SMLE WWI Sniper with PPCo dovetail mount and scope

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    SMLE WWI Sniper with PPCo dovetail mount and scope

    First of all (and most important): this is NOT an original WWI Sniper rifle. But it was made up using an original WWI scope base, an original scope with its original mount (that I've had for years, also comes with its matching numbers scope can) and an original Enfield made 1911 dating ShtLE Mk.III that is all matching numbers (the one that fitted the condition of the base the best). But since finding those is impossible, nearly all I've seen are anyway made up (either the same way or with reproduction bases) and I anyway had all parts required I decided I'd have it done myself. And I'm posting this here since who knows what will happen once I'm gone, therefore for all to see, even in future, this is a sniper assembled on original parts in 2022.



    The "conversion" was outcarried by a very skilled friend of mine. He manually filed the receiver to accomodate the base, then soldered it to the receiver and finally affixed them with the correct threaded screws (thanks again at this stage to Roger Payneicon for helping me out with screws, saved some work!) and filed the ends perfectly so it is invisible from the inside of the receiver.


    Having it in hands it is quite weird and one wonders how they were actually able to aim with a scope offset this much. No surprise the Britishicon Snipers in WWI preferred the No. 3 T . What though is quite surprising how tight and well a scope mount with simply a dovetail and some springs can hold a scope tightly in place - plus even will interchange with what isn't its original base. Also for those who look close, check the original Enfield Examiner stamp on the scope base, located between the second and the third screw (from left).



    PS: the original base back then came with the original scope ring as well, interestingly one of the very few ones PPCo made for Aldis scopes. So if one day a correct pattern Aldis turns up I might be tempted to reunite the base with its original rings.










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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice, I'd love to shoot one to see how it goes...
    Regards, Jim

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    Your chap made a nice job of fitting the base.

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    Legacy Member TheAlpineWolf's Avatar
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    Very nice work Promo! Looks like a perfect match for that rifle. Are you planning on taking it out to the range? Would love to hear about how it shoots!!

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    Advisory Panel breakeyp's Avatar
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    The telescopic sight is over a hundred years old. The mastics that glue/seal the lenses can fail and the scope be damaged in recoil. Repair parts are not available let alone someone qualified to repair it. Somewhere there is an account of a Pattern 1918 sight reticule destroyed when fired. Your toy, your call. It looks beautiful and deserves a place over the mantel saved for the next generation.

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    Legacy Member hatrick's Avatar
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    Great job Promo! That looks spot on! Very envious as I love that setup but have never scored any mount or base parts.

    I’m ready you build a couple of WWI SMLE snipers myself (Purdey mount with Aldis scope and Whitehead A5) as well as a Winchester P14 with 1918 scope. I just don’t know of any gunsmiths here in the US that can do this sort of work. It’s a lot different than standard Germanicon or Russianicon sniper builds. If anyone knows a great Enfield gunsmith in the US please let me know.

    Thanks

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    To agree with Paul... Breakeyp
    Even the No.32 is over 75 years old now and I have had a number in for ocular lens separation in the last few years.
    I had 4 in a row in last fall and I was beginning to wonder if it was almost as if there was a timed age limit with the balsam..........
    The other one is the CTS No. 32 Mk. 3 around the 24900 to 25100 serial numbers with the unknown cross hair material.
    The wire just crystallizes and breaks into sections.
    I cannot ID it, and nor can anyone else, and under the digital microscope it looks like crystallized sugar on a stick. (for those of us old enough to remember that confection)

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    By chance I've just had a go at re-cementing my first ever ocular lens doublet from a No32. I've gone with Canadaicon Balsam as I gather these new UV curing cements are very good but if you don't get it perfect at the first attempt the lenses are almost impossible to separate. If this works & the Canada Balsam lasts another 75 years then I shan't need to worry about it the next time it goes!

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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Nice, I'd love to shoot one to see how it goes...
    Lovely job Georg, looks superb, a credit to you.....

    Same here Jim, I would love to put a few rounds downrange.

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Credit should go to the friend of mine who did the job. He's not a gunsmith btw .


    No plan to actually shoot this rifle. While I can understand the interest in how one like this would perform, the potential risks and lack of spare parts though are not in favor for it. Additional to that is the fact the rifle does not have a CIP valid firing proof, hence any damage would not be covered by an insurance plus I might get additionally sentenced for intentionally risking something. So not really worth it.


    To the rest, I still need some other WWI SMLE sniper variants myself, especially H&H (shoutout - actually also need a scope with rings for it, if someone has one or knows one, send me a PM ..). I am very fortunate to already have the Whitehead mount, the great rifle formerly owned by our admin Doug. A possible next project might be an Evans Double Mount, already have scope with rings ...

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