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  1. #1
    Legacy Member Bruce_in_Oz's Avatar
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    The French Collection?


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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

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    Contributing Member desperatedan's Avatar
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    Very interesting.

    I wonder if the 'PP' serial prefixes mentioned in the article has anything to do with the Préfecture de Police, part of the Ministry of the Interior? It's likely that the collection/confiscation of arms would have been undertaken by Police at the end of the war and each firearm would be recorded/catalogued before being stored as these extra serials demonstrate.

    It's a nice looking Maltby rifle in the article. My Maltby made No.4 has a french history and no doubt like many others supplied to resistance forces, it was never handed in at the end of the war.

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    Legacy Member Strangely Brown's Avatar
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    I have PP listed as a prefix for special orders circa 1951 for suppliers like Parker-Hale, (PP1~PP43) and unknown source (PP44~PP47).

    Was PP used earlier??
    Mick

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    Legacy Member 30Three's Avatar
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    That's an interesting article.
    Personally I have never heard of No4 for rifles being handed in at the end of the war; but I suppose that is likely that some weapons may have been. I have not seen any PP marked rifles for sale in France.

    I have a 1944 Maltby that was part of a drop to local Resistance. It came to via a friend of the Resistant family; who had kept it stored for over 70 years. There are obviously no Britishicon civilian marks or proofs on this rifle. It would be interesting to see if the Frenchicon rifles in the article have any proofs.

    Most Resistants held onto their weapons after the war, because of the various different political groups that made up the French Resistance. They didn't know if they may need them in the years after the war. Many were hidden and still turn up with alarming regularity in farmyards and barns around France.

    Heres my resistance Maltby. With original ammo from the drop. Magazine shows virtually zero wear.
    In France it is possible to declare these rifles so they can enter the legally owned arms register. Which is great for the historical importance of these arms.
    It was dropped around D-Day and the region was liberated mid August. So not much wear and tear.

    It gets used in

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    Legacy Member 30Three's Avatar
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    A clearer photo of the left side of the receiver; as well as the bolt rail and trigger guard screw, untouched since build in 1944. ( I have since stripped the rifle to inspect for rust and condition before shooting)


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    Contributing Member desperatedan's Avatar
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    30Three, nice rifle. My Maltby has a similar story to yours, stored for many years after the war.

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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    In the memoirs of "Colonel Henri" of the Abwehr he claims to have arranged and captured many weapon drops as a result of Abwehr and SD penetration of the Resistance and SOE. What the Germans did with such arms is anyone's guess, though I believe they armed the Vichy Milice militia with some of them.

    Probably most ended up in the hands of the central government at the end of the war, unless some local governments or officials held onto some for the political reasons 30Three mentions.

    I wonder if the Milice put any markings on theirs?

    It would be interesting to know what the breakdown of dates and manufacturers was - No4(T)s were sent, but were any included? Probably prized souvenirs those and not likely to be turned in.
    Last edited by Surpmil; 09-08-2022 at 10:47 PM.
    “There are invisible rulers who control the destinies of millions. It is not generally realized to what extent the words and actions of our most influential public men are dictated by shrewd persons operating behind the scenes.”

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    Legacy Member harry mac's Avatar
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    These rifles from Navy Arms seem to be in too good condition to have been handed in by resistance fighters.
    I've seen some of the rifles haned in by various militias and armed groups after the Balkan conflict. Wartime, armed civillians don't generally take good care of their weapons.
    If they had been fired with wartime manufacture MkVII ammo, I would expect to see a lot of ruined bores from being either improperly cleaned or not cleaned at all after firing.
    I'm more inclined to believe they were supplied,post-war to some Frenchicon government agency, put into storage, and then never used.

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    Legacy Member AD-4NA's Avatar
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    The condition is nice. It would be interesting if someone would dive into the Frenchicon archives and check out the provenance story.

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