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  1. #1
    Advisory Panel Jim Tarleton's Avatar
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    Failed LN Rifles

    Years ago, I used to amuse myself by developing various databases. One of the many was a database of 1903 failures. It showed a total of 96-receiver failures, some that led to the condemnation of what we call LN Springfields today. I did find HN failures, and they are included in the total of 96. Enjoy.

    Oops. I had to zip the file to upload it. The original file contained a serialization chart and a bunch of plots that I eliminated in the zip file to save bandwidth.
    Attached Files
    *********************************

    "Me. All the rest are deados!"

    67th Company, 5th Marines 1st Sgt. Daniel "Pop" Hunter's response to 1st Lt. Jonas Platt's query "Who is your Commander"?, Torcy side of Hill 142, Belleau Wood, 8:00 am, 6 Jun 1918.

    Semper Fidelis!

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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 RDG's Avatar
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    Thanks for this. Wonder what some of the abbreviations like SHT mean and why most of the failures are grouped in two spans of a few years?

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    Legacy Member Smokeeaterpilot's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RDG View Post
    Thanks for this. Wonder what some of the abbreviations like SHT mean and why most of the failures are grouped in two spans of a few years?
    "Single Heat Treatment" and it's grouped together because of ammunition. Poor ammunition or incorrect ammunition exploits weaknesses in the receiver. One report was of a rifle club using "bullseye" ammunition. I'll post that report in a day or two.

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    Legacy Member Smokeeaterpilot's Avatar
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    The ordnance department listed all the failures that occurred and the cause. Didn't have time today to post everything but this is from 1918. So I'll post this real quick while I have a free moment today. The report in question listed all failures from 1917-1923. Among other reasons were broken bolts, bore obstructions and barrels splitting.

    It's important to remember there were high number rifle failures as well as low number failures. And there were 1917 receiver failures as well as 1903 receiver failures (albeit there were significantly less 1917 receiver failures). War time expediency did play a role in quality control.




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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Thanks Jim.
    My favorite is the "Slag in the bore" one.
    I recall Hatcher's notebook warns of greasing ammunition.

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    Advisory Panel John Beard's Avatar
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    Having inspected literally thousands of rifles at the CMPicon and studied SA failure reports in the National Archives, I have concluded that many failure reports were faulty with respect to probable cause. I don't dispute that failures occurred, but many causes are very questionable. Thanks for sharing!

    J.B.

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    Legacy Member MGMike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beardicon View Post
    Having...studied SA failure reports in the National Archives, I have concluded that many failure reports were faulty with respect to probable cause. I don't dispute that failures occurred, but many causes are very questionable....

    J.B.
    Perhaps you could elaborate on that a bit.

    After spending a good portion of 20 years investigating firearms accidents, including many blow-ups, I would have to endorse that conclusion, but I'd like to know more about how you arrived at it.

    Most gun mishaps are very fact-and-circumstance specific, and the sequence of events is also critical. Especially in the case of blow-ups, reconstruction is often very difficult, and the most valuable piece of evidence--the fired cartridge--is usually destroyed. It often takes an experienced firearms examiner with engineering background to accurately determine the initiating cause; the conclusions of most laymen (including many gunsmiths and armorers) are far less reliable. My own observation has been that their conclusions are more often wrong than right.

    M

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    Legacy Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    I wonder if the Lee Metford and Lee Enfield Riflesicon had the same kind of problems? Haven't ever seen any discussion, did I miss something?

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    Legacy Member MGMike's Avatar
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    To the extent that faulty ammunition (sometimes accompanied by operator error) is the initiating cause of an explosion, the same factors probably are applicable to all military rifles, not just Lee Metford and Lee Enfield. All of them suffer failures in service.

    M

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    Advisory Panel John Beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MGMike View Post
    Perhaps you could elaborate on that a bit.

    After spending a good portion of 20 years investigating firearms accidents, including many blow-ups, I would have to endorse that conclusion, but I'd like to know more about how you arrived at it.

    M
    Check your PM. And Merry Christmas!

    J.B.

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