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  1. #1
    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    No 3 Mk I*(T)(A) acquisition

    Hello all,

    First time posting on this forum, though I'm somewhat of a regular on the enfield forum. I just picked this up yesterday after winning it at a local auction. It's a P-14 redesignated to Rifle, No3 Mk I*(T)(A). This auction house is only an hour from where I live, so I had ample opportunity to examine it, running my greasy mitts all over it. Took stock of my reserves, and saved/begged/borrowed/ rolled my pennies and recycled cans to pay for it. It wasn't cheap, but I won it, and it's mine. I would normally take this into the garage and start oiling it down and caring for it as today would normally be my day off, but I started picking up O/T to pay this down, so I'll post these before I head into work.

    Hope you all enjoy
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    Last edited by smle addict; 03-15-2024 at 11:22 PM.

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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 Specializing in premium ammunition and reloading components. 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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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice, nice, nice piece. I'd love to get my nose right over one of those for a close up look. I'd also like to shoot one sometime to see how they are...very nice piece.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Sapper740's Avatar
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    She's a beaut for sure! One question: did they mark the Pattern 1916 telescope to the rifle as with the Lee Enfield sniper rifle? The rifle appears to be in excellent condition while the telescope looks to have had somewhat harder service. Interesting how the star on the receiver was double struck.

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    Contributing Member smle addict's Avatar
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    From what I've read, the scopes were old recycled patterns originally fitted to the SMLE Mk III sniper rifles of WW1. The scopes still bear the serial number of the SMLE they were originally fitted to (as this example does). Only the mounts were numbered to the rifle. Other than what I've read in a few arms books, I have no idea where these saw service or if they were stored, then disposed of, post WW2.

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    Yes that's a beauty, rifles like that don't come by every day, truly a rare find in rare condition!

    I like they way you described how you had to scrounge to come up with the resources and almost had to re-mortgage the house as it were to purchase it, but low and behold you stuck your neck out and as a result the new owner. Please let me be the first to know when the novelty wears off, LOL!!!

    I hope you're going to take it to the range bench a few times and I think we would all be interested to know the results.

    Congratulations on that one.

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    Was bidding for it too, but actually didn't even manage to become your underbidder . Great to know it in the forum. Lovely rifle.

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    Quote Originally Posted by smle addict View Post
    From what I've read, the scopes were old recycled patterns originally fitted to the SMLE Mk III sniper rifles of WW1. The scopes still bear the serial number of the SMLE they were originally fitted to (as this example does). Only the mounts were numbered to the rifle. Other than what I've read in a few arms books, I have no idea where these saw service or if they were stored, then disposed of, post WW2.
    Congrats on your find. There were only 421 made so survivors must be few. The only reference I have seen to their use in combat is Crete in 1941. Tom Barker was the man concerned and about twenty years ago I corresponded with him via email, initially because a website of his memoirs showed a photo of a No.4(T) and I was wondering if that was correct. By sending photos back and forth and determining what features of the rifle and scope he was certain of, we established he must have been using an Alex Martin P14 like yours, and probably with the same Aldis No.2 you have there. Tom did a lot of damage before he was ordered to surrender on the southern beaches of Crete when evacuation ceased. He suffered severely from PTSD to the end of his life, but found writing therapeutic at times. Two books of his memoirs have been published by his son: "Bayonets and Blue Flames: Surviving Palestine, North Africa, Crete and Stalag IVB" and "Sandstorms and Sniping". I understand the former is an expanded version of the latter.

    There are photos of these rifles being used in sniping schools in the UKicon up to 1943 IIRC and they also appear an inventory of sniping rifles on issue in late 1943.
    Last edited by Surpmil; 03-18-2024 at 01:55 PM.
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    They pop up in several AWM photos.

    Also did "sterling work" on Timor before it fell. Dreadful optic, nice rifle. The Patt 18 (Aust) scopes struggled on with the later No1 Mk3 (T) units until 1976! (That is the "latest" workshop reference (EMEI) I have seen.

    Fairly obvious that NOBODY up the totem pole was the slightest bit interested in "serious" sniping, despite all the hard lessons from WW1 and even earlier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bruce_in_Oz View Post
    They pop up in several AWM photos.

    Also did "sterling work" on Timor before it fell. Dreadful optic, nice rifle. The Patt 18 (Aust) scopes struggled on with the later No1 Mk3 (T) units until 1976! (That is the "latest" workshop reference (EMEI) I have seen.

    Fairly obvious that NOBODY up the totem pole was the slightest bit interested in "serious" sniping, despite all the hard lessons from WW1 and even earlier.
    Actually, the rifle did some serious work on Timor after the island fell also. There was a group of Australianicon soldiers who were left behind and thought dead or captured by the Japaneseicon. These brave soldiers fought on using guerilla tactics killing hundreds of Japanese, many with a No.3 MkI* (T). Pathe news has a short video which can be seen on YouTube with a couple of shots with an Australian sniper carrying the rifle. See the video here:
    Last edited by Sapper740; 03-22-2024 at 04:53 AM.

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    Range time


    Well, I took this rifle out to the range today. I found the section in Skennertons "The Britishicon Sniper" on how to zero this scope in its mount. Pretty straight forward, but nerve wracking. I was petrified I would lose one of the tiny grub screws. Anyways, did a quick bore sight and adjustment for windage. I was using some surplus Indian Mk7 ammo. First ten rounds produced a decent group, albeit 12 inches over the POA.

    After a few more adjustments, I was able to get that elevation down to where it needed to be.

    Decided to run a batch or handloads through the rifle. Much more consistent, and pretty well-centered.

    Last group of the day: took it out to 200 yards and was able to put eight rounds into the black. The first round was that high shot at the 8/9-ring. After dropping a bit of elevation, the next seven rounds went into a relatively decent group.

    But...., there is always room for improvement. This scope is slightly out of focus, so trying to shoot a blurry target is not ideal. Gotta read up on how to focus the Aldis.
    I appreciate all the nice comments, and I'll post more when I get more proficient with this rifle and scope. The offset scope does take some getting used to, and I'll be the first to admit it takes extra concentration as it is neither comfortable nor ergonomic. With the weight of the P14, this thing has very mild recoil.
    Hope you all enjoy.

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