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EFD the Enfield Specialists have the above rifle for sale on their web site, but unfortunately I cannot cut and paste them into the threadb ut below is their description. As this is for sale and not a live auction, I hope that I haven't over stepped the rules of the forum.

This is a very rare rifle which was heavily officially modified for mounted troops. Sling attachments changed to cavalry specification, bayonet lug and boss removed for ease of stowage in the cavalry rifle boot. All modifications stamped with manufacturer’s inspection marks. Otherwise full Mark III specification with volley sights, wind-age rear sight, magazine cut off and round cocking piece. Beautiful bore. The butt disc is marked 'AIF' (Australian Imperial Force) 105. The butt and forend are similarly stamped with 105. The forend has finger grooves and unusual 'kill' markings underneath.

No mention in skennerton at all but based on the 105 at least that many may have been made. The foreend is particularly interesting with the finger groove but it doesn't appear to be a modified Metford. The front long range sight inlet is unique and also note the cross bracing screw. There is no pin in front of the front barrel band, whilst the bayonet boss is Australian!

Interested to read your comments on the rifle as I am puzzled.
 

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IMHO a complete fabrication.

Many of the parts are clearly from different rifles, and nothing about the conversion suggest it was done by a military armourer or depot.


Still, never say never, and people are of course free to make up their own minds!
 

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Considering that one of the reasons for the Short LE in the first place was to provide a common service rifle for mounted as well as ground troops, and that ShtLEs were carried by cavalry as designed from their inception, I also believe it to be a "fantasy" fabrication.

Needs a considerably better provenance to justify anything close to that kind of price.
 

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As BrianR correctly stated the nosecap is Australian Lithgow by the small stars on the front of the wings. I would be interested to know what the marking is on the underside of the nose cap which would shed some further light to when the mod was carried out. Eg large star 1913-1915, small star 1915 to 1926 or MA post 1926. The top hand guards appear to be WW2 era Australian by the brass reinforcing rods. Very interesting rifle though. I would need to see better photos and other markings, especially on the barrel to make a further comment. Unless someone has in their possession inspection stamps I can only say the rifle is plausible at this stage. One thing to note is the WD inspection mark on the rear butt loop bar.

Was the WD inspection marking pre 1908?
 

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If it is the one I have seen "in the Metal" many years ago, it is a "Fantasy" piece, made up by a Wannabe Armourer several years ago (maybe 10-15). Very well done job, but totally Fabricated.

BTW, AIF did not exist before 1914 (start of the War) as it was a Purely Voluntary Organisation to fight "Foreign" Wars ( Separate from the "Commonwealth Military Forces" or the permanent Army.).

Doc AV
 

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Doc you are right regarding AIF but this may have been a mod conducted during the war. What makes the AIF marking suspicious is the fact that Australian Light Horse units did not have rifle buckets or swords except one instance towards the end of the war.

If it is the one I have seen "in the Metal" many years ago, it is a "Fantasy" piece, made up by a Wannabe Armourer several years ago (maybe 10-15). Very well done job, but totally Fabricated.

BTW, AIF did not exist before 1914 (start of the War) as it was a Purely Voluntary Organisation to fight "Foreign" Wars ( Separate from the "Commonwealth Military Forces" or the permanent Army.).

Doc AV
 
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As BrianR correctly stated the nosecap is Australian Lithgow by the small stars on the front of the wings. I would be interested to know what the marking is on the underside of the nose cap which would shed some further light to when the mod was carried out. Eg large star 1913-1915, small star 1915 to 1926 or MA post 1926. The top hand guards appear to be WW2 era Australian by the brass reinforcing rods. Very interesting rifle though. I would need to see better photos and other markings, especially on the barrel to make a further comment. Unless someone has in their possession inspection stamps I can only say the rifle is plausible at this stage. One thing to note is the WD inspection mark on the rear butt loop bar.

Was the WD inspection marking pre 1908?
The govt acceptance mark around 1908 I believe would be a broad arrow alone. Swoopy type for London and straight edged for Birmingham.

The WD broad arrow was obscoleted circa 1896, although you will always find exceptions.

The sling bar with WD/i\ acceptance stamp and inspector's strike with that III underneath reminds me of the markings applied to the forearm hook of a Martini Henry Mk.III rifle. A small cast steel part, I could modify the hook and fabricate a similar sling bar at my bench with little more than a hand file.

IMA has a hook on their site displaying identical markings. Not the best pic but I am away from home, don't have my laptop.
http://www.ima-usa.com/martini-henry-fore-end-hook-type-3.html
The countersunk holes are used back on the sling bar fab.

As for the marks on the nosecap, I am not sure what is going on there. A Birmingham broad arrow over I don't know what. A stamp format with which I am not familiar.
 

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After your information I will call it. The rifle is a put together.

1. Lithgow nosecap
2. WW2 Lithgow top handguards[
3. The sling bar is a modified forearm hook off a Martini Henry Mk.III rifle.
4. The original Lee Metford carbine sling bars had the screws coming in front the opposite side which reduced the screws being pulled from the wood.
5. This butt has the top screw position in the lightened part of the butt. When you take the butt plate off there is substantial lightning of the wood by the drilling of a number of elongated holes and this would be a weak spot.
6. Australian Light Horse unlikely to have rifle buckets for which the rifle was allegedly made for.
7. Any Australian rifle of English 1908 manufacture will have State markings on the butt eg C.M.F NSW etc and a rack number allocated that corresponds to the knox form.


mall cast steel part, I could modify the hook and fabricate a similar sling bar at my bench with little more than a hand file.

IMA has a hook on their site displaying identical markings. Not the best pic but I am away from home, don't have my laptop.
http://www.ima-usa.com/martini-henry-fore-end-hook-type-3.html
The countersunk holes are used back on the sling bar fab.

As for the marks on the nosecap, I am not sure what is going on there. A Birmingham broad arrow over I don't know what. A stamp format with which I am not familiar.[/QUOTE]
 

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There is No such thing as a "Birmingham Broad arrow" (or a London One, either); Birmingham and London Proof Houses were Purely "Commercial" Proof Houses ( Gun Proof Act of 1813, and subsequent amendments).

The "Broad Arrow" was Proof of Government Acceptance and Ownership, and it was applied by an RSAF Inspector (of the ISA, Inspectorate of Small Arms). The Birmingham area (ie, BSA) Inspector may have had a different "stamp" from the one at Enfield, to distinguish them, but reading the other Inspection marks by a person "in the know" would determine where Particular Firearm was Inspected and Accepted. ( Like most countries at the time...look at the French and German Military acceptance systems.).

BTW, in the 1903-1914? Period, Australian (Commonwealth) Light Horse Units had Rifles SMLE No.1 Mark I, not Mark IIIs. ( ALH marked Mark Is are an Aussie Collector's NIRVANA/Holy Grail.)

Doc AV
 

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There is No such thing as a "Birmingham Broad arrow" (or a London One, either); Birmingham and London Proof Houses were Purely "Commercial" Proof Houses ( Gun Proof Act of 1813, and subsequent amendments).

The "Broad Arrow" was Proof of Government Acceptance and Ownership, and it was applied by an RSAF Inspector (of the ISA, Inspectorate of Small Arms). The Birmingham area (ie, BSA) Inspector may have had a different "stamp" from the one at Enfield, to distinguish them, but reading the other Inspection marks by a person "in the know" would determine where Particular Firearm was Inspected and Accepted. ( Like most countries at the time...look at the French and German Military acceptance systems.).

BTW, in the 1903-1914? Period, Australian (Commonwealth) Light Horse Units had Rifles SMLE No.1 Mark I, not Mark IIIs. ( ALH marked Mark Is are an Aussie Collector's NIRVANA/Holy Grail.)

Doc AV
DOC I'm really interested in your last comment. Is ghat a fact? Ive never heard that said before. I'm not disagreeing and would admit that all except one ALH marked rifles I've seen were MkI's. For the record, I haven't seen that many and I'm sure most of those were made up by enthusiast anyway. The one ALH MkIII I have seen was first year of MkIII production and Ive also seen countless pictures of ALH troops with MkIIIs, unless of course I'm completely mistaken. Is there some official source to confirm your comment, or is it your view established from your own research and observation?
 
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Yes, indeed. Good clarification. I wasn't making any mention to the proof houses, which do indeed have their own styled stamps for civvy proofs. A different mark for a different purpose. Proof mark to me means, that the gun has been tested and found safe, firing a heavy test load and it didn't go kaboom.

I referred to the two distinct styles of broad arrow which, as you say, are government acceptance stamps. The Birmingham style marked were at the factories such as BSA and Sparkbrook. The other London style applied at RSAF Enfield and LSA. Not conclusive, but a part with a Birmingham style arrow would unlikely be made at Enfield Lock. But to muddy the waters, I have found parts marked with both styles. Just a tidbit of minutia to help 'read the rifle'.

I have a shovel in my shed with a Birmingham broad arrow on it, I doubt if it has been through a shovel proof house. However, it is ex Brit Govt.

Inspection marks are yet another kettle of fish. Neither proof or acceptance marks, they were applied by Joe Joe who in effect inspected the parts and found them good (as opposed to Not Found Good) and kept or rejected at as quality control. Each inspector had his own unique numbered stamp with a factory identifier.

Tis some the first things I look at when inspecting a LE rifle. I read the wrist band for a date and model, the nock's form for military and/or civvy proofs, and then see what inspector markings are on the different components. I used to be quite anal about restoring rifles with all the correct factory and period markings. Now I realise that unless the rifle was unused, it would likely be a mix match of parts anyway as it was serviced and repaired with assorted replacements during its tour of duty.

Fakers will put what they think are correct markings to fool buyers. One must read the markings carefully. Afgani knock offs are a prime example, they are getting very good. However, BSA inspector #32 has been applying his mark on rifles from Victorian times to WWII. He checks everything from Martini barrels to SMLE butt plates.

Sometimes things are just odd. Like nazi birds on Mosin Nagants. The marking on the nosecap of subject rifle is odd. It may well be an Aussie marking, but I don't recognise it.
 

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Have to come in on the comments starting "no such thing.... " and continue with there is no such thing as a No1 Mk1. The nomenclature change of May 1926 clearly stated in the LoC A1635 that...

"Rifles, short, M.L.E.
MkI
MkI*
MkI***
Converted-
MkII
MkII*
MkIV

Omitted from Vocabulary, but retained in store for possible future requirements"

From this, they never had their names changed while Rifles, short MkIII and MkIII* became Rifles, short, No1 MkIII and No1 MkIII*

Not wishing to upset or offend, but I do feel that for the purposes of accuracy of the information and the good of the members learning from these discussions, we should try to get it right.

This particular rifle was studied in great detail on another forum by the resident experts and was found to be a fake.

If there's any new information come from this thread I will take it back to them for consideration,

Cheers

Brad.
 

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Doc.

In relation to the types of rifles the ALH had, they had both. I have both types genuinely marked with ALH with the corresponding state markings.

Cheers



There is No such thing as a "Birmingham Broad arrow" (or a London One, either); Birmingham and London Proof Houses were Purely "Commercial" Proof Houses ( Gun Proof Act of 1813, and subsequent amendments).

The "Broad Arrow" was Proof of Government Acceptance and Ownership, and it was applied by an RSAF Inspector (of the ISA, Inspectorate of Small Arms). The Birmingham area (ie, BSA) Inspector may have had a different "stamp" from the one at Enfield, to distinguish them, but reading the other Inspection marks by a person "in the know" would determine where Particular Firearm was Inspected and Accepted. ( Like most countries at the time...look at the French and German Military acceptance systems.).

BTW, in the 1903-1914? Period, Australian (Commonwealth) Light Horse Units had Rifles SMLE No.1 Mark I, not Mark IIIs. ( ALH marked Mark Is are an Aussie Collector's NIRVANA/Holy Grail.)

Doc AV
 
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