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How much are they worth as new compared to the vales of the war used lithgows?
That’s very difficult to answer. Some people would pay top dollars for a rifle that’s totally worn out, but has a military history and a collector value. Others want a shooter which is in as new condition and care little for serial numbers and originality. I have a few “shooters” in my safe, not overly valuable, the rest are for visual enjoyment and an investment.
 

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We simply can' have you being Happy . That won't do Plonker. Sell the rifle to me and gain salvation. LOL. It sounds like your rifle is same thing mine is but I think you have recoil pads and mine doesn't. Thus you can shoot it and I can't shoot mine. I knew that lack of recoil pad scenario when I bought mine so I've turned the page and don't dwell on it. I bought a fantasy rifle.
Plenty of Lithgow rifles get used without plates, the factory sent out about 150000 of them.
 

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Anthony, I distinctly remember years ago on this very board caution to not shoot if the recoil pads were missing and talk of fore end splitting. In fact talk of safety issues to the shooter. Now if this is internet myth and no damage to my rifle nor me is pending , I'll shoot my rifle. My reluctance here is based on "fact" presented on this board concerning lack of pads and damage that follows.

Anyone know the bottom line here ???
Milprileb, I do recall discussion about that. I thought the “safety issues to the shooter” idea was shut down? I‘m no expert, but my understanding was that the plates were there to simply increase the life of the draws. They are still subjected to the same forces, with or without plates, just the pressure bearing surface is enlarged once fitted and therefore increasing the life. The same rule would apply with your rifle not having them, if the fit up is tight to the lugs on the action, the screws tight, the forend can’t go anywhere. Over time however, that timber will compress and then the problems may start. Unsafe to fire, I don’t think so. Having said all that, if I had a mint, untouched Lithgow with no plates, I probably wouldn’t use it. Yours being a rifle that’s most likely put together from parts, with an un-numbered forend, I’d have a go. Maybe find a second hand Lithgow forend with plates, take some time to fit it up to your rifle and put the original in the cupboard. My thoughts, 🤷‍♂️🤷‍♂️
 
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