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With 69,780 new rifles produced from June 1940 - December 1941 and the Middle East going full blast, sustaining substantial losses of equipment, non issued rifles would have to be a very rare bird.
A table of FTR work carried out in the 49/50's is contained in Vol 2 of Lithgow S.A.F. & it's people.
 

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Hi Limpetmine. I am trying to learn. Can you describe the sold out of service marks, and their location on the rifle? Thank you.
Some of the typical markings - see #6, #10, #37, #38
Markings varied by country but were typically two marks the same (usually 'arrow heads') facing each other to show 'booked into service' and 'booked out of service'.

Handwriting Art Font Number Pattern



Font Material property Paper Paper product Document
 

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The chances of a 1941 not being issued is almost zero. Ordnance staff were so pressed in 1940 getting equipment ready for the 2nd AIF, that they raided militia armouries just to scrape enough weapons for the Middle East detachments. This was made even more pressing of an issue on the 7th of December 1941 when Japan entered the stoush. So much so that Australia placed into effect a recall on all .303 rifles owned by civilians. And yet, after February 1942 when Singapore surrendered, ordnance had to quickly get the rifles back from the Middle East into a quick refurbishment in order to have them ready for Papua New Guinea. There was such huge shortages of weapons at this point of time. I can guarantee you that the above rifle would have been issued at some point.
 

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I think the word unissued is way overused. But I will say that I’ve seen at least two C prefixed 1941 lithgows that were absolutely brand new caked in dried cosmolene. Not making any suggestions re issued/unissued……..I hate the word myself but these were absolutely unused rifles.
Matty is there any detail on those rifles returned from the Middle East regarding the repairs or refurb? Any identifying marks? I’ve never seen a 43 date stamp on a butt indicating a repair that I can recall.
 

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I think the word unissued is way overused. But I will say that I’ve seen at least two C prefixed 1941 lithgows that were absolutely brand new caked in dried cosmolene. Not making any suggestions re issued/unissued……..I hate the word myself but these were absolutely unused rifles.
Matty is there any detail on those rifles returned from the Middle East regarding the repairs or refurb? Any identifying marks? I’ve never seen a 43 date stamp on a butt indicating a repair that I can recall.
I'd say the reason for no refurb dates of 'X/43' would be down to the fact they'd have been given a once over by a base depot either overseas or here and then sent back out to deploying units quickly rather than time going back to the SAF. I have also seen a few rifles rebarrelled around the early 1942 dates with no 'VII'
on the barrel signifying rebarreling at the SAF. This is my personal belief and happy to have a debate from others on this with regards to the rebarreling and no X/43 dates on butts. The information I have seen with regards to ordnance activities was from the history of the RAAOC who describe the hurried activities to get equipment back to the divisions once they returned home in 1942. Happy to send you part copies Demo!
 

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I'd say the reason for no refurb dates of 'X/43' would be down to the fact they'd have been given a once over by a base depot either overseas or here and then sent back out to deploying units quickly rather than time going back to the SAF. I have also seen a few rifles rebarrelled around the early 1942 dates with no 'VII'
on the barrel signifying rebarreling at the SAF. This is my personal belief and happy to have a debate from others on this with regards to the rebarreling and no X/43 dates on butts. The information I have seen with regards to ordnance activities was from the history of the RAAOC who describe the hurried activities to get equipment back to the divisions once they returned home in 1942. Happy to send you part copies Demo!
Get little debate out of me, I’ve no idea really only that I’ve never noted any marks to indicate a repair or refurb at the earlier stages of the war. Seen plenty of rifles with a mix of parts that I suspect may have qualified but pointless bringing them up here because I’m sure the doctrine purist would discount any legitimacy without a date stamp or real known marks to prove it. It’s an absolute grey area.
 
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