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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Good morning, all.
Long time member, frequent troller, infrequent poster, so I guess it's time. Recently acquired this rifle and would appreciate your thoughts.

It appears to have started life as a Savage No. 4 MK I* marked U.S. Property; at some point was FTR'd in England in 1953 and upgraded to the MK II standard as a No. 4 MK I/3.
Apart from "ENGLAND" (approved for export?), there are no import marks anywhere on the rifle.
At a later point in its life it was converted to 7.62; serial numbers were presumably applied at conversion and match on bolt, receiver and the underside of the forend.
It is fitted with an A.J. Parker 8/53 target sight.
In addition to the usual sources (Skennerton, Stratton, etc) I came across this post which I include here as a guide for discussion:
I am therefore thinking 1) an Incompletely marked L8 (L8A3 if from a 1/3) - I guess there were variations in markings from the thread posted above;
2) a Sterling Conversion (Skennerton, p.511) or,
3) an assembly from parts (I hesitate to use the word "fake" however defined), but accept that as a possibility.
First batch of photos...
Automotive exterior Rectangle Gas Bumper Auto part
Automotive tire Font Gas Metal Rim
Bumper Wood Gas Auto part Metal
Tableware Kitchen utensil Wood Cutlery Tool
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Tints and shades Bicycle part
Hand Camera lens Reflex camera Camera accessory Finger
Bicycle frame Automotive tire Bicycle fork Bicycle part Rim
 

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I'm pretty sure it was not an L8.
It was a standard Savage 303 rifle 'did its service' and was sold out to the UK civilian market.

It had a FTR in 1953 by BSA (who only did commercial FTR's not any UK military FTRs), so it was sold out into the UK civilian market, it was converted to 7.62 in the UK civilian gun trade (hence the UK civilian proof marks) and was subsequently imported into the USA prior to 1968.

The ENGLAND marking is NOT a UK export mark, it is a US IMPORT marking

These 7.62 'commercial' conversions are "10 a penny" in the UK - I have had one for sale for over 5 years priced at £100 - no buyers so left it in the gun shop 'for offers' (still not sold) and sold the magazine for more than £100.

The rifles have pretty much no value in the UK

The 8/53 sight would fetch £150 as would the Magazine.

I know the situation in the USA is very different and 7.62 rifles (even Gunsmith specials) are in demand, but in the UK 7.62 is not an overley popular round except for specific target shooting competitions.
 

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While it may have little value in the UK, it most certainly has good value in the USA. It appears to me to be a conversion made from a Sterling kit of which many were made. Nice find, IMO. I'd gladly have that on my collection rack.
 

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DisasterDog, That's one thing that gave me pause as well.
We really don’t see many late BSA FTRs anyway, it’s not a large sample pool, a 1/3 wouldn’t surprise me. The question is whether BSA did the 1/3 upgrade at FTR, or if they FTRd a Fazakerly 1/3. IIRC it has been stated only Fazakerly did the 1/3s, but nothing would surprise me. It’s a good rifle to have. (y)
 

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While it may have little value in the UK, it most certainly has good value in the USA. It appears to me to be a conversion made from a Sterling kit of which many were made. Nice find, IMO. I'd gladly have that on my collection rack.
Yes - not 'dissing' the rifle just explaining their 'status' in the UK.

The Sterling kit was readily available so many 100's (1000's ?) were converted.

The kit .....................................


Blue Font Paper Electric blue Document



Schematic Rectangle Slope Parallel Font
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
We really don’t see many late BSA FTRs anyway, it’s not a large sample pool, a 1/3 wouldn’t surprise me. The question is whether BSA did the 1/3 upgrade at FTR, or if they FTRd a Fazakerly 1/3. IIRC it has been stated only Fazakerly did the 1/3s, but nothing would surprise me. It’s a good rifle to have. (y)
That was my impression as well - that Fazakerely did most of the 1/2 and 1/3 conversions...
 

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EVERY MILSURP TELLS A STORY
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While it may have little value in the UK, it most certainly has good value in the USA. It appears to me to be a conversion made from a Sterling kit of which many were made. Nice find, IMO. I'd gladly have that on my collection rack.
Any milsurps for which you can expect to get ammunition for in the future is a bonus for collectors/shooters. I notice that Swiss and Japanese rifles are falling somewhat in value. Perhaps due to the perception that they will not be shooters for long. Jeff
 

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One only has to trek to Swiss Board to see well meaning K31 owners about to commit ritual suicide because Swiss GP11 ammo has dried up and gone extinct. This self induced nonsense just as AIM announces they have PPU commercial 7.5 Swiss ammo for sale but its not GP11 so much sniveling abounds. Buy PPU 7.7 Japanese or 7.5 Swiss caliber ammo, save t he brass and reload it.

Simple as that....its called reloading which has been the main stay of obsolete calibers for over a hundred years for those who shoot these weapons and don't snivel in their lazy boy recliners.

New PPU commercial reloading 7.7 Japanese brass and 7.5 Swiss brass usually pops up at Grafs & sons reloading site ..keep a look out for it.

303 British...its hit or miss but brass can be found and reloaded with superb results.

Be a shooter who collects....reload and enjoy your rifles .
 

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A fairly recent conversion, if the bbl is proved at 20 tons. What are the letters in the oval on the bbl flat?
I dont see any corresponding proof mark on the bolt, or bolthead, both of which should be present.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
A fairly recent conversion, if the bbl is proved at 20 tons. What are the letters in the oval on the bbl flat?
I dont see any corresponding proof mark on the bolt, or bolthead, both of which should be present.
bolt head had a poorly struck what appeared to be a "19"; the letters in the oval on the barrel flat are G B (or G E) and "4"; there were no other marks on the bolt apart from a broad arrow and a B, 1 and a 2 in the bolt channel
 
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