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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
G'day folks,

On another board, an interesting exchange took place;

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/viewtopic.php?f=27&t=66427

Someone asked questions about this rifle up for auction (it has since closed)







Note the No42 scope, the ground down wings on nosecap, no foresight or rearsight, filled in Ishapore screw, new handguard to fill the rearsight gap and strange angle of the scope. The scope is mounted on a mount which is not able to be adjusted for windage or elevation, and we all know that the No42 scope was for artillery use, and is not adjustable for windage or elevation.

The rifle was quickly pointed out to be 'unusual', and I called it a fake, bady-done fantasy piece.

The owner responded, claiming to have references which supported it's authenticy, claiming that it and another rifle were "Coverted snipers with doc's in several books to show Rhodesian heritage". I replied that it was unlikely that Rhodesian forces would have modified No1s in such a way when far more practical sniping rigs were available.

Then I had a look at the sellers auctions. I found these this interesting specimen;






Aint she a beaut?! Claimed to be an 'Enfield Rare Saxby and Farmer Salesmans Discharge' weapon. Who is/was 'Saxby and Farmer'? Why would they need to have a sales example of a smoke discharger to drum up business? If so, it is harde presentation-quality, with the Indian wood and the rough-as-guts stamping. Why does the wood look Indian (rear tie-plate) when it is supposedly by a company with a generic English-sounding name? Why does it look quite unlike other smoke-discharging SMLE mods?

And this;

Note the similar missing rearsight...


DP? Why no, that's D OF P, which we are told stands for 'Department of Prisons'. 1936 Ishapore No1 Mk3. The other stamping on the wood ooks ike the stamping on the 'smoke discharger' above. No rearsight, but it has what looks ike a 300/600 yard apeture fixed to the charger bridge. Seller responded: "Department of Prisions rifle which has not been converted with bell tower site has not had the letters "OF" added" after I mentioned that it looked like OF had been stamped on a DP butt. I'm not sure which 'Department of Prisons' we're talking about, but the nomenclature isn't right for India. Were any prison services using .303s after 1963? I can't imagine that a .303 would be a practical prison weapon.

But wait, there's more!




We have this little ripper! An Indian wire-wrap is chopped, and has an unusual grenade cup. Claimed to be a 'No4 discharger cup', it does not look like the actual No4 discharger cup, which was introduced in 1942, designated as Discharger No.3 MkI. This cup was made for the No4 rifle, and was attached to the rifle with "a turning collar which locks behind the lugs on the rifle, the same lugs that also fix the bayonet" (Skennerton, The Lee-Enfield, p415). So, the 'cup' featured cannot be the cup in Skennerton, as they fit different rifles. The one in the auction does not have the base that actual Discharger N0.3 MkIs did, and it is fitted to the wrong rifle, the wrong way.

Grenade launching rifles were bound with wire as the stocks sometimes cracked or shattered due to the increased forces on the rifle during grenade firing. I can hardly see an Indian GF rifle being chopped back to the main band, as that would make the comparative pressures even higher.

So, am I out of like in thinking that we have three ex-Indian rifles which have been cut and modified into these 'rare and valuable pieces? I'll happily stand corrected and apologise if I'm out of line, but I think I'm on pretty safe ground.

Cheers,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
I considered the possibility of the seler mistaking a smoke discharger cup for a grenade launcher

The cut down grenade firing rifle was advertised specifically as a "
British Enfield Discharger No4 Cup no1 mk111". Part of the item description was "This No1 mk111 Wire wrap includes a very rare No4 Discharger Cup. For those who read The History Of Enfields you will find reference. This No4 Cup is Very Rare indeed..Good looking Rifle and would be a great addition for the advanced Enfield Collector. Need more Info, feel free to ask, glad to help.."

So, part of the selling point of this weapon was that it was a rare item. However, the item in question is shown and described in TLE, on pp413-415 and it is a 2.5 inch cup, not a 4 inch cup. A comparison of the pictures in the book with the images from the auction clearly shows that it is not the same item which it is touted to be.

If we accept that the seller has mistaken a smoke discharger for a grenade discharger cup, we need only look at legit smoke dischargers. Found in images and text on P416 of TLE, we see that it doesn't match there either. The 2.5 inch smoke discharger (as seen in Star Wars - "Utini"!) had an anged base. The genuine 4 inch smoke discharger is shorter than the auction item, and it has a larger attachment at the base, as well as a lip around the tube near the base. It looks like someone has welded up some 4" tube.

So, I don't think it makes sense. Perhaps the seller is mistaken in his descriptions, but I can't see how. Why would the Indians chop a rifle? Why would they re-apply the removed strengthening wire when it is not needed.

My belief is that someone had some leftover Ishapore bits and pieces and decided to make some fantasy pieces.

Cheers,
Matt
 

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Discussion Starter · #24 ·
I have read, in one of the Selous Scout books, that there was one Rhodesian sniper that used a No.1 Mk.III Enfield, but died in combat. If I recall correctly, there wasn't really much of a program for snipers in Rhodesia.
Well, if he used a load of crap like the one which claims to have Rhodesian heritage, I wouldn't be surprised that he copped it.

Cheers,
Matt
 
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