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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found this rifle in the back of my gun safe. I actually forgot I still had it. I bought it years ago for next to nothing becaue it had been painted this gawd awful red color ( painted not stained)
I assume its asutrailian becasue I remember calling it Austrailian 20 something years ago.

I applied some stripper to the stock and found some really nice stock markings had been covered up with paint.
One is an SA in a cirlcle with an arrow between the S. and the A.

The serial number is m26500 and there is a letter "b" near the ID info on the side of the the reciever. It also says SMLE III*


It has obviously been arsonal rebuilt. There is some refinished heavy pitting under the wood and there are many stock repairs.
Its dated 1940 but the "40" is of a slightly different font than the 19.

Is this an Austrailan rifle that was refurbished in 1940?
I dont think its worth much money except as a shoot or representative piece but I would really like to know more about it.
Thanks
 

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Red paint on an Enfield = Do not shoot, full stop.

Do not let live ammunition anywhere near that rifle.

From the serial number it sounds like an Ishapore rifle, actually. M was never a prefix used by Lithgow.
 

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Red paint on an Enfield = Do not shoot, full stop.

Do not let live ammunition anywhere near that rifle.
Where does that come from? Certainly not from the UK.

Here in the UK, red paint means non-standard calibre. e.g. the 30-06 calibre M1917s, Lewis guns and Colt machine guns used by the Home Guard during WWII. In fact I saw one of the aforementioned M1917s being used in competition at Bisley last month.

Our Drill rifles on the other hand, have white bands with the letters DP stencilled on them.
 

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Where does that come from? Certainly not from the UK.

Here in the UK, red paint means non-standard calibre. e.g. the 30-06 calibre M1917s, Lewis guns and Colt machine guns used by the Home Guard during WWII. In fact I saw one of the aforementioned M1917s being used in competition at Bisley last month.

Our Drill rifles on the other hand, have white bands with the letters DP stencilled on them.
Good point. I was assuming from his description that it was a Lithgow rifle, on which red paint is the kiss of death.

However, after looking at the serial number, it's probably an Ishapore. Red paint on those is still the kiss of death.

One would also never see a red band on an SMLE in the UK, as they aren't a non-standard calibre.

ETA: This is becoming clearer. B on wrist, 1940 date, ISA on buttstock; it's a BSA dispersal that saw Indian service. Ishapore used suffixes so a prefix wouldn't be right for that either.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Soory I should have been more clear.
The red paint was something the previous owner put on it to "customize it". I rememember when it was done.

The markings are
"a crown" With "GR" beneath it
B. 1940 (the "40" might be a slightly different font.)
SHT.LE
III*

Serial number is "M" on top and then 26500
Lots of pitting under the finish with a little buffing marks over some of the markings
no import stamp

It's got the most repairs on the wood than any other enfield I have seen.
I think I counted 9 repairs so far. the bore is very good with no pitting
Theres no cut out for magazine disconnect.
Buttplate is brass and handguard ferrel is aluminum.
bolt and magazine are marked withte correct serial number.
The stock might also be marked. I have to get the rest oft he paint off to make sure.

I am using a chemical stripper to remove the paint on the stock.
Some of hte metel pieces were also painted black. I stripped the paint of and the blueing looks fine.

So the S.A and broad arrow mean Indian?
I guess I was hoping South African or maybe Finnish:)

I know it isnt worth much. I think I have more in paint stripper than I paid for the rifle. It actually sat in my "give away" pile for years.
What would be a correct way ot refinish the stock. FOr now I was just going to soak it in linseed oil to give it a darkened look.

Thanks for the info
 

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Okay. That makes more sense, then. I've seen a sporterized rifle that was painted a nasty shade of reddish brown as well. My Dad ended up restoring it and it looks great now.

SA with the arrow is an old Indian property mark, yes. The rifle has definitely seen service in India. The black enamel paint on the metalwork is also their doing.

Your rifle is British, made by BSA.
 

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Yes, it's one of the BSA 'Dispersal' rifles, just marked with the 'B' (vice the full BSA as usual) ....product of the German bombings in 1940 which caused BSA to disperse their factory ops after the BSA plant was heavily damaged by the Luftwaffe. Nice !
 

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Just out of curiosity and I haven't seen it elsewhere here, does anyone know at which serial number range the 'dispersals' began. I have an 'undispersed' BSA 1940 in the H------ serial number range with the full BSA, etc... . Thank you.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
You guys nailed it. thanks.
so this was made in England in 1940 and somehow made it to India whee it was refinished/repaired.
The wood has got every type of repair I have ever seen on a military stock. I assume they refinished it too becasue there were so many repairs on the wood. Would it be marked if it went through an arsenal rebuild?
I cant imagine this being worth very much with the all the repairs and refinish but assuming it looks nice, what do these usually go for?

I tried to trade it to my nephew for raking my yard but he wanted the $20. :)
I also unsussesfully tried to trade it for a beat up and rusty mossburg shotgun.
I think I'm going to keep it now.

The paint is coming of nicely. It will never look 100% original but at least I wont be ashamed to take it to the range.
 

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Hey dix,
Your nephew did you great service; a clean lawn, and now you still retain an incredible battle rifle which saw active service in the far-reaches of the British Empire ! I'd keep it in a hearbeat. The repairs are part of the character and long story of that weapon. A very interesting rifle, indeed. A pristine rifle seldom measures up to all this, right?
 

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Mineral spirits on the metal and wood; the only paint stripper I have ever put on an LE is 'Citrustrip' and then only in brief periods, rapidly removed with hot water. Other 'paint strippers' may destroy the cellulose fibers and leave the wood 'pulpy'. Boiled linseed oil, 2 parts to 1 part REAL turpentine on the wood x 30 minutes and then wiped off and the wood buffed. I love the 1940 BSA dispersals; built when GB was in dire straits and expecting invasion. A rifle from the 'darkest days' of the island. Keep it and cherish it. methinks. ed
 
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