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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
1907 BSA-Sparkbrook Mk1*** matching bolt, receiver, barrel.

Bought this as a restoration project and Irish issue.

Purchased because I love the Mk1's and was a good deal for the bare bones. Unfortunately it was pieced together by bubba and had to make a few changes to make shootable.

The walnut forestock is for a MkIII with volley cutouts, so not much I can do to change.
The front handguard was cut in two pieces hidden under the band,and as you can imagine were lose and flopping around.

The buttstock had a steel Mk4 buttplate and a "new" loose fitted buttstock that was beech, and didn't match the forestock.
While the Mk1 sight bed remained, it had a late style (post WWII) MkIII non-windage sight, so replaced it with earlier windage adjustable.

Had a problem with the front sight being incorrect, so replaced as well as the inner band. It was for the Mk1 but compressed further up on the barrel to fit the MkIII stock. SO replaced with a MkIII inner band.
After many consultations on this forum, decided on not trying to restore this to Mk1*** but rather to what it would could have been for Irish issue in early 20's.
Realizing I couldn't correct for the Mk1 stock vs. MkIII, did the best I could for now, until that unobtainium forestock becomes obtainable.

Have obtained a Mk1 rear handguard and bone insert rear sight, but chose not to install as it would look incorrect with the MKII forestock.
If I'm wrong with that, would love to hear from others on recommendations.

Attached are pictures of before and after showing the parts replaced.

I guess it's still a restoration project but am able to take to the range and shoot for now.
The barrel is in awesome condition and headspace passed with flying colors!
Would love to hear from others what I should or could have done to restore this better.
I really am learning and welcome constructive criticism.
Thanks to all that have helped me get this far! (Special thanks to Neil for the handguard, awesome work!)

Before & After:
Gun Rifle Firearm Trigger Air gun
Gun Firearm Trigger Rifle Air gun
Musical instrument Match rifle shooting Air gun Trigger
Wood Wood stain Hardwood Table
Gun Trigger Wood Shotgun
Gun Rifle Wood Air gun Trigger
 

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Very nicely done.

Now if you want to make it "look right" do the following.

tie a 6' cord on the trigger guard and then tie that behind a riding lawn mower.

mow your lawn and then be sure to go over a few fine gravel parking lots. not high speed maneuvers you just want that scraped-up used look

Then to finish the wood, get used 30 weight motor oil and mix it 50/50 with raw linseed oil or flax seed oil.

finish the stock with that, be sure to wipe off the excess and allow to dry.

The rifle will now "look" correct.

Not actually suggesting you do that, the above is tongue in cheek, but is close to how the rifles that are seemingly correct look as they left service. The only clean Irish rifles I have seen were unissued No4 MK II rifles and a few of No 1 MK III that seem to have had the forends replaced and some sanding of the butts to clean up the wood. I have never seen a really nice looking SMLE MK I*** that was not "cleaned up".

Yours is a very nice restoration and as long as you adjust the inner band to ensure that it is not tight, but the barrel has the ability to move forward and aft through the inner band when warming up, it should shoot fairly nice. One other point, the front band and barrel seat should be adjusted so the barrel goes one without any force bearing on the barrel, free of the front barrel spring. It should be a glove fit with out that spring, then adding it keeps the barrel against the top of the nosecap hole, without any right of left pressure.

Rereading I should point out that in so far as pretty much assured originals go, none had a windage adjustable rear sight, they were all the late MK III variant on the CR rifles. The correct rear notch is the late one that is flat across the back. That said for a restoration, a windage sight is a nice touch, both as it indicates it was worked on and is a lot nicer for shooting.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Fritz, that made my coffee come out my nose, :)

Really appreciate the advice you provided here and in the past, have learned a lot.

I know what to look for on my next Mk1.

Yes, I took the measures to ensure the inner band fitted correctly as well as the nose. There are a few informative youtube videos on accurizing a SMLE that were helpful.

The wood was all unissued, so like new. I put three coats of thinned BLO on, should probably have only done one coat. I don't like "refinished" and polished look either.
It'll get dinged up and aged naturally as this one will be used at the range and in the woods.
 

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The buttstock had a steel Mk4 buttplate and a "new" loose fitted buttstock that was beech, and didn't match the forestock.
FYI, since the takeoff butt is now a spare, catalog it as a No4 butt. It's not as though it's a No1 fitted for a No4 buttplate. Aside from the obvious buttplate and the tenon differences, check out the length of the wrist. The No4 is longer :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
You are right sir, hadn't thought of that and don't own a No4. But yes, it does have a different tenon and the wrist is longer. I'll be shedding a few of the spare parts and now know to list correctly. Thanks!
 
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