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2 of My No 1 MIII* s have Green Paint on the Barrel and Action under the handguards and stock , I have heard that this is a sign of it being used in Burma by "The Forgotten Army" , is this a Fact ? , one of the SMLE,s I have had almost 50 years I bought it from Wards for $ 11 in 1961, so I have had it most of it's life
 

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I have a several too and all so painted seem to have seen Indian service, one is a .410 conversion.
As Demo said - tropical yes, but as to specific units and/or specific periods - impossible to say IMHO.
 

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*The painting will carried out in all stations at home and abroad. Nov 27, 1940

7.When in use, fore-ends need not be removed from rifles having painted barrels until this is necessary for re-browning, or other repairs make removal essential.

Normally the rifles would be completely torn down for inspection once per year and afterwards everything below the wood line covered with mineral jelly (Vaseline). A war was going on so all the rifles were painted and the yearly tear down inspection was canceled. The rifles were only torn down if maintenance was required.

Mark Tropical Burma down as a "wondering zero painting requirement myth" and also only raw linseed oil was used on the wooden furniture or stocks (NO BLO) Sept 25, 1940


 

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It's great to see a new member cotribute so much informative information.

So green paint under the wood has nothing to do with tropical service.

Thanks Lord.
In tropical British colonies, gin was used to mask the bitter flavor of quinine, which was the only effective anti-malarial compound........


You three were only slightly confused, drinking green paint wont help fight malaria and Gin wont stop rust..............but the lime in the gin is green.
:laugh:
 

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Interesting. I also believed the green/brown paint was a tropical thing. Seems it was an across-the-board measure.

I too have a painted rifle; my '15 LSA has green paint on the barrel and knox form. The last part of its service life was spent in Aussie hands, but it didn't get there until after 1938 at the earliest; I'm guessing the paint was applied when the rifle was in British hands and was not removed when the Aussies overhauled it in 1944.

-Mark
 

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In peace time prior and after WWII issued Enfield rifles were inspected by an Armourer four times per year, three mini visual inspections and one complete tear down inspection with even the bolt being disassembled inspected and re-oiled.

This painting procedure and skipping the tear down inspection was "If it ain't broke don't fix it" war time expedient.
 

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Interesting. Thanks. Was there a post war "unpainting" order that you know of? (perhaps with the resumption - post war of the complete tear down / inspections you mention) The reason I ask is several of my mid/late war (dispersal) No1 rifles show no sign of paint. I suppose this could also indicate that they were not actually issued during wartime and therefore not subject to the order.
 

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It makes me curious. I've got a room full of enfields, mostly lithgows and only one of them painted under the wood. It seems only a small percentage of rifles underwent the proceedure. Also some HT snipers are painted but out of the ones I've seen, again only a small percentage. Why would it not have been applied more broadly.
 

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Of the Lithgows I've observed, none of them that I've ever inspected had the paint. Perhaps there was a later "removal" order, as 4thGordons has suggested... or the practice just wasn't commonly done by the Australians. They seem to have not cared about removing it from my LSA, however.

-Mark
 

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Interesting. Thanks. Was there a post war "unpainting" order that you know of? (perhaps with the resumption - post war of the complete tear down / inspections you mention) The reason I ask is several of my mid/late war (dispersal) No1 rifles show no sign of paint. I suppose this could also indicate that they were not actually issued during wartime and therefore not subject to the order.
I've been told that it's common but I have never seen one. I've handled maybe 150-200 Enfileds, not that many but you would think if it's common I would have seen at least one.
 

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I have a 1944/45 Lithgow painted under the woodline with the peculiar chrome green stuff used by the ANZACs. It's real purty, pardner.

"It seems only a small percentage of rifles underwent the proceedure."
I would agree---based on the WW2 SMLEs I have and others I have examined, which show no paint remaining in the tiniest crevices. I don't believe anyone can "unpaint" as completely as all that.

At the Armoury: "C'mon, Peter, it's lunch."
"Wait a tick, I've got to winkle the paint out of this inspection mark."

Funny that the practice wasn't extended to No4 rifles----many of the WW2 rifles were issued with a "browned" finish----"blued" to the North Americans----and would be just as likely to rust as the SMLE.
Oh well.
-----krinko
 
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