Gunboards Forums banner
1 - 18 of 18 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I recently came across this,what appears to be a pocket turn screw made by Birmingham Small Arms and marked with a Government broad arrow. Can anyone tell me if it was made for a specific use, especially the broad blades on either side.
Wood Cross Household hardware Symbol Font
Hand tool Wood Font Household hardware Symbol
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,849 Posts
The BSA with stacked rifles is the mark used on their 'commercal' products and is not normally on items produced against military orders - maybe it was purchased on a 'Local Purchase Order' and given the ownership mark ( /|\ ) by an Armourer ?

Not definite but :

It looks to me like a 'multi-tool' with the 3-flats (top and sides) being differing sizes of screwdriver.

Maybe a simplified form of the official WW1 SMLE armoures 'multitool'
Illustration from 'Instructions to Armourers' 1903 edition

Triangle Font Rectangle Parallel Symmetry



Rim Cone Automotive wheel system Shuriken Composite material
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
It’s more than likely to be a rear sight accessory tool for when a BSA No9 rear sight is fitted onto a Lee Enfield rifle, for tightening screws to ensure the sight is correctly fitted for target shooting.

l don’t think the inverted V is a broad arrow acceptance mark, possibly just a code letter.

But a nice BSA accessory to own just the same.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
I think Web-Fos and hayboy are on the right track.

Many versions of "pocket screwdriver" show up in the Parker hale catalogues across many years. The early sights had to be fixed in place just before you went onto the firing mound, so a screwdriver was essential. Sight fixing screws which needed a spanner for square or hexagonal heads were rarely if ever used. Postwar sights like Rawson, Wilkes etc still used a slotted head screw. A pocket screwdriver is usually not very long as a large leverage is to be avoided as small threads can be stripped.

EDITTED For a bicycle tool, the most common need was for a ring spanner to get the wheel nuts off along with a tyre lever (fixing a flat tyre). Other parts using small screws could also need a screwdriver. The single rounded end and hook on the other, plus the leverage available from a tool that length, makes me think it is a tyre lever.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,721 Posts
BSA also made tools in general....I have BSA drillbits ,and BSA diestocks for 2" threading dies......In fact the Sparkbrook factory was repurposed to BSA Small Tools.(Jessop Saville) in the 1920s.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
94 Posts
To add to my previous comment……the two broad blades either side of the main shaft would be used for tightening the thumbscrew that holds the main sight to the mounting plate and passes through the dumbbell spring, without this accessory you would normally use a coin.

They are very reminiscent of the old turn screws used on flintlock arms.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
487 Posts
Discussion Starter · #9 ·
To add to my previous comment……the two broad blades either side of the main shaft would be used for tightening the thumbscrew that holds the main sight to the mounting plate and passes through the dumbbell spring, without this accessory you would normally use a coin.

They are very reminiscent of the old turn screws used on flintlock arms.
Wood Material property Tints and shades Art Metal


Looking through a magnifying glass the mark looks like a broad arrow. There is a stroke in the centre of the V, but yeah still not convincing in the photo.

And the next two pics are my best explanation for its intended use as well.
Thank you all for your replies and comments.
Wood Trigger Shotgun Material property Bicycle handlebar

Bicycle part Wood Metal Shotgun Fashion accessory
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,849 Posts
That does look like the 'Kings ownership mark', in which case I revert back to my original suggestion that it was a 'local purchase order' by an armourer who was maybe supporting the shooting team, as I don't think those sights were ever on issue for general infantry use.

Marked with the broad arrow or crows foot, this symbol was the mark of the Board of Ordnance and has been in use since 1699 on 'stores of war' belonging to the Board. In 1805 this mark was extended to all ordnance stores in use by 'His Majesty's Service.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,849 Posts
Is that a notch in the small screwdriver blade?
If it is it could be for firing pin protrusion.

If it was I would suggest that there would be two-notches (Go / No-Go) as per the exaample I showed in post #2
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,690 Posts
The "possibly broad arrow" mark at post #9 could apply to warlike stores used for a target rifle team or a toolkit for a military BSA motorcycle or cycle (and there were many thousands of cycles made through to WW2 including the BSA paratrooper bikes). The definitive answer might lie in a copy of an original BSA catalogue.
 
1 - 18 of 18 Posts
Top