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Hello Gents!
Were the Lithgow No1 MkIII* "Green Stripe" Cadet Trainers issued to the Army first, then making their way to the Cadets, or were they issued directly to the Cadet Corp from the Lithgow factory?

My matching 1944 Lithgow "Mean Green" has a "slight frosty" bore, but WOW, is it a great shooter!

All comments and information is welcome; either answer will be just fine with me (just curious about these little "snapshots" of WWII history).

all the best!
Ron
 

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"Green Stripe" Auusie Cadet Rifles.

NO rifles were ever issued from Lithgow direct to any Army unit. They were accepted by the Army's Ordnance branch, despatched to MD Ordnance Depots, and from there, issued out as required.

The Cadet system got the "Hand-me-downs" from Base Ordnance Depots,(due to the conversion to the L1A1) and in the late 1960s and 70s, an increasing number of "Newer" (either factory new or FTR new) rifles were issued to Cadet units.

The use of the Yellow, Red and Green Striping only came in for Cadets in the Mid-to late 1970s, when Cadets were on their Last legs, due to Socialist neglect of Funding, Army Instructors and Equipment. When Cadets were almost wiped out by the 1980s (only a few independant Schools retained them) nearly all SMLEs were returned to Store for eventual disposal in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

You are just lucky you got a late Issue Newish SMLE with a green stripe...in my time (both Cadets and Army) there was not a "coloured stripe" to be seen, except for the Occasional fully DP rifle( welded up drill practice) which had a Red band, and were deeply stamped "DP" on both Wood and metal. In any cases, these were few and far between.
There were enough Good condition rifles around not to have to differentiate.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks DocAV!
I appreciate your knowledge and information on my "Mean Green". I do feel fortunate to have found a later version in good physical and matching number condition.
all the best!
Ron
 

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NO rifles were ever issued from Lithgow direct to any Army unit. They were accepted by the Army's Ordnance branch, despatched to MD Ordnance Depots, and from there, issued out as required.

The Cadet system got the "Hand-me-downs" from Base Ordnance Depots,(due to the conversion to the L1A1) and in the late 1960s and 70s, an increasing number of "Newer" (either factory new or FTR new) rifles were issued to Cadet units.

The use of the Yellow, Red and Green Striping only came in for Cadets in the Mid-to late 1970s, when Cadets were on their Last legs, due to Socialist neglect of Funding, Army Instructors and Equipment. When Cadets were almost wiped out by the 1980s (only a few independant Schools retained them) nearly all SMLEs were returned to Store for eventual disposal in the late 1980s and early 1990s.

You are just lucky you got a late Issue Newish SMLE with a green stripe...in my time (both Cadets and Army) there was not a "coloured stripe" to be seen, except for the Occasional fully DP rifle( welded up drill practice) which had a Red band, and were deeply stamped "DP" on both Wood and metal. In any cases, these were few and far between.
There were enough Good condition rifles around not to have to differentiate.

Regards, Doc AV
AV Ballistics

I bumped this very old thread because Docs post above may have some value for anyone interested.
 

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Thanks DEMO, that is an interesting post.
 

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And....for the newcomers to this board here's an easy way to remember the meanings of the Aussie color codes on Cadet rifles. Think of a traffic signal.

GREEN - Go = Approved for use of ball ammo.
YELLOW - Caution = Approved for the occasional use of ball ammo.
RED - STOP! = Drill only. Not approved for live/ball ammo.

Check for traces of these colors when accquiring a new-to-you Lithgow rifle. The colors reflect the amount of wear in degrees and the wear was determined by those in the know having the tools and gauges to make those determinations.
However many folks (including retailers) have since scrubbed the bulk of the paint off to make them more visually desireable to buyers.
 
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