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Discussion Starter #1
My '42 Lithgow III* has stamped on the side of the stock roughly where the disc used to go (top to bottom; MA, LITHGOW, III*, 1943 & alongside the III* is HV. Underneath at the wrist is SLAZ, 43.
My '23 Lithgow III only has the stamps at the wrist & they read SLAZ, 44 (I know this was Ftr'd by Lithgow in '51). It does have a cut-off.

My question's are;
Was '43 the last year the buttstock was stamped on the side?
On the '23 should the cut-off be there?
The '23 has the remains of a green band round the stock but no other marks anywhere else to suggest unfit to fire as far as I can see. What should I be looking for before this coach wood explodes on me:)?
 

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My '42 Lithgow III* has stamped on the side of the stock roughly where the disc used to go (top to bottom; MA, LITHGOW, III*, 1943 & alongside the III* is HV. Underneath at the wrist is SLAZ, 43.
My '23 Lithgow III only has the stamps at the wrist & they read SLAZ, 44 (I know this was Ftr'd by Lithgow in '51). It does have a cut-off.

My question's are;
Was '43 the last year the buttstock was stamped on the side?
On the '23 should the cut-off be there?
The '23 has the remains of a green band round the stock but no other marks anywhere else to suggest unfit to fire as far as I can see. What should I be looking for before this coach wood explodes on me:)?
Basic rework/return to stores dates and info were stamped on the butt into the late '40s. Don't know the last date for the acceptance stamps.

A rifle FTR'd in '51 shouldn't have the butt stampings, assuming it got a brand new butt in the FTR. It also shouldn't have a cutoff...I'd be willing to bet that that was added post-service.

Make sure the recoil plates are installed, that you have a good tight fit at the draws, and that your wood hasn't dried out...and tighten that king screw good and tight.
 

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You will find the same butt markings on 44 and 45 dated rifles. Maybe not all but mine certainly do. I think I've read previously on this forum that a green stripe is safe to fire. Check your headspace and as jrhead75 said check that the recoil pads have been installed, make sure the action is bedded well in the forend and there is no play between the action and recoil pads, oil your stock inside and out and make sure the kingscrew in the trigger gaurd in front of the magazine is very tight . As for your FTR'd 23, I would have thought a cut-off wouldn't have been reinstalled after 51. But who knows for sure.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Well I found out why my '23 had green paint on the butt-stock. The fore-end is split from the king screw hole to the rear sight protector screw hole.

I am so bloody frustrated, I was taking it to the range on Sunday but now............
Can this be fixed without reverting to an Ishy type screw or do I have to find another coachwood fore-end?
 

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That's not why it has green paint...green means safe to fire live ammo. It can be fixed if you're handy with wood. Glue and pin it back together. You can get threaded brass at many hobby stores, and there's a joiner or two around here that can recommend the proper wood glue.

There may be problems with looseness in the draws area that led to the split in the first place...if so, that area will have to be dealt with, but first things first.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
That's not why it has green paint...green means safe to fire live ammo.
Now I thought that was yellow paint but I can't find where I read it. I've been frantically skimming through Skennerton's bookS since you posted but can't find the reference so I'll take your word for it & get a friend to repair it. The recoil pads are there & everything appears tight with no obvious wear. The winters up here get so dry as temps of -20C to -35C suck all the moisture out of the wood. Furniture I brought from South Africa has split & the chairs just fall apart. Lepage carpenters glue & panel pins work.
 

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Green Paint : Approved for ball ammunition.
Yellow .. : 2nd. grade; but still suitable for ball ammunition.
Red .. : Not to be fired, drill purpose only.
White .. : Air Cadets; same as green, or yellow.
"1943" stamped butts : The calendar year 1943 was the year for the greatest activity in manufacturing rifles, and rifle components, in Australia. As productivity declined thereafter, there was a large stock of rifle furniture to draw on in later years that was produced in 1943; hence 1943 butts found on later dated rifles, even as late as the early '50's on FTR's.
For what it's worth, February 1944 was the last time SAF Lithgow PRODUCED "Lithgow" stamped rifles, the last one being E 67,550. All rifles from thereon were produced at Orange (actually from late November 1943), with production ceasing at Orange with s/n F39,580 produced late November 1945.
SO....all you fellers who think they have a 1944 "Lithgow", to be precise, actually have a 1944 "Orange" :eek::eek:!!
Well,...I suppose it's better than having a "Lemon" :D:D.
Sorry guys, I just had to get that in.
Now, for all you buffs who collect Lithgows, and want to get the FULL story, email the author of "Lithgow's Small Arms Factory and it's People", Tony Griffiths, at [email protected] and see if he has got any copies of his book left. It's a great insight into the production of the Australian "smellie", and with far more detailed info than what you will get out of Ian S's book.
 
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