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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is something that is not easily found now days. I won this in a silent bid from a local RSL. It was donated to the RSL to sell to fund other displays.
Its what they call a "lunchbox special". Supposed to have been made by workers at Lithgow during their lunch breaks from obsolete parts (refurbishment of WW1 rifles for WW2) and parts that didn't make specification during new production. I believe this was to test their skills against each other, but who knows. They can be a total mix of new parts to worn out knackered parts, either Australian or English parts, with different serial number, from all of the stripped guns.
There is no set rule, other than the ones that I have heard of the receiver has no manufacturing date, no Lithgow crest and they lack proof markings and no serial number. The receiver was removed from the production line before any of this happened and before a bolt was factory matched to the receiver. If you look at the pics, the charger bridge seems to have very sharp edges and has not been finished off well at all.
The worker was supposed to have sneaked this gun out the back door and take it home to keep.
This gun now has a serial number, stamped onto the barrel, and yep, when they did this, they stamped it just in the wrong place behind the rear handguard. They could have moved the number down a bit and it would not have been seen. The gun does shows signs of been used at sometime in its life.
cheers
Steve
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Here is something that is not easily found now days. I won this in a silent bid from a local RSL. It was donated to the RSL to sell to fund other displays.
Its what they call a "lunchbox special". Supposed to have been made by workers at Lithgow during their lunch breaks from obsolete parts (refurbishment of WW1 rifles for WW2) and parts that didn't make specification during new production. I believe this was to test their skills against each other, but who knows. They can be a total mix of new parts to worn out knackered parts, either Australian or English parts, with different serial number, from all of the stripped guns.
There is no set rule, other than the ones that I have heard of the receiver has no manufacturing date, no Lithgow crest and they lack proof markings and no serial number. The receiver was removed from the production line before any of this happened and before a bolt was factory matched to the receiver. If you look at the pics, the charger bridge seems to have very sharp edges and has not been finished off well at all.
The worker was supposed to have sneaked this gun out the back door and take it home to keep.
This gun now has a serial number, stamped onto the barrel, and yep, when they did this, they stamped it just in the wrong place behind the rear handguard. They could have moved the number down a bit and it would not have been seen. The gun does shows signs of been used at sometime in its life.
cheers
Steve
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That has to be the best description of a bitsa I have ever heard! :cool:
 

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I guess a rifle could not have been built out of surplus parts by a civilian gunsmith ? Were parts and receivers sold on open civilian market post WWII in Australia ? Here in America, it would (and definitely was) real easy in 1950/ 1960's
to cobble up a 1903 Springfield out of parts on sale or at gun shows , same for 98 Mausers. Was there such things
going on in Australia ? I read of many 303 caliber wildcat calibers being invented and rifles built in post war years
over there.
 

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So do you think it always had the H barrel in it? 37 would right in the H model production, but it would have been serial numbered to its original rifle, unless the took the barrel out in their lunchbox also, hence no number?
 

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I guess a rifle could not have been built out of surplus parts by a civilian gunsmith ?
If it was cobbled together on the civilian market you'd expect to see standard factory markings, serial numbers and proof marks from the various donor rifles. If all of those are missing, it points to the parts having been assembled outside of the normal factory system as described by the OP.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
How many stars does it have under the wood line on the action?
This receiver has never had a serial number stamped into the knox, it has never had the Lithgow shield or date of manufacture applied to the right side of the socket and from memory I cannot recall there been any Lithgow stars under the woodwork on the right hand side. I have been told that they all started with a receiver removed from the production line and assembled from scrap/obsolete parts from bins inside the Lithgow factory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
That has to be the best description of a bitsa I have ever heard! :cool:
Yep totally agree, its a bitsa for sure, its the receiver is the main part, no serial number, no shield, no proof stamps has ever been applied during production. The barrel was fitted at sometime as it had been used as a target rifle before I got it. I removed the range sight and fitted the rear long range arm but everything else is as I got it.
 

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Australia was once a penal colony for the British Empire, so some would say it comes naturally to us! There were plenty of our ancestors transported here from Britain for nicking a loaf of bread.
I can almost guarantee that nothing was paid for, not even the receivers, and parts were smuggled out in the employees' lunch boxes. One wonders how they got the barrels and forestocks out - I suppose that is what long trousers are for.
 

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Ive got a lathe that was bootlegged out of an RAAF facility in pieces .....In fact the guy had a choice of a dozen machines and took the best bits..........they were all old machines in a storage area...........I also recall when restoring WW2 trucks became a big thing,the staff at a certain army facility would sell you a new a WW2 manual out of the library.
 

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This receiver has never had a serial number stamped into the knox, it has never had the Lithgow shield or date of manufacture applied to the right side of the socket and from memory I cannot recall there been any Lithgow stars under the woodwork on the right hand side. I have been told that they all started with a receiver removed from the production line and assembled from scrap/obsolete parts from bins inside the Lithgow factory.
I thought that the stars started from the first stages of the production, is there any stars at all? A photo would help?
 
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