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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
All,

Said I would post pics of this after I had gone over it but that really hasn't happened yet. So here are the pics nonetheless.

Also if anyone can help with a problem I have run into; The bolt release button/slide on the receiver is stuck and I am at a loss as to how to get it to depress. It did depress at least for my dealer who put the bolt back in before I picked the rifle up. I would like to remove the bolt so I can clean the bore. Any ideas would be appreciated.

Thanks, John.
 

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Captain John.

I would suggest that you place the bolthead in the correct position for removal on the realease catch, then a bit of gentle persuasion (upwards) on the bolthead with a rubber mallet. Ive encountered the same problem a few times. The catch is only a spring and the bolthead should ride over it.

Goodluck Mike
 

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Yes, just pull the bolt all the way back and then push up on the bolt head. It'll pop up and then you can retract the bolt all the way out.

Thanks for posting pics - I was very interested in seeing how this one turned out. How does the bore look?

The front volley sight does occasionally pop up on eBay. I saw one recently, in fact - are you planning on replacing it?

-Mark
 

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Captain John.

I would suggest that you place the bolthead in the correct position for removal on the realease catch, then a bit of gentle persuasion (upwards) on the bolthead with a rubber mallet. Ive encountered the same problem a few times. The catch is only a spring and the bolthead should ride over it.

Goodluck Mike
Before you start bashing on anything check that no dirt has built up or grit has fallen behind the spring (between it and the receiver wall) preventing it from compressing against the receiver body, it doesn't take much - I once had what looked like a grain of sand (albeit a large grain!) back there which prevented the spring from compressing back sufficiently to unclip the bolthead upward. A blast with compressed air behind the spring might be all it takes.
 

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Motty was one of the most prominent Australian gunsmiths from before WW1 through to at least WW2.

He modified original military rifles like this one by fitting BSA target barrels which were marked with Motty in various forms, as well as selling special target versions of the long rifle that he had imported from BSA.

The sight most likely to have been fitted to this rifle would have been one of Motty's own folding designs. Being a folder it would have fitted in place of the volley sight or onto a BSA mount plate or possibly onto one of the later Lithgow MA marked plates. I can post photos of a special target version sight and mount on another Motty rifle if of interest.
 

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Motty was one of the most prominent Australian gunsmiths from before WW1 through to at least WW2.

He modified original military rifles like this one by fitting BSA target barrels which were marked with Motty in various forms, as well as selling special target versions of the long rifle that he had imported from BSA.

The sight most likely to have been fitted to this rifle would have been one of Motty's own folding designs. Being a folder it would have fitted in place of the volley sight or onto a BSA mount plate or possibly onto one of the later Lithgow MA marked plates. I can post photos of a special target version sight and mount on another Motty rifle if of interest.
very interested to see Motty sights and difrent folders,my Motty Special comercial long tom has a BSA sight on it,i have another shortend range patern with a parker modle 9/6
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Gents,

Thanks very much for the replies, did as suggested and the bolt head popped right up and out she came, I had no idea it was not the same as the release on the SMLE. As for the rifling it is actually very strong if not a bit dirty and dark, I'll have a go at cleaning it up and report back afterwords.
My plan is to take this back to as much an issue rifle as is possible, albeit without changing out the barrel (but would like to replace the front sight for a military one if possible), and to that end I have purchased a cutoff and await it's arrival.
I have my eye on a gents front volley sight he has for sale, I just wish I could find the volley-sight dial pointer for sale individually and not have to purchase the whole assembly as I'm sure this avenue would be a bit less expensive than the complete set. Ah well I suppose I can try and get something out of the dial plate that is on the rifle at present.
Having said that I would indeed like to see the sights you mentioned swedeM63.

Regards, John.
 

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converting this rifle back to military specs is lick converting a Pope target rifle back to Stevens modle 44,by all means put the cutoff & dial sight back on,but the history of this rifle as put together by Australias most respected aromuer is far more inportant in my opinon
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Gents,

I can appreciate your opinions and if I had known much of anything about Motty beforehand I would not have purchased this rifle! It was my intention to have as a complete issue rifle regardless if was a put together or whether serial numbers matched or not, a poor man's MLE if you will, and I only say that I won't replace the barrel due to monetary issue's not out of disregard for the gunsmith who put it together.
Having said that, if someone has a standard military length barrel in comparable condition I would be more than willing to evenly trade for it, or I will sell the complete rifle for the amount I paid for it and be done with it. As far as I can tell the barrel is the only thing that is not military issue but if anyone sees something else that is from Motty I would be glad to trade for it as well.
So there you have it in a nut shell. I can not afford a pristine specimen, so I bought what I thought would be a representative piece, and if it is to be a BUBBA SPECIAL then I apologize in advance.

Regards, John.
 

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You can have the best of both worlds ,these are the sort of rifles taken by oficers to France early in WW1 and yoused as sniper rifles,there they were yously fited with folding target sights that fit were the pop up volly sight fits and oftern stored in a container when not in youse,so just put the dial plate and cutoff back and you will have a good representive early WW1 sniper rifle and also one put together by a leginary aroumer,and you will not have to change the front sight
 

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Captain, your rifle is not a Bubba Special, but one built using an original service rifle by one of the most successful gunsmiths in Australia at that time. Think of it as a 30-06 National Match rifle, built by Julian Hatcher at Springfield armoury.

The rifle sights in the photos are of either the long rifle or a long rifle shortened to "club pattern" from about 1933 onwards (when the shorter sight radius of the SMLE became mandatory)

The early model of the BSA folding sight retained the volley sight as the rules required the rifle to be left in a usable military configuration. The later BSA and Parker Hale folders deleted the volley sight. The locally made sights at this time were all folding designs, and sold at much more affordable prices than the imported English models. You can identify the long rifle sights by the range graduations, where the MkVI range scale rises more than 70 minutes from 300 to 1000 yards, compared with all the later SMLE sights graduated for MkVII which had less than 50 minutes rise over the same distance.

The example of the Motty sight is one of the middle period models, but there is very little information about the progression of the Motty sight designs. After WW1 Harry Motton expanded his gunsmithing business with another shooter, Stan Edwards. By this time they had gunshops in Melbourne and Sydney and made sights under the Ed-mott name.
 

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I did not say the rifle as is is a BUBBA SPECIAL only would be if the Motty barrel was left on with all the other service bits replaced. I also agree with Roger on the marksman/ sniper comments. Swedes info is spot on as usual.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Gents,

I have uploaded pics of the rear volley sight that is currently on the rifle. Is this the standard military sight or a Motty addition? If yes why would it have been left on and the other pieces taken off?
It looks like it has been on for some time and I can see no other marks on the metal where one of the sights like the ones posted by swedeM63 would have been mounted.

John,
I was thinking of the No.4 I had while typing the other day, must have gotten confused for a minute.

Also, can someone tell me what the markings in all of my pics stand for? Thanks.

Regards, John.
 

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Your volly sight seems to have a BSA view mark,it would be corect as most of these rifles were taken over by the military when needed(the rifle clubs were afiliated with the military and were suplied amunition by it) the target sights were oftern kept by the oners, the rifle would have been put back to close military spects,hence replacment of volly sight,it should also have the cutoff & dialsight in working condition,the front sight would not have been changed because it was mil speck by this time,after the war the rifles were returened to the clubs or oneres if they were still alive and the cutoff and dialsight could have been removed then
 

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Captain,
removal of the target sight, if correctly fitted, would most probably not have left any marks on the metalwork. Refitting the volley sight may have been all that was needed if the original folding sight was fitted under the dumbell spring (as many were designed to do). If the sight had been fitted with the BSA or Lithgow plates the change back would have included addition of a military trigger guard screw

With that barrel it would almost certainly have had a target sight fitted.The use of the original military leaf sight for target shooting, or a modified leaf with windage adjustment, pretty well finished by 1909 with the appearance of the BSA "McCubbin" folding sight in Australia that year. The earliest records of Motty as a gunsmith start a little later than 1909, perhaps about 1912. He was prominent in the highest Australian shooting circles before 1909 as he was a team member to Bisley in 1907 if my memory is correct.

Having arrived in the USA a "curiosity" I am guessing the first seller attempted to make it again look as military as possible to make a sale
 
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