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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've seen this a couple times... what does it actually stand for?
 

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This is my grenade firing rifle.
There are many like it, but this one is MINE.
My grenade firing rifle is my best friend. It is my life.
I must master it as I must master my life.


 

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I've been wondering about the EY mark found on the older Grenade Launcher rifles.
EY just doesn't sound right as meaning "Emergency Use" though apparently thats how later manuals define it.

I've found a couple of sites quoting Homeguardsmen and others as saying that EY was the initials of the fellow who first came up with the idea of converting near shot out older rifles for use as grenade launchers by wire wrapping the fore ends.
Those sites gave two differing spellings of the fellow's name, one seemed to be an awkward French spelling that if theres anything to the tale might have been Anglicized later on.

Did the EY mark come before the decision to wire wrap the rifles or afterwards?
Were these rifles already marked as being marginally accurate, but for some reason not suitable for an FTR, perhaps due to resources being better used in finishing out new rifles, before the decision came to wire wrap them for use as launchers?

"Emergency Use Only" just doesn't sound right as a military term. Of course since Americans and the English are said to be divided by a common language it may sound better to the English than to our ears.
 

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I've been wondering about the EY mark found on the older Grenade Launcher rifles.
EY just doesn't sound right as meaning "Emergency Use" though apparently thats how later manuals define it.

I've found a couple of sites quoting Homeguardsmen and others as saying that EY was the initials of the fellow who first came up with the idea of converting near shot out older rifles for use as grenade launchers by wire wrapping the fore ends.
Those sites gave two differing spellings of the fellow's name, one seemed to be an awkward French spelling that if theres anything to the tale might have been Anglicized later on.

Did the EY mark come before the decision to wire wrap the rifles or afterwards?
Were these rifles already marked as being marginally accurate, but for some reason not suitable for an FTR, perhaps due to resources being better used in finishing out new rifles, before the decision came to wire wrap them for use as launchers?

"Emergency Use Only" just doesn't sound right as a military term. Of course since Americans and the English are said to be divided by a common language it may sound better to the English than to our ears.

Now we all know what is stamped on all your rusty “boat anchor” Enfield’s :eek:
(And why your barrel bores are in such bad shape) ;)




 

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A frends brother was in Malaya with a smle grenade firing rifle. (cup launcher) he was told to fire a grenade to flush out some terrs hiding in the brush. By a lucky chance the grenade landed in the middle of them. No need to flush them out as there was nothing left to "flush out";)
 

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Skennerton mentions EY as an inventor's name in an early Lee book. I don't think he repeated it in the later books. I suspect later writers picked it up from Ian. During a visit to the Pattern Room I found an unpublished book on grenades that mentions the EY Man and I suspect that was Ian's source that he later found to be questionable.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Are GF rifles typically worn out in the barrel?
 

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Are GF rifles typically worn out in the barrel?
Nope...some show up with like new barrels. The Indians apparently designated some Mk3*s for the GF role right out of the box, or at least without having been sorely used. Also, from what I've seen, it appears that not all EY marked rifles were reinforced for GF usage.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Would a WW1 rifle converted to GF specs typically have a worn bore?

Did the special ammo for grenades cause bore erosion?
 

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Would a WW1 rifle converted to GF specs typically have a worn bore?

Did the special ammo for grenades cause bore erosion?
Hard to make any assumptions about any specific rifle, don't know that there's enough solid proof one way or the other. If the rifle is "EY" marked, I'd suspect so, but I don't know what all the standards were to so designate a rifle. I've never heard about GF blanks being any worse in that regard than ball ammo, but that certainly doesn't mean anything.

I'm just a regular fount of good info here today, aren't I? ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Try to work on that, devil-dog.

;)
 

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Mr Ed whinnys
Now we all know what is stamped on all your rusty “boat anchor” Enfield’s :eek:
(And why your barrel bores are in such bad shape) ;)
I've never owned a rifle with an EY marking.
The single Lithgow with a bad bore is now an action waiting for a barrel.
My other Enfields shoot fine, much better than the shotgun patterns you consider groups.
But I expect no better from someone who doesn't know the difference between mechanical erosion of a cord worn muzzle and Thermal erosion.

breakeypSkennerton mentions EY as an inventor's name in an early Lee book. I don't think he repeated it in the later books. I suspect later writers picked it up from Ian. During a visit to the Pattern Room I found an unpublished book on grenades that mentions the EY Man and I suspect that was Ian's source that he later found to be questionable.
Could be the EY marking resulted in a code word, like Victor Charles and VC.

Homeguard veterans have said the Initials stood for "Ernest Youlle", while an Australian site gives the name as "Edward Yule".
Perhaps the name was a code or nickname given to the Grenade Launchers to confuse any enemy listening in on the field phones.

Some US weapons picked up nicknames the 1919a4 was called a "Rock Chucker" while the earlier Colt MG was the "Potato Digger".
The M2HB .50 is sometimes called "Emma Deuce", or "Ma Deuce"..
 

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It would not be unreasonable to expect more bore damage with early WWI rifles used in the grenade launching role as they were firing rod grenades not grenades from cup launchers. Early references (look up 1929 Textbook of Small Arms --from memory) mention rod grenade rifles were not cord/wire wrapped. I suspect the early rifles were standard arms used with rod grenades and may have later been marked EY to account for grenade rod damage save the user from charges for damaging gov't property. I also supsect many were just rebarreled in the course of events and we will never know if they were WWI launchers.
 

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Rodded grenades tended to ring the bore (and how!) and the general effect of any grenade launching is very severe. Things take a pounding and start to break.
An Australian document I have here dated 1945 describes E.Y. as 'extra yield' so they were arguing about it even then.
 

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"EY" for "EmergencY" makes sense if you understand the older British form of contractions.

For example, if you see the word "Cond." in relation to rifles, you would assume it meant "Condition". Yet, Back In The Day, "Cond." was the British contraction for "CONverteD".

So I can see "EY" being "Emergency", even without the Official Texts backing that explanation up...
 

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Rodded grenades tended to ring the bore (and how!) and the general effect of any grenade launching is very severe. Things take a pounding and start to break.
An Australian document I have here dated 1945 describes E.Y. as 'extra yield' so they were arguing about it even then.
Another site , Australian veteran memoirs I think, Said the EY stood for "Extra Yoked" I supposed the extra binding of the wood might be considered a Yoking operation by Australian usage of the term.

PS
A quick search reveals that "Youle" was a not uncommon name in Shefield and Manchester and there were several Ernest Youles listed in census in the late 19th and early 20th century.

Also I just remembered that a member of another forum had posted photos of a pre SMLE rifle converted to SMLE configuration and wire wrapped for Grenade launcher use.
Could be that rifles were downgraded as EY marked for emergency use before the the idea of wire wrapping them for GL use came up. Especially since some GL or GF rifles don't bear the EY marking.
 

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What came first, the chicken or the egg?

In this case I believe the EY designation came first. Why they were originally downgraded to such status is where the first debate comes to play. I've seen nothing in writing aside they were downgraded and set back as reserve.
EY's were then selected for cord wrapping but there's another debate in regard to that. Some contend that EY's lacking the cord/wire wrap are rifles which were unwrapped and rebuilt. I always felt they simply weren't wrapped at all and were just used as reserve weapons. There is no reason why they couldn't have been unwrapped prior to being sent into reserve either.
I don't know what is right anymore, but I do know the egg came first :)
 

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What came first, the chicken or the egg?

In this case I believe the EY designation came first. Why they were originally downgraded to such status is where the first debate comes to play. I've seen nothing in writing aside they were downgraded and set back as reserve.
EY's were then selected for cord wrapping but there's another debate in regard to that. Some contend that EY's lacking the cord/wire wrap are rifles which were unwrapped and rebuilt. I always felt they simply weren't wrapped at all and were just used as reserve weapons. There is no reason why they couldn't have been unwrapped prior to being sent into reserve either.
I don't know what is right anymore, but I do know the egg came first :)
I tend to agree with this...although I'm a chicken came first sort myself. ;)
 

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Egg fight anyone? :)

I base my answer on the fact dinosaurs laid eggs before the chicken evolved. A bit of a stretch, but back in school I was told I had to answer that question and present a reasonable arguement to substantiate my views. I won that classroom debate. I think it was the only one! LOL
 
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