A good example of a Second World War SMLE rifle. The piece is deactivated to the EU-UK Standards.
The side ring of the stock underneath the molt is stamped ‘MA/LITHGOW/SMLE/III*/1942’.
The barrel is serial numbered ‘D 68784’.
The wooden stock bears a series of stamps and proofmarks among which ‘SLAZ 41 M’, ‘D 68784’, ‘SLAZ 43’.
The butstock is marked ‘MA/LITHGOW/SMLE/III*/1943/HV’
~ Condition ~
The rifle cocks and dry fires.
The metalwork and the woodwork are excellent.
~ Postage ~
UK postage is £20, international at cost and it can be viewed in our shop.
*To the customer’s Attention*
Prior to sale, this firearm will be deactivated at the current UK Spec. This will imply a waiting period between the moment of purchase and delivery in order to obtain the deactivation certificate.
Thank you for your understanding.
~ SMLE Mk III ~
The best-known Lee–Enfield rifle, the SMLE Mk III, was introduced on 26 January 1907, along with a Pattern 1907 bayonet and featured a simplified rear sight arrangement and a fixed, rather than a bolt-head-mounted sliding, charger guide. The design of the handguards and the magazine were also improved and the chamber was adapted to fire the new Mk VII High Velocity spitzer .303 ammunition. Many early models, Magazine Lee–Enfield (MLE), Magazine Lee–Metford (MLM) and SMLE, were rebuilt to the Mk III standard. These are called Mk IV Cond., with various asterisks denoting subtypes.
During the First World War, the SMLE Mk III was found to be too complicated to manufacture (an SMLE Mk III rifle cost the British Government £3/15/–) and demand outstripped supply; in late 1915 the Mk III* was introduced, which incorporated several changes, the most prominent of which were the deletion of the magazine cut-off mechanism, which when engaged permits the feeding and extraction of single cartridges only while keeping the cartridges in the magazine in reserve and the long-range volley sights. The windage adjustment of the rear sight was also dispensed with, and the cocking piece was changed from a round knob to a serrated slab. Rifles with some or all of these features present are found, as the changes were implemented at different times in different factories and as stocks of parts were depleted. The magazine cut-off was reinstated after the First World War ended and not entirely dispensed with in manufacturing until 1933 and some rifles with cut-offs remained into the 1960s.
The inability of the principal manufacturers (RSAF Enfield, The Birmingham Small Arms Company Limited and London Small Arms Co. Ltd) to meet military production demands, led to the development of the “peddled scheme”, which contracted out the production of whole rifles and rifle components to several shell companies
The SMLE Mk III* (renamed Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926) saw extensive service throughout the Second World War, especially in the North African, Italian, Pacific and Burmese theatres in the hands of British and Commonwealth forces. Australia and India retained and manufactured the SMLE Mk III* as their standard rifle during the conflict and the rifle remained in Australian military service through the Korean War, until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR in the late 1950s. The Lithgow Small Arms Factory finally ceased production of the SMLE Mk III* in 1953.
The Rifle Factory Ishapore at Ishapore in India produced the Mk III* in .303 British and then upgraded the manufactured strength by heat treatment of the receiver and bolt to fire 7.62×51mm NATO ammunition, the model 2A, which retained the 2,000 yard rear sight as the metric conversion of distance was very close to the flatter trajectory of the new ammunition, then changed the rear sight to 800 m re-named model 2A1. Manufactured until at least the 1980s and continues to produce a sporting rifle based on the Mk III* action.