1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

East of Here
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1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #1 by East of Here » September 29th, 2013, 6:48 pm

There is an epidemic of rifle squatters in this area right now. Why just yesterday, my wife went to Greensboro for the day. While she was gone, I decided to head out, go to Gander Mountain, and maybe a few gunshops looking for some scarce ammo. And would you believe that when my wife got back, there was a World War I surplus 1917 Lee Enfield MK III SMLE squatting on the lower rungs of my gun rack! The damn thing must've broken in while we were gone:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1C-cmplt_zps2fc7aa74.jpg[/thumbnail]

I know that sounds fishy to some of you. And I would be skeptical too, if it hadn't just happened to me. But anyways, I would normally chuck a squatter out into the street, but with winter right around the corner and me being the charitable sort (and having an empty slot on the rack anyways), I decided to let it stay.

East of Here
Posts: 223
Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #2 by East of Here » September 29th, 2013, 6:53 pm

Ye olde identification data:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1F-band_zps55c106e5.jpg[/thumbnail]

Just a slight crack in the stock. It is more cosmetic than anything. I will epoxy that at some point:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1P-wrist_zpsec8a03b6.jpg[/thumbnail]

Clean chamber:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1I-chambr_zps564d6a2d.jpg[/thumbnail]

East of Here
Posts: 223
Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #3 by East of Here » September 29th, 2013, 6:59 pm

Matching numbers too. Receiver:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1T-recvr2_zpsa56a5f0d.jpg[/thumbnail]

Nosecap #:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1U-nosecap_zps69a5e88b.jpg[/thumbnail]

Bolt:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/Old%20War%20Horse/num1N-boltserial_zps2bfe6597.jpg[/thumbnail]

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Bill Bryan
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Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #4 by Bill Bryan » September 30th, 2013, 5:20 am

LOL, that kinda thing happens around here all the time, only it's usually computer equipment materializin' outta thin air. Just the other day my wife sez, "What's that thing? Looks like a LEGO or sumtin'."

"Oh, that thing? I think that's some kinda high end wireless antenna. Netgear A6200. Snuck in here when I wuzzn't lookin'."

Image


Not antique, though ... ?(
"My presidency is entering the fourth quarter. Interesting stuff happens in the fourth quarter."
- President Barack Obama

East of Here
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Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #5 by East of Here » September 30th, 2013, 8:57 pm

It is a crazy world out there. But what are you gonna do, right?

John Thomas8
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Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #6 by John Thomas8 » October 2nd, 2013, 8:51 pm

The Enfield in the hands of a trained Brit troop was almost as rapid-fire as the M1 Garand. The British have always provided their infantry with the best or amongst the best weapon for the period.

From 1917? If so, that rifle has stories it could tell.

East of Here
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Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #7 by East of Here » October 3rd, 2013, 11:41 pm

John Thomas8 wrote:The Enfield in the hands of a trained Brit troop was almost as rapid-fire as the M1 Garand. The British have always provided their infantry with the best or amongst the best weapon for the period.

From 1917? If so, that rifle has stories it could tell.


It appears to have been "re-furbed" for WWII. I have not yet confirmed this, as I have not taken it apart to check the arsenal stamps under the wood. However, there are some clues that suggest this was the case. It was not uncommon for that to happen to these rifles. So, this rifle served in WWI, then probably got pulled out of mothballs and served again in WWII. Lord only knows where it went after that. I am researching it as best I can.

This week, I actually scored an original bayonet for this rifle, date stamped 1917 as well (and I got lucky and got it quite cheap, as they tend to be a bit pricey). The Wilkinson model 1907 bayonets are approximately 22 inches long. The blade alone is 17 inches long. It is basically a short sword. It is quite an impressive sight to see that old bayonet mounted on that old warhorse. Seeing and handling these old weapons gives you a different perspective on what it must've really been like to have to lug this beast around the trenches in WWI.

East of Here
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Re: 1917 No.1 Mk III Lee Enfield (SMLE) - WWI survivor

Post #8 by East of Here » October 5th, 2013, 11:10 pm

Did some cleaning on the bayonet today. Here is the dirty old pigsticker from 1917. You can see it was a bit rusty:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/rusty1_zpsb01d285b.jpg[/thumbnail]

But the rust cleaned off nicely, leaving a great pitina:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/clean1_zpsa4bcf1f4.jpg[/thumbnail]

The model number (1907) made by Wilkinson. The 17 stamped at the top of the blade in the photo is the production date:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/bayoname_zps4ad3eae1.jpg[/thumbnail]

Dunno yet what these proofs are:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/hilt_zpsa8e0818e.jpg[/thumbnail]

On thing is certain. The Brits LOVE to stamp lots of stuff into their equipments.


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