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British army dump - Feb 2014 - AWESOME BESA find !!!

Article about: So did I. Just needed it confirming. Tell her to get back to her abs.

  1. #1

    Default British army dump - Feb 2014 - AWESOME BESA find !!!

    Hi all

    Well, I had a meeting today not too far from the British army dump both myself and RRPG have been visiting for the last three years. The meeting was supposed to last until 3pm but I thought I would take my digging gear just on the off chance it finished early. IT DID !!!

    So, undressing in the car at the site, I jammed on my digging gear, carefully hung my suit up and got to digging. I was there for about 2 hours To start with, I picked up an item that Eddy8men had left behind last time he was there. I'll give it back to him next time I see him

    The usual finds of MG belt starter tabs were soon coming to the surface, along with some other stuff. After 10 minutes my spade crunched against something solid. Thinking it was another ammo case, I dug underneath it and levered it out of the ground. What came out caused me to swear quite a bit in excitement!!!

    So.....not cleaned anything yet but here is what I found.

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    A metal bowl of some description and some nicely marked tins.

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    Lee-Enfield oil bottles and an unusual catch off something.

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    MG belt starter tabs. Mainly Browning, but a couple of Vickers as well. One thing this place has never been short of if these starter tabs!

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    An oil bottle brush, three Bren carry handles and a cloth MG belt with the starter tab in the middle. Don't think it will survive being unravelled as the cloth is very brittle, so I'll probably leave it like this.

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    Sten trigger housing, a fork and two strange brass tubes.

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    Sten Mk 5 stock and the remains of a PIAT clinometer

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    Now. Here is Eddy8men's find from the last dig. I recovered the Bren 100 round mag Mk2 winding arms today. Very ncie they are too!

    As for the lump of wood with the prongs on it...........

    ......it is also from a 100 rnd Bren mag kit.

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    Here we go.......picture of a complete one I believe it is the mount to facilitate the winding of the mags!

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    And now onto the find of the dig.

    One of the best items I've ever recovered from the site.

    It is currently soaking in citric acid solution to clear as much rust off as possible. First glance there appears to be very little pitting so I am hoping it will come out gleaming

    A BESA trigger mechanism !!!

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    Just in case you are in any doubt, pictures of a BESA......

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    Not bad for a couple of hours

    Laters

    Steve T

  2. #2

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    I never find any gun parts where I dig even at any of the military dumps.

  3. #3

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    Can I just say......


    .


    .


    GIT!

  4. #4

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    hope you find the rest.

  5. #5

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    forgive my ignorance but what is a BESA and what was it mounted on?

  6. #6

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    It was mounted on most British tanks, notably the Churchill and Cromwell. It was also 7.92mm calibre, not 303 like everything else

  7. #7

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    I have now cleaned the BESA trigger mechanism.

    Here it is again prior to cleaning.

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    I then did the following.

    1. Scrubbed off excess mud and rust.

    2. Soaked in a strong solution of citric acid, (20%), for 12 hours.

    3. Gave it a bloody good scrub with a tough scourer, then dried.

    4. Put in the oven to drive all remaining water off.

    5. Once cooled, I used a wire brush attachment on my pillar drill to really scrub it.

    6. Scoured with a Brillo pad and then dried.

    This was the result.

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    This method even revealed a stamp on the mechanism, showing it to be a Mk II

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    This side was embedded in clay so is rather more pitted than the other side.

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    The mechanism is now fully visible, even down to the trigger spring

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    Very pleased with the results

  8. #8

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    Video of the dig is now up and running

    British army dump - Amazing BESA find ! - YouTube

  9. #9

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    Good cleaning job, where do you get citric acid from

  10. #10
    ?

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    Very nice! Are there any wooden grips around to attach? Looks the business.

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