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My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find

Article about: Hey everyone, recently recieved an SMLE No.4 Mk. I from an old man who got it from his dad who found it in a shed. Sadly this baby has been treated badly and is fairly rusty, so while cleani

  1. #1

    Default My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find

    Hey everyone, recently recieved an SMLE No.4 Mk. I from an old man who got it from his dad who found it in a shed.
    Sadly this baby has been treated badly and is fairly rusty, so while cleaning it up i opened the buttstock hatch and found this little thing, anyone know what it is?

    Sorry for the really blurry second pic of the mystery object, but they can be screwed together for some reason.
    Click to enlarge the picture Click to enlarge the picture My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find   My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find  

    My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find   My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find  

    My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find  

  2. #2

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    It's the pull-through for swabbing the barrel. It was part of the cleaning kit for the rifle, issued alongside an oil bottle, like the one below. Both would have been stowed in that hatch in the buttstock until they were required.

    My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  3. #3

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    I've never seen a pull-through like that before! And as an aside, your rifle is not an SMLE, that came out before the number 4 rifle.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  4. #4

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    really? i've check alot and the spike bayonet that it was found with (it was attached on the rifle when it was found in the barn) says No. 4 Mk. I

  5. #5

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    The weapon you have is a 'Rifle, No 4 Mk 1' which was approved on November 15th 1939, although it did not go into production until 1941

    S.M.L.E is an abbreviation for... 'Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield' which is an earlier version of the No 4. The 'Smelly' as it was known, was first trialled in 1902. Both rifles are different in shape and features.

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

  6. #6

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    Here are a couple of photographs to show the differences between the two rifles. SMLE on the left, and No4 on the right. Both rifles are a part of the Swedish Army Museum collection.

    My SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock findMy SMLE No. 4 Mk. I, need help identifying buttstock find

    Regards, B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

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    So mine would be an MLE No4 Mk. I?

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    Quote by JustAGuy1250 View Post
    So mine would be an MLE No4 Mk. I?
    The official designation was 'Rifle, No. 4 Mk I'. Most collectors simply refer to them as 'number four' rifles.

    B.B.
    ''Everyday you think of living. We are born to die, but I appreciate life. We live day by day, and I always say: yesterday is history, today's reality, and tomorrow's a dream.' -- Henry Flescher, Holocaust Survivor -- March 14, 1924 - August 29, 2018

  9. #9

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    Get's confusing doesn't it. The MLE was an earlier model again.

  10. #10

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    Quote by Anderson View Post
    Get's confusing doesn't it. The MLE was an earlier model again.
    And to add even further confusion, MLE stood for: Magazine Lee-Enfield... this being the first of the Lee-Enfield rifles - the previous rifle being the Lee-Metford. The MLE was also known as the Long Lee-Enfield - due to it's length of 49.5 inches... the SMLE and Rifle No 4 measuring at 44.5 inches and 44.4 inches respectively. The 'Short' in SMLE referred to the length of the rifle - and NOT the size of the magazine, some people get a little confused over this!

    Cheers,
    Steve
    Author of... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack: Andersonstown.. Voices From 9 Battery Royal Artillery In Northern Ireland'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.... 'A Salford Pal: Pte Thomas Jay.'

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