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WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

Article about: by HARRY THE MOLE Hi Paul, Thanks for your input. The 'out of service' stamp got me thinking as well. The 'FW and date must surely be connected to the out of service stamp. I must be losing

  1. #1

    Default WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    I had an SMLE delivered to me the other day with a rather unusual nose-cap. The rifle itself is a 1910 dated Mk111 which at some stage in it's career has had a new forestock added without the volley sight. The rear volley sight has been rather crudely cut off, leaving just the base of it to act as a washer in front of the safety catch. The replacement forestock is original WW1 era, and has the characteristic swelling to the left side just in front of the rear sight. All woodwork looks WW1 period.

    The rifle came packed in a canvas bag with spare nosecap in the pocket. On inspection I noticed that the cut-outs just below the foresight ear protectors didn't exist on this cap. Closer examination also led me to believe that this was probably the one that was originally fitted to the rifle, the blueing on the other was far too deep a colour compared to the rest of the metalwork.

    The only matching number's are the rear-sight, barrel and breech. The magazine is of the early-type with the side catch. There are also four inert rounds of 1914-dated ammunition. The butt contains a WW1 brass oil bottle and pull-through. The rifle is DP and also stamped 'F W 4.12' If anyone can enlighten me to what it may mean I would greatly appreciate it. Also anyone with any idea's about the butt-disc? All in all, a very interesting and well-used SMLE!

    Harry,

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  2. #2

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    beautiful smellie always will be my favourite bolt action,sorry cant help you on your question,not my field,still had to have a look at this wonderful piece of history,congrats dave.

  3. #3

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    Very nice rifle. The old weapons have such a nice artistic nature about them. They were works of art. Modern firearms just don't carry the same look.

  4. #4
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    Gorgeous rifle - a real classic beauty. Thanks for sharing her with us!!
    MarkV
    COL, U.S. Army (Ret.)

  5. #5

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    On closer inspection of the rifle, I noticed the cocking-piece and bolt are RFI (Indian) made. The bolt head and extractor are EFD. This is a possible clue to the butt-disc markings which could be for an Indian Army unit. It is the nose-cap which is the biggest puzzle to me though. I have never seen one like it.

  6. #6
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    DP- Drill Purpose, probably that's why it's been assembled from different parts with slight modifications

  7. #7

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    Quote by ph3s View Post
    DP- Drill Purpose, probably that's why it's been assembled from different parts with slight modifications
    I was aware of what DP stood for. It is the 'F.W that I am not sure about. Even when I served in the army we had 'DP' guns. And strictly speaking, it isn't correct to imply that a DP gun is just cobbled together from different parts. The army never wastes anything. And it used to be the case that when a gun reached the end of it's service life and was worn out, it would be relegated to 'Drill Purposes only. I am puzzled what you mean by slight modifications. The gun is a bog-standard service-issue rifle. There is nothing on it which has been modified!

    As I said before, the gun has been re-stocked. But the woodwork is beyond doubt of WW1 origin. The contours of the forend (forestock) are totally different from the later forends. The rear sight protector's are for a Mk111*, The nose cap I have no idea about. And the cocking piece and bolt are of Indian manufacture. Everything else us pure early Mk111.

    I doubt if there are that many WW1 Enfields about that are all matching number's anyway. A miss-match of numbers and parts is nothing new. Guns were removed from the battlefield and stripped of serviceable parts which were then re-used on other guns. More often than not it will be found that the bolt is not original to the gun. And most WW1-dated SMLE's which are on the collector's market tend to have WW2 (or later) woodwork.

    Harry

  8. #8
    4md
    4md is offline
    ?

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    nice rifle, i have never seen the FW mark before but the cross between the F and the W looks like a sold out of service marking. What about Nepal or pakistan or even Afghanistan, that nosecap could even be a khyber pass modification

    regards Paul

  9. #9

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    Hi Paul,

    Thanks for your input. The 'out of service' stamp got me thinking as well. The 'FW and date must surely be connected to the out of service stamp. I must be losing my touch, but after going over the nose-cap and rear sight protectors again - with a stronger magnifier, I have found a very faint RFI stamp to both parts. Every other part - including the butt-plate carry Enfield factory markings. I gave some thought to the nose-cap. And perhaps it was made that way to ensure that the gun couldn't be used for grenade launching. I will be putting another WW1 SMLE on here shortly.

    Harry.

  10. #10

    Default Re: WW1 Enfield SMLE Mk111

    It was standard practice in the imperial Indian army to recycle unserviceable rifles with new or other recycled parts to produce 'new' rifles-see attached my Ishapore .410 musket produced from parts including the action body from a 1910 London Small Arms SMLE Mk III at RFI in 1947.
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