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Full wood furniture on Military Rifles - Why?


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Most plastics weren’t very durable until after WWII.  There were a few weapons that got folding wire/metal furniture. 
 

Much was made of the plastic furniture on the M16 when it first appeared.  I remember comments about “Matel” back then.

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2 minutes ago, Smuteye John SASS#24774 said:

I'm surprised that you didn't post a pic of a Lithgow made Smelly.

 

Every one I've see had grooves in the upper forearm.  The one in the pic is smooth.

 

I've handled literally thousands of Lithgow SMLEs I can't remember seeing one with grooves (or I have early onset dementia :unsure:)

 

P,s if your ever near Sydney,,,,,its REALLY worth the visit -

 

https://www.lithgowsafmuseum.org.au/

 

 

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based on the location of that thru bolt its for the front volley whether or not its intact would require added photos , i do see the cutoff so was willing to make the III/III* notation thus not going with ishy made or refurb , not at all sure what grasping grooves are being referred to , 

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Just now, Buckshot Bear said:

 

I've handled literally thousands of Lithgow SMLEs I can't remember seeing one with grooves (or I have early onset dementia :unsure:)

 

P,s if your ever near Sydney,,,,,its REALLY worth the visit -

 

https://www.lithgowsafmuseum.org.au/

 

 

You folks released a bunch of late WW2 manufacture No1, MkIII's onto the surplus market in the '90's.  Every one had grooves on the top handguard and the wood was a wierd red color.

 

The fascinating thing about them were never issued and that they had been store dry somewhere in the interior, so none had never been dunked in cosmoline.

 

After growing up handling a wore out 1918 vintage SMLE, the tightness of the action was an eye opening experience for me.

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2 minutes ago, Smuteye John SASS#24774 said:

You folks released a bunch of late WW2 manufacture No1, MkIII's onto the surplus market in the '90's.  Every one had grooves on the top handguard and the wood was a wierd red color.

 

The fascinating thing about them were never issued and that they had been store dry somewhere in the interior, so none had never been dunked in cosmoline.

 

After growing up handling a wore out 1918 vintage SMLE, the tightness of the action was an eye opening experience for me.

 

Interesting, this is what I'm familiar with -

 

https://ssaagunsales.com/listing/14050

 

o_1brvuf3ajd3gk5103te7ieka.thumb.jpg.fb0b177580037dd17c80ef457b29b13e.jpg

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12 minutes ago, Buckshot Bear said:

 

Interesting, this is what I'm familiar with -

 

https://ssaagunsales.com/listing/14050

 

o_1brvuf3ajd3gk5103te7ieka.thumb.jpg.fb0b177580037dd17c80ef457b29b13e.jpg

The color might have been the original color of the wood sine they were advertised new, as never issued.  Every one of the stocks were a matte red and looked like it should be rough to the touch. 

 

We must have sold 100 of them and all of them were numbers matching and tight as a drum with the occasional bright spot on the woodwork where it had sat on a rack or in a crate for almost 50 years.

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I picked up an Enfield "Jungle" carbine, probably around 1958-60, when they were on sale at Macy's in NYC.   They had them muzzle down in cardboard shipping barrels for $25 each.  This was back in the days when rifles and shotguns were easily purchased in NYC without a permit.  I still have it, although I messed up the wood by removing the finish.  The action is as smooth as any bolt action I have handled. 

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Fire a couple hundred hundred rounds then grab the barrel so you can buttstroke somebody you'll appreciate that wood furniture 

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38 minutes ago, Texas Joker said:

Fire a couple hundred hundred rounds then grab the barrel so you can buttstroke somebody you'll appreciate that wood furniture 

 

Fire a half dozen and the purpose is readily apparent.

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3 hours ago, Texas Joker said:

Fire a couple hundred hundred rounds then grab the barrel so you can buttstroke somebody you'll appreciate that wood furniture 

 

There is a reason it's called a shoulder thing that goes up hand guard. 

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I picked up a SMLE several years ago as part of a 4 gun acquisition, but it had been "sporterized" by cutting the forward handguard and stock back. The top wood, nose cap, and a couple other small pieces were easy to find, but a decent replacement stock for a No 1 Mk 3 is hard to come by and pricey. So one day I picked up a broken splitting maul handle out by the wood pile and says to myself, "Self, you can make this work". Wow, getting the radius and inletting for the nose cap, mounting hole, and exact overall length to fit was... tough. It's pinned, epoxied, and fiberglas reinforced and probably stronger than the original stock now, but it's lots of different colors. I always figured I'd strip it someday and finish it dark brown to make everything somewhat match again.

100_2583.JPG

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Strength

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740EA982-EACF-460E-8703-7BCE11F5499F.jpeg

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22 hours ago, Three Foot Johnson said:

I picked up a SMLE several years ago as part of a 4 gun acquisition, but it had been "sporterized" by cutting the forward handguard and stock back. The top wood, nose cap, and a couple other small pieces were easy to find, but a decent replacement stock for a No 1 Mk 3 is hard to come by and pricey. So one day I picked up a broken splitting maul handle out by the wood pile and says to myself, "Self, you can make this work". Wow, getting the radius and inletting for the nose cap, mounting hole, and exact overall length to fit was... tough. It's pinned, epoxied, and fiberglas reinforced and probably stronger than the original stock now, but it's lots of different colors. I always figured I'd strip it someday and finish it dark brown to make everything somewhat match again.

100_2583.JPG

SMLE's are ruined by sporterizing.  Not only because it reduces the collector value.  It also kills its' accuracy.  The SMLE rifles have thin barrels & require that upward pressure be applied to muzzle end of the barrel to have decent sized groups.  Check Bloke on the Range YouTube channel.  The bolt action rifle bedding shibboleth doesn't apply to SMLE's.

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When I first joined the GGFG's the SMLE was just phased out and replaced by the FN/FAL

It wasn't liked, by the old timers, for ceremonial duties, because the Changing of the Guard and sentry duty flair and flourish was gone and the command became simply "Shoulder Arms".

In those days, we still had a significant number of WWII vets active in the regiment and even WWI vets as retired members of the mess.

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