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NitroXAdministrator
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Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli"
      #305420 - 16/09/17 08:43 PM

Was watching the Aussie TV mini-series "Gallipoli" and saw a SMLE which was new to me.

As it was a DVD could rewind and pause to have a look at it.

First scene showed the SMLE from behind and what looked like a "peep sight" on the right hand side of the ejection port. About an inch or less to the side. The video still clearly shows a cylinder or hole protruding out from the side of the rifle.

Later another scene showed the same rifle and from a different angle, it looks like a flat thin plate extending out from near the ejection port with a curled over edge, therefore from behind looking a bit like a "peep sight" from direct behind.

What is this rifle? What was the purpose of the thin plate with curled over edge?

The rifle may not be correct for the period of 1915 as it is a movie and movie props are not always true to period.

Also the rifle is not a Lee Speed. Using this forum as it is the closest thing NE has.

No photos from the movie to display the rifle.

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John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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eagle27
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: NitroX]
      #305443 - 17/09/17 07:51 AM

Can't recall seeing a peep sight on an SMLE that sits off centre but the thin plate with curled edge is the swing out/in magazine cut-off plate, making it a single shot feed.

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yumastepside
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: eagle27]
      #305445 - 17/09/17 07:57 AM

...slightly off topic, but in a similar vein, I was watching an old 1966 movie " The Blue Max ", about fighter pilots in WW1, and every soldier in the movie, German, English or whichever nationallity all carried Lee Enfields. The only difference between nations was a different shaped bayonet......

Roger

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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: eagle27]
      #305448 - 17/09/17 08:41 AM

Quote:

Can't recall seeing a peep sight on an SMLE that sits off centre but the thin plate with curled edge is the swing out/in magazine cut-off plate, making it a single shot feed.




It wasn't a peep sight, just looked like one in one scene and angle.

Cut off plate makes sense. Just another misplaced incorrect movie prop.

Thanks.

--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


Edited by NitroX (17/09/17 08:42 AM)


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Daryl_S
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: NitroX]
      #305450 - 17/09/17 09:12 AM

The only peep I've seen on a mil-spec SMLE was for grenade launching. Maybe I've got the guns mixed up. Might have been on a different rifle.

--------------------
Daryl


"a rifle without hammers, is like a Spaniel without ears" Edward VII


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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: Daryl_S]
      #305457 - 17/09/17 10:21 AM

Quote:

The only peep I've seen on a mil-spec SMLE was for grenade launching. Maybe I've got the guns mixed up. Might have been on a different rifle.




Quote:

It wasn't a peep sight, just looked like one in one scene and angle.




--------------------
John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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Rule303
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: NitroX]
      #305469 - 17/09/17 10:05 PM

John that was the Magazine Cut Off. The powers to be believed the troop would waste ammo so insisted on this useless contraption. Load magazine, swing the MCO closed and feed one round at a time until you could see the whites of their eyes, or your officer so ordered then open it up and cut loose. You will some times find No1 with a cut/slot just under the edge of the ejection port where the MCO was. Didn't take long for the MCO to be scraped.

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NitroXAdministrator
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: Rule303]
      #305472 - 17/09/17 11:49 PM

Thanks. So perhaps true to 1915 period?

The soldiers of the period needed to learn how toi deal with idiot officers. Like the use of the magazine cutoff. Or told to not load the magazine and only use the bayonet ...

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John aka NitroX

...
"I love the smell of cordite in the morning."
"A Sharp spear needs no polish"


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2152hq
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: NitroX]
      #305486 - 18/09/17 05:40 AM

The magazine cut-off was suspended from service in Jan/1916 with the approval for MkIII* pattern SMLE.

There are 4 different versions of the cut-off plate itself for the SMLE. Differences stem from the early MkI(*)SMlEand the post 1907 version plus the MkVI and MkVII ammo differences

Some of the mfg'rs of the SMLE's were slower than others to drop the feature..LSA comes to mind. It didn't disappear from the rifles over night.

BuUt to answer the queation,,,in 1915, the SMLE's being produced would still have been the MkIII (with cut-off feature).

FWIW, at that time they were just that,,the MkIII and in 1/'16,,the MkIII*.
They would not become the No1 MkIII(*) till the mid 1920's when the Rifle No. system was introduced.
The SMLE became the No1,,The SMLE cal .22RF the No2,,the 1914 Enfield (Eddystone) 303 the No3.
Later on the No4 and the NO5 came along.

Some of the MkIII that had their cut-off removed during WW1 will be marked with the '*' added to the marking.
Then after WW1 in their wisdom, some branches of the Brit & Commonwealth services wanted the c/off reinstalled.
These old orig MkIII rifles with a '*' now added for removal of the cut-off will have the '*' barred out and a cut off plate put back in.
New production of the period could be either depending on the contract where it was going.
BUt the socket markings after 1925(?) will now state No1MkIII(*) instead of just MkIII as they did before that time.


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eagle27
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: 2152hq]
      #305504 - 18/09/17 03:59 PM

Believe it or not the old SMLE makes a good strong single shot 410 shotgun, ideal for young kids learning to shoot. The magazine cut off is good in this case as the 410 cartridge won't usually feed from the magazine anyway so you only load singles.

My father made many of these shotguns up and so did I in following years. With a bored out barrel, back sight removed and bead in place of a blade at the front the whole gun was surprisingly much lighter and handled well. Because the SMLE cocks on closing, with the bolt handle lifted the bolt retracts half an inch so you can see the half chambered cartridge and the bolt is stiff enough so it does not slide open. A very safe way to carry and quick to close the bolt and take a shot. A great setup for kids learning to shoot safely and of course learning to use that first and only shot to good effect. My brothers and I cut our teeth on the SMLE 410 shotgun and many a rabbit, pukeko and duck fell to our prowess with these guns. Wish I still had one, might have to make another one day for the grandkids.


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2152hq
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: eagle27]
      #305534 - 19/09/17 12:13 PM

I have a Lee Speed sporter that had been rebored to 35cal on the 303 case. BUt who ever did the work never completed the chamber work.
So I pulled the 35-303 bbl off and set it aside till (?) and in the mean time installed one of the Ishapor 410 SMLE bbls in place. The bbls were cheap,,$15 IIRC some years back not long after the flood of the IShapor 410 SMLE's came to the USA surplus market.

Threads are the same and clocks into position just right. I had to open the IShapor extractor cut in the bbl from it's rounded profile to the LongLee squared cut. The SMLE bbl profile is the same as the orig LeeSpeed bbl that was on the rifle.
I lowered the SMLE front sight some as I was shooting under clay targets at skeet.
It actually feeds a second round out of the magazine, though occasional balks are to be expected.
Not quite 'Mad Minute' ready.
I use and reload 410 2 1/2" shells though I think the Ishapor bbls are rechambered to US 410 3" chamber.

Fun gun,,draws some stares on the clay course.

Have one of the Ishapor 410 single shot SMLE's also but it does;t quite leap to your shoulder as the Lee Speed does!


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Grenadier
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Re: Unusual SMLE on mini-series "Gallipoli" [Re: 2152hq]
      #305538 - 19/09/17 03:55 PM

I was totally unaware of that series. After reading this thread I watched all seven episodes here:

https://vimeopro.com/user1783024/gallipoli

It's very well done. The producers and director did a lot to make it realistic. For example, they built the trench system at a shooting range and actors in those firing sequences are shooting live ammo. The movie should have been put into one of the USA networks.

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