RARE Deactivated British Naval Service Marked WWI SMLE MKIII Rifle

RARE Deactivated British Naval Service Marked WWI SMLE MKIII Rifle

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Rarely seen, a First World War dated SMLE MKIII with British Navy property stamp. The capital letter N by the bolt safety bracket was only applied in this manner to Royal Navy service weapons and is an extremely rare mark to be found on an SMLE. The rifle is dated 1917 and was manufactured by BSA and has matching numbers to receiver, barrel, rear sights and nose cap. The bolt is the correct early type. A very unusual feature is the struck out *(star) after the MKIII designation and the magazine cut-off plate provision. The magazine cut-off was omitted from the SMLE design during 1915. The majority of SMLE's produced from 1916 onwards no longer had the cut-off slot. This was done in an attempt to speed up production numbers. The most likely reason for the struck out *(star) is that this rifle was made using MKIII parts and didn't have the MKIII* upgrades and therefore wasn't designated as such. This would also confirm why it still has a magazine cut-off plate provision/slot. It may also be one of the reasons it was assigned to the Navy as the majority of standard SMLE production was for the army.

The regimental brass disc is marked "S.G. 154" = Scots Guards number 154. The Scots Guards saw extensive action in both world wars taking part in many of the main offensives throughout both wars.

A very interesting SMLE with links to both ground and naval forces. It is a very collectable and desirable rifle. Deactivated with a working action it can be cocked, stripped and dry fired.

To order Call 01547 529093 or 05603 416575 or email sales@deactivated-guns.co.uk.

Product Code: 1RAX5