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birkettm

SMLE or SHTLE?

83 posts in this topic

Had the opportunity today to but a 1918 Mark III* Lee Enfield.

Only problem being it was marked ShtLE MkIII* under the King's Crown at the breach. I thought it would be SMLE Mk III*. Can anyone confirm that they were also marked ShtLE, which I am assuming stands for Short Lee Enfield.

Any opinions appreciated as quite stuck.

Cheers

Marc

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Hello, Marc,

Mine says "SHT. LE III" and I am pretty sure that they all have "SHT". Actually it's all in capital letters, with the H and the T slightly smaller than the S, with the "HT" part underlined.

(Note that mine doesn't say "Mk".)

Tom

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Hello, Marc,

Mine says "SHT. LE III" and I am pretty sure that they all have "SHT". Actually it's all in capital letters, with the H and the T slightly smaller than the S, with the "HT" part underlined.

(Note that mine doesn't say "Mk".)

Tom

Marc

If its any help - mine's got EXACTLY what Tom's has on it.

Maybe mine's a real one after all :lol: - made up of loads of different one's I bet :P

Glyn

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Mines the same 1918 version marked the same as you describe. Had not noticed before!

regards

Arm

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This is likely no help at all, since my Lee-Enfield is post-war, but here's a photo.

JT

No go. I've tried several times to attach the photo, and it won't work. It's a 1927 BSA, stamps as in photo above.

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Marc,

I've just checked my 1914 version - it's marked just as you describe and like Arm, I'd not noticed it before either!

Roy

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Yes, all are marked "SHT.L.E" and not S.M.L.E.

Those made at Standard Small Arms or National Rifle Factory (as SSA became) are marked on the left hand side of the butt socket rather than the right with the manufacturers initials but it is still "SHT.L.E." on the right.

Regards

TonyE

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OK chaps thats fantastic.

I shall arrange to go and hand over my hard earned as soon as possible then!

Is £250 still a sensible price to pay?

Cheers!

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Judging by some of the prices i have seen that is reasonable, especially if it is in decent condition.

Who is it made by and does the bolt number match the rifle?

Regards

TonyE

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Made by BSA. 1918, III*

Didnt notice a bolt number - take it thats on the bolt? And wheres the rifle number?

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Rifle serial number should be on the right hand front of the receiver (i.e. where the barrel joins the action) and also probably on the underside of the backsight leaf. The bolt number, that should match the rifle number but probably will not if it has come from Turkey or the Baltic, is on the rear face of the bolt handle.

Regards

TonyE

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Hoping to get through to have another look at it tomorrow and will be sure to check.

Thanks for the advice...

ta

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I have a Lee Enfield dated 1915 and it is marked SHTLE not SMLE.

I think SHT stands for SHORT and LE is obviously for LEE ENFIELD.

Mark :)

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What a useful thread, my SMLE also has SHT LE its a1915 BSA mark III. It was used until quite recently before being deactivated. What was most inteseresting though that the rifle number and the bolt number matched, I thought it was a later replacement. So IM delighted. So thanks to all for the SMLE tutorial. gareth

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Try this interesting link, with pictures and parts list.

http://rifleman.org.uk/The_Rifle_Short_Mag...Lee-Enfield.htm

I always knew the rifle as Short Magazine Lee Enfield, not Short, Magazine, for what its worth!

Regaards,

Norman

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What a useful thread, my SMLE also has SHT LE its a1915 BSA mark III. It was used until quite recently before being deactivated. What was most inteseresting though that the rifle number and the bolt number matched, I thought it was a later replacement. So IM delighted. So thanks to all for the SMLE tutorial. gareth

The bolt may well be a replacement if you have reason to think it is. If replaced in British service then the unit armourer would probably numbered the replacement bolt to the rifle.

Many of the mismatched SMLEs have come back from overseas (Turkey, Baltic states, Italy) where they do not seem particular about matching numbers.

To a previous poster, yes, SHT does stand for SHORT. As I said in my post, they are all marked like that.

Also, it is a common misconception that the "Short" in the title refers to the magazine rather than the rifle, but look at the punctuation in the title. Alternatively, remember that military nomenclature always puts the most important noun first, followed by the adjectives in order of decreasing importance, as in "Pots, chamber, china, Admirals" (Genuine, look in List of Changes)

Regards

TonyE

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Here's the markings on my 1913 "Short Lee Enfield MkIII", later re-designated "Short Magazine Lee Enfield, No1 MkIII":

post-8287-1163508861.jpg

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Managed to have another look at said rifle yesterday and the rifle numbers on the receiver and bolt match. Unfortunately the one on the foresight doesnt.

Also it would seem the chap im selling it off has misplaced its de-activation certificate. He says its not that important.

Any opinions anyone?

ta

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I would be much happier with a deactivation certificate. I dont know for sure if its the law , i rejected a rifle in the summer as there wasnt one with it, imagine walking home from the bootsale without one! Anyway Ive just checked my SMLE and all three numbers match.

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Agree wish Welshdoc. There are lots of nice non-matching SMLEs around WITH certificates.

Like Welshdoc, I don't know what the law is exactly regarding certificates, but looking at mine I see it says in note A:

"This certificate is an important document. It should be retained by the owner at all times."

Tom

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Checked with the local constabulary and apparently you need one. The only way to get another one reissued is to send it to a proofing house.

Target arms has been selling MKIII SMLE's for 18 months and when i go back with the intention of buying one they dont have any!

****** ****** ******...

Anyway. Cheers gents!

Marc

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In a situation comparable to the SMLE without a certificate, about 12 years ago I found an inactivated Great War Hotchkiss machine gun in an antique emporium in Maryland. Although the muzzle had been welded shut and the springs had been removed from the bolt, it lacked the appropriate documentation from the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. Therefore the item was proscribed under federal law. Through an intermediary I contacted the vendor and advised her of the situation. After that the gun vanished very quickly.

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