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Morris Tube.


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#1 Simon R

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 11:50 AM

Regarding minature ranges and training:

What small arms were used with the Morris tube?

Was the addition of an aiming tube a permanent feature?

Did the Morris tube have any application for the SMLE?


Various websites have sent me blink.gif with these and I am away from library today so any help much appreciated.

#2 TonyE

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 12:05 PM

Simon,

Have some work that must get done today but will answer later.

TonyE

#3 TonyE

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:05 PM

Hi Simon

Now I have e-mailed all the stuff my boss wanted I can turn my attention to the serious stuff.

I am not surprised that you are confused as the whole aiming tube chronology is quite complicated. I will endeavour to explain it.

The original Morris Tube as used with .577/450 Martinis was in .297/230 centre fire calibre. The aiming tube was removable and the rifle could be fired in either calibre depending whether the 25 yard indoor or full length range was being used. This is the ball round with a solid steel Inspectors dummy.

[attachment=55255:attachment]

When the Lee-Metford was introduced a new aiming tube in this calibre was approved for rifles in 1891 and for carbines in 1895 and these continued in use with the Lee-Enfields.

This the drawing from List of Changes Para 6602, 29 December 1891.

[attachment=55258:attachment]

When the new .22 Rimfire cartridge was approved in 1906 these Morris tubes were bushed to accept the new cartridge and new tubes manufactured for the .22. Because the new cartridge was rimfire it required an off set firing pin and so lee-Metford, Lee-Enfield and Short Lee-Enfield rifles were converted with a special bolt head with a free floating offset firing pin. It was not intended that these tubes should be removed as obviously the rifles could not fire .303 rounds any more.

In 1907 the method of conversion was changed and new short rifles were made by fitting older long Lee-Enfield rifles with a new short .22 barrel.

A new .22 SMLE was introduced in 1914 and this was used throughout the war in various marks.

In 1918 a new rifle, the Pattern 1918 was introduced which although a .22, used a unique "conveyor" that was approximately the shape of the .303 cartridge but which held a .22 RF round. These conveyors were made of blued steel and had the shoulder set back so that a normal .303 round could not be inserted into the chamber of the .22 barrel. The intention was to enable recruits to practice magazine loading. Each rifles was supplied with 30 conveyors.

The Pattern 18 used a new system of converting older rifles to .22 by boring out the barrel and soldering in a new .22 liner in a system known as PARKERIFLED. The top of the receiver was stamped "PARKER HALE .303 CUM .22 SYSTEM"

The army also used some commercial variants of theis system whereby the normal bolt was retained and the .22 chamber in the conveyor is offset so that the rim is struck by the centrefire pin. These have been noted made at Enfield and stamped "EFD"

The system was not very successful and declared obsolete in 1920.

I shall have to post the picture on a new post, but it illustrates how the lower shoulder on the conveyor chamber prevented a live .303 being loaded.

I hope that answers your confussion,

Regards
TonyE

#4 TonyE

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 04:09 PM

Here is the conveyor alongside a normal .303 Mark VII showing the .22 round prior to insertion in the chamber of the conveyor.

TonyE

[attachment=55262:attachment]

#5 Pete1052

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 05:49 PM

In 1922, shortly after the Great War, the U.S. Army introduced a .22-caliber rimfire variant of its M1903 Springfield .30:06 caliber service rifle. Called the M1922, it has the same weight and length as the M1903, and has the same type of bolt, safety, front sight, and buttplate. The forestock does not extend as far forward as the one on the M1903 and there is no handguard. The rear sight is a Lyman peep sight, a target sight similar to some Parker-Hales.

My M1922 was made in 1924 and is in excellent condition. If I had to reduce my collecton of 11 to only one firearm it would be the one I'd keep--it has unimpeachable accuracy, the ammo is cheap and it doesn't beat up the shoulder. It also has an old fashioned walnut-and-steel beauty that most recently made rifles do not have.

Gallery practice, or shooting at indoor ranges, used to be a part of U.S. Army and Marine marksmanship training. Almost every Army and Marine post had an indoor 50- or 75-foot range. These remained until the 1970s, when most were closed. Then in the 1980s what should we see but the growing use of electronic and video simulators. Go figure that one out, not all change is progress!

#6 Old Tom

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Posted 28 February 2007 - 06:12 PM

Hello,

Nothing technical, but I remember a school contingent of the Junior Training Corps was using SMLE's with Morris tube in the 1940's.

Old Tom

#7 4thGordons

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 05:34 AM

QUOTE (TonyE @ Feb 28 2007, 10:05 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
The Pattern 18 used a new system of converting older rifles to .22 by boring out the barrel and soldering in a new .22 liner in a system known as PARKERIFLED. The top of the receiver was stamped "PARKER HALE .303 CUM .22 SYSTEM"


Tony - could you clarify something for me - is the below a contract produced No2 MkIV*? This will not chamber a conveyor, only a .22 round.

It is a 1918 No1 MkIII* converted to .22 by Parker Hale but without the full stamping you detail. On the muzzle picture it appears that there is a sleeve insert within the original barrel, although I believe skennerton says these were made with solid barrels. This rifle is renumbered all over with a two letter= three digit number. My assumption was this was a WWII conversion using a converted barrel

There a a few interesting elements on this rifle - it is a 1918 MkIII* BSA rifle (with slab sided cocking piece) but has the stock marking disc which is an odd discrepancy. It also has a piling swivel.
The spring inside the magazine was removed and the base stamped 22 (last pic). This is a single shot weapon with the magazine simply catching the spent .22 case.
Chris

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[attachment=55302:attachment]

[attachment=55303:attachment]

[attachment=55304:attachment]

#8 TonyE

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 10:28 AM

I am inclined to agree with you that this is possibly a WW2 conversion to approximate the No.2 Mark IV*. As you say, your barrel is definitely tubed and the "correct" No.2 rifle has a replacement .22 barrel. However, during WW2 in the rush to get troops trained all sorts of things were used and Parker hale and others did a lot of conversions to .22.

Yours is certainly military as evidenced by the military proof on the bolt head. Is the side of the bolt head stamped ".22 No.2"? Also it should have the special aperture rear sight but I have seen several that do not.

The stamping on the magazine was not authorised until 1925 so yours is a later conversion than that. Skenny also says that markings on these vary considerably.

I would not worry too much about the stock disc and piling swivel, as post WWI many Mark III* rifles were retro fitted to Mark III standard and there are lots of hybrids about. It could be something as simple as a replacement butt being fitted years ago.

Finally a commercial break.... Skennerton's completely revised Lee-Enfield book should be out in late April, much expanded with a lot of new photographs and a new ammo chapter by yours truly. End of plug!

Regards
TonyE

#9 Simon R

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Posted 01 March 2007 - 04:59 PM

Thank you, will mail you Tony when get time - some photos for you.