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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 7:27 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:42 pm
Posts: 432
Location: South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Ovenpaa wrote:
There seems to be a lot of snobbery in some circles when it comes to Battle rifles such as the SMLE and I do wish people would just accept them for what they are, along with many others such as the 1903A1 or the Schmidt-Rubin 1896/11 and enjoy them instead of bigging them up or knocking them down dependant on which camp their foot is placed.

All of a sudden people are talking of sub 2MOA accuracy being the norm for such rifles at distances that the average club shooter seldom considers, when if truth be known a lot of shooters here in the UK are probably buying them to enjoy at distances out to 200 or so yards or so and for this they are tremendous fun when kept in the black. What they are not, is accurate by modern standards and I can personally only think of a small handful of such rifles/people who are shooting true MOA at 300 yards with such rifles. So Snayperskaya and I are definitely in agreement :)

BTW, a P14 although far less sexy is an inherently more accurate rifle by way of design before you even start to think about increased sight radius's and aperture sights.


I have an 1917 SMLE which I am not allowed to fire very often as my son does not want me to wear out his inheritance.
Not all the numbered parts are the same,it was at some point in time South African probably after the WW1 and eventually ended back up in the UK probably after WW2.
No doubt the rifle has had a fair bit of history, this is what make it so special they are all different and you as the owner are part of the rifles history.
Coming back the rifle in question if it shoots all right and at a fair price then go for it and own and fire a piece of history.
I have another slot for an other 303 so my theme is a WW2 version whether that is an SMLE or an Number 4 will depend on 1 my son (inheritance again) and 2 what comes up that take my fancy

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cz 452 style 16 inch 22lr
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1917 BSA SMLE 303


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 12:30 pm 
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Joined: Mon Dec 20, 2010 8:20 pm
Posts: 593
Ovenpaa wrote:
......and there is also my probably all time favourite 6,5mm, the Steyr M1900 chambered in 6,5x54MS - Another often overlooked military rifle. In fact, there are so many good military rifles to choose from and I honestly believe they should be shot and enjoyed and accepted for what they are, Titanic era rifles.


I never found a 6.5 Mannlicher in my historic arms shooting days. I would have fancied one had it ever been offered. I fully agree that providing military rifles shoot reasonably well within the context of elderly historic pieces designed to shoot minute-of-enemy soldier they provide great pleasure in collecting and shooting. There are so many models from so many sources and within groups so many variants in many cases that there is near endless scope. With some exceptions still, reasonably affordable too even if prices are a far cry above what we'd pay in the 80s.

(I bought a 1943 dated Ishapore SMLE in mint apparently little fired condition from an upmarket London gunshop who for some reason would always have a collection of at least half a dozen surplus rifles in a glass fronted display cabinet to one side of the 'classy' stuff, all of them mint condition and attractively priced. That Indian model was as per the British pre-war examples and had none of the later corner cutting money saving mods like the horrible square flat foresight protectors. It must have had an unusually tight bore too as it would shoot 308 bullets very nicely at shorter distances, and as I had vast numbers of Israeli Defence Industries 150gn - ish FMJBTs, that was very handy and it got a lot of rounds down it. It cost me £115 in 1986 or 87, but difficult to know what that'd be in today's devalued pounds. It only had one downside - the stock was very oily as it used some Indian wood variety, not nice walnut but still attractive, and Ishapore must have soaked stocks in barrels of some kind of oil for months as the woodwork was saturated. With 10 shots down the barrel the heat would cause the oil to leach out and it would get worse and worse as you went on. Shooting sessions were interrupted by a need to constantly wipe the forend and handguard down with a rag followed by my hands as it became difficult to keep a good hold on it.)


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:01 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:03 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Chesterfield
Thanks for the replies chaps, unfortunately the rifle is a looooong way from me so couldn't inspect in person but as luck would have it a fellow at our club is selling one that I can have a Gander at!While accuracy is important I'd rather have something thats good enough to hit a man at a few hundred meters everytime and come with a lot of history than put tight groups in the target though that would be a nice bonus.Thats the attraction of military rifles for me.If only they could talk.


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:17 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:36 pm
Posts: 780
Home club or Range: Staveley
Are you a Staveley member by any chance?


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:35 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:03 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Chesterfield
No bud,lner.


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:44 pm 
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Joined: Mon Nov 09, 2015 2:36 pm
Posts: 780
Home club or Range: Staveley
Goodness me. i didn't know that existed!


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jun 20, 2019 2:51 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:03 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Chesterfield
Been around donkeys years bud haha.


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 7:13 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 30, 2012 6:42 pm
Posts: 432
Location: South Lanarkshire, Scotland
Here is my son's inheritance


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_________________
mossberg 500
meteor mk2
smk 19 (0.22)
ruger 12/22 stainless synthetic 22lr
cz 452 style 16 inch 22lr
tikka t3 lite stainless 223
308 howa 1500 varmint
BSA Lightning XL (0.22)
Lanber Over and Under
Baikal mp153
AYA Cosmos 410
1917 BSA SMLE 303
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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Fri Jun 21, 2019 1:29 pm 
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Joined: Wed Mar 15, 2017 2:03 pm
Posts: 50
Location: Chesterfield
I like the stripes in the stock.


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 Post subject: Re: SMLE questions
PostPosted: Thu Jul 18, 2019 12:15 pm 
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Joined: Sun Apr 21, 2013 11:34 am
Posts: 856
Location: Inverness
Home club or Range: Cawdor
snayperskaya wrote:

If a WW1 or WW2-era rifle is still capable of hitting a torso-sized target at 300m it is doing what it was designed to do.As Ovenpaa said there are many people that raise the accuracy of their Lee Enfield, Mauser or whatever to near mythical status but centre mass hits was what it was all about rather than tight groups.

The possible exception would be sniper variants of standard battle rifles but these are often better set up with shimmed/bedded actions and a far lower round count than a run-of-the-mill infantry rifle.As an example Vasily Zaitsev said in his memoirs that his snipers rarely shot no more than five rounds a day compared to God knows how many by standard infantrymen.This is borne out by my '44 Izhevsk PU sniper which despite having been issued has a bore that looks as new as damn it like new.

It is far better, in my view, to appreciate these old warhorses for what they are and accept that what they may lack in accuracy they more than make up for with the history behind them and I'm humbled by the fact that chances are the persons my rifles were originally issued to are and carried through God knows what horrors are no longer with us.


Gun Jesus and Bloke on the Range had a very interesting discussion about accuracy of Great War/WWII Military bolt actions a while back that is worth a watch:

https://youtu.be/8rv337snZ9k?t=1887

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