This rifle is unique as it had a rich and traceable history. The rifles serial No is J11000 and was manufactured by BSA Ltd as a SMLE No1 MkIII* in 1918. Between the wars it was regulated by Fultons in Bisley and A.G Parker in Birmingham.
In the 1950’s the rifle was used by a Billy Cannon who was serving in the Kings Own Scottish Borders and was shooting for the British Army. Upon leaving the forces in the late 1950’s, Cannon joined the Forestry Commission in South West Scotland and was allowed to keep his rifle. In time, the rifle was gifted it to a young captain in the Light Infantry. The rifle remained with the Captain until he left the British Army as a Lt Colonel in Dec 2012 and as a member of the Rifles Battalion. Due to military commitments the rifle was only used sparingly and was finally sold to a private buyer in 2014 due to the lack of use.
The woodwork on this rifle had been extensively modified and is essential part of its heritage. It is important therefore that this heritage is retained at all costs. The woodwork was removed and any repairs made good. Using the old process, the forend had been bedded using cork and fortunately the cork had survived intact. Once repaired, the woodwork was cleaned and all the years of grim and bruising is removed. Historical markings are retained and a new finish in keeping with the original has been applied.
Trigger, Barrel & Action
The rifle has matching numbers throughout and unlike many SMLE’s appears to have retained most of it original parts. The receiver and barrel have been fully bedded and the barrel is not floating within the forend. The rifle has been fully stripped, all the parts are cleaned in solvent, years of debris, rust and solidified oil is removed. Parts are polished and checked for wear or damage and the rifle rebuilt to its original specification. In this case the rifles blueing was sufficiently good and therefore the metalwork was not re-blued. However some minor blueing was applied to screw heads that were de-burred and re-profiled. Barrel, headspace and firing pin protrusion are gauged and the trigger pull measured. The action is function tested to ensure all the rifles mechanisms operates correctly and dummy rounds are cycled through the rifle to ensure the rifle feeds, extracts and ejects without fault.
As part of this rifles conversion to a target rifle, it was fitted with a Parker Hale 5A rearsight by A.G Parker. This is a precision instrument and therefore requires the same attention to detail as the rifles action. Therefore the sight is stripped, all the parts are cleaned in solvent and any debris, rust and solidified oil removed. Parts are polished and checked for wear or damage and the sight rebuilt to its original specification.
Although at customers request, many rifles are accuracy testing both pre and post restoration to ensure the rifle is fit for restoration. This rifle was accuracy tested pre restoration but as the rifle was restored to it original specifications and not upgraded in any way, it was not accuracy tested post restoration.