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  #51  
Old 08-08-2014, 02:11 AM
Krel Krel is offline
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That Harrington & Richardson "Target" Model, looks like the revolver that Paul Mantee took out of his suitcase in "Robinson Crusoe on Mars". I always wondered what firearm that was, thanks.

David.
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  #52  
Old 09-26-2014, 12:50 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Just received this pretty awesome SMLE I figured was worth an extra long post. It's a 1905 Enfield SMLE Mk.I***, which in June 1922 was sent to the Irish Free State Army just as the fighting in Dublin broke out which began the Irish Civil War. I bought it off Gunbroker and imported it through IRunGuns, and had a very positive experience with them once again.

For those unfamiliar with Irish history, after the truce of 1921 following the Irish War of Independence, the Irish Free State was created as a self-governing dominion of the British Empire, much like Canada at the time. This treaty had a 2/3 support of the Irish population, but only 1/3 of the IRA supported it. The remaining 2/3rds began arming themselves in opposition to the treaty, while the pro-treaty 3rd formed the nucleus of the new Irish Free State Army. The new Free State Army began receiving arms from the British under the terms of the treaty, however the British were understandably wary of them and turned over a lot of fairly hastily refurbished obsolete Lee-Enfield Mk.I***s. After the initial shipment the British became suspicious that the Free State might arm the IRA in the still-British North, and began renumbering all the rifles sent so they'd be instantly identifiable if found up there. Michael Collins, now commander of the Free State Army, did so anyways, by trading the FSA's marked rifles for the unmarked rifles possessed by Anti Treaty IRA (who by now had seized key buildings around Dublin), and shipping up the unmarked rifles instead.

Fighting finally broke in Dublin out at the end of June 1922, which the much more heavily armed (including artillery allegedly crewed by British advisors) Free State Army won inside of a week. This lead to an ugly year long civil war, mainly in Cork and Kerry, in which much of the old pre-independence IRA leadership on both sides was killed (including Michael Collins) and several massacres and reprisals took place on both sides.

This is one of the refurbished Mk.I***s, which represented about 1/3rd of the rifles supplied by the British (the balance being Mk.IIIs and Mk.III*s). It has the distinct large sans serif fonted Irish serial number stamped on receiver, bolt and nosecap. It's had a Mk.III rear handguard swapped in, probably due to parts shortages, which leaves it with no rear sight protectors, and I replaced the missing magazine cutoff with one from a Mk.III, but is otherwise all-correct as a Mk.I***, including the original barrel. It does not have the well-known Irish FF stamp on the barrel, nor should it. The FF stamp was only applied to Mk.IIIs rebarelled at Enfield in the late 20s after the Civil War, it's actually a refurbishment mark and not a property mark. Enfield at this point had no more Mk.I barrels, nor was the Irish Army particularly inclined to continue using the Mk.I***s as they had enough Mk.IIIs for peacetime.


Shown here with a 1917 SSA Mk.III* to illustrate the differences between the two models.


The distinct renumbered serial indicating a Civil War-era Irish rifle.


Mk.I action, note the lack of charger bridge and the bolt-head mounted charger guide - a stupid system, the bridge was a major improvement.


Another view of the charger guide, note that it slides back and forth as the bolt opens and closes.
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  #53  
Old 09-26-2014, 12:51 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Volley sights!


Distinct straight sided sight protectors on the Mk.I nosecaps. Also note the piling swivel omitted on post-WW1 SMLEs.


Windage adjustable Mk.I rear sights, calibrated for Mk.VII .303 ammo making it a MK.I***. The Mk.I series had the rear sight protectors on the rear handguard, instead of attached to the barrel as in the Mk.III. The Mk.III handguard and Mk.I barrel on this one leaving it without a protector.
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  #54  
Old 09-26-2014, 12:54 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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A couple of interesting pictures of Free State Army troops with Mk.I***s:


Third enlisted man from the left. Interesting to also note the officer wearing the old-style Irish Volunteers uniform with the tie and puttees and carrying two revolvers.


Kerry command, 1923. All three troops have Mk.I***s. Using P1907 bayonets and not the P1903 originally issued with the Mk.I series.
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  #55  
Old 09-26-2014, 02:45 PM
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funkychinaman funkychinaman is offline
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Volley sights AND a magazine cut-off. Old school.
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  #56  
Old 09-26-2014, 06:02 PM
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Spartan198 Spartan198 is offline
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Very nice. Just think, for all you know, the very rifle you own could actually be in one of those pictures. Unlikely, I know, but it's still a cool possibility to consider.

I have an old well-used Ka-Bar MK1 that, for all I know, could have spilled blood in any number of conflicts.
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  #57  
Old 10-15-2014, 05:58 PM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Yes, a very cool possibility! The odds actually aren't bad for a military rifle, either.

After the Irish Enfield I had every intention of not buying guns for awhile - I'm putting an addition on my house and staying in a friend's spare room during construction, so I can't afford to be spending money on guns for awhile (in the meantime I'm indulging my much less expensive interest in WW2 Commonwealth cap badges).

However, sometimes something comes up you just can't say no to. I went to work on Saturday ended up processing a two month backlog on used gun purchases, since the normal guy was away. Imagine my surprise when I found out he'd priced a very early Savage 1899B at $250! I certainly wasn't going to pass that out.

Sorry for the poor picture, but as I said I'm uprooted at the moment and only had my cell phone camera. There are two different serial number tables available for Savage 1895 / 1899 / 99 rifles, but this one is a very early 1899 by either, either 1901 or 1903 production. Based on the fact that it still has some model 1895 features on it, I'm guessing 1901 is correct. Unlike the pretty strict model differentiation on military firearms, older commercial firearms tend to have a much more gradual transition.

Being an 1899B it has the 26" heavy octagon barrel with the old-style crescent buttplate, exactly the configuration I've always wanted in a Savage. It's got the pre-WW2 style rotary magazine with brass cartridge counter, and is chambered in the original Savage .303 round - slightly more powerful than a .30-30, it originally used a .311 bullet (hence .303) down a .308 bore, under the theory that the higher pressures would increase muzzle velocity! It's in fairly rough shape - the butt has the typical cracks at the wrist (I've not seen many old 99s without them, and I see a lot of them in my job - it was a very popular firearm in Canada), and the forend has split at the tip and been cleaned up, losing the schnable in the process. But the metal is still all good, and the bore is decent, so it'll make a shooter!

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  #58  
Old 10-15-2014, 10:48 PM
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Are you putting in the addition to house more guns?
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  #59  
Old 10-16-2014, 02:53 AM
Jcordell Jcordell is offline
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I like the Savage 99.I was twelve when my dad started teaching me how to shoot (1980). He was an Idaho State Trooper and among the firearms issued to him by ISP was the Savage 99C in .308. I fired that and at the time the recoil felt like the Hammer of Thor. Instead of the rotary magazine it had the detachable magazine. Fond memories.
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  #60  
Old 12-17-2014, 02:27 AM
Nyles Nyles is offline
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Although my renos are ongoing (contractors are f***king criminals and don't let anyone tell you different), I saw this for sale and had to give myself an early Christmas present. It's a French Berthier M1890 cavalry carbine in 8mm Lebel, made at Chatellerault in 1891. The M1892 artillery carbine is pretty common, but original cavalry carbines are very rare. Although the French army had a large cavalry force in 1914, they realised pretty early on that La Grande Guerre wasn't going to be a cavalry war and dismounted most of their cavalry.

Although they retained their carbines in the trenches (a 37" Berthier beats the hell out of a 51" Lebel in a trench that's 4' wide), most of the M1890s were rebuilt into M1892s when they passed through the armourers for maintenance - the only real difference is the bayonet and stacking hook, both of which were considered useful when dismounted. In 13 years of collecting I've never seen an original 1890 outside of the French army museum until this one.

However, this one has the extremely rare (and often discarded) sheet metal dust cover on the bolt introduced in WW1, so it's pretty much certain this spent time in the trenches - most likely with a Hussar or Chasseur light cavalry regiment, as the Cuirassier heavies had their own (especially rare) carbine model, and the Dragoons were early adopters of the M1892. It's unfortunately missing it's side-mounted cleaning rod, but I think I can source one out from another collector.

Either way, it's a super rare original WW1 carbine, in really nice shape, and definitely worth breaking my gun fast! Excuse the cell phone pictures, my camera is still at home.




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