Tuesday, 18 January 2011

New Year, new lecture calendar

Where would you start with a subject such as this from such a respected researcher? yes the material is if anything well researched and numerous publications exist but Tony's aim was to lay out the requirement and the timelines of the rifle and its accoutrements;

One or two examples were on the front as per usual, it was of course a packed audience and I feel even if we dont learn a lot of new things it is nice to see someones research into arms laid out for perusal;
The reason the SMLE was designed goes back to the Boer wars and some requirements from the Field Army to rectify defects in either existing weapons or the tactics which were limited by these two issued weapons;

The requirements were reasonable and sensible in light of the fact that this was the first well equipped modern army we had fought since the Crimean War;
The Superintendant at RSAF had two versions made up to his design, model A;
And Model B;
The result was the Rifle SMLE Mk1;
Together with the bayonet which it seems wasnt long enough to outreach a sword wielding horseman;
Of course it didnt take long for various changes to be implemented, these resulted in Mk's 2 and 3 being produced, the principal changes being;
The 18 inch bayonet was adopted and in 1913 had the hooked quillion removed;
Further changes were necessitated by the development of the Mk7 Ball, seen here next to the Mk6;
4 models of charger exits, sadly I dont have Mk1 just the others, Mk4 was accepted into service before the end of 1918;
For a full list of patterns and marks here is an interesting table;
As can be seen many rifles were converted as well as new onnes being built, see the pic above. This was a drain on factory capacity until the war was well under way;
Of course the final result by 1914 was an army mainly equipped with a very decent battle rifle;
There were numerous buts developed for the new trench warfare, rifle launching of grenades being one of them, this is the first version of the cup grenade;
Tony fitting the cup discharger and rodded grenade;
This is the first cup discharger and its associated blank cartridge;
There was a 20 round trench magazine developed as did the Hun, none were apparently issued and I have held one and a pouch on seperate occaisons. Rare doesnt describe them;

A flap to prevent mud entering the muzzle;


A bayonet mounted wire breaker;
Muzzle mounted wire breakers;

As per usual small bore adapters and rimfire conversions were developed;


In WW2 UK production was continued in the main by BSA and they also managed the dispersal scheme which in essence was a mirror of the peddled rifle scheme of the previous war;
There were many slides with a lot more information on them, I have decided to limit them as the post is heavy enough as it is. I will given time put up some more pics over the following days.


















































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