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 Post subject: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:25 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
Hello all,

I have recently come in possession on an old .410 Bolt Action, Single Shot Shotgun and was wondering if any experts out there could comment on it form the markings I describe and hopefully a few pictures.

On the side it has:
MA
Lithgow
S.M.L.E
III*
1942

On the top it has: W4T18
And their is also other numbers and markings towards the end barrel. It looks like it belongs in a museum! but is in good condition. Will post Pic if needed.

Thanks!


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:34 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Australia


Last edited by Rick242 on Sun Apr 06, 2008 11:59 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:09 am 
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Joined: Mon Jan 21, 2008 10:44 pm
Posts: 52
Location: Louisiana
Looks like a British Enfield rifle MK something SMLE -


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 12:59 am 
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Yep. That is a SMLE converted to .410. Some of those guns were not considered safe to shoot due to locking problems. They used to be available by mail back in the 50s for about $10.

I almost bought one once but got a almost new Winchester M37 in .410 for $19. Today the Winchester is worth over $500 and the SMLE is still worth $10. :lol:

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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Mar 28, 2008 6:41 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
Converted aye? So why did they convert these to a .410? Was it originally a 306? I think it has been made in Australia as it has Lithgow scribed on it.

And why arent they safe to fire!? Still worth $10?
Also, What type of .410 ammunition will it take? 3" or 21/2" ?


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 11:34 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:51 am
Posts: 629
Location: Dixie
Origionaly, it was a MKIII, no 1 Short Magazine Lee Enfield produced in Australia. Those produced in Australia were marked Lithgow with 340,000 having been made there. I am unaware of locking problems with any SMLE conversion because the action is of a rear locking design. I suspect A5 Guy may be thinking of headspace problems caused by replacement of the bolt head. These were made in different lengths to simplify head space control- an entirely safe system to insure a properly headspaced rifle with minimum fuss. The problem occured on surplus rifles assembled of parts with inadequate concern being given to the correct size bolt head being installed.

Since the rifle was designed to contain over 40,000 psi pressure it would stand to reason it would contain a .410- IF THE PROPER BOLT HEAD IS INSTALLED. Have a 'smith check it before firing.

Mausers were also converted to shotguns with most conversions requiring both front locking lugs to be ground off. This created a potentialy unsafe conversion which, in my opinion, shouldn't be fired. About a few million Germans would disagree with me.

'Lonzo


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Mon Mar 31, 2008 1:37 pm 
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I would suspect that the gun was originally made in .303 rifle caliber. Correct?

I forgot that the SMLE had the locking lug at the rear. I am just very leary of converted WWII military rifles becasue of a horrible accident that I witnessed back as a kid. The gun was a converted Mauser like the one that 'Lonso mentioned.

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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:25 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm
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Location: Australia
Jee, so what could potentially happen if the gun malfunctions? I really don't want this thing blowing up in my face!

Are the SMLEs known to be just as unreliable as the Mausers?


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Tue Apr 01, 2008 1:54 pm 
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In the accident that I witnessed (with the Mauser), the bolt was blown back through the right eye and into the brain of a young kid causing death.

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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 5:36 am 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm
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Far out, but the SMLE is not known for the Mausers destructive malfunctioning right?


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Wed Apr 02, 2008 7:26 am 
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Joined: Sat Sep 13, 2003 11:51 am
Posts: 629
Location: Dixie
The Mauser conversion had no front locking lugs but relied on only the saftey lug to contain the pressure. Apparently, this worked ok until it no longer worked, in which case some one died.

The SMLE uses locking lugs on the rear of the bolt, so the front lugs removed from the Mauser aren't there to begin with. The Mausers were made into 16 bore (some others but the majority were 16's) with far greater shell head areas allowing more back thrust to the bolt head; more force applied to an already weak rear lug.

TAKE YOUR ENFIELD TO A GUNSMITH FOR APPRAISAL!!! The only way to determine the safety of a gun is to have it in your hand, know what you're looking at and base your descision on what you see.

'Lonzo


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 Post subject: re: Need info on a 1942 Bolt Action .410 Shotgun
PostPosted: Fri Apr 04, 2008 9:47 pm 
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Joined: Thu Mar 27, 2008 10:18 pm
Posts: 6
Location: Australia
I will definatley get a proper smith to check it, Im just glad all you guys let me know about this, I never had any idea that it could explode!
And im please the SMLE doesnt have an as bad reputation as the mauser! Thanks!


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