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  #1  
Old 09-23-2014, 06:26 PM
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Default SHT LE III .22lr conversion

Well I managed to snag another .22lr SMLE conversion. This time it is on a L.S.A. Co. Ltd. dated 1910 on the receiver socket. Even though it is stamped DP (Drill Purposes) the auction price was too good to pass up.

Everything functions as it should, bore and rifling look good. It may have been DP'ed due to being judged obsolete because of it's age. It was converted from a Mk III not a MK III*.

The photo is from it's first range trip with me today. After a bit of sighting in, the rifle produced a nice 4 shot group, with 1 flyer from the bench at 25 yds. using the stock military sights.





LTC

Last edited by LTC; 09-23-2014 at 06:28 PM.
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Old 09-24-2014, 05:50 AM
Ivan the Butcher Ivan the Butcher is online now
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I find the older training rifles have a "Presence" about them that the "Target" rifles used later don't possess. I've only managed to pick-up a couple of much later ones. They shoot very well, but have no soul. And the AR conversion kits the Army used lack accuracy as well as soul! Ivan

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Old 09-24-2014, 07:34 AM
ColbyBruce ColbyBruce is offline
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There is a gun shop in north GA that has a Springfield .22 LR conversion kit in a showcase. I had no idea the conversions were common.
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Old 09-24-2014, 10:04 PM
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This is the second LE .22 conversion I own. It was converted from a SMLE No.1 Mk.III. It's mate in the safe is a little newer at 1917 or 18. The newer one was converted from a No.1 Mk.III*. I believe the 1910 may prove to be more accurate than the newer one.

The rear sight on the 1910 has a windage adjustment that was omitted when LE went from Mk.III to Mk.III*. Also omitted from the III* was the magazine cutoff and required receiver machining and stock cut out to accept it.

I need to try it out at 50 and 100 yards and report back.

LTC
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Old 09-25-2014, 01:17 AM
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Colour me jealous. Enfields in .22 are a gap in my collection.
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Old 09-26-2014, 12:24 AM
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Nice rifle and nice shooting too.

The 1910 LSA in it's original form would have been quite a nice find too!
Volley sights would have been standard equipment as well as the windage adj rear sight and cut-off. All the things Enfield-ites love.
LSA was slow to convert from MkIII to MkIII* during WW1 too.

.22 conversions sometimes lost the volley sights and windage rear, or had the latter pinned into place.
Many have the rear sight tangent bar hand marked w/a dash at about the 125yrd mark as a reference elevation point for the now .22cal.

Does the 22 conv have 'No2MkIV.22' stamped on it,,possibly on the socket.

The Rifle Number system (No1) didn't appear till after WW1.
The SMLE in 1910 was simply the MkIII. Just prior to that, pre-1907 it was simply the MkI & MkI*.


It became the No1 (MkIII(*) in the early 1920's.
The .22 conversions on the SMLE were designated the No2 rifle and the Pattern 14 .303 became the No3 rifle.

The last .22conv I had was a '17 Enfield production converted to .22 in 1924. It was NZ property marked and a great shooter dispite a faint ring in the otherwise perfect bore.
50m 1.5" groups were possible off a bench on a good day for me.
Find the right ammo and they will do very well.
Congrats on a fine rifle.
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Old 09-27-2014, 01:04 AM
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2152hq,
Thanks for the additional info. To answer your question, no the socket is not stamped with No.2 Mk.4.

The left side of the socket has a 14 stamped near the safety. Could that be the year it was converted? Also it appears to be a solid barrel, not sleeved. There is no indication on the stock of front or rear volley sight cuts.

Also no "dash" on the rear sight bar.

LTC
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Old 09-27-2014, 10:39 AM
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Very nice! I had two of em, a WWI Brit and a WWII Australian. Like an idiot I sold both to help finance my first Harley. The Brit would out shoot my Springfield Armory M-2 every time!












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Old 09-27-2014, 11:15 PM
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Not sure of the '14' being the conv date as the solid bbl'd SMLE 22 conv weren't approved for mfg and issue till the 1920's. Those are the No2MkIV .22 rifles I mentioned.
The earlier SMLE .22 conversions all used a bored out original 303 bbl w/a liner. There were a couple or different versions,,the 22rf 1914 Short Rifle No1,,same No 2,,,Pattern 1918 (this used a Hoffer-Thompson type training cartridge w/22).
The rare one is the 22 Short Rifle MkIII,,w/the Parker-Hiscock Magazine rifle. These are pre WW1 trainers too, but short lived.
These are SMLE look alikes made on cut down Lee Metfords to start with. The unique Hiscock Magazine system is the rarity. I've only seen 2. If you see one at a garage sale,,buy it.


On your rifle,pull the rear handguard off (carefully!).
The bbl should be dated,,usually the left side and since it's a new .22cal replacement, that'll give you the con'v date too (unless it's a replacement to the original .22 bbl, then it gets really confusing).

No2MkIV marked conv were stamped on either side of the socket. Grinding the existing marks off the right hand side was common as was stamping them into the left hand side.
Loosing the marks in a refurb is not uncommon also.

Look further at the Inspectors marks on the bbl and the bolt & bolt head. LSA used Crown/X as it's inspector mark. An additional number under the X is the individual inspector. You'llprobably find those on the recv'r, nose cap, trigger guard, ect. They were pretty generous with using the mark as were all the SMLE makers.

What ever inspection mark you find on the bbl under the handguard will tell you who did the conversion.
LSA used Crown/X
Enfield used Crown/E
BSA used Crown/(italic)B
Ishapor, India,,...Crown/GRI,,IS/B
Lithgow, Australia,,..A inside a Star,,A inside a Star/VI,,L//\

(One other SMLE mfg'r was Sparkbrook,,using a Crown/(roman)B,,but that plant was closed in 1906 so not an issue here.
I think BSA took the plant over.)

The rifles (rec'vr) ser# is usually stamped into the right side of the bbl just ahead of the recv to match. You'll generally find a handful of inspector marks in the small area just ahead of the recv'r ring, along with a Military Proof Crossed Flags mark.
You may find repair markings indicating things like worn throat, rust in bore, ect in this area too.

The .22conv bolt head may also have a new proof on it as well as an inspection mark from the arsenal where the conversion was done.

Replacement of parts including the wood along the way during the rifles life time was not uncommon as wear or beakage occured. No attempt would be made to match old inspectors marked LSA wood with the LSA mfg rifle. It would have gotten what was available to put it back in service.
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