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Honkytonk View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 25 2020 at 10:32am
I was looking over the No1 MkIII I purchased this past fall. The gentleman said it's a matching numbers Lithgow. I really didn't pay much attention to that as I just thought it was a cool rifle regardless. The numbers do match on the receiver, bolt and nose guard. Nothing on the magazine or furniture. My question is: What constitutes a "numbers matching" rifle? Thanks!
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shiloh View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote shiloh Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2020 at 1:00pm
For me, it`d be receiver and bolt.
I guess some real anal collectors would want everything and anything on the rifle as it was new issued.
I could never afford an un-knackered one so, bolt and receiver for me.
My1915 is forced matched and re-serialized by an armorer at some time, but that`s ok with me, because that`s history and how things were done.



shoot em if you got em
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2020 at 3:01pm
Bolt, receiver, barrel, rear sight & nosecap on a SMLE.
Not all mags were numbered so a "blank" one is fine as is a number matching one. A non matching numbered one is not right.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 25 2020 at 3:18pm
Armourers manual state that on the No1 Mk3 there are three parts that are 'specific' to an individual rifle, these being Action, Bolt and Nosecap.
If the rifle is ever disassembled these three parts MUST be kept together and reassembled together on the correct rifle.

Also, extract from :

INSTRUCTIONS FOR ARMOURERS
PART II
SMALL ARMS
CHAPTER I

Section 3.—Examination
Rifles No. 1 and No. 2, Mk. IV*
The following instructions are for general guidance; the sequence may be varied to meet special circumstances, e.g., when a particular defect due to unfair wears or other cause is prevalent, or when a brief examination only is called for. Reference should be made to Section 4 for Modifications,

1. General.—
Examine the rifle to see that the number, and the series letter where marked, on the nose-cap, fore-end, sight leaf, barrel and bolt agree with the number on the body, and that the rifle is
complete. Record deficiencies, if any and damage due to unfair wear for report.


Note : the sight leaf, forend and barrel are now added to the list of numbered parts in the 1931 issue of the Instructions to Armourers
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 5:44am
I had removed the rear windage adjustable site and retained. This was because I mounted a P-H apature rear site. I checked the site I had removed and that number does not match the receiver, nose cap and bolt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 6:58am
...so,in affect, it could be a dispersal rifle?...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 8:39am
I read some posts on dispersal rifles, but admit, I'm not quite sure I understand. Please correct my definition;
-Used rifle comes in to armourer
- Armourer checks, decides rifle is unfit for service
- Worn parts are replaced, rifle brought up to spec
- The action, bolt, sights are all restamped with a matching new serial number

Am I close?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 8:50am
That's more like an FTR!
Dispersal rifles had parts made new in several small factories with experience in that kind of manufacturing. Scale makers made sights & so on.
The finished parts went to the central factory to be built into complete new rifles.
It was done this way to prevent disruption to manufacture because of say a bombing raid damaging the one factory that was making the entire gun.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 10:33am
So is a dispersal rifle considered as good as a single factory rifle? Or am I missing the point again! Thanks! Be patient, Im learning!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 10:42am
The Luftwaffe was disrupting manufacturing at the factory.

The term dispersal comes from the manufacturing of components being dispersed around the country to many small (and not so small) sub contractors.

BSA was the assembler of all the parts into rifles. Some say the B letter on the wrist is for BSA.
I am more on the thinking that the rifle was intended to be generic with no maker shown. 

The B actually denotes a Birmingham assembled rifle.  

The dispersal rifles were assembled using new and used parts. Even some receivers were scrubbed and recycled. Nothing new about this, if a used part gauged within limits, it went back into the bins. If it had serial numbers, such as a sight leaf, the old numbers would be struck out and new numbers applied.

The completed rifles were gauged to the same tolerances as those of regular production. Standards were not dropped. Allowances for finish were made, but only cosmetic with tooling marks and such. But a dispersal rifle was made to factory standards. It is not a second rate rifle.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 11:24am
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

So is a dispersal rifle considered as good as a single factory rifle? Or am I missing the point again! Thanks! Be patient, Im learning!


I have previously used the term 'mongrel' which is a commonly used word in the UK, but apparently has very strong negative connotations in the US

I wouldn't rate them as being a 'quality' rifle being built up from any parts that could be found lying in old boxes, under the carpet etc.

Up until 1940, BSA made normal high-quality No1 MkIII* on limited military contracts, marked with the usual Crown and BSA&Co, as well as identical rifles just marked "BSA&Co" for commercial sale and export.
With the invasion scare, the Ministry of Supply ordered BSA to make rifles out of whatever parts it could get together. Hence the rifles were made of mixtures of commercial and military parts, mixed walnut and beech wood (or all-beech), later on No4 butts and firing pin/cocking pieces. A second wave of production in 1945 even used recycled and re-dated receivers.
About the same time the emergency rifle production was started, BSA was ordered to disperse its many Birmingham factories away from the bomb-target central area, and also to increase war production by diluting experienced staff with war staff. BSA was a huge engineering group, and this "Dispersal" programme led to 70 seperate factories being set up, moved and/or expanded. Rifle production involved several of these factories (both No1s and No4s), and this type of "all available parts" No1 has become known as a "Dispersal rifle". Technically, even the No4s were Dispersals, as well as motorbikes, bicycles, aircraft parts, machine guns and heavy weaponry...
BSA marked these rifles with just the first "B" of BSA&Co. Presumably this was to dissociate the company from these slightly less-than top quality peacetime rifles!

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 11:30am
Originally posted by Shamu Shamu wrote:

That's more like an FTR!
Dispersal rifles had parts made new in several small factories with experience in that kind of manufacturing. Scale makers made sights & so on.
The finished parts went to the central factory to be built into complete new rifles.
It was done this way to prevent disruption to manufacture because of say a bombing raid damaging the one factory that was making the entire gun.


What you are describing there is the 'Peddled Scheme' (as used by SSA).
This scheme used a variety of different (independent) companies to make 'bits' within their capabilities, the barrel and action being made by SSA then SSA assembled the parts into a rifle.

The "Dispersal Scheme" was simply the component manufacturing was all based in factories owned by BSA but the quality was pretty poor as many of the extra employees were just 'drafted in' women who had no firearms or engineering experience.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 11:36am
For me,a Peddled Scheme or a dispersal rifle or both hold a much higher value to me for what was involved in getting them up and running. I like mutts...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 3:22pm
Again... my ignorance. I'm not sure my Lithgow 1919 No1 MkIII's production was disrupted by the Luftwaffe. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 4:18pm
Originally posted by Honkytonk Honkytonk wrote:

Again... my ignorance. I'm not sure my Lithgow 1919 No1 MkIII's production was disrupted by the Luftwaffe. 

It was the German air force with Zeplins.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 26 2020 at 4:52pm
i gotta agree that OPs rifle is not a dispersal or peddled scheme - he stated it was a lithgow in first post , he wanted to know what parts were numbered on an original lithgow in that time period i think , i will defer to those that know lithgows 

all of this is great info for those that didnt know tho , 
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