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Wirebreakers and Night Sights

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WilliamS View Drop Down
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    Posted: July 04 2020 at 5:27pm
In the bulk lot of tools and parts I recently won, there were these two pieces. I want to verify the authenticity of the wirecutters (as far as I know no one has duplicated the luminous sights) and get a rough value on them in case I decide to sell them to fund more rifles (or for insurance if I keep them, they are pretty neat).

No.1 MkI Wirebreaker


The only markings are "R-W 17", a 3 on the other side near the cam, and three either 7s or half-broad arrows on the loop, cam and clip.

The luminous sights:

The front are rear are marked "2", the front base .030, and the bottom of the front sight is A with a superscript letter (maybe E) followed by D or LD.
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Goosic View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2020 at 6:55pm
 I will bet you those sights have Radium in it just like they used in old wrist watches. A tiny box of radiation...😶
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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: July 04 2020 at 9:30pm
wonder how close to another half life they are getting to ? when will they get so dim you can no longer see them ? 

the ones on my carry pistol are very bright in the dark 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 04 2020 at 9:41pm
Originally posted by Goosic Goosic wrote:

I will bet you those sights have Radium in it just like they used in old wrist watches. A tiny box of radiation...😶

Nailed it in one... radium tubes as it appears.

Originally posted by A square 10 A square 10 wrote:

wonder how close to another half life they are getting to ? when will they get so dim you can no longer see them ? 

the ones on my carry pistol are very bright in the dark 

According to what I can find about old radium products, it'll be another 1500 years before it hits the first half life. The fading is instead caused by the decay of the zinc based paint medium, which apparently becomes less fluorescent as the radiation from the radium attacks it.  I might be able to get some tritium paint to touch them up with, which will stay bright for around ten years.  They lost their glow a long time ago, now they are completely dark even in a darkroom. 
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The Armourer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2020 at 12:10am
I have never seen a wire cutter like the one in your picture - the two types used seem to be 'hand held' or 'rifle mounted'.

Is this No1 wire cutter complete ? Does it look like it is 'rifle mounted' ?

The No1 Wire cutter that I am familiar with is a very different beast



The No.1 Mk.1 wire cutter was introduced in 1916. It could be attached to Lee Enfield, Ross and P 17 rifles. The jaws close when the rifle is thrust forward and lifted against the wire. The mechanism is spring-loaded to return the jaws to the open position when tension is released. Apparently this type of cutter was ineffective unless the wire was tight, and wouldn't cut the hardened steel German wire. Most of them were discarded in favour of hand-held cutters. 

In 1917 the No.1 Mk.11 cutter was introduced. It has 3 rivets along the longer horn, rather than the 2 rivets of the Mk.1. T

 

C.H.Pugh Ltd, Whitworth Works, Tilton Road, Birmingham
Teleg: Accuracy, Birmingham.
Tel: Victoria 161

Rifle SMLE Mark.III, Cutters, Wire: 5,500 ordered under contract 94/C/1667 dated 11 May 1916 - Completed
Rifle SMLE Mark.III, Cutters, Wire: 39,300 ordered under contract 94/C/1667 dated 11 May 1916 - Completed
Cutters, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark I: 60,000 ordered under contract 94/C/2849 dated 28 August 1916 - Completed
Cutters, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark II: 50,000 ordered under contract 94/C/4625 dated 7 March 1917 - ongoing
Breakers, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark I: 15,000 ordered under contract 94/B/2997 dated 21 October 1917 - Completed
Breakers, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark I: Continuation ordered under contract 94/B/3486 dated 4 December 1916 - 2,000 per week.

 

Wire breakers were attached to the bayonet and trapped the wire at the muzzle which was then broken by firing the rifle, the bullet cutting the wire.

Wire cutters broke the wire by mechanical means after it was trapped in the jaws of the cutter.

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.1 Mark I fitted the SMLE and P.'14 rifles,

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.2 Mark I fitted the Ross Mark III

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.3 Mark I fitted the Ross Mark IIIB (the British contract model)

All were introduced by List of Changes Paragraph 17,751 dated February 1916. These all pointed up and back when fitted to the rifle. The wire was hooked in the jaws and the rifle pulled sharply backwards to operated the spring mechanism and cut the wire.


Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.1 Mark II fitted the SMLE,

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.4 Mark I fitted the Pattern '14,

These were introduced in LoC Para. 18,516 dated January 1917 and differed from the previous patterns in that they pointed forward, had longer horns and were operated by pushing forward against the wire. There was no corresponding pattern for the Ross as it had been withdrawn from front line service by then.

It was designed such that the wire ran along the top of the sword bayonet and entered the jaws of the cutter, rotated it and cut the wire



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WilliamS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2020 at 7:22am
Originally posted by The Armourer The Armourer wrote:

I have never seen a wire cutter like the one in your picture - the two types used seem to be 'hand held' or 'rifle mounted'.

Is this No1 wire cutter complete ? Does it look like it is 'rifle mounted' ?

The No1 Wire cutter that I am familiar with is a very different beast



The No.1 Mk.1 wire cutter was introduced in 1916. It could be attached to Lee Enfield, Ross and P 17 rifles. The jaws close when the rifle is thrust forward and lifted against the wire. The mechanism is spring-loaded to return the jaws to the open position when tension is released. Apparently this type of cutter was ineffective unless the wire was tight, and wouldn't cut the hardened steel German wire. Most of them were discarded in favour of hand-held cutters. 

In 1917 the No.1 Mk.11 cutter was introduced. It has 3 rivets along the longer horn, rather than the 2 rivets of the Mk.1. T

 

C.H.Pugh Ltd, Whitworth Works, Tilton Road, Birmingham
Teleg: Accuracy, Birmingham.
Tel: Victoria 161

Rifle SMLE Mark.III, Cutters, Wire: 5,500 ordered under contract 94/C/1667 dated 11 May 1916 - Completed
Rifle SMLE Mark.III, Cutters, Wire: 39,300 ordered under contract 94/C/1667 dated 11 May 1916 - Completed
Cutters, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark I: 60,000 ordered under contract 94/C/2849 dated 28 August 1916 - Completed
Cutters, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark II: 50,000 ordered under contract 94/C/4625 dated 7 March 1917 - ongoing
Breakers, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark I: 15,000 ordered under contract 94/B/2997 dated 21 October 1917 - Completed
Breakers, Wire, S.A.No.1 Mark I: Continuation ordered under contract 94/B/3486 dated 4 December 1916 - 2,000 per week.

 

Wire breakers were attached to the bayonet and trapped the wire at the muzzle which was then broken by firing the rifle, the bullet cutting the wire.

Wire cutters broke the wire by mechanical means after it was trapped in the jaws of the cutter.

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.1 Mark I fitted the SMLE and P.'14 rifles,

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.2 Mark I fitted the Ross Mark III

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.3 Mark I fitted the Ross Mark IIIB (the British contract model)

All were introduced by List of Changes Paragraph 17,751 dated February 1916. These all pointed up and back when fitted to the rifle. The wire was hooked in the jaws and the rifle pulled sharply backwards to operated the spring mechanism and cut the wire.


Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.1 Mark II fitted the SMLE,

Cutters, Wire, S.A., No.4 Mark I fitted the Pattern '14,

These were introduced in LoC Para. 18,516 dated January 1917 and differed from the previous patterns in that they pointed forward, had longer horns and were operated by pushing forward against the wire. There was no corresponding pattern for the Ross as it had been withdrawn from front line service by then.

It was designed such that the wire ran along the top of the sword bayonet and entered the jaws of the cutter, rotated it and cut the wire




You're right, I had not realized that wire cutter and wire breaker are not interchangeable terms for these.  This would be the No1 MkI Wire Breaker and as far as I can tell is complete.
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The Armourer View Drop Down
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[/QUOTE]

You're right, I had not realized that wire cutter and wire breaker are not interchangeable terms for these.  This would be the No1 MkI Wire Breaker and as far as I can tell is complete.
[/QUOTE]

Thank-you I have never seen a wire-breaker, I don't suppose you send/post a few photos from all angles for my library ?

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WilliamS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 05 2020 at 2:45pm
Originally posted by The Armourer The Armourer wrote:



Thank-you I have never seen a wire-breaker, I don't suppose you send/post a few photos from all angles for my library ?

Certainly! I'm out of town right now but I will take better pictures when I get back. I don't have a bayonet to mount it on yet so I won't be able to get a picture of it mounted up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2020 at 12:42am
Originally posted by WilliamS WilliamS wrote:

Originally posted by The Armourer The Armourer wrote:



Thank-you I have never seen a wire-breaker, I don't suppose you send/post a few photos from all angles for my library ?

Certainly! I'm out of town right now but I will take better pictures when I get back. I don't have a bayonet to mount it on yet so I won't be able to get a picture of it mounted up.

Thanks - look forward to them.
(you could always let it have a new home - I have a nice bayonet that it would fit perfectly)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 06 2020 at 5:20am
This is how it mounts :


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WilliamS View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2020 at 8:15pm
Here's some better pictures. 



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote WilliamS Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2020 at 8:16pm


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 07 2020 at 11:50pm
Thanks for the pictures - I'm still up for a purchase or trade, just let me know what value you put on it.
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