The No.3 or .303"calibre Pattern '14 rifle and its .22 RF conversion are not to be confused with the .22RF Pattern '14 -
which latter rifle is the A.G. Parker .22RF conversion of the SMLE (Short Magazine Lee-Enfield) rifle
The rifle represented on this page is a .22RF sleeved barrel conversion of the .303 Pattern '14 (P'14) rifle,
although it is understood that some of the small number of these rifles may have been conversions of the U.S. Pattern '17 .303" rifle.
The P'14 in .303 inch calibre was effectively a 1914-18 wartime expediency version of the already trialled Pattern '13 rifle,
as British manufacturing plants were then unable to produce the huge numbers of rifles required.
The Pattern '13 rifle was originally Enfield designed, and in .276 calibre, but it was never put into production.
The rifle was also adopted by the U.S. military as the Pattern '17 (P'17 or M1917 ) in .30-06 calibre.
Both the British .303 and the U.S. .30-06 rifles were manufactured by the Winchester, Remington and Eddystone companies.
The .22 rimfire tubed training rifle below is fitted with an additional Parker-Hale No.5 target aperture rear-sight.
More detail of this rifle is given below.
The "Pattern '14" rifle was also used as a sniping weapon throughout WW1.
Some of the earliest First World War sniping rifles were fitted with side-mounted telescopic sights,
to theoretically retain the ability for clip-loading.
This positioning of a 'scope was problematic for the sniper,
who was also rather unlikely to find himself needing to clip-load for rapid fire.
Thus, before long, 'scopes were mounted above the bore-line for a more comfortable, convenient , and therefore frankly accurate aim.
The telescope above is an Aldis Pattern 1918 model, also used overbore on these rifles,
and frequently on the Lee-Enfield No.1 "SMLE" sniping versions.
Post-war, the accuracy of these rifles led to their frequent use as target rifles in competition, particularly at the famous Bisley ranges in Surrey.
The volley sights on rifles on this page have been No.3 Mk.I* rifle have been removed -
in common with most rifles re-issued in the 1939-45 War.
THE ABOVE IMAGE LINKS TO CONTEMPORARY VIDEO OF
The Pattern '14 No.3 Rifle discussed on this page, the SMLE No.1 Rifle and No.2 Rifle, the No.4 Rifle and the FN-SLR Rifle
plus the EM2 Bull-pup, precursor to the current SA-80 Rifle,
and Service Rifle Target shooting at BISLEY CAMP RANGES Post WWII
.22 calibre rimfire training conversions of the Rifle No.3 are,
unlike the relatively large numbers of Lee-Enfield equivalents produced, comparatively rare.
Below, the receiver body LHS shows the Broad Arrow marking of the British Government's acceptance,
the 'Sold out of Service' opposing arrows stamping and the proof marks
Below are two different examples of the .22RF P'14 conversion.
It can be seen that, on each, over half-an-inch of the bolt-head shrouding section has been cut away - almost up to the gas vent.
The bolt bodies have had the .303 extractor - with its integral extraction claw - removed along with the extractor ring.
A narrower .22RF extractor lever has been fitted inside the bolt lug; a very neat and effective conversion.
The .22 calibre Parker-Rifled sleeve protrudes into the receiver
to meet the P'14 bolthead recess base originally machined for the rimmed .303 service cartridge.
A third example is a yet more unusual conversion in that, to obviate any need to cut away the receiver for loading.
the .22 barrel sleeve has been introduced further back into the receiver.
This has necessitated the shortening and significant recessing of the bolt,
which otherwise retains the long extractor of the parent rifle,
which latter has been removed from the two Parker-Hale conversions above.
Below can be seen the bolt-head face, more deeply recessed near its outer diameter than originally for the rimmed .303 cartridge-case head;
(this was already modified from the 30.06 U.S. Pattern '17 rifle which used a rimless case),
and further recessed for the .22 rimfire rimmed case.
The off-centre firing pin hole can also clearly be seen; this comes to a position at the bottom of the bolt-head
when the bolt handle is rotated and the breech closed.
Below: from left to right, a .303CF bolt-head; the heavily recessed third type .22RF with wide extractor; and the two other .22 types.
The very right-hand bolt-head is that of the preceding Pattern 1913 Trials Rifle.
.............. ......... ... ......... ...... ......... ......
The standard P'14 rear folding leaf sight remains in position, but there is
an additional fitment of the Parker-Hale 5B target sight especially
produced ( originally by A.G.Parker, whose" Bisley Works" markings
are on the windage arm), for the Pattern '14 rifle for target use. The full-
bore P'14 was a most accurate service rifle, which led to its use as a
sniper rifle in the First World War ( in scoped Pattern 14 Mk.I* (T)
form), again early in the Second World War (as the scoped No.3 MkI*
(T) ) and also as a popular target rifle from about 1935 when they were
first released for civilian use. Post WWII their use became almost 'de
rigueur' in competition. This situation held good for many years, until
specialist commercial TARGET RIFLES were designed and offered to the
civilian market. In the mean time, many target conversions of the P'14
were undertaken by various companies. Special stocks became
available, special barrels, sights, and a host of ancillary equipment.
Above, a Parker's six-hole - variable aperture - rotating disc eye-piece is fitted to their 5B rear-sight.
Calibration of the 5B sight on the Pattern '14 is for the Mk. VII .303 round. Not relevant with the .22RF cartridge.
There is no provision for small-bore use other than the option of the minute-of-angle scale on the LHS.
The A.G.Parker " Parker Rifled " sleeve outline diameter
................... can be clearly seen on the muzzle crown
After the barrel had been bored to the sleeve outer diameter clearance size, the sleeve was normally soft soldered into the barrel, sometimes with an olive at the crown, not evident in this image.
Above right, is an advertisement from the 1935 catalogue of A.G. Parker first illustrating the .22RF P'14 conversion alongside their more common SMLE conversions. The P'14 falls midway between the economy SMLE option and the brand new BSA .22RF SMLE - which was fitted with a specially manufactured solid barrel.
To view the drawings (S.A.I.D.)
for the No.3 rifle and components
click on either of the adjacent images
One really unusual .22RF adapter unit has been brought to our attention by its fortunate guardian.
Similar adapters are not uncommon for such rifles as the Mauser G98, and indeed many of the Lee-Enfield marks.
However, one for the Enfield Rifle No.3, or Pattern '14, is extremely rare.
This particular unit was manufactured by the Birmingham Small Arms Company.
Carrying the serial number "157", it could be inferred that a hundred or two were made at least;
But the quality of the finish, and the beautiful hand engraving belies the suggestion
that this may have been a production item rather than an experimental or trials model.
Below; two images of the unit inserted into a rifle showing the bolt in both the closed and open positions.
The small, Mauser-trainer-like loading and ejection port lies just forward of the rifle's rear-sight protecting walls.
And here viewed from above.
The view below is looking into the bolt-way, and the top of the extractor can just be seen to the rear of the port.
Below: the action, with closed bolt.
... and from the LHS, showing the sear, cocking-piece, safety-catch and bolt release button
The proof and inspection marks do not appear to include a Broad Arrow that would indicate the device had enjoyed military acceptance.
The bolt: viewed first from the RHS and,right, from the LHS
and next and,right, from the LHS
The rectangular section firing-pin and the wide extractor are shown below.
Below: the muzzle of the .22RF tube can be seen protruding from the muzzle of the rifle's .303CF bore.
Should you hold more information on this rare adapter unit we would be grateful to hear.
Please use the contact link at the top or bottom of this page
Below in a video clip is a British Pathe Newsreel of Enfield rifles shown in training.
We copy below an interesting excerpt from an article in the Military Rifle Journal
From the February 2001 issue, pages 33 - 44.
THE RIFLES OF THE SPANISH CIVIL WAR
By Dan Reynolds
In the aftermath of the First World War, the Birmingham Small Arms Company, BSA, acquired the rights to broker sales of all surplus British small arms and ammunition. The material consisted of what was considered non standard or unserviceable for various reasons or unlikely to be of future operational use. The biggest single item was the large stock of Pattern 14 rifle in .303 calibre. Marketing these rifles was difficult as the calibre was in wide use only by the British Empire, Estonia and Latvia. After the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, the British supplied Ross and Pattern 14 rifles from Royal Navy stocks to these Baltic nations. During the Allied Intervention in the Russian Civil War, they supplied large numbers of rifles to the "White"anti - communist forces. The Black Sea port of Novorossisk was HQ of the "Denmiss", the British mission sent to supply the White "Armed Forces of South Russia". From March 1919 onward, they supplied about 200,000 rifles to Deniken's forces including large numbers of Pattern 14, lesser numbers of Ross M10 and fewer numbers of Mk.3 and Mk.3* Lee Enfields in .303. Pattern 14 rifles from British Army stocks were provided to other White Russian forces elsewhere in the former Russian Empire during this period.
During the 1920's, the surplus German Mausers in 7.92x57mm were the preferred rifles in the international arms trade. Finland sought to buy or trade for Mosin Nagants and attempted to standardize on this type. The warlords in China were always seeking to buy surplus rifles. The Soley Armament Company was established near Regents Park in London by a former RFC officer, John Ball sometime in the mid 1920's. At a later date, Ball established a partnership with Edgard Grimard, a dealer located in Liege, Belgium. They formed the firm of Soley Grimard & Company to convert Pattern 14 rifles to the desirable 7.92x57mm used by many nations in their Mauser rifles. They believed that these rebuilt rifles would find a place on the market.
In 1930, BSA subcontracted their franchise for War Ministry surplus small arms to Ball. From the outbreak of the Spanish Civil War in mid July, officials and agents of the republican government and also of individual factions of the Red coalition attempted to arrange arms deals through various intermediaries and dealers, chiefly from Paris. They unknowingly competed with one another and sometimes with Krivitsky's operation, driving prices up.
Poland had won its independence following WW1 and established its eastern border after defeating the Red Army in the Russo-Polish War. She was caught between two major powers, Germany and Soviet Russia, both of whom had territorial claims on her border areas. She also had a dispute with Lithuania over the city of Vilnius. She had to maintain strong-armed forces to survive. Upon establishing independence, Poland was armed with various foreign rifles. Poles had served in three armies during the Great War. Imperial Russian, Imperial Austro Hungarian and French. From Germany, she received the machinery from Danzig Arsenal to produce the Mauser Gewehr 98 and Karabiner 98AZ. From France, she had received M86/93 Lebel and Mannlicher Berthier M07, M07/15 and M16 rifles and carbines. From Austro Hungary, she had Mannlicher M88/90 and M1895 rifles and carbines, as well as a few M1903/14 6.5mm Mannlicher Schonauer rifles. From Russia, Imperial and Soviet, she had M1891 Mosin Nagants of all types, including some captured/reissue types in 8x50mm. She also had some .303 Pattern 14 Enfields, which had either been given as British aid or captured from the Soviets. The Mauser was selected as the standard rifle type and existing rifles of this type were reworked and copies of the German gew.98 and Kar.98AZ were produced at arsenals established at Radom and Warsaw. Minor variations were produced, but are beyond the scope of this article. In 1929, a new short rifle version of the Mauser, seemingly based on the Czechoslovak VZ24 made at the ZB rifle factory in Brno, Moravia, was adopted. The infantry version had a horizontal bolt handle and the cavalry rifle had a turned down bolt handle. The Poles used many second hand and refurbished parts in their rifle production. The Poles traded for and purchased used Mausers on the world arms market. In the early 1930's, they bought a lot of reworked Mausers in 7.92x57mm from Soley Grimard & Co. in Liege. The secondary official standard rifle was the Mosin Nagant Model 91/98/25 in 7.92x57mm. These were made by reworking captured stocks of Mosins in 7.62x54R by commercial firms in Poland in the 1920's. All the other rifles on hand were considered surplus as soon as new Mausers could replace them. In 1926, a front company was established by War Ministry to handle sales of surplus war material and later it evolved into a full scale weapons dealership, buying, selling and trading. It was known as the "Syndicate", SEPEWE for the initials of its Polish name, or in English "War Material Export Organization".
See also: the Soley Armaments Co. Experimental SMLE-style conversion of the Enfield No.3 (Pattern '14) Rifle
and the Pattern 1913 Trials Rifle.
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