Herewith a representation of queries and requests we receive. You may find an answer to your question here if you search the page wih your browser.
At risk of being accused of "blowing our own trumpet", may we suggest a visit to our 'comments library' recording some of the appreciative reports we receive on the website.
It will be seen that our correspondence is far from one-way. We often receive valuable information from those writing to us. This much improves the currency and relevance of the reference pages for all visitors. Our thanks go to such contributors.
Sadly, you are far from being on your own on this one; there appear to be possibly more of these rifles without their magazines than with!
Finding an original magazine is a matter of pure luck. I came across mine in a box of bits at an antique arms fair. The stand-holder had no idea what it was and I paid four pounds for it. I had great difficulty in holding back my enthusiasm until out of sight of his stand!
There is an outside possibility, for which we await confirmation (as at August 2009), that a 1908 Savage .22 magazine may fit. View details on the linked page.
The only other way out would be a reproduction. I know that John Knibbs makes up magazines for at least one BSA small-bore rifle, the Century I think ( although these may be of carbon fibre ). He might consider doing the magazine for the WOM if he thought there was a decent market for it - and there probably is; I receive quite a number of such enquiries.
John Knibbs International; www.airgunspares.com
Thank you for entering into the survey. It just may clear up one or two question marks over production and serial numbering of the two manufacturers, as well as bring to light some unusual models or conversions.
I've happened to come across a BSA 1906 or 1908 .22 calibre
single shot rifle barrel, with the front & rear sight still intact,
however, I am missing the bolt & the rifle stock.
I've taken it to a few antique gun shows where some vendors have parts for various rifles, but so far I am unlucky in getting the bolt or the rifle stock for it. If I can get the bolt for the barrel, then I could probably get a custom made rifle stock made.... one vendor told me that it sounds like a "labour of love", and I guess maybe it is. I really want to get this put back together as there is a lot of history in this company & this barrel. I am hoping to bring it back to life and care for it so I can pass it on down in my family.... any suggestions on where I can get a bolt for this barrel? would appreciate any suggestions.
Just to narrow the search some, the trigger is silver, so I think this is the early .22 cal single shot civilian version. M.S. - British Columbia, Canada.
Try John Knibbs at: www.airgunspares.com
You will probably need to pass him rather more information, e.g. serial number, dimensions and/or an image of the action. What you have told us is a little sparse. Could you not identify the rifle's barrel/action on the BSA rifles pages of our website?
Let us know whether or not you have any success.
I did e-mail him today.... the barrel is a BSA 1908 .22 caliber, serial # 7144 stamped twice, one on the barrel & one on the receiver .... I really enjoy the history of the rifle, the look, and the sights, ramp sights & front cover swivel ..., would really like to get this back in working order.
What you tell us makes it sound as
if it's a War
Office Pattern Miniature Rifle. Your mention of the swivelling fore-sight
cover, and the 7000 series numbering, which would be about 1908 for that
rifle production, leads me to that conclusion. Have you looked at the
page for that rifle on the website to confirm this?
These rifles regularly come up for auction over here, and one with a barrel in poor condition might well provide the bolt and wood furniture that you require.
.........magazines for these rifles are as the proverbial hen's teeth, thus only extremely good fortune and diligent searching through junk at arms fairs is likely to provide an original (apart from purchasing a rifle with one already fitted - if such can be found).
An aperture rear-sight should be
easier to locate. Although the rifle was never really intended for use other
than with its open sights, BSA did offer the receiver mounted option you
mention, but I have personally yet to come across even one of these.
A number of Parker and Parker-Hale sights should be usable however. For instance, the PH 16 model in one of its various guises (?B), and as originally available for the BSA Model No.1 and 2 rifle types, or one of their similar Sportarget range of sights with the appropriate mount style for a round receiver. It might also be possible to fit a No.8 sight of the correct height. There was a small mounting plate available, which can be let neatly into the top of the wrist of the stock, to permit the tidiest fitment of such folding sights to the BSA Model No 1/2 type rifles, and allowing any occasional removal of the folding sight to leave the stock looking still aesthetically pleasing.
For which sight your receiver has already been drilled may not be certain, unless you have a sight, or its dimensions, with which a comparison can be made; ( it would be interesting if your rifle's stock carried the cut-out that appears to have been necessary to fit the 'Special' sight). I am afraid you are destined to join the same quests enjoyed as part of the hobby by many of us! Should you not already have embarked on it, eBay is a source for such things that never ceases to amaze in terms of what occasionally surfaces. But, then acquiring such lots is another matter!
Outstanding web page! Do you know if the rifles
were ever listed for export sales to the US?
thank you ............... that's much appreciated.
Re; export to U.S.A .................. are you referring to any particular rifles, e.g. military, target, BSA?
Many BSA target rifles
were exported to North America certainly; precious few military or training
rifles though. For obvious reasons they all came the other way ..............
on two significant occasions we badly needed yours!
I was referring to the L.S.A.
War Office Miniature Rifle. I have been collecting for many years and
had never seen one. I did show my L.S.A. rifle to many advanced collectors
while in Tulsa and none had ever seen one. That is why I asked if they had
been for sale outside England.
B.S.A. certainly advertised in the U.S.A. and sold heavily abroad in the Commonwealth. It is barely conceivable that L.S.A. would not have attempted to do the same, but to a considerably lesser degree, that company having an overall production capacity of barely a third of that of B.S.A. in its earlier days. ( L.S.A. was closed down in 1937)
It would be reasonable to assume that some War Office Pattern Miniature rifles found their way to the U.S.A. but, by the law of averages, probably mostly of B.S.A. manufacture. However, it would not be surprising if some L.S.A. rifles made it to your side of the pond, although, realistically, the W.O.P. rifle was built for a purpose, in the the U.K., which would have been a doubtful requirement in the U.S.A. It was outclassed by the Martini actions and sold more because of Government backing for the design and production than on its own merit. One suspects that this may not have been enough to encourage purchasers abroad; the Martini was certainly preferred in Australia, which nation bought in the B.S.A. .310 Cadet rifle in large numbers.
The W.O.P. rifle was really more of a boy's rifle than a training rifle in the Service sense of the word.
Some rifles would have travelled to the U.S.A., over the years, with their emigrating owners; thus the only way of identifying that a rifle was an original new export (import to you) would be some retailer's mark, or records of the L.S.A. company sales, which I have yet to discover if they exist in any archive.
I have no doubt that you will enjoy your unusual find over the water and that it will remain a great talking point. If I come across any specific L.S.A. advertising from/for the 'States' I will let you know. Perhaps you would be kind enough to do the same.
Hi there, wondered if you could help. I have a BSA Martini Mark 4 International and would like to fit a scope to it. Do you have any advice/ direction where I could obtain a base for mounts from.
We've had a brief cast around, to no immediate avail. You really need the correct Parker-Hale blocks if at all possible. I can
only suggest you try Alfred. J. Parker at 348, Moseley Road, Birmingham, who may be able to help. Otherwise it will need a keen eye at arms fairs or on eBay. A last resort would be to buy a rifle with blocks already fitted - which is rather more usual than not - and either use the blocks and re-sell the rifle ....... or simply change the rifle ........ which may even prove easier and cheaper in the long run, particularly if your existing barrel is not already drilled. If the barrel is drilled, then finding the original style, or matching, blocks is critical and problematic. Sorry we cannot be of more help.
Thank you very much for responding. As I thought,
finding a base/ block wont be that easy, though I will do as you say and
try Alfred J. Parker first of all. Just to say what a wonderful site you
have created. As a BSA enthusiast I have found it excellent to say the least.
After a little silver-surfing, the
best we can come up with relates to the Jubilee of 1957, which was the World
Scout Jamboree held in Sutton Coldfield. Scouting is about, I believe, to
celebrate its Centenary, thus the 1957 Jubilee would presumably have been
a 50 year celebration.
Perhaps the connection between the Boy Scouts Association and the Birmingham Small Arms Company (the initials) is more than coincidence here. The latter might well have presented a rifle as a competition prize for instance. Did the Association have a President at that time? Was small-bore rifle shooting within the Association's remit? I feel sure that it probably was in North America in the 1950s. ( I left the Cubs in the early 50s and later joined the Combined Cadet Force - missing the Scouts out altogether - so I have no personal knowledge of this period. Perhaps others do?).
Such a rifle could easily have been won by a North Amnerican group, or subsequently taken 'over the pond' by its owner or a relative.
I can find no contemporary reference to A.W.G.S., but something along the lines of Association of World's Guides and Scouts comes to mind. Although a figment of my imagination, I would not be in the least surprised were there to be an element of truth in this supposition.
Over to you! Perhaps someone else out there knows more of this?
The main means of determining the model number of a BSA rifle are to check barrel length and diameter dimensions, along with overall rifle length and weight - bearing in mind that no special sights or adaptations should be included which might add to the basic weight. You have already ascertained the action width.
The various advertisements and texts should confirm any assessment you make. Images can sometimes be deceiving in identification; stocks were changed, and occasionally barrels too, although it was more common to have these sleeved when the bores became worn. Barrels could even be slightly shorter if re-crowning has taken place. Such confusing updating of rifles continues to this day!
I stumbled across your website last evening -- what a
wonderful collection of information!
Here is a link to an image of an interesting BSA Martini .22 rifle. Can you tell me whether or not this appears to be a "standard" model, or something cobbled together by a shooter (or perhaps custom ordered in this configuration)?
Note: once you pull up the image, you can click on it a couple of times to enlarge it.
Thank you for voicing appreciation; it's good to hear the site is useful.
You would need to check your rifle's dimensions with those on the BSA Martini pages, but it appears to be a Model 12 with a target barrel and fore-end woodwork akin to that produced by Parker-Hale for the Dewar rifles. It could thus well be a special order - or even a refurbishment by P-H. If a private modification, it looks to have been quite professionally done. The rifle seems to be in excellent condition. What is its serial number, and do the dimensions match those of the Model 12 given on site?
My "new" rifle arrived today, so I have some additional information to share.
The serial number is xxxxx, and this number appears on the block, the trigger guard and the extractor. There is another number (1018) that appears on the triggerguard, the barrel
and the receiver. The barrel measures 28-1/4" from the front of the receiver to the muzzle; it
is one inch in diameter at the breech and 3/4" at the muzzle. The bore has been relined, and the muzzle carries the "PARKERIFLED AGP" stamp.
The underside of the barrel is marked "JESSOPS FLUID PRESSED STEEL."
The breechblock has been cut away to allow for a cocking indicator, but one is not present.
There is no provision for an open rear sight. The scope mounts are marked "Parker Hale" and measure 13-1/2" center-to-center.
The top of the barrel has a 3/8" matting that extends from the receiver to the rear of the foresight.
The rifle is equipped with a P-H 7A rear sight with a P-H 62 adjustable aperture. The foresight is a P-H Model 2.
The forearm appears to perhaps have been added later. I'm drawing this conclusion from the fact that there is another, unused, forearm mounting hole drilled and tapped in the bottom of the barrel. Please note the slot that is cut through the forearm -- what would its purpose have been?
The buttstock is fitted with a standard black BSA Bakelite buttplate. The triggerguard has the P-H "Patent Pull-Off Regulator" aftermarket modification.
In the image showing the "Jessups" markings, the hole on the left is the one being used to hold on the current forearm; the one on the right is not being used.
All-in-all it appears to be a very nice specimen -- I'm just anxious now to get it to the range to put her through her paces (I'm hoping the rifling isn't too worn). If she shoots as well as I hope she will, my next step will be to find an appropriate vintage scope for it.
I will appreciate any additional information you can provide.
Once again please allow me to express my gratitude for your extensive
website -- it's one of the best gun-related websites I've come across.
Thanks again for your help.
Dear T..., here is our best guess on your rifle.
You do not give dimensions of the action but, assuming it is the 1³/16 inch width, then it will most likely be a Model 12 (see the pages on the models 6, 8 and 13 to confirm this, and check barrel length and overall dimensions against the information on the various models there). Let me know what you decide.
The rifle is evidently of extremely high quality, and appears to be of a similar configuration and specification to that of the Parker-Hale Dewar rifles (particularly now view that page) whilst not carrying the specific inlaid naming on the action body sides. The first references to rifles of this type are in the very early 1930s.
The earliest reference I have, as yet, found to the Patent Pull-off Regulator is 1940, but something similar may well have been available a little earlier, although probably not at the time the Model 12 was used as a base for the first Dewar rifles. Thus the modification may perhaps have been a retro-fit, which is how the system was initially largely advertised.
I doubt that the 'spiking' of the fulchrum pins on your action is either original, or to much advantage! (apologies for mentioning this). Overall, the rifle appears in really fine condition, and is a wonderful find. If you would be willing to send me some more detailed images ( they would not need to be huge files - max 500kb perhaps) I would be delighted to add them to the Dewar or Model 12 page (undecided) with the appropriate acknowledgement.
TS p.p. HARC-MRL
Dear sirs, I have been trying to locate a site in which I may be able to find out what a BSA Martini-International MK11 in very good condition is worth. I am writing from the USA and have been unable to find out much on this rifle. For instance how many were made, overall it is a very beautiful rifle and I am thinking of selling it but I can’t even find a value to place on this weapon. Can you be of any help?
Dear R......, we cannot really
advise you on North American prices, but a good Mark II over here would
command around GB£ 150.00 to 180.00 with sights. One in truly pristine
collector condition only might reach £250.00, but that would be
most unusual. Club and well used club members' examples change hands internally
at around £80 to £100.
There are many rifles which come up for sale without sights; these fetch barely £60 or £70, so that a set of sights alone can cost almost as much as a rifle with its sights!
Many Internationals are being sold to the U.S. where the actions are cannibalised and used to build wildcat Martini rifles in larger calibres, although it does appear that, more recently, they are finally beginning to appreciate an original as a worthwhile classic shooter and modest investment.
I am trying to find
out about a military night sight that I have (see picture) I am told it
is probably Ex Army (NATO). Can you help?
The sight is about 13 inches long
Windage adjustment marked in English.
Elevation adjustment marked in English.
It has a mirror type objective lens.
The reticule is a single dot in a circle which has adjustable intensity.
The on / off switch also varies the amount of light gathered.
The magnification is variable to X5.
The focus is marked 20 meters to infinity
The mounting system it came with fits the standard NATO Weaver style rail.
The sight works well and the image is clear and even, it works well even in almost total darkness. Any ideas?
Thank you for your enquiry. The sight did look military, but we were not initially able to find anything referring to it; it was not shown in our 1980 copy of the Defence Equipment Catalogue, although we supposed it could just possibly have been a little later.
We wondered whether the unit was perhaps a re-marketed Russian item, but we made an enquiry, concerning it, directly to the main "authority".
Paul Cornish, of the Imperial War Museum, advises that this is a German 'Orion' night sight, made by Eltro GmbH of Heidelberg, using Zeiss optics. He found two versions depicted in Jane's Infantry Weapons 1978 - the Orion 80 (4X) and the Orion 110 (6X).
We found this item under a set of drawers at our home
and the only clue to it is the stamp on the block end "Alfd
Parker Birmingham". About 14" [36cm] long.
Google takes us to your web site to explain how Parkers in Birmingham were renowned in the rifle and target world.
But what is it please?
It looks to be a full-bore calibre rifle chamber cleaning/drying rod; but it is not possible to tell for which calibre this one was - most probably .303" or 7.62mm CF. You would put a 4 x 2 into the slot and twist, it's rather like a slotted jag.
Been scouring your site trying to I.D. an old BSA rifle I know of but so far have failed to find the exact same one? All the mark 111's 30-06 cal. rifle's shown, have much longer wooden section's, along the barrel, than this one does. And was hoping perhap's you could identify for me, exactly what it is we've got?
If you believe you could help please email me with the question's you need answered in order for you to know what this old rifle (marked as either a 1915 model or a 1939 model) may be?
There is no better way of identification
than by sending some images of the rifle and its markings. Dates that
may be either 1915 or 1939 will not permit any assessment.
You seem to be saying that it may be a S.M.L.E. ( Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield ). Many of these were "sporterised" post-war, and had the fore-end woodwork cut back as part of the conversion for sporting use. Images will be the only way we can make a judgement.
Thank's for getting back to me so quickly. And I realize
it would be impossible for you to identify this piece with only the info
that I gave you. Wasn't certain if you'd be interested in providing such
information to begin with? And didn't want to be too forward in my request's,
before I knew if I'd found the right person to ask? It seem's I have however?
And I thank you for providing this
opportunity of finally being able to identify what it is, we have here? Although, it could take some time to provide you with the pic's?
What I can tell you is that this piece is marked as a BSA 303 cal. And has what to me look like the letter's S M T L E stamped into the metal band that go's around the wooden stock, just behind the barrel, and hold's the trigger guard in place. Just below these letter's are three Roman one's as in 111, which I take to be the model designation. These marking's are found on the right hand side of this band, when holding the piece in your right hand, let's say. Just underneath the
BSA co. 1915 stamped into this band as well. If this help's you any? Like you've said though photo's would be the only sure way for you to tell? And I'll try and get some for you ASAP! Thank you.
It looks as though, whatever the configuration
the woodwork may currently hold, the arm was originally a BSA manufactured
Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, ( S.M.L.E.)
The markings, if on the butt-socket RHS, are then, almost certainly, "SHT" "LE" "III"; i.e. Short Lee-Enfield Mark III, with a manufacture date of 1915. This rifle would almost definitely have left
the factory with full-length woodwork and the traditional heavy steel nose-cap, such as you described in your first email as having seen on our website probably at:
This page shows illustrations of that very weapon from B.S.A. Co.'s own post-war publications.
It would have been classic First World War production for issue to British or possibly Commonwealth troops.
Thank's a lot for the info! I've kind of always's thought
that's what it was, but was never quite sure? The piece was left behind
by an Englishman that left town in a hurry, and never left any information
about it, when he did! Was all quite strange at the time, and I have a
feeling he wasn't supposed to be here, in this country, in the first place?
Purely speculation, on my part however, and there very well could be a
much more boring, explanation. This item wasn't all he left behind, and
after three year's without a word from him, I've been contemplating getting
rid of a few thing's I've been storing for the guy, ever since? Any idea
as to the value of the old BSA, or to it's desirability as a collector
I'm taking for granted these were fairly common item's? And there's probably about a million of them spread out across the planet, with most of them being unused like this one, and so it's rarity won't be an issue. Right? Anyway? Thank's again for your trouble, and have a great day too, ok?
R....., you had not mentioned whether
this is a live or deactivated arm. If deactivated or live and with non-standard
woodwork, then the rifle would probably be worth around £100 to
£150 in the U.K.
In good shootable condition, with a not too worn bore, and with the original (or indeed good matching replacement original ) fore-end woowork, then it could be worth about £250. The WWI dated rifles do command a small premium over post-war dated production.
.........thank you for completing the response form for the War Office Pattern Miniature Rifle.
We should point out that the details of the rifle you have entered appear not to be for the War Office Pattern rifle, but for the Lee-Enfield No.2 Mk.IV* training rifle - probably even more valuable.
Should you not already have seen the respective page for this rifle, it can be found at:
Yours, TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
Thanks for the reply. Sorry about that. I didn't realize until after filling out the form that it only applied to the War Office Miniature Rifle. I am new to collecting Enfield rifles and a little overwhelmed with all the different types and conversions and the various markings. I happened to find this rifle at a small gun show near here and was a little shocked at the guys asking price. I took his phone number and took a chance that know one else would buy it. After doing some research, I decided to buy the rifle a few days later. The rifle has a bayonet of the 1907 type and the previous owner told me it was the original. I paid $550 for rifle and bayonet. I don't know if this is good or bad because I have not found anything for sale to compare to it. This is the third Enfield I have purchased, and the most expensive, but it is in very good condition and quite a nice conversation piece. Does anyone know how many of these rifles were produced? Thank you and have a good day. D......
........a fully marked up No.2 rifle would be likely to fetch at least £250 in GB, so yours is not too far adrift. A really good example might even command significantly more. The bayonets are about £30 for run-of-the-mill manufacturers.
The Australians made quite a number of these rifles because they used the SMLE action right through WWII, not having the machine tooling for the later No.4 Lee-Enfield.
Many were built in the UK both for the military and for commercial sale, the public at large being encouraged to practice rifle shooting, particularly with anything that remotely resembled a Service rifle.
We have no real idea of total numbers of .22RF SMLE - equivalents were also manufactured in Canada and India - they probably amount to a good many thousand conversions and new-build rifles of various types from prior to 1914 right through to the mid 1950s.
Kind regards, TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
Hello from Texas,
Many years ago I had one of these rifles, and, like a fool, sold it. Now many years later I've found another left handed one and purchased it.
This rifle is fitted with the Parker Hale metallic sights, but only with the sliding butt plate which it came with. I would like to put an adjustable butt plate on it ( length of pull adjustable), and a hook assembly. However, there isn't a supplier in the US of A to be found. Do you folks in the UK have suppliers that I can be referred to?
For the ultimate, try ........
....... but you'd have to drill the buttstock and fit slider tubes to accommodate the length adjustment rods. But this would probably be necessary with any such modification permitting quick length adjustment
An older Anschutz version with butt-hook would perhaps be more sympathetic to the spirit of the original, but even then an early one might only give you length adjustment with the addition of spacers.
It seems a shame to heavily modify a classic though, unless you can arrange this without it showing externally if the rifle needs to be returned to original configuration. It seems that you would at least have to drill holes in the side of the buttstock for adjustment locking screws; perhaps just use spacers ( once set, these rarely need altering unless you are shooting 3-positional or sharing the rifle with another. Perhaps find a complete 1970's Anschutz SuperMatch or similar with the adjustment already fitted?
Thank you so much for your reply. I've looked at the web
site supplied, and wow, things have really changed since the early '70's.
You are right about modifying a classic, but here we shoot 4 position, and German Schuetzen type matches (lots of Germans settled here in hill country of Texas back in the 1800's).
Well, I am thinging of drilling and tapping the barrel for scope mounts, but I'll hold off on all of it for a while until I'm sure of what I'm doing. Again, thank you for your reply.
Here in Germany I have seen an Enfield No.8 MkIV advertised
(no pic. available).
I shot a couple of thousand rounds with a No.8 MkI as a cadet, and I have heard of a MkII (but don't know what the difference is).
But a No.8 MKIV - was there ever such a thing? If so, please could you let me know a.s.a.p.
I know there is a book by Ian skennerton, but by the time I can get a copy by post it will be too late.
I am asking because I would like to get a No.8 and, quite possibly, participate in the small-bore postal league next season.
Do you have a picture or dimensions of the type of multiple target that was used ca. 1962 for the cadet competitions such as the Felden Trophy and the Ozanne Shield (both East Anglia District, I think). As I once shot 100.8 on such a target, I would very much like to make a copy and see how I manage 45 years later! My wife thinks I am kidding myself if I want to duplicate the performance of a 17-year old. She's certainly right, but I would still like to see how close I can get.
We have never seen evidence that any mark of No.8 rifle exists other than a Mk.1, which nomenclature was that given to the rifle at the time of its acceptance into service in the latter half of 1948. Presumably this simply took into account the possibility of further marks. I will investigate the target, but it may help if you could provide a more detailed description.
Your wife could well be proven wrong. I am well over 60, but can now shoot almost any rifle more effectively than I could as a cadet................ I just require the correct shooting lens prescription!
Just wondering about the Browning BL-22 Lever Action Rifle
and is it eligible for the Postal Leagues in the Rapid Repeater Class?
I know these where made from about 1969 onwards but seem to be based on the early Winchester.
Are you saying that you already have an oldish BL-22 that you would like to use? If so, then we would not be so pedantic as to exclude it. But don't go out and buy one just to do the league; if someone heard about it, they would probably have an argument for a complaint!
Cheers for the info, I'm a bit of a browning fan but the pump is a bit slow for the rapid repeater. The only Browning is this one, BL-22. I'll probably go for Browning patened Winchester or sell out to a 39 Marlin !
Sorry, we'd expected that you probably already had one. Didn't mean to be a spoil-sport!
Hello, I'm Manuel from Spain.
I have bought a LEE ENFIELD Nº9 MKI RIFLE in calibre 22lr, but i need the magazine of them, because this is missing.
Please, can you help me?
In Spain this magazine is imposible to find.
Please, answer me and tell me if you can help me in this question.
I pay you the magazine and the postage to Spain.
Thank you very much.
You do not need a complete magazine
for the No.9 rifle, only the outer casing. The spring and .303" loading
platform are not used and should be removed because the fired .22RF cartridge-cases
drop into the empty magazine casing; although when you buy a magazine
it will probably have these parts in place.
Almost any magazine for a No.4 .303 rifle should fit. Perhaps eBay will provide what you need.
Search for "Enfield magazine 303 #4".
Sir, re: the Lee-Enfield No.4 rifle.
I am trying to locate, for the above weapon, a scope carrier that will fit directly on to the breech, with no machining required. This weapon is stock standard. I am told that non genuine parts are available from an American source, but have not been able to locate any to date.
I can imagine that old, original spares are very difficult to obtain at any time. To complicate matters I live in Australia, and spares are virtually non existent.
Could you possibly advise me if you have any thoughts on where I should start my search, any contact names would be helpful.
Many thanks for your time
Modern alloy brackets which simply bolt to a No.4 action to accommodate a 'scope are readily available on eBay.
..........theoretically, it is not a problem to re-sleeve one, although finding a sleeve long enough is more problematic. We had great difficulty finding sleeves for anything longer than a SMLE. There are two or three firms in the U.K. who will undertake this work, but it is really not for us to make recommendations. Look for engineering gunsmiths in the shooting press.
A good rifle might fetch little more than £200; they can go for little more than £120. However, a Greener Queen's Cup prize model might fetch nearer £600; the variance can be significant.
A .22 smoothbore will be much less sought after,
and correspondingly priced - perhaps as little as £50 to £60.
If it will cost the price of a reasonable rifle to re-sleeve it, then
it would probably be easier to find a rifle than have the work done on
We paid nearly £40 for sleeves just long enough to do an SMLE, but not a Long-Lee, from Parkers some years ago. The only other answer would be to fit one of the shorter sleeves ( more easily obtainable and cheaper) and accept a counter-bored muzzle of 3 or 4 inches; it will shoot just as well!
The rifle could be shot with its open sights in Service class. Several are shot to good effect by those who can organise a decent sight picture. With a folding rear aperture sight it would be eligible for Classic class.
Hope this helps, although I suspect not a lot!
I have owned this model BSA for approximately 30 years and haven't been
able to establish the exact date and model—although it appears to
be a model 8 or one
of the twelves.
Your expertise and help would be much appreciated.
These are some of the knowns:
- the production # 3xxxxx
- the barrel is 28 inches long
- the overall length of the gun is 43-1/2 inches
- the backsight has the marking B.S.A. P.Pat. 21332 -09
- the front sight has the marking letter B
- at the base of the ejection lever on the stock appears a marking that looks like a chevron with the number 10 in it and below that appears the letter M, and below that the letter T
I am in the process of considering selling this wonderful piece but have no sense of current value.
I don't want to over-price or under-price it —your guidance would be appreciated.
It certainly looks to be a 'twelve'; the 'eight' is 3+ inches shorter, as a look through the data in the advertisements on our webpages should confirm. It is worth whatever someone is willing to pay - probably between £80 and £120, dependent upon condition, particularly of the bore!
in production for more than 30 years, with most manufactured between the two World Wars, and an as yet undiscovered total production figure, accurately dating a BSA Model 12 is not something we have been able to properly achieve.
John Knibbs ( John Knibbs International; www.airgunspares.com ) holds most of the surviving records for BSA production and will date a rifle, if he can, for a small fee which we understand he donates to his favourite charity. In his excellent book on BSA - "The Golden Century", he really only details serial numbering for later models with prefixed serial numbers. Many BSA records were lost, if we recall correctly, as a result of bomb damage in Birmingham during the last War, and it may be that much of this information is no longer available; it would be preferable to ask him directly.
( Please let us know if you obtain any definite information).
Our best estimate is that the total production was of the order of 60,000 rifles, although this could be wildly inaccurate as it is derived from serial numbers seen on rifles at auction, and there is no guarantee that the series started with No.1, although that was the most usual system at that time. One rifle was reported, in a catalogue, with a serial number of 586555 but, since most seem not to much exceed 58,000 we suspect this may be a misprint with an extra "5"! Also, most auctioneers are unwilling to state the Model number, with good reason - models are confusing in appearance, often modified or updated, and identification is therefore not at all easy - thus a serial number cannot always be attributed to a Model 12; only the fact that it was doubtlessly the model with the greatest production is an indication that the highest numbers are Model 12 rifles.
All this supposition means that it might not be unreasonable to estimate that, with limited production in the periods over both Wars, most production was between 1919 and 1937/8, a period of approximately 20 years including the two years prior to WWI. An average annual production figure of around 3,000 would therefore seem a reasonable estimate. Divide your own rifle's serial number by 3,000, add the figure to 1912, and you may have the approximate year of manufacture; no guarantee though.
Your description of the sights on your particular rifle suggest they are unusual by virtue of the element/ blade replacement, unless I have misunderstood what you say, and the rifle has been retro-fitted with the later larger tunnel foresight ~ either BSA or Parker-Hale ~ with interchangeable elements; the most common owner upgrade on rifles in use for so many years. These sights are detailed on the website. If the rearsight is secured to the rear of the action body, then is it perhaps a PH no.7 variant? Again a much later fitment, although calibration from 40-140 metres suggest it is something foreign and again unusual. The folding rear-sight most used on this rifle was the BSA Model 8. Again, this item is elsewhere represented on the site. Lest you have not already found the relevant page, I have added a link from the Model 12 page ( I am aware that site navigation leaves something to be desired, and am building a site map/contents page).
The No.8 sights appear on eBay from time to time, but are increasing in cost. You may well acquire one from an arms fair, or perhaps, indeed, John Knibbs. Take care that you obtain one of the correct height, although these are probably the most common.
Best wishes and regards, TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
Dear Sir ,
I am trying to source 3 sight sets, for use with No.8 lee enfield .22 rifles; they currently have a vertical adjustment only.
Is there a conversion that I can buy to use with these rifles, as they are used in a school league. e.
Model number on one of the rifles is T74 / 47 does this help?
..............try A.J. Parker Ltd. of Armoury Works, 348, Moseley Road, Birmingham B12 9AZ. They were associated with Parker-Hale and involved with the design of the very adapter that you need - the Parker(-Hale) 8/53 Target sight/windage adapter - which fits simply onto the standard No.4 or No.8 rifles' folding rear-sight leaf. I know of at least one A.T.C. unit which has had these adapters fitted to their No.8s for several years.
Bear in mind that, technically, adding a windage facility to a Service rifle may affect its eligibility for some Service type competitions where 'aiming-off' is expected to be the order of the day. For all other purposes, the modification turns the No.8, very accurate in its own right, into a more than acceptable target rifle. I used my own, on Wednesday last, to shoot a 97 on the current NSRA small-bore leagues target. I cannot do much better with an Anschutz!
You see the 8/53 windage adapters on eBay occasionally, and they command ridiculously high sums. Parkers will sell them at a sensible, even old, price. If you say that they are for a school unit, a request for discount may even fall on other than deaf ears; it's worth a try anyway if you are purchasing several items.
Best of luck, TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
............these are probably BSA's own version of the FS22 type tunnel foresight and element with the single under lug. The more usual equivalent seen is, as you say, in Parker or Parker-Hale guise with the twin horizontal lugs on the elements.
The BSA ones are quite unusual to find at antique arms fairs, etc., nowadays, but you could try John Knibbs at: www.airgunspares.com
He worked at BSA for many years, and took much of their remaining stock of sundry items.
Good luck, TS
Eastern Frontier, Republic of Texas, if you look at a map you will see the Republic of Texas borders the southern part of the U. S. If yaall ever get to TEXAS, come to Dallas, Texas airport and call us, will pick you up and spend a few days shooting old martini's There're NO GUN LAWS in Texas and Texans can do as they please, well its time to get back to planting trees, L......
.......thank you for your kind comments; It is good to hear that the website is found useful in such far-flung places as Texas, where one assumes that almost everything rifle-related is probably already well covered!
How many cadet Martinis are there to the barrel?! Were they originally destined for Australia or specifically imported to Canada or the U.S.A.? I am obviously assuming here that they are B.S.A. rifles rather than Francotte, for instance, and that the barrel was the original packing case and that all the rifles were of the same batch; I am perhaps assuming too much! If the barrel was an ex-factory container, do you by any chance still have it or any photographs of it? (It would make a novel gun cabinet in the gunroom of a collection). In any event, you must have a good few rifles in your collection.
At least Martinis don't DEpreciate to the degree of computers and cars; and they're a good deal more reliable than either!
You are indeed fortunate to have your own range; we are a little short of space over here for such luxuries! Your invitation is most generous and, who knows, we may one day get a chance to take you up on it!
Kind regards, all at HARC-MRL
I was just wondering what you would be prepared to pay (in pounds sterling) for a late model 12/15 BSA Martini action club gun.
I realise that a lot depends upon condition and rarity. However given that the rifle is in reasonable condition and shoots acurately what would you be prepared to pay for one?
I emphasise that I am not selling my 12/15 but just rather curious
about its current market value.
.........a club rifle could command as little as £50 at auction. A really good little used rifle might fetch as much as £150, but one would have to be exceptional to reach any higher figure.
Thank you for the information on your web site, I found it very interesting and informative.
Recently I purchased what I believe, from the information on your web site, to be a model 12/15, it is in very good condition for a rifle built 50 odd years ago. The Serial Number is P6xxxx.
With guidance from your website I was able to dismantle and clean the action.
On firing it, it was discovered that the chamber has been bored out to take .22 Magnum.
The rifle seems so sturdy and well built, but as the .22 Magnum has a lot more power than a .22lr it seemed sensible to enquire further from an authortative source before using it again.Are you able to advise whether there are any safety issues, or to advise the contact details of someone who may be able to do so.
These BSA actions were originally designed to take .22 Hornet, .310 Cadet and .300 Rook type loads. Many have been utilised for even more powerful and 'wildcat' cartridges. As long as there are no faults with the action there should be no problem.
that is a really useful piece of information, thank you. We will update the webpage as soon as we can.
Should your rifle vary significantly from that shown on our site, we would be pleased to have an image or two and any more information you may be able to provide.
It is good to hear that your Ten-X is still with you and cared for after all these years.
Kind regards, TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
I'm glad that you may find the information of some use. As it was in the white, unstocked and without any sights (and that the shop from which I purchased it - over here, by the way - had several others in similar state) I think it may be safe to assume that these were the tail of production and remained uncompleted and stashed away until being sold as a lot. I had it restocked and scoped and it is quite accurate.
.............thank you for " dotting the 'I's and crossing the 'T's". We suspected that it had to be something like that for the rifle to surface in about 1980 in the white. Yes the barrels were very good for accuracy; indeed, the several that we have come across, and fired, still are!
All the best, TS, HARC-MRL
Thanks for the wonderful info. on the website.....I have
a 12/15 and a International mk2.
Our club at xxxxxxx has a Sportco Martini, which has languished for some time without use. If any information about it is of assistance, please let me know. I bought this about 8 years ago for the club, amongst other rifles, from a club which closed down. It has only been used twice since, and is in sound condition.
........it's good to hear from a fellow BSA Martini enthusiast. Here on the East Coast we have a small but dedicated band of followers shooting the Winter Postal Leagues. If you're not already doing this, don't forget to have a go in the Autumn!
Re: the Sportco; if you have any further information, or can send images of your example, then we'd be pleased to see/hear of it/them.
..........this rifle was manufactured both before and after the years in which smokeless powder was first introduced for the .22 rimfire cartridge. The rifle could have been intended for either, but would usually carry the appropriate proof marks ( certainly in the U.K.). Date of production of any particular example may give an approximate indication. A .22RF rifle will probably satisfactorily use either powder.
TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
I looked at your web site last year but didn’t have time to do anything about it. Having looked at your site again yesterday I went off to the club (B******** Rifle Club) took out of the cupboard an old BSA 12-15 (P6xxxx) that I last shot as a boy in about 1979, found a two point sling in a box stuffed under a table, (incidentally the one that I used to use in 1979, although I note that it must have shrunk considerably!) blew the dust off and removed a dead spider from the fore-sight, went down and shot a four off!!!!
it's easiest and quickest for me to intersperse the answers to your queries within your text, so here goes ...............
If you can shoot a 96 on a 1989 target, then you will be acheiving constant " tons" on the Cadets and Schools one!
Thankyou for your prompt reply! I shall follow your example and add my text to yours.
( It never ceases to amaze me how badly I am affected by "stickeritice") [ This is the disease which afflicts a usually high-scoring shooter when the target at which they are firing has a competition sticker attached! - Ed]
It will be the "Skirmisher" that will win or lose your matches in the league .......................... you should read up the notes on technique and kit.
B*%%*£$s Skirmisher? Missed that one! I have had a bit of success with turning-targets standing, but the last timed event I shot prone was at Mill Pool with an Accuracy International Coopermatch borrowed from a friend, 12 rounds RG borrowed from his wife, a shooting jacket and sling from somebody walking behind the firing line, and a scope that appeared from somewhere during 5 mins of madness before the detail started; the underwear, however, was my own. My score wasn't that good, 20 something, but it was 600 yards and the three flags I could see were all blowing in different directions. I beat the fourteen year old two up the line though! Ha!
I couldn’t have been more amazed if I had dropped a brick and it had fallen up! As a result of this little experiment I would like to enter your postal league,
The results that can be obtained with these rifles are not to be sneezed at. There's evidently little need to change a barrel after 10,000 rounds! We will be delighted to have you and your colleagues joining the competition.
Based upon a constant membership of 20, shooting two leagues and three internal competitions, that rifle should have fired something more like 234,000 rounds! I know they are good. My BSA 12-15, has seen me shooting LSR for county over the winter, but No Jacket, two point sling, etc., and a 96 prone? That's .4 below my average with my Anschutz Match 54, and half a hundredweight associated kit. (My 12-15 has often been laughed at as I have approached a firing line at the ranges on which I shoot, but nobody has ever been laughing as we have left!)
but I notice that a 12-15 is not shot using a standard 1989 pattern 2510 B.M./89 target, but rather the 'cadets and schools' target. I have a small quantity of these marked 2505 CS (1971) that we obtained a few years ago for shooting the LSR [Lightweight Sport Rifle- Ed] prone discipline. Are they one and the same?
Yes, they're the ones 2505 = 25 yards and 5 diagrams.
Secondly I notice that you are running a standing league this year I would be interested in shooting the competition but am wondering whether my LSR would be eligible. Some time ago I gave up on self loaders and managed to find a 12-15 ( 11326) which had been customised/butchered for hunting (Please see photo sorry about the background but she who must be obeyed has got me putting in a new kitchen)
Looks not unattractive, and to have been fitted with Model 15 butt-stock perhaps. ........... I'm tiling the floor!
Yes a little odd. The serial number doesn't start with a 'P' and it is marked A.G.Parker over the breech. If I could find someone that could do it I would love to get a border barrel to the same profile as a proper 12-15, and rummage for a foresight tunnel. Unfortunately everybody I have met so far has said that cutting the "cotter" slot for the QR taper pin is too difficult. It would be nice to have two barrels for the one gun, even though that would probably mean two ejectors. Is there any body out there that you know of who might be able to undertake this? Do you know of anybody with access to the blueprints? The rifle has the slot for the indicator on the side of the block, but the indicator is not fitted. I have often thought about trying to bodge one, but can't quite see how it should be done. If you are tiling on wood I have found that white spirit removes the adhesive from the hands quite well!
Fortunately I got to it before a scope was fitted, but the barrel has been turned down and ordinary open sights fitted. This rifle was obviously made after 1946 but given that it has the right sights would it be eligible?
Perfectly; just the thing for Deliberate, and you might be able to compete in the Rapid Repeater class. 5 shots in 20 seconds is quite achievable with a good Martini. A few entrants are firing more than 16 shots in 60 seconds on the "Skirmisher" (prone). You would probably not be the only single-shot shooter in the rapid comp.
I shall have a go at that I think.
If you can answer these queries then I can get on with completing the entry form. Lastly several of our older club members expressed an interest in what I was doing last night (and I think a great deal of mirth at the look on my face as 26 years of preconceptions disappeared in a wisp of smoke) The cut-off date for application is in September but when beginning or end? I look forward to your reply.
Last entries last day in September. Forms and info sheets go out to previous entrants and interested parties at the end of August/early Sept. The cards for the first two rounds must be with the scorers by mid November - six weeks - not overly pressured!
All the best,
I shall endeavour to get my entry off as soon as I can find the printer amongst all of these kitchen utensils!
I have recently bought a Vickers rifle , but I am unable
to identify it from the imformation on the web site .
The action retaining screw goes in from underneath as in the early models . It has the curved lever as shown on the Champion model, but the forend of the stock is more like the Jubilee model.
Any ideas? Images URLs attached.
unless we have misconstrued something, or you have spotted a difference, that wehave not, between your rifle and the references on the webpage, we feel reasonably sure that your rifle is indeed a Vickers Champion model. You will see, in the 1939 advertisement for the Empire model, that there is a note relating to the Champion offering custom made stocking as an option. Thus to see either butt-stock or fore-end woodwork configured other than as images on the webpage should perhaps come as no surprise.
The butt comb on your rifle appears to have been further raised from original, a quite common modification. Otherwise, then stocking is close to what one might expect and the checkering on the fore-end seems closely to resemble that used on the Champion. It is perfectly feasible that there was an original requirement for the wrist to be checkered too. It would be interesting to know whether the two checkered areas appear to have been done by the same hand, for instance, or whether there is any suggestion that the checker-work is other than professionally done. Modified or replacement stocks would not be unusual, many shooters being as keen then to employ the latest advances as they are today, but from what I can see there seems no reason to suspect the rifle to be other than original.
Cheers, TS p.p. HARC-MRL
I had thought that it most closly resembled the Champion
, and to get a second opinion to that effect is heartening. As I understand
it the records were lost during the war so I will probably never be able
to find out its history .
The only obvious mods are the but extension and the fact that someone has grafted a modern Anschutz fore sight on it . The original mounts are intact though so I will replace it with something more acceptable .
It seems to shoot well (better than me anyway),so hopefully I will campaign it in the next winter league.
Thanks for your help.
I'm trying to find parts for my L39A1, original screws, a suitable scope, sling.
Any help appreciated.
if you are not already a member, the Lee-Enfield rifle Association can be a useful organisation. Some members deal in such items, and their Forum on Yahoo can offer many contacts. (We have no vested interest).
TS, p.p. HARC-MRL
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