Unknown SMLE, please help!!!

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by mbwaldo, Jan 8, 2011.

  1. mbwaldo

    mbwaldo New Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    Afghanistan for now
    I am a sgt in the US army currently serving in Afghanistan. I recently found a gun in the wardak province. After conducting my own research I have concluded that it is a SMLE NO1 MkIII. It was made at the BSA factory due to the BSA markings I found all over it.
    However, I would like to confirm my quest to find more of the history about this rifle. I have included pictures of a few of the markings so any help would be greatly appriciated. The Mujahideen used it during the soviet invasion and is decorated with little red beads in the front barrel band/muzzle cap/bayonet thingy.
    This gun holds alot of history and I spent countless hours researching it and cleaning it up a bit. Thankyou!

    PS: I have more pictures and can take more pictures if needed.

    Attached Files:

  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

    Jan 11, 2010
    Brilliant find mate!

  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    What you have is a locally made copy of a Rifle No. 1 Mk III, also known as the SMLE.

    It was not made in England by BSA, who were certainly not making SMLE's in 1981. The other markings, including the crown, are incorrect or poor imitations of English markings. Those marks were put on so the buyers, who usually could not read English, would believe the rifle was a genuine British firearm.

    There is little doubt about its history and interest. Those guns were made, often by hand, with nothing more than chisels and files, with maybe a foot-powered lathe and drill press. The raw material was often railroad rails or other kinds of scrap steel. For the most part they are reliable and safe enough, but if they are not, there is no customer service to take your complaints.

    They are a great lesson in the persistence and determination of people who wanted weapons but could not obtain them from more advanced countries. Even today, in spite of the Russian and American weapons flowing into Pakistan and Afghanistan, that arms manufacture continues, although the craftsmen have turned to making AK-47's and more modern weapons.

    (In a way, that rifle symbolizes the determination of a people not to be dominated by outside forces, something we have to understand and be very cautious about in our relations with the people of that area.)

    Last edited: Jan 9, 2011
  4. mbwaldo

    mbwaldo New Member

    Jan 8, 2011
    Afghanistan for now
    ah ha, so its likely a kyber pakistan model? I think the red jewels up front were held in by tree sap and some kind of plant fiber. It definately had a "piney" smell. My terp is gonna try and get a magazine and maybe a few rounds of ammo for a test fire.

    I appriciate the help identifying it. I am a gun enthusiast with a concentration in modern tactical pieces. This weapon has really opened my eyes to the world of historic firearms and I find myself being intrigued. I have resources I can count on to narrow a search down so I think I'm going to try and get my hands on some more afghan rifles. Thanks guys.
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