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1918 single shot SHTLE Enfield?

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by Ryanxia, Mar 14, 2017.

  1. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Hello, I've done a bit of searching on this particular Enfield but didn't come up with much and Enfields are generally not my thing. I was hoping someone might be able to give me some information and a rough value on this Enfield. I took pictures of markings/cartouches that I saw.

    1918 SHTLE Enfield with floor plate and fixed follower to only allow single shot. The left side says 410 with some markings, I read that Ishapore had converted some to .410, not sure if this is one, I only know it was not converted to .30-06 like some were (at least it didn't chamber). I didn't have a .303 or .410 round to check.
    Markings on the left side that didn't come out too well say 410 RFI 1931

    See pictures for rest of the info. Any info is appreciated, thanks. 1.jpg 2.jpg 3.jpg 4.jpg 5.jpg 6.jpg 7.jpg
     
  2. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    Yep, it is a single shot .410 conversion. These were converted to fire .410 shotgun shells as a single shot and that appears to be what you have. Conversions were originally cheap a few years back but have become a bit more scarce--GunBroker auctions have people asking 400-500 hundred in very good condition which is probably a bit optimistic. They are collectors' niche item like those Lee-Enfields used for firing grenades with the wire wrapped stock. Many cannot be restored often due to worn out receivers in order to fire .303 which restricts their value to a collector though I suppose you could fire a .410 shotgun shell through it now and then.
     
  3. eastbank

    eastbank Member

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    they were made to shoot a special 303 case crimped down and loaded with shot, springfield sporters was one of the importers and they rechambered them to the standard american .410 and they marked them under the rear handguard. i owned four and sold three and kept the best one, it is a 1942 lithgow with matching numbers D9389. they are fun to shoot, but with no choke 20 yards is about it with a very thin patteren after that. i have killed a pile of small varmites with it, they are more than safe with the american 410 shells.. i think i got 250.00 for the last one i sold. eastbank.
     

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  4. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Thanks guys.
     
  5. Dr.Rob

    Dr.Rob Moderator Staff Member

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    There was a story in Shotgun News (and backed up by a number of sources) that these were converted for 'guard use' in British India. Maybe the idea of a single shot .410 in the hands of a subject didn't bother the Brits the way a 10 shot .303 would. The original ammo was unheard of outside a police barracks, prison or army base. A deserter wouldn't get much use out of it.

    CAI and I think, IMA imported a ton of these, almost all that ended up here were converted to US .410, try a snap cap before you chamber a real round. If it was NOT converted a .410 snap cap won't fit.
     
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2017
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  6. boom boom

    boom boom Member

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    Thanks to Eastbank, I looked up the original .410 Indian Musket cartridge and he is absolutely correct--the website that had images addresses British Small Arms ammo. It has some great pictures and description of that cartridge along with other British/Dominion cartridges. https://sites.google.com/site/britmilammo/-410-musket
     
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  7. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Interesting read thanks.
     
  8. desidog

    desidog Member

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    I have one of those that i've used for clays and bird hunting occasionally. If you put a 1907 bayonet on it, Skeet Station 8 is almost do-able without firing a shot...

    Some, like mine, have been reamed out to take modern 3" .410 shells. It shoots slugs about 2 feet high at 100 yards, which makes it an OK trap gun, albeit since its .410 cylinder bore you have to shoot right quick.

    I bought mine for a song since it had a cracked forestock, and replaced that part with one that has a repro volley sight...cause why not? You never know when you'll want to use indirect plunging fire.... ;)

    I also ground out the 4 rivets that hold the plate that makes it single shot and blocks the mag well, and converted a Saiga 4-shot single stack 410 magazine to work. I had better luck with that than using a regular SMLE double stack mag with the 410 shells.
     
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  9. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...converted to .30-06 like some were..." Nope. Indians made No. I's in .308 but no Lee-Enfield came in .30-06. Too long for the action.
    If it has .410 stamped on it, it's one of the No. 1 MK III's converted to .410 shotgun for issue to Indian Police, jail guards and colonial 'militia' troopies in Africa.
    "RFI" means 'Rifle Factory Ishapore', so yours was made in India. Uses the cut off .303 Brit case as mentioned.
     
  10. Ryanxia

    Ryanxia Member

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    Thanks, mine was converted in India in 1931 but made in Britian in 1918. I wouldn't mind an Indian one in .308 though. :)
     
  11. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    Reminds one of the smoothbore Enfields made for use by colonial troops.

    And, sadly, of the many fine hunting rifles reamed smoothbore so you could keep your safari rifle on a shotgun certificate.
     
  12. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    FWIW, it was originally made, as a regular MkIII, by London Small Arms Co., in 1918.

    Those .410 shotguns were being sold in England in the 1970's; as shotguns they did not need a license. The law was later changed; apparently, even .410 shotguns were too much of a weapon for the British "subject" to be allowed to own without a heap of paperwork and police permits..

    Jim
     
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