Pre-WW1 light pattern rifles
Pre-WW1 light pattern rifles
BSA Light Pattern 1917 (serial number S80127)
With thanks to Lakey.
Here is a very late pre-WW1 Light pattern (Serial Number S80127)
John Knibbs dates this gun between 1914 & 1917, from a batch of 16 light pattern guns, which were the very last 16 pre-WW1 Light pattern guns ever made.
The dates seem to go like this
Date Of Manufacture - July 1914-Oct 1917
Date of Dispatch - July 1914 - Dec 1917
Then he goes on to say - 16 Light Patterns, dispatched 1917. 18 Gun laying teachers dispatched mid 1915. Remaining guns standard .177 and .22 dispatched 1914,1915 and 1916. No numbers issued between 80305-80529.
So this guns is definitely a World War 1 gun, which was manufactured at some point during the conflict.
Here is a view of the trigger block showing the 'S' prefix serial number (denoting the fitting of the double safety sear) and the patent details above.
You can see that in common with all pre-WW1 guns, this gun features the trigger adjustment through the front of the trigger guard, however instead of bearing onto the trigger itself, the screw bears onto the secondard sear, via a small triangular projection just in front of the trigger itself.
The gun has a cast trigger guard which dovetails into the back of the trgger block, just behind the trigger.
The stock is of the 'Pistolhand' variety, and features hand carved chequering, which is very sharp. The stock seems to be marked with a small circular (star shaped) inspection mark just behind the trigger, and is also lacking a metal butt plate, instead having a cross hatched wooden butt with the small matching wooden plug to cover the stock bolt hole running up through the stock from back to front.
The cocking lever (underlever) is the third pattern underlever, with the side button release catch. This was first introduced in October 1911 and subsequently fitted to all guns (even earlier guns returned for repair) after early 1912 as all stocks of the earlier bayonet ended underlevers were used up. The main reason for the change was to provide a more positive catch enabling sling swivels to be fitted onto the cocking lever if required
You can see the rough inner surface of the underlever indicating that this was a cast component, which was subsequently machined to a fine finish.
The side button underlever operated with a circular catch block or ring, which provided the strong and certained capture of the underlever against the barrel above. These rings are sometimes found to be replaced, however all side lever cocking levers used the ring shaped block.
By this time in the production of the BSA air rifles, all patents originally assigned to Lincoln Jeffries,had now be changed over to BSA patents. All the patent markings on this gun, show them to be BSA patents as you would expect.
This gun is equipped with a standard set of open sights. The rearsight is the Number 10 rearsight and the foresight is also typical for the period (1908-1918).
This gun falls right at the end of the production run of the BSA Air Rifle (Improved model D), and even though it is one of many different sizes produced at the time, most had the standard 'Improved Model D' legend stamped into the top of the air cylinder.
Finally here are one or two other views of the gun for your interest.First the breech area.
Then the underside of the air cylinder, and the underside of the trigger group showing the unique double sear trigger.
and finally a last view of the cylinder 'legend'
Hope you enjoyed the picures.
Lincoln "L" Patterns serial nos 3295 and 22603
With huge gratitude to John Milewski for these pics of a fabulous brace of Lincoln Light Patterns.
He says the following about them:
<b>"You will see that one of the 'L's is marked up as an early BSA with long tang trigger. Mr Knibbs has informed me this particular rifle (SN 3295) did not leave the factory until 1908 and was part of a batch that BSA 'insisted' Lincoln Jeffries accepted as part of their contractual terms. The rifles were often taken from what was in stock at the time, hence why this one is not stamped up as an 'L'.
"One of the identifying features of an 'L The Lincoln' is the thin tapered barrel and this is evident on some of these photos as both of these rifles have this feature (thereby suggesting 3295 was intended as an 'L' from the start, or perhaps a rifle that BSA themselves experimented with before placing it to one side and forgetting about it).
"The later 'L' is stamped correctly and also carries a retailer's mark for the Steelhouse Gun & Cycle Co. This retailer was located at 123 Steelhouse Lane, which was next door or next but one to LJ (I'm not sure how the numbering was). The stock is also stamped BSA and is a replacement as I am told the original was cut down, thereby cutting the standing man in two... This is probably as correct a contemporary replacement as you could wish for."</b>
BSA Light pattern (1907) serial no. 15814
This little chap has had a hard life, and has a home made (but well done) under lever barrel catch, and a non - original replacement foresight (a modified Improved later unit). Finish is pitted all over, although it shoots very well and the straight hand stock (stamped 13 1/4") is very nice. It was taken pity on and bought quite cheaply as they don't turn up very often.
The cylinder impression reads; "BSA AIR RIFLE" made by THE BIRMINGHAM SMALL ARMS COMPANY LIMITED and this almost fills the small cylinder!
Home made catch;
Not much can be done to a gun this far gone corrosion wise, but it still shoots well and will no doubt last another 100 years with some care.