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1944 BSA No4T (Scopeless) Rifle in Chest

Updated: Oct 30, 2023

This rifle and chest are part of the ArtioZen collection.

The "scopeless" No4T rifles were a spare parts designation for future repair and replacement and were in place towards the end of WW2 and stockpiled for the start of the cold war. Most of this stockpiling was Hollands realizing that WW2 was drawing to a close wanted to produce as many converted rifles as possible before the agreement was dissolved (by date). In the last months of 1945 and 1946 they would try to empty their room full of the "selected rifles" for conversion. As this was effectively a "first in - last out" process for the war effort they uncovered a lot of earlier stored rifles and then finished them as No4Ts - those without scopes went into a chest and waited. In this post war flurry we see some of the Savage 1941 delivered rifles resurfaced as a scopeless version, Of course 1945 BSA made rifles will be there too - especially later production codes - up to "AX" range. This one is another kind of oddity - stuck in a pocket of the Hollands store of chosen rifles for a little longer and then converted and left scopeless. How early was this done? - there may be a clue in the absence of the triangular trigger guard sling swivel - which was ordered to be assembled onto the rifle by November 1944. Somehow this rifle did receive its update for the order to armourers to stake the pad screws in place (1946) - maybe they did not have any sling swivels on hand to put this unit "right to the standard" - another anomaly. The scopeless T's had their own assembly part number - which was applied to the label on the chest- this rifle was held in stores in this condition through the 1957 cold war store rejuvenation. These chests (with rifles) would be subject for stores rotation and counting - so the use of labels, colored patches and other stores counting and accounting techniques can still be seen, as well as the wear and tear that the chests were made to absorb on the outside, while reserving the equipment and environment inside.

The scopeless Ts are subject to scrutiny as they did not receive the "T" on the receiver wall - a sure sign of been scoped and "real", similarly the wrist of the butt stock has no scope number. Newer collectors and investors have been known to want to add these markings for themselves and also add a repro or real scope to shoot in various circumstances. This one has never had a scope on it, the red stores tag for the model and serial number of the rifle is applied through the boss of the front mounting pad. For collectors that are getting serious about their study, these scopeless rifles can preserve a more intact glimpse of the original parts, marking and finishes applied by BSA, Savage and Hollands.

In the above photos the above marks can be seen and studied - the M47C, year and TR stamps from BSA - the latter indicates it passed their selection for scoping by shooting on an Enfield rest. We can see that by this month of rifle manufacture BSA was using walnut wood sets provided by Sykes Limited and the scolloped safety catch was produced and marked by BSA "M47C" for the Shirley plant.. It was then boxed and transported to Hollands and put into the holding room. When its turn came, it was disassembled and its wood numbered with the rifle serial, the butt stock by stamping on the inner lip, the fore wood by penciling into the barrel channel. The Stock received the Hollands distinctive identity code "S51". The pads were machined from square bar and applied to the prepared receiver, the screws and pad features being generated on the rifle on the machines. The bare metal (the minimum required to exposed for the conversion - well practiced at hollands by now) was then refinished with a chemical spot finish "brunofixing" - an lost ancient process / recipe that left a distinctive grey speckled / texture finish - while the rest of the rifle is still blued / parkerized. Hollands had to swap the rear sight for a converted machined micrometer sight - they had spares from Singer for this rifle - marked S69 - also blackened at Hollands. To indicate that the rifle needed re-zeroing, an "S" was added to its front left receiver lug. Then through the finishing and inspection rooms - it received the Enfield inspector stamp either side of the cocking piece on the receiver rear edge. It clealry sat in stores, counted and not used. Armorers added later tags, the screw peening update and whatever the mystery "X" represents on the receiver wood wall - but little else ever changed. It still has a cosmoline plugged bore (as well as other cosmoline in the details). More detailed / details below:

Other detail photos of features and marks:

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