1943 BSA (M47C) No4 mk1 T Sniper
Converted by Holland & Holland - 1943 saw the deployment of the War Department contractor codes - broken into region (South, Midlands and North) - a 1943 could have a couple of variations of these codes and at least 3 distinct manufacturer codes evident - one from each region.
S51 (Southern region, supplier 51) was the code given to Hollands - they were asked to appy it to the butt heel. BSA was orginally assigned "M47" - Midlands region, supplier 47 - this M47 code was applied to their rifles on top of the the left wrist from mid summer until around November - when an update was issued.. BSA had 3 factories in the Midlands region - so Shirley rifle factory became M47C.
There were two foundaries casting the scope bracket - these were both in the North region and their markes are easily observed on genuine wartime scope bracket castings. This rifle was made towards the end of 1943 - so has the full M47C designation for BSA Shirley. It does not have the triangular sling swivel as this was specified in late 1944 and from then on to be added by armourers when found in maintenance / service.
It did remain in service beyond 1946 as it was updated by the armourers to have the scope bracket pad screws peened to further lock them in place (a result of war and field / repair feedback). The woodwork is all walnut, high sided format and made by Sykes Limited and HMCo. The milled micrometer rear sight is marked for Singer Machine (not their S code yet- due to stockpiles in place by this date) - this was fitted by BSA and modified to T spec by Hollands - the front right reciever lug does not have the "S" stamp to support this (not needing front sight recalibration -when owed to a rear sight change) collection.
The No4T specifcation had been adapted by field learning to specify the Mk2 solid base front sight mount, but use the new specification sight elements which had a downward facing lower block rear face - this was found to stop reflecting light into the scope during the Aflrica / Italy campains. This sight specification remained throughout the whole No4T program and life cycle. This scoped rifle design has a uniquely low mounted optic - so low that the front sight protector ears are obervable at the bottom of the sight picture - a blurry distraction to the inexpereinced.
This rifle is part of the ArtioZen collection.