Back in 19 Sept 2015;
Yes, at the Fond du Lac, WI, large Gun Show, I found a BSA 1916 SMLE Mk III* converted in 1930 to an India, single shot, musket/shotgun. (Lots of goodies, best surplus show in 6 years- it seems everyone was dumping surplus rifles and pistols) I ran out of money and still could have got more deals, but if retired and no pension
My SMLE .410 was still covered in heavy cosomoline from 1988 when the guy picked it up from Springfield Sporters for $69. Note: the Springfield import mark is on the top of the barrel behind the sight under the small upper handguard. I had recently talked to Felixmophandle about these because he needed a brass cartridge case for one of these in his collection and he said he had some examples of these converted .410 Enfields. After some research, I see most go for between $300-400. Actually there were 2 at other tables : 1 at $375 an it was an Indian made, GRI stamped, SMLE and a second similar one one at $325. This second one was clean and had a Century import mark. The guy was selling POF ammo at a buck a round. So when I got my British made example for $150 it was a no brainer, just that it was a goo stick, cosmosaurs that was unearthed out of storage after sitting 27 years. It took 6 hours to clean the dog up.
It is all British made and not the Ishapore, Indian made, SMLE :thumb: which is a plus in my book. Stamped ".410 RFI 1930" on the left side strap. edit see Alan's clarification to this poor sentence:
What I should have said is : The original rifle was made in England, but the conversion to this 1916 rifle was done in Ishapore 1930, hence the .410 conversion is Indian made and Stamped ".410 RFI 1930". I have seen .410 rifles converted from rifles with British markings on the strap and all Ishapore made rifles with GRI on the strap.The RFI marking is "Rifle Factory Ishapore" your 410 is not made in Britain - it IS Indian production.
This is an early example of an import .410 that chambers the Indian POF brass case, .410 ball musket ammo. American 2.5 inch .410 shells do not fit this rifle, but the brass POF musket ball ammo chambers just fine. This is not a later Century bored-out version made /converted by Century in order to fire the American, regular .410 cartridges. I like that it is an original Indian converted, brass-case cartridge, smooth bore musket version. It will not chamber a modern .410 paper or plastic shotshell. I also like that it is a British made rifle lacking the Ishy screw and India GRI stamp. The adjustable sight has been riveted/locked in a locked position, the barrel is bore-out to a smooth bore rifle- and all the stinking cosmo kept it mirror bright, the metal floor plate is riveted in and a wood plug blocks the magazine space, it is missing a stacking swivel and the long screw on the nose piece. The bolt matches the nose piece, but not the strap serial number. I took a bunch of photos of the before condition, its marks, and some after photos of the rifle. Pic heavy of the details.
Now about the $1 a round ammo which is a joke. Midway, Dans Ammo, and Lucky Gunner all have original India, POF, brass case musket ball ammo in the green wood boxes for $49 and shipping for 2 to WI from Tn at Lucky Gunner- was only $16. $28 at Dans, and Midway is always $$$$ high on shipping. So ammo is 28 cents a round and tons of it is around. But bear in mind, it fits a non Century converted rifle. The chamber in a Century conversion ( they are not marked as to this conversion) is larger in diameter and longer on those monkey conversions. A normal, modern, plastic .410 shot shell will not even enter the chamber, let alone slide in for a proper length fit on my original chamber .410. The brass musket cartridge just slides in perfect. Also some have firing pin problems because the rim/headspace is different between a Enfield cartridge and American shot shell- like most of Century's conversions it's not just right.
Dans photos: correct ammo,
So get your ammo from the nearest location and save on shipping- the ammo is all the same price. Unless you pay a buck a round at a gun show
Now the photos of my $150 treasure:
the cleaned barrel
the strap markings the rivets on the sight locking it into position the wood plug the strap BSA markings and date
Don't pick a fight with an old Marine. If he is too old to fight, he'll just shoot you.
Last edited by 72 usmc on Mon Apr 13, 2015 5:12 pm, edited 1 time in total.