These are reproduction SMLE MkIII Rear Volley Sight Apertures.
These are made for us and are copied from original items. The rear aperture of the volley sight is an arm which pivots around the outer stem of the safety catch and is used exclusively in conjunction with the front volley sight pointer which is on the range plate fixed midway down the fore-end on the left of the rifle. It is held in place by the 'dumbell' spring of the safety catch (Spring, Bolt Locking , Part No BB0750) which retains it and provides a detent which holds it in either the folded down or raised positions. It should be noted that some later produced dumbell springs were made without the 2 projections on the top inside face of the spring, or had them removed in service. Whilst these will hold the aperture in place they will not hold it in position! Likewise the WW2 simplified Mk2 spring (mostly made in Australia) which is a flat plate stamping is not suitable or appropriate for use with the aperture arm.
The long range volley sights were original equipment on all Lee Enfield Rifles up to the SMLE MkIII. They were designed so that a squad, section or Platoon of men could put down a volley of aimed shots at extreme ranges - up to 2,600 yards, on targets such as a cross roads, a body of marching troop or a squadron of cavalry. With the advent of trench warfare on the Western Front during WW1, when average combat ranges were 100 to 200 yards, and no-one in their right mind would form up in the open to fire carefully aimed volley's, the sights soon became obsolete. When the SMLE MkIII* was introduced into service, made specifically to cut production costs and machining time, the long range volley sights were one of the first items to be discarded from the design. Subsequently, as they were seen as an irrelevance, damaged volley sights on MkIII Rifles were not repaired, and if the rifles went through a factory overhaul the arm of the aperture sights were usually cut off as part of the overhaul leaving the boss to keep the dumbell spring tensioning the safety catch. In later rifles or subsequent repairs these were replaced by the 'Washer, Mk1, Safety Catch'
These will fit straight onto the outer stem of the safety catch by simply undoing the screw holding the dumbell spring in place, lifting off the dumbell spring and removing the 'Washer, Mk1, Safety Catch' (Part No BB0784) which the aperture arm then replaces. It should be noted that original SMLE MkIII fore-ends, in addition to being cut out for the front volley sight plate to be fitted, also had the left rear relieved so that the aperture folded down flush. If your fore-end has been retrofitted for this plate from a later model then it may require this to be cut. It is a simple job and as the arm folds down until it clicks into position on the dumbell spring projections it is a simple matter to work out how much timber needs removing. Although these are specifically made for the MkIII SMLE volley sights, they will be correct for all other marks of SMLE including converted models made from earlier MLE's. They are NOT correct for P'14 Rifles and will not fit these!
Condition; New made with blackened finish.
Unit of sale; 1 Volley Sight Aperture.
British Army Part Number; N/K.
Stock No; EFDSMLESP102A
SMLE MkIII Rear Volley Sight Apertures (Repro)
- Product Code: EFDSMLESP102A
- Availability: 5