Advice on some WW2 era stuff Ive inherited

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by PerArduaProPatria, Dec 27, 2005.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Hi there,

    I've already posted this in Classified Ads, but I feel like I might get more responses here.

    I've come into ownership of the following items and I've done a bit of research and would be interested to find out what the items are worth. I'm currently serving in Iraq and would be keen to sell them when I get back in January:

    1. Bren Gun. Mk1 with Mk2 Barrel (black barrel all the way to the flash eliminator). Drum sight, no butt strap.

    It's dated during the war (1944 I think) and comes in a wooden transit case. It has definitely never been fired! Inside the case is

    - The Gun
    - Wooden cleaning rod
    - Fluffy screw on brush
    - 3 magazines, possibly 4
    - A tin, inside is a broken round extractor, spare extractor and ejector and some other pieces (like you find in a GPMG SPW)
    - An oil bottle.
    - Spare gas parts (not gas piston).

    The gun will c***, strip and is in immaculate condition - brand new! No marks on any of the furniture at all, and the blueing on the body has only a tiny mark where the cocking handle has been folded back onto the body. The gun has a green canvas cover to protect it, although it won't go in the case with it fitted. There is also a spare barrel bag with another tin inside it with more springs etc. I believe it is a Lithgow (FTR'd?) gun. It has a MK2 barrel with a Mk3 bipod. This looks like it
    but mine does not have the rear pistol grip.

    2. Lanchester SMG. Mk1* (I think).

    The gun has a lug for a 1907 bayonet and has light furniture. It has a magazine and sling. The weapon will c*** and strip. There is no change-lever and that is what makes me presume it is a Mk1*. I am lead to believe it is a Mk1* not a Mk1 converted to MK1* - ie does not have the ramped rear-sight, but a welded box

    3. SMLE dated 1917.

    The rifle has a canvas cover to protect the action, and will strip and dry fire. It has an aperture sight on a rail but no fitting for an optical sight. The magazine has a slide to cut it off from the bolt. The action is lovely and smooth. The foresight is covered by a little metal cap that can be removed. There is a sling fitted and in the butt there is a metal oil bottle and pull through. The furniture is in really nice condition and has been well cared for by the look of things.

    4. Enfield Pistol No2 Mk1 dated 1938 (serial F1260)

    The hammer still has the claw on the back for single action and will dry fire from single or double action. It has had the chambers filled with a small ring to prevent them from being loaded with rounds. The pistol will still dry fire. There is a lanyard ring and it comes with a holster fitted to a 37 pattern belt.

    All the weapons have deactivation certificates from different proof houses and are all of the "old" standard (ie you can strip and dry fire them) - except the pistol.

    I also have:

    - Red book full of old training manuals (small arms training, eg Bren LMG, Sten, Grenade, Rifle etc) (8?)
    - Some old respirators (2), one named to a guy in the PWO
    - Home Guard handbook
    - US Army field telephone
    - Puttees, Gloves, a helmet
    - Webbing
    - Some binos
    - Despatch riders boots size 5/6
    - Direct fire sight from a 25lb field gun (with a missing rubber eyepiece)

    Obviously the main thing are the weapons, but any ideas of values would be greatly appreciated as I only have a vague idea of what they're worth.

    I've tried looking on Google, but Paradigm Services who provide the welfare internet connections out here block anything to do with weapons (helpfully, along with gambling and sex) and so I just end up with a "You cannot view this page...etc", hence asking people on here.

    Ebay is also unhelpful. Anything to do with firearms, either deactivated or not, is a prohibited item and therefore gets removed from the site. I have toyed with the idea of selling the deactivation certificates, with the assumption that with the certificate you would obviously get the weapon too - but I have amassed quite a nice feedback rating and I'm loathed to lose my account over something silly like this. Ebay has been a handy source of revenue in the past. I found one of the old Survive to Fights in a drawer (the one which used to come in the plastic folder) and flogged it for £15. There are some idiots out there who'll buy anything.

    Thanks in advance!

  2. I am more than interested in the Bren

    PM me with what you want for it, I can arrange collection.
  3. Whatever MDN offers you, I'll beat it by 20%. (Except if he offers you a knee trembler which he undoubtably will).
  4. Flash is p1ss and wind, his family tax credit doesn't pay until the 20th of January and he spent his only available cash on scratch cards and panda cola
  5. Are you sure that the SMLE is 1917? I seem to recall that the magazine cut off was deleted before that to reduce cost and speed-up production.
    Does it have a "Volley Sight" - this is a little pinhole aperture that folds up on the left of the receiver with a small rotating device about half way up the stock (also on the left) that has an pointer on one end (with a scale graduated from 2000-4000 IIRC) and a small bead at the other end?
  6. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    BSA Carried out the necessary modifications to production that became the No1 Mk111* prior to Govt approval and the list of changes always were in arrears so to speak! 1917 would not be unusual to find a cut off etc.
  7. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    Don't quote me on this but approx prices:

    Bren £150
    SMLE £180-£220
    Lanchester £250+
    Pistol £250+

    The other militaria as a job lot £200

    Bear in mind a dealer will offer about half the market value.
  8. msr

    msr LE

    The Imperial War museum may be interested in these, otherwise contact your local military museum.

  9. Seems quite low for the Bren and Lanchester.
  10. General Melchett

    General Melchett LE Moderator

    As I said, don't quote me.

    The last batch of BRENs I saw were going for £125 for the Mk3? with the leaf sight, the one shown above Mk2? with drum sight were going for £175 with matching numbers and transit chests, the Mk1 with drum sight and dove tail to take larger sight were about £250.

    Anyone in the area should check out the Militaria fair at Stoneleigh, Warwickshire, in Jan 2006. There will be hundreds of weapons for sale and more militaria than you can shake a stick at.
  11. Sorry, the rifle is dated 1928, not 1917!

    collection would only be possible when I'm back from Baghdad.

    Thanks for all your help!
  12. Sorry, the rifle is dated 1928, not 1917!

    collection would only be possible when I'm back from Baghdad.

    Thanks for all your help!
  13. A 1928 SMLE with a magazine cut-off? That does sound fairly rare, I was fairly sure they deleted that during WWI, it might have been reinstated afterwards though.

    Edit: Also check out Gun Mart (inc Militaria Mart) to see if there are any dealers that would be interested.
  14. ugly

    ugly LE Moderator

    The Mk1 Bren dovetail was for the No 32 telescope which fortnately for us was eventually mated with the No4T. The BSA interwar production was No1 Mk111 not Mk 111* as this was only a wartime expediency, which was effectively initiated by BSA prior to recieving instruction from the WD. To continue with civilian and foreign sales ensured BSA had plants available for production att the start of WW2 whislt Enfield could only manage refurbishment! Yet again the Brummies bailed out the nation.

    You can always tell a Brummie, but you cant tell him much!

    No I am not but I do like most of them!
  15. Post WW1, the SMLE magazine cut-off was reinstated on all rifles that had the slot, by War Ministry instruction. Thats why you get MkIII SMLEs which have had a "*" added, then the "*" is barred out again. The main reason the cut-off was reinstated was that, in peacetime, the vast majority of British armed forces were actually colonial troops, militias and police forces. The cut-off proved to be a perfect safety tool for the training and management of these troops - ie they could endlessly port arms for inspection, without the risk of chambering a round. The volley sights were not reinstated into the MkIII spec, now that machines guns were available at all levels. Therefore the inter-war SMLE spec was: no butt marking disk, cut-off, no volley sights, narrow pattern piling swivel. The most common types of rifles with these features are those from the large batch of commercial SMLEs recently re-imported from Bahrain (these also have the old brass butt disk).