S.M.L.E RIFLE BUCKETS

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John M
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To add to the discussion re SMLE rifle buckets I am putting up photos of the seven in my collection.
I wiil show close ups of each one...working from the left.

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John D Morgan
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John M
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Bucket one...
This bucket has no markings. The long strap obviously replaced while the bucket still in service....had a hard life.
But obviously an early example as rifle ...with sling attached..will not fit. rifle fits well without sling. Therefore made between c.1905 and 1907.

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John M
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Bucket two.
This bucket is stamped on end of long strap....D.MASON &SONS LTD. BIRMINGHAM 1910.
..and on the arm....A over 20.

Note the sewn on cap at bottom..certainly made with the bucket.

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John M
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detail of cap to bottom of bucket

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John M
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Bucket three.
On strap...H.G.R.12...1916.
On arm..."C".
On face at top...arrow over 15.

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John M
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Bucket four.
On long strap....THE LEATHER GOODS CO. ...........ST..SE1 1935.
oN ARM...ay ci 63...and...6.

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John M
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Bucket five.On long strap...B.H.& E. 1941.

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John M
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Bucket seven.

Undated...but on arm....J.D. and arrow over 7.
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John M
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That's a nuisance!....board photo quota apparently reached!
And i have more saddle pics ready to post...!!

Have 3 1912 troopers saddles to illustrate..to complete the troopers saddles....then its officers!
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John M
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The thread became muddled when pics were rejected...so....
return to the first photos...third one down...0745 jpg.
Then, from left...1 to 7. :-

1). Bucket has no markings. Rifle can only be housed in it with sling removed. This indicates bucket a MKI made between circa 1905 and 1907. MKII introduced in 1907 to allow for the rifle sling.

2). Long strap stamped..D.MASON &SONS LTD. BIRMINGHAM. 1910.
On the arm.... A over 20. Note the reinforcing piece at the bottom..an occasionly seen feature. Rifle is a tight fit with sling attached.

3). Long strap stamped....H.G.R.12. 1916.
On arm...."C". On face at top... arrow over 59.

4). The long strap stamped....THE LEATHER GOODS CO. ...faint....St. SE1. 1935.
On arm...AY (Ayrshire Yeomanry) CI 63 & 6.
Rifle with sling is a tight fit.

5). Long strap stamped... B.H. & G....1941.
Note the different method of sewing the long seam, seen on some later buckets. May have been cheaper than the more usual butt join.
Rifle with sling is a tight fit.

6). Another late bucket...undated. On long strap ...arrow over 7 ..and..J.D.
Rifle with sling attached is an easy fit.

7). Bucket is well made. Correct fittings. Good strong and solid construction, but coarse grained leather. Short strap with buckle is attached to front of bucket...not the usual position. No drain hole at bottom. Bucket appears to have had some hard use. But is it a repro...or perhaps made for the Indian army?.
Rifle with sling is an easy fit.
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Thanks John M. The D.MASON &SONS LTD. BIRMINGHAM 1910 with the cap is interesting. You say 'occasionally seen'. Where? Has anyone else seen one similar?

Thanks for sharing them,

John T
John T

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Pat Holscher
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Wow, fantastic set of examples John, thanks.
Pat

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John M
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Thanks PAT,
But did you see my note and e-mail re photos quota..?...will I be able to post more?
John. M
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John M
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Thanks Pat,
I hope so as I have a LOT more photos to post!. I hope I hav'nt caused any problems!..?
John.M.
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John M
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John Tremelling wrote:Thanks John M. The D.MASON &SONS LTD. BIRMINGHAM 1910 with the cap is interesting. You say 'occasionally seen'. Where? Has anyone else seen one similar?
Thanks for sharing them,
John T
John.T,
I saw another on eBay a few years ago. Wanted it as another variation to my collection...the buckle being the.."across the face"..type. But lost it as eBay "went down"just as I was about to make a certain high bid!!
An Australian friend had one in his collection...the "across the face" type.

My example and the others are in such good condition that I consider the cap feature to have been sewn at manufacturing stage.
John.M.
John D Morgan
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Pat Holscher
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John M wrote:Thanks Pat,
I hope so as I have a LOT more photos to post!. I hope I hav'nt caused any problems!..?
John.M.
Yes, I'm sure it won't be a problem. Not to worry.
Pat

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Hi John: What a fabulous collection. The more I see of your number 7, the one with the buckle on the leading edge, the more it resembles mine almost exactly. Note how the back edge curves in an arc, rather than kicking out at an angle to accept the stock as the others do. Also, it does not have a bulge to accomodate the bolt. As to a drain hole, perhaps that was a later improvement. I have had another look at Chappell's Revised edition and he has a drawing of a trooper circa 1898 armed with an 1896-pattern Lee Enfield carbine and the bucket has a bulge to accept the bolt. The bulge, in a variety of shapes, continues right through to the 1930s.Chappel also has a photo of the Kings Hussars from the 1890s with buckets that resemble ours although impossible to see the buckle placement. However, they are carrying Martinis. I have tried a Martini in mine and it does fit, much better that the SMLE. Mysterious indeed. Cheers, Larry.
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John M
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Hi larry,
Yes, the Lee-Enfield carbine bucket has a deep bulge for the carbine bolt....as the drawing in LoC'S and the 2 examples I have.
The bulges in the SMLE buckets vary....more pronounced in some than others.
I am pretty certain the 10th Hussars in Chappell have MKIV Martini Henry buckets, which are not reversible. But could be the MKV which is fully reversible. Difficult to be sure from the photo.
Note all carbine and rifle buckets normally had drain holes in the bottom.
Larry..your martini-Henry might fit in a SMLE bucket...but an SMLE would not fit into a MH bucket.
John D Morgan
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John M
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I have scanned the 10th H photo. And by enlarging can see the carbine buckets ARE MKIV pattern ...for the MH carbine.
John D Morgan
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Splendid collection John
I saw this and thought it might be of interest if only for comparison:
http://cgi.ebay.com/British-Cavalry-rif ... 286.c0.m14
Dušan
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