Rock Island Auction Company

Lot 515: Scarce Smith & Wesson Mark I Semi-Automatic Light Rifle

Auction Date: September 7, 2018

Price Realized:
Estimated Price: $7,000 - $10,000

Scarce Smith & Wesson Mark I Semi-Automatic Light Rifle

Manufacturer: Smith & Wesson
Model: Mark 1
Type: Carbine
Gauge: 9 mm para
Barrel: 10 inch fluted
Finish: blue
Stock: plastic
Item Views: 2746
Item Interest: Active
Serial Number:
Catalog Page: 204
Class: Curio & Relic Long Gun

Developed in the 1940s, the Smith & Wesson Light Rifle was a contender for military contracts with both the British and the Americans and squared off against the M1 Carbine as a pistol substitute for officers and support personnel. While it had some novel features, such as the dual-purpose magazine well/ejector port, it failed at trials. Large numbers of the Light Rifle were destroyed, both during testing and afterwards, including a reported incident of the British cutting their Light Rifle samples up with a blowtorch and tossing the resulting scrap into the English Channel. Less than 140 are believed to have survived complete. The front sight is a fixed blade, and the rear sight is an adjustable notch. The wide magazine housing serves a dual purpose. The front section holds the actual magazine, and the rear portion is actually the ejection port, so the fired cartridges are ejected directly to the ground instead of into the air. The action operates from an open bolt, with the cocking knob on the right side above the patent numbers. The left side of the action is marked with the two-line Smith & Wesson address. The pistol grip stock is made of a black plastic/composition material and is fitted with a serrated metal buttplate that is marked with the serial number. The buttstock has a metal plaque that reads "EXTREMELY/HAZARDOUS/DO NOT/LOAD OR FIRE".

Rating Definition:

Excellent. 98% plus original blue finish remains with some light surface scratches and dings, and traces of a light brown patina. Stock is also excellent with some scratches. Mechanically excellent.

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