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. According to the Smith & Wesson historian, in 1974 Smith & Wesson found a limited number of unfired 1940 light rifles packed in crates. These were classified as Curio & Relic items and sold as collector's pieces. According to Jinks on page 240 of "History of Smith & Wesson," 137 Mark I rifles were found along with 80 Mark II rifles. 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 handle on the right side. The receiver is fitted with a corrugated steel sleeve that doubles as a safety and as reinforcement for the receiver. The rifle is marked with the Smith & Wesson trademark on the left side of the receiver at the wrist and the serial number on the underside. The pistol grip stock is made of a black plastic/composite material and is fitted with a serrated metal buttplate that is marked with the serial number. With correct leather sling.
Excellent overall 99% original blue finish, some very small handling type surface scratches. Mechanically functions fine.
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