This is a very scarce example of a World War II issued Australian No. 1 Mk III* H.T. (Heavy Target) high mount sniper rifle that was arsenal refurbished/assembled in 1944. The Australian Army never converted over to the No. 4 Mk 1 rifles and instead continued to use these earlier pattern No. 1 Mk III* rifles. Reportedly, there were approximately 1,250 of these high mount sniper rifles assembled during late World War II at the Lithgow factory. This rifle is accompanied by a letter from the Australian War Memorial that indicates it was assembled into sniper configuration at the Lithgow factory on February 12th, 1945. It is fitted with a World War I 1918 pattern sniper scope with 3x magnification. The scope is attached via a set of claw mounted high turret scope bases that use a double claw front mount and a single claw offset rear mount. The rifle is fitted with a heavyweight "target type barrel", as developed after World War I by the Australian shooting clubs. These heavy pattern barrels can be identified by a capital letter "H" stamped on top of the knox form of the barrel. The stock socket is marked with a crown above "E.R" over "BSACo/1909./ShtLE/III." Coach wood stock and handguard set. An "H" is stamped on top of the stock wrist, and the top of the buttstock is fitted with a cheekpiece secured with two screws. The 1918 pattern scope is marked "SIGHT TELESCOPIC./PATT.1918 (AUST.)/A.O.C./V." and "1944./D(broad arrow)D" on the tube. The scope has an elevation dial graduated "1-10" (100-1000 meters) and features a post and crosshair reticle. Includes muzzle cover.
Very fine, retains 85% arsenal refurbished gray finish overall with some areas of light brown patina. Scope is good, exhibits brown patina mixed with traces of arsenal refurbished blue finish and scattered light to moderate pitting on the tube, and clear optics. Stock is very fine as arsenal refinished, with a few light handling marks, and defined edges. Mechanically excellent. A very scarce World War II Australian Military BSA SMLE No.1 Mk III* high mount sniper rifle.
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