Australian SMLE Carbine VSR

Complete builds, Custom builds, SMLE, VSR SMLE, Weapons, WWII

When I saw this pattern of experimental SMLE on Forgotten Weapons (see the video here) I knew I just had to make one. I used this as an opportunity to try out some of my new techniques for SMLE builds.

This carbine was conceived as a way to make the SMLE shorter and lighter, the project being run in parallel with similar programmes in Ishapore (India) and Enfield (GB), the latter of which used the No.4 as the starting point and resulted in the No.5 MkI.

This is an impression of the first shortened Australian pattern. In time I hope to replicate quite a few of the others.

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It is, in essence, just a short SMLE. The only real effort to make the rifle lighter at this stage was in shortening the barrel and woodwork.

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This does however make for a very handy rifle!

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This was one of my first rifles to use my rubber cast buttplates. The originals used metal plates, I use rubber simply because metal plates are very hard to get presently.

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Possibly the best feature of this conversion is the use of this rear-mounted aperture sight. On the original rifle, this had two settings for range, on mine I have gone for a simple zeroing elevation adjustment. 

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Having used this rifle in-game I can say confidently that this is an excellent sight, far superior to a regular SMLE notch. The narrower aperture is in my opinion better than the No.4 sight, at least in daylight.

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As with the original, I have put a large draft on the front of the aperture to gather the maximum light possible.

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As with my other Enfield builds, I have used my custom Enfield trigger.

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I got to use this in-game in October. The shorter, lighter version of the SMLE make this extremely handy on its own, add in the rear aperture and it’s extremely quick to bring to bear as well. As an airsoft version, I can’t comment on how comfortable it would be to shoot the original, but I suspect it would be rather brutal on recoil and have a rather blinding flash.

Although this was never adopted, I’m glad to have made my own version and can confirm it is going to a very good home.

If you like this project or have an idea of your own, drop us a line on enquiries.vintageairsoft@gmail.com to discuss. ‘Like’ our Facebook page or follow the blog to get regular updates on projects and interesting videos and articles.

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