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Old January 29, 2013, 07:29 PM   #22
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Join Date: May 11, 2007
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 909
Could be that in the tropics there was more swelling of the wood than a .01 gap could compensate for.
I'd say that might have been just one more area that could be a cause of concern - the heavier long rifles like the No4 and the SMLE faired much better in the Burmese jungles than did the No5. If you pick up a No5, it is very, very light ... the butt stock is very light also and hollowed out to a much higher degree than the No4 or SMLE. When damp and moisture start to ingress the fairly light weight furniture, you're sure to get movement ... then imagine going from standing temp to fire fight temps ... with rain, moisture, damp, heat ... the entire system becomes unstable.

The No5 was possibly better suited to a dry climate - would have been fine in a wet European theatre also. I think the moisture, heat and damp of the tropics, really made the difference at the end of the day.

The vast majority of No.5 rifles in hands of civilian owners aren't likely to be abused to the extent that a combat rifle would be.
Actually, not so ... the No5's that the Malaysian Police and Military used up until a few years back were the same ones the British and Australians left them after the Malaysian Emergency War in the 1950's ... these same No5's are the same No5's that were later sold into market. You know this because the dates are 1945-47 ... they weren't making them anymore and as Cpt Laidler states, they couldn't get enough of them for parts ... because so few were manufactured. I'd say pretty much all the No5's people have in their hands today, got action due to the low numbers available. That is also why they started cutting down No4's and building No5's on the No4 actions.

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Last edited by Tikirocker; January 29, 2013 at 09:11 PM.
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