Month: July 2005


Posted by on July 5, 2005

I have mentioned conversion possibilities for the SMLE before. I recommend that those interested in this topic enter “De Lisle Carbine” on their web search engine. I think you will like what you find. In addition to the original De Lisle there are various modern versions, some of them very nice. For those who don’t know, the De Lisle was a short barrel complete with suppressor on the No1 SMLE action chambered for the 45 ACP cartridge. It was designed in WW2 for knocking off sentries that couldn’t be got close to, and was very quiet. Strangely, the reference I’ve been reading says it was subsonic but also that MV was 1200 FPS which is contradictory. Also says it was effective up to 300 yards. I doubt that if it was really subsonic but it would nonetheless have been effective to well over 100m and much more accurate than a pistol.Even with suppressor it was quite short and compact, even more so those that had the folding stock. The barrel projected about two inches into the loading port. That was possible because of the short cartridge and helped to keep the weapon short. The bolt was shortened to suit. It needed a modified bolt head or a new one because the extractor wouldn’t function with the smaller case head. A special guide tube was built into the action to accept the 45 ACP magazine.Wouldn’t be too difficult to build one. Shortening the bolt is just a matter of cutting it to length and threading it for the head. The bold head conversion would just be fitting an extractor with a longer hook, or alternatively deepening the slot in the bolt head to allow the extractor hook to reach deeper. Shortening the striker or making a new one is easy for the SMLE. A similar conversion would be much more difficult with the Mauser. Making suppressors is easy and there’s plenty of info about that.Would be the ideal all purpose house/farm defense piece. Compact enough not to be too unwieldy in confined spaces and much easier to shoot accurately than a pistol especially under stress. A laser sight would be a handy addition.For those who see the advantage of it but wouldn’t want to do what seems a radical conversion, I’d guess it would work with subsonic rifle ammo. I have fired Lapua 308 subsonic ammo. 200 grain spitzer at about 1000 FPS. Accurate and effective to 200m. An SMLE with short barrel and suppressor should work with handloaded subsonic ammo without the need for the magazine and bolt conversion. Could use heavy ( 220 grain ) cast bullets.[Originally posted to SATalkGuns -- Admin]