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Thread: New Zealand RNZAF Long Branch 1943 No 4 MK1* 303 Rifle

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2013
    Posts
    3

    New Zealand RNZAF Long Branch 1943 No 4 MK1* 303 Rifle

    New Zealand RNZAF Long Branch 1943 No 4 MK1* 303 Rifle s/n No. 24L 7084

    This mint ‘as issued’ rifle was purchased from the RNZAF Te Rapa Airbase on
    The 2nd of March 1959 by:

    Flight Lieutenant (Flt Lt) W J Horton (No.70224)

    (And owned many years later by Auckland Military collector Clive Bennett)

    It has a bright excellent bore and is all matching bolt, magazine and wood with 100% metal finish including brass butt plate. Also all the original proofs, Long Branch marks plus broad arrow on wood and metal.

    After buying the rifle I (Clive Bennett) personally talked with Flight Lieutenant W J Horton (over 20 years ago in Hamilton) and he said this rifle was one of two which he was authorised to purchase as a special concession on retirement. This was apparently influenced by the fact his squad were National title holders of the New Zealand Military target shooters (or similar) and Flight Lieutenant W J Horton was the Team commander.

    This was 1959 (when he retired from the Air force) and he personally selected the best barrels from all the ‘unissued’ rifles in the Te Rapa Armoury. (I understand he was the Base Lead Armourer).

    He told me that he attached target sights, ‘sighted in’ the rifle (s/n No. 24L 7084) and never fired it again. It was kept at his home ‘oil wrapped’ under cover and he finally decided to sell it (to a Hamilton dealer) from who I purchased it (at one of Ray Carvell’s Gun Shows in South Auckland circa 1993). The second rifle in the same purchase he used for target shooting.

    This Rifle (#4 .303 s/n No. 24L 7084) also includes: (as per photos)

    • The original ‘hand numbered’ arsenal inspection tag marked : ‘Inspection Board United Kingdom and Canada’ Small Arms Division – with Rifle details

    • The original ‘signed’ 1959 RNZAF issue voucher # 1/182 including authority to purchase reference and Permit number # 11011

    • The original 1959 NZ Government official (signed by W J Horton) receipt for payment # 744023 – dated 2nd March 1959

    • The original battle sights

    Clive Bennett email: combatm@ihug.co.nz (I have never fired this rifle)

    Posted for the information of interested Forum members
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Burlington,Ont.Canada
    Posts
    151
    Am I right in thinking that Long Branch refers to the factory in Toronto?

    If so, I work in Toronto and the remains of the factory are still visible from the main road that passes it.

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