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WWI SMLE "Enfield" Rifle Wire Cutter


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I have heard in the past that this attachment is a wire cutter for barbed wire. As the soldier ran toward the opposite trench, he could use the end of the rifle to cut away at whatever barbed wire was in his way. The length of the rifle allowed him to not to get caught up in the wire.

"No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making the other poor, dumb, bastard die for his country" George Pattons speech to the Third Army.

 

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I have seen this before on the rifle ends, but seldom. Does anyone know what this does?

It is a British WW1 Wire cutter for the SMLE .303 Rifle. The Idea was to push the cutters with the end of the SMLE on the wire when the wire catches on the strand , the Jaws rotate and close cutting the piece of wire ....in theory. If the wire is tightly strung it works OK at best , but German WW1 wire was thick, nasty stuff and lose wire would be hard, if not impossible to cut quickly. In my opinion .. good Idea but not too practical in the real world. I have never seen any documention on these old pieces.

Bob

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The function as a wire cutter and hook to pull the wire aside is apparent, but how and where would that devise attach to a MK III SMLE? Indeed how would it attach to any rifle in a way that it would be secure enough to stay on the rifle when twisted and pulled to cut and clear wire entanglements?

 

I could see this devise secured to the end of a long pole so that the wire could be manipulated to a degree from a distance, but it seems more likely it would be useful for cutting and/or hooking something like communications wire down from poles and etc.

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The function as a wire cutter and hook to pull the wire aside is apparent, but how and where would that devise attach to a MK III SMLE? Indeed how would it attach to any rifle in a way that it would be secure enough to stay on the rifle when twisted and pulled to cut and clear wire entanglements?

 

The Cutter has a bracket in the back that swivels up and clamps around the front barrel mount and fastens with a T bolt clamping it tight.. The cutting device is clear of the bayonet mount and muzzle, mounted. I own such a device and mounted on a rilfe used it to cut wire WWI period wire. It does'nt work well and takes an effort to cut cleanly, if the wire is loose you would need to hold the wire with your free hand and push the whole thing forward.

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