British WWII Lanchester Mark I Display Machine Carbine SMG- Serial Number 123A, Extremely Rare

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. Now this is really rare. Serial Number 123A, which is in the very first issue of the famous WW2 British Lanchester Submachine Gun, featuring the original all steel magazine housing. This example also has the early long adjustable back sight. The later mass-produced version, the Mk I*, had a brass magazine housing. This steel magazine housing has the clear, early marking of LANCHESTER MACHINE CARBINE MARK I, along with the very early serial number, 123A.

The Lanchester has an interesting history. The Germans introduced the first practical submachine gun in 1918 with their Schmeisser MP 18/I gun. It was stoutly made and effective, it’s only weak point being that it used the snail drum magazine designed for the Luger pistol. After the War, an updated version of the MP18/I was introduced called the MP28/II, also designed by Schmeisser. This gun replaced the complicated and fragile snail drum magazine with a simple, straightforward double-column box magazine. In the thirties, the Sterling Engineering Co. in Great Britain designed to produce a copy of the MP28/II with improvements. This became the famous Lanchester of WW II. With the long P07 bayonet attached, it is a most intimidating weapon. (The replica P07 bayonet is not included, but can be added to this item for an additional $50.00. The bayonet normally sells for 79.95.)

A very interesting and rare feature on this particular gun is the later adaptation to include a "closed bolt" securing device. The problem with early "open bolt" system submachine guns was that, if the butt were slammed on the ground as might have happened on parade, the "floating bolt" could recoil sufficiently to retract, reload the chamber from the loaded magazine and discharge a round without the trigger being touched. This was a real problem with all blow-back submachine guns, so that a securing device was introduced that slid up behind the closed bolt handle to prevent its retraction. The early Sten guns had the same problem, which was later overcome with the Sten's floating Bolt Handle that could be pushed to a "locked" position once the bolt was closed on an empty chamber. The famous German MP 38 and MP 40 originally had a simple hooked cocking handle, but this same accidental discharge problem resulted in the familiar pull-out push-in safety on the cocking handle.

This piece is supplied with our best remaining original 50-round magazine. The magazine has the Sterling logo, S. E. Co. in an oval, on the case, and it has a correct Sterling floorplate. Sterling floorplates are identified by the word OFF and an arrow to indicate the direction in which to remove it.

So here is one of the earliest Lanchester Mk 1 Display Guns with the extremely rare first model steel magazine housing and bolt securing device, along with the very scarce tangent rear sight, making this an extremely rare Collector's item from WW2.

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