Item:
ONCSS21097

Original British WWI 1917-dated SMLE Rifle Wire Cutter No.I MkII by Decimals Ltd.

Regular price $1,295.00

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Item Description

Original Item. Only One Available. These are fantastically rare! Company director Christian Cranmer has only ever handled three previously, the first at The London Gun Show in 1990, and its price then was near to $3,000! Since then we purchased two of our own, which we have since sold. The earlier TWO examples were both Marked No.1 MK III, however this example is clearly marked No.1 MK II like the last example we sold, although we can see no obvious difference between the two marks.

No doubt these were produced in some quantity originally but for whatever reason very few appear to have survived. This style of wire cutter is designed to attach to the muzzle end of a Short Magazine Lee Enfield Rifle, the S.M.L.E., by way of an integral clamp, on the right side. The two wide "jaws" stand vertically to guide the barbed into the cutting edges. Once engaged, the Infantryman lowers the muzzle to the ground automatically closing the cutters and severing the wire. Quick and ingenious, this must have been of great service in WW1's Trench Warfare.

The wire cutter is marked on both sides, though rust and wear have made the markings somewhat faint:

DECIMALS LTD.
SELLY OAK
NO I MARK II
1917

Selly Oak is a suburb of Birmingham in England's Industrial Midlands. Decimals Ltd. was an engineering firm that was contracted to make wire cutters and phosphorous grenades during the Great War.

Incredibly scarce, these only the second example of this version that we have ever owned. They appear to be fully functional, but we have not tested them for their ability to cut wire. This example does have some significant past pitting, how ground out, however this has also affected the blades and mechanism.

NOTE: SMLE Rifle muzzle is shown for illustrative purposes only, and is not included with the wire cutters.

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