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View Full Version : Ident: Help with L1A1 history, NZ Collector?


xk319
May 03, 2003, 22:25
So, I have an Australian l1a1 but it's serial number denotes it as being for the New Zealand Army. It's dated 1964, got the NZ carry handle. Did they ever paint their rifles black like the Aussies later did?

I want to refinish, but don't want to do black if the New Zealanders never did it. Another option I have is parking the receiver to match the rest of the rifle better. The Black I can do myself, the park I cannot.

I have a mint set of 1st pattern laminated handguards I'd use if I painted it black, I suppose that would be correct.

I have a mint set of 64 marked slaz wood that came with the rifle that I'd use if I parked the receiver.

I like the laminated handguards better, and the black paint better looks wise. However, I'm a stickler for authenticity. There's a voice in me that says don't paint over the original park, just get the reciever parked to match......then the other voice says no, paint it and use the color you like with the handguards you like, it'll still be correct technically (I think).

I can also ditch this rifle and go with a British I found, and use the laminated handguards on it......but that brought up another question I asked in another post. Whether the brits made they're own laminates or used Aussie's. I have an Aussie set I can use if they brought them in.

You can see in the final photo the difference in color between the cover, receiver, and lower that I don't care for.

You see my dilema. I'm calling upon FALr's of the world to break my mental conundrum, and decide for me :) !

http://www.dayofdefeat.com/kell/NZl1a1.jpg

Andy the Aussie
May 03, 2003, 23:18
I had always thought that the Kiwis refinished about anything hey have ever bought in a wool jacket........but I may be bias.....:bigangel: :bigangel: :D :biggrin:

BlasterLP
May 04, 2003, 07:52
how can you keep such a thing? wish I could offer my services and take that off your hands so you wouldnt have to deal with it :)

I say, do what YOU want it to look like, the Kiwi's gave it up.
Hope it comes out good, it looks like it would be great all redone.

Brian in MN
May 04, 2003, 08:52
I'll trade you both of my sisters for those handguards.

RJS
May 04, 2003, 13:09
Originally posted by falsemuzzle
second photo..."ABN" marked on rec side?

Isn't that the same marking on Onyx and Eden Lithgow receivers?

Kevin can you weigh in on that point?

How odd is that on an Entreprise receiver?

Is this a pre-ban receiver? or can someone tell me who exactly finished the Onyx/Eden receivers from the early 90s afterall???

Any thoughts?

BTW Nice rifle.

The Eden receivers came in as a dark grey park. And they were imported in the mid to late 80's not 90's.

xk319
May 04, 2003, 13:15
Originally posted by falsemuzzle
second photo..."ABN" marked on rec side?

Isn't that the same marking on Onyx and Eden Lithgow receivers?

Kevin can you weigh in on that point?

How odd is that on an Entreprise receiver?

Is this a pre-ban receiver? or can someone tell me who exactly finished the Onyx/Eden receivers from the early 90s afterall???

Any thoughts?

BTW Nice rifle.

The receiver was made in the summer of '94, so pre-ban yes. The finish on there is from me, it's teflon/moly dark park from brownells. Turned out parkish like it should but the other parts have green tint in the their original park.

NZ L1A1 Collector
May 05, 2003, 02:15
Firstly I would like to say your rifle looks great the way it is at the moment :)

Here's an except from something I've been working on:-

“….The New Zealand L1A1 can be found in a number of different configurations, generally there are very few “original” condition L1A1’s in circulation, as the Army would replace, repair or update the weapons as and when required. Only those which were un-issued will be found in there true configurations. The following common furniture arrangements are likely to be encountered;

Wooden or Plastic Butts and Pistol Grips with:

Solid Wood Handguards.
Laminated Handguards MK I.
Laminated Handguards MK II.
Plastics, British Handguards.
Plastics, New Zealand Handguards.

Total production of L1A1’s from Lithgow is 222,773 weapons, with New Zealand purchasing about 15,000 weapons between 1959 - 1969. …”


A lot 1964 dated rifles I have seen have been in service with New Zealand Airforce, I have one and it’s fitted with wood handguards and a NZ pattern plastic carry handle. It’s possible your rifle could be an ex Air force rifle too.

New Zealand rifles that have been in service for 20+ years will also be found with a mixture of Australian, British and Canadian parts as we used what we could source during their service life and it wasn’t always Australian.

The plastic NZ pattern carry handle was brought into service around 1983.

Standard refinishing for NZ rifles was to have them Phosphated unless the part is new then it could be either black stoving paint coated (Australian parts post 1971 and standard on British parts) or phosphated (Australian pre 1971 and Canadian).

Now if you really did want to make a stock standard ex NZ army rifle I would suggest the following configuration:-

No carry handle (neoprene washer fitted).
Laminated handguards (left half Mk. 1, right half Mk. 2 version)
Wooden Butt heavily dented and bruised.
British Plastic Pistol grip.
Very worn ‘silver’ finish.
Some new stoving black parts eg. Gas Cylinder, Gas Plug, Sling Swivels.

That would have to be a typical example of an ex NZ Army L1A1 rifle.


Yep I noted the 'ABN' looking mark on the Entreprise receiver. This marking is totally in the wrong place for anything to do with the Lithgow made receivers. Maybe Entreprise is using the mark? or someone has stamped it on there?

Hope this helps :)

On last point. You will note on this pic I have added there are a couple of white lines these are points you HAVE to alter to stop your butt from being turned into a piece of firewood. You NEED to remove these edges to releave the preasure from when your firing the rifle. A simple way of doing this is to use a hacksaw blade.

I have made this warning before to the makers of furniture for the FAL/L1A1 rifles. They only way to stop the splitting otherwise is by the use of the metal ferrul on the Type 'C' FAL butts.

xk319
May 05, 2003, 02:36
Holy moly, that's awesome info :), exactly what I was looking for. And thanks for the tip on the buttstock trimming. I suppose they aren't trimmed to begin with because the NZ's or Aussie didn't worry about cracking? Assume they'd just slap a replacement on there, no big deal.

How big of a presence did NZ have in the Vietnam War, was thinking of keeping this in Vietnam form looks wise. I like the laminated handguards, but don't know that they were introduced early enough to be seen in Vietnam.

One final question. I remember you mentioned once that the Brits used laminated handguards for a short period in the late 60's early 70's. Did they make these in house? Or did they take stock from Australia?

btw, saw the post about the Aussie Vietnam book, gonna order that right now.

xk319
May 05, 2003, 03:18
obtw, I ran across this photo of a Brit commando with a snow camo l1a1. I saw another string where you showed a special sling attachment you had just gotten. Is this the same one? I see something on his handguards. You also had that muzzle thingy he has on his. And is that a whitewashed trilux pouch on is hip? Cool pic.

http://www.dayofdefeat.com/kell/winterl1a1.jpg

NZ L1A1 Collector
May 05, 2003, 04:38
Here's the deials i sent to you in a reply email

Hi Kelly,

Yes the British did produce there own version of laminated handguards around 1968 - 1972. This was a to try and produce a cheaper and material-less handguard unlike the expensive full wood handguards.

IF you are wanting to have a laminated handguard rifle I would suggest getting yourself a set of Aussy handguards as finding British laminated handguards is a very hard thing to do. This is because 99% of people think only the Aussy's made the laminated type and you have to look carefully at the handguards for the markings.

In saying that there is one easy identifiable point they say the handguards are British or Australian and that is the texture of the heat-reflecting foil.

Australian laminated handguards
The foil has a chequered surface look to it.
No markings on it.

British laminated handguards
Foil has a smooth surface except for wrinkles in the foil.
On the inside between the round side vent holes should be a broad arrow mark /|\
Some handguards have a red stamped marking which is a double upwards facing arrows over the top of a 'C' These are 'Concession' pattern handguards and can ONLY be used in matching pairs due to a minor manufacturing fault.

During the life of the L1A1 in British, Australian and Canadian (C1A1) production it was common to use other countries manufactured parts and was part of a thing called "interchangeability" between the three countries. I was not uncommon to find British and Canadian parts on Australian L1A1's so it would be the same for British L1A1 rifles.

If you check the falfiles for my posts I know there is one on there detailing the differences between Australian and British laminated Handguards and there should be a pic of the two.

I hope this helps,

Regards,

Kevin Adams

Rifle, 7.62 mm, L1A1 Collector & Researcher
NEW ZEALAND

NZ'ers were has a major part in SVN and were nicknamed 'Grey Ghosts' because they would apear from nowere and sluter the EN and disapare again into the Jungle.

It is from experiance during Vietnam that lead to the development of the laminated handguards, these proved to be better.

It wasn't something they had thought about when they first produced the L1A1 BUT after a long service life butts would start cracking and it's in the armourers instructions to start modifying the butt in this way.. earlest date for this mod is from around 1965? (from memory)

Yep that is the special handguard attachment and NO that is a normal British 58 pattern ammo pouch.

There is no Trilux mount/topcover fitted to the rifle.

xk319
May 05, 2003, 16:23
Originally posted by NZ L1A1 Collector


IF you are wanting to have a laminated handguard rifle I would suggest getting yourself a set of Aussy handguards as finding British laminated handguards is a very hard thing to do. This is because 99% of people think only the Aussy's made the laminated type and you have to look carefully at the handguards for the markings.

In saying that there is one easy identifiable point they say the handguards are British or Australian and that is the texture of the heat-reflecting foil.

Australian laminated handguards
The foil has a chequered surface look to it.
No markings on it.

British laminated handguards
Foil has a smooth surface except for wrinkles in the foil.
On the inside between the round side vent holes should be a broad arrow mark /|\
Some handguards have a red stamped marking which is a double upwards facing arrows over the top of a 'C' These are 'Concession' pattern handguards and can ONLY be used in matching pairs due to a minor manufacturing fault.



I think I have a set of British laminates then. I think they have that smooth foil. I'll check when I get home tonight, and snap a photo too. Sounds like I might have to grab this British l1a1 I know of and put the laminates on it :D.

xk319
May 05, 2003, 20:48
Yeah, they're British. Did you say they are rare? Or that someone actually realizing they have British laminates is rare (as they look the same on the outside)

http://www.dayofdefeat.com/kell/britlaminates.jpg

BlasterLP
May 05, 2003, 21:13
Kevin, regarding the white lines you have drawn in......is the only place the buttstock meets any metal then is where the tang on the lower reciever meets the recessed area?
I have 2 Ironwood stocks that fit like that with the space where u have outlined and I thought I was going to have to cut back/sand/whatever the whole front of the buttstock where it meets the rear of the lower and cut back the slot for the tang to go back in further.......but then you have that space which you have highlighted, which would be a dirt/grime collection point.

thank you much for all the info you post, one of these days I hope to compile a CD of your posts and all the FAQ's.

NZ L1A1 Collector
May 06, 2003, 04:47
Yes indeed they are British laminated handguards. They arn't rare, it's just people don't know about them and think they are Australian.

BlasterLP: I'm away from home at the moment so I'm unable to check the armourers instructions for you, but mainly it has to do with where I have marked that the cracks will apear. If you do a seach on my posts you might find under FAQ? a post I did whare I posted pics of Armourers repairs undertaken to butt stocks due to cracking caused by the stock being too tight against the lower.