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Ishapore .410 SMLE

Quick, think of the first thing that comes to mind when I say “riot shotgun”!

Does it have a brass buttplate? A tangent rear sight? Is it a single-shot weapon? Does it use a shotshell smaller than 28ga?

No? Well, I guess you have a different notion of riot gear than the Indian military. Huh.

Today I’ve got a video on the Indian answer to the mass-issue riot gun, a SMLE rifle with the magazine well plugged and the barrel bored out to .410. They are pretty neat, and this one’s in really nice shape:

It seems that the bored-out version like mine that use American 2.5″ shells are quite a bit more common here than the original brass-case version here in the States. They’re not too difficult to find if you keep your eyes open online, and not that expensive (yet). Definitely a neat side item for the Enfield collector, or just someone like me who enjoys “different” guns.

8 comments to Ishapore .410 SMLE

  • 103David

    Very interesting and way beyond cute. My challenge to you would be to try shooting some thrown clays with it. if you don’t believe it possible, look up Winchester Model 42 :)

  • Jim Shue

    Geez, all your videos are cool. I had one,wished Id kept it. Ive heard that similar gun were found in the UK after the war. I figure that the English didnt want a buncha pheasants, having access to military surplus arms after the war. LLAP

  • Jeff Wagner

    There is Pakistani ball ammo available for these guns. Since this is a smooth bore gun, is there any BATF restrictions on shooting the ball ammo? Have you or anyone you know of tried the ball ammo?

  • Bob

    Ian made some great career choices. I love every version of the Lee Enfields, except the “jungle” carbine, those I just like.

  • Felix

    There is a long tradition of using military shotguns in India, going back to the days of the Raj.. It was common practice to issue sentries and local guards with shot loads. It meant that they could defend themselves and whatever it was they were guarding, but not pose too much of a risk to anyone armed with a ball round. This is the same role that was filled by the Blunderbuss which were carried by stagecoach and bank guards into the 19th C. When the Snider adaption to the P53 rifle musket was introduced, there was a shot cartridge to go with it. These were made from out of spec ball ammunition with the bullet removed and a bag of shot in bone dust put in and the foil cartridge simply twisted close. The same thing was done with Martini Henry rounds.

    When the .303 was finally introduced, the necked case was too small to accommodate a useful shot load, so a compromise design was used using un-necked cases (remember that cordite filled .303 had the neck put on after the case was charged!).

    The practice of using shotguns to arm guards was fairly widely used across the old British Empire, and companies such as Greener continued to supply arms such as these up until the 1960s.. They are often referred to as “Prison Guard” weapons, but were widely used in situations where individuals needed to be armed, but there was a need to limit the effect or prevent more effective weapons falling in to the wrong hands..

    The market collapsed after the Soviets supplying all and sundry with AKs, and the cat was let out of that particular bag..!

  • Grant Ellis

    I have one of these in New Zealand, but still in .410 Indian Musket chambering. When I bought it I was told it was .410 shotgun, the guy collected them, so I bought a load of different ammo, and drove 45 minutes out to the range. Got there, went to chamber a round and found it didn’t fit. Only took the one gun, so had to drive 45 minutes home without having fired a shot! Not the best day at the range. However, I resisted the urge to chamber ream it, as original ones are a bit more rare. I just bought another No1Mk3* sporter bored out to .410 so I could use up some ammo. After all, it’s hard to have too many Enfields. Like my brother says about Bren Guns, the phrase “too many Bren Guns” should only be in the sentence: “Do you think I’m wearing too many Bren Guns to go swimming?” Eventually I will get around to making some .410 Indian Musket ammo for it. I see original ammo is available in the US, but not in NZ. It’s already been in a movie, with the lack of a magazine concealed by a breech cover. And it will still fire .303 blank, just one at a time. Very cool gun. Keep up the great work!

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