Boys Anti-Tank Rifle: Mk I and Mk I* Improvements

These rifles are lots #1087 and #1088 at Morphy’s April 2019 auction:

The Boys Anti-Tank Rifle was adopted by the British military in 1937, and remained in production until 1943 when it was replaced by the PIAT. During that time more than 114,000 were made, both in the UK and in Canada. Canadian engineers at the John Inglis company devised a number of improvements to the rifle in 1942, which were adopted as the Mk I* pattern that year. Today we are looking at these improvements with examples of each type side by side. They are a new style of muzzle brake, simplified rear sight, and improved bipod design.


    • And for comparison: skinny booklet from 1942 and yet 2-in-1! Soviet PTRD and PTRS:
      consisting of 8 pages, including cover. As says cover page:
      Anti-tank rifle manned by courageous cold-headed soldiers presents powerful means of combating fascist’s tanks. Start firing at distance 300…400 m. Audaciously let tank to get closer to rifle – tank is nearer then bigger is chance of knocking it out. Camouflage your position carefully!

      • I thought the Soviets also put bedsheets over their larger anti-tank guns in winter. It’s hard to see your opponent when everything’s snow-white. Okay, sorry about the unintended pun…

  1. The Disney film Daweo links to is worth watching. It says little about the gun, but shows just how bad Disney was at making films. I have not seen a worse training film; and very few worse films.

    A much better film featuring the Boyes is ‘Nine Men’. A 1943 British film about 9 soldiers who accidentally find themselves fighting off Italians and Germans in the North African desert; with very few rounds between them. I last saw it in the 60’s, but remember the NCO instructing the Boyes gunner to save his last 5 rounds to only fire at tanks; but to shot men if they got too close.

    Unfortunately I can only find a trailer for the film on-line.

  2. Great post. I was checking constantly this weblog and I’m
    inspired! Very helpful info specially the last section :
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  3. my favorite thing about the Boys Rifle was a quote I read from an old British gentleman trained during WW2 “You needed an awful good reason to pull the trigger”

  4. I just picked up a MK1*but with the original monopod and spreader bar. The codes on the barrel have been “X’s” over, but otherwise it is all Inglis 1943 US Government. I presume the maker sent this to the field with whatever mount was available. I have the rifle zeroed at +/- 300 yards now that i know the hold off. would love to hear from other shooter/owners

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