On the 7th September 2009, an auction was held in Wellington, New Zealand with some very special pieces of history on offer.
The NZDF had allowed the auction of their .22 cal trainers, the No8′s and No9′s and DP’d No4s.
These rifles had been part of the New Zealand Cadet Forces and whilst some have external marks, the barrels and actions were of a very high standard.
This particular No8 is one of those .22 trainers.
The No8 in its appearance is certainly a break from the expected design that one would expect, however, the rifle itself is a highly accurate trainer. The barrel is a lot heavier and somewhat shorter than that of the No4 . The trigger is fully adjustable and the foresight is interchangeable with normal and match type sights. The rear sight is a singer styled aperture sight.
This particular No8 was specifically built by BSA Shirley for the NZ Defense Force and has the Prefix DA.
Approximately 15,000 were made by Fazakerley, whilst 2000 were made by BSA Shirley for New Zealand Defence forces.
Of note, the wrist markings on this rifle shows both the NZ markings along with the date of manufacturing, that being 1952.
The rear singer styled site has the “H” indicating “Harmonization” and as such, able to be used on landscape targets. It also has an interesting “E” and “D” reminiscent of Enfield markings and, whilst I am aware that the No8′s went through a FTR program, there are no other marks on this particular rifle. Possibly only the rear sight was refurbed on this rifle? or an incorrect interpretation of a mark on my behalf. Comments welcomed!
Cal .22 inch
Rifling and Twist 6 Grove Right hand twist
Barrel length 23.9 inches / 607mm
Overall length 41.7 inches / 1059mm
Weight 9 lb 2 oz / 4.1kg
Mag capacity Single shot