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Thread: Sterling Bolt Action 7.62mm Sniper Rifle

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    Sterling Bolt Action 7.62mm Sniper Rifle

    In the 1980's Sterling made or sold a bolt action 7.62mm sniper rifle.

    I believe they produced a brochure for it.

    Does anyone have a copy of the brochure? Also does anyone know how many rifles were produced or sold along with other details such as serial numbering and so on.

    Regards

    Alan David
    Sydney

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    If it helps, I believe this was just a conversion kit for Lee Enfields to 7.62mm and not a whole rifle.

    From another source... See a reproduction of the parts layout from the Sterling 7.62 brochure on page 40 of Ian Skennerton’s S.A.I.S. No 18 " 7.62mm L42A1 SNIPER, L39A1, 2A & LEE-ENFIELD CONVERSIONS"

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    Hi Lima

    I have got the brochures that cover the sterling converstion kits.
    The sniper rifle is definitely a separate entity. In the new book out that covers Sterling Armament Co, there is a photo of one of the rifles on a table at a Sterling arms sales demonstration. But no detail can be made out of the rifle.

    Regards

    AlanD

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanD View Post
    Hi Lima

    I have got the brochures that cover the sterling converstion kits.
    The sniper rifle is definitely a separate entity. In the new book out that covers Sterling Armament Co, there is a photo of one of the rifles on a table at a Sterling arms sales demonstration. But no detail can be made out of the rifle.

    Regards

    AlanD

    Haven't seen the photo you are referencing, but I might guess its a Sterling HR81 or HR83 being confused.

    Benjamin held rights to produce and sell them here in USA back in the 80s and early 90s.

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    The photo is on page 260 of the book. Its described as the Sterling 7.62mm NATO sniper rifle. Its not the Sterling air rifle.

    Regards

    AlanD

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    The only photo on pg. 260 is at the far end of the firing line. Malaysia ~1981.

    Any other photos or reference to this mystery rifle exist anywhere? Did any end up in the LEEDS armory or other reference collection after Sterling closed up shop?

    I wonder if an E-Mail to Mr. Edmiston would provide insight?
    https://www.sterlingacl.com/management
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    Last edited by Lima; 01-19-2021 at 02:04 PM.

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    I am sending out a few inquiries to a number of instituitions and target rifle dealers in the UK, so we will see what comes back.
    On my next visit to the UK -whenever that will be - I hope to spend some time with Mr Edmiston, mainly to talk about his time when he owned BSA Guns Ltd. I have a feeling this sniper rifle was developed after he had to sell Sterling.

    Regards

    AlanD

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    Quote Originally Posted by AlanD View Post
    The photo is on page 260 of the book. Its described as the Sterling 7.62mm NATO sniper rifle. Its not the Sterling air rifle.

    Regards

    AlanD
    Do you have any other references at this point beyond the pg260 photo in the one book?

    Difficult to make any accurate identification or inference from the pg260 photo (as kindly uploaded by Lima). If the photo captures a Malaysian Military firing line circa 1980s, one must consider probability the rifle at end of the line could be a Remington 700; though it could still be just about anything, including a BSA.

    Perhaps contacting one of the book's contributing author(s) can help (though I understand one may be presently difficult to contact). Possible that editing error may have been made.


    Aaron
    Last edited by OldBesty; 01-23-2021 at 11:31 AM.

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    Heard back from the Royal Armories and they have a Sterling 7.62mm bolt action sniper rifle with a magazine. The s/n is CFT 190. So it would appear to be a conversion of the BSA CFT 7.62mm target rifle, which of course was single shot. This would seem to make sense as at this point in the 1980's the MkIV Sterling SMG was becoming a bit dated and Sterling were looking at ways of generating new sales with new products or variations of older designs. Why go to the trouble and expense of developing and manufacturing your own rifle, in competition to to BSA and Parker Hale, domestically within the U.K. Much better to buy from BSA a good rifle and convert it to magazine feed, which would have been well within Sterling's manufacturing capability.
    Perhaps the rifle in the photo is the same one as in the Royal Armouries collection? In reality I suspect Sterling struggled to get any sales and only a few prototypes were made.
    Still need to track down the brochure that I have seen on this rifle.

    Regards

    Alan David
    Sydney

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    Here is the online listing from the Royal Armories
    https://collections.royalarmouries.o...ct-278019.html

    Object Title - Centrefire bolt action magazine sniper rifle - Sterling, experimental
    Object Number- PR.7768
    Provenance - Gifted with the Pattern Room by the Ministry of Defence, August 2005 Transferred to the Pattern Room from Royal Ordnance PLC, Nottingham, March 1993
    Physical Description - With BSA CFT action
    Firearms/Artillery - Serial Number CFT190
    Calibre- 7.62 mm


    Looks like you can contact the curator using the button on the link above for more information and maybe a picture?

  11. #11
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    , I hope to have a closer look at it on my next trip to the U.K.

    I think this may be the only rifle they made (or converted), or one of a very few prototypes.

    Regards

    AlanD

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