BSA Bahrain Contract (1931-1933)
During the inter war years there were no military contracts awarded from the British Government, this was due to the fact that by the end of WW1 there was a huge surplus of Military Rifles.
Unlike the Government factory ( R.S.A.F Enfield ) which was 100% state owned, BSA was a private Listed company with shareholders and needed to sell guns otherwise it would go the way of LSA & Co ( which went bankrupt in 1927) .
So during the inter war years BSA & Co sent sales teams all over the world finding military contracts or any contract . The first BSA contract was to Thailand (1920-1921) 20,000 in total and the king of Thailand had a Tiger head engraved on ever rifle but the biggest contract was to Egypt (1925-1928) 15,000 and again (1937-1939) 31,000.
In 1930 BSA sales team won a small military contract from the king of Bahrain, the contract was for 5,000 No1 Mk3 SMLE's .
These SMLE's had magazine cut off's but no volley sights and had to be made from the best English walnut as the contract stated. The king also ordered a few ( unknown amount) telescopic rifles for hunting . These rifles were fitted with inter war Rigby (PP& Co) telescope's .
In 2013 about 2,500 Bahrain contract SMLE's ended up in the UK, most seamed to be in great condition and little used. Then in 2016 about 300 were imported and again in great condition.
It appeared that in the late 1960's Bahrain followed the rest of the middle east and purchased AK47's .
It does seem that BSA contract SMLE's were only ever used as dress rifles .