Lee–Enfield No.4 MK1 Surplus Description:
The Lee–Enfield is a bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle that served as the main firearm used by the military forces of the British Empire and Commonwealth during the first half of the 20th century. It was the British Army’s standard rifle from its official adoption in 1895 until 1957. The WWI versions are often referred to as the “SMLE,” which is short for the common “Short Magazine Lee-Enfield” variant.
A redesign of the Lee–Metford (adopted by the British Army in 1888), the Lee–Enfield superseded the earlier Martini-Henry, Martini–Enfield, and Lee–Metford rifles. It featured a ten-round box magazine which was loaded with the .303 British cartridge manually from the top, either one round at a time or using five-round chargers. The Lee–Enfield was the standard issue weapon to rifle companies of the British Army and other Commonwealth nations in both the First and Second World Wars (these Commonwealth nations included Australia, New Zealand, Canada, India, and South Africa, among others). Although officially replaced in the UK with the L1A1 SLR in 1957, it remained in widespread British service until the early/mid-1960s, and the 7.62 mm L42A1 sniper variant remained in service until the 1990s. As a standard-issue infantry rifle, it is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations, notably with the Bangladesh Police, which makes it the second longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service, after the Mosin–Nagant. The Canadian Rangers unit still use Enfield rifles, with plans to replace the weapons sometime in 2017–2018 with the new Sako-designed Colt Canada C19. Total production of all Lee–Enfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles.
No4 MkI’s were made by several factories during the 2nd World War. The bulk being from the Royal Ordinance factory Maltby, ROF Fazakerley, BSA Shirley, with smaller quantities at Longbranch in Toronto Canada and by the Stevens-Savage company of Chicopee Falls, Massachusetts, USA.
To work out which factory that your No4 was made is to look at wrist markings where the serial numbers are. Now, this only equates to British No4MkI here. The British made No4MkI’s use a prefix and number – (Alphanumerical) system to identify the manufacturer. Numbered serials starting with 1 indicated ROF Maltby, 2 indicated ROF Fazakerley and 3 indicated BSA Shirley. However as one soon learns with anything to do with life, there are exceptions, early in on the game BSA Shirley did a production run which used only 4 numbers and went from Axxxx to Zxxxx.
By the late 1930s, the need for new rifles grew and the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was officially adopted in 1941. The No. 4 action was similar to the Mk VI, but stronger and most importantly, easier to mass-produce. Unlike the SMLE, that had a nose cap, the No 4 Lee–Enfield barrel protruded from the end of the forestock. The charger bridge was no longer rounded for easier machining. The iron sight line was redesigned and featured a rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for 300 yds (274 m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 200–1,300 yd (183–1,189 m) in 100 yds (91 m) increments. This sight line like other aperture sight lines proved to be faster and more accurate than the typical mid-barrel rear sight elements sight lines offered by Mauser, previous Lee–Enfields or the Buffington battle sight of the 1903 Springfield.
Key Features of This Lee–Enfield No.4 MK1 Surplus:
- Made by Royal Ordinance factory (ROF) Maltby in 1944
- Magazine x 1
These are in good working condition but have some metal finish wear and scratches.