History & Facts

Lee Enfield - a very short history

The SMLE or Lee Enfield No.1 MkIII Short Magazine Lee Enfield rifle is indeed famous for it's service from before WW1 up to WW2. Commonly known as the "Smellie" it is the most prominent of the Enfield rifles. Starting from 1888 with the Lee Metford the Lee Enfield has been used by British and Commwealth soldiers for over 100 years. The development of the rifles started due to the Martini Henry being unsuitable in the Boer war, it was subject to a very low rate of fire and poor range capability. Thus the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield Lock developed the magazine bolt action rifles that were issued to all branches of the armed services.

The last SMLE MKIII was manufactured in the Royal Factory, Ishapore, India in the late 1960's in 7.62 x 51 nato calibre and was renamed as the 2A1

Enfield Sniper Rifle

The Enfield 4T was introduced early during World War 2 and remained in service until August 1970 when it was replaced by the 7.62mm NATO round L42A1.

These rifles have been extensively faked for many years. Originals are very scarce and cost upwards of £3,500. The photographs above are from a replica 4T, part of our collection and is not currently for sale. You will see below extracts from the 1950's Training Manual.

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