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The Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 1 Mk 3* is part of a long and storied line of Lee-Enfield rifles that served as the core arm of the British military throughout the Empire and Commonwealth from the late 1800s through the mid-1900s. Learning from continual use, design improvements were fairly constant, a factor that when combined with interchangeable parts, production in many countries, and delays in adopting updated designs resulted in numerous variations of rifles over the course of history.
Production of the Lee-Enfield Mk III SMLE (Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield) began in 1907 and saw extensive service in the First World War. In 1916, before the war’s end, changes in sighting and small parts required the new designation of SMLE Mk III*. Together, the Mk III and Mk III* served in the remaining years of the war, but it was the Mk III* that played a sizeable role in the interwar years and the Second World War. Rifle nomenclature changed in 1926 with the introduction of the numeric sequence. At this point, the SMLE Mk III and the Mk III* became known as Rifle No. 1 Mk III and Mk III* respectfully.
This Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 1 Mk 3* is a postwar Rifle Factory Ishapore arm. Dated 1950, the rifle is also post Indian independence, but India had yet to adopt Ashoka national proof stamp and the butt socket (right side under bolt handle) holds the ‘crown/G.R.I (George Rex Imperiatus)/1950/No. 1 Mk. 3*’ action body designation. Note: While the rifle pattern remained the same, starting in 1944 Roman numerals were replaced by Arabic numerals in the action body designation.
The serial numbers on our Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 1 Mk 3* on the receiver, bolt, and rear sight leaf all match. SNs on the forearm and nosecap match each other and do not match the receiver set. Magazine SN does not match. There are two cartouche marks on the stock, left side. The cartouche nearest to the butt is a faint, barely legible ‘SR..?/broad arrow/4..?’. The front cartouche, closest to the receiver, is the ‘D/I broad arrow E/(W)’ post Indian independence ownership/arsenal mark. Overall good condition with service handling marks on wood and some service wear on metal. There is a wood chip in the buttstock on the bottom, left side just behind the trigger guard. A freckling of rust sits here and there on metal surfaces. Many proof/inspector’s/other markings as noted in photos. Bore is fair and is clean, bright with shallow rifling.
See pictures for overall condition. FFL or C&R required for purchase.
Rifle Factory Ishapore
Rifle No. 1 Mk 3*
fair, clean, bright, shallow rifling