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Lee-Enfield rifles served as the core arm of the British military throughout the Empire and Commonwealth from the late 1800s until the mid-1900s. The Rifle No. 4 MK I, adopted in 1939 became a standard arm of British forces in World War II, but as the war progressed, particularly in the Far East against Japan, the military discovered shortcomings of the No.4 when employed in jungle or extreme terrain. In 1943, the Infantry Weapons Development Committee requested a shorter, lighter rifle, a call answered with trial rifles made up by simply shortening No. 4 rifles. In fact, the Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 5 Mk I nomenclature was not officially designated until 1944, after the carbine line had already gone into production.
Unique characteristics of the Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 5 MK I include a shortened barrel (and forearm/handguard), front sight protector wings with bayonet lug and flash hider assembly, modifications in the machining of some parts to further reducer weight, and a rubber kick pad with swing bar. The rear sight is graduated to 800 yards, reflecting the shorter field of fire encountered in dense jungle terrain. Aside from some additional modifications intended to lighten the rifle, the Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 5 MK I action resembles the No.4 rifle.
This Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 5 MK I was produced in England by Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) Fazakerley in September of 1946. The receiver is marked ‘No. 5 MK I ROF(F)’ over ’9/46 X7002’ in two lines on the left side. The right side of the receiver ring is marked with the British export and proof mark ‘England’ over ‘crown/P’. The barrel is marked, from left to right, ‘crown/NP’ `303 “2·22” 18·5 TONS’, a civilian proof mark. Both this latter mark and the receiver ring marks are typical for surplus military arms directly entering the civilian market. The serial numbers all match on the receiver, bolt, forearm, and magazine.
Overall, in very good condition with minor service handling marks on wood and minor service wear on metal. Many proof/inspector’s/other markings as noted in photos. Forend is squared with metal cap variety. Sling included. This is a very good-looking Rifle No. 5 MK I. No import company marks observed. Good bore that is clean, bright, with defined rifling.
See pictures for overall condition. FFL or C&R required for purchase.
Royal Ordnance Factory Fazakerley
Rifle No. 5 MK I
good, clean, bright, defined rifling