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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.
Our Lee-Enfield Rifle No. 5 MK I is factory rebuilt. Originally produced in England by Royal Ordnance Factory (ROF) Fazakerley in August of 1945 at the close of the war, the receiver is marked ‘No. 5 MK I ROF(F)’ over ’8/45 Q5917’ in two lines on the left side. The right side of the butt socket is marked ‘R.F.I’ for the post Indian independence Rifle Factory Ishapore. The Ishapore factory only refurbished the Rifle No. 5 MK I and never manufactured new No. 5s. Below R.F.I is the year the rifle was rebuilt ‘1953’. Below the date reads ‘No. 5 MK I. The left side of the butt socket is marked ‘FR’ for factory repair. The serial numbers do not match and there is no SN on the magazine. The bolt number matches the number stamped on the receiver ring’s right side. These numbers were used during the rebuild to match the bolt with receiver after fitting. The trigger guard does not have the No. 5 lightening cuts and is most likely a No. 4 guard installed during the factory repairs.
Overall good condition with service handling marks on wood and some service wear on metal. Many proof/inspector’s/other markings as noted in photos. The right side of the buttstock has an Indian post-independence ownership/arsenal stamp closest to the receiver and a roundel towards the butt – under the ‘7’ in the painted number ‘27’. This latter marks reads ‘K.K.D./broad arrow/5??6’, with the middle numbers obscured. Forend is rounded wood variety. Sling included. No import marks observed. Bore is fair to good, clean, bright, defined shallow rifling.
See pictures for overall condition. FFL or C&R required for purchase.
Royal Ordnance Factory Fazakerley
Rifle No. 5 MK I
fair to good, clean, bright, defined shallow rifling