A nice Lee-Enfield SMLE No.4 Mk 1(T) rifle by HBMG, 1943. Excellent condition, original belt. This is deactivated gun.
Lee-Enfield bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle was 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.
A redesign of the Lee-Metford which had been adopted by the British Army in 1888, the Lee-Enfield superseded the earlier Martini-Henry, Martini-Enfield, and Lee-Metford rifles.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 by means of 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 Canada, Australia 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 L42 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 Indian Police and Bangladesh Police, which makes it the longest-serving military bolt-action rifle still in official service. The Canadian Forces' Rangers Arctic reserve unit still use Enfield 4 rifles as of 2012, with plans announced to replace the weapons sometime in 2014 or 2015. Total production of all Lee-Enfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles.
The Lee-Enfield takes its name from the designer of the rifle's bolt system—James Paris Lee—and the factory in which it was designed—the Royal Small Arms Factory in Enfield. In Australia, New Zealand, Southern Africa and Canada the rifle became known simply as the "303".
A shorter and lighter version of the original MLE—the famous Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, or SMLE (sometimes spoken as "Smelly", rather than S, M, L, E) —was introduced on 1 January 1904. The barrel was now halfway in length between the original long rifle and the carbine, at 25.2 inches (640 mm).
The SMLE's visual trademark was its blunt nose, with only the bayonet boss protruding a small fraction of an inch beyond the nosecap, being modeled on the Swedish Model 1894 Cavalry Carbine. The new rifle also incorporated a charger loading system, another innovation borrowed from the Mauser rifle; notably the charger system is different from the fixed "bridge" that later became the standard, being a stripper clip guide on the face of the bolt head. The shorter length was controversial at the time: many Rifle Association members and gunsmiths were concerned that the shorter barrel would not be as accurate as the longer MLE barrels, that the recoil would be much greater, and the sighting radius would be too short.