Lee-Enfield No. 5 Rifle
|Country of Origin||United Kingdom|
|Rate of Fire||20 rounds/min|
Contributor: C. Peter Chenww2dbaseBritish weapons designer James Paris Lee drew the blueprint of the Lee-Enfield rifles from his earlier Lee-Metford design dated 1888. The Lee-Enfield bolt-action rifles were introduced to the British Army in Nov 1895, with soldiers immediately impressed by the rifles' high firing rate that reached 20 to 30 rounds per minute. Between 1895 and the 1930s, the design underwent several revisions, including efforts in the 1920s to make them cheaper and faster to manufacture.
During WW2, British involvement in South East Asia created a need for shorter and lighter rifles suitable for jungle warfare. Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I rifles, nicknamed "Jungle Carbines", were produced to meet this demand, featuring significantly shorter stocks to reduce size, extraneous metal parts removed to save weight, and flash hiders to improve stealth in the jungles. Despite soldiers' positive feedback, production ceased in 1947 after about 500,000 were built as the ammunition used by the Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I rifles created too much recoil and this issue was never resolved. The last significant action these rifles saw was the Korean War, where some were used by Australian troops alongside of other Lee-Enfield variants. Lee-Enfield rifles of all variants continued to be the standard British and Commonwealth bolt-action rifles until 1957, and many of them remain in service today. 17 million Lee-Enfield rifles of all variants were made between 1895 and 1957.
Source: Wikipedia. ww2dbase
Last Major Revision: May 2008
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