Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I .303 rifle

This item is HIRE ONLY for use by a recognised Film, TV, Commercials or Theatre production company.

 

 

Overview

By 1944, the need for a shorter, lighter rifle led to the development of the Rifle, No. 5 Mk I.

With a severely cut down stock, a prominent flash hider and a receiver machined to remove all unnecessary metal, the No. 5 was shorter and 2 lbs lighter.

Despite a rubber butt pad the .303 round produced too much recoil for the No. 5 to be suitable for general issue and production ceased in 1947 due to ‘an inherent fault in the design’, often said to be a ‘wandering zero’ and accuracy problems.

However the No. 5 Mk I was popular with soldiers owing to its light weight, portability and shorter overall length than a standard Lee-Enfield rifle.

The No. 5 was first issued to the British 6th Airborne Division and in use during their occupation of Denmark in 1945.

The term ‘Jungle Carbine’ was popularised in the 1950’s by the Santa Fe Arms Corporation, a US importer of surplus rifles, in the hope of increasing sales of a rifle that had little US market penetration. It was never an official military designation but the term is still used today when the No. 5 is discussed.

Helpful Info

Regarding dates and period correctness, this item is appropriate for late World War II British and Commonwealth forces, 1945. Some No. 5s saw service with the British army in the Korean war (1950-1953).

Foxtrot example shown is a Lee Enfield No 5 Mk I rifle chambered in .303. It has oiled wood furniture and is in a military phosphate finish.