BSA-Adams

     Notes: BSA tried many times to get the British military to buy this rifle – first as the BSA-Adams in 1921, then later that year, this time called the Browne Adams; again in 1922 as the Fairfax-Adams, and finally in 1924 as the BSA New Model. As it was designed by a British Army Ordnance officer, you’d think it might be a good rifle; however, the BSA-Adams suffered from any defects: fouling, port and chamber erosion, extraction failures, and violent case ejection, deforming the spent cases.  As a result, despite the persistence of its designer and BSA, it was rejected.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

BSA-Adams

.303 British

4.67 kg

5

$1174

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

BSA-Adams

SA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

93

 

Enfield Rifle No 2 (Pattern ’14)

     Notes:  This weapon was designed to replace the SMLE; the SMLE received harsh criticism from everyone but the soldiers themselves.  Enfield began with a Mauser action and then chambered it for a high-powered .276 caliber round that was packed with so much propellant that it was practically a wildcat round.  The result was a weapon that wore out very fast and had massive muzzle flash and recoil.

     Enfield then returned to the tried-and-true .303 British cartridge.  The rifles were then brought into service as the Pattern 1914, and manufactured in the US under contract by Remington and Winchester.  The soldiers did not like the Pattern 1914; it was a target shooter’s dream, but it was too long, cumbersome, and badly balanced for use by infantry.  Therefore, they were eventually placed into storage until World War 2, when they were used to equip the Home Guard, then being called the Rifle No 3.  In 1947, they were declared obsolete for military use and sold off to civilians.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Enfield Rifle No 2

.303 British

4.14 kg

5 Clip

$1612

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Enfield Rifle No 2

BA

4

2-3-Nil

7

4

Nil

100

 

L-1A1

     Notes: This is the British version of the FN FAL; it was also used by Australia, India, Barbados, Oman, Guyana, Gambia, Malaysia, and the Royal Ulster Constabulary in Northern Ireland.  The Canadians also bought it, but quickly modified it into a much better weapon (the C-1 and C-1A1).  The L-1A1 is basically an FN FAL with the automatic fire feature removed, a longer barrel fitted, and the ability to mount a wider variety of sights and optics.  Original L-1A1s were made with hardwood stocks and handguards, but most were made with plastic stocks and handguards.  The L-1A1 suffers from the same problem as early FALs: the firing pin is very long and fragile, and tends to get bent or broken easily.  This often means that the L-1A1 will reliably fire two rounds, and then jam when attempting to fire the third.  (This is often known as the “bang-bang-jam” problem.)  In addition, the L-1A1 is huge, nearly four feet long, and this became a hindrance in the fighting in Northern Ireland’s streets (though the wall penetration of the rounds was appreciated).  The L-1A1 was largely replaced in the British Army except for certain specialist applications; but in other parts of the world, it is still widely used.  By 2002, the only place new L-1A1s are made is in India, and they have their own problems (see Indian Battle Rifles).  It should also be noted that while most FALs are built using metric measurements, the L-1A1 was built using “English” measurements (such as the US still uses for most purposes, though not most weapons manufacture).  This means that while FAL parts will usually fit into an L-1A1, this is not always true; in addition, a FAL magazine cannot be used in an L-1A1 and vice versa.  (Most weapons which were originally based on the L-1A1 instead of the FAL can still use the British magazines, but cannot use FAL magazines.)

     Twilight 2000 Notes: Like many such weapons, L-1A1s were again issued in Britain when supplies of other weapons became scarce.  Towards the end of the war, it was also turned into a substitute sniper weapon, after being modified with Picatinny Rails and bipods.

     Merc 2000 Notes: Due to the widespread issue in the world, mercenary organizations liked the L-1A1.  In addition, they often turned up in the hands of rebel forces in various countries.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

L-1A1

7.62mm NATO

4.3 kg

20

$1055

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

L-1A1

SA

4

2-3-Nil

7

4

Nil

71

 

Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield (SMLE)

     Notes:  When Great Britain switched to Cordite as a standard bullet propellant, more efficient rifle designs were possible. One of these was the Mark I series.  The original such weapon, the Lee-Enfield Mark I was basically a Lee-Metford Mark II* with a different barrel that had more efficient rifling.  It is sometimes known as the “Long Lee-Enfield.”  The Mark I* is the Mark I with the cleaning rod removed to improve balance; the ramrod was no longer necessary since Cordite did not foul the barrel as much as previous propellants. The barrel of the Lee-Enfield Mark I was an astounding 30.2 inches. The year after first issue, a version was designed as a Cavalry Carbine, with a greatly-shortened 21.2-inch barrel.

     The next step was to shorten the weapon, to make it more universal in issue.  The Lee-Enfield Mark I rifle was shortened, given the familiar snub-nose, and the ability to load the magazine from the top by chargers as well as putting a fresh magazine in the bottom. The barrel was shortened from the Mark 1 to 25 inches. This became the SMLE Mark I.  The SMLE Mark I* was a Mark I with butt-trap for cleaning supplies, and the magazine was redesigned for more reliable feeding.  The “Converted SMLE Mark I” was an old Lee-Metford converted into an SMLE Mark I.  The Converted Mark II’s are conversions of the Rifle Marks I and I* and old Lee-Metford Marks II and II* by fitting new sights and shorter barrels, and modifying them for charger loading.

     The SMLE Mark III was a Mark I or 1* with long-range sights and a bridge charger guide.  It was also heavier due to the use of better metal.  The Converted Mark IV was a Converted Mark II* with the sights and bridge charger guide of the Mark III.  The Converted Marks I**, II**, and II*** were made for the Royal Navy.  The Mark I*** was optimized for the Mark 7 pointed bullet.  The Mark III* was a modification of earlier rifles to facilitate production.

     One of the countries to which the Mark III* was issued was to India, during the time that India was still a British colony.  After India gained its independence in 1947, they continued to manufacture the Mark III*, until the late 1950s.  (Before this, they also manufactured the Mark III* from 1940-45.) This version was called the Ishapore 2A.  Differences included deletion of the piling sling swivel, and the rounded front sight ears were replaced with easier-to-manufacture square ears.  The ears of the rear sight also have a similar squared profile.  The cocking piece is rounded, and the poor quality of wood used in the construction made necessary a recoil screw through the fore-end in front of the trigger guard.  The Indians finished the metalwork of their rifles in baked-on black enamel.  The barrel of the SMLE is 25 inches; the Ishapore 2A has a slightly longer barrel at 25.2 inches.  The Ishapore 2A is considerably heavier than the SMLE Mark III*, due to cruder construction methods. Initially, the Ishapore 2A was chambered for the .303 British cartridge, but in 1663, virtually all were rechambered for 7.62mm NATO. The 7.62mm version can be distinguished by its longer, square magazine, the rear tangent sight, adjustable only to 800 meters, a charger guide which is modified from the FAL charger guide, an aluminum alloy buttplate, and a butt with a slightly higher comb.  The receiver is also made from better-quality EN steel to cope with the higher-pressure 7.62mm NATO cartridge.  Though this iteration of the Ishapore 2A is the same size as the earlier version, it is slightly heavier due to the stronger receiver and stock design change.  The conversions continued until 1970; in the mid-1970s, production of the Rifle 1A reached the point where the Ishapore 2A could be handed down to training depots, police units, and the reserves.  Navy Arms currently sells surplus Ishapore 2As on the civilian market, mostly in the US, Canada, and Mexico.

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

Lee-Enfield Mark I

.303 British

4.31 kg

10

$1537

Lee-Enfield Cavalry Carbine Mark I

.303 British

4.01 kg

10

$1445

SMLE Marks I, II Series

.303 British

3.71 kg

10

$1484

SMLE Mark III Series

.303 British

3.94 kg

10

$1484

Ishapore 2A

.303 British

4.22 kg

10

$1486

Ishapore 2A

7.62mm NATO

4.33 kg

10

$1458

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

Lee-Enfield Mark I

BA

4

2-3-Nil

9

4

Nil

116

Lee-Enfield Cavalry Carbine Mark I

BA

4

2-3-Nil

7

4

Nil

75

SMLE Marks I, II

BA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

95

SMLE Mark III

BA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

95

Ishapore 2A (.303)

BA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

96

Ishapore 2A (7.62mm)

BA

4

2-3-Nil

8

4

Nil

96

 

No. 4 Rifle Series

     Notes:  The No. 4 series was the result of a need to simplify the SMLE series of rifles for wartime production (World War 2, in this case).  The No. 4 Mk 1 and 1* were SMLE Mk IIIs that had the nosecap removed from the muzzle, the sight base increased somewhat, and the rear sight, and an aperture rear sight.  The No. 4 Mk 1* had some machining omitted to reduce manufacturing time; they were built mostly in Canada and the US to increase the number of production facilities available. 

     The No. 4 Mk 1(T) was a sniper’s model of the Mk 1; it has a tangent rear sight and a base for a telescopic sight.  It is found in British Sniper Rifles. 

     The Mk 2 has a modified trigger mechanism that was easier to build and reduces the trigger pull.  The Mk 1/2 is a Mk 1 with the same trigger; the Mk 1/3 is the Mk 1* with that trigger. 

     The No. 5 Mk 1 is a carbine version of the No 4, also known as the “Jungle Carbine” or “Gibbs Carbine.”  It is a No 4 with a chopped barrel and a bell-shaped flash hider.  The problem with this weapon was that the combination of short barrel and .303 British cartridge was not a good one.  Muzzle flash and recoil were excessive, and the sights refused to hold their zero, so that after even a short firefight, aimed fire from the carbine was extremely inaccurate.  Though they were widely issued to British and Indian troops in the Far East, the troops hated them, and did all they could to beg/borrow/steal M-1 Carbines from the Americans.  They were declared obsolete in 1947, and few exist today. 

Weapon

Ammunition

Weight

Magazines

Price

No 4 Series

.303 British

4.11 kg

10

$1602

No 5 Mk 1

.303 British

3.24 kg

10

$1549

 

Weapon

ROF

Damage

Pen

Bulk

SS

Burst

Range

No 4 Series

BA

4

2-3-Nil

7

4

Nil

95

No 5 Mk 1

BA

4

2-3-Nil

6

5

Nil

62