Pattern 1914 Enfield Rifles

Pattern 1914 Enfield Rifles

Pattern 1914 Enfield Rifles

A pair of Pattern 1914 Enfield Rifles at the Infantry Weapons Collection, Warminster

History of this .22 trainer by Enfield?

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Got this book article sent too that was interesting.

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Enfield Pattern 1914 (Rifle, .303 Pattern 1914)

Authored By: Staff Writer | Last Edited: 05/24/2018 | Content © | The following text is exclusive to this site.

After experience in the Boer War (1899-1902) showed British troops outmatched and outranged by Mauser-based rifles, work was authorized in 1912 to further a new accurate service rifle centered on firing the equally-new .276 Enfield rifle cartridge. This weapon came to be designated as the Pattern 1913, or P13, but its development was derailed by the arrival of World War 1 in the summer of 1914. A limited stock of 1,257 P13s were made in all and the series did not enter official British Army service.

A shortage of capable long guns led British authorities to approach the United States to produce the P13, tapping into their massive industrial output, while British factories were tied up in other wartime commitments. Both Winchester and Remington, as well as Remington subsidiary Eddystone, agreed to manufacture the P13 in an alternate form chambered for the British .303 rifle cartridge. This rifle then became known as the "Pattern 14", or "P14".

The cross-cultural shift in production came with a price for early-form units, designated "Pattern 1914 Mk I" - were not up to British standards. As such, the rifle did not appear in useful quantities until 1916 after which point the war had reached its two-year mark. That same year, the rifle was revised with larger bolt lugs to improve the action and this resulted in the "Pattern 1914 Mk I*" beginning its service career. Fine-adjustment aperture sights were introduced in the follow-up "Pattern 1914 Mk I (F)" model and "Pattern 1914 Mk I* (F)" models while an Aldis scope was issued with "Pattern 1914 Mk I* (T) rifles".

Designations were also affected by their place of production so Winchester-produced Pattern 1914 Mk I rifles were noted as "Pattern 1914 Mk I (W)". Remington-produced guns became "Pattern 1914 Mk I (R)" and so on. Of the three brands involved, Eddystone led the way in production with a whopping total of 600,000 rifles while Remington added a further 400,000 guns. Winchester produced nearly 235,300 rifles of their own and these were generally considered of higher quality that the competing offerings. The Winchester rifles were typically fielded with the aforementioned Aldis scopes. Production totals of this fine instrument of war are said to have reached nearly 1,235,300 units.

British use of the gun (mainly in the sniper role) continued throughout the inter-war period. In 1926, they were redesignated as "No.3 Mk 1". Other global operators to join in its use became Afghanistan, Australia, Estonia, Lithuania, Latvia, Greenland, India, Ireland, Israel, Luxembourg, Norway, Philippines, Poland, the Soviet Union, and the United States.

Norwegian use amounted to British surplus stocks being delivered to Norway resistance fighters during World War 2 following the German invasion and subsequent occupation. Similarly, Filipino forces were given the type for resistance actions against their Japanese occupiers in the Second World War. The Soviet Union was the recipient of the P14 mark via Lend-Lease and featured these in the Leningrad Campaign.

Even before World War 2, the Americans became operators of the P14 line. While American production of the British rifle wrapped up back in 1917, the United States finally committed to The Great War effort in 1917 and found itself in dire need of small arms of any kind. The Pattern 1914 fit the bill and was placed back into local production for the American Army to fight alongside the standard-issue Springfield M1903 bolt-action rifles of the time. The primary change from the British model and the American version was the switch to the .30-06 Springfield rifle cartridge. The guns went on to be known as the "Model 1917 Enfield", "M1917 Enfield", or "American Enfield" (this gun is detailed elsewhere on this site).

As built, the P14 rifle has an overall weight of 9.5lb and an overall length of 46.25 inches with a 26 inch barrel assembly. The action was based on the tried-and-true German Mauser action featuring a turn-bolt system and manually actuated by the operator. The weapon fed from a 5-round stripper clip and held a muzzle velocity of 2,380 feet-per-second reaching out to ranges of 800 yards. Its construction was conventional (and traditional) featuring a long-running wooden body, inlaid metal components, and integrated pistol grip/shoulder stock.

Design details

British sniper training in France 1944 Home Guard volunteers are instructed on the working of a P14 rifle during World War 2.

Adapting the design to fire the standard .303 British round led to the Rifle, .303 Pattern 1914 (P14), a design fed from a five-round internal box magazine. With its prominent sight protection ears on the receiver, "dog-leg" bolt handle and "pot-belly" magazine, it was distinctive in appearance. The action was essentially a Mauser design with some Lee–Enfield features and optimised for rapid fire, with the action cocking on closing, a feature highly valued by the British Army with its emphasis on riflemen highly trained for rapid fire, but less valued in other armies, such as the US or Germany, where cock-on-opening designs such as the M1903 Springfield and Gewehr 98 were preferred. Cock-on-opening actions became more difficult to operate when heated by rapid fire as the effort to open the bolt had to overcome the striker spring to cock the action as well as unsticking the fired case from the chamber. The P14 was an advanced design for the time, and was said to be the most advanced service rifle of World War I. [7]

The Pattern 1914 Enfield had a large, strong bolt action made from nickel-steel, and the bolt travel is long, as it was designed for the dimensionally large and powerful .276 Enfield cartridge. The bolt action had a Model 98 Mauser type claw extractor and two forward lugs there was also a rear safety lug formed by the base of the bolt handle sitting in a recess in the receiver. Much faster and smoother to operate than a Model 98 Mauser, the bolt was well-supported throughout its travel and the camming action on opening and closing the bolt facilitated ease and speed of operation. The unusual 'dog-leg' shaped bolt handle is low profile and places the bolt knob just rearwards of the trigger close to the firer's hand, again facilitating rapid cycling and fire. Like the Lee–Enfield, the safety falls under the firer's thumb and can be operated silently.

Due to the original Pattern 1913 Enfield action being designed around the high-powered .276 Enfield experimental cartridge with a larger diameter case than the .303 British, the internal box magazine capacity for the smaller diameter .303 British was six rounds, although the employed stripper clips held only five cartridges. The Pattern 1914 Enfield like the Mauser Gewehr 98 had no magazine cut-off mechanism, which when engaged permits the feeding and extraction of single cartridges only while keeping the cartridges in the magazine in reserve.

The rifle was designed with an iron sight line consisting of rear receiver aperture battle sight calibrated for .303 British Mk VII ball ammunition at 300   yd (274   m) with an additional ladder aperture sight that could be flipped up and was calibrated for 200𔂿,000   yd (183�   m) in 100   yd (91   m) increments and 1,000𔂿,650   yd (914𔂿,509   m) in 50   yd (46   m) increments. The ladder aperture sight moves vertically on a slide, and hence was not able to correct for wind drift. The rear sight element was protected by sturdy "ears" and proved to be faster and more accurate than the typical mid-barrel sight offered by Mauser, Enfield or the Buffington battle sight of the 1903 Springfield. The front sighting element consisted of a wing guards protected front post, and was adjusted laterally and locked into position during assembly at the arsenal. The Pattern 1914 Enfield rear sight element was situated on an elongated receiver bridge, which added weight to the action, as well as lengthening the bolt. There were also volley-fire sights similar to those on the Short Magazine Lee–Enfield fitted to the left side of the weapon for use up to 2,600   yd (2,377   m) , though these were of little use and were usually deleted when the weapon was refurbished. The advanced aperture sights with their long sight radius contributed to a well-deserved reputation for accuracy, and WW1 snipers considered it to be more accurate than the standard Short Magazine Lee-Enfield Mk III infantry rifle. [8]

Compared to the Lee–Enfield the Pattern 1914 Enfield was more accurate, more durable however, it was heavier – the Lee—Enfield Mk III weighed 8   lb 10   oz (3.91   kg) empty – and had only half the magazine capacity, giving it a significantly lower effective rate of fire. The pre World War professional British Army emphasized besides marksmanship also on rapid-fire training, resulting in the annual Mad minute qualification shoot for their riflemen. In contrast to the Boer War experience which had led to the P13/P14 project, World War I conditions favoured volume of fire, at which the Short Magazine Lee–Enfield excelled.

The Story of Eddystone

I believe I am correct that General Thompson designed and/or supervised the factory at Eddystone, Pennsylvania that during
WWI had a production capacity of 1,000 Model 1917 rifles per day. M1917 Rifles made at this arsenal are, as we all know, marked Eddystone. I have read this brief historical factoid in numerous books and magazine over the years.

Well here is something new… at least to me. I was reading about the Baldwin Locomotive Works – one of the largest manufac- turers of steam locomotives in the country. Baldwin had a factory in Philadelphia in the mid-1800s (almost 200 acres a few blocks north of what is now Philadelphia City Hall) and established a 600 acre factory in Eddystone. During WWI Remington contracted with Baldwin Locomotive Works to manufacture almost 2 million Pattern 14 and M1917 rifles, and, of course, this operation became what we all know of as the so-called Eddystone Arsenal. Apparently there was no Eddystone Arsenal, per se. In all of my years of being a well read gun-fanatic this is the first I’ve read that Eddystone was Baldwin Locomotive.

This may seem trivial but around here most people know nothing about Eddystone Arsenal, yet many people know about Baldwin Locomotive Works. There are still (I think) some of the buildings left just south of Philadelphia International Airport. I wonder if digging into the Baldwin Locomotive archives would yield any Thompson related discoveries?

Bob Griswald
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Page 18 4 th Quarter 2010

  • Remington Arms Company of Delaware – Eddystone, Delaware – A contract for 2,000,000 rifles at $30.00 each.
  • Remington Arms and Ammunition Company – Ilion, New York – Three contracts for 1,000,000 rifles at $30.00 each.
  • Winchester Repeating Arms Company – New Haven, Connecticut – A contract for 200,000 rifles at $32.50 and another for 200,000 rifles at $30. 00 each.

Page 19 4 th Quarter 2010

On June 15, 1916, the Journal of Commerce reported:

“The Remington Arms Company plant at Eddystone has begun to ship rifles after a year’s activity. Up to the present time the company has shipped 2,500 rifles. The company expects to ship a carload of rifles daily within three weeks.”

Four months later on October 17th the New York Sun reported:

In 1916, Marcellus Hartley Dodge sold his company’s interest in the Remington Arms Company of Delaware and in the military contract for rifles to the Midvale Steel and Ordnance Company, taking in return 400,000 shares of Midvale stock of $20,000,000 par value. [Note: New York Sun, November 24, 1916.]

On November 22, 1916, an agreement was reached between the British Govern- ment and Rem-UMC, Midvale Steel & Ordnance Company, and the

As it was, no Eddystone-produced Pattern 13 bayonets are known. [Note: The U.S. Enfield – Ian Skennerton, page 59.] It is possible that bayonets produced by Remington in Ilion were substituted. [Note: Skinnerton, page 63.]

A total of 1,235,298 .303 Pattern 1914 Mk I rifles were produced by the three American manufacturers, although the average cost differed from the initial contract price:

  • Remington Arms Company of Delaware – 604,941 rifles at $43.75 each including bayonet – sic.
  • Remington Arms and Ammunition Company – 403,126 rifles at $28.38 each including bayonet .
  • Winchester Repeating Arms Company – New Haven, Connecticut – 225,008 rifles at $36. 82 each.

Specifications of Magazine Rifles, .303 inch, Pattern of 1914
Manufactured at Eddystone
ammunition ……………………… .303 British centerfire
barrel length ……………………… 26-inches
caliber ……………………………… .30 inch
front sight ………………………… blade sight, adjusted laterally.
magazine …………………………. holds five cartridges
markings …………………………. ERA stamp in an oval on the receiver ring A roundel stamped on right side of butt stock with Roman numeral I and E (for Eddystone), and PATT. 14 stamped below the circle, and a broad arrow acceptance mark above the circle. Major components are stamped E
rear sight ………………………… tangent back sight with aperture on slide and aperture fixed sight and a long- range volley sight on left side
rifling ………………………………. Enfield pattern – 5-grooves
weight of rifle ……………………. 9lbs/6 oz.

Page 22 4 th Quarter 2010

The U.S. Government turned to the following arms makers to produce these infantry weapons: Remington Arms Company of Delaware (Eddystone, Delaware) Remington Arms Union Metallic Cartridge Company (Ilion, New York) and Winchester Repeating Arms Company (New Haven, Connecticut).

The initial contracts were signed by the three companies with many un- knowns, especially in regards to inter- changeability of parts. The contracts, therefore, were “cost plus 10%.”

  • Winchester was awarded a contract for 225,000 rifles on June 1, 1917 and a contract for 100,000 more rifles on December 11th.
  • Remington was awarded a contract for 300,000 rifles on June 1, 1917 and a contract for 250,000 more rifles on December 11th.
  • Eddystone was awarded a contract for 450,000 rifles and later another contract for 250,000.On April 4, 1917, representatives of these three companies held their first meeting in the Woolworth Building in New York City (the offices of Rem-UMC).
    “The object of the meeting was to standardize, as far as possible, the materials from which the Enfield Rifle Pattern 14 is to be made for the United States Government. And also to standardize, as far as pos- sible, the changes necessary to adapt the Enfield Pattern 14 rifle to take the .30 Government 1906 cartridge.”

“The contractor, in conjunction with the other contractors, will arrange so that the dimensions controlling the interchange- ability of the following parts shall be in agreement.”

.303 Pattern 1914 Mk I rifle production at Eddystone effectively ceased in mid-1917, as the plant re-tooled to begin making the U. S. Military Rifles, .30 caliber, Model 1917.

At this time the Remington Arms Company of Delaware employed 10,500 workers at Eddystone, but many were still working on completing the final batches of .303 Pattern 1914 Mk I rifles. Employ- ment decreased to 3,917 on July 15, 1917, but gradually increased to a maximum of 15,409 men and women on September 27, 1918, all working on the U.S. Model 1917 rifles .

In April 1918, the Eddystone Rifle Works hired its first women for produc- tion tasks. Within five months, three thousand (or 19% of those employed here) were women. This hiring was essential because many younger, able- bodied men were being drafted into military service.

At the Eddystone facility the browning of barrels, receivers, bolts, guards, floor plates, upper and lower bands, front sight carriers, and butt plates were initially unsatisfactory, and this process required a huge outlay of manpower. The browning procedure was replaced by a process developed by the Parker Rust Proof Company. This new process came into full operation at Eddystone by September 1918, resulting in a decrease in manpower from 305 (for the browning process) to only 80 (for the Parkerizing process).

Production of U.S. Model 1917 rifles at Eddystone began on September 17, 1917, and this facility delivered its first order of 450,000 rifles long before the promised date of June 30, 1918. The second order for 250,000 rifles were also completed by that same date. Ordnance Department records state that the first Eddystone-produced rifles were accepted on October 1st. Just why this delay (between manufacturing and delivery) is not known. [Note: There is much disagreement among modern-day historians about the initial delivery date of these rifles.] The final delivery of U.S. Model 1917 rifles was made on March 8, 1919, for a grand total of 1,332,477 rifles. [Note: Other sources have put the total quantity produced at Eddystone at 1,181,908 , and another source quotes 1,352,862.]

An armistice was arranged and fighting in the Great War was over on November 11, 1918.
Production was to have ceased at Remington’s Ilion plant on December 23, 1918, and at the Winches-
ter plant on April 5, 1919. However, actual production of the rifles did not immediately stop, as the Ordnance Department allowed
production to continue for a few more months, as follows: Remington – until February 1919 Eddystone – until March 1919 and Winchester – until March 1919. In addition to the manufactured rifles, 1,352,862 spare rifle parts were produced at Eddystone.

Page 24 4 th Quarter 2010

Page 25 4 th Quarter 2010

Some Statistics Regarding the Eddystone Rifle Works

British P-14 Rifle in .303 British – The Other British Enfield

Bangor, Maine – -( The Lee Enfield rifle MKIII is widely known as the rifle of the British Army during the First World War and beyond. Another rifle made in the United States would serve in the British Army during both World Wars, and that rifle was the Pattern 14.

The Pattern 14 would also serve as the basis for the American M1917 Enfield rifle .30-06, which Alvin York would use to win the Medal of Honor.

The Pattern 14’s origins lay in British experimentation with Mauser type actions, and a need for more rifles to fight the Germans in the First World War. During the Second Boer War, British soldiers would fight against Boers armed with 7mm Mauser rifles, and find themselves outgunned. A .276 caliber round would be developed starting in 1908, and in 1913 a prototype rifle had been built. This prototype rifle was called the Pattern 1913, and made at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield.

Before issues in the rifle could be worked out, the First World War broke out in Europe.

The British military would find itself lacking rifles for their rapidly expanding number of soldiers. There were not enough of the standard Lee Enfield rifles in service at the time. The Pattern 1913 would be modified into the much more common .303 round to meet the demands of the war effort. This new rifle was much easier to produce than the Lee Enfield, and three American companies would be tasked with manufacturing the rifle.

The companies were Remington, Winchester, and Eddystone. The majority of the Pattern 14 rifles would be made in the year 1916. Total production would be about 1.2 million units. The receiver on Eddystone rifles are marked “ERA”. Remington rifles are marked “RE”, and Winchester rifles are marked “WRA” on the receiver.

While the standard Lee Enfield rifle featured a 10 shot detachable magazine, the Pattern 14 only held 5 rounds in an integral box magazine. The Pattern 14 rifle also featured a new model blade bayonet called the Pattern 1913. These bayonets were made by the same three manufacturers as the rifle. A nearly identical version of this bayonet called the M1917 would be used on the American M1917 Enfield and Winchester 1897 Trench shotgun.

The Pattern 14 like many early Lee Enfields featured a volley sight on the left side of the stock. This second set of sights was intended to be used for area fire at ranges of 1500 yards or more. The sight is adjustable from 1500 to 2600 yards. Many Pattern 14’s were rebuilt and had the volley sights removed. A Pattern 14 with intact volley sights brings more than one without.

A sniper variant of the Pattern 14 was used late in the First World War. Only Winchester made rifles were selected for sniper rifles due to Winchester’s reputation for building a more accurate rifle. The Pattern 14 was picked over the standard MKIII Enfield due to its accuracy, and existing rifles were converted to sniper configuration in England by adding a 3 power Model 1918 scope.

The Pattern 14 had an interesting and limited combat history in the First World War. By the time Pattern 14s began arriving in Britain, Lee Enfield production were being produced in sufficient quantities to arm the Commonwealth forces in Europe. Many were used in reserve units and to train new recruits. The Winchester sniper rifles were used starting in 1917 due to their superior accuracy over the Lee Enfield MKIII.

Following the First World War surplus many Pattern 14’s would be sold off. The Latvian army used many Pattern 14s and many of the rifles would be used by Republican Forces in the Spanish Civil War. During the Second World War Two Pattern 14 rifles were issued to the British home guard in case of Nazi Invasion. The Winchester Pattern 14 sniper rifles would also see use during the Second World War.

About Marc Cammack
Marc Cammack has been collecting firearms since he was 14 years old.

His interests are primarily military surplus firearms of the late 19th into the 1950’s. He has studied these in depth, and currently volunteers at two local museums providing them with accurate information about their firearms.

He is a graduate of the University of Maine with a bachelor’s degree in history. He has studied modern European and American history since the age of 9, and has been shooting since the age of 11. He currently resides just outside of Bangor, Maine.

Pattern 1914 Enfield Rifles - History

"Enfield" Drill Purpose Rifle

"Enfield" Drill Purpose Rifle

Guns International #: 101001359
Seller's Inventory #: 6957527

"Enfield" Drill Purpose Rifle

This is a NON-FIRING Drill Purpose training rifle. There is a steel rod welded crosswise into the barrel making the rifle non-firing. This rifle was Manufactured by the Eddystone Armory, a subsidiary of Remington Arms, in Pennsylvania. The British were in desperate need of rifles during the first world war and outsourced the production of the Pattern 1914 Rifle to Winchester, Remington. The Remington Arms Company purchased a half completed locomotive factory in Eddystone Pennsylvania and turned it into an arms manufacturing facility. These rifles saw service in WWI and WWII after the British defeat at Dunkirk made the use of arsenal stored arms a necessity. In 1939 the long range volley sights were removed from nearly all P14 Enfields and the rifles were finally declared obsolete in 1947. This rifle displays many markings on the stock as well as multiple "DP" (Drill Purpose) stamps in the metal and wood. There has been a repair to the heel of the stock, adding to this rifles' character. There was a unit marked stock disc in the rifle at one time, this has been removed and filled in with a wood disc that has been smoothed over. There is a stock repair just forward of the bolt handle. It appears that the bayonet lug was manufactured by Remington being marked with a capital "R." The gun is import marked.This rifle would have been used for training purposes including familiarizing new recruits with a bolt action rifle as well as dry-firing drills. This rifle would make a great addition to any non-firing rifle collection or just an interesting conversation piece with some interesting history attached to it. Once again this rifle is in NON-FIRING condition. Per British law a hole at least the same size as the bore must be drilled through the barrel and a steel plug welded in place to make the firearm non-functional.

Manufacturer: 1916-1917
Caliber Info: .303 British
Metal Condition: Fair: Re-painted Black for Drill Purpose use
Wood Condition: Fair to Good: Worn smooth from drill use, some stock repairs
Bore Condition: Clean and Sharp
Barrels: 27
Triggers: Grooved, Blued
Stock: Full Length Military Stock, Semi-Pistol Grip Grip, Smooth, Walnut. Has repairs to heel of stock and in front of bolt handle
Stock Dimensions:
LOP 13 1/2
Fore End: Smooth Walnut
Butt Pad: Steel Butt Plate with Trapdoor
Weight: 9 Lbs. 4 oz.
Sights: Front: Square Post with Protective "Ears" Rear: Peep, Ladder style, Graduated out to 1,600 Yards.
Item Location: Sun Prairie, WI


The cylinder lock is based on the Mauser system. It locks at the front in the barrel extension screwed on at the end of the barrel. The safety device is derived from the Spanish Mauser model 1892, the safety lever is located at the rear right on the locking sleeve. The magazine holds five rounds and is loaded with a loading frame . The sighting device is protected by a solid frame and mounted over the lock behind the ejection opening. The rear sight can be adjusted from 200 to 1200 yards shooting range. A vernier is used for fine adjustment . The lateral direction can be adjusted with a screw. The rifles with a mounting device for the English riflescope Model 18 have the additional designation No 3 MK I (T) . Because of their better quality, only weapons from Winchester production were used for this modification.

Because of its lock that locks in the barrel extension at the front, the one-piece construction of the barrel and piston, the longer line of sight with rear sight, the P14 rifle is superior to the SMLE rifle in stability and precision, the advantage is a slightly higher weight, 4.25 kg instead of 3 , 9 kg bought.

Lee-Enfield Rifles .22RF Mk.III, Mk.IV & No.2 Mks.I & IV*

although some late mark No.2 rifles were built from scratch, particularly in Australia and commercially.

The barrels of these later marks of No.2 rifle were usually newly made solid components of Birmingham Small Arms Co., manufacture.

The earliest conversions were also newly made "small-bore" barrels, but the need to not interfere with vital production of .303" barrels,

at the commencement of the First World War, required alternative means for the provision of such barrels.

From 1915 these converted rifles' barrels were bored out .303"CF units, mainly parented by obsolete rifles

or those condemned for Service full-bore use, and sleeved with a .22RF rifled tube in the manner of Parkerifling.

This sleeving work was largely contracted to the Parker company,

themselves the pioneers of successful major production of such barrelling.


The Pattern '14 No.3 Rifle, the SMLE No.1 Rifle and No.2 Rifle, the No.4 Rifle and the FN-SLR Rifle and the EM2 Bulldog precursor to the current SA-80 Rifle,

including Service Rifle Target shooting at BISLEY CAMP RANGES Post WWII

The approval for service of the first conversion of the S.M.L.E. to .22RF calibre was in August 1912.

These conversions were effected using the Marks II and II* rifles (which .303"CF rifles, from 1926,

became known as the No.1 Mks. II and II* with the introduction of a new sytem of nomenclature by rifle number).

The converted rifles were fitted with the previously mentioned solid .22RF barrel

similar to that especially made for the Rifle, RF Short Mk.I in 1907, and approved as the " .22-in. R.F. Short Rifle, Mark III ".

For purposes of latter-day identification, it should perhaps be borne in mind that such rifles could subsequently have been sleeved,

by the Parker or Parker-Hale companies, to lengthen their military service, or when sold out of service into the commercial world.

A wartime need for yet more training rifles led to the approval, in April 1916,

for conversions of S.M.L.E. rifles (No.1) Marks II and IV,

and of the earlier "Long Lee-Enfields" in their charger-loading Mark I* guise -

These conversions each rather confusingly became "Pattern 1914" rifles,

in common with the .303 British designed, but American manufactured, rifle that in 1926 acquired the nomenclature Rifle No.3.

However, confusion was limited by the full designations for these rifles, which,

for those converted from Mk.III and Mk.IV S.M.L.E. rifles was the " .22-in R.F. Pattern 1914 Short Rifle No.2 ",

and for those converted from the C.L.M.L.E. Mk.I* , was the " .22-in. Pattern 1914 Long Rifle ".

The latter rifle is obviously not a conversion of the S.M.L.E.,

but is mentioned here because of the significance of its concurrency with those conversions.

Below: the "Enfield" Pattern Room collection, at the Royal Leeds Armouries,

carries a converted "Long Lee" which bears a manilla pattern-room label,

( which label is marked with the Crown and " E.R . ", and is therefore post 1952 and not original pattern labelling )

on which is typed the designation " .22 LEE ENFIELD Rifle No.2 "

This rifle is not to be found in the Pattern Room Catalogue, and carries one of the more recently attached clear plastic holders protecting the printed label describing the rifle as being " EXPERIMENTAL " and of " UNKNOWN PATTERN ". However, at some point, it was apparently suspected that the rifle represented an example of a Rifle No.2. The mid and front barrel bands appear especially made, with the fore-end wood protruding through the front band and being rounded off. There is therefore no bayonet mounting lug.

The magazine is the traditional shell used in most training rifles, emptied of its spring and follower, but with the lower tapered section of the body entirely removed, leaving of the order of an inch protruding from, and parallel to, the underside of the fore-end wood. This is an exceedingly rare modification. The only Lee-Enfield training rifle otherwise without means of collecting the empty, fired rimfire cartridge-cases is the Rifle, Short, .22"RF, Mk.I, converted from the Magazine Lee-Metford Mk.I*. That rifle was issued without any magazine at all, the empty magazine-well permitting extracted cases to fall to the ground. It should be noted that the magazine-well in that rifle was radiused for the early rounded nose magazine used in the M.L.M., unlike the square-fronted magazines of all subsequent Lee-Enfield offerings, and as shown in the rifle here illustrated.

Note the unusual sling-swivel in front of the trigger-guard, with a double pivot and D-ring.

A screw behind the magazine seems to provide prevention of the magazine's release.

The lug affixed inside the rear of the magazine is of indeterminate use,

and shows no evidence of ever having provided any support for a magazine base, although that is not impossible.

The fore-sight and front band: left,

and right, a highly unusual folding rear-sight with both windage and elevation adjustment. This sight mounts in place of the rear volley-sight, in much the same way that the B.S.A. No.9 target sight would be have been fitted to an "Long Lee" at that time

Returning to the later and perhaps more common conversions of the S.M.L.E.,

the following offers proof, if ever it were needed, of the longevity of service of such training rifles through two World Wars.

Below: Rifle .22RF Mk.III with Cooey rear aperture sight

The Canadian Cooey 10a model rear-sight, patented in 1925 and illustrated above, used the sight-leaf from the Ross rifle.

This was the Canadian answer to providing a training rear sight for the .22 SMLE to simulate the later aperture-sighted full-bore Service rifles used during the Second World War. At the time of its design, the sight would have offered equivalency to the sighting of the .303 Pattern'14 (Rifle No.3), but later afforded very practical representation of the No.4 rifle in particular. Rifles configured as the example above have also provided quite satisfactory small-bore target rifles over the ensuing years.

As well this folding rear-sight, utilising the leaf from the Ross straight-pull service rifle, the Cooey Machine and Arms Co. also manufactured their own designs of Cooey .22 training rifles and, in addition, made conveyors, along the lines of those used in the ".303 cum .22 " Pattern '18 S.M.L.E., for use with the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle. Such a conversion was also manufactured by Parker-Hale and marketed commercially late in WWII. It was unsurprisingly named the "Adapter .55 cum .22", and was used without an Aiming Tube (or .22 barrel sleeve) to train those charged with the task of tank-killing with that famous and unpopularly heavy and heavy-recoiling anti-tank rifle. The use of the word unpopular needs to be qualified here, because many Allied combatants had good reason to be grateful for the presence of a Boys rifle during engagements, in any number of situations, in which they found themselves.

Incidental to the above connection between the .22 rimfire cartridge and the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle for training purposes, was the arrangement for mounting the .22RF No.2 Mk.IV* Lee-Enfield Rifle alongside the Boys ATR for weapon training. This system also permitted use of the ATR on miniature or indoor ranges, mainly to teach 'lead' (the aiming and firing at a point some distance ahead of a moving target to ensure a hit. Details of this equipment can be found, via the link above, on the page for the Boys Anti-Tank Rifle.

The earlier British equivalent was the "Auxiliary" rear sight introduced in 1917, and originally intended for use with any of the .22RF Short rifle models, but which is most commonly found on the .22 SMLE training rifles. Its purpose was to simulate the rear aperture sight of the .303 CF Enfield No.3 rifle - formerly, and most commonly known as, the P'14. This unit, designated the"Sight, Auxiliary, Aperture, Mk.I" was manufactured by modifiying the volley sight of the Lee-Metford rifle.

The auxiliary rear-sight was

designed for fitment in place

of the rear volley aperture

Below is an image of the

sight fitted to a

.22RF Mk.IV* S.M.L.E., which example is the pattern of that rifle approved in November of 1921

Image courtesy of the Enfield Pattern Room

The Enfield Rifle No.3 , which the above configuration was designed to emulate, was originally designed at Enfield and manufactured in the U.S.A. by Winchester, Remington and Eddystone for the British Government as an emergency contingency to supplement the insufficient production of the Short Magazine Lee-Enfield in the U.K. The rifle proved very accurate and was manufactured by the U.S.A, as their Pattern '17 rifle in 30-06 calibre. The British rifles were originally issued in the First World War as sniper rifles, being the first Service rifle to carry an aperture rear-sight. When subsequently fitted with a variety of telescope sights, these rifles restored the balance of sniper warfare, the initiative for which had, up to that point, been firmly in the hands of the German units with their telescopic sighted Mauser rifles. Some of these 'scoped rifles saw service early in the Second World War (1939-1945) until the No.4T 'sniper' rifle was brought into service. Standard No.3 (Pattern 1914) rifles were also re-issued to the Home Guard during the Second World War, and many of them, due to their inherent accuracy, were used, with special target rear-sights fitted, as target rifles both between the Wars and for many years post WWII.

Here follows that last-of-the-line S.M.L.E. conversion, the No.2 Mk.IV* shown below, simply a change in nomenclature (from No.2 Mk.IV) made in 1926 related to the stamping of ".22 " on the left hand side of the magazine casing.

Above: the Rifle No.2 Mk.IV* - The rifle is marked as "ENFIELD SHT .22 IV* " but dated 1931 - possibly either built or refurbished at that date.

These rifles were still manufactured into the 1950s - particularly in Australia, which rifles often used coachwood furniture .

Fitted with the Parker-Hale or other equivalent aperture target sights, such configured rifles have been used for small-bore target shooting over many years - and are still in use in Classic rifle competition.

The example below has been fitted with a Parker-Hale Model 5A S.M.L.E. target typerear-sight .

rear aperture target sight

fitted with their six-hole eyepiece

Subsequent to an enquiry made of us regarding the method of adjusting the foresight on these rifles, entailed in obtaining the best "zero", we have added a few images to show what is required. The same principle applies to Lee-Enfield rifles Nos. 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5. The 'official' method of adjusting fore-sight windage is to use the issued tool for the purpose. The original tool for the S.M.L.E. ( Nos. 1 & 2) rifles is shown first below left and, to the right it is shown fitted to the rifle..

Each graduation on the adjuster represents one inch of windage displacement on the target of the point of impact.

For this tool to be used, it is necessary to remove the rifle's nose-cap by removing two screws. Early rifles had solid fore-sight protector wings on the nose-cap, and removal of same was obligatory. Later nose-caps had perforated protector wings, which both saved weight and allowed more light onto the fore-sight.

It conveniently so happens that the later adjuster for the Rifle No.4 can be employed to adjust the fore-sight of an SMLE with perforated protector wings, without removal of the nose-cap, as shown in the image to the right.

Elevation zero adjustment of the fore-sight is achieved by replacement of the fore-sight blade with another of different height. There is a selection of blade heights available from specialist surplus dealers, and the dimension for each is stamped onto the top of the unit's dovetailed base. They start from zero, which represents one inch above the bore's centre-line, and increase in multiples of "15 thou" ( i.e. 0.015") as +15, +30, +45 and +60. Should an increase in sighting elevation be required, and no replacement fore-sight be available, then judicious filing of the blade would suffice. A decrease in elevation would be more problematic. Remember, with rear-sight windage you wind left to go left but move the fore-sight left and the P.O.I. ( Point of Impact) moves right.

An image of the adjusting tools for other Rifle Numbers, along with greater detail of the adjustment of the Lee-Enfield rear and fore-sights for zeroing, is to be found on the page for Service Sights

Below: the .22"RF chamber cross-section drawing giving dimensions

Below: the rifling dimensions of the 8 groove No.2 rifle barrel, 1 turn in 16" - Right Hand

To view the complete Small Arms drawings (S.A.I.D.)

for the No.2 and No.1 rifles and components

click on either adjacent image

In 1927, a training rifle was considered specifically for the Officers' Training Corps ( O.T.C.). An experimental model was constructed along the lines of the No.2 Mk.IV* rifle, but with shortened fore-end, no forward upper handguard, and fore-sight protectors as used on the "Long Lee" and .22RF Short rifles, but with the wings straightened upright to better represent those of the S.M.L.E. rifle. This one-off experimental rifle was converted from a B.S.A. manufactured .303 No.1 Mk.III* service rifle. It carries no markings other than those of the parent arm. The idea was not further advanced, probably because yet another conversion of the S.M.L.E.was likely to prove superfluous, and the model was never put into production, although there is a suggestion that a very small number may have been converted.

Above: the O.T.C. .22RF experimental rifle - Ref: RB388 - image by courtesy of the Enfield Pattern Room

Rifles of similar appearance have been noted, particularly from the Antipodes, but such rifles have themselves usually been converted from No.2 Mk.IV* rifles and are therefore retrograde modifications or "sporterisations". Additionally, fore-sight protecting wings, upright as above, but of the pressed-steel clamp type, using a cross-bolt to lock the wings onto the barrel, have been recently seen offered on auction sites. These units sometimes carry the stamping "22" on one wing, and were presumably intended for equivalent modifications.

We illustrate another fine example of a .22RF Lee-Enfield No.2 Mk.IV rifle (SMLE) training rifle

The rifle is in very good condition, with wood furniture better than many of this era.

It is an unusual A.J. Parker conversion

The bore is in fine shooting condition, with particularly little chamber erosion, and spent cases still extract perfectly.

This rifle is fitted with a contemporary and rare A.J.Parker early Model "Twin Zero" folding rear target aperture sight,

an equivalent of the A.G. Parker "Bisley Works" folding Model 9.

The butt disc is typically stamped "O.T.C. NOTTS"

for the Nottingham Officers Training Corps unit.


An earlier method of providing a .22 Rimfire training rifle at minimum expense was the "Aiming Tube".

This was a logical evolution from the .297/230in. CF calibre "Morris Tube" previously utilised,

originally with the Martini Henry and Martini Enfield rifles, and latterly with the first Lee-Enfield - the "Long" Lee.

The aiming-tube provided .22 rimfire practise for both civilians and the military.

Adaptation sets were available from A.G. Parker & Co. complete in wooden boxes partitioned for the tube, bolt and accessories.

Ideally, the set would be properly partnered to the parent rifle by means of

the .22RF bolt-head being selected for correct head-spacing with the rifle and tube.

As with the .303 centre-fire bolts, heads were available with different dimensions between the head face and the shoulder

from which the threaded section started for screwing into the bolt body.

Many civilian shooters or non-regular servicemen with their own .303CF S.M.L.E. rifles

(and indeed Volunteer or Territorial Long Lee rifles still very much in use years after the adoption of the S.M.L.E.

Below is a No.1 Mk.III* .303in. Centre fire calibre rifle fitted both with an aiming tube

and the Lattey Galilean 'sniper' sights adaptation (of which more below).

To fit the Aiming Tube, the bolt is removed, the tube slid in from the breech, and a leather washer ,

brass/bronze washer and knurled nut tighten onto the threaded section of the tube protruding from the muzzle.

The tube must be rotated into the correct position for the sliding chamber extraction sleeve

- just visible in the images below in both rearward and forward positions

- in order that the extractor on the bolt head will withdraw the sleeve,

which is at the same time rotated by virtue of a helical slot cut in it

which engages on a pin fixed to the outside of the chamber section of the aiming tube.

When fully withdrawn, the semi-circumferential flange on the rear of the sliding sleeve, and with which the extractor engages, rotates clear of the extractor, allowing the bolt to be fully drawn to the rear of the action. To reload, the extraction sleeve must be pushed fully forward over the chamber before the next round can be fingered into the breech. The system is fiddly but effective. Correct functioning, accuracy and grouping are considerably dependent upon careful fitting of the tube. The parent arm must not be too worn in the bore, otherwise the tube can flex within the excessive tolerance. The MPI and grouping will then significantly change as the barrel temperature varies. Do not let anyone tell you that the design was a hopeless non-starter. In good condition and carefully assembled, this system is quite capable of grouping to one inch at fifty yards! See also the equivalent conversion unit for the German K98 service rifle.

Left: the Lattey fore-sight objective lens and mount, which clamps into the aperture in the nosecap casting. The muzzle of the .22RF Aiming tube can clearly be seen with its knurled bronze fastening nut and washer with the underlying leather washer to prevent overtightening, which could separate the Aiming tube barrel from its chamber section to which it is affixed.

For the inquisitive amongst our readers, no, the foresight lens arrangement has nothing to do with the aiming tube. It just so happens that the rifle which best accommodates this particular tube also carries a set of Lattey "Galilean" First World War sniper sights. Sights of this type were designed early in WWI to improve the sight picture for the British and Commonwealth Armies' sharpshooters. Initially, "sharpshooters" or unit marksmen were only issued with rifles carrying the standard open service sights, and many took it upon themselves to fit target aperture rear sights to their rifles to improve accuracy. Such sights are poor in low light levels, and further improvements were sought and devised, often by those whose task it was to employ such equipment. The Lattey sight set consisted of the objective lens fitted to the nose-cap in front of the fore-sight, and the correcting lens fitted immediately to the rear of the "V" or "U" notch on the tangent rearsight leaf. The magnification afforded is little more than 2X .

The Lattey rear correcting lens

This system had other equivalents such as the "Neill" and "Martin" and "Gibbs" sights,

not to mention an optical arrangement manufactured by BSA.

Some early set-ups utilised a foresight lens and merely a rear aperture sight

usually a proprietary target sight (such as the BSA No.9 folding rear-sight) as previously mentioned.

Almost any option was tried until the first purpose-made sighting telescopes were eventually fitted to sharpshooters' rifles.


Thank you for taking the time to view this page. We hope it has been of interest

How the Pattern 1914 Rifle Earned Its Place in History

While sniper rifles existed before World War I, they really came into their own in the trenches of the Great War. Precise rifles with telescopic sights were critical tools when it came to picking off enemy soldiers from trench to trench. But of all the sniper rifles developed during the Great War, one stands above the rest. A German design adapted by the British and built by Americans, the Enfield Pattern 1914 rifle is considered by many historians to be the best sniper rifle of World War I.

From the outset, the Pattern 1914 rifle was designed for accuracy. During the Boer Wars around the turn of the twentieth century, British troops faced Boers armed with Mauser rifles, which were far more accurate than the Lee-Enfields they were armed with. As a result, the British Army began looking into their own version of the Mauser.The first British Mauser, and the predecessor of the Pattern 1914 was the Pattern 1913. The Pattern 1913 was designed hand in hand with a new round, which used a smaller bullet than the then-standard .303 to shoot flatter and faster. The action itself was based on the Mauser, with two frontal locking lugs and a claw extractor. However, many little details were changed to adapt to British doctrine. The rifle was cock-on-closing like the Lee-Enfield and Swedish Mausers to speed rapid-fire, and the bolt handle was angled to be near the shooter’s hand for easy actuation, in contrast to the straight bolt handles of most Mausers of the era.

The Pattern 1913 also added aperture sights near the shooter’s face. This gave it a longer sight radius and thus greater practical accuracy than the Gewehr 98 or Lee-Enfield, which both had leaf or notch sights halfway down the rifle. houNCsFuC5BsbZ4sAxlyZW74_n9DHm&c=57507a74&v=3

However, the entry of Great Britain into WWI killed all plans to adopt the new cartridge and the Pattern 1913 rifle. But as the war dragged on, existing stocks of Lee-Enfields dwindled, and more small arms were needed to arm soldiers at the front. British engineers quickly rechambered the Pattern 1913 in the standard .303 British caliber, which resulted in the Pattern 1914.American manufacturers, namely Remington and Winchester were contracted to produce the Pattern 1914 for the British government. The contract was a success, with over one million P14s being built and shipped to Britain. The P14 also served as the basis of the P17 Enfield, which was a rechambering of the rifle into .30-06 for the American Expeditionary Forces. cs7IVJ8RQUmROyNv1S_6tCnOP88HoM&c=90e7d20d&v=3
As a sniper rifle, the P14 was markedly superior to almost any other on the front. The design of the receiver allowed for a scope to be centrally mounted overbore of the rifle, in contrast to many other designs of the era which had offset scopes that required complex parallax adjustments. The cock on closing allowed for faster rates of fire than German rifles. Finally, the rifle featured an easily accessible safety that could be rapidly activated or deactivated with the shooter’s thumb.

The design was also safer and more durable than the Canadian Ross Rifle, which while being superbly fast and accurate due to its straight pull design was not known for rugged reliability in the field. The Ross could also be misassembled in a way that shot the bolt straight back at the shooter’s face.

The earlier Lee-Enfields were still considered to be a better general-purpose rifle due to their larger magazine capacity of ten rounds and lighter weight. Many features pioneered that were pioneered on the P14 would make their way onto the Lee-Enfield in the later Lee-Enfield No. 4 model that saw service in World War II.

Charlie Gao studied political and computer science at Grinnell College and is a frequent commentator on defense and national security issues.

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