Review & Range Report > Lee Enfield Rifle No.5 Mk! > A piece of History


November 13, 2010, 11:45 PM

Lee Enfield No.5 Mk1, also famously known as the Jungle Carbine, was manufactured in 1944 till 1947; all in all around 250,000 rifles were produced. They remained in service with the British / Commonwealth Forces up until 1956 and saw action in World War II, the Malayan Emergency, and the Korean War.

It was originally thought to be a successor to the No4 Mk1, but it quickly lost its favour among the troops. The fighting troops often complained about its severe recoil, and also about it having "wandering zeros" (more on that later). Both are believed to have been caused by the lightening measures made to the receiver and the shorter barrel, while still having the same cartridge. Some people think that due to these factors the rifle gets a flex more than it ought to.


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November 15, 2010, 07:45 AM
Anyone here ever fired one of these?

November 15, 2010, 01:45 PM
I've owned 4 of them in the past 40 yrs, they all kicked like a mule didn't have any problem with them they all shot 4-6" groups at 100yds, if you want to see a flame thrower shot one at night they'll shoot a flame about 4ftlong and 2ft round. I always liked the ones I owned. just my two cents . semper fi

November 15, 2010, 02:38 PM
I find mine a pussycat to shoot with 180 factory SPs and a slip on recoil pad to cover the tiny little, "harder than a hockey puck" pad.

Mine is a 1945, all matching, Shirley manufactured rifle.

There are a lot of them in Canada as they are fairly compact rifles which were cheap to buy in the 50's - 80's. It's a little longer than my 1895GS.

In the old days in our mining camps, we'd keep our No. 5's loaded with 10 rounds of 200 gr SPs. I can't find those heavier bullets anymore.

November 25, 2010, 03:49 PM
Beauties. Thanks for sharing.

Ignition Override
November 26, 2010, 01:19 AM
Have two of them, "ROF (F)". They are my favorite rifles, along with the Garand.
The #5 is so much easier to carry than the #4, and the flip-up sight has a much smaller aperture. They were designed to be carried in the nasty Burmese jungles.
Wish that the US had many more in circulation.

My first came from "Joesalter" (May '09), who imports many items into NH from his Canadian firm.
Decided to avoid any more shipping/FFL fees after that.

The recoil with new Prvi or reloaded cases seems no worse than that of my Yugo Mauser (surplus Czech/Yugo 8mm ammo). Since buying the first #5, decided that the recoil pad is not needed (used to lengthen the SKS stock), and my shoulders are skinny. Frankly, the 'chicken wing' stance helps.

November 26, 2010, 01:53 AM
I have one but don't shoot it very often. This is my second. The first one I purchased in 1965 from I think Klein's in Chicago for something like $29 by mail order. It was mint unfired condition. I could buy surplus .303 incendiary ammo back then for about 8 cents a round as I recall. We used to shoot it at night into a rock quarry near my home.

72guns92 is right about the flame. It's pretty impressive, and the impact of the incendiary ammo on a solid rock wall is pretty impressive too. These are great little guns, light and easy to carry. I killed a deer with my first one before I traded it off for something else.

November 26, 2010, 08:12 AM
Nice piece of history but all in all a lousy rifle. Poor accuracy, and they do indeed kick like a mule.

I considered buying one about 20yrs ago, but a friend bought one first and I had the opportunity to shoot his. No matter what ammo we fed it, it was still a scatter gun... and it had a pristine bore.... the rifle looked near new..

November 26, 2010, 09:33 AM
So the recoil is a lot worse than shooting a Mosin 44 or M 38 ?

November 26, 2010, 02:41 PM
So the recoil is a lot worse than shooting a Mosin 44 or M 38 ?

I wouldn't say that, but it's a bottlenecked .30 cal. carbine, so recoil is to be expected. Mine kicks, sure, but nothing like my sporterized Arisaka type 99, that pig hurts! I think my Swiss K31 is worse too.

I have an all correct, matching No.5 that I found in a pawn shop for $150. The receiver had been D&T'd for a scope, it had a leather belt for a sling, and the rear sight was missing. I found several sights on-line, took the scope off, and found a correct sling for it. Got well under $50 invested in making it correct. The holes for the scope mount don't bother me, I might even put it back on.

It's a sweet little rifle, but I haven't really shot it enough to make a judgement on it. It was filthy when I got it, but cleaned up very well and is in great shape.

These flutes milled into the rear of the barrel to shave weight off are usually considered to be the culprit regarding the wandering zero issue.

November 26, 2010, 02:56 PM
I had a no. 5 for a while many years ago. The recoil was very heavy, but it was tolerable after I replaced the original rubber recoil pad with a new one where the rubber had not hardened. I would say the recoil was similar to a short barrel Mosin Nagant. Accuracy was just OK at 100 yards. Ended up selling it just because I prefer something more accurate for shooting at the range. Now that I am older, I don't shoot anything with that much recoil anymore. I have problems with my neck and shoulders already (arthritis and other issues, not due to shooting)


Ignition Override
November 26, 2010, 04:30 PM
I could be mistaken about the recoil compared to my Yugo Mauser and MN 44s, but as my "Jungle Carbines" makes much smaller groups at 100 yards, it does not seem to be as noticeable.

If you can shoot much tighter groups with a specific type, isn't it worth it?

November 26, 2010, 04:46 PM
I m used to shooting M 44 and M 91/59 so i guess it would be comparable with the No 5.

November 26, 2010, 11:16 PM
Poor accuracy? 5 shot group from the bench, 100 yards.

Fazakerley and the rescued BSA 1946 in #4 wood

November 26, 2010, 11:46 PM
The Enfield is a great rifle! The actions are so, so smooth.

John Wayne
November 26, 2010, 11:50 PM
Would you mind copying that review here? The link you posted requires me to join another forum in order to read it.

Ignition Override
November 27, 2010, 01:05 AM
It's ok if most people avoid the #5, based on whatever they read and hear.
That leaves some more for the rest of us.

My pair look just like yours, and at our Sept '09 gun show, could not believe my good fortune to finally notice it (my latest) at 12:30,
listed for only $350 :). Either the severe scarcity of cheap ammo or stories about the 'fearsome' recoil/ lousy accuracy must have helped.

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