I am trying to obtain information on a 1896 Lee Enfield 303 single shot.Does anyone know of this rifle? Thanks, Byron
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October 23, 2011, 11:04 AM
Some Lee Enfields were altered as target rifles and became single shots. There were also many British Martini single shot rifles that were converted to the .303 British cartridge for use by the "provincials." How about posting a picture? There are many knowledgeable people on this forum.
October 23, 2011, 11:34 AM
I was posting for a friend from Nam. I'll try and get a picture.
October 23, 2011, 01:45 PM
If it's in Southeast Asia, it sounds like it might be the Martin-Henry .303 Enfield conversion. The Brits rebarreled a lot of the old .450 Martini rifles into .303 prior to the First World War for issue to Colonial militias and police forces.
October 23, 2011, 07:38 PM
The .303 Martini-Enfield has been widely copied by the arts & crafts gunmakers of the Hindu Kush.
The copies outnumber the real ones and aren't safe to shoot---I saw photos of one of their .303 handgun versions last month. Better learn to write with your left hand before you take it to the range
The real ones have original British service marks and dates on the right side of the receiver---from their time as .450 Martini rifles of carbines.
The real ones also have conversion marks and dates on the left side of the receiver---and as of last month, the tourist junk fakes had not caught on to that. Post photos here if you are in doubt.
Even if it's real, they were usually worked hard and received ever worsening care as they were bumped down from first line service to an ignominious fate guarding some kraal in Lesotho.
The one in the photo was made in 1875, at LSA and converted at Enfield in 1899. It went to Australia, where cleaning a bore is a known art---so it's in outstanding condition.
I love shooting the old girl.