Original British Lee-Metford MkI.* Rifle dated 1889 by RSAF Enfield converted to Drill Purpose Trainer
Original Item: One Only. This is definitely an interesting piece of history! This rifle started life as an 1889 dated Lee Metford MkI .303 caliber rifle, and was then updated to MkI.* configuration. After that, the history is not exactly clear, but it does not appear to have been converted to Lee-Enfield after that, as it still has the original Metford style nose cap. The action is marked with serial # 722 / I, which is also marked on the barrel nocks form.
On the top right of the stock cup it is marked:
The royal cypher Crown over V.R. stands for Victoria Regina. Well, this Queen, longest lived of all British monarchs, had an influence far beyond the British Isles and the British Empire during the Nineteenth Century. Victorian morals dominated the cultured classes of Great Britain and the new United States, and even now, in the Twenty-First Century, nostalgic organizations such as the Victorian Riflemen thrive in the former Colonies.
The ENFIELD marking indicates that the rifle was manufactured at The Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield (R.S.A.F ENFIELD), which produced all manner of small arms for the British armed forces. The rifle was made in 1889, and then was updated somehow, as indicated by the star.
After that however, we are not sure of the exact history of the rifle. It is clear however that now it is a Drill Purpose training rifle, which was made out of the Lee-Metford Barreled Receiver. The butt stock looks to be a standard Lee-Enfield MkIII style stock, and the fore stock forward of the receiver has been replaced by multiple pieces of wood, possibly 4. The top heat shield is missing behind the rear sight as well, though these are easily lost.
It also looks like at some point the barrel was cut about 2 inches behind the nose cap, and then welded back together. We do not know why this was done, but it is still the full Long Lee-Metford length. The left side of the butt stock cap does have some dates going into the 1890s, but nothing indicates any type of conversion. There is just the usual D.P. mark over the chamber, indicating that this rifle is not intended for use.
A very interesting training rifle, made from a very early Lee-Metford Rifle. Ready to display!
Year of Manufacture: 1889 - modified later.
Cartridge Type: Centerfire Cartridge
Barrel Length: 30 Inches
Overall Length: 49 1/2 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: Single Shot
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