Original British WWI/WWII Lee-Enfield MkI Dated 1898 Converted to S.M.L.E. In 1909 and .22 Trainer in 1938

Item Description

Original Item: Only One Available. This is definitely an interesting rifle, with a long service history. It started life as a .303 caliber Long Lee Enfield, but was refitted in 1909 and designated a Short Lee Enfield Rifle. At a later time it was then converted again to a .22 rimfire training rifle. It has all the characteristics
of a standard P-1903 SHORT MAGAZINE LEE ENFIELD, but in .22 caliber for training purposes.

As time passed it has been updated with other changes. It bears a large stamp of 139 on the left face of the butt stock and receiver, indicating its rack number no doubt. The action is marked with many proofs, crossed out serial numbers, as well as a "sold out of service" marking. The original serial number was 1248 / O, but now is indicated as F / 4555.

It is in fine condition and comes with it's correct "empty" .303 Caliber magazine, which conveniently retains the spent cartridges after they are ejected. The nose cap unfortunately is missing its correct stacking swivel and transverse screw. The bore is in very good condition, with clear rifling and a bright finish. The stock is solid, with the expected wear of age and lon service.

The markings on this rifle help trace the history of the refits it has gone through. On the top right of the stock cup it is marked with the original production information:


The royal cypher Crown over V.R. stands for for Victoria Regina. Well, this Queen, who reigned for almost 64 years, 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.

ENFIELD indicates that the first incarnation of this piece was produced at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, and “1898” was the year of original manufacture. L.E. is the abbreviation for the .303 calibre, Rifle, Magazine, Lee–Enfield, with the I indicating the first version. There are no stars indicating that it was produced as a modified first version.  It saw service, and then was deemed worn or obsolete, so it was converted to the new Short MLE configuration.

The conversion information is stamped onto the lower left of the buttstock cup:


This indicates that the rifle was converted to a .303 caliber Rifle, short, Magazine  Lee-Enfield Converted Mark IV at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield in 1909. It was then presumably in service in this configuration through WWI and was then stored at arsenal.  Conversion to a .22 Trainer seems to have happened in the years leading up to WWII, as indicated by the markings on the receiver above the chamber:

13. 38

The rifle is also stamped B.S.A. Co. on the left face of the butt stock. Most likely. this rifle was converted to a .22 trainer by the Birmingham Small Arms Co., in the 12th week of 1938. The original barrel was replaced with a new .22 barrel. It would have been used by soldiers learning marksmanship in the early days of WWII.

This is a great chance to own an interesting .22 SMLE trainer, that was not converted prior to WWI, as most were. Ready to display.


Year of Manufacture: 1898
Caliber:  .22 cal
Cartridge Type: Rimfire Cartridge
Overall Length: 25 Inches

Overall Length: 44 Inches
Action type: Bolt-Action
Feed System: Single Shot

Note: This gun is NOT considered obsolete calibre, so we are no able to ship to the United Kingdom. Please note that for international shipping, these MUST be shipped using UPS WW Services.

  • This product is not available for shipping in US state(s): New Jersey

    This product is available for international shipping.
  • Not eligible for payment with Paypal or Amazon


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