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Old March 21, 2012, 07:31 PM   #1
chiefr
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Lee Enfield Magazine Interchangability

I was wondering if anyone had information on interchangabilty on SMLE magazines. I tried a #5 mag in a #4 and it fit. However the #5 mag would not fit in a #4. Not sure whether a #3 would fit any of the two.
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Old March 21, 2012, 07:54 PM   #2
James K
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The No. 4 and No. 5 magazines should interchange, but they will not interchange with the Mk III or earlier magazines. Sometimes, folks manage to use brute force to get a magazine to fit that shouldn't, but the above is the way it should be.

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Old March 22, 2012, 07:29 AM   #3
wogpotter
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I assume you mean "#1 MkIII" & "#4" rifles as the "#3" is a totally different Mauser type rifle, & takes no magazine from any of the the Lee-Enfields.

Lee-Enfield magazines aren't "interchangeable" in the modern sense. However #4 & #5 magazines are the same magazine, but they do need fitting to the rifle individually. This is usually a question of adjusting the feed lips.

#1 (SMLE) magazines do not fit either #4, or #5 rifles & #4/#5 magazines do not fit #1 SMLE rifles.
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Old March 22, 2012, 08:29 AM   #4
madcratebuilder
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wogpotter
Lee-Enfield magazines aren't "interchangeable" in the modern sense. However #4 & #5 magazines are the same magazine, but they do need fitting to the rifle individually. This is usually a question of adjusting the feed lips.

#1 (SMLE) magazines do not fit either #4, or #5 rifles & #4/#5 magazines do not fit #1 SMLE rifles.
+1

While the Lee Enfield has a removable magazine it was never intended to be removed from the rifle for other than cleaning/maintenance.

The No4 and No5 mags are the same magazine. They well need fitting to individual rifles. You can get the No1 mags to physically fit a No4/5 rifle it well not feed properly.

The easy way to tell the difference between a No1 and the no4/5 mags is the two ribs pressed into the sides of the mag body. On the No1 mag the ribs go completely to the bottom of the mag. On the No4/5 it stops short of the bottom of the mag body, like this pic.
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Old March 22, 2012, 05:47 PM   #5
James K
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The original intent back in the 1880's was to issue two fitted magazines with the rifle, one chained to the rifle using that loop in the trigger guard and the other to be carried in the soldier's kit or pocket. The reserve magazine was to be used if the regular magazine was damaged or if there was no time to reload it.

That changed with charger loading, and issuing of the extra magazine was discontinued, as was the loop on the magazine for the chain. The loop on the rifle was retained and later used to tie on the receiver cover, which many folks think was the original reason for it. By WWI, all loading was done by chargers ("stripper clips") and the magazine was never removed except for cleaning or replacement.

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Old March 23, 2012, 09:02 PM   #6
chiefr
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Thanks for all the inputs. Good information. I have been playing with SMLEs off and on for years and never knew the purpose of the loop in front of the magazine.
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