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Old January 15, 2014, 07:29 AM   #1
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Lee enfield sniper variant?

Most bolt action service rifles from WWII if my research is correct, had at least a few "sniper" varients developed.

That said, I am curious as to the rarity of the Lee Enfields version, you will most likely encounter either a Springfield (if you're lucky) with a scope mounted to it (aftermarket or otherwise) or a Mosin Nagant M91/30 with a PU optic mounted to it.

If they do exist on the civilian market, what price point would such a rifle demand, and are they available here in the US.

For those that may own one, are they shootable? I know some early Springfields may not be safe to fire depending if they were used as drill rifles or not.
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Old January 15, 2014, 08:12 AM   #2
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The Lee Enfield exists in several different versions.
JUST the correct scope currently runs $1200.00 & up so you can imagine the cost of a real No4 Mk1(T)!

That's why there are so many fake Enfield snipers out there.
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Old January 15, 2014, 10:55 AM   #3
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There are currently (2) legitimate No.4 (T) Mk1 rifles on GB. One is rifle and scope only with an asking price of $4k, the other is complete with transit chest and accessories asking $6.7k. One on gunauction sold in November $3k

Rock Island auction had a couple of these last year without the transit chest / accessories and they went at auction in the $3k to 4k range.

I'm holding out for an L42a1, myself, which was the final evolution and most accurate of the enfield sniper variants. Also a bit less expensive than the (T)Mk1, and chambered in the 7.62 Nato cartridge, though all were post-war.
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Old January 15, 2014, 11:15 AM   #4
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There are a variety of different scopes used on the Enfield's that you can add to your shopping list.

For the No 1 Mark III: Adis, Periscopic Prism scope, Winchester A5, Wm Malcolm 3X and 6X

For the No 3 Mk I or Pattern 114 or P-14: M1918, Aldis, Periscopic Prism, Win A-5 and Wm Malcolm 3X

For the No 4, Mark 1: No 32 (M32 Variants), Lyman Alaskan, Weaver K2.5, or K3.

This gives you an idea what to look for when putting together a Enfield Snipper.

Some are pricy, some are reasonable. E-Bay and other such sights are good places to look, or you might check Hi-Lux - Leatherwood to see if they make clones. (Not sure if they do as I'm not into the British Sniper Rifles being an American.)

The reason the Springfields (M1941 or M1903A4) are more popular is because they are more accurate winning a huge majority of the Vintage Sniper Matches. And because of the popularity, more Clones are being offered.
Kraig Stuart
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Old January 19, 2014, 10:28 PM   #5
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There's a No4 mk1 sniper variant for sale here in Oz. Only a mere AU$10,000
most enfields around here go for $500-$1000 so yes rather rare and quite a markup.
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Old January 19, 2014, 10:43 PM   #6
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The cheapest way to get into the Vintage Sniper game is with a Mosin. On the other hand Mosins aren't winning matches.

The last vintage sniper match I attended I was beat by two gentlemen shooting Springfields in 1941 configuration. However their scopes mysteriously did not require resetting after every shot.

I was shooting my Swede M41 clone with a K4 scope. At the 500 yard line my sedate load got squirrely in the wind. Need to bump up the velocity on my load from 2,200 fps to 2,500 fps for the 500/600 yard berm.

Or I need to buy a 1941 Springfield

If the OP really wants a SMLE sniper rifle, Sarco has reproduction scopes and mounts available and

Vintage sniper is a lot of fun.

Machine guns are awesome until you have to carry one.
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Old January 19, 2014, 11:34 PM   #7
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SMLE sniper rifles are very rare (the Rifle No. 4 is NOT an SMLE!), as the British had no sniper rifle at all prior to WWI, and the ones used during that war were rather "thrown together" out of whatever was available in the line of scopes and mounts. In fact, the first one used Lattey optical sights, or what is sometimes called a tubeless scope system, with lenses on the rear and front sights but no tube between them. Later sniper rifles used several different mounts and scopes, including the American Winchester A5 and B4, with the number indicating the power. Those were long target type scopes, rather fragile and not intended for rough work in the trenches. Better was the Aldis scope with Purdey mounts, but the mounting was complex and production very slow.

Many British snipers were hunters who took their own scope-sighted hunting rifles into combat, but unless they fired .303, ammunition supply was a problem.

As the war went on, most of the SMLE sniper rifles were withdrawn and replaced with Pattern 1914 rifles.

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