Gibbs Rifle Company’s .45-70 No. 4 Lee-Enfield And More

Gibbs Rifle Company, perhaps most famous for their 1903 Springfield rifles, were showing off today a .45-70 conversion of a Fazakerley No. 4 Lee-Enfield:




It’s not well-known now, but the original caliber of the Lee design that would become the Lee-Enfield was in fact .45-70, so this conversion is following on what was once well-trod ground.

Gibbs is also importing 7.62×39 AK rifle magazines from the Matra factory in Bosnia. The magazines they had on display were very well-made, without many machine marks, and with freely moving followers.


The magazines feature a bolt-hold-open device, as well:



The magazines are brand-new production, come in 30 and 20-round versions, and feature an unlimited 5-year warranty. According to Gibbs’ literature:

If it doesn’t work, breaks, or wears out, we will replace it. Period.



Nathaniel F

Nathaniel is a history enthusiast and firearms hobbyist whose primary interest lies in military small arms technological developments beginning with the smokeless powder era. In addition to contributing to The Firearm Blog, he runs 196,800 Revolutions Per Minute, a blog devoted to modern small arms design and theory. He is also the author of the original web serial Heartblood, which is being updated and edited regularly. He can be reached via email at


  • Ben

    There are a few .45-70 Lee enfields floating around in NZ. I turned one down once and have regretted it ever since

  • Jsim

    Are they going to sell the enfields and for how much.

    • They are looking to public response before they make a decision.

  • muna

    What price are they looking at and would they have any coming to australia

  • Don Ward

    I didn’t know that the Brits were intending to use the 45-70 round. I would have thought they’d use a domestic round. Probably a good discussion for later.

    • Jeff

      It’s a conversion.

    • Vitsaus

      James Parris Lee was American I believe, he had to go to Britain because US authorities didn’t like his crazy ideas about modernizing guns. Good thing they’ve changed that stance and are open to new designs these days.

      • Tom

        Just to fill some things in. He was born in Scotland but his family emigrated to Canada when he was a small child. He would eventually emigrate to America where he designed some very “modern” weapons which saw only limited success. Hes biggest contributions being the Lee bolt action system (used in the Lee Metford and Lee Enfield Rifles) and perhaps most significantly the detachable box magazine! All in all a very underrated designer.

    • The US Navy purchased a number of Lee magazine rifles in .45-70 as the M1879 and M1885. There was also a M1882 variant submitted for the US Army trials.

      • Don Ward

        And now I know. Thanks Daniel!

      • Anonymous

        Is this the same Lee who created the 6mm Lee Navy cartridge and the straight-pull Lee Navy rifle that the US Navy used from 1895 to 1917?

        • I don’t think he designed the cartridge itself, but the rifle was his design.

  • Geoff a well known Skeptic

    Gibbs? This sounds familiar and then things vanish. Geoff Who is skeptical

  • Jsim

    How many rounds will the 45-70 hold?

  • vincewarde

    Well, if they are wondering about public response – I would be willing to buy one. In fact, I WOULD LOVE TO BUY ONE!

  • marathag

    Only if it would have Metford style polygonal rifling to make it proper 1880s latest technology

  • Scott P

    Well since no one mentioned it in the comment section yet I am glad Gibbs has enough respect for the AK to bring in new steel mags. The more mags available the merrier.

  • Rodger Young

    I wish they’d invest in a proper engraving machine. The stamp in the picture showing the breech is terrible.

  • St Bernard

    I’ve got an old Mark 4. I want to make it a 45/70! Uffda!

  • Cameron Bissell

    They have been around for a while. Most of the enfield guys feel .303 is enough. I wouldn’t mind one if It was priced less than a marlin guide gun. It strikes me as being the ultimate hog/ bear scrub gun.

  • Indiana Finney

    No4 MkIs and No1 MkIIIs roll in to my local gunshop for <$200CAD all the time, some as low as $160. Would be totally interested in getting one to turn into a 45-70 with their kit.