A MENA Modernist take on the Lee Enfield

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Earlier on TFB we wrote about how in the Ukraine an arms company was modernizing the Mosin Nagant platform with picatinny rails, bipods, etc… as an attempt to make it a somewhat viable modern day designated marksmen’s rifle. From India we also have an attempt in bringing the Lee Enfield into the 21st Century as well. In this case we have a much smaller scale of modernization, and instead of a factory we have a backyard operation in the Middle East North Africa (MENA) region of the world. A firearms enthusiast has taken a No.4 Lee Enfield, removed the .303 barrel and replacing it with a 7.62x54Rmm PKM barrel, surrounded with what appears to be a Firefield 12 inch quad rail handguard. The stock consists of various AR buffer tube compatible telescoping polymer stocks, some are even foldable. In fact the only thing that remains from the original Lee Enfield action is the magazine, receiver, and trigger assembly! I’m not very clear on how the designer matched a .303 bolt head with a 7.62x54Rmm case, but there are videos of the rifle firing so apparently it works, semi safely at least. Enfield 10 magazines will fit 7.62x54R but some work does need to be done to the bolt head. This is a video of a fellow in the United States that successfully converted a .303 No.4 to a Mosin Nagant barrel.

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Early attempts at conversion left the wood stock surrounding the action, however this was removed. Also note this particular version is a No.1 SMLE and not a No.4.

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Notice the open area around the trigger, in an attempt to “skeletonize” the receiver.14642152_2011593982400301_4158811062564104699_n 14825536_2012201012339598_726807662_n 14606315_2011593915733641_6634194266233505037_n 14695380_2011593959066970_2414184037331261853_n 14793965_2012202802339419_1825616603_n 14798923_2012201195672913_1360601008_n



Miles V

Former Infantry Marine, and currently studying at Indiana University. I’ve written for Small Arms Review and Small Arms Defense Journal, and have had a teenie tiny photo that appeared in GQ. Specifically, I’m very interested in small arms history, development, and Military/LE usage within the Middle East, and Central Asia.

If you want to reach out, let me know about an error I’ve made, something I can add to the post, or just talk guns and how much Grunts love naps, hit me up at miles@tfb.tv


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  • Greg Beals

    Would love to shoot it!

  • Anonymoose
  • Iggy

    While the craftsmanship leaves something to be desired, and the bubba-ing is a shame, there is a good idea hiding in here.

    • Swarf

      There is a reason it’s hiding.

  • Tom – UK

    Pointless, if you’re making that much effort to take an old gun and glue bits to it you might as well just buy a new gun. It can’t be that much more expensive to mill/stamp a new receiver/magazine and bolt compared to the cost in man hours of altering something so much.

    If you want an Enfield with greater capability just attach a bipod and scope its really not that difficult and you’ll save yourself a lot of time/cost and effort.

    • Bullphrog855

      Some people like project guns, time and cost be damn. Vast majority of things people do are pointless anyway so it’s not really an argument to start with.

      • Tom – UK

        That’s very true, my point of view was from assessing it as a possible production run. From a project point of view sure why not.

        • PK

          I doubt anyone would seriously suggest this as a production item, but this sort of conversion work is extremely common all across the world. It’s fun for those of us mad enough to enjoy tinkering on this level!

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        Quote of the day: “Vast majority of things people do are pointless anyway”

        • AD

          Everyone always has a reason for everything they do. They might not know what the reason is or even that they have one, and that reason might not make sense, but there’s always a reason.

          Doesn’t mean they aren’t ultimately pointless though I suppose.

    • M-dasher

      yeah…..not like any other country has ever taken an old gun and glued bits to it to make it better…….*Cough* M40……M40A1……M40A3…..M40A5….M40A7 *cough*

      • Dr. Longfellow Buchenrad

        Right but the R700 is like the 1911. When we are shooting lasers it will still be better than a death ray.

        • m-dasher

          i mean its not like the Lee Enfield is some slouch………its generally regarded as one of the best bolt action rifles ever fielded……..i mean its still in use by the Canadian Rangers…

      • iksnilol

        To be fair, some of those bits were bolted and not glued on.

    • Richard

      The newer guns might not be as available or as cheap as old surplus rifles.

  • Ken

    There was an outfit in the US that would rechamber Lee Enfields to 7.62x54R by simply reaming the chamber. The problem though is that the shoulder on a .303 is a bit further up than that of a 7.62x54R, so this conversion would fire form cases with a double shoulder. The mags could hold nine rounds, and the bolt heads were unmodified.

    • PK

      There’s more than just the one guy doing that, too. The double shoulder really doesn’t matter, who reloads steel, Berdan primed, corrosive surplus anyway? In my experience, the cases held together and very rarely split, so it was a total non-issue.

      I even fired a Bren build that had the chamber converted to 7.62x54R, talk about cheap, fun shooting!

      • Ken

        Yeah, from what I’ve seen, the cases never failed from the double shoulder. A lot of people expressed concern that the Lee Enfield action wouldn’t hold up to the pressure of 7.62x54R. I’d guess that the chamber throat was opened up enough to keep the pressure down.

        • PK

          The throat likely had zero to do with it being safe or not. The difference in pressure is negligible, and honestly the SMLE is more than strong enough for 7.62x54R all day long.

          We’re only talking about 6.5% difference in chamber pressure, with very little change in bolt thrust.

  • PK

    “I’m not very clear on how the designer matched a .303 bolt head with a 7.62x54Rmm case”

    Go grab an example of both cases. You’ll quickly become very clear on how it works, even without calipers.

    A few years back when 7.62x54R was still $50 a can and .303 surplus had all dried up, I rechambered a Bren barrel to 7.62x54R and threaded it for a SMLE. Blocked the gas port, all of that. Worked great as a cheap plinker! It’s an old idea.

  • William Nelson
  • iksnilol

    Unpopular opinion: I like the skeletonized look.

    • Dougscamo

      REALLY? And I had formed the opinion that you were urbane and sophisticated….and perhaps you are laying a trap for the unaware….so maybe you are urbane and sophisticated….and Machiavellian…..

      • iksnilol

        yeaaah… I live in a rural area but also grew up a bit in a city area… So I’ve no idea if your opinion is correct or not.

        Beats me is what I am trying to say.

  • Harry’s Holsters

    I see I’m in the minority but If I were an officer or military and couldn’t source anything else these look better than the classic version. That’s if you need Night Vision capabilities.

    • AD

      Fair enough. BTW If you extended rail-space or something on an enfield there are options: there’s several scope mounts that fit over the receiver and there’s a “scout-rifle-style” rail that can be mounted just forward of the receiver. Just, you know, FYI.

  • John

    You know what?

    If India wants something in a Russian caliber so badly, and only has the capability to make Enfields, then yes, by all means, make those folding stock bolt-action models and issue them across the service ASAP.

    I will take the Excaliber in 5.56 and the TacticaLee in 7.62 Mosin. So will many soldiers. Fine. Great. Done. Please do it.

  • AD

    Do we know where they are sourcing the rifles for this? IIRC India has/does manufacture their own No.4s?

  • Huaba Sepp

    They probably go after “mass murder sniper weapons” and military cardridges