The 5th generation Lee-Enfield

Steve Johnson
by Steve Johnson

From Australian International Arms (AIA):

Australian International Arms have manufactured the 5th generation of Lee-Enfield, for target shooting, military match and sporting markets. However, unlike the 4th generation, this is not a ‘converted’ Lee-Enfield. The AIA rifles are redesigned with modern techniques

The below photo shows the current models on sale. They are all .308.

This photo comes from the Canadian company Marstar who sells them in Canada. The official AIA website is not very informative.

If you are not familiar with Enfields (from Wikipedia):

The Lee-Enfield was, in various marks and models, the British Army’s standard bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle for over 60 years from (officially) 1895 until 1956, although it remained in British service well into the early 1960s and is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations. In its many versions, it was the standard army service rifle for the first half of the 20th century, and was adopted by Britain’s colonies and Commonwealth allies, including India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada.

The below photo shows what I believe to be are prototypes and are defiantly not sale at this point in time. I have read about AIA 7.62x39mm which suspect is what the below rifles are chambered in. They may in fact be using AK magazines! AIA only offers rifles in .308 at this point in time.

Steve Johnson
Steve Johnson

I founded TFB in 2007 and over 10 years worked tirelessly, with the help of my team, to build it up into the largest gun blog online. I retired as Editor in Chief in 2017. During my decade at TFB I was fortunate to work with the most amazing talented writers and genuinely good people!

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  • Tony Tony on Feb 06, 2011

    This is an old thread. But I will give it some of my experience. I live in Germany and was fortunate to Buy my AIA No4 Mk 4 with a Picatinny rail but no cheek piece for a very good price. It was of course correctly imported and has the German proof marks.
    I shot a lot of No 4 mk1's and 2's as a teenager in the UK cadet force CCF in the early 80’s (I was also a Cadet Armourer). So I can compare the quality of manufacture at least as a consumer.
    The engineering of my AIA is exceptional to very very good. I was fortunate to be able to see mine before I bought it. The bolt action although brand new was very smooth and felt good and right. It was one of those gut buys I don’t regret. The dealer was probably happy to see it go as the German market really is not interested in this rifle. A real shame as it is a beauty. The Germans are interested only in original manufactured military weapons as they can shoot them in "Ordonnanz" competitions. A sports shooting license to do this is very difficult to obtain and once obtained the number of rifles owned is also strictly controlled (in comparison to other countries). An original Enfield is also of course much cheaper! I bought mine the same time as I was buying/picking up a Remington 700 SPS as my main hunting rifle. I had just qualified as a German hunter (Jaeger). The AIA in comparison to a traditional hunting rifle it is of course very heavy, this is the main reason the German hunters would not buy it. However having being a British soldier for many years, I have carried similar or heavier. So I don’t mind. I’ll see how I’ll feel about that when I am into my retirement, many years to go yet:)
    The AIA was what I was looking for. I wanted a more traditional rifle in .308 W (all my rifles are 308W) with wooden furniture, able to fit a modern hunting scope with a removable magazine in a brand new or hardly worn condition and proofed for the German market. It had to be accurate and robust. The AIA ticked all the right boxes especially the price. I also bought the AIA because it was a British design with an exceptional history. I also enjoyed shooting the .303 version as a teenager. Being a Brit in Germany I just simply wanted a .308 Enfield. I also like the Mauser. I have a 98 also in .308W (M1916).
    So how does it shoot? Well at 50 m with iron sights using a yellow post-it on a dark background (a wild boar) as a quick and cheep sighting target, it was ½ to ¼ MOA:) Using a basic bench rest sandbag and seated. Aimed shot were placed between 5 and 10 seconds. Using a single round reload, reposition and aim. The reason for this being magazines are allowed to be fitted but not used at the hunting range I currently use. (German safety rules for this range). Adjusting the foresight post was easy using an L1A1 Combination tool as the setup is the same as an SLR. A big Improvement on the original as far as I am concerned. Next I fitted a 3.5 -12 x 50 (1”Tube) Hawke Sports optic Scope and achieved ½ to 1 MOA. The problem was I could not get a spot weld for my cheek. I was aiming the rifle without my cheek on the stock. I could only simulate this by opening my jaw and putting the bottom of my chin on the top of the standard stock. The recoil was no problem as the rifle is heavy.

    So that was the good news. What’s the bad…

    I wanted a cheek piece in the same wood/stain/colour etc.. So I researched around and the only options were a reproduction L42 or No4(T) copy at stupid prices, or contact AIA in Australia. I sent them an email and got a prompt reply asking for photos of my wood work etc… to get the best match. I of course sent of the requested information and have never heard from then since. Despite follow up emails from me nothing came back:( Therefore customer service 0/10. I would pay a premium for the matching cheek piece as I got the rifle for a very fair price. So instead of buying direct from AIA I have obtained an expensive L42 cheek piece clone. That has taken several hours of careful sanding to make it fit. It is not the same wood and is really a bit of a disappointment however it will have to do. I don’t really have any other choice... Furthermore because the modern hi-power scope is mounted higher than the original scope the cheek piece is still not high enough for the perfect cheek weld :( A piece of sleeping mat (hard foam) in green solves this problem, but it is cosmetically bad but fully functional.

    Would I recommend buying one? Yes most certainly, but get one only with an original AIA cheek piece and an original AIA Picatinny rail. Don’t worry about a spare magazine, an M14 10 round will fit perfectly when the rear lug is carefully filed at the bottom at an angle. Give this job to an armourer it is only a 5 minute job with a fine file using the original magazine as a guide and the rifle to test fit. (Watch carefully for the magazine release catch angle and distance from the trigger guard.)

    So to sum up. Precision 10/10, fun and discussion factor 10/10, AIA customer service 0/10. Proud to be an owner..YES

  • Dan Dan on Mar 15, 2011

    Mate gotta get me one of these the enfield action is my fav of all time id go the match looks sweet