TFBTV: Differences between the Lee-Enfield SMLE and the No.4

Mike B
by Mike B

Mike takes a look at the main differences between the .303 Lee-Enfield SMLE of WW1 fame and the later No.4 rifles. What makes the No.4 better and cheaper than its predecessor?

Lee-Enfield SMLE No.1 Mk.3 Mk.III .303
Lee-Enfield No.4 .303
Lee-Enfield No.7 .22

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Mike B
Mike B

Mike was lucky enough to go to a school with a 25 yard smallbore range, only 25 minutes from the centre of British shooting at Bisley, and had a firearms certificate before he had a driver's license. Moving to a more gun-friendly country has allowed him to service his milsurp habit. He lives up in the mountains in Switzerland and vlogs at YouTube as Bloke on the Range. He can be reached at

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2 of 10 comments
  • Wombat303 Wombat303 on Jun 04, 2018

    Good video Mike. Despite their common heritage, they are very different rifles with few common parts. The few interchangeable bits include the trigger and firing pin springs and, in my experience, some foresight blades.
    Warning for anyone attempting to fully dismantle a SMLE for the first time - always remove the fore-end before attempting to unscrew the stock. Reason is that the stockbolt has a square tip which fits in a recess in the fore-end. Use enough force and you can split the fore-end. The No 4 of course did away with this unnecessary bit of Victorian-era engineering.

  • Mikey Mikey on Jun 05, 2018

    Didn't the No. 4's have a replaceable bolt face to compensate for bad headspace?