POTD: Captured Lee-Enfield's Rechambered in 5.56×45

Matthew Moss
by Matthew Moss
A pair of mutilated Lee-Enfield No.4s

Today’s photo features a pair of venerable World War Two Lee-Enfield No.4 Mk2 rifles, but they’re not your usual surplus fare. Captured by the Israeli Defence Force in Bani Na’im, in the West Bank back in 2017, the two No.4s have been re-chambered from their original .303 to a more readily available ammunition, not as you might expect 7.62x51mm but to 5.56x45mm. With the two rifles we can see a pair of 20 round 5.56mm magazines and an Israeli 5.56 ammuntion box.

The two Lee-Enfields have undergone some other changes. Both rifles have had what are probably captured Israeli Trijicon ACOGs crudely welded to their receivers. Both rifles have IDF slings fitted and the top rifle has for some reason had a section of its forend stock cut away to expose the barrel in front of the barrel band. I would love to see inside the receiver of these rifles to see how the gunsmith has managed or rather attempted to seat the new magazine and adapted the bolt and extractor to cycle the smaller 5.56mm round.

H/T: @CalibreObscura

Matthew Moss
Matthew Moss

Managing Editor: TheFirearmBlog.com & Overt Defense.com. Matt is a British historian specialising in small arms development and military history. He has written several books and for a variety of publications in both the US and UK. Matt is also runs The Armourer's Bench, a video series on historically significant small arms. Here on TFB he covers product and current military small arms news. Reach Matt at: matt@thefirearmblog.com

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  • John John on Jan 31, 2019

    Just a thought here: the Lee-Enfields might have come directly from Israel's very own, very old arsenals they built while the British were still here. It would explain some theories I have.

  • AF_Ret_20.5 AF_Ret_20.5 on Jan 31, 2019

    How could they hit anything with the 5.56mm pinballing down the .30 cal (7.62mm) barrel.

    They could probably stand inside a barn when they fire and miss the barn.