Up for auction today is a beautiful non firing prop gun replica of a Short Magazine Lee-Enfield.
The Lee-Enfield was the British Army's standard bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle from 1895 until 1956, in various marks. 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 Lee-Enfield was chambered for the .303 British cartridge, and featured a ten-round box magazine. The magazine was loaded manually from the top, either one round at a time, or by means of five-round chargers (a.k.a. stripper clips).
On 1 January 1904 a shorter and lighter version of the original MLE was introduced, the famous Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield, or SMLE (sometimes spoken as "smelly", rather than S, M, L, E). The barrel was now half-way in length between the original long rifle and the carbine, at 25.2 inches (640 mm). The SMLE's visual trademark was its blunt nose, the end of the barrel protruding a small fraction of an inch beyond the nosecap. The new rifle also incorporated a charger loading system, another innovation borrowed from the Boer's Mausers. The shorter length was controversial at the time: many authorities of the day felt that it was neither short enough for the cavalry, nor long enough for accurate long-range fire by massed infantry.
Although officially replaced in the UK with the L1A1 SLR in 1956, it continues to see official service in a number of British Commonwealth nations to the present day.
Total production of all Lee-Enfields is estimated at over 17 million rifles, making it the one of the most numerous military bolt-action rifles ever produced