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Lee Enfield No5 Mk1 ( Jungle Carbine )

Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by Tikirocker, Dec 14, 2008.

  1. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker Member

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    G'day all,

    As the moderator of the Lee Enfield forums at Collecting and Shooting the Military Surplus Rifle (2006) - Surplusrifle.com I thought I might add some Enfield content to this section; hopefully it will meet with interest. Both my Grandfather and Great Uncles fought in the Burma Campaign during WW2; my Grandfather was with the Royal Sussex Regiment ( The Shiny 9th ) and my Great Uncle who is in his 90's fought with the Chindits under Maj Gen Ord Wingate. The No5 Mk1 was specifically developed for fighting in the far east and Burma campaign was where this rifle found it's major point of issuance.

    I am presenting my own rifle here which as by the text attached to the images you will recognise as a Fazakerley built No5 from the 12 month, year of 1945. I have created a FAQ sticky at the Enfields forum and will re-post it here for the benefit of those curious. There is a great deal of history on the development of the No5 rifle which I could expand upon if members are interested but for now I'll let the FAQ sticky suffice.



    For more information see my No5 Info and Serial Number sticky here Surplusrifleforum.com • View topic - No5 Mk1 Jungle Carbine info and Serial Number Survey! - or if anybody needs any additional information on No5's feel free to ask.




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    The No5 Mk1 rifle first began production in September of 1944 but did not find issue to troops in the Far East until 1945. I hope this information has been educational and informative.


    Best regards, Simon.
     
    Otto, P-Popsie, wtid45 and 3 others like this.
  2. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Great quality pictures ands some useful descriptions too, I like it when I learn something new and the reading is a pleasure. Thank you for sharing. Do I deduce the number 5 was first used in Arnhem or at the Battle of the Bulge or did it last even longer before it got into service in Europe too?
     
  3. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker Member

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    Hey Skip,

    I am very glad to provide useful information to the forum, my pleasure - my goal is to attempt to not make these things a dry read if I can help it. The No5 never saw service in Europe or Africa ... it was first issued in 45 to the Far East and Burma specifically but never anywhere else but perhaps rare cases in the South Pacific. It came very late in the war and was popular with the troops it was issued to. The rifle was still in use during the Malayan Emergency where Australian troops carried it ... the Malayan Emergency lasted for near on 10 years into the early 60's if my memory serves me.

    Hope that helps,

    Best, Simon.
     
  4. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Ok , thanks for the precision. The reason I aske dis because I read it went into service in Asia in 1945 only, so I thought that maybe Europe being the closest theatre it could have been used there before. This drives me to 2 more questions. Is this the one that is still used by police force in India (I thought i recognized a few on Tv during the terror attacks from a few weeks ago )? And can I deduce this model is harder to get in Erope because it was not used there?
     
  5. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker Member

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    Skip,

    The No5 saw it's first development in Sept of 1944 but was not issued to troops in the Far East until 45 as I stated above in the original post ... so you are correct that it only saw service in the Far East in 1945. However, we have a caveat with Enfields that goes "never say never ...". There are sometimes exceptions to the rule but this is the 99% skinny from official records.

    The rifles you have seen in India recently are not No5's but rather No4's and SMLE's - some would be No1 MKIII's and others have been the Indian made Ishapore 2A's. I would imagine that the No5 rifle is quite rare in England to this very day let alone Europe itself since England sold off most if not all of its surplus Enfields to 3rd Party nations long ago. You can still find Enfields in the UK but they are far and fewer between these days and quite expensive.

    By the way ... the No5 has been a favourite Hunting stick of Australians for many years. Here is a picture taken by a fellow countryman putting his No5 to use in the Outback. My No5 is my personal pick for a wilderness/hunting rifle without question; they are light and pack plenty of punch if you hand load them for your requirements.

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    Best, Simon.
     
    Otto likes this.
  6. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    Excellent picture. Not the same prey , but it still works after all those years.

    I have a WWI Enfield bullet at home. It was hard to neutralize because unlike many other bullets, when you drill a hole in them , the powder is not just powder but rather small powder strings which are hard to get out of the bullet through a tiny drilled hole.
     
  7. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker Member

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    Skip,

    The strings that you were pulling out of that bullet were more than likely fibrous cordite as used in British ammunition of that period. The British developed various types of ammunition for the .303 over the years - some of it very interesting.

    Picture on the far right shows British cordite ...

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    I imagine that is your stuff right there. :)
     
  8. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    That's exactly the one I have. I didn't know know the exact word was "cordite", it was quite difficult to get the bullet inert with these. Thanks a lot for showing.
     
  9. DAVEB47

    DAVEB47 Member

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    I've heard people say they kick like a mule. A very nice example of a great rifle.
     
  10. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    Thanks, tikirocker, for a most informative discussion about the No5 Enfield, one of interest to me as a No. 5 was the last live weapon I fired a few years ago.

    The owner wanted to prove a point to me - it does NOT kick like a mule. I was wearing a business suit and shirt ( no shoulder padding ) , and provided that the stock was kept tight to my cheek and shoulder, recoil was not appreciably worse than any other rifle ; certainly I suffered no bruising, etc.

    But the gun was very ( VERY ) loud ! Ear defenders were essential and made me wonder if perhaps recruits' nervousness led to them handling the gun incorrectly, and thus giving rise to the strong-recoil legend......
     
  11. ghost_of_war

    ghost_of_war Member

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    Great photos....
     
  12. Skipper

    Skipper Kommodore

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    So they are noisy too. If I ever have a chance to try one, I'll wear ear plugs then.
     
  13. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker Member

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    Martin,

    Glad to know you enjoyed the piece mate. The No5 is one of my favourite rifles of all time - it is also a design that has been copied the most by companies trying to recreate the class this gun has. The Gibbs and Santa Fe conversions are two such types in the U.S. These turn up from time to time with people thinking they are genuine No5's ... there are plenty of No5 fakes out there and we see more No5 fakes than just about anything else. Most often these are No4's chopped and converted to look like a No5 - less frequently seen is the No1. One of my pet hates is bubba'd Military Rifles.

    As for the recoil ... you will find that most carbines have a reputation for more kick as is the case with the Russian M44 Mosin Nagant. This is naturally occurring with lightened rifles such as the No5 and with the Mosin M44 you do not have the Flash Eliminator of the No5 so the muzzle flash from the M44 really is quite incredible when firing at dusk!

    The No5 has manageable recoil for most people with a solid frame but some smaller framed people can suffer a bit firing a full military round through a lightened carbine. There are surely instances of flinch that people can develop if they fear the kick ... this happens amongst new shooters in target shooting with heavy barrels as well. I have found the No5 to be a most pleasant rifle to shoot and think it is a superb all purpose hunting rifle.

    P.S Any full power military round is going to be loud but carbines will always be louder than standard length barreled actions due to the round exiting the muzzle closer to you than otherwise. Anybody not wearing hearing protection shooting ANY caliber is a fool - responsible education at any range is always to wear hearing and eye protection.

    Best, Simon. :)
     
  14. Tikirocker

    Tikirocker Member

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    Skip,

    As I have stated above ... you should be wearing hearing protection firing any rifle of any caliber; without question. If you don't you can look forward to early hearing loss.
     
  15. Martin Bull

    Martin Bull Acting Wg. Cdr Patron  

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    Hi Simon -

    Yes - it was enjoyable and came about through one of those 'I heard they're awful to fire' remarks to a dealer who promptly invited me to 'Come out the back and try it !'.

    I've fired a SMLE and the No.5 just seemed to have a more 'wallop!' quality to its sound - with ear defenders, actually quite satisfying.

    The one I fired was a genuine No.5, not a mock-up - and yes, being subjective, it also had the benefit of looking very :cool:......
     
  16. KRASHED

    KRASHED recruit

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    Funny to see a Bones member one here :p

    I just got a Jungle Carbine from my Opa for my 20th birthday recently. I am just itching to shoot but im in university so I can't :(. This was a enfield that had been passed through the family. Apparently it's had less than 20 known rounds through it, everything is matching except the magazine. All the wood is in excellent condition and the metal is also fantastic!
     
  17. John Louies

    John Louies Member

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    wow great pics!:D
     
  18. ghost_of_war

    ghost_of_war Member

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    Hello Krashed! Yes, this is one of my favorite places to visit (off topic, sorry).
     
  19. wtid45

    wtid45 Ace

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    I have a picture of my Dad, in march 45, situ just outside of Mandalay at Pagoda Hill and i think he could be holding a no 5 short L.E, but there is shadow on the pic and it is hard to work out i will try to scan the pic and post it.
     
  20. paratrooper506

    paratrooper506 Member

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    I,ve never seen something like that
     

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