The Evolution of the British Army’s Lee-Enfield rifle
The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue rifle for the British and Empire/Commonwealth forces during both World Wars, the Korean War and countless other conflicts.  First adopted in 1895, replacing the older Lee-Metford (see #1).  Chambered in .303 and holding an unmatched 10 rounds in a detachable magazine.  The Lee action had one of the smoothest bolts of any infantry rifle of the 20th century.  
The Magazine Lee-Metford using James Paris Lee’s bolt and magazine system and William Ellis Metford’s rifling was adopted in 1885 and was the last black powder rifle used by the British Army.  It was replaced in 1895 by the smokeless powder firing Lee-Enfield (see #3) a re-working Lee-Metford - built at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield. The Lee bolt was designed to cock on closing of the bolt rather than on opening, this made for a much smoother and faster action.  In 1896 the new Lee-Enfield Carbine was introduced for the cavalry and mounted troops (see #2).  
The first pattern Lee-Enfield was refined in 1904 when the shorted barrelled Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (see #4) was introduced.  The SMLE had an optimal barrel length (removing the need for a long pattern rifle & carbine) of 25 inches.  Further improvement were made in the MkIII (see #5).  The SMLE was the weapon carried by most troops during the First World War, but with limited stocks many troops were also issued the older MkI.  In 1915 it was found that an adequate number of rifles could not be made while maintaining the high standards of peacetime Edwardian craftsmanship and Enfield readied a simplified SMLE with more rudimentary stocks, without the useless magazine cutoff and long range volley sights - the SMLE MkIII*  (see #6). These rifles were manufactured throughout the rest of the war and following the end of the war was redesignated the Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926.  During the Inter-war Period the British Army once again sought to improve the Lee-Enfield, hoping to simplify construction and address issues found with the MkIII* during the First World War the SMLE MkV was designed and a limited run of 20,000 was made between 1923-5. These rifles replaced the earlier rear leaf sight with a new and improved flip up aperture sight just behind the charger bridge.  While this improvement was favoured the rifle was even more complicated to produce than its predecessor and was not adopted.  The MkV was followed by the MkVI which introduced a floating barrel to address zeroing issues, while the MkVI was not adopted either it would influence the design of the Rifle, No.4.
The late 1930s saw a need for new rifles and by 1939 the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was becoming the standard issue rifle of the British Army.  The No.4 (see #7) had the same action but was easier to manufacture in bulk, it abandoned the blunt nose of the SMLE and while heavier than the MkIII* it was stronger. Like it’s predecessor the No.4 was also simplified for manufacturing purposes, this model was designated the No.4 MkI*. Following the end of the Second World War the No. 4 Mk2 became the standard pattern rifle, seeing action in Malaya and Korea during the 1950s.  It remained the British Army’s standard rifle until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR (the FN-FAL) in 1954.
Toward the end of the Second World War a new carbine model was designed, the No.5 (see #8), it had a significantly shorter barrel intended for use by paratroops, in dense jungle or urban areas.  It was 2lbs lighter than the No.4 making it popular with troops, however it was never fully adopted and was dropped by the late 1940s.  Interestingly the Australian Army, influenced by the British No.5, designed a carbine based upon the SMLE MkIII* (which the Australian Army had continued to use instead of the No.4) called the No.6 MkI (see #8), this rifle was designed at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, in New South Wales but like the British No.5 it was never adopted.  
Following the adoption of the Self Loading Rifle - the L1A1 in 1954 the British Army finally ceased to use the bolt action .303 Lee-Enfields which had served them so well for almost 60 years.  However, an attempt to rebarrel some No.4s for storage as a reserve rifle were made these were designated as the L8, the attempt however proved unsuccessful and was abandoned as not being cost effective.
However, the Lee-Enfield lived on.  With the lessons learned from the L8 project the RSAF at Enfield began to rechamber older No.4s in 1970 with the the new 7.62x51 NATO round.  This continued the old wartime practice of taking accurate No.4 MkI service rifles and converting them into sniper rifles by lightening the stock, adding a raised cheek rest & scope and redesigning the magazine for the new round.  These sniper rifles were designated the L42A1 (see #11) and saw action during the Rebellion in Oman, in Northern Ireland and finally during the Falklands War.  The L42A1, the last Lee-Enfield in British service was retired in the late 1980s when it was replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.  
The Lee-Enfield remains a popular target and surplus rifle, renowned for its excellent accuracy and smooth bolt.  They are still used by some countries, including India who designed the Rifle 7.62mm 2A during the 1960s and is still in limited use.
The rifles pictured above:

1) Magazine Lee-Metford MkII
2) Lee-Enfield Carbine
3) Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle MkI
4) SMLE No1 MkI**
5) SMLE  MkIII
6) SMLE  MkIII*
7)  Rifle, No. 4 Mk I 
8) No.5 ‘Jungle Carbine’
9) Lithgow No.6 Trial ‘Jungle Carbine’ (not a term used by the British Army)
10) SMLE MkV (Rifle No.1 MkV) should be placed chronologically just after the SMLE  MkIII* (rifle number 6.)
11) L42A1 Sniper Rifle

Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
The Evolution of the British Army’s Lee-Enfield rifle
The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue rifle for the British and Empire/Commonwealth forces during both World Wars, the Korean War and countless other conflicts.  First adopted in 1895, replacing the older Lee-Metford (see #1).  Chambered in .303 and holding an unmatched 10 rounds in a detachable magazine.  The Lee action had one of the smoothest bolts of any infantry rifle of the 20th century.  
The Magazine Lee-Metford using James Paris Lee’s bolt and magazine system and William Ellis Metford’s rifling was adopted in 1885 and was the last black powder rifle used by the British Army.  It was replaced in 1895 by the smokeless powder firing Lee-Enfield (see #3) a re-working Lee-Metford - built at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield. The Lee bolt was designed to cock on closing of the bolt rather than on opening, this made for a much smoother and faster action.  In 1896 the new Lee-Enfield Carbine was introduced for the cavalry and mounted troops (see #2).  
The first pattern Lee-Enfield was refined in 1904 when the shorted barrelled Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (see #4) was introduced.  The SMLE had an optimal barrel length (removing the need for a long pattern rifle & carbine) of 25 inches.  Further improvement were made in the MkIII (see #5).  The SMLE was the weapon carried by most troops during the First World War, but with limited stocks many troops were also issued the older MkI.  In 1915 it was found that an adequate number of rifles could not be made while maintaining the high standards of peacetime Edwardian craftsmanship and Enfield readied a simplified SMLE with more rudimentary stocks, without the useless magazine cutoff and long range volley sights - the SMLE MkIII*  (see #6). These rifles were manufactured throughout the rest of the war and following the end of the war was redesignated the Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926.  During the Inter-war Period the British Army once again sought to improve the Lee-Enfield, hoping to simplify construction and address issues found with the MkIII* during the First World War the SMLE MkV was designed and a limited run of 20,000 was made between 1923-5. These rifles replaced the earlier rear leaf sight with a new and improved flip up aperture sight just behind the charger bridge.  While this improvement was favoured the rifle was even more complicated to produce than its predecessor and was not adopted.  The MkV was followed by the MkVI which introduced a floating barrel to address zeroing issues, while the MkVI was not adopted either it would influence the design of the Rifle, No.4.
The late 1930s saw a need for new rifles and by 1939 the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was becoming the standard issue rifle of the British Army.  The No.4 (see #7) had the same action but was easier to manufacture in bulk, it abandoned the blunt nose of the SMLE and while heavier than the MkIII* it was stronger. Like it’s predecessor the No.4 was also simplified for manufacturing purposes, this model was designated the No.4 MkI*. Following the end of the Second World War the No. 4 Mk2 became the standard pattern rifle, seeing action in Malaya and Korea during the 1950s.  It remained the British Army’s standard rifle until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR (the FN-FAL) in 1954.
Toward the end of the Second World War a new carbine model was designed, the No.5 (see #8), it had a significantly shorter barrel intended for use by paratroops, in dense jungle or urban areas.  It was 2lbs lighter than the No.4 making it popular with troops, however it was never fully adopted and was dropped by the late 1940s.  Interestingly the Australian Army, influenced by the British No.5, designed a carbine based upon the SMLE MkIII* (which the Australian Army had continued to use instead of the No.4) called the No.6 MkI (see #8), this rifle was designed at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, in New South Wales but like the British No.5 it was never adopted.  
Following the adoption of the Self Loading Rifle - the L1A1 in 1954 the British Army finally ceased to use the bolt action .303 Lee-Enfields which had served them so well for almost 60 years.  However, an attempt to rebarrel some No.4s for storage as a reserve rifle were made these were designated as the L8, the attempt however proved unsuccessful and was abandoned as not being cost effective.
However, the Lee-Enfield lived on.  With the lessons learned from the L8 project the RSAF at Enfield began to rechamber older No.4s in 1970 with the the new 7.62x51 NATO round.  This continued the old wartime practice of taking accurate No.4 MkI service rifles and converting them into sniper rifles by lightening the stock, adding a raised cheek rest & scope and redesigning the magazine for the new round.  These sniper rifles were designated the L42A1 (see #11) and saw action during the Rebellion in Oman, in Northern Ireland and finally during the Falklands War.  The L42A1, the last Lee-Enfield in British service was retired in the late 1980s when it was replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.  
The Lee-Enfield remains a popular target and surplus rifle, renowned for its excellent accuracy and smooth bolt.  They are still used by some countries, including India who designed the Rifle 7.62mm 2A during the 1960s and is still in limited use.
The rifles pictured above:

1) Magazine Lee-Metford MkII
2) Lee-Enfield Carbine
3) Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle MkI
4) SMLE No1 MkI**
5) SMLE  MkIII
6) SMLE  MkIII*
7)  Rifle, No. 4 Mk I 
8) No.5 ‘Jungle Carbine’
9) Lithgow No.6 Trial ‘Jungle Carbine’ (not a term used by the British Army)
10) SMLE MkV (Rifle No.1 MkV) should be placed chronologically just after the SMLE  MkIII* (rifle number 6.)
11) L42A1 Sniper Rifle

Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
The Evolution of the British Army’s Lee-Enfield rifle
The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue rifle for the British and Empire/Commonwealth forces during both World Wars, the Korean War and countless other conflicts.  First adopted in 1895, replacing the older Lee-Metford (see #1).  Chambered in .303 and holding an unmatched 10 rounds in a detachable magazine.  The Lee action had one of the smoothest bolts of any infantry rifle of the 20th century.  
The Magazine Lee-Metford using James Paris Lee’s bolt and magazine system and William Ellis Metford’s rifling was adopted in 1885 and was the last black powder rifle used by the British Army.  It was replaced in 1895 by the smokeless powder firing Lee-Enfield (see #3) a re-working Lee-Metford - built at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield. The Lee bolt was designed to cock on closing of the bolt rather than on opening, this made for a much smoother and faster action.  In 1896 the new Lee-Enfield Carbine was introduced for the cavalry and mounted troops (see #2).  
The first pattern Lee-Enfield was refined in 1904 when the shorted barrelled Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (see #4) was introduced.  The SMLE had an optimal barrel length (removing the need for a long pattern rifle & carbine) of 25 inches.  Further improvement were made in the MkIII (see #5).  The SMLE was the weapon carried by most troops during the First World War, but with limited stocks many troops were also issued the older MkI.  In 1915 it was found that an adequate number of rifles could not be made while maintaining the high standards of peacetime Edwardian craftsmanship and Enfield readied a simplified SMLE with more rudimentary stocks, without the useless magazine cutoff and long range volley sights - the SMLE MkIII*  (see #6). These rifles were manufactured throughout the rest of the war and following the end of the war was redesignated the Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926.  During the Inter-war Period the British Army once again sought to improve the Lee-Enfield, hoping to simplify construction and address issues found with the MkIII* during the First World War the SMLE MkV was designed and a limited run of 20,000 was made between 1923-5. These rifles replaced the earlier rear leaf sight with a new and improved flip up aperture sight just behind the charger bridge.  While this improvement was favoured the rifle was even more complicated to produce than its predecessor and was not adopted.  The MkV was followed by the MkVI which introduced a floating barrel to address zeroing issues, while the MkVI was not adopted either it would influence the design of the Rifle, No.4.
The late 1930s saw a need for new rifles and by 1939 the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was becoming the standard issue rifle of the British Army.  The No.4 (see #7) had the same action but was easier to manufacture in bulk, it abandoned the blunt nose of the SMLE and while heavier than the MkIII* it was stronger. Like it’s predecessor the No.4 was also simplified for manufacturing purposes, this model was designated the No.4 MkI*. Following the end of the Second World War the No. 4 Mk2 became the standard pattern rifle, seeing action in Malaya and Korea during the 1950s.  It remained the British Army’s standard rifle until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR (the FN-FAL) in 1954.
Toward the end of the Second World War a new carbine model was designed, the No.5 (see #8), it had a significantly shorter barrel intended for use by paratroops, in dense jungle or urban areas.  It was 2lbs lighter than the No.4 making it popular with troops, however it was never fully adopted and was dropped by the late 1940s.  Interestingly the Australian Army, influenced by the British No.5, designed a carbine based upon the SMLE MkIII* (which the Australian Army had continued to use instead of the No.4) called the No.6 MkI (see #8), this rifle was designed at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, in New South Wales but like the British No.5 it was never adopted.  
Following the adoption of the Self Loading Rifle - the L1A1 in 1954 the British Army finally ceased to use the bolt action .303 Lee-Enfields which had served them so well for almost 60 years.  However, an attempt to rebarrel some No.4s for storage as a reserve rifle were made these were designated as the L8, the attempt however proved unsuccessful and was abandoned as not being cost effective.
However, the Lee-Enfield lived on.  With the lessons learned from the L8 project the RSAF at Enfield began to rechamber older No.4s in 1970 with the the new 7.62x51 NATO round.  This continued the old wartime practice of taking accurate No.4 MkI service rifles and converting them into sniper rifles by lightening the stock, adding a raised cheek rest & scope and redesigning the magazine for the new round.  These sniper rifles were designated the L42A1 (see #11) and saw action during the Rebellion in Oman, in Northern Ireland and finally during the Falklands War.  The L42A1, the last Lee-Enfield in British service was retired in the late 1980s when it was replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.  
The Lee-Enfield remains a popular target and surplus rifle, renowned for its excellent accuracy and smooth bolt.  They are still used by some countries, including India who designed the Rifle 7.62mm 2A during the 1960s and is still in limited use.
The rifles pictured above:

1) Magazine Lee-Metford MkII
2) Lee-Enfield Carbine
3) Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle MkI
4) SMLE No1 MkI**
5) SMLE  MkIII
6) SMLE  MkIII*
7)  Rifle, No. 4 Mk I 
8) No.5 ‘Jungle Carbine’
9) Lithgow No.6 Trial ‘Jungle Carbine’ (not a term used by the British Army)
10) SMLE MkV (Rifle No.1 MkV) should be placed chronologically just after the SMLE  MkIII* (rifle number 6.)
11) L42A1 Sniper Rifle

Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
The Evolution of the British Army’s Lee-Enfield rifle
The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue rifle for the British and Empire/Commonwealth forces during both World Wars, the Korean War and countless other conflicts.  First adopted in 1895, replacing the older Lee-Metford (see #1).  Chambered in .303 and holding an unmatched 10 rounds in a detachable magazine.  The Lee action had one of the smoothest bolts of any infantry rifle of the 20th century.  
The Magazine Lee-Metford using James Paris Lee’s bolt and magazine system and William Ellis Metford’s rifling was adopted in 1885 and was the last black powder rifle used by the British Army.  It was replaced in 1895 by the smokeless powder firing Lee-Enfield (see #3) a re-working Lee-Metford - built at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield. The Lee bolt was designed to cock on closing of the bolt rather than on opening, this made for a much smoother and faster action.  In 1896 the new Lee-Enfield Carbine was introduced for the cavalry and mounted troops (see #2).  
The first pattern Lee-Enfield was refined in 1904 when the shorted barrelled Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (see #4) was introduced.  The SMLE had an optimal barrel length (removing the need for a long pattern rifle & carbine) of 25 inches.  Further improvement were made in the MkIII (see #5).  The SMLE was the weapon carried by most troops during the First World War, but with limited stocks many troops were also issued the older MkI.  In 1915 it was found that an adequate number of rifles could not be made while maintaining the high standards of peacetime Edwardian craftsmanship and Enfield readied a simplified SMLE with more rudimentary stocks, without the useless magazine cutoff and long range volley sights - the SMLE MkIII*  (see #6). These rifles were manufactured throughout the rest of the war and following the end of the war was redesignated the Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926.  During the Inter-war Period the British Army once again sought to improve the Lee-Enfield, hoping to simplify construction and address issues found with the MkIII* during the First World War the SMLE MkV was designed and a limited run of 20,000 was made between 1923-5. These rifles replaced the earlier rear leaf sight with a new and improved flip up aperture sight just behind the charger bridge.  While this improvement was favoured the rifle was even more complicated to produce than its predecessor and was not adopted.  The MkV was followed by the MkVI which introduced a floating barrel to address zeroing issues, while the MkVI was not adopted either it would influence the design of the Rifle, No.4.
The late 1930s saw a need for new rifles and by 1939 the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was becoming the standard issue rifle of the British Army.  The No.4 (see #7) had the same action but was easier to manufacture in bulk, it abandoned the blunt nose of the SMLE and while heavier than the MkIII* it was stronger. Like it’s predecessor the No.4 was also simplified for manufacturing purposes, this model was designated the No.4 MkI*. Following the end of the Second World War the No. 4 Mk2 became the standard pattern rifle, seeing action in Malaya and Korea during the 1950s.  It remained the British Army’s standard rifle until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR (the FN-FAL) in 1954.
Toward the end of the Second World War a new carbine model was designed, the No.5 (see #8), it had a significantly shorter barrel intended for use by paratroops, in dense jungle or urban areas.  It was 2lbs lighter than the No.4 making it popular with troops, however it was never fully adopted and was dropped by the late 1940s.  Interestingly the Australian Army, influenced by the British No.5, designed a carbine based upon the SMLE MkIII* (which the Australian Army had continued to use instead of the No.4) called the No.6 MkI (see #8), this rifle was designed at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, in New South Wales but like the British No.5 it was never adopted.  
Following the adoption of the Self Loading Rifle - the L1A1 in 1954 the British Army finally ceased to use the bolt action .303 Lee-Enfields which had served them so well for almost 60 years.  However, an attempt to rebarrel some No.4s for storage as a reserve rifle were made these were designated as the L8, the attempt however proved unsuccessful and was abandoned as not being cost effective.
However, the Lee-Enfield lived on.  With the lessons learned from the L8 project the RSAF at Enfield began to rechamber older No.4s in 1970 with the the new 7.62x51 NATO round.  This continued the old wartime practice of taking accurate No.4 MkI service rifles and converting them into sniper rifles by lightening the stock, adding a raised cheek rest & scope and redesigning the magazine for the new round.  These sniper rifles were designated the L42A1 (see #11) and saw action during the Rebellion in Oman, in Northern Ireland and finally during the Falklands War.  The L42A1, the last Lee-Enfield in British service was retired in the late 1980s when it was replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.  
The Lee-Enfield remains a popular target and surplus rifle, renowned for its excellent accuracy and smooth bolt.  They are still used by some countries, including India who designed the Rifle 7.62mm 2A during the 1960s and is still in limited use.
The rifles pictured above:

1) Magazine Lee-Metford MkII
2) Lee-Enfield Carbine
3) Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle MkI
4) SMLE No1 MkI**
5) SMLE  MkIII
6) SMLE  MkIII*
7)  Rifle, No. 4 Mk I 
8) No.5 ‘Jungle Carbine’
9) Lithgow No.6 Trial ‘Jungle Carbine’ (not a term used by the British Army)
10) SMLE MkV (Rifle No.1 MkV) should be placed chronologically just after the SMLE  MkIII* (rifle number 6.)
11) L42A1 Sniper Rifle

Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source
The Evolution of the British Army’s Lee-Enfield rifle
The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue rifle for the British and Empire/Commonwealth forces during both World Wars, the Korean War and countless other conflicts.  First adopted in 1895, replacing the older Lee-Metford (see #1).  Chambered in .303 and holding an unmatched 10 rounds in a detachable magazine.  The Lee action had one of the smoothest bolts of any infantry rifle of the 20th century.  
The Magazine Lee-Metford using James Paris Lee’s bolt and magazine system and William Ellis Metford’s rifling was adopted in 1885 and was the last black powder rifle used by the British Army.  It was replaced in 1895 by the smokeless powder firing Lee-Enfield (see #3) a re-working Lee-Metford - built at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield. The Lee bolt was designed to cock on closing of the bolt rather than on opening, this made for a much smoother and faster action.  In 1896 the new Lee-Enfield Carbine was introduced for the cavalry and mounted troops (see #2).  
The first pattern Lee-Enfield was refined in 1904 when the shorted barrelled Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (see #4) was introduced.  The SMLE had an optimal barrel length (removing the need for a long pattern rifle & carbine) of 25 inches.  Further improvement were made in the MkIII (see #5).  The SMLE was the weapon carried by most troops during the First World War, but with limited stocks many troops were also issued the older MkI.  In 1915 it was found that an adequate number of rifles could not be made while maintaining the high standards of peacetime Edwardian craftsmanship and Enfield readied a simplified SMLE with more rudimentary stocks, without the useless magazine cutoff and long range volley sights - the SMLE MkIII*  (see #6). These rifles were manufactured throughout the rest of the war and following the end of the war was redesignated the Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926.  During the Inter-war Period the British Army once again sought to improve the Lee-Enfield, hoping to simplify construction and address issues found with the MkIII* during the First World War the SMLE MkV was designed and a limited run of 20,000 was made between 1923-5. These rifles replaced the earlier rear leaf sight with a new and improved flip up aperture sight just behind the charger bridge.  While this improvement was favoured the rifle was even more complicated to produce than its predecessor and was not adopted.  The MkV was followed by the MkVI which introduced a floating barrel to address zeroing issues, while the MkVI was not adopted either it would influence the design of the Rifle, No.4.
The late 1930s saw a need for new rifles and by 1939 the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was becoming the standard issue rifle of the British Army.  The No.4 (see #7) had the same action but was easier to manufacture in bulk, it abandoned the blunt nose of the SMLE and while heavier than the MkIII* it was stronger. Like it’s predecessor the No.4 was also simplified for manufacturing purposes, this model was designated the No.4 MkI*. Following the end of the Second World War the No. 4 Mk2 became the standard pattern rifle, seeing action in Malaya and Korea during the 1950s.  It remained the British Army’s standard rifle until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR (the FN-FAL) in 1954.
Toward the end of the Second World War a new carbine model was designed, the No.5 (see #8), it had a significantly shorter barrel intended for use by paratroops, in dense jungle or urban areas.  It was 2lbs lighter than the No.4 making it popular with troops, however it was never fully adopted and was dropped by the late 1940s.  Interestingly the Australian Army, influenced by the British No.5, designed a carbine based upon the SMLE MkIII* (which the Australian Army had continued to use instead of the No.4) called the No.6 MkI (see #8), this rifle was designed at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, in New South Wales but like the British No.5 it was never adopted.  
Following the adoption of the Self Loading Rifle - the L1A1 in 1954 the British Army finally ceased to use the bolt action .303 Lee-Enfields which had served them so well for almost 60 years.  However, an attempt to rebarrel some No.4s for storage as a reserve rifle were made these were designated as the L8, the attempt however proved unsuccessful and was abandoned as not being cost effective.
However, the Lee-Enfield lived on.  With the lessons learned from the L8 project the RSAF at Enfield began to rechamber older No.4s in 1970 with the the new 7.62x51 NATO round.  This continued the old wartime practice of taking accurate No.4 MkI service rifles and converting them into sniper rifles by lightening the stock, adding a raised cheek rest & scope and redesigning the magazine for the new round.  These sniper rifles were designated the L42A1 (see #11) and saw action during the Rebellion in Oman, in Northern Ireland and finally during the Falklands War.  The L42A1, the last Lee-Enfield in British service was retired in the late 1980s when it was replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.  
The Lee-Enfield remains a popular target and surplus rifle, renowned for its excellent accuracy and smooth bolt.  They are still used by some countries, including India who designed the Rifle 7.62mm 2A during the 1960s and is still in limited use.
The rifles pictured above:

1) Magazine Lee-Metford MkII
2) Lee-Enfield Carbine
3) Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle MkI
4) SMLE No1 MkI**
5) SMLE  MkIII
6) SMLE  MkIII*
7)  Rifle, No. 4 Mk I 
8) No.5 ‘Jungle Carbine’
9) Lithgow No.6 Trial ‘Jungle Carbine’ (not a term used by the British Army)
10) SMLE MkV (Rifle No.1 MkV) should be placed chronologically just after the SMLE  MkIII* (rifle number 6.)
11) L42A1 Sniper Rifle

Sources:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
Image Three Source
Image Four Source
Image Five Source

The Evolution of the British Army’s Lee-Enfield rifle

The Lee-Enfield was the standard issue rifle for the British and Empire/Commonwealth forces during both World Wars, the Korean War and countless other conflicts.  First adopted in 1895, replacing the older Lee-Metford (see #1).  Chambered in .303 and holding an unmatched 10 rounds in a detachable magazine.  The Lee action had one of the smoothest bolts of any infantry rifle of the 20th century.  

The Magazine Lee-Metford using James Paris Lee’s bolt and magazine system and William Ellis Metford’s rifling was adopted in 1885 and was the last black powder rifle used by the British Army.  It was replaced in 1895 by the smokeless powder firing Lee-Enfield (see #3) a re-working Lee-Metford - built at the Royal Small Arms Factory, Enfield. The Lee bolt was designed to cock on closing of the bolt rather than on opening, this made for a much smoother and faster action.  In 1896 the new Lee-Enfield Carbine was introduced for the cavalry and mounted troops (see #2).  

The first pattern Lee-Enfield was refined in 1904 when the shorted barrelled Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (see #4) was introduced.  The SMLE had an optimal barrel length (removing the need for a long pattern rifle & carbine) of 25 inches.  Further improvement were made in the MkIII (see #5).  The SMLE was the weapon carried by most troops during the First World War, but with limited stocks many troops were also issued the older MkI.  In 1915 it was found that an adequate number of rifles could not be made while maintaining the high standards of peacetime Edwardian craftsmanship and Enfield readied a simplified SMLE with more rudimentary stocks, without the useless magazine cutoff and long range volley sights - the SMLE MkIII*  (see #6). These rifles were manufactured throughout the rest of the war and following the end of the war was redesignated the Rifle No.1 Mk III* in 1926.  During the Inter-war Period the British Army once again sought to improve the Lee-Enfield, hoping to simplify construction and address issues found with the MkIII* during the First World War the SMLE MkV was designed and a limited run of 20,000 was made between 1923-5. These rifles replaced the earlier rear leaf sight with a new and improved flip up aperture sight just behind the charger bridge.  While this improvement was favoured the rifle was even more complicated to produce than its predecessor and was not adopted.  The MkV was followed by the MkVI which introduced a floating barrel to address zeroing issues, while the MkVI was not adopted either it would influence the design of the Rifle, No.4.

The late 1930s saw a need for new rifles and by 1939 the Rifle, No. 4 Mk I was becoming the standard issue rifle of the British Army.  The No.4 (see #7) had the same action but was easier to manufacture in bulk, it abandoned the blunt nose of the SMLE and while heavier than the MkIII* it was stronger. Like it’s predecessor the No.4 was also simplified for manufacturing purposes, this model was designated the No.4 MkI*. Following the end of the Second World War the No. 4 Mk2 became the standard pattern rifle, seeing action in Malaya and Korea during the 1950s.  It remained the British Army’s standard rifle until it was replaced by the L1A1 SLR (the FN-FAL) in 1954.

Toward the end of the Second World War a new carbine model was designed, the No.5 (see #8), it had a significantly shorter barrel intended for use by paratroops, in dense jungle or urban areas.  It was 2lbs lighter than the No.4 making it popular with troops, however it was never fully adopted and was dropped by the late 1940s.  Interestingly the Australian Army, influenced by the British No.5, designed a carbine based upon the SMLE MkIII* (which the Australian Army had continued to use instead of the No.4) called the No.6 MkI (see #8), this rifle was designed at the Small Arms Factory at Lithgow, in New South Wales but like the British No.5 it was never adopted.  

Following the adoption of the Self Loading Rifle - the L1A1 in 1954 the British Army finally ceased to use the bolt action .303 Lee-Enfields which had served them so well for almost 60 years.  However, an attempt to rebarrel some No.4s for storage as a reserve rifle were made these were designated as the L8, the attempt however proved unsuccessful and was abandoned as not being cost effective.

However, the Lee-Enfield lived on.  With the lessons learned from the L8 project the RSAF at Enfield began to rechamber older No.4s in 1970 with the the new 7.62x51 NATO round.  This continued the old wartime practice of taking accurate No.4 MkI service rifles and converting them into sniper rifles by lightening the stock, adding a raised cheek rest & scope and redesigning the magazine for the new round.  These sniper rifles were designated the L42A1 (see #11) and saw action during the Rebellion in Oman, in Northern Ireland and finally during the Falklands War.  The L42A1, the last Lee-Enfield in British service was retired in the late 1980s when it was replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.  

The Lee-Enfield remains a popular target and surplus rifle, renowned for its excellent accuracy and smooth bolt.  They are still used by some countries, including India who designed the Rifle 7.62mm 2A during the 1960s and is still in limited use.

The rifles pictured above:

1) Magazine Lee-Metford MkII

2) Lee-Enfield Carbine

3) Magazine Lee-Enfield Rifle MkI

4) SMLE No1 MkI**

5) SMLE  MkIII

6) SMLE  MkIII*

7)  Rifle, No. 4 Mk I 

8) No.5 ‘Jungle Carbine’

9) Lithgow No.6 Trial ‘Jungle Carbine’ (not a term used by the British Army)

10) SMLE MkV (Rifle No.1 MkV) should be placed chronologically just after the SMLE  MkIII* (rifle number 6.)

11) L42A1 Sniper Rifle

Sources:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

Image Three Source

Image Four Source

Image Five Source

Q

Anonymous asked:

Jungle carbine 303

A

The Lee-Enfield ‘jungle carbine’ officially designated the Rifle No.5 Mk1 when it was adopted in 1944.   

image

Read about it and the SMLE family here

“I do not say, my Lords, that the French will not come. I say only they will not come by sea.”

Admiral John Jervis, Earl St Vincent’s quip in a letter to the Board of the Admiralty in 1801, on the likelihood of a French invasion and effectiveness of the Royal Navy’s blockade of the Atlantic Coast.
At the time the Royal Navy consisted of over 100 ships of the line and by 1802, was the largest navy in the World - larger even than the French and Spanish fleets combined.  

Britain’s naval policy during the period was to blockade French ports both in the Mediterranean and more importantly on the Atlantic Coast. This saw the fleet stretch from the Baltic Sea in the North to Cadiz in the south - not to mention the Mediterranean itself and stations in the Caribbean, Indian Ocean and the Pacific. 

British ships spent years at sea on blockade duty with squadrons tacking back and forth just offshore of France and Spain’s ports.  Ships of the line were supported by a plethora of smaller ships; frigates, sloops and brigs that could move close inshore and monitor and rely enemy movements.  The main aim of the Royal Navy during the Napoleonic War was to cripple French maritime trade and to keep the French fleet bottled up in port where it could not exercise or train effectively.

The tactic proved very successful with the Royal Navy winning every major naval engagement of the war, such was the high standard that years on blockade had brought them to.  So when Jervis quipped ‘I do not say, my Lords, that the French will not come.  I say only they will not come by sea’ his bravado was, arguably, somewhat justified. 

 

Cutaway of the Day: Colt’s First Pistol
Samuel Colt patented his first revolver in 1836, with patents being granted in Britain and then the US.  Sometimes referred to as the Colt-Pearson, not to be confused with the later Colt-Paterson, the pistol prototype was made by a Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson in 1835 a year before Colt applied for his patents.
The pistol was chambered to fire a .28 caliber round, with six chambers milled into a small cylinder.  The pistol used a folding trigger, a feature which would again appear on the Colt-Paterson - Colt’s first commercially produced pistol.  The pistol was loaded by removing the barrel and sliding the cylinder off what Colt describes as the ‘fulcrum pin’. 
In the patent drawings we can the outline of a rifle stock (see image #3) where the same revolving receiver could be dropped into a rifle stock. This was a concept Colt would return to numerous times with some success. Interestingly the revolver also had a spring-activated bayonet beneath the barrel, this can be seen in the photograph and in Colt’s original patent drawings above.  
The prototype revolver did not enter production, instead a further development of Colt’s ideas, the Colt-Paterson was put into production in late 1836 at the Patent Arms Company’s factory in Paterson, New Jersey. The pistol was produced until 1847 when the Patent Arms Company collapsed.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Patent Drawings Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Cutaway of the Day: Colt’s First Pistol
Samuel Colt patented his first revolver in 1836, with patents being granted in Britain and then the US.  Sometimes referred to as the Colt-Pearson, not to be confused with the later Colt-Paterson, the pistol prototype was made by a Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson in 1835 a year before Colt applied for his patents.
The pistol was chambered to fire a .28 caliber round, with six chambers milled into a small cylinder.  The pistol used a folding trigger, a feature which would again appear on the Colt-Paterson - Colt’s first commercially produced pistol.  The pistol was loaded by removing the barrel and sliding the cylinder off what Colt describes as the ‘fulcrum pin’. 
In the patent drawings we can the outline of a rifle stock (see image #3) where the same revolving receiver could be dropped into a rifle stock. This was a concept Colt would return to numerous times with some success. Interestingly the revolver also had a spring-activated bayonet beneath the barrel, this can be seen in the photograph and in Colt’s original patent drawings above.  
The prototype revolver did not enter production, instead a further development of Colt’s ideas, the Colt-Paterson was put into production in late 1836 at the Patent Arms Company’s factory in Paterson, New Jersey. The pistol was produced until 1847 when the Patent Arms Company collapsed.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Patent Drawings Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Cutaway of the Day: Colt’s First Pistol
Samuel Colt patented his first revolver in 1836, with patents being granted in Britain and then the US.  Sometimes referred to as the Colt-Pearson, not to be confused with the later Colt-Paterson, the pistol prototype was made by a Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson in 1835 a year before Colt applied for his patents.
The pistol was chambered to fire a .28 caliber round, with six chambers milled into a small cylinder.  The pistol used a folding trigger, a feature which would again appear on the Colt-Paterson - Colt’s first commercially produced pistol.  The pistol was loaded by removing the barrel and sliding the cylinder off what Colt describes as the ‘fulcrum pin’. 
In the patent drawings we can the outline of a rifle stock (see image #3) where the same revolving receiver could be dropped into a rifle stock. This was a concept Colt would return to numerous times with some success. Interestingly the revolver also had a spring-activated bayonet beneath the barrel, this can be seen in the photograph and in Colt’s original patent drawings above.  
The prototype revolver did not enter production, instead a further development of Colt’s ideas, the Colt-Paterson was put into production in late 1836 at the Patent Arms Company’s factory in Paterson, New Jersey. The pistol was produced until 1847 when the Patent Arms Company collapsed.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Patent Drawings Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Cutaway of the Day: Colt’s First Pistol
Samuel Colt patented his first revolver in 1836, with patents being granted in Britain and then the US.  Sometimes referred to as the Colt-Pearson, not to be confused with the later Colt-Paterson, the pistol prototype was made by a Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson in 1835 a year before Colt applied for his patents.
The pistol was chambered to fire a .28 caliber round, with six chambers milled into a small cylinder.  The pistol used a folding trigger, a feature which would again appear on the Colt-Paterson - Colt’s first commercially produced pistol.  The pistol was loaded by removing the barrel and sliding the cylinder off what Colt describes as the ‘fulcrum pin’. 
In the patent drawings we can the outline of a rifle stock (see image #3) where the same revolving receiver could be dropped into a rifle stock. This was a concept Colt would return to numerous times with some success. Interestingly the revolver also had a spring-activated bayonet beneath the barrel, this can be seen in the photograph and in Colt’s original patent drawings above.  
The prototype revolver did not enter production, instead a further development of Colt’s ideas, the Colt-Paterson was put into production in late 1836 at the Patent Arms Company’s factory in Paterson, New Jersey. The pistol was produced until 1847 when the Patent Arms Company collapsed.  
Sources:

Image One Source
Patent Drawings Source
The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)

Cutaway of the Day: Colt’s First Pistol

Samuel Colt patented his first revolver in 1836, with patents being granted in Britain and then the US.  Sometimes referred to as the Colt-Pearson, not to be confused with the later Colt-Paterson, the pistol prototype was made by a Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson in 1835 a year before Colt applied for his patents.

The pistol was chambered to fire a .28 caliber round, with six chambers milled into a small cylinder.  The pistol used a folding trigger, a feature which would again appear on the Colt-Paterson - Colt’s first commercially produced pistol.  The pistol was loaded by removing the barrel and sliding the cylinder off what Colt describes as the ‘fulcrum pin’. 

In the patent drawings we can the outline of a rifle stock (see image #3) where the same revolving receiver could be dropped into a rifle stock. This was a concept Colt would return to numerous times with some success. Interestingly the revolver also had a spring-activated bayonet beneath the barrel, this can be seen in the photograph and in Colt’s original patent drawings above.  

The prototype revolver did not enter production, instead a further development of Colt’s ideas, the Colt-Paterson was put into production in late 1836 at the Patent Arms Company’s factory in Paterson, New Jersey. The pistol was produced until 1847 when the Patent Arms Company collapsed.  

Sources:

Image One Source

Patent Drawings Source

The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)

Q

Anonymous asked:

Favourite firearms from most major categories? (Bolt action rifle, semi auto, MG, LMG, handgun etc?)

A

Tough question, the answer is always changing although there are a few certainties.  Here are the current favourites that I find most interesting. 

Bolt action rifle: The SMLE

The staple rifle of the British Army for over 70 years, serving through both World Wars and countless other conflicts it is the fastest bolt action service rifle ever made with the smoothest action.  (Posts on the SMLE here)

Semi-Automatic Rifle: Winchester Model 1907

A rifle ahead of its time, really fascinating rifle, sort of a fore runner to the M1 Carbine - which is also a fascinating semi-automatic.  Another honourable mention would be the Johnson rifle.  (Post on the M1907)

Favourite Handgun: Colt M1903 Hammerless 

The effortlessly sophisticated younger brother of the Colt 1911.  Aesthetically a really good looking pistol.  Honourable mention to the Adams Revolver and the later Webley too.  (Posts on the M1903 here)

Light Machine Gun: The Beardmore-Farquhar Light Machine Gun

A really unusual, fairly obscure LMG, came close to being adopted by the British Army instead of the Bren.  It had a few interesting features and was even tested in a .50 caliber round.  (Post on the Beardmore-Farquhar here)

Machine Gun: The Maxim Gun

Has to be the Maxim Gun, the world’s first truly automatic weapon and used by almost every major military power from 1890 to 1960.  With such widespread use and development its a fascinating weapon to look at. (Posts on the Maxim here)

I think that’s a decent list, but they’re always changing, the more I read and learn about certain firearms the more and more fascinating they get.  Thanks for the question!

(Image sources can be found on relevant posts)

Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know! Recent Recap
Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 
There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 
Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!
If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.
________________________________________________________
Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904
Webley No.5 Army Express
Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

 Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force
Dreadnoughts
The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary
Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order
Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet
Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers
Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863
President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World
Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________
If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know!

Recent Recap

Again, it’s been a little while since I did a recap, with not posting as much as I’d like (I can thank working a 55 hour week for that), I have still tried to get at least one post out a day.  So there have been lots of Quotes of the Day and quite a few Historical Trivia posts with some interesting topics like Pancho Villa’s involvement with early American cinema and the Sam Colt’s first patent.   Yesterday also saw the return of the Ordnance of the Week series looking at an experimental .90 caliber autocannon developed by Colt.  There was also a look at the wartime career of Margaret Bourke-White, the first female war correspondent. 

There have also been posts on America’s first Maxim gun,  Dreadnoughts, the Reising submachine gun, the Webley No.5 revolver and the Vickers arms company. 

Also this month Historical Firearms became changed its URL to historicalfirearms.info, a little easier to type into the address bar.
Thank you to all the people who have followed over the last couple of weeks, I hope you’re enjoying the content and thank you all for reading, liking and reblogging!

If you have any questions, suggestions feel free to send me a message here.

________________________________________________________

Firearms:

Maxim Model of 1904

Webley No.5 Army Express

Reising Submachine Gun Adverts

Ordnance Of The Week:

Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

Miscellaneous History Posts:

Margaret Bourke-White:  The First Woman to Fly on a Combat Mission with the US Air force

Dreadnoughts

The Vickers Arms Company

Historical Trivia:

Samuel Colt’s First Patent

Pancho Villa - The Media Savvy Revolutionary

Neville Chamberlain: Acclaim to Shame

Quote of the Day:

Captain John Parker, to his men at Lexington on 19th April, 1775

Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order

Major General John Burgoyne on the importance of the bayonet

Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers

Extract from the report of an officer evaluating the Gatling Gun in tests at Washington Navy Yard in May & July 1863

President Benjamin Harrison, on how the US should not act as Policeman of the World

Sir Walter Raleigh, describing the importance of naval supremacy to the creation of empire and the projection of power

____________________________________________

If you have any requests for firearms you like to see on the page then please feel free to let me know!

Ordnance Of The Week: Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941
The Experimental .90 caliber cannon was designed by engineers working for the US Ordnance Department with work beginning in 1937. There were four designs in various configurations with differing actions and feed mechanisms in development by numerous companies under the Ordnance Department’s direction concurrently, these were designated the T1 to T4, the weapon pictured above is the final incarnation, the T4.  The first three prototypes were intended to be the main armament for aircraft.  However, they were all subsequently rejected due to a variety of issues including being too heavy and suffering from slow rates of fire.  The development of these aircraft cannon designs continued concurrently until the project was discontinued in 1940.  


Cal. .90 Automatic Aircraft Cannon, Model T2, (source)

The T4, the last of the experimental cannons was also intended to be an aircraft cannon however, by 1941 when the above photographs were taken, it had been repurposed as a anti-tank weapon.  At first glance the T4 looks like a scaled up Browning .50 caliber M2 machine gun, but instead it is chambered in a huge .90 caliber or 23mm round which weighed 0.45 lbs and used a long-recoil operation similar to that used in Browning’s original 37mm Autocannon.  
With the shortcomings of the T1-3 now obvious and need for aircraft guns was mostly filled by the .50 caliber Browning Colt repurposed the T4 to fill an anti-armour role, which the .50 caliber M2 had originally been designed for twenty years earlier.  The T4 was outfitted with a 2x power telescopic sight mounted on top of the receiver, which considering the weapon’s probable recoil - even with its large recoil spring, may have been at best little use and at worst a danger to the operator.  According to the original caption of image #2 the T4 was allegedly capable of  an impressive 800 rounds per minute, a significant increase from the rates of fire listed for the earlier T-variants.  The original notes on the reverse of the photograph also described the gun as having “right or left hand feed” from a side mounted loading tray which fed from either 10-round clips or a flexible belt of  the large proprietary .90 caliber rounds    
The T4, like its cousins, was never adopted and by 1941 the average thickness of European tank armour had increased to the point where the T4 would have proved ineffective against German armour such as the Panzer IV, although it may have proved effective against thinner Japanese armour in the Pacific.  It is unclear if Colt got to the stage of testing the weapon against armour and sadly there is little information on the performance of the T4.  
Source:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
The Experimental US Cal. 90 Series Cannon, A.G. Williams, (2013) (source)
The Machine Gun: History, Evolution, and Development of Manual, Automatic, and Airborne Repeating Weapons, G. M. Chinn, (1951) (source)


For more from the ‘Ordnance of the Week’ series, which looks at heavier weapons from the humble PIAT launcher to the B61 Nuclear Bomb, click here Ordnance Of The Week: Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941
The Experimental .90 caliber cannon was designed by engineers working for the US Ordnance Department with work beginning in 1937. There were four designs in various configurations with differing actions and feed mechanisms in development by numerous companies under the Ordnance Department’s direction concurrently, these were designated the T1 to T4, the weapon pictured above is the final incarnation, the T4.  The first three prototypes were intended to be the main armament for aircraft.  However, they were all subsequently rejected due to a variety of issues including being too heavy and suffering from slow rates of fire.  The development of these aircraft cannon designs continued concurrently until the project was discontinued in 1940.  


Cal. .90 Automatic Aircraft Cannon, Model T2, (source)

The T4, the last of the experimental cannons was also intended to be an aircraft cannon however, by 1941 when the above photographs were taken, it had been repurposed as a anti-tank weapon.  At first glance the T4 looks like a scaled up Browning .50 caliber M2 machine gun, but instead it is chambered in a huge .90 caliber or 23mm round which weighed 0.45 lbs and used a long-recoil operation similar to that used in Browning’s original 37mm Autocannon.  
With the shortcomings of the T1-3 now obvious and need for aircraft guns was mostly filled by the .50 caliber Browning Colt repurposed the T4 to fill an anti-armour role, which the .50 caliber M2 had originally been designed for twenty years earlier.  The T4 was outfitted with a 2x power telescopic sight mounted on top of the receiver, which considering the weapon’s probable recoil - even with its large recoil spring, may have been at best little use and at worst a danger to the operator.  According to the original caption of image #2 the T4 was allegedly capable of  an impressive 800 rounds per minute, a significant increase from the rates of fire listed for the earlier T-variants.  The original notes on the reverse of the photograph also described the gun as having “right or left hand feed” from a side mounted loading tray which fed from either 10-round clips or a flexible belt of  the large proprietary .90 caliber rounds    
The T4, like its cousins, was never adopted and by 1941 the average thickness of European tank armour had increased to the point where the T4 would have proved ineffective against German armour such as the Panzer IV, although it may have proved effective against thinner Japanese armour in the Pacific.  It is unclear if Colt got to the stage of testing the weapon against armour and sadly there is little information on the performance of the T4.  
Source:

Image One Source
Image Two Source
The Experimental US Cal. 90 Series Cannon, A.G. Williams, (2013) (source)
The Machine Gun: History, Evolution, and Development of Manual, Automatic, and Airborne Repeating Weapons, G. M. Chinn, (1951) (source)


For more from the ‘Ordnance of the Week’ series, which looks at heavier weapons from the humble PIAT launcher to the B61 Nuclear Bomb, click here

Ordnance Of The Week: Colt anti-tank .90 caliber Automatic Weapon, 1941

The Experimental .90 caliber cannon was designed by engineers working for the US Ordnance Department with work beginning in 1937. There were four designs in various configurations with differing actions and feed mechanisms in development by numerous companies under the Ordnance Department’s direction concurrently, these were designated the T1 to T4, the weapon pictured above is the final incarnation, the T4.  The first three prototypes were intended to be the main armament for aircraft.  However, they were all subsequently rejected due to a variety of issues including being too heavy and suffering from slow rates of fire.  The development of these aircraft cannon designs continued concurrently until the project was discontinued in 1940.  

Cal. .90 Automatic Aircraft Cannon, Model T2, (source)

The T4, the last of the experimental cannons was also intended to be an aircraft cannon however, by 1941 when the above photographs were taken, it had been repurposed as a anti-tank weapon.  At first glance the T4 looks like a scaled up Browning .50 caliber M2 machine gun, but instead it is chambered in a huge .90 caliber or 23mm round which weighed 0.45 lbs and used a long-recoil operation similar to that used in Browning’s original 37mm Autocannon.  

With the shortcomings of the T1-3 now obvious and need for aircraft guns was mostly filled by the .50 caliber Browning Colt repurposed the T4 to fill an anti-armour role, which the .50 caliber M2 had originally been designed for twenty years earlier.  The T4 was outfitted with a 2x power telescopic sight mounted on top of the receiver, which considering the weapon’s probable recoil - even with its large recoil spring, may have been at best little use and at worst a danger to the operator.  According to the original caption of image #2 the T4 was allegedly capable of  an impressive 800 rounds per minute, a significant increase from the rates of fire listed for the earlier T-variants.  The original notes on the reverse of the photograph also described the gun as having “right or left hand feed” from a side mounted loading tray which fed from either 10-round clips or a flexible belt of  the large proprietary .90 caliber rounds    

The T4, like its cousins, was never adopted and by 1941 the average thickness of European tank armour had increased to the point where the T4 would have proved ineffective against German armour such as the Panzer IV, although it may have proved effective against thinner Japanese armour in the Pacific.  It is unclear if Colt got to the stage of testing the weapon against armour and sadly there is little information on the performance of the T4.  

Source:

Image One Source

Image Two Source

The Experimental US Cal. 90 Series Cannon, A.G. Williams, (2013) (source)

The Machine Gun: History, Evolution, and Development of Manual, Automatic, and Airborne Repeating Weapons, G. M. Chinn, (1951) (source)

For more from the ‘Ordnance of the Week’ series, which looks at heavier weapons from the humble PIAT launcher to the B61 Nuclear Bomb, click here

“Stand your ground. Don’t fire unless fired upon, but if they mean to have a war, let it begin here”

Captain John Parker, commander of the American militia at Lexington on 19th April, 1775, to his men before the arrival of British infantry tasked with searching for arms.  Parker took part in American attacks on the retiring British column later that day and was also present at the Siege of Boston, he died of tuberculosis on 17th September, 1775 at the aged 46.

There is some uncertainty behind authenticity of the quote as it was recounted by one of Parker’s men many years after his death.  Regardless of the origins of the quote it embodies the determination of revolutionary spirit.  Today is the 239th anniversary of the Battles of Lexington & Concord and the beginning of the American War of Independence.

Historical Trivia: Samuel Colt’s First Patent

Samuel Colt applied for his first revolving pistol patents in the United States, Britain and France during the mid 1830s.  Colt worked on his design for several years, producing wooden models and technical drawings before a working prototype was finally built for him by Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson.

Colt delayed applying for a US patent on the advice of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a family friend and the first commissioner of the US patent Office, as this would have prevented him filing patents in Britain.  Colt  travelled to Europe 1835, where the first patent for his revolving cylinder pistol was granted, not in the US but in Britain on 22nd October, 1835. It would be another four months before Colt’s design (pictured above) was granted a US patent on the 25th February, 1836.
In December 1836, Colt’s US patent was one of the thousands of original designs dating since 1790, that were lost in a devastating fire at the US Patent Office’s temporary storage at Blodgett’s Hotel in Washington, DC.  The fire saw some 10,000 patents and models lost however, luckily Colt’s patent was one of just 2,800 that were recovered.

The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Patent Drawings Source

Historical Trivia: Samuel Colt’s First Patent

Samuel Colt applied for his first revolving pistol patents in the United States, Britain and France during the mid 1830s.  Colt worked on his design for several years, producing wooden models and technical drawings before a working prototype was finally built for him by Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson.

Colt delayed applying for a US patent on the advice of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a family friend and the first commissioner of the US patent Office, as this would have prevented him filing patents in Britain.  Colt  travelled to Europe 1835, where the first patent for his revolving cylinder pistol was granted, not in the US but in Britain on 22nd October, 1835. It would be another four months before Colt’s design (pictured above) was granted a US patent on the 25th February, 1836.
In December 1836, Colt’s US patent was one of the thousands of original designs dating since 1790, that were lost in a devastating fire at the US Patent Office’s temporary storage at Blodgett’s Hotel in Washington, DC.  The fire saw some 10,000 patents and models lost however, luckily Colt’s patent was one of just 2,800 that were recovered.

The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Patent Drawings Source
Historical Trivia: Samuel Colt’s First Patent
Samuel Colt applied for his first revolving pistol patents in the United States, Britain and France during the mid 1830s.  Colt worked on his design for several years, producing wooden models and technical drawings before a working prototype was finally built for him by Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson.

Colt delayed applying for a US patent on the advice of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a family friend and the first commissioner of the US patent Office, as this would have prevented him filing patents in Britain.  Colt  travelled to Europe 1835, where the first patent for his revolving cylinder pistol was granted, not in the US but in Britain on 22nd October, 1835. It would be another four months before Colt’s design (pictured above) was granted a US patent on the 25th February, 1836.

In December 1836, Colt’s US patent was one of the thousands of original designs dating since 1790, that were lost in a devastating fire at the US Patent Office’s temporary storage at Blodgett’s Hotel in Washington, DC.  The fire saw some 10,000 patents and models lost however, luckily Colt’s patent was one of just 2,800 that were recovered.

The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)

Patent Drawings Source

Historical Trivia: Samuel Colt’s First Patent


Samuel Colt applied for his first revolving pistol patents in the United States, Britain and France during the mid 1830s.  Colt worked on his design for several years, producing wooden models and technical drawings before a working prototype was finally built for him by Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson.


Colt delayed applying for a US patent on the advice of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a family friend and the first commissioner of the US patent Office, as this would have prevented him filing patents in Britain.  Colt  travelled to Europe 1835, where the first patent for his revolving cylinder pistol was granted, not in the US but in Britain on 22nd October, 1835. It would be another four months before Colt’s design (pictured above) was granted a US patent on the 25th February, 1836.
In December 1836, Colt’s US patent was one of the thousands of original designs dating since 1790, that were lost in a devastating fire at the US Patent Office’s temporary storage at Blodgett’s Hotel in Washington, DC.  The fire saw some 10,000 patents and models lost however, luckily Colt’s patent was one of just 2,800 that were recovered.


The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Patent Drawings Source

Historical Trivia: Samuel Colt’s First Patent


Samuel Colt applied for his first revolving pistol patents in the United States, Britain and France during the mid 1830s.  Colt worked on his design for several years, producing wooden models and technical drawings before a working prototype was finally built for him by Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson.


Colt delayed applying for a US patent on the advice of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a family friend and the first commissioner of the US patent Office, as this would have prevented him filing patents in Britain.  Colt  travelled to Europe 1835, where the first patent for his revolving cylinder pistol was granted, not in the US but in Britain on 22nd October, 1835. It would be another four months before Colt’s design (pictured above) was granted a US patent on the 25th February, 1836.
In December 1836, Colt’s US patent was one of the thousands of original designs dating since 1790, that were lost in a devastating fire at the US Patent Office’s temporary storage at Blodgett’s Hotel in Washington, DC.  The fire saw some 10,000 patents and models lost however, luckily Colt’s patent was one of just 2,800 that were recovered.


The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)
Patent Drawings Source
Historical Trivia: Samuel Colt’s First Patent

Samuel Colt applied for his first revolving pistol patents in the United States, Britain and France during the mid 1830s.  Colt worked on his design for several years, producing wooden models and technical drawings before a working prototype was finally built for him by Baltimore gunsmith John Pearson.

Colt delayed applying for a US patent on the advice of Henry Leavitt Ellsworth, a family friend and the first commissioner of the US patent Office, as this would have prevented him filing patents in Britain.  Colt  travelled to Europe 1835, where the first patent for his revolving cylinder pistol was granted, not in the US but in Britain on 22nd October, 1835. It would be another four months before Colt’s design (pictured above) was granted a US patent on the 25th February, 1836.

In December 1836, Colt’s US patent was one of the thousands of original designs dating since 1790, that were lost in a devastating fire at the US Patent Office’s temporary storage at Blodgett’s Hotel in Washington, DC.  The fire saw some 10,000 patents and models lost however, luckily Colt’s patent was one of just 2,800 that were recovered.

The Handgun Story, J. Walter (2008)

Patent Drawings Source

“I do not see in religion the mystery of the incarnation so much as the mystery of the social order. It introduces into the thought of heaven an idea of equalization, which saves the rich from being massacred by the poor.”
Napoleon, on the use of religion in maintaining social order.  Often paraphrased asReligion is what keeps the poor from killing the rich.’
Historical Trivia: First Formation Flight Over The Channel
On 13th August 1914 the first large formation flight across the English Channel took place.  Three squadrons from the British Royal Flying Corps comprising some 60 aircraft crossed the channel flying from Dover to Boulogne before flying inland to meet the British Expeditionary Force at Amiens.   
The Royal Flying Corps had formed in 1912 and by 1914 was comprised of seven squadrons.    Of these seven only four were equipped with aircraft by 1914 the remainder were observation balloon squadrons.  The aircraft equipped 2, 3, and 4 Squadrons were ordered across the channel in early August to act in an aerial reconnaissance role for the BEF.  These squadrons were equipped with the Avro 504 and the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, both of which were unarmed biplanes.  The Royal Flying Corps began combat operations on the 19th August 1914 flying its first reconnaissance mission.  By the end of the war the Corps had expanded from those first three squadrons to around 150 squadrons and been renamed the Royal Air Force.

Avro 504 (source)
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (source)
Historical Trivia: First Formation Flight Over The Channel
On 13th August 1914 the first large formation flight across the English Channel took place.  Three squadrons from the British Royal Flying Corps comprising some 60 aircraft crossed the channel flying from Dover to Boulogne before flying inland to meet the British Expeditionary Force at Amiens.   
The Royal Flying Corps had formed in 1912 and by 1914 was comprised of seven squadrons.    Of these seven only four were equipped with aircraft by 1914 the remainder were observation balloon squadrons.  The aircraft equipped 2, 3, and 4 Squadrons were ordered across the channel in early August to act in an aerial reconnaissance role for the BEF.  These squadrons were equipped with the Avro 504 and the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, both of which were unarmed biplanes.  The Royal Flying Corps began combat operations on the 19th August 1914 flying its first reconnaissance mission.  By the end of the war the Corps had expanded from those first three squadrons to around 150 squadrons and been renamed the Royal Air Force.

Avro 504 (source)
Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (source)

Historical Trivia: First Formation Flight Over The Channel

On 13th August 1914 the first large formation flight across the English Channel took place.  Three squadrons from the British Royal Flying Corps comprising some 60 aircraft crossed the channel flying from Dover to Boulogne before flying inland to meet the British Expeditionary Force at Amiens.   

The Royal Flying Corps had formed in 1912 and by 1914 was comprised of seven squadrons.    Of these seven only four were equipped with aircraft by 1914 the remainder were observation balloon squadrons.  The aircraft equipped 2, 3, and 4 Squadrons were ordered across the channel in early August to act in an aerial reconnaissance role for the BEF.  These squadrons were equipped with the Avro 504 and the Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2, both of which were unarmed biplanes.  The Royal Flying Corps began combat operations on the 19th August 1914 flying its first reconnaissance mission.  By the end of the war the Corps had expanded from those first three squadrons to around 150 squadrons and been renamed the Royal Air Force.

Avro 504 (source)

Royal Aircraft Factory B.E.2 (source)

“The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools.”

Lieutenant-General Sir William Francis Butler, on the importance of intelligence in both scholars and soldiers.  

Although the quote is often attributed to the 4th century BC Greek philosopher Thucydides it was in fact first written by Butler, a British general who rose to prominence during Britain’s colonial campaigns in Africa during the late 19th century.

Machine Carbine, Experimental Model No.2 (MCEM 2)
Like BSA’s EMC 1949 the MCEM 2 manufactured by Enfield was one of several attempts to design a new submachine gun to replace the STEN for the British military.  Like the EMC the Machine Carbine, Experimental Model 2 (MCEM 2) had some revolutionary design features.  
The MCEM 2 was designed by a Polish emigre, Lieutenant Jerzy Podsędkowski working at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield  during the late 1940s.   It featured one of the first uses of a telescopic bolt, this dramatically shortened the length of the weapon by having part of the bolt surround the breech and part of the gun’s barrel rather than have the bolt behind the breech. 
The MCEM 2 was one of a series of experimental submachine guns developed by Enfield.  This series included the MCEM 1 designed by Harold Turpin, co-designer of the STEN gun, and a slightly more conventional design the MCEM 3.  There may have been up to as many as six MCEM designs.
The MCEM 2 fed from an 18-round box magazine which was loaded through the weapon’s pistol grip.  This feature coupled with the MCEM 2’s telescopic bolt are both also seen in the Uzi which was designed several years later.
The MCEM 2’s small size made it more of a machine pistol than a submachine gun, with its shoulder stock able to double as a canvas holster.  The grip magazine housing gave the short submachine gun stability making it easy to handle one handed.  The MCEM 2 would have made an excellent side arm for mobile troops, tank & crews - perhaps issued instead of a pistol or carbine.  
Chambered in 9mm and weighing just 2.5kg the MCEM 2 used a blowback action with the striker positioned at the rear of the receiver with a small portion of the bolt to the rear of the breech and the rest surrounding the barrel.   The initial prototypes cycled at approximately 1000 rounds-per-minute which would have emptied the 18-round magazine in under three seconds.  Attempts were made to lower the cycle rate with one prototype averaging a more manageable 700 rounds-per-minute.  However, due to this high rate of fire and the unusual design a more conventional design was eventually chosen, the Sterling Submachine Gun.  The MCEM 2’s revolutionary design would later be copied or at least influence later successful telescopic bolt designs like the Uzi. 

Image Source One
Image Source Two
Machine Carbine, Experimental Model No.2 (MCEM 2)
Like BSA’s EMC 1949 the MCEM 2 manufactured by Enfield was one of several attempts to design a new submachine gun to replace the STEN for the British military.  Like the EMC the Machine Carbine, Experimental Model 2 (MCEM 2) had some revolutionary design features.  
The MCEM 2 was designed by a Polish emigre, Lieutenant Jerzy Podsędkowski working at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield  during the late 1940s.   It featured one of the first uses of a telescopic bolt, this dramatically shortened the length of the weapon by having part of the bolt surround the breech and part of the gun’s barrel rather than have the bolt behind the breech. 
The MCEM 2 was one of a series of experimental submachine guns developed by Enfield.  This series included the MCEM 1 designed by Harold Turpin, co-designer of the STEN gun, and a slightly more conventional design the MCEM 3.  There may have been up to as many as six MCEM designs.
The MCEM 2 fed from an 18-round box magazine which was loaded through the weapon’s pistol grip.  This feature coupled with the MCEM 2’s telescopic bolt are both also seen in the Uzi which was designed several years later.
The MCEM 2’s small size made it more of a machine pistol than a submachine gun, with its shoulder stock able to double as a canvas holster.  The grip magazine housing gave the short submachine gun stability making it easy to handle one handed.  The MCEM 2 would have made an excellent side arm for mobile troops, tank & crews - perhaps issued instead of a pistol or carbine.  
Chambered in 9mm and weighing just 2.5kg the MCEM 2 used a blowback action with the striker positioned at the rear of the receiver with a small portion of the bolt to the rear of the breech and the rest surrounding the barrel.   The initial prototypes cycled at approximately 1000 rounds-per-minute which would have emptied the 18-round magazine in under three seconds.  Attempts were made to lower the cycle rate with one prototype averaging a more manageable 700 rounds-per-minute.  However, due to this high rate of fire and the unusual design a more conventional design was eventually chosen, the Sterling Submachine Gun.  The MCEM 2’s revolutionary design would later be copied or at least influence later successful telescopic bolt designs like the Uzi. 

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Machine Carbine, Experimental Model No.2 (MCEM 2)

Like BSA’s EMC 1949 the MCEM 2 manufactured by Enfield was one of several attempts to design a new submachine gun to replace the STEN for the British military.  Like the EMC the Machine Carbine, Experimental Model 2 (MCEM 2) had some revolutionary design features.  

The MCEM 2 was designed by a Polish emigre, Lieutenant Jerzy Podsędkowski working at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield  during the late 1940s.   It featured one of the first uses of a telescopic bolt, this dramatically shortened the length of the weapon by having part of the bolt surround the breech and part of the gun’s barrel rather than have the bolt behind the breech. 

The MCEM 2 was one of a series of experimental submachine guns developed by Enfield.  This series included the MCEM 1 designed by Harold Turpin, co-designer of the STEN gun, and a slightly more conventional design the MCEM 3.  There may have been up to as many as six MCEM designs.

The MCEM 2 fed from an 18-round box magazine which was loaded through the weapon’s pistol grip.  This feature coupled with the MCEM 2’s telescopic bolt are both also seen in the Uzi which was designed several years later.

The MCEM 2’s small size made it more of a machine pistol than a submachine gun, with its shoulder stock able to double as a canvas holster.  The grip magazine housing gave the short submachine gun stability making it easy to handle one handed.  The MCEM 2 would have made an excellent side arm for mobile troops, tank & crews - perhaps issued instead of a pistol or carbine.  

Chambered in 9mm and weighing just 2.5kg the MCEM 2 used a blowback action with the striker positioned at the rear of the receiver with a small portion of the bolt to the rear of the breech and the rest surrounding the barrel.   The initial prototypes cycled at approximately 1000 rounds-per-minute which would have emptied the 18-round magazine in under three seconds.  Attempts were made to lower the cycle rate with one prototype averaging a more manageable 700 rounds-per-minute.  However, due to this high rate of fire and the unusual design a more conventional design was eventually chosen, the Sterling Submachine Gun.  The MCEM 2’s revolutionary design would later be copied or at least influence later successful telescopic bolt designs like the Uzi. 

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Quick Update

I’m currently working on a few long form posts which I’m looking forward to posting and I’ve been working on a few site related things including a slight (but cool) url change and enabling google’s automatic page translation - so if your native language isn’t english and you use google chrome it should now give you the option to translate the whole site!  Pretty cool.