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WW1 LEE ENFIELD P14 RIFLE AND BAYONET, 1914
The P14 was based on an earlier P13, which used a .276inch round, it was an attempt to improve on the Enfield Mk3. The P13 had undesirable elements that were ironed out in the new weapon, its barrel being good enough to be used for Sniping and some were fitted with scope attachments.
Not adopted by the British Army ( the Enfield Mk3 was considered better than had been realised), all stocks of the weapon were sent to America where production continued by several different manufacturers to prop up production of their Springfield 1903 rifle and used by American troops during WW1, as they did not have time to prepare for more Springfield’s as they entered the War in Europe.
During WW2 some were purchased for the Local Defence Volunteers (Home Guard) after being reconditioned, taking off the Dial sights and the rear aperture sight before release (Weedon repair standard). The P13 used the .276 round and the P14 the .303inch round The P17 also supplied used the 30-06 not the standard .303 round currently in use, these rifles were marked with a red band.
The P14 is charger loading only i,e, the magazine is integral and cannot be removed, rounds are inserted straight from the clip into the top of the rifle. This weapon is the American issue with all its original sights intact, and made by Remington in the USA. Complete with Bayonet Item A0395 .
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- The corrections are correct but incomplete. P13 was .276 experimental rifle due to replace the SMLE which failed to perform well against the Mauser 1898 in the second Boer war. There was not time to develop it prior to WWI starting. So it was converted to chamber .303 British. Instead of retooling UK factories already at max production with the SMLE the contract was sent to USA and the P14 was made there FOR the British by Eddiston, Remington and Winchester. It served mainly in a Sniper role in WWI due to better accuracy than the SMLE. It was only made from mid 1916 to mid 1917 when the US converted it to 30-06 for there own troops and called it the M1917. By 1918 75% of US troops had the M1917 - it was their main battle rifle of WWI (not the springfield 1903 as oft thought). British P14s were sold after the war - 35,000 went to Estonia as aid to help them win independence over Soviet Russia. The Estonians continued to use P14s - mainly in the sniper role until the soviet invasion of 1940 when they were mostly destroyed. At the same time the UK bought back around 350,000 mostly to supply the Home Guard. It is worth noting - the final version of the Lee Enfield the No4 combines the best features of the SMLE and P14.
.......... Alastair Hennessy, Lempaala, Finland, 25th of February 2013
- The Pattern '14 rifle was adopted by the British army, although not for front line troops. Some were used for training in WWI and many were issued in WW2.
The Pattern '14 rifle was made in America on British contract, not sent to America as you state. Approximately 1.2 million were made until the contracts were cancelled in 1917 and production changed over to the model 1917 in .30 inch calibre for the U.S. Army.
.......... Tony Edwards, Lomdon, U.K., 14th of May 2012
- One thing about the Calibers of the weapon, the P13 was in .276 and the P14 was in .303inch. The American version was the M1917 and was in Cal .30. I have both a P14 and M1917 and shoot both regularly.
.......... Chuck McClurg, Carson City, Nevada, U.S.A., 29th of November 2009