Skip to main content

Lee Enfield No. 4(T) Sniper Rifle

Lee Enfield No. 4(T) Sniper Rifle
A British sniper takes aim with his No. 4 Mk. 1 (T) sniper rifle which was arguably the best sniper rifle of the war.

While some wartime German, Soviet and American World War II sniper rifles received accuracy enhancing modifications, the majority were actually rather stock. Often simply rack grade rifles selected during their initial test firing for conversion to sniper rifles. The conversion from infantry rifle to sniper rifle usually consisted of nothing more than mounting an optic. The British method was rather different. After No. 4 Lee Enfield rifles were selected for their accuracy they were shipped to the world famous gunsmiths of Holland & Holland. There they were carefully rebedded to improve accuracy. In addition they were carefully fitted with scope pads, a wooden cheekrest, third sling swivel in front of the magazine and a 3.5x scope in a one-piece mount.

The end result was perhaps the best sniper rifle of World War II, the Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk.1 (T). Why was the (T) a great rifle in its day? For a few important reasons. While the Lee Enfield action is often looked down upon for its rear locking lugs, it proved a tough and very reliable piece in actual combat. Not only that but the combination of cock on closing, 60 degree bolt rotation, short bolt throw and 10 round magazine provided a very high rate of fire. This ability to rapidly engage multiple targets was an advantage. Plus unlike all of its competition the (T) had a wooden cheekrest added to provide a proper cheekweld. While seemingly small, this was a very important addition to the design which made the rifle easier to shoot consistently. Unlike its American counter-parts ‘commercial off the shelf’ solutions, the (T) was fitted with an honest to God military grade scope. This, unlike its German adversaries, featured proper windage adjustments in the optic. Although the (T)’s mounting system wasn’t as elaborate as some of the German systems, it was much better suited for hard military use.

Lee Enfield No. 4(T) Sniper Rifle
Sniper Sergeant Harold A. Marshall of the Canadian Calgary Highlanders’ Scout and Sniper Platoon is seen here with his No. 4 Mk. 1 (T) sniper rifle, Denison smock, Mills bomb and Kukri. Photo courtesy Canadian Defense Force.

The only drawbacks to the No. 4 (T) was its rimmed .303 cartridge and low magnification optic. The cartridge was a hold-over from the black powder days of the 19th Century. Even so its 174 grain Mk VII ball load exhibited acceptable exterior ballistics, excellent penetration of intermediate barriers and very good terminal performance with an early yaw cycle. The 3.5x scope had a large Exit Pupil and fairly wide FOV but lacked magnification for target identification and engagement at longer distances.

Even so the Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1 (T) performed so well it remained standard issue long after Japan’s surrender. It was eventually rechambered to 7.62x51mm NATO and rebuilt into what became known as the L42A1 and soldiered on in the British Army until finally put out to pasture in the 1980s. While the No. 4 (T) wouldn’t be my first choice for competition or hunting, I would certainly choose it over its peers for its intended purpose.


Lee Enfield No. 4 Mk. 1 (T) Specifications

  • Action Type: Manual rotating bolt with rear locking lugs
  • Caliber: .303 British
  • Capacity: 10 round detachable box magazine
  • Barrel: 25 inches 1-10 inch twist
  • Overall Length: 44.5 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds without optic
  • Stock: hardwood
  • Finish: Enamel over phosphate
  • Trigger: standard military two-stage
  • Iron Sights: Protected post front, micrometer rear graduated to 1,300 yards
  • Optical sight: 3.5x No. 32 Telescope Mks 1 through 3 

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Recommended Articles

See More Recommendations

Popular Videos

See More Popular Videos

Trending Articles

Unless Democrats rescind their proposed Gun Issuing Board, threats and anti-rights promises don't matterGun Control Speeches at DNC Misleading 2nd Amendment

Gun Control Speeches at DNC Misleading

JPFO - August 21, 2020

Unless Democrats rescind their proposed Gun Issuing Board, threats and anti-rights promises...

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class Competition and USPSA Production/Carry Optics Classifications.WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA Handguns

WCP320 Pistol Now Legal for IDPA and USPSA

Firearms News Staff - August 14, 2020

The Wilson Combat-SIG Sauer WCP320 pistol is now legal for IDPA Stock Service Pistol Class...

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous Soros-backed St. Louis prosecutor, are slated to speak at next week's Republican National Convention.McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC 2nd Amendment

McCloskey's In the Limelight: Speaking at Next Week's RNC

Mark Chesnut - August 21, 2020

Mark and Patricia McCloskey, the targets of an unwarranted prosecution by an overzealous...

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you may want to consider SIG Sauer's P365.Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun? Handguns

Is SIG Sauer's P365 9mm the Perfect Carry Gun?

David M. Fortier - August 16, 2020

More and more people are choosing to carry a handgun for personal protection, here is why you...

See More Trending Articles

More Rifles

The Savage Rascal Red, White, & Blue is dressed in an American flag camo pattern that creates a colorful homage to Old Glory, making this the perfect fit for patriotic young shooters.Savage Arms Red, White and Blue Rascal Rifle Rifles

Savage Arms Red, White and Blue Rascal Rifle

Firearms News Staff - July 04, 2020

The Savage Rascal Red, White, & Blue is dressed in an American flag camo pattern that creates...

Anarchy Outdoors has introduced a series of upgrades for the T/C Compass and Venture rifles.Anarchy Outdoors Introduces Upgrades For T/C Compass and Venture Rifles Rifles

Anarchy Outdoors Introduces Upgrades For T/C Compass and Venture Rifles

Firearms News Staff - August 22, 2020

Anarchy Outdoors has introduced a series of upgrades for the T/C Compass and Venture rifles.

Introduced in late 2018, the SIG M400 TREAD is still one of the two best AR-­15s on the market priced under $1,000.SIG Sauer M400 TREAD Rifle Review Rifles

SIG Sauer M400 TREAD Rifle Review

James Tarr - June 10, 2020

Introduced in late 2018, the SIG M400 TREAD is still one of the two best AR-­15s on the market...

Savage introduces the Minimalist, a distinctly different take on the classic rimfire design.Savage Arms' Minimalist Rifles Redefine Rimfire Rifles

Savage Arms' Minimalist Rifles Redefine Rimfire

Firearms News Staff - June 07, 2020

Savage introduces the Minimalist, a distinctly different take on the classic rimfire design.

See More Rifles

Magazine Cover

GET THE MAGAZINE Subscribe & Save

Digital Now Included!

SUBSCRIBE NOW

Give a Gift   |   Subscriber Services

PREVIEW OUR CURRENT ISSUE Arrow

Other Magazines

Special Interest Magazines

See All Special Interest Magazines

GET THE NEWSLETTER Join the List and Never Miss a Thing.

Phone Icon

Get Digital Access.

All Firearms News subscribers now have digital access to their magazine content. This means you have the option to read your magazine on most popular phones and tablets.

To get started, click the link below to visit mymagnow.com and learn how to access your digital magazine.

Get Digital Access

Not a Subscriber?
Subscribe Now