The Field



In reference to Jonathan Ferguson’s article [Longevity of the Lee-enfield rifle, October issue], pictured is a 1942 Leeenfield No 4 Mk 2 customised by a local gunsmith here in Newfoundla­nd. It is equipped with an adjustable stock, pistol grip and Zeiss 4x7x32 scope. I have used it on several successful hunting trips and it is only this year that the Canadian Rangers replaced their longservin­g Lee-enfields with the new Tikka T3x Arctic.

Readers wanting to broaden their sporting horizons should consider Newfoundla­nd as a easily accessible destinatio­n providing exceptiona­l fishing and hunting, and four hours by direct flight from Heathrow. Toby Simpson

Harbour Main, Newfoundla­nd I read with interest your article on the SMLE. As is usual for Jonathan Ferguson, it is a wellresear­ched, interestin­g piece in an accessible style.

I have just returned from a stint working in Nkhotakota Wildlife Reserve in Malawi.

The Rangers there use a variety of weapons on their patrols: M16; M4; game rifles and, surprising­ly, around 20 Leeenfield variants. The majority were from 1940-41, the oldest dated 1938. They are SMLE and No 4s, produced in the UK.

Their actions were all in good working order and felt much more satisfying than the M16. However, a number were lacking rear sights and/ or foresight blades. On top of this, most probably hadn’t been cleaned since the end of the Second World War.

In spite of the sighting issues, the Rangers appreciate­d the stopping power of the .303 Leeenfield and rated the weapon highly. Perhaps these are the last still in active service? I would be fascinated to hear of other active weapons.

Alex Wilson, by email

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