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Lee-Speed Military Model Commercial Enfield

In 1892, just a few years after the British military adopted the Lee-Metford rifle, the BSA and LSA factories began offering several configurations on the civilian/commercial market. They would produce them all the way into the 1930s, with your choice of Metford or Enfield rifling, and in Sporting, Trade, or Military/Target configurations. The Lee-Speed name comes from the patents used in the rifles – James Paris Lee for the magazine, and Joseph Speed for several improvements to the bolt and magazine. Speed was an employee of the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield, and was instrumental in the development and adoption of the Lee rifles.

This particular example is a Military/Target rifle, of the Lee-Enfield MkII pattern. Note the safety lever on the cocking piece, the Martini style rear sight, and the magazine chained to the trigger guard assembly. When they haven’t been sporterized, the Lee-Speed military pattern rifles are a great time capsule of British rifle design. Military rifles were generally updated as new patterns were adopted, while these civilian guns were not.

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