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The Last Lee Enfield: the L42A1 Sniper

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When the British military adopted the FAL (L1A1 SLR) in 1960, they adopted the 7.62x51mm NATO cartridge along with it. While the Brens guns were converted to the new cartridge, efforts at converting the Lee Enfield into a precision rifle were not successful t the time. However, civilian target shooters and the British NRA would work on perfecting that conversion for use in competition, and would ultimately produce very accurate 7.62mm rifles built on Lee Enfield actions – accurate enough that the military took notice. Copying the competition rifles, the British military would adopt the L42A1 in 1970, an Enfield action converted to 7.62mm NATO with a shortened and free-floated stock and hand guard and a heavy profile barrel. A total of 1,080 L42A1 rifles would be converted from existing No4 MkI(T) sniper rifles, and they would serve in the front lines of the British military until 1992, when they were replaced by the Accuracy International L96A1.

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