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“Jungle Carbine” – the Lee Enfield No5 MkI Rifle

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Today I am concluding our series on the standard-issue Lee Enfield system with the No5 MkI – the “jungle carbine”. Developed in 1943 as a shorter and handier pattenr of rifle than the No4, the carbine went into production in 1944 and saw use during World War Two. It featured a number of lightening cuts, as well as a shortened barrel, conical flash hider, side-mounted sling, 800-yard sights, and rubber buttpad. Unfortunately, the No5 was beset by a problem of “wandering zero”. A significant number of the rifles failed to properly hold zero when they were widely issued. The problem was never fully resolved, but appears to have been the result of receiver flex due to the lightening cuts. Efforts to fix it were essentially abandoned, as it was recognized that a new self-loading rifle was going to be adopted soon, and it would be a waste of time and money to continue development of the Lee Enfield by that point.

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