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7.62mm Rifle L8: The Last Gasp of the Service Lee Enfield

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After the British adopted the FAL as the L1A1 rifle, there was still an interest in converting stocks of existing No4 Enfield rifles to the new 7.62x51mm cartridge for reserve and training use. A conversion system was developed using a new barrel, bolt, and magazine – although the Sterling company was doing much the same thing at the same time and intellectual property lawsuits would close the project for nearly 10 years. By the time the lawsuits cleared up, it had become clear that the rifles were neither particularly successful nor particularly necessary anymore. The problem the British has was one of accuracy – the 7.62mm version just wasn’t sufficiently accurate. A thousand were sold to Sierra Leone, and a few more used in New Zealand and by cadet organizations in the UK, but the project was basically a failure.

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