• “Khyber Pass” Lee-Enfield No.I Mk.III* Rifle

    “Khyber Pass” Lee-Enfield No.I Mk.III* Rifle

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    (Click PIC to Enlarge)



    Caliber: ....................... .303 in., more or less
    Rifling & Twist: ............. 5 groove, rate varies a bit
    Barrel Length: .............. 25.6 in.
    Overall Length: ............ 44.5 in.
    Weight: ....................... 8 lb.
    Magazine Capacity: ...... 10 rounds
    Qty Mfg: ...................... Unknown


    “Khyber Pass” Lee-Enfield No.I Mk.III* Rifle

    (30 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: by Steve H. in N.Y.

    The Khyber Pass is a border region between Afghanistan and Pakistan known for it’s local weapons industry, notably the often crude manufacture of copies of well known firearms including Lee-Enfield rifles. These “KP Special” Enfields were fairly rare here in the USA until 2007 when a quantity were imported, then they turned up in dealers’ racks and on several web sites. Unfortunately, the rifles were not always advertised as what they really were with their false markings, dubious quality and general unsuitability for firing live ammunition.

    The rifle that I bought (knowing full well what it was) is a hand made copy of a Lee-Enfield No.I Mk.III*. From a few feet away it looks like just another well worn SMLE but a closer inspection begins to raise one’s eyebrows. It would be tedious for me to describe each and every flaw-there’s something wrong with everything. I’ve tried to show some of the highlights (?) in the accompanying photos and I’ll add a short list of additional items.

    - The receiver is 3/16" too short and the barrel is 1/4" too long so it almost evens out.
    - The gas relief hole was drilled too far forward and is completely blocked by the back end of the barrel.
    - Breeching up leaves something to be desired-the barrel points to the left a couple of degrees.
    - The backsight ramp is about .080" too low, making the yardage markings just a dream.
    - The nose cap will accept a bayonet but it hangs very low.
    - Nothing is truly straight, round or square and measurements between, into or around anything are not “within spec.”

    As with many of the other rifles from this batch that I’ve seen, the right side of the butt socket has been roughly ground down and hand stamped markings have been added indicating manufacture in the early 1900's. My guess is that the original marks were much later (maybe post WWII?) and this was an attempt to make the things more attractive to the tourist market. All in all I consider this rifle a “pretty cool” addition to my small collection. It’s a good conversation starter. My friends are impressed. I wouldn’t fire it on a bet.


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    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

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    This article was originally published in forum thread: “Khyber Pass” Lee-Enfield No.I Mk.III* Rifle started by Badger View original post
    Comments 3 Comments
    1. eiclan's Avatar
      This can only be described as an" ESO" that's an Enfield shaped object.Would love to have one though. Cheers Ross
    1. rightcoast's Avatar
      Great info...my dad served "the empire" pre, and during WWII as a Sgt. Major with the Cameronian Scottish rifles. They were stationed in the then, north-west frontier of India, now Pakistan. Patrolling the Khyber pass and surrounding country was their mandate. Pashtun tribesmen proved to be too much for the empire, they persisted in stealing explosives, planting them on the side of roads and trails, and killing foreign troops...sound familiar? The rifle of the day was the venerable N01MKIII. Now if we had more advanced weapons, and smarter leaders we could....oh wait...nah...forget it.
    1. Hounddogman2's Avatar
      O M G never laughed so hard for a long time thanks for sharing.
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