I cannot look at a .303 SMLE (Short, Magazine, Lee-Enfield) without having the stereotypical image of an Indian constable pop to mind — overweight, disillusioned, possibly a trifle dishonest, but often brave when it counts the most. If he’s armed, there’s a good chance that he carries a .303 SMLE. You may have seen him on the street, at the airport, railway station, so many places. In my mind’s eye, he treats his rifle as though it is unloaded; I also suspect that it wouldn’t pass a thorough arms inspection.
The constable’s SMLE was one of the 20th century’s outstanding military rifles and surely the one with the longest service record. Continue reading