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Here is a quote from the new Lee Enfield Rifle book by Ian Skennerton -

"During 2005, orders were placed for some more converted 7.62 mm L42A1 sniper rifles. Comparative tests were being conducted with the new sniper issue Accuracy International and Parker Hale M82, using a 7.62 mm L42A1 as a control rifle. These followed complaints regarding sand and fine grit fouling the sniper rifles. Not surprisingly, the L42A1 out-performed the other two rifles and in view of the problems encountered with sand in the Iraq environment it was a more reliable proposition.

The result was a further batch of newly converted L42A1 rifles was ordered for service in the Middle East. However, the earlier L1A1 scope, ex-No.32, had been superseded. The L13A1 scope for the L96 rifle, a Schmidt & Bender 6 x 42 mm, was fitted onto new hand-made mounts for the revised L42A1. A batch of 50 each, new L42A1 rifles was reportedly ordered for the Royal marines and the Parachute Regiment, with another smaller lot for the Special Air Service, a few dozen units. So the renowned Enfield was once again in front line service.

The Royal Air Force is also still using .22-in. No.8 trainers along with the L85A1, their .303-in. No.4 modified to DP standard only recently replaced."

This could be a case of a rile superseeding a rifle that superseeded it. - Think about it !!!
 

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I love my .303s. But my converted Enfields to 7.62 are the best. Just bought number four this week with a lead on another two. Can understand why the British military still place such faith in them.
 

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This interesting view comes from another forum regarding this very topic. It comes from Peter Laidler.


Re: Finding an L42A1

Posted By: Peter Laidler <Send E-Mail>
Date: Sun 16 Sept 2007 9:01 am

In Response To: Re: Finding an L42A1 (Brian Dick)

"Let me put the matter of whether the long obsolete L42 sniper rifle is making a comaback in the UK Armed Forces. But first, lets put my ducks in line. I am probably the most senior Armourer within the British Military system and have been one since I started, as a boy soldier in 1963. I am not at liberty to tell you exactly where in the UK Military small arms system I am employed but rest assured, it is well within the epicentre.

I can tell you, straight from the horses mouth, that contrary to what you have read elsewhere, written by whomever, in whatever book(s) that the L42 rifle is obsolete in the British Army. All stocks (except those eretained for historical and academic interest/purposes) have been disposed of. There are, nor have there ever been plans to reintroduce into our order of battle, the L42 or any other long obsolete bit of kit back into service.

Let me just ask you one or two pertinent questions you need to ask those, who probably know more about the Brith order of battle better than I. Who is teaching the Armourers the lost art of simply fitting a fore-end to the L42? If it is not me, then just WHO has sanctioned the re-writing and re-issue of the technical instructions for the rifle. Just WHO, if it is not the Infantry directorate, has sanctioned the publication and re-issue of the user instructions. And last but not least, just WHO is teaching those would be L42 snipers to shoot the 'new' rifle. I can tell you this ....., it's no-one at the sniper school. Maybe you can tell me so I can tell them! To put your mind at rest, I have asked those people and nobody knows. That's strange isn't it

So let me sum up for those living in fairyland, who are STILL convinced that the L42 rifle is being reintroduced into service. IT IS NOT"

Any other views?
 

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Jeez Chargerclip , You kept the lead on the other 7.62 No4's quiet from me didn't you??
 

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Just bought the book so I'll be on the look out for that quote!
Found it page 264, well its accurate in the fact that it is hearsay rather than recorded. I have former colleagues in and I'll ask them!
 

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I would say.. and I have read this on the other board, that the search for the truth would pretty much stop for me with a post like this from Peter Laidler. Does anyone know someone closer to the center of British Armorers than Mr. Laidler ?

David
 

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Ian Skennerton's response

Check out the Bulletin page at www.skennerton.com

Why on earth make new L42A1 155gn ammunition at Radway Green in May of 2004, if the rifle was indeed long out of service?

Was the Royal Paratroop Regiment sniper I spoke to at Jeremy Tenniswood's shop in Colchester in November 2006 lying?

Was Allan David (an NZ researcher) who saw the new L42A1 with Schmit & Bender 6x scope at Bisley, imagining things as well?

Was the gunsmith at Fulton's who described the hand-made mounts for the scope and their fitting, on halucinating drugs?

And was the Army armaments technical officer at Bisley who provided the details on how many new L42A1 rifles were set up for the Paras, Marines & SAS, imagining things as well?

Efforts from one particular quarter to discredit my research has happened before... and it was discredited. I stand by my sources and archives.

Enjoy the knowledge!
 

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I know I'm just an ugly American, but...

Is it possible that the reintroduction of the L42A1 is being conducted within the Australian armed forces, whereas Laidler refers to British (proper) forces? Bisley is in Australia, right? Doesn't explain why RG would be making the ammo, unless it's just 7.62 NATO ammo that is used in other sniper rifles. Dunno where Colchester is...
 

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The L42A1 ammo is just a batch number - coincidentally the same as the old rifle designation. In fact the ammo is now L42A3.

RG makes this 155gn ammo because it is still the standard ammo in the L96 (AI) sniper rifle; the ammo is also commercially available and is the stuff used in large quantities for Bisley competitions.

L42s fitted with S&B scopes were used briefly by the army and Royal Marines, and a couple of L42 sets have surfaced with the relevant bracket & scope. They were a "UOR" (urgent operational requirement) which means they were effectively a "local purchase" and never part of the official supply chain - which is why they never appear in L42 manuals.

As Peter Laidler argues, anyone with the slightest knowledge of UK MoD would find it inconceivable that the L42 would make a re-appearance; there are no stocks of receivers or parts, no Enfield factories, no trained armourers, no record of test & evaluation through the procurement system, etc, etc.

Great rumour though....!
 

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At this point in time, with all due respect for Skennerton, I'm going with Laidler on this one.

From an armourers perspective, taking onto account the intricacies of stocking up procedures of Enfield actions it would be far more cost effective to use one of the commercial platforms to build a 7.62 sniper rifle nowdays.

Our Army did it thirty years ago when they trialled several different rifles before deciding on the Parker Hale.

A largish percentage of the civilian shooting population spends more money trying to get every shot through the same hole than the defence budget could ever allow. Why would you not tap this resource?
 

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I would say.. and I have read this on the other board, that the search for the truth would pretty much stop for me with a post like this from Peter Laidler. Does anyone know someone closer to the center of British Armorers than Mr. Laidler ?

David
Until I read Laidler's self praise post I didn't know he was one step short of Beatification. I'd want a bit more independant evidence before committing myself to the word of an ex army brat (I'm an ex RAF brat & I don't profess to know the inner workings of the MoD).

Sprog
 

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L42A3

Here's a pic of the latest batch to back up the fact that the L42A1 designation was just a coincidence.

Cheers,
Simon.
 

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If these rifles are actually fact and see service in the current conflict's,then at some stage there are likely to be photo's confirming this,that would settle the matter.
 

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And by the way,I did not know there was an 'art' to fixing a frontwood to a Lee-enfield.The last time I did it I just used a sanding block and a screwdriver.
 

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I know I'm just an ugly American, but...

Is it possible that the reintroduction of the L42A1 is being conducted within the Australian armed forces, whereas Laidler refers to British (proper) forces? Bisley is in Australia, right? Doesn't explain why RG would be making the ammo, unless it's just 7.62 NATO ammo that is used in other sniper rifles. Dunno where Colchester is...
There is a "Colchester" in the UK, about 40 or so miles NNE of London. Fairly large city, with remnants of paths and roads built by the Romans, still in use.
 
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