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The Lee-Enfield was the standard British Army rifle for much of the 20th century. It was a simple but very reliable bolt action rifle firing the standard rimmed .303" round. It had been scheduled for replacement almost before seeing action, but a series of delays and interruptions led to it being used into the 1950s, and not disappearing completely until the 1980s. Several versions were produced, and the short magazine version resulted in the widely-used acronym SMLE.

This rifle was probably designed at the Royal Enfield Small Arms Factory, which is based in what is now known as Enfield Lock[?] at the bottom of Ordnance Road the old site has now be built over with a housing estate however some of the original buildings have been converted and evidence of the works are still visible. Within the local area there is also the Waltham Abbey gunpowder mills.

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