Discussion in 'Small Arms and Edged Weapons' started by JJWilson, Dec 9, 2017.
Weren't at least some of the Enfield's we sent back to Britain chambered for the 30-06?
Mr Clueless replies: Not sure, didn't dig into it that much. I was actually chasing the four-stackers at the time when that came up.
The US supplied approximately 750,000 M1917 Enfields to the UK under lend-lease in 1940/41. These were chambered in .30-06, and were marked with a red band painted onto the front of the stock to mark the caliber. The British had the very similar .303 P14 Enfield, and the red band was necessary to distinguish between the two. Long story short, the P14 was a British service rifle contracted out to Remington and Winchester during WW1, and was adopted by the US in 1917 as the M1917 Enfield and re-chambered for .30-06. Both versions were made at the same factories, with most parts either interchangeable or nearly identical. Interestingly, some noteworthy names identify the P14/M1917 as the best service rifle of WW1 (besting both the M1903 Springfield and SMLE) due to the long sight radius and aperture rear site.
I do not immediately recall of any of the lend-lease M1917s being used in combat and IIRC most if not all of these ended up in non-combat roles such as Home Guard, airfield guard, etc. Some of these ended up in Canada.
For reference, the 500,000 figure I mentioned was "emergency" issue, the paperwork being handled "expeditiously."