Rifle adopted by the British army as its basic infantry weapon in 1902. The short, magazine-loaded Lee-Enfield (Mark I, or SMLE) superseded the longer Lee-Enfield that was first produced in 1895.
The short rifle had a length of 44.5 inches (111.6 cm) and combined the bolt action devised by the Scots American James P. Lee and the rifling standard at the British arsenal at Enfield—i.e., five grooves with a leftward twist. It fired .303-calibre ammunition with a rimmed cartridge carried in a 10-round box magazine. The magazine could also be loaded with five-round clips or single rounds. Though less accurate than the Springfield rifle at longer ranges, the Lee-Enfield could hold twice the number of cartridges and was capable of a faster rate of fire. The various models of Lee-Enfield rifles were the standard weapons of British infantry troops in both World Wars I and II.