Highwood Classic Arms

British & Commonwealth

Classic Military Rifles



Lee Metford
Calibre .303
Date: 1889
Manufactured at Enfield
Price: £1,650

BOER Capture

The first repeating rifle adopted by the British military was the Lee-Metford MkI, or as it was later redesigned, the Magazine Rifle MkI. This design combined the cock on closing action and detachable box magazine of James Paris Lee with the rounded-land Metford rifling pattern.
Formally adopted in 1888, about 350,000 Lee-Metford rifles would be produced in total, among the LSA, BSA, Sparbrook, and Enfield factories.

It would not be long until the design began to be modified.

The Lee-Metford we have here today was made in 1889 as a MkI pattern,
but updated to the MkI* variant in 1892.
This modification involved removing the manual safety, changing from Lewis pattern sights to traditional barleycorns,
and modifying the upper hand guard for easier removal.

Despite the fairly large number of Lee Metford rifles made, they are very scarce to find in original condition like this one.
Very few left the military in the early configurations.

The previous Owner of this rifle brought it back from South Africa in 1980 and was part of his BOER War Collection of Rifles

The butt is marked with traditional Boer Carving, and Spion Kop 22nd Jan, his original name has been defaced proably after capture or for some other reason.
The left side of the Butt has the initials FR

The brass butt disc is marked to the 1st Battalion Inniskilling Fusiliers, who were at Colenso & Spion Kop
The belief is this rifle was captured at Colenso & had the later Spion Kop battle honour carved in after this battle.

This rifle is in very good condition with a good but lighly pitted bore in the grooves that gauges at .305"

A Good Shootable Example