Colonies Lead the Way: Charger-Loading Lee Enfield MkI India Pattern

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While the Indian Army was looked down upon by much of the British military, it saw much more combat service than its European counterpart. The Indian Army was actually faster than the British to recognize and adopt a number of small arms improvements, and the CLLE MkI India Pattern is a good example.

When the mobile charger guide was first adopted by the British military, no effort was made to retrofit earlier rifles with it. The Indians, however, saw the advantage and began to convert Long Lees to the Charger-Loading configuration as early as 1905. Between then and 1909, some 22,000 of these MkI I.P. rifles were assembled at the Ishapore Arsenal. Following the adoption of the fixed charger bridge, a MkII I.P. became the new standard, with the fixed guide instead of the mobile one.

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