Since 1883, forerunners of the Enfield had been developed to fire a training round. This has been in order to aid in the teaching and instruction of soldiers, recruits or civilians. Be maintenance, nomenclature, how to fire the weapon, or through to the ability to obtain and maintain the correct sight picture. It also allowed those delivering instruction to overcome logistical issues surrounding its delivery. Such as being able to use small bore ranges as oppossed to fullbore ranges. One need to only think of how many workingman’s clubs or Local town halls had the ability to host small bore competitions.
It had the added advantage of allowing the powers to be, to upskill non full-time military reserves, such as territorial units on weapons that closely resembled and mimicked the standard weapon of that day. It was a practice used through out Europe.
However this was not the norm in the British Empire, in fact in some respects the British Empire was lagging against her allies and European rivals. One need only to look at the French training programmes that were in place for their Lebel to see that the British were both lacking and fragmented in their approach.
Early methods of converting weapons of the day to a training rifle was to insert a partially rifled sleeve into the barrel of the rifle. This in turn was threaded into a chamber and put into the breach. This was known as the Morris Tube.
This method was particular to the martini action, where as the more modern Lee Metford allowed the bolt to be removed and the entire sleeve or Aiming Tube to be inserted from the breach end of the rifle.
Initial calibres were .23 cal, these were used in the .450 Martini-Henry. Later a .297/230 cartridge was used in the Lee Metford. The more common .22 cal rim fire cartridge didn’t come into service untill 1904.
In the following pages I will discuss the .22 cal training rifles, their variations and their place within the Lee Enfield Family Tree. No’s 8 and 9 have their own pages in which they are dealt with. As I am able to locate and document further Enfield .22 trainers I will add them to the site.
No2MkIV* – NZ marked,
This is somewhat of an interesting rifle, its had an intersting life.