Book Review – The Lee Enfield, by Ian Skennerton

Ian Skennerton is a leading authority on British rifles, having written extensively on Sniders, Martinis, Enfields, and more. This specific book, “The Lee Enfield” is the most recent iteration of his compendium of Lee-Enfield information, printed in 2007 (previous versions were “The Lee Enfield Story” of the 1980s and “The British Service Lee” of the 90s). It is an absolute wealth of information, including a large amount of original British military documents. Skennerton covers a huge array of developmental and experimental versions of the Enfield as well as the standard production models (including American, Canadian, Australian, and Indian production).

Strange WW1 modifications and accessories, grenade launchers, snipers, lightweight guns, carbines, long rifles, semiautomatic conversions, you name it – it’s all here. Unfortunately, the organization and editing leaves a lot to be desired, in my opinion. It is a book that looks magnificent when idly flipped through, but can be frustrating to use to understand the history of a gun or guns. The text often jumps from one subject to another, forcing the reader to piece together elements from different sections to figure out a coherent story.

That said, it remains an indispensable book for the Enfield enthusiast, as it has a ton of information not found elsewhere. I hope that if a new revision or edition is ever produced, Mr. Skennerton will employ the services of a ruthless editor to help him form the raw information into a more navigable history.


  1. I agree. It is THE reference on all iterations of the Lee, but finding a specific piece of information can be arduous. Fully worth the price though.

  2. I agree as well. While it is the “bible” of Lee Enfields, the organization of the book leaves a lot to be desired. Still it is a “must have” book for anyone who collects milsurps.

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