Britain Goes From Trainer to Competition: the No 8 Mk I

This rifle is coming up for sale at RIA on June 21.

Initially intended to be used only by the British Army (the Land Service), in 1950 the No8 rifle’s role was expanded to cover all three services. Unlike the other trainers made up to this point, the No8 MkI was designed as a target and competition rifle, instead of a service rifle reduced in caliber. It has a heave barrel, a nice trigger converter to cock on open, and a heavy competition type stock. Adopted in 1948 or 1949 (sources differ), a whopping 76,000 were ordered and manufactured by BSA and Fazackerly – they remained in service until finally declared obsolescent by the British in 2014.


  1. And the No 8 Rifles will all be chopped up when withdrawn as the British Goverment classes them as a weapon of war!Under UN arms proliferation rules yet New Zealand sold all their’s off at auction.


      Interesting name… See now, all bare witness! To the evils of not drinking, or eating bacon.

      You try and save the peasants and few bob, with perfectly sensible advice but take it to far and turn into Al Bigdaddy or Hitler. Who’d have thought it, Isis started in Liverpool. Bout right for scousers, they’ve never stopped moaning since Manchester built a ship canal.

        • “*Not eating bacon*”
          For what purpose you use asterisks here?
          To emphasize important information?
          But why you do consider that fact important?
          Many cultures have various restrictions on food, maybe sometime not given as explicit as here but they are still present.

    • Not true at all mate, check your facts. Vast majority are going to be sold off in auction to civvies. Source: currently part of the RAFAC and have put 1000s of rounds through these things until they came out of service near the end of 2016/start of 2017.

      As for the rifle, still one of my favourites that I’ve used, great for such a basic starter. smooth action and trigger and just as nice as civvie target rifles.

  2. [unrelated so ignore if you wish]
    Some time ago I become aware of interesting story:
    it was 1920, and in Bulgaria. Христо Николов Спасов created his machine gun (see 1st photo from top, his son is holding that gun), when testing timing come member of commission was bribed and changed normal rifle cartridge to proof testing, hoping it will destroy tested machine gun – that did not happened, stoppage occur after which designer removed muzzle booster and machine gun worked properly. Effect was that it was praised by commission.
    Design was patented, at least in few countries, including Great Britain:
    British are said to have offer many money to bought it [does British sources of that era support that?]. Anyway designer showed simplified model (but retaining high reliability) ready to introduced to production, order and technical documentation was sent in 1930 to factory, where it disappeared. As director (Стоенчев) was competitor of Спасов, which used all means he could. New trials were held, where this machine gun worked very well, but lost to Madsen (Стоенчев was supported of buying that machine gun, which raise question about fairness of choice done).
    What you can say about Спасов machine gun from linked patent drawing?

    • Schwarzlose based… Possibly… Your other link doesn’t seem to Google translate, into English. Which is probably just as well, given Googles previous attempts at translating Russian.

      Not on really as we are told all this stuff is perfectly safe, so in good faith you’d turn up wishing to ask for a train to Vladivostok yet end up saying “It is true your mother, is best prostitute in entire region yes?” Big grin.

      Didn’t Britain used to make nice things, what a shame we’ve ended up not doing.

          • Spetspatronami: Spetsnaz pastrami? For future wars in space? Transliteration: For… Like laser ammo. No?


            Theres something to be said for wars in space. If all the “zapping” takes place outside of orbit, so the zapped: float off and don’t bother the rest of us.

            Might be expensive though, as you do wonder why nobody has done it before: treaties aside.

          • That’s why they’ll need to be a moon base, for a brothel. Otherwise who’s going to volunteer for that? SPACESEX want to know more? (Starship troopers, no? Meh.)

          • Externally it looks like a modified Vickers, to my eye “which isn’t expert” and the internals Schw… Etc “German, can’t spell it” mentioned it above. Kriss vector? Upside down and back to front. No?

          • “Spetspatronami”
            Short term for spec[ial] cartridges, that is in given context – proof cartridges.

          • I found that there also exist light machine gun, designed by same man:
            It was created later – in 1938, it is just air-cooled version of earlier model with bipod and furniture to be used as light machine gun. In 1939 is designer as opposer of nazism send it to USSR together with documentation, where it was stored in museum until 1954, when it was send to Bulgarian National Museum of Military History where it is present still today.
            Few technical data are also given: overall length 1100 mm, caliber 7,92 mm, mass overall 10 kg.
            Mechanically same as water-cooled variant, from trials report:
            Similar in operation to Schwarzlose but without spring, has 3 big and 4 small details while Maxim has 23 details. Can be assembled and disassembled without tools.
            There is also notion that designer was fighting during Great War at Salonica Front, he starting designing his gun after experiencing stoppage of single machine gun of his unit, while enemy machine guns were working, so it is not surprising that he want his machine gun to work reliably.

          • Article about water-cooled also point to source which probably would explain working of that machine gun in detail: British patent No. 336 600 from 15 April 1929.

            “What does “raspoperechit” mean in context?”
            Kind of deformation, which is effect of firing too powerful ammunition.

      • The “Vickers” version was originally on it’s side? The side of said “Vickers” has interesting cut outs in it… You could fit the upright version in… The “Vickers” though probably.

        • Oh right.

          Robots are going to kill everyone anyway, you all have to be starship troopers and maintain human life: Jews or otherwise.

          • Because they didn’t put that in Genesis, that “life” itself is in a fight for survival (well they might have done allegorically) and we were backed, only to be a means to an end: Afterwards we’ll be terminated.

            And I don’t think that’s fair, essentially we are being used. The resulting (force) won’t be guaranteed to protect green spaces or anything. In fact this is very unlikely as to win, everything else living has to be proved inferior: A source which can be eliminated.

            So make sure you shoot those robots, and run brothels.


            Please send 10 dollars to the church of the immaculate leaf, thank you.

            (Bank details to follow, internet scams are new to me you’ll have to bare with- I’ll probably send you mine, ha ha and be robbed.)

  3. That’s the standard No8 training rifle, issued in their thousands to Cadet (=JROTC) units.

    As Chris H has said, only withdrawn from use very recently (they could have served another 50 years, but the armourer/spares support was no longer there; replaced by Canadian Savages).

    The target version, in my early-80s cadet shooting team experience, features a Parker-Hale micrometer rear sight and hooded front, and a 2″ wide canvas P-H sling mounted on the barrel band and on a swivel ahead of where the magazine would have been on a “real” Lee-Enfield. I suspect there were many local variations. Nice, and it did not matter shooting postal competitions against other cadet units, but not a patch on an Anschutz or similar contemporary 25M .22LR match rifle.

  4. This is a very fine rifle and I was 0.22″ champion of Oxford Uni with one in 1967 The withdraw date shows that the Lee-Enfield action served the British and others for over 100 years

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