While many people are familiar with the Ishapore 2A1 rifles chambered in 7.62mm NATO (largely thanks to their importation and sale in the US in large numbers), production of Indian Enfield rifles actually dates back to 1905, when the Ishapore arsenal was opened. The first rifles produced there were a batch of 3,000 MkI Enfield rifles in 1908/9. These were of course early pattern SMLEs, with features like split charger bridges, volley sights, and magazine cutoffs. Production quickly changed to the No1 Mk III pattern of rifle, which had been formally adopted in Britain in 1907.
During World War One, the need for arms led to those first early rifles being rebuilt in the MkIII configuration, but they retain their original markings, showing their origin. Today we have one of those first 3,000 to look at.
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