The rifle was the standard weapon of the infantryman in the Second World War. Soldiers in the British Army were issued with the Lee Enfield, a weapon that had been used by the army in the First World War. The rifle had a 25.19in barrel and weighed 8lbs 2oz unloaded. The Lee-Enfield had the fastest-operating bolt action ever fitted to a service rifle, and a trained soldier could fire up to 30 aimed rounds in one minute.
In 1941 a new model was introduced. Although slightly shorter than the original Lee-Enfield it was slightly heavier weighing 9lbs 1oz. It retained the same bolt action and magazine but had a more simple stock design, improved aperture sights, and a protruding barrel on which a spike bayonet could be fixed.
A trained soldier using the Lee-Enfield was able to put five shots into a four-inch circle at 200 yards. When fitted with telescopes a good sniper could hit his target at a distance of 1000 yards.