An Armourer's Perspective: .303 No.4(T) Sniper Rifle
And the Holland & Holland Connection
By Peter Laidler with Ian Shennerton

24 January 2002
By Pete Lincoln

This book is "The Holy Bible" regarding one of the all time great Sniper Rifles, the Lee Enfield No.4 Mk1 (T). It is writen by Peter Laidler, who was apprenticed as an Armourer at the British Army Apprentices School between 1962 and 1966. The Author was employed in the same trade discipline and in the same Corps as myself: Technical Armourer in the Corps of The Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers. I have fond memories whenever I pick up this book. I can almost smell the familiar Armourer's Shop fragrance of blacking lamp, linseed oil, and coffee. Many of the characters and names mentioned in the text had become REME legends by the time I started my apprenticeship in 1987.

Peter Served with a number of different British and Commonwealth units during his regular military career, notably The School of Infantry; Infantry Demonstration Battalion; the last British Forces in Malaya; with 1st, 4th, and 8th Battalions of The Royal Australian Regiment; and The Royal New Zealand Infantry in SE Asia, New Zealand, and Australia.

Upon his return to the UK, Peter became involved working with AFV (Armoured Fighting Vehicle) mounted small arms. But, true to the faith, his heart remained with the Infantry, a sentiment with which many REME Armourers can identify.

The book is an indepth study into the history and developement of the No.4 Mk1 (T) and, ultimately, through all designations and variations up to and including the L42 A1. It is split into 21 individual chapters detailing the What? Why? Where? When? and How? of the Rifle, accessories, and associated equipments. Chapter Heads are as follows:

  1. An introduction to the No.4 (T).
  2. Why choose the No.4.
  3. The contracts.
  4. The costs.
  5. Production figures.
  6. The Holland & Holland story.
  7. Trails.
  8. The Canadian connection.
  9. Open sights and zeroing.
  10. Telescopic sights.
  11. Case Sighting Telescope No 8.
  12. Chest small arms No15.
  13. The cover, short rifle.
  14. Rifles, Telescopes and the post war years.
  15. Every picture tells a story.
  16. The mystery of the .22 inch models.
  17. Engineering and Guaging standards.
  18. The Ill fated L8 (T).
  19. Introduction of the L42 A1.
  20. Rifle 7.62mm L42 A1.
  21. An Armourers Postcript.

Following this is a detailed Complete Equipment Schedule.

This book is a gold mine of information for any No4.Mk1 (T) or L42A1 owner, collector, or prospective buyer. It gives detailed information on how to spot fakes and covers several official and unofficial repairs and techniques, using many cross-references to EMER's (Electronical and Mechanical Engineering Regulatuions) and other Army publications.

The book is factual, informative, and entertaining. Any military book collection is not complete without it.

Available through agents and distributors:
G.B and Europe
Green Hill Books
Lionel Leventhal Ltd.
Park House
1 Russel Gardens
London NW11 9NN

U.S.A. and Canada
I.D.S.A. Books
P.O. Box 1457
Ohio 45356

Ian D Skennerton
P.O. Box 433
Ashmore City 4214

New Zealand
Bruce Gorton
P.O. Box 917

First published in 1993.

Back to Book and Videotape Reviews