The Lee-Enfield rifle chambered in the .303 cartridge was the rifle of choice of the British Empire for a number of years, and is still in service in many parts of the now former British Empire. The Canadian Rangers who help defend Canada’s Arctic territory have been using the venerable bolt-action Enfield since they formed in 1947.
Earlier models had been in service with the British army since 1895, according to the Juno Beach Centre, which commemorates the effort made by all Canadians during the Second World War. On its website, the centre noted that during the First World War, Canadian troops threw away their government-issued Ross rifles in favour of Lee-Enfields they picked up on the battlefield.
Thompson said after consulting with the Rangers, it was agreed that the new rifle would be in the 7.62mm/ .308 Winchester calibre, as this was best suited to meet the Rangers’ requirements. He noted that “.308 Winchester refers to a specific cartridge that is very similar to the 7.62 x 51 (NATO) cartridge, and is made by several companies.”
They recently announced that they will finally be replacing their Lee-Enfield rifles because of the difficulty to source parts for the WWI and WWII work horses. The Canadian Rangers were originally issued their Lee Enfield No. 4 rifles and 200 rounds of .303 ammo to help defend against invasions in the Great White North. Their replacement rifles have not been announced as of yet, but it has been confirmed it will be chambered in 7.62x51mm NATO.