The last No. 4 Enfield rifle entered British Army service in 1970. An updated version of the WW2 No. 4 sniper rifle, this last iteration was finally retired in 1985, after service in Oman, Ireland and the Falklands War.
The L42A1 was one of the last arms built by Enfield Small Arms Factory before it's closure in 1988. The caliber was updated to .308 (7.62mm) to keep up with Nato ammunition compatibility, and there were about a thousand rifles built. The magazine still kept 10 rounds but the shape was altered slightly. A heavier hammer forged free-floated barrel was used with 4 grooves with a right hand twist. Enfield rifles had always suffered from the barrels being too light, but combat rifles have to make some compromises. The handguard was cut back to the middle barrel band, and the previous sniper butt stock was retained.
The standard No. 32 scope (originally developed for the Bren Gun) was modified to the trajectory of the .308 bullet and became the "Telescope, Straight Sighting, L1A1". Other variants included Parker Hale sights (L39A1) for target shooting, a police version (Enfield Enforcer) and a nicely finished civilian version (Enfield Envoy). These guns are available in the states, it has been estimated that at least half of the thousand guns are over here. Still pretty pricy though, this example on Guns International in somewhat north of $5000.
L42A1 for sale on Guns International
In a story that didn't receive any press (for obvious reasons), a southern California power substation was riddled with bullets for 19 minutes before authorities arrived, to find the perps gone into the night. It happened in April last year, and wiped out 17 big transformers. It took a month to get the substation back on line. The only clues were some clean AK-47 brass.
Power station picture by Panther
If AK's were the guns that were used, it bodes ill for our grid. There seem to be plenty of malcontented groups unhappy with our electrical grid, from the darker side of environmentalism to anti government militia groups to downright Al Queda troopers. Considering that our grid can barely stand assaults from Mother Nature, it makes you want to stock up on firewood and lentils. And so much AK ammunition is sold in this country that tracing it would be a nightmare.
The bad guys, in this case as always, have the upper hand. No one knows what these lamebrains would do till they've done it, and it does seem impossible to guard every transformer in the country. Banning guns wouldn't help, since there all ready too many floating around. Which means the legal ones are only the tip of the iceberg.
The vulnerability of our grid has been focused on cybersecurity threats so much lately, that a simple sniper attack had been overlooked. So, was this attack proof of concept? Or just the opening act...