GREAT BRITAIN: Rifle Rivalry

Some 200 hand-picked Allied officers (and a Yugoslav) watched intently one day last week on Salisbury Plain as Britain demonstrated her prize new .280-cal. rifle. More than simple curiosity was involved: this is the weapon with which Britain hopes to equip not only her own infantrymen (who have been using the bolt-action, single-shot .303-cal. Lee-Enfield since the South African War), but all the North Atlantic Treaty nations. Disagreement over it caused a hitch at the recent small-arms conference in Washington, where Britain's Defense Minister Emanuel Shinwell argued for the .280.

The .280 proved to be an odd-looking, straight-stocked, semi-automatic (i.e., one...

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