K98 Mauser or Mod 4 Enfield


December 31, 2002, 09:54 PM
Which one is better and why?

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Vern Humphrey
December 31, 2002, 10:10 PM
The Mauser is generally considered the better rifle for many reaons (in 1913, the British actually adopted a mauser-type rifle, the P13, but decided not to risk changing rifles when WWI broke out.)

The Mauser has several advantages:

1. A better gas handling system -- no rifle beats the M98 in this regard.

2. Better extraction (the Lee Enfield had to have chambers deliberately made sloppy to provide reliable extraction.)

3. Easier to reload for -- because of the sloppy chambers, the .303 can be a difficult proposition to reload.

4. A more versatile cartridge -- the 8X57 will just about equal the .30-06, especially in the lighter bullet weights.

5. More convertable to other cartridges -- a great many modern cartridges, (including the .30-06) from the 22-250 to the .35 Whelen are based on the Mauser .473" head size.

December 31, 2002, 10:36 PM
Yep, the Mauser is generally a better rifle, but the Enfield is a better battle rifle. More rounds, faster bolt operation, better battle sights.
Just to be sure though, you better get at least one of each.:D

December 31, 2002, 10:58 PM
The Lee Enfield is a more reliable Battle Rifle than the Mauser.
It also has a FASTER action, Better Sights, and has greater firepower. Also the No.4 Mk.1 Lee Enfield allows the shooter to compensate for a change in head space by simply screwing on a longer bolt head. Whereas with the Mauser you would need a gunsmith to unscrew the barrel cut and rethread it and screw it back on if the head space becomes excessive..not so on the No.4 Mk. 1 Enfield!

The Enfield's chamber was made longer due to the fact that the British Empire had multiple arsenals over the world, (Ishapore, India; Australia, etc.) The chambers needed to be large due to differences in MkVII ammo dimensions from different arsenals.

This had the pleasant side effect of making the Enfield more reliable when Dirty than the Mauser.

The No.4 Mk1 Enfield has a hole drilled into the side of the receiver ring to allow gas from a burst case to escape.

Unlike the Mauser 98, the Enfield Cocks on Closing, this allows the rifleman to exert all of his energy in extracting the spent round, it also allows the rifleman to slam home a new round during rapid fire.

The No4 Mk.1 Enfield has a butt trap for an oiler and a pull through cleaning gear.

The .303 service round is the Mk VII ammo which has a 174 grain FMJ bullet with an aluminum insert. The Aluminum insert causes the center of gravity to shift to a large extent to the rear making the bullet just barely stable while in flight, once it hits a target it starts to tumble like a buzz saw causing horrific wounds.

Ballistically the .303 Brit has 10 percent less energy than the .308 round.

If you want a HUNTING rifle..then by all means get the Mauser..on the other hand if you want a rifle to FIGHT with, then you are better off with the Enfield.

January 1, 2003, 01:00 AM
If you can, get one of both.

The K98 Mausers are in MUCH better condition than the average Enfield out there. You can get an excellent original condition Mauser for under $200. Good luck finding and Enfield that hasn't been painted with that crappy paint. One of the nicest I have ever seen was a Savage Lend/Lease No4Mk1. That woud be the only one I would have taken over a Mauser in the appearance category.

On the other hand .303 British hunting ammo is much more readily available if you choose to hunt with your weapon.

Good Shooting

January 1, 2003, 02:57 PM
Speaking of the Mauser, Enfield, and Springfield 03, someone once said:

The Germans built a hunting rifle,
The Americans built a target rifle,
The British built a battle rifle.

January 1, 2003, 03:22 PM
The Enfields were very good battle rifles but always lacked the accuracy for long range precision shooting that the Mausers possessed. Even the great WWI sniper Mcbride was forced to use other rifles when he got serious about sniping at the enemy.

Bothe .303 and 8mm cartridges are good ones and have taken just about every animal on the face of the earth but as stated in other posts the 8mm is way more easier to load for because of the oversize chambers found in a lot of British Enfields. I have a jungel carbine with a standard chamber but it is the exception rather than the rule.

The Mauser 98 even 100 years after it was created is still considered the world's premier hunting and battle rifle. It is the standard by which all other rifles are judged even to this very day.

Most sporting and even bolt action military rifles still in use owe at least a few facets of their design to the original 98 Mauser rifle.

In my opinion, when it comes to reliablity and a good gas escape system many of todays rifles are not even in the same ball park as the original 98 Mauser. Most profession hunters even to this day often carry the 98 Mauser because they know when they pull the trigger it is going to work and when they work the bolt it is going to feed. And if anything would break, which it very seldom does , the rifle can often have just about any of its parts replaced in the field with few tools or in some cases none at all. A firing pin can be changed in seconds. Contrast this to the Enfield which takes a special tool to change the firing pin.

Make mine Mauser , I am a perfectionist when it comes to most weapons and I find it very hard to criticise anything about the 98 Mauser because it was that well a thought out weapon.

Even today amoung the Rich, the powerful and the famous, when they get a custom rifle built up it is still usually with a 98 Mauser Action.

I read where there are several gunsmiths in the U.S. that actually make these guns by hand from scratch in some of the big tradition magnum calibers and even though they are out of reach price wise for the common man the rich and powerful often have to wait because of the backlog of orders for them.

I think this shows how revered the 98 action still is amoung upper crust of society who demand the best design and workmanship in a rifle.

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2003, 04:20 PM

"Speaking of the Mauser, Enfield, and Springfield 03, someone once said:

The Germans built a hunting rifle,
The Americans built a target rifle,
The British built a battle rifle."

I've heard that SAID, but never heard it proved. The sights on the American Springfield '03 were certainly fine and not the best for combat. But the Enfield and Mauser sights were quite similar.

What other aspect of the Enfield mades it a better battle rifle than a Mauser? Certainly not superior caming and extraction -- the Mauser is the winner there.

Certainly not continued development -- the Enfield was a kluge, while the Mauser was a steady evolution.

January 1, 2003, 04:26 PM
They both have alot of history but the 98' is the superior design.

January 1, 2003, 04:51 PM
Having owned and 'fiddled' around with both, I will have to go with Vern on this one.

January 1, 2003, 05:12 PM
If you`re interested in reloading for either, brass will last longer in the Mauser.

January 1, 2003, 05:48 PM
I own both, so I have to refrain from voting. :p

I read somewhere that during WWI some German troops were attacking a Brit position. The Brits had Enfields and kept up such a rate of fire that the Germans fell back thinking they were facing machine guns. It speaks to the speed with which Enfields could be worked and fired. Add that to the British 'volley fire' technique that probably dated back to the War for Independence and beyond, and you have some pretty high firepower. I don't know how true this is, but I read it somewhere in a rifle book.

If I was forced to pick one, it would be a 98, for many of the above stated reasons.

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2003, 06:11 PM
By a freak accident of history, both the Americans with the Krag and the British with the Enfield went up against the '93 Mauser. The Americans fought the Spanish in 1898, the British fought the Boers from 1899 to 1902.

We both decided to replace our rifles, based on that experience -- the Americans producing the M1903 Springfield (which is a modified '98 Mauser) and the British limping along for a decade until they produced the P13 -- which is also a modified '98 Mauser (albeit cock-on-closing, with an odd safety.)

World War One intervened before the British could gear up to produce their new .280 rimless round in quantity, and the weapons to go with it -- and they stuck with the Enfield and .303 as a war measure (albeit American manufacturers produced a lot of P14s for them -- modified P13s chambered for the .303 round.)

The .303 was really a problem, though -- look at the loops the British had to go through to get their various automatic weapons to function with it.

Oleg Volk
January 1, 2003, 06:18 PM
Got all three :) P14 .303, M48 Mauser and Enfield #4mk1. Enfield has better sights. .303 works imperfectly in magazines and doesn't stip from clips easily. 8mm works better. P14 is far more accurate than either Enfield or the Mauser.

I'd get Mauser first because 8mm is cheap and basic action is good. Sights can be upgraded. Like #4 Enfield sights better than Mauser, though two-aperture flip seems more practical than the micrometer adjustables.

January 1, 2003, 06:48 PM
I agree that the Mauser is the better design and a much better value right now but if I were going to have only surplus rifle with which to do all my shooting target, hunting and the oft-refered to 'SHTF scenario' I think I would prefer either an Enfield or 1903. Fast or not, for my use, I much prefer the longer sight radius and finer sighting available with peep sights.

Dave Markowitz
January 1, 2003, 06:50 PM
I have both. For a military rifle, I pick the No.4 Lee-Enfield:

1. Faster, shorter action.
2. Much better rear sight (ghost ring vs. open).
3. 10 round mag vs. 5 round mag.
4. Combat accuracy probably better for the No.4, due to the sights.
5. The .303 Mk. VII probably gives better terminal ballistics compared with type sS ball. Due to the cardboard or AL tip inside the jacket, the .303 projectile tumbles more readily.

IMO, the only advantage of the Mauser as fielded is that it used a rimless cartridge.

Of course, I'd rather carry an M-1. :)

P.S. -- Welcome aboard Vern!

January 1, 2003, 09:38 PM
It is a short and slick bolt throw with a reputation for working through mud, sand and frost.

The Mauser is undoubtably stronger, but many of the military ones are crudely made and stiff-working (a 1953 La Corona Spanish I owned comes to mind here). As others have stated, the Enfield's sights are far and away better than those on any military Mauser.

The .303 would certainly be one of the most refined cartridges around...with the .30-06 and .308. Some very impressive shooting has been done over the years in the Commonwealth nations with the old .303.:)

Vern Humphrey
January 1, 2003, 09:58 PM
The problem is, none of the advantages of the Lee Enfield translate into a battlefield advantage. Yes, the Number 4 has an aperture sight -- but so has the 03A3 Springfield. And the Number 4, MK 1 still has the trigger hung in the stock, something known to cause problems back in the Boer War.

The advantage of a rimless cartridge is that it works better in automatic weapons -- and the British used machine guns like everyone else. But theirs had to cope with a rimmed cartridge, which made problems.

Some Mausers were poorly made -- and so were some Lee Enfields. Try slugging the bore of a dozen or so Enfields and see what you get!;)

Stephen Ewing
January 2, 2003, 12:53 AM
I've got both in the safe, along with a few of their contemporaries. My vote is firmly with the 98 over all comers prior to the M1, for reasons already stated. I find it very significant that nobody ever took a Mauser into combat and decided that the other guy's bolt rifle was better.

Vern, I'm obviously not disagreeing with you, and the fact that I don't really trust my SMLE, Noisy Magnet or my Steyr M95 shows that my dislike of rimmed cartridges is pretty much neurotic; but I was led to believe that the biggest problems automatic weapons had with the .303 had more to do with the (cordite?) propellant than the rim? Not saying that stupid rim wasn't a hassle, just that it wasn't the hairiest problem.


January 2, 2003, 09:18 AM
Check out any gun parts supply catalogue such as Midway or Brownells and see what all they have available to modify, upgrade, rebarrel, restock, etc. the Mauser vs the Enfield. Interesting.

January 2, 2003, 09:53 AM
I've had both. In the end, after a few years of use, and despite the better sights of the Enfield, I've come to prefer the Mauser.

1. Spare parts for Mausers are easier to acquire.
2. A large supply of surplus 8x57 ammuntion is currently available.
3. Rimless cartridges are a sometimes PITA to stuff into a magazine, even with stripper clips.
4. Asthetically, the Mauser is more pleasing to my eye.
5. Mauser action is many times stronger than the Enfield, allowing for some leeway in reloading.
6. Customization, if desired, favors the Mauser.

January 2, 2003, 04:03 PM
Though I'm a German, I chose the Enfield No.4 Mk.I as my first rifle over the many types of Mausers that are available.
As an engineer maybe I should have chosen the Mauser, as it has the safer action, but the soldier in me said "take the Enfield, it's got the better sights, it's faster and has the larger, detachable magazine".

But who knows, maybe one day I'll buy a Mauser, too. How about the medium length Swedish Mausers? ;)

January 2, 2003, 08:44 PM
Just drop the round into the receiver and push the bolt forward...none of that "into the magazine first" Mauser ritual.

There were never any conspicuous complaints against the extraction of the Enfield over its service life, and it ate ammo from a wide variety of sources!
And the 'trigger in the wood' phenonmenon was corrected with the #4mkII. It just took the Brits 60 years to catch it.:D

The 03-A3 does have an aperture sight, albeit a bit crude, but it is nowhere near as smooth-operating a rifle as the #4...and I had both the Remington and Smith Corona 03-A3 when the DCM sold them for $17 each!

Most of the peacetime Mausers are beautifully made, strong and accurate firearms. They just don't equal the Enfield as a battle rifle:)

January 3, 2003, 02:26 AM
Well the Brits did shock the Huns at the Battle of Mons with the volley fire that they did not expect but the Germans found out in short order that their Maxim 8mm guns out ranged both the 303 and 30-06 for return MG volley fire. One major problem with the .303 guns was the quality of the ammunution,lots of out of spec. case hulls. The brits cure for this was to make a huge cave for the chamber. After WW-2 the case quality improved but the chambers stayed to the same huge size,pretty good for reliability but hell on brass. One of the major combat bugaboos with bolt guns has always been the "double feed" jam under stress and both a 1903 and a 98 was designed to eliminate that problem. I have shot a lot of .303 guns form the MH metford conversions to the T guns and they really are not as accurate as a 03 or 98. If a person wants a shock just go slug the bore on a few of them. Well time to get of the soap box here.

Marko Kloos
January 3, 2003, 01:01 PM
But who knows, maybe one day I'll buy a Mauser, too. How about the medium length Swedish Mausers?

Yep, they're very nice. The 6.5x55 Swedish is a great cartridge, much less punishing on the shooter than full-power 8x57JS.

I have a beautiful Swedish M96/38 Carbine, made in 1900. Best-looking rifle I've ever owned, and a great shooter.

January 3, 2003, 06:20 PM
Thanks Lendringser. Yes, that's what I had in mind. :D
Shorter than the M96 (which is on my brother's wish-list), but not as short as the one with the Stutzen-furniture that resembles the SMLE's.

cracked butt
January 3, 2003, 10:45 PM
K98's- its easier to add a better sight to the k98 than it is to make an Enfield as strong and as accurate as a K98.
The K98 also fires a more 'modern' cartridge design.

I also have a special place in my heart for Swedish 96's- its hard to find a better made, better looking, or more accurate rifle for the price.

Marko Kloos
January 4, 2003, 11:24 AM
On the topic: I own both, and I'd prefer the Enfield for a field rifle. Like T.Stahl says, it's a better soldier's rifle...holds twice the round count of the Mauser in a detachable magazine, and has far superior sights. Lastly, I prefer the "cock on close" Enfield action, as I can work it much faster than a Mauser bolt.

January 4, 2003, 05:24 PM
Well, it's so fast that I bought mine as an interim solution until I can find a good .30cal semi-auto rifle ... and the money for buying it. ;)
The Enfield's action opens with just a flick of the trigger finger and closes in one fast and smooth push.

January 4, 2003, 10:47 PM
The Enfield is just so slick to operate and has far better ergonomics than the military Mausers, double the magazine capacity and is a very rugged and reliable battle rifle. The post-WWII #4mkII made at Fazakerley have nice consistent barrels on them as well.:)

Andrew Wyatt
January 4, 2003, 10:55 PM
I like the number4 Mk1. it has useable sights, something mausers cannot boast, generally good triggers, again, something mausers do not have, and A MAGAZINE THAT DOES NOT NEED TO BE TOTALLY EMPTY TO BE TOPPED UP WITH CHARGERS.

The much smoother bolt manipulation doesn't hurt, neither.

January 5, 2003, 02:22 AM
Gotto put my 2 cents in. The question was asked which is the better rifle? Better for what? Both rifles represent the final development of each rifle system ( yes there was a post-war version of the Enfield but there isn't that much of a difference). Both were products of each nation's army's idea of what a rifle for modern 1940s war should be based on experience in the Great War. The 98K being essentially a shortened and lightened K98A from WW1 and the #4 Mk1 a redesigned SMLE with emphesis put on mass production and parts interchangability. They were designed as battle rifles and thats how they should be judged. Most pro- Mauser people make comments based on its ability as a basis for a sporter or availability of parts. Actually which one is going to work better in the mud, in the rain and when it's below freezing. Both have accuracy for the real 300 meters of 99% of combat. The #4 has only one disadvantage and that's its rimmed cartridge and the necessary care to not load incorrectly, other than that its got it over the K98K for speed of fire, mag capacity and sights.

Vern: it's true that the Brits were going to replace the Lee with the Mauser derived P14 based on their troubles with the Boers but they changed their mind after their experience in WW1. The SMLE just worked better in the battlefield than the Mauser.

Now, having said all that I think in the real world there isn't that much difference between the two. Also what about the 91/30 Mosin? That's no sloutch either.

January 5, 2003, 01:55 PM
First off..I own both Mausers (M95,M96,M98) and Enfields (SMLE, No.4 Mk1, No.4 Mk2). And I like them both..

There are a few misconceptions about these rifles and there history.

On the Enfield: This design was originated by an American: James Paris Lee. Originally, this rifle was designed for a Compressed Black Powder round pushing a unjacketed 215 grain bullet. The early "Enfields" (actually I should say..Lee Metfords), came in 2 flavors..an Infantry Rifle with a 30 inch barrel and a Calvary version with a 20 inch barrel.

Shortcomings during the Boer War.

When the Boer War rolled around..the Brits had just adopted a smokeless powder cartridge. This cartridge burned cordite, and was not only about twice as powerful as the black powder version..it burned quite a bit hotter.

The only change that the British government initially made were to replace the rear sight due to the greater muzzle velocity of the new round.

And so..during the outbreak of the Boer War..off went "Tommy Atkins" the British Soldier..

Unfortunately the Brits did not initially replace the shallow grooved Barrel made at the Metford Arsenal. And..because the new Cordite powder burned hotter along with Mercury Fulminate Primers..this had a very corrossive effect on Barrels.

This quickly led to poor accuracy as the Barrels burned out.

Both the Calvary and Infantry Models (Carbines and Rifles) did NOT have an Charger Guide. This caused some severe problems during firefights..the British Soldier was expected to load the rifle with single rounds of Ammuntion and only open up the Magazine Cutoff Switch during an emergency..(well..a Firefight is an Emergency) and after the 10 rounds were quickly expended..the Lee Metfords..took a long time to reload. (The 10 round detachable magazine on the Rifle and the 8 round detachable magazine on the Carbine were not originally designed to be swapped with a loaded magazine..it just happened that the rifle *COULD* be reloaded thusly)

Reports of Burned out barrels filtered back to England and so the Brits replaced the barrels on the Metfords with a Barrel that had deeper rifling Grooves....but..the barrels had a slightly different twist rate. Since the Barrels were made at Enfield..these became known as Lee Enfields.

And off to Africa went the Rifles along with British Reinforcements. Unfortunately there was a little flaw..since the twist rate was somewhat different than the original Lee Metford Barrels..this necessitated another change in the calibration of the sights..this time in the position of the front sight ..the rifles shot pretty far to the Left and thus the Front Sight needed a bit of "windage".

It was only late during the Boer War that the Brits corrected this problem with recalibrating the sights.

There were other problems as well..at the time very little training was done with the British Soldier on Rifle Marksmanship..instead the Brits were still training as if they were using smooth bore muskets with a short effective Range. This meant Close order formations..closing with the Enemy at a march, and then firing volleys.

The uniform of the British Soldier also had a problem..The Brits had just switched from RED to Khaki..but..their Belts and Suspenders were White and made an "X" shape across their torsos..

To the Boers hiding behind the Rocks in the Hills..watching Close Order Formations of British troops performing a Slow March directly towards them..each one having an Easily Seen "bulls eye X"..well..engaging the Brits at ranges past 1000 yards was too hard to resist..and if the Boers didn't hit the soldier they were aiming at..they certainly hit the soldier next to the target.
Misses were few.

The Boers were using Mauser M95's chambered in 7x57mm. They shot a 173 grain round nose bullet. Their Rifles had a 5 round staggered internal magazine. The Rifles also had Charger Guides and so allowed for rapid reloading during firefights.

Once the British Soldier shot up the 10 rounds in his magazine, the Boer Soldier then had superior firepower since they could then fire more shots per minute due to the fact that they could reload faster then their British Counterparts.

Also significant was the fact that Boers placed a high premium on Marksmanship. Most Boers hunted since they were children. Since the Boers in the Transvaal and Orange Free State did NOT have an Army and instead had a Militia..Boers were issued "Service Rifles" which they became intimately familiar with, as they used the rifles for hunting and recreational target shooting.

Also..tactically the Boers were different than the Brits. The Boers would travel by Horse to a location, then dismount and spread out using bolders and tree stumps for cover, or sometimes dig in.

They would then shoot at slow moving close order formations of British Troops from Long Distances. The British were trained to first close with the Enemy, then take up position and then fire Volleys.

So for quite a while, the Boers would fire at British Troops without being shot at. Also since the Boers would take cover, they were harder to see and hit for the British Trooper.

Post Boer War.

The British learned a great deal from this war. And because of it, they made some changes to their Service Rifle.

(1.) They decided upon having ONE rifle for both Infantry and Calvary..thus, they shortened the Infantry rifle to have a barrel length of 25 inches.

(2.) They noted that their rifles needed to be able to be reloaded quickly, so they modified the receiver design to include a Charger Guide.

(3.) to Compensate for the Shorter Length of the Rifle, they increased the length of the Bayonet, hence the Pattern 1907 Sword Bayonet.

(4.) They noted that the Boers were superb Marksmans and their forces suffered greatly for it, so a premium was placed upon Rifle marksmanship in the Pre-WWI British Army.

(5.) to compensate for widely different cartridge dimensions of Ammunition produced by different Arsenals throughout the British Empire, the chamber was lengthened and was overly large as well as long. Since the cartridge was RIMMED, this present no headspace problem..it was just a tad hard on the Brass, but the British Army was not concerned about "reloading".

This had the happy and fortuitous side effect of making the new Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) ultra reliable when covered with filth. This was noticed in the muddy fields of Flanders, while other rifles jammed, then Enfield still chugged happily along, firing round after round into the German Army.

BUT...even though the Brits had made these changes. Most of the critics were still unhappy, and the design changes were supposed to be "temporary" until a NEW and More "MODERN" (re: Mauser) Service Rifle and Cartridge could be designed and built.

And so the Brits took the Mauser and modified it and turned it into the P14 (or I really should say the P13, it only became the P14 after it was modified to accept the .303 round). The original .276 cartridge was very similar to what the Canadians were experimenting with (the .280 Ross) for their new Service Rifle..the Ross Rifle.
Ballistically this cartridge was similar to the 7mm Remington Magnum. (which was invented much later) but had no "belt".

WWI broke out, and the P13 hadn't been adopted, and so it was quickly converted to accept .303 rounds and had the Rear Sight modifed for the .303 cartridge. And the P14 was born.

During WWI the Brits used both the P14 and the SMLE. British soldiers noted that while the P14 was more accurate, it wasn't nearly reliable as the SMLE.

The US also used 2 Rifles, the M1917 Enfield (a 30-06 variant of the P14) and the 1903 Springfield. In fact more US soldiers used the 1917 Enfield than the 1903 Springfield.

The Canadians initially used the Ross Rifle, but while the Ross Rifle excelled as a Target Rifle..it was prone to jamming if it was slightly dirty.

(The Ross Rifle is what Herbert McBride used for Sniping during WWI)

The Canadians dumped the Ross and quickly adopted the SMLE.

On the German Side: Mauser had modified his small ring Mausers to have a stronger action, better gas handling capabilities and incorporated a Cock on Opening Action.

The Cock on Opening Action was a "Mistake" because, in the field some of the Rifleman's energy went into cocking the rifle instead of just extracting a round. This made for a slower action.

During the Begining of WWI the Brits did NOT have machine guns. Instead they relied on the marksmanship abiliities of their troops.
It was during the Battle of Mons in 1915 that a vastly outnumbered and outgunned British Force fired Aimed Rifle Fire so fast and accurately that they broke a German Assault. The Germans retreated thinking they were under machine gun fire.

(The Brits had yet to adopt and deploy their Vickers Machine guns).

Naturally attrition took its toll, and the amount of training spent on the British soldier was shortened...and so Marksmanship declined.

So which is the BETTER Rifle? I think it is the Enfield. But it is SKILL that is all important. A Rifle is only an inert object. And a skilled rifleman armed with a "obsolete" bolt Action Rifle can easily defeat a poorly trained opponent armed with the latest Assault Rifle.

Oh..as for Accuracy problems with the Enfield. The Main reasons for its poorer showing against the Mauser, is because the Enfield's barrel not only has a larger chamber than necessary, but it also has a skinnier barrel.

The Brits proved during long range Competitions at Bisley that competitors armed with Lee Enfield Rifles can beat opponents armed with accurized Mausers.

The Late Gale McMillan was very surprised when his modified Remington Action Rifles were beat by SMLE's at Bisley. In fact Gale ended up losing a Rifle over the deal.
(This was due to barrel compensation. The SMLE's rear lugs cause for some interesting barrel harmonics, which compensate for muzzle velocity variations in each shot. This causes groups to "tighten" up at ranges between 800 - 1200 yards)

Vern Humphrey
January 5, 2003, 04:50 PM
A couple of points here -- the receiver modification for a charger is much later -- about WWI. Initially, the charger guide was on the bolt, a not very satisfactory solution.

Next, the British DID have machine guns -- they were the first army to have them. They used them with great effect in colonial wars BUT . . . their experience was that a few machineguns could have a great effect against massed natives. Therefore their allocation of guns was quite small, and the guns tended to be grouped in specialized units, not distributed amongst the infantry.

British marksmanship emphasized volley fire -- which is why Enflelds of that era have volley sights. These are crude sights for extra-long range shooting, on the theory that a lot of shots concentrated on a (hopefully) massed enemy at long range will do a lot of damage. It is this kind of fire that made the Germans think the British had lots of machineguns.

January 6, 2003, 02:38 PM
Well I had to post my opinion and vote. I went for the Enfield.
I happen to own both.

May 27, 2009, 06:56 PM
OKAY, 6 years later LOL, ive voted for the K98, more accurate, original design that is still used today, how many new rifles boast having the enfield bolt , ive seen none, most boast that they have the mauser action, the most accurate .303 is the P14, mauser action funnily enough ?

Also I am from England, so you'd expect me to go for the No.4, but no.

All enfield blokes always come up with the 10 rounds vs 5 quote..

Ok so if the Japanese last ditch type 99 Arisaka with nailed buttplate had a 15 round mag that automatically means its better than the number 4 LE ?, course not.

The Germans were not stupid (the best engineers as we know) If they thought a 10 round mag would be more advantageous then they would of fielded a rifle with that capacity, not o sh*t we forgot that bit never mind.

The German engineering was very thorough up until this very day. There were 20 round trench mags, I have one myself and have never had a problem firing off 20 rounds and i'm left handed, so the extra capacity was there if needed.

my vid of my mag


The Mauser is more accurate from all distances, the 8mm cartridge is more streamline, not rimmed, less jams, and stripper clips feed better.

September 29, 2010, 06:04 PM
old thread but worth reviving- as previously stated, in battle I'll take a 10 round removeable clip, over a 5 round stripper fed magazine, any day- it's all about firepower, and then carry extra clips and reload in a snap. (that's assuming there's no Tommy guns, Sturmgevehrs, etc. around to complicate things and shoot back at me, just a bolt vs. bolt gun battle). The Mauser is more of a tack driver precision rifle for sure, but the SMLE shoots "minute of man" up to 300 yards or so well enough that I would not stand there and offer to be a target with impunity. I own both types, have owned at least a 10 or so Mausers, and have 3 models of SMLE No1 No4 No5. Out to 200 yards shooting at man sized targets the SMLE would have the advantage of firepower rounds per minute, and magazine capacity

for sniper precision long range head shots there's no comparison, it's all Mauser

one thing that is rarely discussed, is that the cock on closing feature is more conducive to keeping a rifle functioning after it fires a LOT of shots in succession and starts to get really hot, such as in a protracted 5 hour firefight. It's still going to extract easily, and can be rammed home and closed on a fresh round. The cock on opening may begin to get a little difficult to bolt open at that point. The problem is sporting/collectors/hunters/target shooters almost never fire a gun to the point of getting that hot, like it would be in battle- so we are oblivious to that advantage.

Clint C
September 29, 2010, 07:31 PM


These rifles are both battle rifles, and that is how I will judge them. I would have to go with the Enfield, it is the better battle rifle. I keep hearing how the Enfield has a large tolerance for it's chamber. The AK47 as a lot of loose tolerances, and is the most reliable rifle made. Who cares if the rounds used in these rifles were used for machine guns, that has nothing to do with the argument of which one is a better rifle. These are not precision rifles you all, they are battle rifles.

Oh and pay attention to the Enfield video around the 2:25 timing.

September 29, 2010, 08:29 PM
I Have several versions of both Mausers and Lee Enfields in multiple calibers. I agree with just about all of the posters who have detailed both the history and the fine points of each design. Both are terrific rifles. Of course we are not fighting battles with them except on forums like this.

I agree that the Mauser is stronger, easier to get parts for and all that. It is the finest bolt action design yet as evidenced by the continuous evolution and introduction of new rifles using the original design. While the Mauser is a love affair, the Lee Enfield is an obcession. The Mauser may be inherently more accurate but I have a Lee Enfield that will put 5 shots on a quarter coin at 100 meters, and none of my K98s could duplicate that. My 1908 Brazilian DWF rebarreled in 6.5 Swede will come close, but that is a special-built rifle and the Lee Enfield is as issued, albiet, a L39A1 target rifle in 7.52X51.

So, my position is "Apples & Oranges" 2 different designs both with their plusses and minuses. My advise; get one of each, but beware of the obcession, you'll end up with more Lee Enfields in a couple of years---trust me on this.

September 30, 2010, 07:21 AM
the SMLE is a weaker, less accurate design with 2 piece stock, but it's as refined as that design could possibly be, made with the finest steels then available. Out to 300 yards it still shot "minute of man" well enough that I would not stand up offering to be a target for one.

and in a firefight, the #1 problem is, running out of ammo- give me a 10 shot over a 5 shot, any day

September 30, 2010, 08:05 AM
You can get an excellent original condition Mauser for under $200.Where? The going rate for a "shooter" k98 in original configuration starts at $250. I vote for the Mauser as the better rifle but the Enfield's magazine capacity is a big plus in a battle rifle.

Vern Humphrey
September 30, 2010, 03:22 PM
in battle I'll take a 10 round removeable clip, over a 5 round stripper fed magazine, any day-
But that's really not an option. Yes, you can remove and replace the Lee-Enfield magazine, and yes, the British did originally issue two extra magazines (to be carried onthe field suspenders), but changing magazines with the Lee-Enfield is clumsier and slower than loading with stripper clips. So very shortly they stopped issuing extra magazines. By 1907, with the adoption of the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE), they were 100% stripper clips. Not so much different, then, from the Mauser and Springfield.

September 30, 2010, 08:22 PM
Magazines for the Enfield were removable, but for cleaning only. Reloads were via 5 round chargers. Reloading was 5 rounds at a time.

Ignition Override
September 30, 2010, 10:52 PM
For easier (aperture) sighting and seeming more like battle than hunting rifles, the Lee-Enfields.

My only milsurps are two LE #4s:), a #5 Jungle Carbine:), Yugo Mauser and M-1 Garand: Service Grade (CMP).
For a favorite, the Garand is only "t i e d" with all of my Enfields, and the LEs have been here longer.

murdoc rose
October 1, 2010, 01:26 AM
Id say shoot for both. Either one is great fun for quality the mauser is probably your best bet but I really like enfield better personally.

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