.303 Enfield


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ShaiVong
March 29, 2003, 02:04 PM
I was browsing at the local trading post today, and two enfields caught my eye.

They're ugly little greasy things, but they have alot of character. Even better, both were going for under $200!

Does anyone have any experience with the Enfield's? Average MOA? Ammo prices? Magazine prices?

They just have a certain historical cool factor.

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JackC
March 29, 2003, 02:15 PM
Many feel the Enfield is the BEST bolt action combat rifle ever made. 10 rds in the mag, FAST bolt action, tough as nails.
I'll never sell mine. Accuracy depends on wear, ammo, and shooter. Just like all rifles. Prices are going up fast too!!
Jack

ShaiVong
March 29, 2003, 02:18 PM
...what I'm asking is, with normal ammo (not cheap, but not match), and benchrested on a still day, could i hit a paper plate at 100 yards? 75? 50? 300 (:evil: )

444
March 29, 2003, 02:20 PM
There is a TON of information available about the Enfiled rifle on the internet. Any thing you want to know about them right down to what is the correct oiler to put in the stock trapdoor. There also have been numerous threads on here and on The Firing Line about Enfields. Check it out, you will be reading for days.

I have five of them. All are a lot of fun.
And yes, I do have the correct sling and oiler for all of them.

I would say with any one of mine (other than the one that is chambered for .410 shotgun shells), I could hit a paper plate every time at 200 yards from a benchrest.

ShaiVong
March 29, 2003, 02:21 PM
I wouldnt expect anything less, 444 :p

P95Carry
March 29, 2003, 02:35 PM
Used to have a MkV Jungle carbine ... that at 100 yds open sights was always a 4" group or better ..... just the std iron sights.

I have a sporterized - scoped MkIV . (one of the more successful sporterizings IMO) .... and regard this as #2 deer rifle . It is capable of about 2" group at 100 with milsurp ammo ... shoots better than I do.!

Also . an Ishapore Mk 2a .. in .308 ..... not so accurate but still good to have.

Many say the Mauser lock-up is superior - slightly stronger maybe .. but IMO the functionality and smoothness of operation of the Enfield action surpasses most others.

To keep costs down you may have to consider corrosive milsurp ammo ... shoots well usually but of course, more of a clean up to do after.

Bostonterrier97
March 29, 2003, 02:54 PM
The Enfield is a FINE rifle! I own and shoot them all the time.

nemesis
March 29, 2003, 03:39 PM
I'm not a big fan of the No. 1 and wouldn't really recommend it but a No. 4 is an excellent piece and should provide lots of good shooting.

I have a Long Branch No. 4, Mk 1* and it will put 5 rounds into 2 inches at 100 yards using iron sights.

Truly a legendary rifle.

Mike Irwin
March 29, 2003, 04:18 PM
Vong,

Many Enfield rifles are capable of extremely fine accuracy.

As a class they tend not to be as accurate as the Mauser or the Springfield, but they really don't lose much.

Can you hit a paper plate at 100 yards? If the gun is in good shape with no barrel or other problems, all day long, and at considerably longer ranges, too.

Do you know what Marks the shop has?

The No. 1 Mk IIIs are nice rifles, but generally the sights, mounted far forward, aren't conducive to fine accuracy.

The No. 4 Mk I has better sights, more like the American receiver apeture sights.

Generally the No. 4 Mk IIs are considered to be the best of the bunch, with the best sights and extremely fine accuracy potential.

If you can find a No. 4 Mk II for under $200, buy it. They're generally going for much more than that these days.

I bought a No. 1 Mk III a few months ago, and now I'm looking for a No. 4 Mk I or II.

As for magazines, in British use the magazine was ONLY removed from the rifle for cleaning or repair. It was never used the way American magazines for the M14 or M16 are, being changed out when they are empty.

The magazine was loaded with 5 round stripper clips.

As for ammo, you can find non-corrosive South African ammo fairly cheaply, as well as surplus ammo from other makers.

I bought a box of 300 rounds from Midway for $44 or so a few weeks back. It was on special, so I don't know if it's still that price.

BHP9
March 29, 2003, 05:46 PM
Does anyone have any experience with the Enfield's? Average MOA? Ammo prices? Magazine prices?

If y our looking for a tack driver you will be sadly disappointed with the Briiths Enfields. They are noted for not being particularly accurate.

The were very reliable guns but that is about all you can say for them.

The earlier WWI models were built to better standards than the later models especially those made during WWII.

Chambers were often oversize to aid in reliablity but give handloaders fits due to short case life unless neck sizing only is done but this is often a problem of another type resulting in a hard bolt cam down.

The action itself is a realtively weak one and will blow up far sooner than more robust military bolt action designes. Not a worry if the weapon has good headspace and you only shoot quality ammo and do not handload for this weapon. Be aware though that many brand new Enfields have headspace on the generous side.

Be aware that the gas escape system is not as good as say the excellent 98 Mauser (the standard by which all bolt action military rifles are judged). So I would stay away from questionable military surplus ammo of advanced age or handloads done up by Joe Terrific in the back room of his garage.

Later model WWII Enfields had replaceable bolt heads to correct excess headspace which was one of the few designs of this weapon that I really admired.

Bolt throw was very smooth and very fast for a military rifle and it did hold 10 rounds as opposed to the 5 rounds of the ubiquitous Model 98 Mauser.

You will encounter many variations of these weapons and they are cheap enough in price so that begining collectors will be able to afford a collection of them.

There will always be a group of collectors that are drawn to collecting economically priced military weapons soley from the price standpoint and they will back their choice up with plenty of excuses for the weapon. Another example would be the crowd that loves the Russian designed Mosin rifles. A real example of an abortion of a military rifle if there ever was one.

From an historical stanpoint just about every collector may want at least one example of these rifles in his collection by I personally have not collected every variation possible. I chose rather to concentrate on some of the elite , premier series of military rifles viz "The 98 Mauser" which is "Sine qua non" to any military collection.

The firing pins of the Enfields took a special tool to remove them with , a point of design that I have never been enamored with.

The late WWII Jungle carbine was a dashing piece of ordinance that was a very handy weapon to use in jungle fighting or close range deer hunting. It was rugged and reliable but also suffered from pedestrian accuracy and some were plagued by a wandering zero although I have had no problems with my own personal Jungle Carbine in regards to a wandering zero.

In conclusion if I were you and I did not have an example of the WWI or WWII British Enfield I recommend that you buy it, just beware of its shortcomings.

jacks308
March 29, 2003, 06:55 PM
I second the voice for a #4Mk2 ! If you can hold minute of pie plate a 300 so can it . I've only used Greek surplus ammo in mine, But I'm sure handloads tuned to the rifle will make it work well for a long time to come .
I also have a #1Mk3 that has a groove diameter of .318 and as long as you use the proper size for it , the pie plates are in for a world of hurt with this one too . I use 215 grain cast lead at 1860 FPS in this one .

Jack

Prof
March 29, 2003, 08:39 PM
ShaiVong: Go to the website below and those guys will give you the lowdown on Enfields. There are some true "experts" on that particular rifle there, many of them former British soldiers who carried that rifle in combat. Don't let BHP9's review dissuade you. Stories about Enfields being prone to blowing up are like the stories of Glocks blowing up: yes, it probably has happened but it's far from the norm. Also, I think he is dead wrong when it comes to accuracy. The Enfield, especially in it's No.4 incarnation, can be a tack-driver. Out of the box (I got one of the "new" "Irish" No.4's), mine would hold under 1 1/2 inches at 100 yards with iron sights. I recently mounted a scope on it and can't wait to see what it will do with that! :) It's a great rifle and one of the few that still go for decent prices.

http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/lee-enfield/lee-enfield.pl?

cratz2
March 30, 2003, 12:39 AM
It really depends on the actual rifle. Some are in excellent condition with practically no wear. Others have pretty well worn out barrels.

Many have reported 2MOA with their Enfields. Best I've done with my scoped Enfield No 4 Mk 1* (with a $10 BSA 22 Special, by the way) is about 3" at 100 yards with South African surplus ammo.

I admit I was a bit disappointed with this as I have an Ishapore 2A1 which is basically a No 1 Mk III rifle in 7.62x51 NATO and I was able to keep most of my shots in 5" with the iron sights and not taking quite as much time between shots.

cratz2
March 30, 2003, 12:42 AM
By the way, those nasty greasy rifles clean up quite nicely with some soapy water, CLP, some tung oil and a couple days. ;)

http://photos.imageevent.com/cratz2/guns//DCP_1777a.jpg

http://photos.imageevent.com/cratz2/guns//DCP_1798a.jpg

Another website with plenty of information on the Enfields and other MilSurps is: www.milsurpshooter.net

Snowdog
March 30, 2003, 09:04 AM
My $59 Roses special with water damaged stock is able to print respectable groups.
It's my beater rifle that I loan out, but with decent ammunition, the accuracy surprise most who shoot it.

After an Advanced Technologies polymer stock facelift:
http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid41/pe88775e77ac0095609d65283867a731b/fcfa0057.jpg

With decent 174gr South African ammunition at 100 yards:

http://www.imagestation.com/picture/sraid41/pdb46d26bd01eb940cd41083254982d7a/fcfb6181.jpg

Mike Irwin
March 30, 2003, 03:00 PM
A former NRA coworker has a No. 4 Mk I(T) fitted by Holland & Holland that will, with handloads, hold under 1" at 100 yards all day long.

BHP9
March 30, 2003, 06:55 PM
In his book "A Rifleman Went to War" Mcbride who was a world class sniper if there ever was one regarded the Enfield as totally worthless for sniping. He used a variety of other rifles including a Ross and an American Enfield for serious sniping work.

Just about every major gun writer that has tested the Enfields over the last 50 years has come to the same conclusion as McBride did over 85 years ago.

I personally tested one of the elite Enfields many years ago , it was a mint condition WWII sniper in the original wooden box with the orginal scope. Its accruacy was nothing more than a bad joke and the gun was in mint condition. I did not own the rifle but the fellow that did was a crack shot and an ace machinest. After several years of experimentation with the gun he gave up and got rid of it.

I have had a few Enfields that would fire occasional 1 1/2 groups if shots were limited to 3 round groups and the barrel did not warm up.

The major falt of the Enfiled series of weapons was one of both a very light weight and flexible action coupled with a very thin diameter barrel. NONE OF WHICH IS CONDUCIVE TO CONSISTANT OR GOOD ACCURACY.

A heavier barrel on an Enfield does a lot for the improvement of accuracy in this weapon and it has been done in the past to prove the point. But for the run of the mill issue battle rifle it just did not cut the mustard with its standard issue barrel.

True ,you can often find a silk purse in a sowes ear occasionally but we are speaking of the average accuracy of the average military Enfield and no expert that I have ever read about in the last 40 some years has ever praised the Enfield for its steller accuracy.

My experiece with these rifles has mirrored theirs. Wishing the gun to be a steller performer just becuase one likes them does not change reality.

Marko Kloos
March 30, 2003, 07:14 PM
The Enfield rifles are the best bolt-action fighting rifles ever made. The cock-on-close action is lightning fast, and they hold twice as many rounds as most other bolt-action battle rifles. The Enfield was poo-pooed by Mauser purists when it came out, but it has proven to be every bit as capable as the Mauser in practical use.

If the Enfield has a shortcoming, it's the reliance on a rimmed round. Other than that, it's a fine rifle. I have a shortened No.4 Mk.1 which was my first own rifle.

Andrew Wyatt
March 30, 2003, 07:43 PM
that's funny. my utterly stock number4 mk1 which is not properly bedded turns in 3 inch groups (is that a cruel joke? I'm not familiar with accuracy ratings based on types of humor, so i'll have to be enlightened about that) on demand with PMC ammo (groups with south african ammo were the same size but four inches higher) at 100 yards.


i don't know what your definition of light is, but i'd not consider my enfield's barrel to be a "light" contour, especially given the muzzle diameter is about the same as my 1903.

nemesis
March 30, 2003, 09:15 PM
Chambers were often oversize to aid in reliablity but give handloaders fits due to short case life unless neck sizing only is done but this is often a problem of another type resulting in a hard bolt cam down.

I will most cheerfully dispute that statement. I fire milsurp Winchester and HFX ammo and then recover the cases for reloading. I neck size only and the cartridges glide smoothly into the chamber with no binding and no resistance to the bolt. I note that cases seem to last forever.

In his book "A Rifleman Went to War" Mcbride who was a world class sniper if there ever was one regarded the Enfield as totally worthless for sniping. He used a variety of other rifles including a Ross and an American Enfield for serious sniping work.

McBride was an American who enlisted with the Canadians to get into WWI. The No. 1 was in use then but the much improved No. 4 didn't get started until the proposed No. 1, Mk VI in 1926 and didn't go into actual production until the 'thirties.

Later model WWII Enfields had replaceable bolt heads to correct excess headspace which was one of the few designs of this weapon that I really admired.

To the best of my knowledge, all No. 4's featured the easily replaceable bolt head. Something not found on most other rifles and something which can remedy headspace problems in a few minutes, rather than the rather involved procedures required for most rifles.

The Lee Enfield No. 4 rifles are durable, reliable and darned pleasant to shoot. Critics may wish to dredge up notions of "soft" receivers and the possibility of KB's but history has shown this to be a reliable piece.

If you have a No. 4 that you feel is suspect as an unsafe weapon, send it to me. I'll be glad to accept it.

John G
March 30, 2003, 11:10 PM
I've got two Lee-Enfields, a #1, and a Jungle Carbine, and they're great. I got mine at good prices, and buy bulk surplus ammo. I've got some original cleaning kits, slings, dust covers, etc. Its great, because I can collect, and it won't break the bank. Great hobby guns. No complaints here!

swingset
March 31, 2003, 12:34 AM
My experiece with these rifles has mirrored theirs. Wishing the gun to be a steller performer just becuase one likes them does not change reality.

Just as your distaste for a rifle doesn't make it a bad rifle, no matter how good the rifle really is. That's reality, too. :D

I did receive a huge belly laugh at your bold dismissal of the Enfield as an action, tho. I commend you on that. I haven't laughed so hard in months. Bad snipers? Weak action? hehehehe. That's the best. Really.

May I suggest taking your nose out of the spine of the gun rags once and a while? You might learn something when you're next to my Enfields on the range.

cratz2
March 31, 2003, 01:20 AM
Honestly Wild Romanian... what guns do please you? The Browning Hi Power, I assume from your new name? What else?

BHP9
March 31, 2003, 07:25 AM
that's funny. my utterly stock number4 mk1 which is not properly bedded turns in 3 inch groups (is that a cruel joke? I'm not familiar with accuracy ratings based on types of humor, so i'll have to be enlightened about that) on demand with PMC ammo (groups with south african ammo were the same size but four inches higher) at 100 yards.

Thanks for being candid. This is closer to the typical accuracy of most British Enfields I have fired. This is an average and although many will ocassionaly shoot a few smaller groups the smaller groups are not the average accuracy of these pieces.

It must be remembered that as the range doubles so does the accuracy. Small wonder that famous Snipers like Mcbride shunned the Enfield.

Now contrast this to a good 98 Mauser. It is no be deal to shoot 3 shot 3/4 inch groups at 100 yards and I have fired plenty of 1/2 inch groups with them with quality match grade ammo. If the weapon is scoped or a person has 20/20 eysight shooting 1 inch groups with military ammo is no big deal and it is possible to do this consistantly. The Mauser design was so well thought out that the barrel is stepped which prevents it from walking its shots as the barrel warms up. I have seen plenty of Enfields walk shots as they heated up. Accuracy wise the Enfield is not even in the same ball park as a well built Mauser.

Its gas escape system is inferior.

Its take down is inferior.

Its safety is awkward and difficult to use if one wishes to get it off in a hurry. Contrast this to the lightening quick 98's safety. There just is no comparison.

The Enfields rimmed cartridge can and does cause feeding problems if the rounds are not loaded properly in the magazine and anyone who denies this just has not ever loaded on of these weapons under stress.

I will most cheerfully dispute that statement. I fire milsurp Winchester and HFX ammo and then recover the cases for reloading. I neck size only and the cartridges glide smoothly into the chamber with no binding and no resistance to the bolt. I note that cases seem to last forever.

Neck sizing is only good for a few reloadings. It does not prevent the shoulder from moving forward and when this happens the bolt becomes harder and harder to turn down no matter what type of action or brand of rifle you are using. You rapidly come to a point where you must again full length size your cases and in the case of the Enfield the cases do not last forever or for very long. People who load for the Enfield are well aware that no matter what they do the case life is very short in these weapons.

May I suggest taking your nose out of the spine of the gun rags once and a while? You might learn something when you're next to my Enfields on the range

A well educated person is quite proud of the fact that he reads all that is available to him. I have never pinched pennies or been miserly when it comes to education. Experience also must be included in the never ending acummulation of knowledge in regards to the firearm, but to shun one for the other or ostracize those that read is pure foolishness and the person who does not read is a person that is less than half educated as a student of the gun. If you were well educated in regards to the history and developement of the military bolt action rifle this debate of the Enfield v/s the Mauser would have not been necessary.

Okiecruffler
March 31, 2003, 07:55 AM
My No1 will shoot 2 1/2'' at 100 yrds with my reloads, which I think is pretty good for a 60+ year old rifle. It's not even a proper English made rifle, just a lowly Ishy. On another note, my reloads are done on the same 100 pieces of S&B brass that I started out with 4 years ago. I don't shoot it very often, prefering my Mosins which are better rifles than the Enfield or the Mauser, (that ought to stir things up abit) so I only have 6 loadings or so on the brass but it sems to be holding up rather well.

Art Eatman
March 31, 2003, 10:11 AM
The consensus over the last four or so years of posts about the Enfields is that they generally run about two MOA to three MOA with iron sights. They do a general best of half that with scopes, although one MOA is not as common as 1.5 MOA. Group size with military-style iron sights has little to do with the inherent accuracy of any rifle of whatever sort.

Given the number of guns and the amount of ammo fired by the various posters at TFL, the issue of a gas-vent port seems irrelevant. It's even less of an issue with quality ammo or intelligently-done :) reloads.

Since nobody is going to be using one as a "Sniper Rifle", the issue of likes and dislikes on the part of military personnel during WW I and WW II is also irrelevant.

:), Art

Bostonterrier97
March 31, 2003, 11:09 AM
BHP9 - Funny that you mentioned McBride's (or "Mac" as his comrades commonly referred to him) book. I just finished reading it.

On the Enfield. McBride actually praised the Enfield as being a fine intermediate range battle rifle. His greatest objection to it (this was the No.1 Mk.III SMLE by the way..) was that it didn't have rear Apeture Sight like the Ross Mk. III did.

This failing of the Enfield was rectified on, the No.1 Mk. V trials rifle and later on the No.4 Mk.1 Rifle.

McBride mentioned that the balance of the Enfield was superb. And unlike the Ross, the Enfield did NOT jam when dirty on under rapid fire conditions.

McBride mostly considered the Ross Rifle to be too unweildy. He did mostly use the Ross Rifle for Sniping. But he also did some sniping (as a Guest Shooter) with some Brits using an SMLE but the range was at 1000 yards and it was too far for him to be effective.

Most of McBride's sniping was done at a range of around 400 yards, where he and his spotter (a young Quebecois by the name of Bouchard) would set up behind their own lines and would shoot over their lines into the German placements..usually at an Angle so as not to give away their position.

No where in the Book do I recall McBride mentioning that he sniped with a P14 Enfield.

He did have some rather nasty things to say about the 1903 Springfield. His highest praise for sniping rifles went towards a Mauser or Steyr Mannlicher Carbine (am guessing on this rifle because McBride wasn't too clear on its identification) that he had captured from a German Sniper (former hunter or "Jaeger"). From McBride's description this rifle appeared to have about a 20-22 inch barrel, topped with a low power scope.

Bostonterrier97
March 31, 2003, 11:17 AM
Australian Sniper: Billy Sing. Used the No.1 Mk.III for all of his sniping exploits on Gallipoli.

Like Simo Haya who sniped during the Russo Finnish War, Billy Sing used the Iron Sights on his Rifle, instead of using a scope.

Also you mentioned that - "Its safety is awkward and difficult to use if one wishes to get it off in a hurry. Contrast this to the lightening quick 98's safety. There just is no comparison."

I must take exception to this remark. The Enfield's Safety is easily engaged or disengaged by the shooters right thumb. Just a quick upwards flick with the right thumb in order to disengage the safety, without breaking the grip of either hand.

However the safety on the Mauser, prevents the shooter from doing this. Instead the shooter must break their grip on the rifle in order to move the safety. Hardly "lightening fast".

And of course in your own words-"If you were well educated in regards to the history and developement of the military bolt action rifle this debate of the Enfield v/s the Mauser would have not been necessary"

This is only too true...

Tamara
March 31, 2003, 11:56 AM
...and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield sniper rifles is kinda apples and oranges, since the Mauser sniper rifles were hand-selected for accuracy and matched with factory-fitted scopes while the WWI-era Allied "sniper" rifles were pretty much just any old Enfield or Springfield grabbed at random. The earliest British snipers were literally handed a scope to mount to their issue Enfield without even being given any instructions for zeroing the sight.

Mike Irwin
March 31, 2003, 12:46 PM
"I have seen plenty of Enfields walk shots as they heated up."

Obviously you've never seen the same thing out of Mausers or Springfields, either, but I have. Plenty of times. Mainly that's not a question of the barrel, but of the stock impinging on the barrel, and can happen with any rifle.


"Accuracy wise the Enfield is not even in the same ball park as a well built Mauser."

So, by that statement, you're comparing a line Enfield to a hand built ("well built") Mauser?

Of course not, as the Germans specifically selected their sniping rifles.

Until just prior to WW II, the British didn't pay any attention to sniping, had no true training for it, and it wasn't until 1940, I believe, that they set in motion a program for No. 4 Mk Is to be selected from the line, tested for accuracy, and those showing the most promise sent to Holland & Holland, Rigby, or Evans for rework.

At battlefield sniping distances of the kind that one would expect to find in Europe, the No. 4 Mk I (T) more than held its own.

I also take umbrage at your suggestion that a line Mauser, using military quality ammunition, is a sub 1" gun. It's not. The occasional one may be, but certainly it's not a common thing.

You also toss in the qualifier about match ammo. Well duh. If you take time to develop the ammo for the gun it's going to shoot a lot better. That's true for any rifle, INCLUDING an Enfield.

As for the relative merits of the safety on the Mauser vs. the Enfield, you can't operate the Mauser safety without taking your hand from the wrist. With the Enfield, the safety was designed to be EASILY operated by the right thumb without having to take the hand away from the stock wrist. From that standpoint alone the Enfield safety is superior.

"If you were well educated in regards to the history and developement of the military bolt action rifle this debate of the Enfield v/s the Mauser would have not been necessary."

Not at all sure what you mean by this (other than indulging in the attempt for a snotty little bite) since I AM rather more than passingly familiar with the development and adoption of rifles in both Britain and Germany from the 1860s onwards.

Both rifles have much to recommend them, both rifles have shortcomings.

If I, however, were to have to go into combat, and given the choice of the major bolt rifles of WW I and WW II, my first choice, hands down, no questions asked, would be a No. 4 Mk I, followed by a No. 1, Mk III. Then, and only then, would I start to consider the other, lesser, battle rifles.

Ultimately, this entire exercise remains, a question about the relative accuracy merits of the Enfield vs. other bolt action rifles.

You seem to believe that the Enfield won't shoot groups of under 8 feet at 10 yards, while a run of the mill Springfield or Mauser will shoot one hole groups out to a few hundred miles.

Quite frankly, the truth of the matter is a lot closer to the center than you would ever care to realize, or possibly admit.

T.Stahl
March 31, 2003, 03:47 PM
Accuracy wise the Enfield is not even in the same ball park as a well built Mauser.

Time: last Saturday
Place: my brother's club
Occasion: annual service rifle championships
Participants: >20 shooters with mainly K98s and M96s and my brother with the only Enfield
Result: Brother makes third place, shooting an Enfield No.4 for the second time in his life.

P95Carry
March 31, 2003, 03:48 PM
From all comments (and I am still anj Enfield fan) .... it does seem the most sensible thing is, to keep in mind the limitations, such as they are. Some of the points raised as ''anti'' are in part at least ones I can go along with but, I never expect extremes of performance outa mine ..... am just very well satisfied with what they can do.



Small point .... damned if my memory is good enough to reliably recall the old maxim for clip loading .......

''Three up - two down'' ...... or was it the opposite?? I load my mags one round at a time and always try to follow this, such that topmost round strips off with rim ''ahead'' of next. That one tho will of course be ''behind'' the rim of the one below!! Very rarely tho have I had any probs at all feeding from mag.

cratz2
March 31, 2003, 05:52 PM
Yeah, I like the Lee Enfields the best of the surplus rifles but those Schmidt Rubins have got to be about the most accurate, esp if we're limited to iron sights. Even the 'not really a Schmidt- Rubin' K31s. :p

cratz2
March 31, 2003, 05:53 PM
If I, however, were to have to go into combat, and given the choice of the major bolt rifles of WW I and WW II, my first choice, hands down, no questions asked, would be a No. 4 Mk I...

I would absolutely agree with that statement. ;)

BHP9
March 31, 2003, 07:47 PM
He did have some rather nasty things to say about the 1903 Springfield. His highest praise for sniping rifles went towards a Mauser or Steyr Mannlicher Carbine (am guessing on this rifle because McBride wasn't too clear on its identification) that he had captured from a German Sniper (former hunter or "Jaeger"). From McBride's description this rifle appeared to have about a 20-22 inch barrel, topped with a low power scope.

My point exactly. Mcbride lived with a rifle in his hand and his views are not be dismissed with a wild wave of the hand. When one uses a rifle under adverse conditions and demanding conditions the worth of the mechanical device manifests itself and if it has an ugly head or two to rear the head sooner or later gazes upon the hapless user.

I think that the Enfield was a very rugged reliable rifle but to compare it to the accuracy ,strength, gas venting system or takedown of the Mauser 98 is to show a lack of understanding of the basic mechanical workings and history of the rifles in question.


I myself own several Enfields and my favorite is the dashing 'Jungle Carbine". My own example was made post war in 1946 under peace time conditions. Although the workmanship is very good it in no way compares to peace time 98 Mausers.
Its chamber is actually not as large as many of the Enfields I have encountered but it is still way larger than any Mauser chamber I have ever owned. As a matter of fact one side of the chamber is actually a little egg shaped which is readily apparent when one looks at the right side of any of the fired cases after they come out of the chamber. Once again the workmanship was not anywhere near that of a good "Contract Mauser" or peace time made Mauser or even most war time Mausers made by famous manufactures like the Belgian, Czech or German made guns.

Accuracy with this piece with match grade ammo and a 9 power telescopic sight is about 1 1/2 inches on a good day with groups typically stringing as the barrel heats up.

If you look at the pictures that Snow Dog posted you will see what type of groups I am speaking of and you will immediately see the stringing that I speak of that is so typical of Enfield type rifles. You won't find this from a well made 98 Mauser rifle.

I think to compare the Mauser to the Enfield is simply quite ludicrous. The Enfield was a working machine to be sure but simply not even in the same ball park as the well desiged and well thought out 98 Mauser.

I think the collector prices reflect my thinking beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mausers that I paid only $150 dollars not so long ago now bring anwhere from $500 to as high as $2,300.00. Enfields that I bought for around $75.00 can today still be purchased for not too much more than that. As a matter of fact I just bought a Savage U.S. military contract gun 6 months ago and the owner could not get $200.00 out of it despite the fact that it was brand new and unfired. I waited until the gun show was about to close and bought it for $150.00. I think the resale prices of the Enfield weapons being and always being very low as compared to the 98 Mausers says it all. People only pay big bucks for weapons that are very famous for their quality and design.

BHP9
March 31, 2003, 07:54 PM
...and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield sniper rifles is kinda apples and oranges, since the Mauser sniper rifles were hand-selected for accuracy and matched with factory-fitted scopes while the WWI-era Allied "sniper" rifles were pretty much just any old Enfield or Springfield grabbed at random. The earliest British snipers were literally handed a scope to mount to their issue Enfield without even being given any instructions for zeroing the sight.

Absolutely not true. German rifles were built to such high standards that it was not necessary to select them for accuracy. Although it is true that these rifles were indeed test fired as all Mauser rifles were wether they were snipers or just run of the mill battle rifles. In no case did they shoot batches of Mauser rifles and then select the best for snipers rifles. They had scopes attached to them and were test fired and if nothing was amiss they were passed on inspection. Although there were many manufactures for the 98 Mauser this is the general way that most of them were made. No one can say for sure that if at some time on some day at some arsenal someone did indeed take it upon himself to hand select a few weapons it was not and never was a general practice to waiste thousands of rounds of ammo looking for the most super accurate rifle to build up into a sniper. Its not even done that way today. It was not cost effective way back then when the price for everything was so much cheaper and it certainly is not practical to do it that way today either.

War condition time constraints also would never have allowed such antics even if desired. When men were in desperate need of sniper rifles worring about 1/8 inch accuracy difference would have been the height of sheer nonsense.

Andrew Wyatt
March 31, 2003, 08:03 PM
If the weapon is scoped or a person has 20/20 eysight shooting 1 inch groups with military ammo is no big deal and it is possible to do this consistantly.

the pure mechanical accuracy is almost useless when you cannot use it to its full advantage because of an inferior sighting system or trigger. my number4 mk1 has better sights and trigger than any of my four mausers, (model 98's, all) and as a consequence, I don't have to fight the rifle nearly as much to place hits on the ten inch steel places we use during our fighting rifle matches.


The Mauser design was so well thought out that the barrel is stepped which prevents it from walking its shots as the barrel warms up.
Gunpowder does not work in fits and spurts. a contoured barrel is preferable to a stepped profile, because it is lighter. the reason the germans made stepped barrels is because they're easier to manufacture. in a world of compromise, mauser did.

I have seen plenty of Enfields walk shots as they heated up. Accuracy wise the Enfield is not even in the same ball park as a well built Mauser.
it's funny you mention that. my enfield is the most accurate milsurp i own, and i'm a young, spry lad of 20, with good eyesight and trigger control.

Its gas escape system is inferior.
That is utter bovine fecal material. the gas escape system of the Enfield is greatly superior to that of the mauser, because any escaping gas is blocked by the bolt head a redirected out two rather large holes in the sides of the reciever directly behind the chamber. the rather "open" reciever aids the escape of gas, as well. I can show you some cases from some brit cordite ammo of WWII vintage that had splits halfway up the case after firing. ( i did not notice anything amiss untill i opened the bolt)

Its take down is inferior.
i'm going to assume you mean "dissassembly for cleaning" on this. again, you're completely wrong. the removal of the bolt for cleaning is just as fast and easy if you understand how to do the two step process.


Its safety is awkward and difficult to use if one wishes to get it off in a hurry. Contrast this to the lightening quick 98's safety. There just is no comparison.
you're right. there is no comparison between the vastly quicker and more convenient enfield safety and the quite out of the way mauser one.

The Enfields rimmed cartridge can and does cause feeding problems if the rounds are not loaded properly in the magazine and anyone who denies this just has not ever loaded on of these weapons under stress.
I've had rimlock a grand total of one time since i've had the rifle. I've had extraction problems quite a few more times with my mausers. Having the promary extraction of a case and the cocking of the striker in the stme part of the bolt stroke is just stupid, in my opinion.

BHP9
March 31, 2003, 08:08 PM
"Accuracy wise the Enfield is not even in the same ball park as a well built Mauser." So, by that statement, you're comparing a line Enfield to a hand built ("well built") Mauser

No I am comparing the run of the mill Mauser to the run of the mill Enfield. Anyone who has owned enough of these rifles will attest to the fact that the Mauser beats out the Enfield in the accuracy department by a good mile and a half.

Not at all sure what you mean by this (other than indulging in the attempt for a snotty little bite) since I AM rather more than passingly familiar with the development and adoption of rifles in both Britain and Germany from the 1860s onwards.

You certainly have a double standard Mike. I was merely responding to the poster that insulted me by telling me to get my nose out of books and actually shoot Enfields. This remark seems to be OK with you but when I responded to it, suddenly it is not viewed as quite cricket.

Both rifles have much to recommend them, both rifles have shortcomings.

True enough but when both are compared the Enfield has a lot more and I have named many of them.

QUOTE]As for the relative merits of the safety on the Mauser vs. the Enfield, you can't operate the Mauser safety without taking your hand from the wrist. With the Enfield, the safety was designed to be EASILY operated by the right thumb without having to take the hand away from the stock wrist. From that standpoint alone the Enfield safety is superior. [/QUOTE]

Perhaps your thumb is long enough to do this but mine certainly is not. I must also shift my grip and lift my hand off the stock to flick off the safety.

True enough but when both are compared the Enfield has a lot more and I have named many of them.

BHP9
March 31, 2003, 08:14 PM
That is utter bovine fecal material. the gas escape system of the Enfield is greatly superior to that of the mauser, because any escaping gas is blocked by the bolt head a redirected out two rather large holes in the sides of the reciever directly behind the chamber. the rather "open" reciever aids the escape of gas, as well. I can show you some cases from some brit cordite ammo of WWII vintage that had splits halfway up the case after firing. ( i did not notice anything amiss untill i opened the bolt)

Every major Gun writer than ever lived has disagreed with you. If you ever experiece a total case failure with the Enfield it in no way protects you like the 98 Mauser does. The 98 was designed this way from the ground up to protect shooters from catastophic failure while the Enfield was not.

I Suggest you go back and read the excellent artical by Rick Jamison of "Shooting Times" that explains in very clear terms the complete inner design of the 98 Mauser. Then after reading this read "The Bolt Action Rifle" by Frank De Hass in which he gives a run down on the gas systems of both guns. Again there is no comparison. The Mauser is the superior design.

Andrew Wyatt
March 31, 2003, 09:04 PM
a gun rag writer can say a mauser has a better hangling of gas from a ruptured case untill he's blue in the face, but that does not change the design of the rifle to reflect what they say. I'm intimately familiar with the design of both the enfield and the mauser, and I much prefer the enfield for my bolt action milsurp needs.

Mike Irwin
March 31, 2003, 09:07 PM
"Anyone who has owned enough of these rifles will attest to the fact that the Mauser beats out the Enfield in the accuracy department by a good mile and a half."

Let's see, 3 Springfields, 2 Mausers, and recently purchased my first Enfield.

More importantly, though, I've fired, extensively, at least a dozen of each .

I don't think anyone is disagreeing with you that the Enfield will shoot larger groups than a Sprinfield or a Mauser. What people ARE disagreeing with you on, though, is your categorization of the Enfield. Comments such as "beat it by a mile and a half" are indicative of this.

First off, please define "mile and a half."

Just what does that mean?

Do the many 2" groups I've shot with Enfields qualify as a "Mile and a half," while the many 1.75" groups I've shot with Springfields and Mausers qualify as tack driving accuracy?

Does my mileage vary when I throw in the many groups that I've shot with Enfields that have been tighter than those I've fired with Mausers & Springfields?

There are more than just a few people here with extensive experience with these rifles, and none of us seem to have any problems keeping all of our shots on paper plates at 100 meters with our Enfields, yet your messages seem to indicate that that is simply impossible...

"You certainly have a double standard Mike. I was merely responding to the poster that insulted me by telling me to get my nose out of books and actually shoot Enfields. This remark seems to be OK with you but when I responded to it, suddenly it is not viewed as quite cricket."

I didn't see the other comment, so I'll say this. Both of you stick a sock in your snotties if you can't play nice.


"True enough but when both are compared the Enfield has a lot more and I have named many of them."

Uhm... No, you've named many of what YOU consider to be short comings. There's a difference.

"Rimlock"

As the cartridges were loaded into strippers at the munitions factories, with the 3 down/2 up rim stacked features, stoppages due to rimlock were virtually unknown.

Rimlock was much more a danger in the days when the magazines had to be loaded by hand.

But, in those days, the magazines were to be held in reserve and the guns used as single-loading rifles for aimed vollyfire.

nemesis
March 31, 2003, 09:42 PM
BHP9 says.......
I think the collector prices reflect my thinking beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mausers that I paid only $150 dollars not so long ago now bring anwhere from $500 to as high as $2,300.00. Enfields that I bought for around $75.00 can today still be purchased for not too much more than that.

The above statement appears at odds with some of the Enfields currently offered for sale

BSA/H&H No.4Mk.1T, 1944, matching No.32Mk.3 telescope, w/lens covers, restocked in service with Canadian walnut, V.Good cond., $2395.00

Enfield L42A1, 1971, matching L1A1 telescope, w/chest, telescope case, lens covers, user handbook, and cleaning kit, V.Good cond., $2995.00

I always find it quite amusing when "experts" substitute personal emotions for real world logic. There is no point in attempting to interject fact into a discussion with a person who rejects anything contrary to his precarious personal opinion.

ShaiVong
March 31, 2003, 09:59 PM
How do i know if I find a "98" mauser? I found a 'spanish' mauser for $170. Where can i find out more about the different rifles based upon their SN's?

Mike Irwin
March 31, 2003, 10:19 PM
Not to mention that the attempt to affix the intrinsic value (not monetary) of an old gun by simple price alone means absolutely nothing at all, but is more a reflection of supply and demand.

For example, over the past couple of years I've seen excellent quality, used S&W Model 10s going for under $200.

In the same time I've also seen excellent quality used Taurus .38 Spls., the Taurus equiv. of the Model 10, for about the same price, or even more.

Why?

Because the used firearms market continues to be glutted with used Smith & Wesson revolvers of certain models, which serves to drive prices down.

Simple supply and demand, meaning that you can get an excellent handgun for an uncommonly low price.

Much the same is true of Enfields.

About 10 years ago when the large supply of No. 4 Mk IIs from Fazakerly came in prices on those dropped to well below $200 in the Northern Virginia area. Wish I had bought one of them then, as they're tough to find now and the last one I saw had a price of nearly $400.

When the United States finished beating Germany in WW II, and stripped her of arms, the vast majority of the Mausers came in then, and were avilable at exceptional prices, even for those times.

Being a victor, the British and their allies got to keep their Enfields, and used them well after WW II, meaning that fewer came into the country until these nations started surplusing them out recently. Since then large numbers have come into the country, pushing prices down.

The same is true with other rifles.

10 years ago I could have bought a Soviet SVT 40 for about $200. I've seen a couple at shows in the past year for pushing $500.

The Swiss K31. 10 years ago, if you could find one, they were bringing a couple hundred or more.

These days? I'm going to buy the next one I see at under $125.

swingset
April 1, 2003, 12:26 AM
BHP9

It's obvious you dislike Enfields tremendously. You will not let up. Your ranting on them and defensive language are silly and one dimensional. Also, you're wrong.

The anecdotal evidence is against you, the opinion of great gunsmiths and shooters are against you, and the lessons of history are against you. A few slanted, biased writers cry foul of the gun and it's a bad egg? Not hardly. Worse has been said of the M16 variants, yet they continue to win matches and wars. Your opinion is like, well, you know the addage.

The Enfield is a strong, reliable and accurate action that has withstood the test of time. Sorry to rain on your parade.

cratz2
April 1, 2003, 12:51 AM
In my best BHP9 voice... 'It sucks because I don't like it! I mean, I've never shot one, but I'm pretty sure I hate 'em'.

Why don't you go bug the people on milsurpshooter.net They like guys that verbally trash guns that are 2MOA or 3 MOA after a few decades over there. :p

John G
April 1, 2003, 01:22 AM
I gotta say, this thread was a real wake-up call for me. I need to get my Enfields out this weekend! There's top hats to burn!:D

Mike Irwin
April 1, 2003, 02:08 AM
Well, John, you can burn those top hats with your Enfield as long as the muzzle's touching them.

If you pull back even an inch, you'll miss because the Enfield is so dreadfully inaccurate. :D

Lone Star
April 1, 2003, 08:16 AM
Winchester and Federal make good 180 grain .303 ammo for hunting. I especially like the shape of the Winchester bullet.

Lone Star

BHP9
April 1, 2003, 08:56 AM
I think the collector prices reflect my thinking beyond a shadow of a doubt. Mausers that I paid only $150 dollars not so long ago now bring anwhere from $500 to as high as $2,300.00. Enfields that I bought for around $75.00 can today still be purchased for not too much more than that.

The above statement appears at odds with some of the Enfields currently offered for sale

BSA/H&H No.4Mk.1T, 1944, matching No.32Mk.3 telescope, w/lens covers, restocked in service with Canadian walnut, V.Good cond., $2395.00

Now you are playing games which do not reflect reality at all. I was speaking of the bulk of military collecting in regards to Mausers v/s Enfields. The weaponsyou quoted were snipers and those examples are very rare model snipers.

What I posted to begin with was very valid. The Average price of the average WWII Mauser or Contract Mauser has gone up dramatically while the average price of the standard grade Enfields (all of them from WWI thru WWII has remained relatively low over the last 40 years.

Now then,why was I able to buy an unfired run of the mill WWII Enfield for the paltry sum of $150 and if I had wanted to buy an unfired Mauser from this same period as made in Germany during WWII I would have paid a way higher price. Contract Mausers are often even more expensive.

The facts are that in the collecting field the Mauser is and always has been the better investment. None , I repeat none of the run of the mill Enfield battle rifles sold yesterday or sell today for anywhere near what a good Mauser will bring. Even the rare sniper versions of the Enfield that you quoted in your post are much harder to sell for higher dollars than the Mausers are. Anyone can ask any ridiculous price that they wish for a sniper but when the big bucks change hands its almost always for the Mauser. Few collectors I know whould pay anywhere near some of the prices you quoted for sniper Enfields but these same people will readily pay that much and more for German snipers because of the great demand for them.

I have never had a problem getting money out of a good Mauser but any advanced or even beginning collector will tell you that selling an Enfield for big bucks is an entirely different ball game. Unless the weapon happens to be extremely rare you can forget ever seeing your investment grow by the leaps and bounds that Mauser collectors enjoy.

My current Enfield collection is worth very little at yesterdays prices and todays prices.

My current Mauser collection is astronomically higher in value.

A trip to any big gun show will tell anyone, even the raw begining collector what is selling for high dollars and what is selling at bargan basement prices and military guns like Enfields and Mosins have always been at the bottom of the low dollar list.

For example try comparing a German Mauser made in 1939 or 1940 to the price of an Enfield or Mosin made in the same year. There is no comparison in price. Any real military rifle collector will tell you that, providing that he can keep his composure long enough to get the words out.

BHP9
April 1, 2003, 09:26 AM
Several of you posted that you thought German Snipers could not be compared to sniper Enfields or other military snipers because they were hand built and it would be unfair to compare them as it would not be comparing apples to apples..

Here is some documentation to back up my previous post on this subject and for those few of you who are really serious students of the Sniper rifles, here is a world renowned author who wrote several books on the history of sniper rifles.

Peter R. Senich is recognized as one of he world's foremost authorities on the history of military sniping weapons systems both old and new and their tactical applications. He is a leading military historian and weapons expert as well.

I quote from the book "The German Sniper 1914 to 1945".Page 79.



The military forces of the Reich employed as their standard sniping arms the Karabiner 98K (K98) series and the Gewehr-Karabiner 43 (G-K43) series rifles. These weapons respectively were the instruments of German sniping influence throughout the Second World War.

Of the two rifle series the 98k was by far the choice of true sniping specialists, even after the introduction early in 1943 of the Selbstladegewhr 43 (self-loading Rifle 43), which was an evolution of German semiautomatic design that had commenced either just before or early in the war. There is nothing to indicate that either series weapons as issued to snipers for field service was ever manufactured soley for the purpose of sniping, that is, hand-built to exacting specifications using other than regular components. End of quote.

I think that anyone who has collected and shot the Mauser Rifles is shocked by the extreme accuracy of the Belgian, Czech and German rifles of the WWI through WWII period. Even late model WWII Mausers made as late as 1945 with slave labor and less polishing often exhibited outstanding and whats more consistant accuracy that is equaled by few if any of the other countries rifles that were produced during the WWII period.

It was only much later in time with the advent of things like heavy barrel snipers that the accuracy was finally exceded over the original German Sniping rifle and even today with all of the advanced bedding techniques and advances in barrel making an original WWII German sniper with nothing more than a heavy barrel added will often shoot today right up there with the plastic and sheet metal rifles of todays man at arms and do it more reliably under adverse conditions.

If we are not speaking solely in terms of extreme accuracy the orignal WWII German sniper even today in its original form is still probably the better sniper than most of todays "Plastic fantastic weapons" both from a reliability standpoint, a safety standpoint and an ease of repair and field maintenace.

Add a heavy barrel and synthetic stock to the old war horse and few if any of todays sniper rifles can even remotely compare to it.

The same statement cannot be made today or yesterday regarding the Enfield series of weapons.

Art Eatman
April 1, 2003, 09:42 AM
Aw, c'mon, BHP9, go back and read Mike Erwin's comments and then put your memory back to Economics 101: Supply up, price down. Demand up, price up. All that stuff.

Most of the good 98 Mausers got sucked up long ago. They're generally more aesthetically pleasing to the average shooter than the Enfield, and purty do indeed make a difference. :) To me, the Mauser is indeed purtier, but the cock-on-closing has been proven to be faster in aimed fire So what? I ain't goin' to combat.

Pricing on these old milsurp guns has nothing much to do with relative quality/accuracy. A lot of it has to do with advertising hype or relative scarcity or scarcity/condition, as with old Morgan dollars, e.g.

I realize times change, but some 55 years ago, the only reason you glommed on to a Model 98 was to build a custom rifle with some useful cartridge. The rifle itself was just another clunky old military critter. Lotta GIs in Europe would take off the stock and cut off the barrel, bringing only the receivers back to the States.

I'm just curious why some outfit in Czechoslowherever hasn't set up a factory to produce Original! Model 98s. You know, one of those "just found!" caches of never-used rifles. :D Heck, maybe they have! :D :D

Art

Tamara
April 1, 2003, 10:00 AM
There is nothing to indicate that either series weapons as issued to snipers for field service was ever manufactured soley for the purpose of sniping, that is, hand-built to exacting specifications using other than regular components.

Wow. That's an interesting quote.

You'll note, however, that my reference stated "hand-selected" and not "hand-built". Also, uh, I don't know why you're saying anything about WWII when I clearly stated:

...and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield

(Ref: The Military Sniper Since 1914, by Martin Pegler, p. 14-24)

People only pay big bucks for weapons that are very famous for their quality and design.

Those must be some quality stampings on a Gyrojet, then! :eek:

Have a nice day! :)

Mike Irwin
April 1, 2003, 01:11 PM
"People only pay big bucks for weapons that are very famous for their quality and design."

That's the biggest chuckle I've had in a couple of days.

I remember distinctly seeing Makarovs changing hands in the early 1980s for well over $1,000.

I remember seeing Russian SKS' changing hands for in the $700 range.

Yet, lately, it's easy to find these guns for well under $200.

Why?

Certainly not because they were any great shakes on quality and design, but because the were extremely difficult to find, but when the Soviet Union collapsed they started coming in in record numbers. Less product = higher price, more product = lower price. There's always someone who is willing to pay a lot for firearms that aren't worth nearly that much other than for the fact that they're hard to come by.

To say otherwise indicates a basic lack of understanding of how market pricing works.

This is, any way you look at it though, slipping from the sublime to the ludicrous.

ShaiVong,

I think you have more than enough information based on the personal, practical experience of the Enfield owners here to make an informed purchase, and know what to REASONABLY expect from an Enfield.

Let us know how you make out.

BHP9
April 1, 2003, 06:34 PM
You'll note, however, that my reference stated "hand-selected" and not "hand-built". Also, uh, I don't know why you're saying anything about WWII when I clearly stated:

.[/B]and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield

Sorry Tamara there still is not enough wiggle room to get out of this one and we all know what you originally ment.

During WWI the nations who used Sniper rifles all used a variety of weapons both military and even sporting rifles were used. To infer that somehow the playing field was not level becuase of supposed hand picked or hand built German rifles in regards to the English , Russians or Americans is to be unaware of what really happened in history.

The facts were that the English even used Elephant rifles, sporting rifles and specially modifed American built Enfields in both .303 and 30-06 calibers against the Germans which shows you what a wide variety of rifles that were experimented with.

Sniper rifles were really in their infancy then although they were used farther than that back in history but when we are talking of the sniper rifle as used in modern wars WWI was a real learning experience for both sides.

[]In conclusion you were in error no matter which war you were speaking of WW1 or WW11

BHP9
April 1, 2003, 06:57 PM
People only pay big bucks for weapons that are very famous for their quality and design.

" That's the biggest chuckle I've had in a couple of days.

remember distinctly seeing Makarovs changing hands in the early 1980s for well over $1,000

remember seeing Russian SKS' changing hands for in the $700 range

I think you are using extremely far out examples to try and prove a pont that is no where near valid. Let me explain.

I lived through those times too and few people paid outrageous prices for markov's no matter how rare they were. You can always find extreme examples of people who did strange far out things because either they were very wealthy or were in a panic situation because of an new gun law that just banned something.


But in reality the average person did not and never has spent huge sums on weapons that they knew were not of quality. My statement was very valid and using extreme examples proves absoluteyl nothing. It does not change what the majority of people have done in the past and will continue to do in the future. By and large the majority does not and never has invested their money in substandard weapons.

Even rare weapons like the Gryojet appeal only to a small select group of investers that hope to make a profit someday solely on the fact that the low quality weapon in question might someday make a profit but the majority of collectors I have personally talked to break out in laughter at such investments and prefer to invest in something that gives them tremendous pride of ownership. That is what drives the majority of collectors. Not the prospect of making a quick buck on a hunk of sheet metal.

This is exactly why Mausers even when they were more plentyful in years past always brought way more money than other military rifles like the Enfield. They are scarce today which was a point Art made but one of the reasons they are scarce is that so many of them went into long time collections and stayed there. They were not traded off after a few corrosive rounds were fired out of them like so many of the other military rifles. Many of which,have been called by even those that imported them, as merely a drug on the market.

ShaiVong
April 1, 2003, 08:32 PM
I guess I dropped my own MOAB with this thread :evil:

Marko Kloos
April 1, 2003, 09:02 PM
Of the two rifle series the 98k was by far the choice of true sniping specialists, even after the introduction early in 1943 of the Selbstladegewhr 43 (self-loading Rifle 43), which was an evolution of German semiautomatic design that had commenced either just before or early in the war.

God, I hate these "German superweapons" threads. German tanks could take naval 16" shells and survive, German rifles are made by anal-retentive gunsmiths who crank out nothing but sub-MOA rifles, and every German soldier was a sniper....blah, blah, blah. "I'm not saying they were right or anything, but their tanx were cool!"

The Mauser is a fine rifle and without a doubt the most ubiquitous bolt-action design on the planet, but it's not the be-all and end-all of rifle design. Mauser sights have always been crappy v-notch jobs; German iron sights on all their pre-Bundeswehr rifles have always been inferior to the excellent irons on a Garand or the peep sights on the No.4 Enfield. The Mauser bolt cocks on opening, so it's not as fast to operate as the Enfield bolt. The Mauser safety is more awkward to operate than the ones on the Enfield, Garand, or even the Steyr-Mannlicher M1895.

The Selbstladegewehr 43 wasn't an "evolution". It was a hasty response to Russian and American designs, and the first German self-loader after the Germans got over their irrational fear of tapping the barrel in any way for gas operation. It was OK, and popular with the troops because of decent accuracy and its 10-round box mag, but it was in no way exceptional.

Not the prospect of making a quick buck on a hunk of sheet metal.

Late-war 98k Mausers had plywood stocks and stamped sheet-metal magazine floorplates, trigger guards, and barrel bands. They were still fine shooters, since the action was not affected by the cheap furniture, but they were by no means high-grade. Looks like Germans didn't mind cutting corners on their superweapons on occasion.

Granted, German optics were fine, and a Carl Zeiss scope was loads more desirable than a Russian PU scope, but the Mauser wasn't the superior match-grade super-rifle you make it out to be. You don't need to poo-pooh the Enfield so much just to elevate the Mauser. Some people think that the harder you rip stuff, the more "hard-hitting" a critic you are.

cratz2
April 1, 2003, 09:27 PM
Hey lendringser, what do you know about German stuff?

You anti-Germanic elitist, you. :p

cratz2

John G
April 1, 2003, 10:12 PM
Here's a great picture from Iraq.

http://us.news2.yimg.com/us.yimg.com/p/afp/20030401/capt.sge.qrw81.010403145838.photo03.default-256x384.jpg

"US Marines Cap Brian Ross from the 2nd Battalion/8th Regiment looks at a World War I British rifle found at an aluminium factory in the southern Iraqi city of Nasiriyah.(AFP/Eric Feferberg)"

Tamara
April 1, 2003, 10:36 PM
Sorry Tamara there still is not enough wiggle room to get out of this one and we all know what you originally ment.

Sorry, BHP9, but I ain't the one who needs "wiggle room", you are.

What you think I "meant" is immaterial, since we can all go take a look at what I actually said, which was this:

...and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield sniper rifles is kinda apples and oranges, since the Mauser sniper rifles were hand-selected for accuracy and matched with factory-fitted scopes while the WWI-era Allied "sniper" rifles were pretty much just any old Enfield or Springfield grabbed at random. The earliest British snipers were literally handed a scope to mount to their issue Enfield without even being given any instructions for zeroing the sight.

You responded with some irrelevant data about WWII Mausers.

I made a post stating a fact: the Germans entered WWI with (in addition to requisitioned sporting rifles) 15,000+ factory selected, factory-scoped Mausers. This is a fact. (Pegler, p. 15)

I stated another fact. The British entered WWI with a handful of different "clip-on" 2x scopes which were issued with the intent of being mounted on any old issue Enfield. (Pegler, p.19)

And finally, this quote from Pegler: "...the 7.92mm Mauser Gewehr 98 was generally believed to be the best, partly due to its selection process, whereby only rifles that had proved particularly accurate during testing were chosen." (p. 20)

There's more, but I'll stop there.

In short, your little remark could have just been shortened to:

Sorry Tamara

...and it would have been more accurate. :)

Your apology is graciously accepted, however. Have a nice day! :)

cracked butt
April 1, 2003, 10:54 PM
I've been watching this thread from afar, as it seems Enfield vs Mauser threads seem to get heated in a hurry.

I don't belive that price has everything to do with quality of an item. WWII K98's sell for a real premium these days only if they are original pieces with their waffennampts intact. A k98 in a sporter stock or with its waffenampts pinged out can hardly fetch $150. The prewar k98's were of good quality, but not any greater and sometimes less than Czech and Swedish made mausers that sell for considerably less money.

I'm no big fan of the Enfield if only because I don't own one YET (though that may change soon), and I own and shoot alot of mauser variations, but I don't think WWII German K98's have any kind of mythical or magically embued powers that their price tags suggest that would make them so much more superior to any other rifle created since.:D

Gewehr98
April 1, 2003, 11:40 PM
If BHP9 (WildRomanian?) is good at anything, it's busting people's chops. He's gotten so proficient at it that, if you look real close, you'll notice he doesn't even leave a PM or email button on his user profile. Kinda makes you wonder why, don't it?:scrutiny:

I love my 98 Mauser collection, but dagnabbit, looking at that WW1 NoIMkIII SMLE, with original stacking swivel, I want another Lee Enfield! (I'm down to just two of the old girls in my collection, there's always room for more!)

John G
April 1, 2003, 11:46 PM
You know, that captured Enfield, like so many other captured Iraqi weapons, will probably be destroyed. :(

Why can't they resell 'em on the US market for pennies on the dollar? Or at least give them to the Kurds. Or am I dreaming again?

hondo68
April 2, 2003, 12:12 AM
That Marine just finished digging through a pile of Mausers, and is now looking for a tank to throw his M16 under. "At last, a decent rifle that won't jam in the sand!"
:D

Bostonterrier97
April 2, 2003, 01:09 AM
Rifles built on No. 4 Mk.1 and Mk.2 Lee Enfield Actions held their own at long range competitions at Bisley, England.

Gordon
April 2, 2003, 02:48 AM
Certainly DID more than "hold their own" although I don't know what the heck is happening in castrated UK currently.:fire:

BHP9
April 2, 2003, 07:33 AM
to Tamara

I guess we agree to disagree because although what you say is true what you I am sure purposely left out is the fact that a wide variety of sniper weapons were used in WWII many of which where hand built and tested by the forces opposed to the Germans. And when I say hand built I am not talking of modern day super accuracy techniques but rather built with various scope mounts and scopes to be used for sniping purposes.

A wide variety of scopes were used and the weapons were test fired before they put them into use. So to say that the Germans held the advantage because they took more care in the selection of their weapons is only fantasy. You do a great disservice to the many people both British and Americans that worked very hard to come up with sniper rifles that were able to reach out and touch the Germans as their weapons were doing to us.

The different weapons that McBride used proved that our side was in a constant search for weapons to combat what the Germans were using at the time. The Warner & Swasey WWI sope that we used on our 03 Springfields went under numerous tests and as I have said before both sides did test their weapons and if nothing was seriously amiss they passed inspection and were issued.

I still think that you still attempting to foster the myth that the Germans somehow used the super sniper weapon that underwent stringent tests and that most were rejected and only the elite of the elite were issued.

This is false because at the time advanced sythentic bedding techniques had not even been invented yet. There were no super match grade heavy barrels that were used by either side. In short the weapons in queastion were all built to the same standards and the weapons that were selected would have been rejected only if they had some very severe accuracy problems.

I will agree that the Germans may have indeed used one rifle over another that may have shot a slighty smaller group but here again the difference we are speaking of did not amount to a hill of beans and in many cases the groups one person shot with one rifle on one day and another person shot on another day often more than not reflected the skill of the shooter not so much the inherent accuracy of the rifles in question. This is because all of them were built to such high standards. Those of us like myself that have shot weapons in competition all of our lives and have collected and shot military rifles are well aware that these rifles were so accurate that any difference between them by an large was very small indeed.

The playing field was indeed level and McBride would not have survived very long at all if this were not so. He so to speak was living proof against your mythical , invincible hand built super German Sniper rifle.

The earliest British snipers were literally handed a scope to mount to their issue Enfield without even being given any instructions for zeroing the sight.

What does a lack of training have to do with the debate on the equipment used. And here again you are talking of early in the war not later when the training and weapons became more advanced. Who do you think invented the "Gilly Suit".

BHP9
April 2, 2003, 07:50 AM
The Mauser bolt cocks on opening, so it's not as fast to operate as the Enfield bolt. The Mauser safety is more awkward to operate than the ones on the Enfield, Garand, or even the Steyr-Mannlicher M1895.

I am glad you mentioned this myth. It is about as mythical as the old tired war stories of th 1911's knocking people off their feet if they were only hit in the finger.

Facts are that those of us that have shot in competition know that the Enfield is not any faster at all than the 98 Mauser"IN AIMED ACCURATE FIRE"

I will admit that if you "rapid fire" an Enfield bolt as fast as you can manipulate it , it is indeed faster than the Mauser but it means absolutely nothing if the fire is not aimed accurate fire. You are smiply filling the atmoshere with a lot of burnt up gun powder.

If anything you should have pointed out the increased magazine capacity of the Enfield not any mythical superiority in terms of rapid bolt manipulation. In reality it simply does not make any real differcence at all. I have shot rapid fire scores with both weapons and due to the superiority of the more accurate Mauser my scores were always higher in the rapid fire event. If you do not hit anything ,wether you are on the target range or in warfare it matters not at all how fast you can manipulate the bolt.

Another myth busted wide open and an amazing story of the British Enfield used in rifle competition

If we go with the old myth that the faster the bolt manipulation in rapid fire events the better the scores then the semi-auto should beat out the British Enfield in rapid fire competition. The myth is proved wrong again. In the 1940's the British using Enfields beat out the Americans in rapid fire competiton when the Americans were using the semi-auto M1 Grand that experts agree is slightly more accurate than the Enfield and it also cycles the bolt because of its gas operated mechanism far faster than any human could manipulate a bolt of any bolt action rifle. Why then did not the Americans with the match? The answere is simple. In aimed accurate fire the rapid manipulation or cycling of the bolt made no difference at all in scores accomplished. Otherwise the Americans would have easily beat the British. The British should have lost because of the superiorty of the faster cycling and more accurate M1 but actually won because of superior riflemanship due to the fact that to win, aimed accurate fire had to be accomplished...

So the myth that the Enfield was the superior bolt action rifle because of speed of manipulation of the bolt as compared to the Mauser has proved only a myth because to hit something it has to be accomplished with aimed accurate fire and the Mauser has more than enough speed to easily accomplish this as my scores in actual matches proved..

As far as safety manipulation I have always been able to flick off the 98's safety much more easily than the Enfield. Your experience may be different but I find personally that the Enfield is the more difficult safety to disengage. As a matter of fact when trying to use it in a hurry I have often failed to move the safety at all due to its extreme horizontal position when in the locked safe position. Its way too easy unders stress to ram your thumb into it and have nothing happen at all because it did not move towards the off position.

cratz2
April 2, 2003, 09:21 AM
Who do you think invented the "Gilly Suit".

What the heck's a "gilly suit"?

Matthew_Q
April 2, 2003, 09:36 AM
Enfield not accurate in rapid fire??


The world's record for fastest accurate shooting of a manually operated rifle was accomplished with a No1MK3.

IIRC

38 rounds in 60 seconds, all in a 12" bull at 300 yards.

Tell me that ain't fast and accurate!


(gotta find the source, tho... )

From what I heard, around the time of WWII, the average English soldier was expected to be able to pop off 15 rounds in a minute, and achieve decent combat accuracy. With a Mauser, you're LUCKY if you can get off 15 rounds even if your accuracy suffers.

Anyway, I don't want to jump into a cat fight, but I gotta say, between the Enfield and Mauser, well.. they're BOTH great rifles. I think in combat, though, the Enfield had the advantage.

Tamara
April 2, 2003, 09:45 AM
I guess we agree to disagree because although what you say is true what you I am sure purposely left out is the fact that a wide variety of sniper weapons were used in WWII many of which where hand built and tested by the forces opposed to the Germans. And when I say hand built I am not talking of modern day super accuracy techniques but rather built with various scope mounts and scopes to be used for sniping purposes.

I guess we do no such thing. You are once again bringing all manner of irrelevent data to the table. (I'm assuming that your "WWII" above is a typo and you meant WWI).

Let's review what I said, for the third time:

...and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield sniper rifles is kinda apples and oranges

Let's roll tape again to be sure:

...and, of course, comparing WWI Mauser, Springfield and Enfield sniper rifles is kinda apples and oranges


The key words here are "WWI" (which means that any data about WWII or Vietnam or whatever is not germane to the discussion at hand) and "Mauser, Springfield and Enfield" (which means that the Ross or the Steyr-Mannlicher or Captain St.John-Smythe's personal Jeffery-Farquharson in 500/450 Nitro Express have nothing to do with what we're talking about).

(Although since you keep bringing up WWII:
Speaking of "hand-built" and "modern day super accuracy techniques", when the Enfield in question is a No.4 Mk.I(T) there seem to be no real complaints about accuracy. I guess a light workover by Holland & Holland will do that for you. ;) )

He so to speak was living proof against your mythical , invincible hand built super German Sniper rifle.

Again, I have not used the words "hand-built" anywhere, so please stop attributing them to me. All I said is that the average Mauser sniper rifle of WWI benefitted from being a hand-selected rifle with a factory-fitted scope, while the WWI Enfield or Springfield sniper rifle was a standard service-grade weapon selected at random and fitted with a hodge-podge of makeshift scopes and mounts. This is a fact.

Tamara
April 2, 2003, 09:58 AM
Another myth busted wide open and an amazing story of the British Enfield used in rifle competition

Huh? Were you talking about T.Stahl's post earlier in this thread?

Lemme repeat it:

Time: last Saturday
Place: my brother's club
Occasion: annual service rifle championships
Participants: >20 shooters with mainly K98s and M96s and my brother with the only Enfield
Result: Brother makes third place, shooting an Enfield No.4 for the second time in his life.

Hey, you're right! Another myth busted wide open and an amazing story of the British Enfield used in rifle competition. Pretty cool, huh? ;)

cratz2
April 2, 2003, 10:20 AM
It is funny how a fairly innocent question about a 'ugly little greasy' rifles 'going for under $200' can turn into which battle rifle made the best sniper rifle with regards to not picking the best of the lot. :confused:

Simple as this. Many folks are very very happy with their Lee Enfields. The No 1 Mk III is probably the longest issued bolt action rifle in history. I prefer the receiver sight on the No 4 Mk I. The ammo the British loaded was notoriously crappy and that no doubt hampered on field accuracy but they still seem to have done the job.

If I had to take to the hills with one battle rifle, it would be a No 4 Mk 1 and a combination of South African surplus and Hornadys 150 Gr soft points. And I would feel well armed. Very well armed. ;)

Art Eatman
April 2, 2003, 10:46 AM
I forget the name of the competition rifle match, but in the good ol' daze before WW II, it was a military deal which included teams from the U.S. and Britain. Palma? Just don't remember.

Anyhow, the Brits were as fast in the rapid fire part with their Enfields as our guys were with Garands. I think Elmer Keith spoke to this in his "Hell, I Was There".

I have noted during my life that any action which takes less physical strength can be done more rapidly. Thus, cycling of a cock-on-closing rifle is inherently faster than a cock-on-opening rifle. Less effort is required on the part of weaker muscles for opening the bolt; the closing of the bolt is using stronger muscles which makes that time equal between c-o-c and c-o-o.

And that's the end of this peeing contest...

:D, Art

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