M 39 vs Lee Enfield No.4 mk1


January 6, 2010, 09:01 PM
Which would you prefer to have ? It be M 39 hands down for me bec of ammo availability and familiarity to Mosin action. The No 4 is a classic worth having but dont know to find good cheap surplus. The rear peep sight is nice to have like a Garand. I bet these are as good and accurate as the M 39s.

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January 6, 2010, 09:12 PM
The Finns product improved the Mosin Nagant as far as that clunky action can be improved.

Back in the fun days, I used to shoot my military surplus rifles in the local 100 yard highpower match. The M39 has exposed barrel before the rear sight. That exposed barrel would get hot during rapid fire and heat waves coming off the barrel messed up my aim. I could see the target floating around in the mirage.

Lee Enfields are not target rifles, I believe the M39 would shoot inside of my Lee Enfields, but so what. I could not win a match with either one of them.

The stock configuration of the M39 is far better than a Lee Enfield, but the trigger is not. The sights on a No 4 are better that those on a M39. I would much rather have ten rounds than five.

Both are fun rifles, but I consider the Lee Enfield the better battle rifle.

I would much rather go hunting with a No 5 Jungle Carbine than any other military surplus rifle.

January 6, 2010, 09:12 PM
In my experience, as a lefty, the M39 is much better and easier to work than the Lee. Plus cheap ammo, and the sights aren't that bad (though admittedly not as good as the No.4).

Ohio Gun Guy
January 6, 2010, 09:14 PM
The Enfield!

January 6, 2010, 09:16 PM
I use my Fazakerley #4mk1 in Vintage Matxhes. It will hold 2" groups @ 100 yards with my reloads (thus no issue looking for ammo for me). I shot against a K31 and M39, along with 03's. The Enfield is definately easier to shoot quickly, and my accuracy was on par with the other shooters.

January 6, 2010, 09:56 PM
I'd love to have a No.4. I owned two Finn M-39's and the one was hands down the finest military rifle I have ever fired. It was a work of art - beautiful wood and a plum brown/reddish barrel. And it was bloody accurate. I sold them off back when I was consolidating calibers.
Having said that, if I get another milsurp it will likely be the Enfield.

January 6, 2010, 11:23 PM
My jungle carbine (scoped) will hold about 2" with my handloads if I let the barrel cool between shots. It does not suffer from the "wandering zero" either.

January 6, 2010, 11:38 PM
I shot a local (informal) high-power prone match with my M-39 at 200 yards. I shot more or less on par with the folks who were using off-the-shelf 20" ARs. I have a No. 4 MK 1 as well. I have an affinity for the Lee Enfield type rifles (I also own a Jungle Carbine). I have always loved LE's since I was a kid. .303 British does not have anywhere near as bad of a concussion as 7.62x54mmR. The recoil also seems diffirent- more push, less snap. The trigger on my M39 is way better than the trigger on either of my LE's. While my Mo. 4 is capable of good accuracy, I believe that my M39 is more accurate. Though, I need to shoot some real quality ammo out of both to validate that statement.

January 7, 2010, 12:17 AM
Up here in canada we have lots of LE kicking around and ammo is available in almost every store that sell ammo. I have a old gal that shoots under 2" with 180g reloads. the only M39 I have ever shot was not as accurate. Now a m96 sweed in 6.5x55 kicks butt, the most accurate of all my milsurps including my M1A.

American Finn
January 7, 2010, 08:51 PM
This is a tough one. The Finns are fanatical about rifle accuracy, so their Mosin Nagants had barrels that were made of the finest materials and the closest tolerances (as compared to WWII Soviet "war time quality" M91's). A Finnish M-N is capable of 2" groups all day at 100 yards.

The No. 4 has better sights and a bolt action that is far smoother than any Nagant. However, a No. 4 that was made during the war years in England will more than likely have an oversize bore, sometimes as large as .316". This is not conducive to accurate shooting. However, get a Long Branch, Savage, or one that was made post-war and they are more than capable of holding their own with the M-N.

In the end, I would have to give the edge to the No. 4 for the better sighting arrangement. I have a No. 4 MkII made in 1952 at Fazakerly, and with Remington .303 174 grain FMJ's (this load approximates Mk VII ball) it will shoot 2" or less all day long if I do my part.

January 7, 2010, 10:07 PM
We're starting up a service rifle match at the local club this summer, and I'm trying to decide whether to use my M39 or No. 4. I'll probably try both at least once....

January 8, 2010, 01:37 AM
i consider the Enfield the finest bolt action battle rifle of WW II with it's smooth action, excellent sights and 10 round magazine.

i'd even prefer it to the Garrand. i don't know what the availability of .303 is currently, i bought a bunch when PMP ammo first came out and they were trying to break into the market...the boxes have cute antelope on them

January 8, 2010, 02:03 AM
Hi Team. Who was it who said (something like) "The Americans fought WWII with a hunting rifle, the Germans with a target rifle and the British with a battle rifle."? I know little of the American and German offerings but have a passing acquaintance with the #4 Mk1 that my Dad used for a deer gun. He let me fire it on my 13th birthday, it kicked like kicking thing and oh man the noise! His was an ex-Forestry Service item, most of the wood cut off, safety catch removed and (interestingly) the magazine spring was sharpened for the 1st inch or so to provide an emergency knife of sorts in a pinch. The butt cleaning kit hole carried a stub of candle and some water proof matches. Before anyone mentions the safety catch thing, I should mention I'm a Kiwi (New Zealand), we tend to view safety catches (rightly, I think) with some suspicion. However this is a topic for another thread. It was standard practice for job lots of Lee Enfields to be converted to above specs then handed out to Forestry Service deer cullers. They were cheap, plentiful and proved to be tougher than goats knees. If The Great Big Bug smiles in my general direction, one happy day I'll find a #4 Mk1 (T) someplace.

January 8, 2010, 02:16 AM
f The Great Big Bug smiles in my general direction, one happy day I'll find a #4 Mk1 (T) someplace.

i'm waiting for that smile too, but i would have to add the adjective "affordable"

January 8, 2010, 01:34 PM
...but, I have a lead on a LE. LOL

January 8, 2010, 06:24 PM
"The Americans fought WWII with a hunting rifle, the Germans with a target rifle and the British with a battle rifle."?
The quote actually stated the Americans fought with a target rifle and the Germans with a hunting rifle.
The Garand has fully adjustable sights for elevation and windage.

January 8, 2010, 07:29 PM
Up here in canada we have lots of LE kicking around and ammo is available in almost every store that sell ammo.That must be nice. The No.4 Enfield is one sweet rifle with a silky smooth action and really nice sights. It would be really cool if .303 Brit was as common as 30-06 here. I love the Springfield, but I'd trade it and 30-06 for the Enfield and .303 everywhere. I've already converted my garand to 7.62x51 anyway. :D

As far as the original question, I would prefer my Enfields over my M39s, but since Russian 54R is about the cheapest centerfire ammo available and I have enough to pretty much last the rest of my life, I tend to enjoy the M39s, if not more then at least more often.

January 8, 2010, 07:35 PM
I compete in MBAR matches with my local club, and I shoot/reload for M39's. Most of the competition uses Springfield 1903's, but there are a couple oddballs in the mix such as myself. Couple guys use Swede 96 Mausers, there is an occasional Enfield, and even Soviet 91/30's from time to time.

I've won some rounds and even one match, but the big players are the old timers with the 1903's. I've yet to see those using Enfields win any rounds in any match, for what that's worth. Same goes with the 91/30's.

Another consideration is if you strive for best accuracy, you will likely begin reloading. Enfields have a reputation for being rough on brass. Case life can be short as Enfields by design have generous chamber proportions. Like everything though I'm sure some are better than others.

My 2 cents.

Here are some of my match targets.




navyretired 1
January 8, 2010, 08:16 PM
I love my Savage #4 Mk1*, it was never sent to England and has never had an FTR so its all Savage. Its not a target rifle but has an excellent adjustable rear sight. On the bench it gets less than 2" groups but not by much. Ammo is expensive as is brass so I only handload for it and treasure and collect every piece I can find.
I also have several Mosin Nagants and just love shooting them with surplus ammo. They all get at least 5 gal. bucket of angle at 100 yds and Because of bruised shoulder I tend to remember shooting them for a week or so.

January 9, 2010, 12:43 AM
I have several #4s I picked up when surplus 303 ammo started to dry up say 15 years ago. guys selling them cheap cause the ammo no longer was. Curently shooting a 1950 Longbranch.

January 9, 2010, 12:46 AM
The Enfield. It's the greatest bolt gun ever built. You can run light ball through a 39, but they're optimized for a much heavier round, which probably isn't going to be much easier to acquire than target .303 ammo is.

January 9, 2010, 08:54 AM
Enfield hands down. While accuracy of most of these surplus rifles may not be moa, occasionally you find a acorn, particularly if you find one still new in the wrap.

January 9, 2010, 11:46 AM
That blonde No.4 is downright sexy.

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