Lee Enfield VS M1 Garand?


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catinthebat
December 6, 2012, 05:38 PM
I have a choice between getting a service grade M1 Garand from CMP or a Lee Enfield, and I'm not sure which one I should get.

From people who have one or the other, or who have experience shooting any of them, which one do you feel has the better accuracy, reliability, etc? People tell me that the M1 has too many moving parts, and that it wouldn't have near as good accuracy because its a semi-auto. They also tell me that the Enfield would be worth more in the future, and that I would be down-grading. Is this true?

Thanks.

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Vern Humphrey
December 6, 2012, 05:44 PM
The key to accuracy in sevice rifles is ammunition. With good ammo, either rifle will shoot to around 2-3 MOA. A plus for the M1 is consistentcy in manufacture -- M1 barrels are held to close tolerances. I have seen Lee-Enfields with barrels so loosely bored that only correctly-sized cast bullets would shoot well.

Another point is sights. The M1 has the best iron sights ever put on a battle rifle. The No. 4 MK 1 and 2 have good sights, but the old No 1 Mk 3 has the old v-notch-and-barleycorn sight which is not nearly as good.

A compromise would be a Springfield M1903-A3 -- that's a great rifle with an effective aperture sight mounted on the receiver bridge, where it should be.

AJumbo
December 6, 2012, 05:49 PM
I'm fortunate enough to have some trigger time with both the rifles in question. A decent rack-grade example of either arm will shoot better than you can. The Garand has a stellar reputation for reliability, auto or no. The Enfield is probably the fastest bolt-action battle rifle ever issued. Both were made in the millions, so any real collectability difference between the two would lie in rare variations, or in condition.

What do you intend to do the rifle you choose? Investments, shooting, "just 'cuz"?

AJumbo
December 6, 2012, 05:51 PM
Oh, and.... what Vern said!

desidog
December 6, 2012, 05:52 PM
They're both great, and eventually you should acquire both. There are so many of both, that you will encounter good shooters, like laser accurate, and bad shooters.
Example: I had one shot-out No4 that made worse groups at 100yds with .303BR than my No1mk3 RFI .410 smoothbore shotgun does at 100yds with Golden Bear 410 slugs.

It seems to me that Enfield prices are climbing faster than Garand prices. A year ago there were still No4's at Classic arms, etc, and now that supply has dried up. (so has the surplus ammo...) As a result, prices are rising.

I mean, those new-in-the-wrap ones are going for 700 or 800 now, and five years ago they were like 200... You can still find a great example for under 250 -

Garands it would be nice to find a great example for under 600- They aren't multiplying either; when the CMP supply runs out, those prices will jump too; either way, you really can't go wrong with either.

catinthebat
December 6, 2012, 05:53 PM
I want it mainly for shooting, and I also love its historical significance.

SlamFire1
December 6, 2012, 05:53 PM
You have not stated the price for either but in my opinion, get the Garand.

You take a look at the prices of Lee Enfields and Garands back in the 60's magazines. Garands were always expensive and have stayed expensive. Lee Enfields are not cheap, though in the 80's I did buy like new Long Branch Enfields for $70.00, but they will never have the resale value of a Garand in similiar condition.

Your advisers on the reliability of the Garand don't know what they are talking about. I think it was the most reliable battle rifle issued to American troops.

I remember talking to a Korean War veteran at work. He just up and said that no matter how dirty his Garand, it still functioned. M14's also had a great reputation for reliability.

While I like Lee Enfields, the Garand is the more advanced battle rifle.

WNTFW
December 6, 2012, 06:08 PM
Garand first.

Points for M1 first.
- CMP will run out at some point, then both or subject to individual sellers whims.
- More matches are Garand Friendly
- Reread what Mr. Vern Humphrey posted.
- Reread Slamfire1 - He gives good advice.
- I would rather reload .30-06

My basis is a shooter that won't resell and ain't in love the the Enfield any way.

Caliper_RWVA
December 6, 2012, 06:09 PM
Garand, no question. The Garand has better sights, although the no4 Enfields are close. It may be semi auto, but Enfields aren't exactly precision rifles and both will have the chamber cut generously large to feed dirty ammo in battle. Accuracy advantage here will come down to the shooter, the ammo and the condition of the barrel. The Enfield receiver design means that you can never free float the barrel, which can be a bit frustrating if you shoot with a sling a lot.

Obviously check anything over throughly first, however a CMP service grade M1 will be a good shooter. (you are getting this directly from the CMP, right?)

catinthebat
December 6, 2012, 06:17 PM
Garand, no question. The Garand has better sights, although the no4 Enfields are close. It may be semi auto, but Enfields aren't exactly precision rifles and both will have the chamber cut generously large to feed dirty ammo in battle. Accuracy advantage here will come down to the shooter, the ammo and the condition of the barrel. The Enfield receiver design means that you can never free float the barrel, which can be a bit frustrating if you shoot with a sling a lot.

Obviously check anything over throughly first, however a CMP service grade M1 will be a good shooter. (you are getting this directly from the CMP, right?)
(you are getting this directly from the CMP, right?)

I was going to order it from CMP, and include a sticky note asking for USGI wood. From what I hear, people always get good rifles. I live way too far away to ever go directly to their store.

Fishbed77
December 6, 2012, 06:36 PM
I want it mainly for shooting, and I also love its historical significance.

Garand first, no doubt.

Several more things to consider, since you are looking for a shooter:

-The Lee Enfield is a great rifle, but there is something truly special about shooting a Garand. When you shoot one, you'll know what I'm talking about.

-Surplus 30-06 M2 Ball ammo (Greek HXP, which is excellent) is still available for a reasonable price from the CMP.

-A CMP Service Grade rifle (if it is coming directly from the CMP) is going to be in great shape and CMP customer service is excellent.

-Whoever told you "the M1 has too many moving parts, and that it wouldn't have near as good accuracy because its a semi-auto" doesn't know what they are talking about. Accuracy between the two types (in good condition) with good ammo is a wash, but the fact that you are looking at a CMP Service Grade guarantees that you are getting a Garand with little barrel wear (my CMP Service Grade 1944 Springfield came with a like-new 1954 barrel).

-The fact that Garand has considerably better sights than the Lee Enfield means you will likely be able to shoot more accurately.

Fishbed77
December 6, 2012, 06:41 PM
I was going to order it from CMP, and include a sticky note asking for USGI wood.

When I ordered my CMP Service Grade Springfield, I included a sticky asking for a WWII Serial Number and USGI walnut.

I got this - a beautiful 1944 Springfield with a like-new 1954 barrel and a new CMP black walnut stock. I couldn't be happier.


http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff427/Fishbed77/DSC_0128.jpg

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff427/Fishbed77/DSC_0120-1.jpg

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff427/Fishbed77/DSC_0125.jpg

http://i1235.photobucket.com/albums/ff427/Fishbed77/DSC_0050.jpg

catinthebat
December 6, 2012, 06:45 PM
@Fishbed77 Wow! Amazing rifle! From all these replies, I think I'm going to go with a M1.

Reloadron
December 6, 2012, 07:01 PM
Another vote for a M1 Garand. That would be my choice for all the reasons mentioned. Then down the road if an Enfield trips your trigger get one.

Ron

bainter1212
December 6, 2012, 07:16 PM
I have one of each. I would buy the garand first, then buy the enfield as soon as possible. Those are disappearing just about as fast as the M1.

Ash
December 6, 2012, 07:23 PM
They really are two different birds. Feeding the Garand is much easier to do - I'm almost out of my Greek .303 ammo on strippers and the Paki stuff I have is junk.

mokin
December 6, 2012, 07:41 PM
If you don't handload, go for the Garand. I prefer the look of the Lee Enfield, but as a shooter, I want to be able to feed the rifle.

Robert
December 6, 2012, 08:02 PM
I'd take the Enfield if it was a No1 of some variation, Mk1 or MkIII, over a Garand. But that is just me. The M1 is a fine rifle, but my interests is No1s. Not interested in No4s much.

.333 Nitro Express
December 6, 2012, 09:12 PM
I'd take the Enfield. Like Robert says, especially if it's a N. 1, you'd be getting something that has seen both wars and several colonial conflicts.

I am biased because semi-autos are not my thing--I have owned 2 Garands, and although they are fine rifles (and inherently more accurate than the SMLE N. 1), there's something more personal about cycling a bolt for every shot, feeling the cartridge feed, ejecting it as far or as close as you want it--not to mention the nostalgic appeal of a 100-year-old rifle that you can still perfectly enjoy.

I put my money where my mouth is, since I own about 8 Enfields.

Seriously, though, you can't go wrong with either one. I say buy the Enfield and put the Garand on layaway. :evil:

P5 Guy
December 6, 2012, 09:13 PM
I have a nice #4mk1, but hardly ever shoot it. Ammo is expensive commercial or crappy surplus.
I have a couple of nice Garands that go shooting frequently. Ammo from the CMP, surplus is good shooting and economical.

paintballdude902
December 6, 2012, 10:03 PM
i own both.... i love my m1 but..... i looooveeeeee my enfields.


im a bolt gun nut and the enfield is the slickest bolt ive found on a mass produced rifle. but i think enfields will be able to be found for cheaper than an m1 for a long time. id get the garand now and when i have a few hundred bucks pick up an enfield

csa77
December 6, 2012, 10:03 PM
both the m1 and the enfield are collectable for sure but a less common variant of the enfield is the way to go, IMO for investment/collecting. lee metfords, charger loading lee metford/enfields, magazine lee enfields,lee cavalry carbines, sMLE mk1's (basically all of the pre no1MKIII enfields) these are truly getting hard to find . in the last 15 years the prices for them have sky rocketed. . there are tho deals to be had in the group like lee royal irish constabulary carbines only 8,000 were made and you can pick up a nice example for around 1,000$

the key to these early examples is must be matching and all there,chained mag,dustcover,magcut off ect. many of them where re-arsenaled, so on some models its pretty rare to get it all.



for a shooter id go with the M1 or a no1MKIII* or no4MKI
for a collectable get a pre no1 MKIII enfield

Onmilo
December 6, 2012, 11:06 PM
I consider the No4Mkll Enfield as the finest combat bolt action rifle ever fielded.
The only drawback these guns face now as a viable rifle is the lack of ammunition sources and the stuff tends to run more money than .30/06 now.

Liberty1776
December 6, 2012, 11:25 PM
Garand, Garand, Garand, Garand. But that's just my opinion. Feed it the right ammo and you'll be happy...

madcratebuilder
December 7, 2012, 09:35 AM
I have a choice between getting a service grade M1 Garand from CMP or a Lee Enfield, and I'm not sure which one I should get.

From people who have one or the other, or who have experience shooting any of them, which one do you feel has the better accuracy, reliability, etc? People tell me that the M1 has too many moving parts, and that it wouldn't have near as good accuracy because its a semi-auto. They also tell me that the Enfield would be worth more in the future, and that I would be down-grading. Is this true?

Thanks.
You have been given some poor advise as far as values. A new in the wrap No4 MkII cost about the same as a service grade Garand from cmp. Garand prices are going up, LE prices are stable or going down.


I mean, those new-in-the-wrap ones are going for 700 or 800 now, and five years ago they were like 200... You can still find a great example for under 250 -


I've been collecting LE's for 40 years and prices seemed to have peaked about 4-5 years ago and are starting to come down. Wrapped No4's were $6-700 5 years ago, if they had been $200 I would have bought every one in the country. You have to go back almost 20 years to see low prices like that.
Feb 1994 ad.
http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d37/madcratebuilder/Enfields/1.gif



I own somewhere around 30 Enfields and I think they are the best bolt action battle rifle ever made. The LE is more rugged than the Garand but not by much. If you buy the LE you well need to reload or pay high ammo prices, higher than feeding the Garand. A Garand well likely be more accurate and more pleasant to shoot over the LE. There is still a good supply of surplus M2 ball for the Garand.

henschman
December 7, 2012, 02:19 PM
It depends somewhat on what type of Enfield you are considering. The No.1 Mk. 3's and the Ishapores have notch sights that have short sight radius and are more difficult to adjust. If the Enfield is one of these, it would be a very easy decision for me... M1 all the way. If the Enfield is a No. 4 Mk.1, it makes it a closer call, since these have nice aperture sights, but they still aren't quite like M1 sights. You just can't beat nice, easy 1 MOA clicks for both elevation and windage, right at the rear sight, like the M1 has. They haven't been equaled on a battle rifle before or since, as far as I'm concerned (except for the M-14 of course, which uses the exact same rear sight).

In my experience, SMLE's are not any more accurate than M1s. They are about equal in that regard. Reliability is pretty much a wash, too. M1s are amazingly durable. I have put thousands of rounds through mine... I've got it so hot that it's uncomfortable to hold, and have kept it that way through sustained fire, and it just never misses a beat. I can't recall a single malfunction. I run all my guns hard, and the M1 hangs with the best of them.

Andrew Wyatt
December 7, 2012, 02:21 PM
garands are much easier to fix when they go wrong than enfields are. you can still get parts.

mgkdrgn
December 7, 2012, 10:25 PM
It has been my pleasure to have examples of all the major infantry battle rifles of WWII come through my place in the last 6 months or so. And after having seen them all I have to conclude that anyone that came up against the M1 Garand with anything else must have thought they were fighting frackin' aliens!

It's so superior in just about any measurable way to all the rest that they aren't even in the same area code.

Vern Humphrey
December 7, 2012, 11:32 PM
As an adviser to ARVN Infantry on my first tour in Viet Nam, I was issued an M2 carbine, which got wrapped around a tree. I "borrowed" a Garand from the battalion I advised and carried it from then on.

The M1 is truly an amazing rifle.

BBDartCA
December 8, 2012, 02:05 AM
I have both Garands and Enfields. Very different weapons. Enfields are dirt cheap. 300 bucks can get you a very nice shooting Longbranch. About 1/3 the cost of a Garand.

Enfields can be expensive to shoot. Not much facotry ammo choices out there, and non-corrosive (boxer primed) milsurp tough to come by. Brass does not live a real long time if you handload. Limited bullet choices. Not as accurate as a Garand or 1903 in my view. Get what you pay for, except in the ammo department which is a worse value than the 30-06.

Swampman
December 8, 2012, 02:57 AM
The Garand was the most advanced service rifle in the world at the time it was introduced and it was still a first line weapon until the introduction of the FAL and M-14.

After the experience of the Boer war, where they were pretty consistently outshot by the Boers using mostly 1893/95 7mm Mausers. The Brits were trying to do away with both the Enfield AND the .303 cartridge as obsolete. They probably would have done so if WWI hadn't intervened.
After the defeat of the Kaiser, they found themselves with so many Enfields, and so much .303 ammo (as well as very little money), that they were pretty much stuck with them.

I'm not saying that the Enfield is a bad rifle, they're fun to shoot and have a really slick, fast operating bolt, but they're not even in the same class as a Garand. German troops on the western front during WWII loved Garands and used captured examples when they could get ammo. I've never read anything about them throwing down K98s in order to use an Enfield.

Also, if you reload, Enfields are pure-dee hell on brass.

CoyoteSix
December 8, 2012, 03:00 AM
I'm not the most knowledgeable on the subject but I'll kick in my .02...

The Enfield is a beautiful rifle, with a historic action, and a ton of history.


But even though the ammo is expensive (I don't reload at all), the darn thing is terribly heavy, and if one were to ever want to mount some glass they'd have a terribly hard time...

I still want a Garand. Maybe it's my fascination with the second world war, maybe it's because when I get to hold one I feel like a true patriot, maybe it's because I know if I saw something at 500yds plus I could tag it with a fat round with just irons if I did my part.

But the Garand just sings to me, and many others too!


Your choice, but man does a Garand make one feel like a Hero! :what:

Ignition Override
December 8, 2012, 03:08 AM
Be aware that a large fraction of Enfield #4s were manufactured by Savage ("US Property") and Longbranch. All have 2-groove rifling. But most of those produced in England have 4 or 5-groove rifling, if I understood the info by Charles Stratton in the red book.

I had a Longbranch with a nice, bright bore, but there might have been some extra muzzle wear. All of the BT bullets "keyholed" badly at 100 yards, making wide gashes. Please correct me if it was probably caused by wear in a different area.
My Enfields from England with the extra rifling Never keyholed with BT bullets.

Most ammo manufactured these days appears to have BT bullets, based on what I've seen at "Ammo-seek".

It appears that Enfield #4 prices are not going up much, and that rifles are sometimes being sold because of comm. ammo prices and the near-total lack of decent surplus ammo for sale.

My suggestion is a Garand plus Heaps of Ammo, then later an Enfield #4. You can trust the safety and function of CMP guns, but I would never trust the always marked-up Garands at a gun show, unless I personally know And can trust the seller. There are very few sellers at Memphis/Jackson-area shows that I trust. Being acquainted for three years doesn't mean that all of them will tell you about a flaw or concern.

italy4nra
December 8, 2012, 05:27 AM
Garand! (Enfield owner)

finnwolf64
December 8, 2012, 06:16 AM
Being from Australia, my grandfather used a Lee-Enfield Mk 1 in the First World War. 4 uncles used the Lee-Enfield No.4 in the Second World War. Family history aside, I'd consider the Garand the more enviable rifle.

HKGuns
December 8, 2012, 09:55 AM
Eventually get both, but I agree with the general consensus, get the Garand first.

mastiffhound
December 9, 2012, 01:49 AM
I would get "The greatest battle implement ever devised" if it was me. I would love to have a Garand. I just don't have a use for a bolt action that takes more expensive ammunition than .30-06 or .308. Plus it is the rifle my great grandfather fought with, and at some point one will be handed down to me. The Garand is as American apple pie, the Lee Enfield is England's spotted dick. I like apple pie way more than any pudding!

musicman10_1
December 9, 2012, 10:33 AM
Love them both. I got the M1 Garand first and then I found a nice Lee Enfield. (and then I got my 2nd M1 and I am looking for my 2nd Enfield)

Vern Humphrey
December 9, 2012, 04:26 PM
Being from Australia, my grandfather used a Lee-Enfield Mk 1 in the First World War. 4 uncles used the Lee-Enfield No.4 in the Second World War. Family history aside, I'd consider the Garand the more enviable rifle.
Hmmm . . . the Australians never adopted the Number 4, but manufactured one of the best Number 1s ever produced.

dprice3844444
December 9, 2012, 04:34 PM
buy a garand,the look for a nice #4mk2 enfield.the mk2's had the trigger affixed to the receiver body.great guns,i have several of the enfields.

mljdeckard
December 9, 2012, 04:38 PM
Must one choose? Both are on my list. (I already have a 1917 Enfield.) I would give first priority to the one in more dwindling supply. (CMP Garands.) There are a lot of '03-A3s on the shelves here.

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