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Enfield or Garand

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by mainecoon, Mar 19, 2018.

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  1. mainecoon

    mainecoon Member

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    I want to get a vintage rifle and am trying to decide between an Enfield or a Garand. I'm also not sure which is the "best" caliber to get for an Enfield - I just like the look of the wood. Any suggestions?
     
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  2. edwardware

    edwardware Member

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    What are you, British or something? Seriously, buy the Garand!

    (You can buy the Enfield too, but only after you by the Garand.)
     
  3. Merle1

    Merle1 Member

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    Perhaps looking at the going prices will help make up your mind?
    Personally, I would say get both - if that is an option.....
    Big help, huh :rofl:
     
  4. Kaeto

    Kaeto Member

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    A "proper" Enfield only comes in one caliber. .303 British.
     
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  5. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    Really it depends on which of the 'Enfield' rifles you are looking at.
    .303 is a rimmed rifle round that is getting more costly. M2Ball is the only recommended ammo for a Garand, also not a bargain round.
    .30'06 or 7.62NATO is easier to reload and you'll likely get more reloads from the brass. Enfields have pretty generous chambers, even just neck sizing I only got 2-3 reloads before the head of the brass looked ready to let go.
     
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  6. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    Garand
     
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  7. Blacksmoke

    Blacksmoke Member

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    Owned them both.

    The Garand is the better investment, if that matters.

    I enjoyed shooting the Enfield more.
     
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  8. MikeInOr

    MikeInOr Member

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    I have a .303 Enfield, a .308 Enfield and a Garand. The Garand is a much nicer rifle in all respects. I shoot my Garand often and I shoot my Enfields rarely. My Garand gobbles up pretty much any ammo I feed it including various reloads. The only ammo I probably have not tried in my Garand is M2 ball as I have ne er searched for / come across any.

    I like my 96 Sweedish 6.5x55 mausers much better than my Enfields if you are looking to buy a mil bolt action.

    A P17 Enfield in 30-06 is a different beast than the English Enfields... and it is a beast, massively over built proportions! But very hard to find one that hasn't been sporterized (My P17 is sporterized which takes away a good bit of its charm)
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  9. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Your mention of "the look of the wood" suggests to me that you are referring to a Lee-Enfield Nº1, a.k.a., SMLE (Short Magazine Lee Enfield) ... lovingly referred to by some of us as a "Smelly". :)

    I have Nº1s, Nº4s and one Nº5 plus a number of M1s.

    If I could only get one I would probably get an M1 but the Nº1 Lee-Enfield would be a very close second, for its classic look, if nothing else ... but it sounds like you "get" that. ;)

    FWIW, I like shooting my M1s more.

    =======
    EDIT: If you end up getting an Enfield, do yourself a favor and do not remove the stock wood without first thoroughly educating yourself on the proper way to do it, especially if you get a Nº1.

    Enjoy!
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2018
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  10. 1KPerDay

    1KPerDay Member

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    Get both. Every red-blooded American needs a Garand, though.
     
  11. Corpral_Agarn

    Corpral_Agarn Member

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    If Garand is an option, it is the answer.
     
  12. js8588

    js8588 Member

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    Or an M1917 Enfield...
     
  13. Scooter22

    Scooter22 Member

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    Don't forget the P14 .303 Enfield. If you have a good buy on a Garand I'd grab that first.
     
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  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    This question is a no-brainer! Get the Garand!

    I cut my teeth on the M1 Garand. That's the rifle I trained on in 1962 at Fort Polk, LA. After graduation from Advanced Infantry Training, I was held over pending Officer Candidate School. It was my "privilege" to clean about 200 M1s squeaky clean and take them to Ordnance. We rode back to the company with truckloads of M14s.

    Later on, as an adviser to ARVN Infantry, my issued M2 carbine got wrapped around a tree, and I bummed an M1 Garand from the ARVN and carried that for the rest of my tour.

    That makes me one of the last American soldiers to train on the Garand, and one of the last to use it in combat.
     
  15. 25-5
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    25-5 Contributing Member

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    If you can only have one choose Garand. I think the CMP is getting more.
    But, if you look carefully and find a nice Enfield first and can have both let quality and circumstance be your guide.
    I found an Enfield No.4 Mk2 (post WWII) and bought it. A year later bought a friends 1943 M1 Garand and an M1903A3.
    The M1903A3 is another great milsurp to consider.
     
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  16. entropy

    entropy Member

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    I love Enfields, but get the Garand!
     
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  17. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Garand are great, but they are complicated beasts. Lots of moving parts to check for wear, torque, loc-tite, and lubricate if you plan to shoot it much. Stock fit is critical for accuracy, the upper hand guards are a bit fragile, and the gas system is delicate. The op-rod can bend if the gun is fed a steady diet of full-powered hunting ammo, and this can be pricey to fix. A ported gas plug from Garandgear.com is a must! Their website is a goldmine of Garand tips, as is the CMP.

    The Garand is only as good as it's en-bloc clips, too.....cheap, out of spec clips will drive you mad!

    By contrast, the Enfield is relatively simple and maintainance free, rarely needing more than a good clean and lube. Ive never even taken the bolt out of any of mine- no need.
    .303 is getting too hard to get, plain and simple......if you're looking to shoot it much. The .308 Indian Ishapore 2A Enfield's are a better choice for shooters- but it can be difficult to find a nice one, they were used hard in the Indo-Pak wars. The .410 smoothbore Ishapores are neat too as short-range toys.

    In the end, it will depend what you want it for, I guess.
    Of course, you can buy two really nice Enfield's for the price of a decent Garand.:)
     
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  18. Guy B. Meredith

    Guy B. Meredith Member

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    Garand.

    The M2 Ball is just another load of.30-06. With a Schuster adjustable plug it is supposedly possible to shoot most .30-06 ammo. I have the plug out of an abundance of caution, but have so far shot only Lake City and Greek "surplus" ammo from the CMP and more recently a PPU line loaded with a 150 bullet and designed for use in the Garand.

    The M1 Garand is a creampuff to shoot, easy to disassemble / reassemble if you do not remove the wood. I find little reason to remove the wood and have only done so to become acquainted and to float the barrel a bit.

    I am not a big fan of semi autos but the Garand enticed me to go that route due to its history.
     
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  19. redbone

    redbone Member

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    After you get the Garand and the Enfield, you’ll be needing a Springfield....
     
  20. boom boom
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    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Both rifles are worthy. The Lee-Enfield will be about half or less than the price of a decent quality Garand (be careful and become an informed buyer--there are such things in Garands like rewelded receivers, reconstituted parade rifles, or private company made receivers that can be problematic). On the Lee-Enfield side, avoid DP marked receivers for similar reasons unless you or a gunsmith knows about how to check them for safety.

    The Lee-Enfield also may have minor issues due to age and wear such as floppy safeties and bolt issues. Make sure to check the Lee Enfield receiver's rear bolt locking surfaces for peening and metal being swaged out of place. Headspace can be an issue on old Lee-Enfields and short brass life for reloading as Lee Enfield chambers are somewhat oversized to allow firing poor quality ammunition in wartime conditions. The Lee-Enfield No. 4 rifle has variously sized bolt heads but the key thing is that even a longer bolt head will not cure a worn out receiver's bolt locking surfaces.

    Ammo cost is about a wash with the .30-06 being more common at big boxes (requiring the plug mentioned above) but both Garand specific and .303 are available through mail order. You will probably find more Lee-Enfields in sporterized condition including D&T for scopes than Garands for a variety of reasons. These are usually about half the price or less of a Lee-Enfield in military issue condition.

    The Garand clip system is much cheaper and very reliable and Lee-Enfield magazines are much more expensive and good ones are becoming scarce. Aftermarket Lee-Enfield magazines have not been as reliable as the issued ones.

    If you like open sights, get the older SMLE aka No. 1 Mk. 3 (including variants). If you like peep sights, get the WWII era No. 4 rifle (including variants) with the micrometer sights aka "Singer" sights--I actually like these sights a tad better than the Garand's for battle field use but Garands are certainly up there as some of the best of iron sights on rifles.

    1917 Rifles and their P14 counterparts are a whole nother kettle of fish are are Mauser variants rather than the Lee-Enfield type of action. These are probably the most rugged Mauser variants every available as an issued rifle and are ridiculously overbuilt for the British .303 round.
     
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  21. entropy

    entropy Member

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    Stripper clips for the Enfield aren't too $$ though; the magazine was designed to be removed (for maintenance and repair of bad mags), obviously, but not swapped out for reloads, as no additional mags were issued to the individual soldier, and ammo came in 5 round stripper clips.
     
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  22. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    What is not clear from this is that the Lee-Enfield only needs one magazine. If you want to speed up loading of that installed-in-the-rifle magazine, get some milsurp .303 chargers (a.k.a., stripperclips).

    Anyone that uses/carries multiple magazines for reloading their Lee-Enfield is a rare (and, perhaps, ignorant) bird.
     
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  23. AlexanderA
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    AlexanderA Member

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    Be careful which stripper clips you buy. All Enfield stripper clips are not equal. Especially beware of the commonly-available Italian-made (marked "GM") postwar ones. They are the Mk. III design (too stiff) and have a phosphated rather than blued finish. You don't want a rough finish. Stick to the Mk. IV design, such as those marked "FN" or "BP" (British Pens). There were lots of WW2 contractors for the Mk. IV chargers.

    Also, there is a right way to load the rounds in the clip, so that they sweep into the rifle's magazine smoothly no matter how the clip is inserted. You stagger the rounds (the rims) so that the end and middle ones are toward the back of the clip, and the 2nd and 4th ones are more forward. Then it takes a bit of practice to be able to quickly charge the magazine from the clips.
     
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  24. GBExpat

    GBExpat Member

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    Like this:
    2v2u13HuGxAW38L.jpg
     
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  25. NIGHTLORD40K

    NIGHTLORD40K Member

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    Well.....only if you get good ones. The CMP is probably the best source these days, unless you get GI surplus EnBloc clips still in the wax paper. There are a lot of crappy aftermarket Garand clips floating around out there which will sideline the weapon. The clip is both the Garands best AND worst feature.:D
     
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