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K98 Mauser or Mod 4 Enfield

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by PATH, Dec 31, 2002.

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Which is better rifle the K98 Mauser or the Enfield Mod. 4

  1. K98 Mauser

    48 vote(s)
    55.8%
  2. Mod. 4 Enfield

    38 vote(s)
    44.2%
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  1. PATH

    PATH Member

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    Which one is better and why?
     
  2. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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

    The Mauser has several advantages:

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

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

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

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

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

    WilderBill Member

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    Yep, the Mauser is generally a better rifle, but the Enfield is a better battle rifle. More rounds, faster bolt operation, better battle sights.
    Just to be sure though, you better get at least one of each.:D
     
  4. Bostonterrier97

    Bostonterrier97 Member

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    If you want a HUNTING rifle..then by all means get the Mauser..on the other hand if you want a rifle to FIGHT with, then you are better off with the Enfield.
     
  5. Redlg155

    Redlg155 Member

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    If you can, get one of both.

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

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

    Good Shooting
    RED
     
  6. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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

    The Germans built a hunting rifle,
    The Americans built a target rifle,
    The British built a battle rifle.
     
  7. BHP9

    BHP9 member

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Quote:

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

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

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

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

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

    telewinz Member

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    They both have alot of history but the 98' is the superior design.
     
  10. critter

    critter Member

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    Having owned and 'fiddled' around with both, I will have to go with Vern on this one.
     
  11. Fatelvis

    Fatelvis Member

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    If you`re interested in reloading for either, brass will last longer in the Mauser.
     
  12. Nanook

    Nanook Member

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    I own both, so I have to refrain from voting. :p

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

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

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    By a freak accident of history, both the Americans with the Krag and the British with the Enfield went up against the '93 Mauser. The Americans fought the Spanish in 1898, the British fought the Boers from 1899 to 1902.

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

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

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

    Oleg Volk Moderator Emeritus

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

    I'd get Mauser first because 8mm is cheap and basic action is good. Sights can be upgraded. Like #4 Enfield sights better than Mauser, though two-aperture flip seems more practical than the micrometer adjustables.
     
  15. cratz2

    cratz2 Member

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

    Dave Markowitz Member

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    I have both. For a military rifle, I pick the No.4 Lee-Enfield:

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

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

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

    P.S. -- Welcome aboard Vern!
     
  17. fallingblock

    fallingblock Member

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    The #4 Lee-Enfield is the better battle weapon

    It is a short and slick bolt throw with a reputation for working through mud, sand and frost.

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

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

    Vern Humphrey Member

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

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

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

    Stephen Ewing Member

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

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

    Steve
     
  20. critter

    critter Member

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    Check out any gun parts supply catalogue such as Midway or Brownells and see what all they have available to modify, upgrade, rebarrel, restock, etc. the Mauser vs the Enfield. Interesting.
     
  21. ojibweindian

    ojibweindian Member

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    I've had both. In the end, after a few years of use, and despite the better sights of the Enfield, I've come to prefer the Mauser.

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

    T.Stahl Member

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

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

    fallingblock Member

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    The Mk4 is also quicker to single-load than the Mauser...

    Just drop the round into the receiver and push the bolt forward...none of that "into the magazine first" Mauser ritual.

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

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

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

    buttrap Member

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

    Marko Kloos Moderator Emeritus

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

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