Kar 98k vs Lee Enfield No 4 MK 1

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rs525, May 27, 2022.

?

If you could have just one

  1. Mauser Kar98k

    28 vote(s)
    50.9%
  2. Lee Enfield No 4 MK 1

    27 vote(s)
    49.1%
  1. rs525

    rs525 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2021
    Messages:
    157
    Time for another if you could own just one question. This time if you could just one WW2 bolt action rifle, would it be a Mauser Kar 98K or a Lee Enfield Number 4 MK 1?
     
    GBExpat likes this.
  2. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2006
    Messages:
    12,161
    Location:
    Alabama
    They are both fun rifles. Lets assume condition is the same, both have good barrels, bolts headspace, all parts included, etc. Then, Mauser, and it does not matter what caliber.

    There are several reasons. Mausers are easier on brass, Lee Enfields are horrible. War time Lee Enfield chambers vary considerably, shoulders are different and are huge. You have to segregate Lee Enfield brass by rifle. Bedding will be shot on both, but the Mauser is a lot easier to glass bed than a Lee Enfield. Even after bedding, the average Mauser will be more accurate, though the sights on the Lee Enfield are better. I like the aperture rear on a Lee Enfield No 4, some are better than others, but still better than a notch.

    The titling L rear sight on a war baby.

    ej5lMv2.jpg

    VNtew7R.jpg


    In theory, the 300 yard side is zeroed with an attached bayonet. Without bayonet the zero is 400 yards, and the 600 yard side is without bayonet. I doubt anyone could remember that under shell or machine gun fire.

    A much better rear sight, assuming the front sight blade height is correct. Based on the two American veterans I talked to, I doubt Canadian troops got enough time to sight their rifles further than 200 yards.

    0PbUtfr.jpg


    the simple, straightforward typical Mauser

    1SR0pwA.jpg

    pkc7WzD.jpg

    To a non mechanical enlisted person, this would have taken a month to explain how it actually worked!

    XdQhI1o.jpg

    I am going to say, for a battle rifle, both are acceptable, the Lee Enfield, if you get the thing to shoot 4 MOA, that's good for a war time rifle. There was absolutely no consideration of target shooting during the early part of the war. War time standards were get it out the door, now! I have a unissued two groove Savage MK 1*. After bedding it shot a two inch group, but that may have been a statistical aberration. Before I bedded it, it would not hold on a 8 X 11 piece of paper at 100 yards, the foreend fell off when the stock was removed. I did center bed the thing, did not improve matters, it is a four MOA rifle at best.

    If you have to have a Lee Enfield MK1, look for the Canadian versions. They are close to pre war fit and finish. They are the best of the WW2 era built rifles, but they are still war babies with the simplifying modifications which were incorporated during the war. The No 4 MKII's are the best built, glom on one if you can find it.

    eIQ497L.jpg

    I am going to say, even though a Mauser is capable of better accuracy, you still have to bed the actions. The worst have been the Yugo rebuilds and the Russian capture. Parts were all thrown in a bin and randomly pulled out and fitted together. However, all my Yugo's responded well except one. It was refinished to like new, new barrel, German K98 receiver. Barrel is not 0.323 interior, it is 0.327! Accuracy is slightly better than a musket. After bedding, testing, I finally slugged the barrel, and there it was. A large barrel.
     
    Last edited: May 29, 2022
  3. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2018
    Messages:
    12,298
    Location:
    Up State New York
    Mauser all the way, the Enfield is a nice gun but don't hold a candle to a 98 mauser.
     
  4. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    5,144
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    As a combat rifle, the No.4 Mk. 1 has many advantages - a larger magazine capacity, smooth and rapid operation, etc.
    As a civilian rifle, the Mauser excels.
     
    Crosshair, 22250Rem, steves2 and 6 others like this.
  5. allisd17

    allisd17 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Mountain West
    I prefer the Mauser action; it's smoother plus I just don't like cock-on-close actions like the Enfield. What the #4 Enfield has in its favor is the 10-round magazine and the rear peep sight. The rear notch sight on a K-98 is arguably the rifle's worst feature. The notch is simply too small.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2022
    GBExpat and Slamfire like this.
  6. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,003
    Location:
    Virginia
    Canadian (Long Branch) or U.S. (Savage). They are comparable in quality, and better than the 3 British factories. (We are talking about the No. 4, not the old SMLE Mark I.)
     
  7. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    3,639
    Location:
    Nowhere
    I have one of each and my vote went to the Enfield.

    But .... the premise that one can only own just one WW2 bolt action rifle is pure fantasy!! :rofl:
     
  8. rb288

    rb288 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2012
    Messages:
    180
    Like them both, have them both.
    But the K98 is just a better rifle.
    I'm not sure that I can tell you why, I just love shooting the K98 more than the Enfield.
     
  9. allisd17

    allisd17 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Mountain West
    I have not done a thing to my Enfield #4 Mk 1. I can usually get 2 MOA groups at 100m using Greek surplus. I have also gotten sub-MOA groups at 100m with my handloads, using 174g Sierra Match Kings. And my eyesight is pretty bad.

    The K98 is trickier because of that notched rear sight. Still, I can get at or better than 2 MOA with certain ammo, especially the 1990s Yugo.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2022
    GBExpat likes this.
  10. Mosin Bubba

    Mosin Bubba Member

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2012
    Messages:
    1,830
    I prefer the Mauser action, but the 8mm carbine is a teeth rattler.
     
  11. allisd17

    allisd17 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Mountain West
    I use a Limbsaver and it works as advertised. :D
     
    GBExpat likes this.
  12. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,355
    I'm a SMLE fan, and the SMLE is what got me into vintage military rifles. So it would be the SMLE. I also prefer cock-on-closing, cock-on-opening is probably the only thing I don't like about the Mauser. The SMLE is not so hard on brass (at least none of mine are) if you don't hot-rod them. Shooting mil-surp ammo I don't see any issue. Again, if you reload, just be gentle.

    If you like hot loads, and reload, then the Mauser might be the better choice. More powerful to begin with, (talking 7.92X57mm) and it can be loaded up quite a bit, within reason. If I was going to hunt Elk with it, I might choose a Mauser even though the .303 will take Elk just fine. For brown bear, well I think I'd rather have a k98/7.92 hot loaded with Woodleigh 220 grain bullets over a .303!! (and I'd probably have the chamber reamed out to 8mm-06)
     
  13. Terry G

    Terry G Member

    Joined:
    Mar 7, 2007
    Messages:
    916
    Location:
    Northwoods
    IMG_0229.JPG SMLE (2).JPG I like the MKIII* SMLE. My Mauser's are Yugoslavian and one Czech, but I like these too. Hard choice but the SMLE would be first in my mind.
     
  14. AlexanderA
    • Contributing Member

    AlexanderA Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2011
    Messages:
    9,003
    Location:
    Virginia
    The No. 4 is not an SMLE. So you're not answering the question that is being asked.

    As to the question being asked, as a combat weapon, the No. 4 is superior to the Mauser. This mostly has to do with the receiver sight on the No. 4 (does not apply to the SMLE), but also with the 10-round magazine capacity and the faster bolt manipulation (also advantages for the SMLE). The Mauser is probably better as a basis for sporterizing.
     
    GBExpat, Slamfire, Speedo66 and 2 others like this.
  15. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    3,639
    Location:
    Nowhere
    Hah ... I was going to mention that, too, but I didn't want to start an off-topic argument about which action is better. I think the member whose Mauser action is "smoother" than their Enfield action has maybe just come across a crappy Enfield example, or maybe just didn't clean it or lubricate it well enough. The Enfield does like to be well-lubed, and when it is, its action is like a hot knife through soft butter, and when you're finished ramming the bolt home, your trigger finger is right there in perfect position for the trigger to be pulled.
     
    GBExpat, Slamfire and Ugly Sauce like this.
  16. R.W.Dale

    R.W.Dale Member

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2005
    Messages:
    11,606
    Location:
    Northwest Arkansas
    Aperture sights trump tangent sights for any number of reasons.

    That's the reason I would select a no4

    Now if we were talking a no1 I'd change my choice simply because the Mauser is more finely made and I appreciate that kind of stuff
     
    allisd17 and GBExpat like this.
  17. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,355
    Okay.
     
    Last edited: May 27, 2022
  18. theotherwaldo

    theotherwaldo Member

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2008
    Messages:
    5,144
    Location:
    In the Wild Horse Desert of Texas
    I have examples of most of the British Empire's Lee rifles in both military and civilian dress.
    I also have examples of most Military Mauser types.
    If I were going into combat I would prefer a later Lee Enfield, either a No. 4 Mk. 1/2 or a Mk. 2.
    If I were building a hunting rifle I would prefer a pre-war Mauser or a post-war Belgian Mauser.
     
    22250Rem, steves2, GBExpat and 2 others like this.
  19. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,355
    You are not answering the question being asked! The OP did not ask which is a superior combat weapon!!!
     
  20. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,355
    Again! You are not answering the question being asked! The question was NOT which is better for sporterizing!!! :rofl:
     
  21. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Joined:
    Jul 13, 2011
    Messages:
    2,063
    Location:
    East KY
    What are you doing with it? I’m a Mauser guy, but there are reasons one would want a No4 Mk1.
     
  22. allisd17

    allisd17 Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2015
    Messages:
    226
    Location:
    Mountain West
    Negative and negative. Nothing wrong with my Enfield, it is in perfect mechanical condition. To me, the action feels clumsy, just like my T99. I much prefer the crisper, more solid actions of my K98 and 03A3. That being said, if I had to choose between the K98 and #4, I would pick the Enfield, primarily because of its superior sights.
     
  23. wiscoaster

    wiscoaster Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2019
    Messages:
    3,639
    Location:
    Nowhere
    OK, fair enough - your personal preference. Thanks for the clarification. ;)
     
    allisd17 likes this.
  24. Ugly Sauce

    Ugly Sauce Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2020
    Messages:
    3,355
    I have found quite a variation among SMLE actions (including the No.4). Some are very smooth and tight, some are not.
     
  25. someguy2800

    someguy2800 Member

    Joined:
    Sep 16, 2015
    Messages:
    6,996
    Location:
    Minnesota
    I have both and I find the enfield to be underwhelming. On paper it sounds like its really something but in practice I find I don't really care to shoot it.
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice