Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by rs525, May 27, 2022.
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.
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.
the simple, straightforward typical Mauser
To a non mechanical enlisted person, this would have taken a month to explain how it actually worked!
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.
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.
As a civilian rifle, the Mauser excels.
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.)
But .... the premise that one can only own just one WW2 bolt action rifle is pure fantasy!!
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.
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.
I use a Limbsaver and it works as advertised.
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)
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
You are not answering the question being asked! The OP did not ask which is a superior combat weapon!!!
Again! You are not answering the question being asked! The question was NOT which is better for sporterizing!!!
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.
OK, fair enough - your personal preference. Thanks for the clarification.
Separate names with a comma.