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Lee Enfield VS M1 Garand?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by catinthebat, Dec 6, 2012.

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  1. henschman

    henschman Member

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    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.
     
  2. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    garands are much easier to fix when they go wrong than enfields are. you can still get parts.
     
  3. mgkdrgn

    mgkdrgn Member

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    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.
     
  4. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    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.
     
  5. BBDartCA

    BBDartCA Member

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    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.
     
  6. Swampman

    Swampman Old Fart

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    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.
     
  7. CoyoteSix

    CoyoteSix Member

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    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:
     
  8. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    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.
     
    Last edited: Dec 8, 2012
  9. italy4nra

    italy4nra Member

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    Garand! (Enfield owner)
     
  10. finnwolf64

    finnwolf64 Member

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    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.
     
  11. HKGuns

    HKGuns Member

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    Eventually get both, but I agree with the general consensus, get the Garand first.
     
  12. mastiffhound

    mastiffhound Member

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    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!
     
  13. musicman10_1

    musicman10_1 Member

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    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)
     
  14. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Hmmm . . . the Australians never adopted the Number 4, but manufactured one of the best Number 1s ever produced.
     
  15. dprice3844444

    dprice3844444 member

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    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.
     
  16. mljdeckard

    mljdeckard Member

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    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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