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Military History: How did the Brits reload their Enfields?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by Devonai, May 17, 2003.

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  1. Devonai

    Devonai Member

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    In WWII, British troops armed with the Mk III or #4 Mk1 Lee-Enfield had two options when reloading their weapons. They could either charge the magazine through the action using two 5-round stripper clips, or insert another magazine entirely.

    Which method was used primarily by troops? How many magazines were issued per rifle? If it was more than one, which method was the "best" way as taught by instructors? Thank you.
     
  2. Ian

    Ian Member

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    Stripper clips. I don't believe extra magazines were ever issued, save when one broke.
     
  3. Mk VII

    Mk VII Member

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    the magazine is considered as a permanent attachment and ammunition came in bandoliers of 50=10x5 rnds (though you can find it packed in cartons in various combinations and even 30 rnd strips of cut-up Vickers Gun belt)
     
  4. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    Now that i have removed my mag several times for cleaning, its almost drop free... It was hard to get it out the first time.

    I just load mine one at a time like a Rem 700. Then again, I'm not worried about a bayonet charge (but i do keep a loaded G22 just in case!):D
     
  5. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    I do both.


    i find the strippers inconvenient, and i need to oil them up and get them smooth.


    untill i do that, i just change magazines, since i have 3 of them.
     
  6. MolonLabe416

    MolonLabe416 Member

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    The British did not issue extra magazines. The rifle was loaded (charged in BritSpeak) using chargers (stripper clips) through the charger guide (stripper clip guide).
    When properly learned, it's very fast. It also enables you to top off the mag. All in all, an excellent and well thought out system.
     
  7. Feanaro

    Feanaro Member

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    You got one magazine unless of course it broke. They used the stripper method.
     
  8. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Except for cleaning or repair, the magazine was never to be removed from the Lee Enfield rifle.

    Spare magazines were not issued to the troops.
     
  9. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    I read an article by a British Cadet Movement vet - ROTC type program - describing the famous British rapid fire techniques. He said they carefully stripped the paint off their brass stripper clips and polished them for easy loading. And, of course, recovered their own off the range after shooting.
     
  10. Gewehr98

    Gewehr98 Member

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    The 10-round magazine was considered so permanent...

    That early variants of the venerable NoIMkIII (or were those the even-earlier Magazine Lee Enfields?) had short chains connecting the box magazine with the triggerguards. If you keep your eyes open sometimes one will show up for sale online, it will also have the magazine cutout lever and volley sights. ;)
     
    Last edited: May 17, 2003
  11. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    If you take a look at just about any Lee Enfield, just ahead of the magazine is a bolt with an eye in it. I'm assuming that's the attachment point for the magazine lanyard.

    I looked in Smith's Small Arms of the World and almost all of the pictured Lee Enfields have this bolt.

    I don't know about my Ishapore No. 1 Mk III, though. It's in the basement, and I'm not running downstairs for awhile.
     
  12. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    60 rounds of 303 just arrived from cheaper than dirt today, im going to see how close the mil sights are tomorrow, with only one front sight blade.. Ill write up a report tomorow. :)
     
  13. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Interesting. I was wondering how my No.5 carbine kept its serial numbered mag over all those years.
     
  14. ShaiVong

    ShaiVong Member

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    I thought using the stripper method was only available in certain parts of Nevada. :D
     
  15. Andrew Wyatt

    Andrew Wyatt Member

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    the bolt on number4mk1s was for the action cover.
     
  16. nemesis

    nemesis Member

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    Mike said.......
    Mike, that's possible but that's where the action cover draw string ties to.
     
  17. Mike Irwin

    Mike Irwin Member

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    Nemesis,

    I didn't realize that that the action cover tied to the rifle itself. I thought it just buckled around the action.
     
  18. Jim K

    Jim K Member

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    Hi, Gewehr98 and guys,

    The SMLE Mk III (Rifle No. 1 Mk III) was never issued with more than one magazine. Some earlier Lee rifles, though, were issued with two magazines. The primary magazine was attached to the rifle by a chain so it would not become lost while the spare was being used.

    That system was dropped because LE magazines had to almost be hand fitted to the rifle, and the trouble and expense of fitting and issuing two mags was just too much for Queen Vicky's purse. So when the charger system was developed, the issuing of an extra magazine was discontinued.

    The loop that held one end of the magazine chain was in the center of the trigger guard. The loop used on later rifles was for tying on the canvas action cover.

    Jim
     
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