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The most reliable, rugged, accurate rifle EVER.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by esmith, Dec 4, 2008.

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  1. esmith

    esmith Member

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    I was watching TV last night and while sorting through the numerous useless and un-entertaining programs i found a countdown of the best military weapons on the outdoor channel, maybe the military channel, can't remember. Anyway, they were talking about the lee enfield rifle and one of the narrators said it was the most rugged military rifle ever made.

    What? So all the AK variants, Mosin Nagant rifles and German Mausers weren't the most rugged military rifles?

    It seems that no matter what gun a program is talking about it is always the best gun out there. Un-paralled in terms of accuracy, reliability, and ergonomics.

    Anyone else notice this?
     
  2. Mossberg88

    Mossberg88 Member

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    Well, I think the Enfield may have been dropped the most :)
     
  3. Wheeler44

    Wheeler44 Member

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    Well the Lee Enfield in all of its iterations is one of the best bolt action battle rifles ever.

    Mossberg88, I think you are thinking of something else.
     
  4. Pulse

    Pulse Member

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    one of those "Top Ten of ..." series?

    those are utter bull****.

    just as a example, the "Top Ten of Main Battle Tanks"

    in the US version, the leopard2 is not even listed, Abrams on #2, Russian T34 wins.
    in the British version the Challanger 2 Wins, Abrams on #7
    in the the German version, Leo2 wins, Abrams #2, Challanger was somewhere below #5.

    mind you, it was the exact same show, even with the exact same Guest speakers, just slight bit diffrent..

    US version: "The Abrams has superior firepower due to the DU shells and the 120mm smoothbore cannon"

    UK version: "The Abrams is on par on firepower with the Challanger but can not match its accuracy"

    Ger version: "The Abrams has very high firepower, but can not match the upgraded leo2 /L55 Gun"

    all 3 sentances spoken by the same guy..
     
  5. Kind of Blued

    Kind of Blued Member

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    Such a unicorn can not plausibly exist.
     
  6. mgregg85

    mgregg85 Member

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    Yeah those top ten shows are just geared for the uneducated(at least in this area) masses. Don't take them too seriously.

    Future Weapons is always good for a laugh. I never knew that 5.56x45mm was prone to bouncing off windshields until I started watching that show.
     
  7. KC0QGL

    KC0QGL Member

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    French Chauchat:rolleyes:
     
  8. RonE

    RonE Member

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    It must be that the editor/producer of the show is also in the print media business and someone with a warehouse full of SMLE's just took out a two page advertisement.
     
  9. frogomatic

    frogomatic Member

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    I'd take a Mauser over an Enfield any day of the week, and twice on sunday.
     
  10. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    but the enfield is a better military rifle

    the M98 Mauser rifles, particularly the 98k, have a completely undeserved, and entirely mythical reputation for accuracy. The 6.5 x 55 M96 rifles are indeed very, very accurate, but the military M98 rifles are not.

    Compare and contrast these acceptance standards:

    M1 Garand: four minutes of angle

    SMLE and No. 4: 3.5 minutes of angle ( four out of five shots within a 1 x 1.5 inch rectangle at 100 feet, assuming outside edge-to-outside edge). Interestingly, the partial 600 yard test was nine out of 10 within a 24 Inch Circle for the smle, and six out of seven shots within an 18 x 18 inch rectangle for the number 4, giving 3.8 minutes for the smle and 2.9 minutes for the number four, assuming that the group is circular and not making use of the corners of the box.

    Kar98k TO BE SELECTED FOR USE AS A SNIPER RIFLE: at 100 m,3 of 5 shots in a rectangle measuring 80 x 140 mm, all five within a circle of 120 mm. Assuming that this is all shots edge-to-edge, this is exactly 4 minutes of angle.


    the interesting conclusion of this is that any Garand, smle or number four coming off the production line intended for infantry use was accurate enough to be considered for sniping use by the Germans. No wonder there were complaints from the field about the accuracy of the 98k Sniper!
    its also faster firing 10 round mag rather than five more reliable in mud. It was the pinnacle of military bolt action combat rifles. There are more accurate bolt actions out there but not by much and those that are not as reliable or as fast to shoot.
     
  11. John-Melb

    John-Melb Member

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    It's probably worthwhile pointing out the first significant defeats handed to both the Germans and the Japanese during WW2 were both delivered with the .303 SMLE.
     
  12. steveracer

    steveracer Member

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    Garand.
     
  13. Officers'Wife

    Officers'Wife Member

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    In the end does it really matter? The '03' Springfield brought my great grandfather home from WWI, the Garand my grandfather from WWII, the M16 my Dad from Vietnam and the Winchester shotgun my uncle from Vietnam. They may not have been the 'best' but they were good enough.

    Selena
     
  14. gvnwst

    gvnwst Member

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    2(times infinity)+, i thought that the M82 was a few decades old, but i guess i am wrong.:rolleyes: And i thought he said that the M82, the CHEYTAC intervention and the .416 barret wereall the "ultimate sniper system".... Seems to be a bit of ______ here.....:D
     
  15. WardenWolf

    WardenWolf member

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    Honestly, the award really has to go to the Mosin Nagant M91/30. Some were used as snipers and achieved some incredible long-range shots, and the standard infantry issues were abused to hell and still work, yet still had a reputation for accuracy. I say work, not past tense, because there's still countless M91/30's in good working order. Some were rearsenaled and rebarreled, but many are original. When you put it all together, no other rifle has done so much.
     
  16. goon

    goon Member

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    There is no most or best in every category.
    Some do pretty well but none will have every possible good characteristic and none of the bad.
    If I had to go use one to stay alive today I'd probably want an Enfield.

    As for Mosins, they're functional and they've seen use for probably longer than any of their contemporaries, but they're not really that great.
    I've only ever seen one that had a functional cartridge stop (interruptor, or whatever the hell the technical term for it is). With the rest of them, you had to carefully load one round at a time to avoid rim-lock. Call me crazy, but I'd want to be able to reload with stripper clips and not have to worry much about that happening.
    FWIW, the Enfield can run into this too but if you load the strippers correctly you'll have no worries.

    The best of the Mosin breed would be the Finn M-39.
    Those Mosins are real rifles!
     
  17. Ruggles

    Ruggles member

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    I have purchased 3 Enfields, 1 Garand and 1 Mauser.. The Garand and the Mauser are gone the Enfields remain.

    If their is a tougher battle rifle the Enfield I have yet to see it. Maybe the Mosin?
     
  18. esmith

    esmith Member

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    Im not saying their is a best rifle in any category, but there are certainly guns that could be considered more rugged than the enfield.

    I have yet to stop my mosins with anything outside of the bolt being clogged with cosmoline. Now that i have worn in the extractor and the feed ramps it cycles quite nicely and reliably. All the stripper clips i have tried have been bad, however.

    Needless to say, Most mosins are beasts. Not the most accurate, but they get the job done.

    You sold a garand. How could you ever sell a piece of American History like that? That sir, is an abomination.
     
  19. frogomatic

    frogomatic Member

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    @woody

    Accuracy is more dependent on the workmanship put into the individual rifle. I was speaking on a design basis (somthing I know more than a little about). From a design standpoint, the mauser is the superior rifle. The 1903 springfield... A direct knock off of the mauser, so similar in design to the mauser that the US had to pay royalties to Paul Mauser for every one we made. The pre-64 model 70(quite possible the finest rifle ever made)...a Mauser with a better trigger and a side swing saftey. The ruger M77...a Mauser with a better trigger and a side swing safety.

    The differences between a Mauser and Enfield...
    cock on open vs. cock on close...cock on open is superior for safety reasons
    front locking lug vs. rear locking lug...front lugs are superior for safety reasons
    Safety lug vs. no safety lug...:rolleyes:
    the Mauser's bolt shroud is designed to deflect gas away from the shooter, another safety advantage. The mauser introduced controlled round feed with it's claw extractor and manual ejector. there is a reason nearly every bolt action rifle since was based on the Mauser design. How many rifles were based on the SMLE? Hell, modern companies are still building Mauser inspired guns. Why? Because the design of the gun is that good.
     
  20. louie19

    louie19 Member

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    Ruggles: What happened to the M1 Garand? Seems like you'd want to hang onto that.
     
  21. woodybrighton

    woodybrighton member

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    The mauser on paper and design wise is a better rifle.
    But on the Battlefield the Lee Enfield dominated its now been in service for over 100 years and two world wars years :D still on issue in India and by the Canadian rangers who rely on it because it will go bang in some of the most extreme conditions on earth.
    mauser military rifles no longer in service.
    Think that settles the argument longest serving military bolt action rifle. With a powerful round like a .303 it will put most creatures down so why bother designing something else? with 4 million made you could get one cheap enough.
     
  22. SaxonPig

    SaxonPig Member

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    As can be seen, the notion of "best" is completely subjective.

    Any of the military rifles mentioned in this thread will do the job. Which is best will be a matter of personal preference.

    The AK is tough and has been made in countless numbers. It was designed to be rugged and unbreakable in the hands of peasants who lack training and education with machinery.

    The M1 was perhaps the greatest rifle of its day but that day is long passed.

    The AR was designed by committee and the smaller caliber is still rejected by many.

    I have owned one Enfield (that I later sold) and many Mausers which I still have. My preference is obvious. Both the Enfield and Mauser did the job asked of them. I find the 98 simpler, more ergonomic, and simply more elegant than the Enfield.

    IMO the 1898 Mauser is the apex of bolt-action rifle design. Copied by just about every design since, and never really improved upon by any, I think the 98 is the best bolt gun ever built. I find the Enfield clumsy and clunky. Not to mention just plain ugly.

    My personal favorite battle rifle of all time is the FN FAL. If I were called into combat this this the rifle i would want.

    BTW- Military arms are designed for reliability above all else. This means loose tolerances to prevent jamming and this is not the way to make a rifle accurate. Target guns are tight, and they don't do well in combat conditions. No military rifle will be supremely accurate. All they wanted was "minute-of-enemy-soldier" at 200 yards.
     
  23. Rem700SD

    Rem700SD Member

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    If I'm thinking of the correct show, the ranking are based on VOTES from the audience from their web site. Hence, the nationalistic discrepencies.
     
  24. Oro

    Oro Member

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    +1 for SaxonPig.

    I have known him for several years on multiple forums, and rarely have a disagreement with him. Should I need a battle rife, the FN FAL is my first choice by far.

    But the OP asked about "rugged, reliable, accurate" and did not specify practicality, price, rate of fire, or with maximum lethality. Based on only those three criteria, I might stray to the SMLE.

    While it's only bolt action and not semi (or full) auto, it's worth noting that in competent hands, it's hard to tell the difference. German regiments in Belgium in August of 1914 thought they ran into machine guns nests when they hit competent British battalions.

    Two ansers:

    Cheap answer: SMLE

    More expensive: FN FAL

    Keep in mind the maxim, while the .303 has probably taken more game than any cartridge on the planet, it has also WOUNDED more game than any other. It's not as suitable for one-shot drops in hunting as a .308, or better yet, a .30-06 like a springfield or Garand is. I think of the .303 as in the same category as a .30-30, it's almost exact contemporary.

    There is just no simple answer!

    PS: SaxonPig:

    You need to copyright that phrase before it hits the gun press!
     
  25. yokel

    yokel Member

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    The rugged simplicity of the bolt action rifles originally designed at the turn of the 19th century tend to be the most reliable under adverse operating conditions.

    Can't say that I would sooner relinquish my Remington '03 than my Garand rifle.
     
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