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Which WAS better army rifle of its time?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by OneShot!, Jun 21, 2007.

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Which WAS better rilfe of its time? M1 Garand or Lee-Enfield

Poll closed Jun 23, 2007.
  1. M1 Garand

    103 vote(s)
    90.4%
  2. Lee-Enfield

    12 vote(s)
    10.5%
Multiple votes are allowed.
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  1. OneShot!

    OneShot! member

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    Before WWII most of the world probably used mostly two rilfes for their army. Although these two do not belong from the same time period, but I am curious to know your opinion on which of the following WAS better rifle of its time:

    M1 Garand, or
    Lee-Enfield

    I am impartial because I really like both.
     
  2. Boats

    Boats member

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    The SMLE was evolutionary.
    The Garand was revolutionary.

    That settles the debate for me. I own the Garand and have operated a SMLE. The smelly is among the fastest bolts I have ever fired, but it's still a bolt gun. I could sustain a higher and more accurate volume of fire with a Garand and suspect that would be true of most shooters. The Garand is way better on the move too.

    The Garand was the harbinger of the future and the SMLE one of the last gasps of the past.
     
  3. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    Dont feed the troll.....
     
  4. SMLE

    SMLE Member

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    I can't really vote in this poll the way it is phrased. Both rifles served side by side in WWII and Korea, and both did a superb job. The Lee Enfield was hands down the best BOLT ACTION military rifle ever issued. The M1 was a great rifle, but it did have a few "bugs", (Not being able to "top off" the magazine is one commonly mentioned fault.) The M1 was not the best it could have been.

    I will now be donning my flame-proof suit and waiting for the outcry of offended M1 fans. :evil:
     
  5. azhunter12

    azhunter12 Member

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    M1 because it was semi.

    Although I love my enfield.
     
  6. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    It's not a bad question. The Enfield usually wins the polls for best bolt action war rifle, from a military point of view. The Garand wins for best WWII era semiauto. Comparing the two, I'd go with the No. 4. You're comparing the very best bolt action for this particular task with an early, somewhat flawed semi. The Enfield had a higher capacity, was easier to feed and didn't suffer from a sensitive gas porting system. You could feed an Enfield a wide range of ammo from heavy 215 grain ball to light spitzers without trouble. But a Garand? It ate only what it ate, and feeding heavier .30'06 into it was and is not advised.
     
  7. sm

    sm member

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    OneShot!

    Most of your posts are POLLs on both THR and TFL.

    I have never posted a poll, as polls are too restrictive and confining .


    Now the polls you are posting on both THR and TFL have been done to death, a simple search would have answered your polls.

    Post counts.
    Honest, I really do not like post counts on forums.

    Still...if you really want to increase your post counts?
    Really! I don't want mine.

    I tell ya you what, wanna send $5 to THR for every post I have?
    I see a win-win for everyone if you do.


    :)
     
  8. Eightball

    Eightball Member

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    If I had the extra $89,040, sure.
     
  9. SturmMackRuger

    SturmMackRuger Member

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    the m1 is the best battle implement ever devised so said General Patton he didn't say anything about the Enfield.
     
  10. tkendrick

    tkendrick Member

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    I don't think that applies. In the military you shoot what you are issued. I shot literally tens of thousands of milsurp M1 ammo thru a Garand back when they were the standard for NHP matches. Don't recall having many problems with the thing functioning.

    It wasn't nearly as picky the m16's (A1's or A2's) that I was using on active duty.
     
  11. Sunray

    Sunray Member

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    "...do not belong from the same time period..." Who told you that? Both models of the Lee-Enfield were used during W.W. II and Korea.
    "...General Patton he didn't say anything about the Enfield..." G.S. had absolutely zero experience with any Lee-Enfield. He had no need to say anything about the equipment used by another army. Any comments he made about U.S. kit was to bolster the confidence of U.S. troopies.
    The No. 4 Mk I rifle IS NOT AN SMLE!!!! Only the No.1 Mk III was an SMLE.
     
  12. Don't Tread On Me

    Don't Tread On Me Member

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    Hmmm...I see these One-Shot polls and "vs" threads are becoming a trend.


    Well, in the spirit of having discussion being that this is a discussion forum - the M1 Garand hands down.


    The M1 has had the luxury of having perhaps the most lopsided advantage over its opponents in all of firearm history. How can you possibly compare any of the bolt-action rifles to the firepower of semi-auto M1 Garand, which is (practically speaking) just as accurate? Maybe muzzle loaders vs. the first breech loaders. I've read of battles being decisive as a result. But the M1 served an entire world war vs. 2 massively powerful enemies, spread across much of the world in virtually every environment in hundreds of battles.

    That is why so many people love it. It represents the best of America. When America rose up against a huge challenge and prevailed. We won - and we used the Garand. We were better. It was the best on the field. It was made in a time when it was absolutely essential that our men had the best. Best manufacturing, best materials, best design, best performance. Went hand in hand with the whole rise of America to a superpower.

    The M16 had the AK-47 which evened them out. The 1903, Lee Enfield, MN, Mauser etc....none of these had a significant edge over the other.

    The M1 was a massive leap forward. A squad armed with k98's vs a squad armed with M1's. No contest. The only thing that could out perform the M1 was the rise of medium cartridge fully-automatic weapons (like the AK, FAL, M16, M14), but they represent an entirely new doctrine of which created a new era that the M1 did not belong to. When it comes to full power .30cal - the M1 Garand was the pinnacle of that era. It was the last word on the subject. It delivered the death blow. Not only was it the last word, but it was an all out slam dunk.



    I don't have one. I need to get one.
     
  13. DawgFvr

    DawgFvr Member

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    I vote M1 Garand...hell, I have a home shrine to the Garand...
     
  14. DMK

    DMK Member

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    Why are you guys jumping on him? It's a decent topic. I haven't seen these two rifle specifically compared to each other before.

    I say hands down the Garand was the better rifle of it's time. Like Don't Tread on Me stated, it was way ahead of it's time and had a big advantage of its contemporaries. Not only was it an advanced design for a fielded service rifle, it was extremely reliable and effective. Not bad for the first of its kind.

    The Enfield was and is a fine rifle. It had numerous advantages over other bolt actions of the period, but it was not semi-automatic. Perhaps comparing a single rifleman to another single rifleman, that didn't make much difference. But compare a platoon of riflemen with Enfields to a platoon of riflemen armed with Garands.
     
  15. Essex County

    Essex County Member

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    I voted M1 but, I would feel fine with either.....No flies on the Enfield...Essex
     
  16. Limeyfellow

    Limeyfellow Member

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    He also said we didn't need any better tanks than a Sherman because no tank would ever be in a situration where it would be battling another tank and many other comments where he talked out his rear end. In the end he was lucky not to get court martialed for insubordination and his little habit of executing his prisoners into mass graves by machinegun fire. But thats enough about Patton, back to the question at hand.

    I still would give the Lee Enfield the advantage most of the time. It allowed more rounds that had a better loading system, since in my opinion the en bloc system is fundamentally flawed.

    You could put variable rounds in the Enfield. I personally like 180 grain stuff, but fired heavier and lighter bullets of all kinds over a 80 grain rate. You have to be careful with your Garand or you are going to bend the operating rod. The same if you reload be careful not to put the pressure too high.

    Infact the gas system of the Garand has had many problems and the whole thing was thrown out and replaced with an older gas system after the war to design the M14.

    I guess the major advantage of the Garand though would be close quarters where aiming wasn't so important and it was more point and squeeze. Otherwise the rate of fire is pretty much the same.
     
  17. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    But with the Enfield, the Brits could issue whatever they had on stock. Old heavy ball or newer light spitzer.

    Beyond that, the Garand's clip feeding was archaic even by the 1930's, and unlike subsequent semis such as the SAFN it did not have an adjustable gas system. It was reliable and did fine for what it was, but to pretend it was the ultimate semiautomatic battle rifle is jingoistic nonsense. It was an early and interesting semiauto rifle. Probably the best all around semi of the war. But between the two I'd go with the Enfield.
     
  18. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    Garand. Sure, it wasn't as advanced as some of the other semis of the time, but to use that as a reason to see it as inferior to the SMLE is unreasonable. It's making the Garand look inferior to the SMLE by comparing the Garand to more advanced rifles and not the Enfield. As far as comparing the two, there is no comparison. The Enfield is a bolt action rifle based on an later- 19th century design that was nearly 50 years old by the time WWII had come. The Garand was a giant step in increasing the firepower of the individual soldier and was way ahead of anything the German, Italian, or Japanese infantryman had in WWII.


    ETA:
    Whether or not the Garand ate what was put in it is more of a problem for the recreational shooters of today (like us) than it was for the American soldier in WWII. We have to take whatever the CMP decides to import. Otherwise, there aren't many available loads for the M1. But the American war machine during WWII provided more than enough ammunition for the soldiers of this country and probably a few others. Ammo was not a concern.
     
    Last edited: Jun 22, 2007
  19. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    Hmmmm... 49/56. Not used in WWII, I believe.
     
  20. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    Was it really, though? How much faster in aimed fire could a soldier shoot with the Garand than with the Enfield? I've never seen a head to head shootout, but I have seen some Enfields being shot mighty fast.
     
  21. db_tanker

    db_tanker Member

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  22. kcmarine

    kcmarine Member

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    Yes, but if I were a soldier having to go house to house in a Dutch town, I would MUCH rather be an American soldier with an M1 than a British soldier with a Lee- Enfield. You're right, the Garand and Enfield are about equal at the longer ranges when it comes to targeting, but at closer ranges, the M1 has the advantage. And since the M1 is equal to the Enfield at long ranges but better than the Enfield at close ranges, the M1 is the better rifle overall.
     
  23. M1 Shooter

    M1 Shooter Member

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    The M1 was "the finest battle implement ever devised". When Patton said that it was very true. There was nothing better, and nothing even equaled it at the time. Most WWII and Korean War combat Vets I've talked to had nothing but praise for the rifle. Sure it has a few warts, nothing is perfect, but in its time it was the best in the world. Many here seem to be comparing it to more modern semi auto designs. Thats not very fair. The later designers had the work of those who went before them to learn from. John Garand and the other early designers of semi auto military rifles were essentially making it up as they went along. You have to remember that before the M1 there were NO semi auto military rifles that worked worth a damn. The M1 was the first standard issue semi-auto military rifle in the world that worked, and worked well.
     
  24. jaholder1971

    jaholder1971 Member

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    A whole lot of nothing going on in this poll...

    They were the right rifles for the countries at the time. The proof of this is in the fact that German isn't the official language of Europe and Africa.
     
  25. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Member

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    By that standard, the Mosin is the greatest rifle of the war
     
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