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Posted: 7/20/2003 1:12:10 PM EDT
Between these weapons which is more reliable, accurate, and durable?

I know the .303 isn't as powerful as the 8mm, so the Mauser will, of course be more powerful.

Link Posted: 7/20/2003 8:19:07 PM EDT
Accuracy goes to the Mauser.
It has a much stiffer more massive action, a more massive bolt, and has fewer "cut outs" in the receiver. The one piece stock with the action inletted into it and fully supported was a major factor.

The Lee Enfield has an action that was always noted for being more "flexible". This is exacerbated by the rear locking lugs, so both bolt and receiver are flexing much more during firing. The LE has always been noted as being more difficult to reload for, due to this flexing causing the brass to stretch more.

The LE's two piece butt stock/fore end, like most such arrangements, just isn't as accurate.

Durability goes again to the Mauser for much the same reasons. The Mauser was always simply a more robust design.

The problems of accuracy and durability were recognized by the Brits early on, which is the reason for the P-13/P-14 Rifles which were a Mauser derivative. It's very probably that had WWI not interfered, the Brits would have been using a Mauser based rifle, instead of the LE.

Reliability is in my opinion, somewhat a "wash".
The LE and the Mauser had enviably reputations in the mud of the trenches.
The Lee Enfield was always a more complicated, "fussy" design, with far more parts.

The LE gets points for firepower with it's 10 round magazine and fast bolt action, but it gets a minus for the rimmed cartridge, and the problems with rim-interlock stoppages.

The Mauser gets points for it's much stronger primary cam-action extraction, and far stronger extractor design.

The LE gets points for its cock on closing design which makes extraction easier, AS LONG AS there's no problem with cases sticking in the chamber.

The LE had a better sights, with windage adjustments and protective "ears".

Bottom line: It's hard to argue with success. Both the Mauser and the Lee Enfield saw extensive service all over the world, in numerous wars large and small, and in every possible climate and condition.

Both stood up well to the demands put on them, and both were resounding successes as service rifles.

It doesn't get better than that.
Link Posted: 7/21/2003 11:58:07 AM EDT
Faris put it pretty well. I am strongly biased towards the Mauser, but that being said, you can not go wrong with a good Enfield.

The Enfield makes up for its short-commings by magazine capacity and rate of fire.
Link Posted: 7/21/2003 1:01:12 PM EDT
Topics like this make me happy in my pants. I'm a sick, sick man.
Link Posted: 7/21/2003 2:02:18 PM EDT

Originally Posted By -Duke-Nukem-:
Topics like this make me happy in my pants. I'm a sick, sick man.



And I thought I was the only one here who needed to spend more time outside!
Link Posted: 7/21/2003 4:05:57 PM EDT
I have to disagree with the accuracy claim. My No.4 MK2 shoots groups half the size of my German Mauser. At 100 yards I can hold the 'X' ring with my Enfield. My M96 Swede is another story and is by far my favorite Mauser. I have to give the nod to the Enfield because the action is faster, it holds twice the number of rounds, and in the No.4 configuration has far better sights.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 6:35:26 AM EDT
I'd give the nod to the Enfield as far as being a superior battle rifle. The Mauser would get the nod for being stronger and more accurate.

Those Brits were required to be able to get off 15 shots per minute with the Enfield, and most of them could do more. With the Mauser, you'd be lucky if you could get 15 off in a minute.

Also the world's record for fastest shooting of a manually operated rifle was set with an Enfield (38 rounds into a 12" target at 300 meters in 60 seconds)
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 9:10:09 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 7/22/2003 9:12:24 AM EDT by raf]
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 12:29:20 PM EDT
The SMLE is far easier to maintain than the '98 series. It's accuracy in combat is equal to the 98, and in some ways better. The #4,and #5 SMLE's have far superior ergonomics, and sighting arrangements for combat use than the '98.

If you're building a sporting arm, use a '98. If you're off to war, use a SMLE.

Meplat-
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 12:58:59 PM EDT
Someone posted this somewhere else but I cant find so here goes.


The Americans built a target rifle, the Germans built a hunting rifle, and the British built a COMBAT rifle.


Again apologies for not accrediting that to anyone but I cant seem to find the quote.
Link Posted: 7/22/2003 8:58:19 PM EDT
I like the more powerful 8mm round and my k98 suits me just fine. I am able to reload fast enough and i dont mind doing it when i have a great german made rifle. Ive never had a problem with hitting accurate at 300 yards iron sights. I have a 1903 springfield and ive shot the SMLE many time and still i like the way my mauser feels
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 6:09:38 AM EDT
Ahh. Regarding power, try some MkVIII ball,(Not meant for the rifle, yes, and will kick mightily.) or handload. Some MkIV* SMLEs have bores slugging.308"..

Know what that means, Yes?

Meplat-
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 9:26:56 AM EDT

Originally Posted By German_Gunner:
I like the more powerful 8mm round and my k98 suits me just fine. I am able to reload fast enough and i dont mind doing it when i have a great german made rifle. Ive never had a problem with hitting accurate at 300 yards iron sights. I have a 1903 springfield and ive shot the SMLE many time and still i like the way my mauser feels



Thats kinda subjective. Just because its bigger doesnt mean its stronger.

Either way. Heres a good article on .303 British. Mauser ammo is just ball, spitzer by the way.

www.african-hunter.com/303_british.htm
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 9:27:43 AM EDT
I have a Number 4 Mk I*

I have put an Anvanced Technology synthetic stock and a scope mount on it with a Bushnell 3-9x40 scope.

I like it just fine. Acuracy is plenty good enough for deer hunting, which is what I plan on using it for.

I have no experience with the 98 though, so I am just giving my opinion of the Enfield.

As for the 303 being not as powerful......well, that may be true, but Winchester GXP3 303 British is designed for Brown Bear and Moose! How much more power is required?
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 3:15:19 PM EDT
I am not knocking the .303 round. It is not as powerfull as the 8mm, but it does the job intended just fine.

I still would be very reluctant to use it on Brown bear or moose. I know it has been used for dangerous game in Africa, but I would consider even 8mm on the light side for large game such as this. I might use some of my 200grain Lapua at 2,700fps with their "Mega" bullet on this game, but would still like something larger.

.303 was made for people, not for critters that eat people.
Link Posted: 7/23/2003 8:38:00 PM EDT
i am refering to military surplus ammo mostly. i can see where people would like the SMLE better but my personal prefrence is the 98. both have their goods and bads about them but i think it is up to the individual shooter to deside which is best for him.
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