Automatic Lee Enfields

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by Nato Standard123, Jan 16, 2012.

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  1. Bet their Inf T & D unit had fun playing with these?

    They make the crow cannon seem well balanced.....btw, what's happend to them?

    Automatic Lee-Enfields
  2. I think one of the posters on that forum described them well , 'frightening contraptions' , they look like they would soon have your eye out!
  3. Those are very frightening looking contraptions...'used by the Home Guard for anti-aircraft purposes'!

    I take it that they never quite caught on. :)
  4. I am guessing thats a Bren gun mag underneath it?

    Would not mind having a blat with one of those...looks like it could be
  5. They were all designed as temporary emergency stop-gaps because of the shortage of Lewis/Bren/BAR in the first year of the war. IIRC at least one of them used commonly-available automotive or agricultural parts, so could be built with hardly any procurement delay or specialist engineering.

    I've not fired any of the models myself, but by all accounts they actually do work ok - I suppose they would suffice to provide basic auto fire.
  6. I have read somewhere, I think, that there was serious thought given to the automatic rifle at Hythe prior to World War I. Although these did not lead anywhere themselves, the idea of the "Section machine gun" within the British Army seems to have had its roots in these theoretical discussions.

    Although a;ll these seem to be wartime conversions of the Lee-Enfield, was not the idea of the automatic rifle looked at again inter-war and dropped due to lack of financial resources?
  7. The Charltons were mostly destroyed in an Armory fire post war.
  8. Septics seem to have got it right first with the M1 Garand.
  9. Britain - or at least Enfield and the SASC - were in the forefront of semi/auto weapon design during WW1 and the inter-war years. UK tested just about every design that came along, including the prototypes of the M1 Garand. No semi-auto rifle was really proceeded with, as they were all far too expensive and unreliable for UK military service. Lack of funding in the 1930s (peace in our time, no more wars, etc - sound familiar...?) meant that even the modernised Lee Enfield service rifle - the No1 MkVI (later No4) - was left at the trials stage.

    Up until the SA80 saga, UK had an exemplary record of choosing a service rifle (often made up from several different rifles) that was near-faultless in combat service under all climatic conditions. This often meant waiting for designs to mature, whilst other nations rushed ahead to adopt latest designs.
  10. It was rubbish when tested by the British in the 1930s; the US then had the benefit of both UK feedback and also another five or so years to get it right before they needed it. Evenso, there is a huge saga and controvosy about some of its eventual shortcomings - e.g. the calibre and the 8 round bloc clip.
  11. Later variants , Springfield's M1A were still being used in Afghanistan and Iraq recently if not still by the septics due to its harder hitting power/range compared with a 5.56.
  12. M1A's are the civilian semi auto version. the US Military is using M-14's which theoretically have full auto capability by intalling the selector switch (Its a dog on f/a). we went from std, 1962 issue rifles with Birch, walnut or GI Fiberglass stocks & added optics to adding the EBR chassis to them, which makes them weigh as much as a Minimi.
  13. I think that might just be one of those old stories - small arms ammo is/was a tiny part of the overall logistics volume in war, and UK never scrimped on rifle ammo in either WW1 or 2.

    Cost was major factor: a Lee Enfield rifle cost about £4, an M1 Garand about £24 in 1941 prices.

    UK also went into WW2 with about c.2.5 million Lee Enfield No1 rifles and P14s left over from WW1 - so there were corresponding huge quantities of .303 stockpiled around the world (unlike today, UK had to roll out new weapons and stores support at hundreds of global locations). When Garands were in production, the US in any case understandably reserved the entire production for its own needs.

    By 1938, when it was obvious that the Germans were going to kick off again, there was still no cheap-ish, lightweight, reliable, tooled up, semi-auto rifle available to UK. UK's warplan required 4 million new rifles, and there was the additional problem that existing semi-auto rifle designs required exensive, accurate machining. There simply wasn't the production capability available. The No4 rifle, by contrast, had been deliberately production engineered so that most of its components could be made cheaply by any small metalworking concern - over 100 contractors made No4 parts.
  14. Interestingly, more men wound up qualified Expert with the Garands than with the Springfields. Even the USMC which first rejected the Garand realized it was a better system and after Guadalcanal reequipped the Marines divisions as fast as possible with them. I dont see the .30-06 being a shortcoming and the 8 round Ping is more myth than anything else. try hearing that on a battlefield among everything else going on, and add it takes very little time to reload.

    The Old man carried a 03 in North Africa, and by Sicily had a Garand, he swore by it and carried one the rest of war 2 and korea(50-51, & 53) , multiple tours of west germany until 1960 when issued a M-14. He was even on the 1958 leclerc team. Again in the reserve, a Garand until 1970 when he retired.
  15. Not the famous "ping", more the missed opportunity to go to a detachable box magazine (BAR mags?) and/or to a lesser extent a charger system.
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