Rate of fire Mauser/Lee Enfield

Discussion in 'Military History and Militaria' started by jonwilly, Nov 18, 2008.

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  1. Gents this subject was brought up the other day by another old knacker.

    Was The German Mauser 98 with it's forward locking bolt and 5 round magazine capable of firing say 50 rounds faster, than the British Enfield with it's rear locking lugs and a 10 round mag.
  2. no way :x
    the Enfield is a LOT quicker to use then a Mauser (or any of the Mauser clones)
    the rear locking gives a shorter bolt stroke (fnar-fnar-snigger)

    read about when the jerries first came up against the BEF in 1914,
    they honestly thought they were facing a line of MGs because of the amount of accurate incoming.

    the lee action based Metfords/Enfields/SMLEs/No4/No5's was THE bolt action rifle to have. bar none.
  3. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    Don't know the actual firing rates
    But didn't the Germans at Mons (IIRC) question the British rate of fire
    It was apperntly so fast and heavy from the Lee Enfields the Germans thought it was MG's putting down the fire
    I think it was stated the British troops had to p1ss on the bolts to cool them down to handle them

    If that was correct you would assume the Lee Enfield was faster
    Also I would have thought 10 and a reload was quicker than reloading every 5 rounds
  4. Gents I do not know. I hope the boards experts will inform.
    It was said that the Enfield required two 5 round clips to be inserted so the single 5 round Mauser clip is quicker and the rifle is back into service faster .
  5. Perhaps, but you've got to do it twice for every once with the Enfield.
  6. When the Germans first encountered the largely regular BEF, in France in 1914 they were amazed at the amount of fire they were receiving from the Brits. They assessed each British Battalion as having 18 Machine guns at their disposal, in fact they had only two. The rifle they used had a complicated double magazine, dropped later for simplicity of production and recruit training, but the rifle was still quicker to fire. Another major advantage was that the Enfield system was quieter to load than the Mauser. The commercial sucess of the Mauser system is down to it's strength, not it's rate of fire. If you buy a heavy calibre hunting rifle today the M98 system is still the first choice. I have an original Enfield No IV Mk 1 t which I use to embarrass Germans with in competition. The full stock is also an advantage. When you shoot in competition with the M98 in indoor or windless conditions, you have difficulty seeing the sights due to shimmering hot air from the barrel and system. Many Germans carry a fan with them for this purpose. This is not a problem with my Enfield. I have two hunting rifles based on the M98, both have been tuned to make the action quieter and have modern safety catches, the originals are too noisy for hunting pig.
  7. the_boy_syrup

    the_boy_syrup LE Book Reviewer

    I think prof Richard Holmes covered it in one of his "War walks"
    I had a look on youtube but to no avail
    He fires a Lee Enfield and gives rate of fire IIRC

    Anyone got the clip?
  8. High fire rates were the thing that gave Wellington the edge. Reported in Sharpe but that was taken from actual reports. The false conclusion gained by the Germans shows that the rapid fire lesson was still being taught. Back as a young'un I saw a fire power demo from .303 and they certainly churned them out.
    Holmes writes in "Tommy" (Brother lead and sister Steel) about the rate of fire. He states that in training for the Boer War, soldiers had to achieve a Mad Minute of 15 rounds at a target 300 yards away. Rifles were seen as of massive importance; any CO with less that 50% marksmen was in for interview no coffee with his Brig. He mentions the Mons incident and relates a further account on the Aisne when a machine gunner was suppressed and killed when the squad (size not stated) sent out 50 rounds in about 4 seconds.
    No - I have added nothing to the faster query but it certainly seems that rate of accurate fire was highly valued. One may surmise that we would have had the best weapon to achieve this. I have a memory somewhere that German military rifles were developed from hunting rifles and, other than Ugly, these are not fired at high rates.
  9. Some years ago , before 1988 firearm act. my mate and I tried this , for 10 rounds it was the enfield, for 20 the mauser, but for above that the enfield drew steadly further ahead, at 50 rounds it was much better and at a hundred massive

    PS Putting 100 rounds through a NO 2 Lee Enfield can seriously damage your health
  10. No chance. ISTR reading about a sergeant who, as an instructor, put 38 rounds into a 12-inch bull at 300 yards in one minute, showing the lads how it should be done.

    The Lee-Enfield's bolt handle is better placed and the amount it travels (not just forward and back, but the rotation) is less as well.
  11. The Lee Enfield action is dramatically faster. The ten round mag gives an initial advantage but even when both parties are loading one charger at a time the Enfield is still faster. It's just a slicker bolt action.
    Mauser stripper clips are perhaps less likely to have hang ups and the rimless Mauser round is less prone to causing a stoppage but I'd still have the Lee Enfield every day.

    In a competition earlier this year, firing rapid, standing unsupported at 300 yds I had no difficulty getting away 15 rounds in a minute even starting from empty, loading five at a time. I could have started on another charger if the rules had allowed it. Now you might be able to do the same with a Mauser but if both started with a full magazine (Lee Enfield - 10, Mauser 5) then I'm pretty sure which would get most rounds away. You can of course just load five at a time into the Enfield and it automatically ejects teh charges when you close the bolt. Not sure that the Mauser had this feature.

    Shooting prone in the "mad minute" I usually get 18 rounds away and on target having started with a magazine of ten. Doubt you'd match that with a Mauser.

    The Mauser action is more suited to sporting or target rifles.

    Don't know where you got that idea?
  12. The relative speeds of the two action types have been tested under proper trial conditions - at Hythe in 1912. Under controlled conditions, the Mauser achieved 14 or 15 rounds per minute, whilst the SMLE achieved 28.

    Thus the Enfield action is about TWICE as fast as a comparative Mauser military action.

    28 was an "average" rate for the SMLE. The rapid fire rate is even greater - 30 to 31 rounds per minute "were routinely achieved" by trained soldiers, and these were aimed and scoring shots on the targetry of the day.

    There are actually a large number of factors in this: better ergonomics (allowing certain rapid-fire techniques in the Enfield), shorter bolt action, cock-on-close striker, better magazine design - and larger magazine capacity.

    The larger magazine gives the Enfield a speed advantage in that the Mauser can only be charger-loaded when all five rounds are expended - ie the shooter has no choice in the matter. The Enfield can be "topped up" with anything up to five rounds already in the magazine - hence the shooter can choose their own shooting "rhythm".

    The British infantry fire superiority over the Germans was down to a combination of the fortuitous rifle design, but also of training. Whilst the Germans focussed on soldier marksmanship alone, the British training doctrine also included "rate of fire".
  13. Dont know about that, I just looked it up in my shooting log . I was using a BSA made ex ROYAL NAVY No2 lee Enfield fitted with Parker Hale sights. He was using a 7.62 FN mauser K98 ex Columbian Army. Nice stamps. At Severn Tunnel junction ranges .Neather of us where trained with these rifles but we where both exarmy
  14. Hi 4(T),

    Have you ever managed to get anywhere near 28 -30 rounds per minute?
    I reckon I could just about get off 20 and keep them all on a fig 11 at 300 yds standing from a fire trench but 30 would be a hell of a lot. That's four charger reloads.
    I'm generally not reckoned to be a slouch in this regard either! (Ask Cuts!)