• Pattern 1913 (.276) Trials Rifle (Mfg by R.S.A.F. Enfield)

    Pattern 1913 "Trials" Rifle (.276 in.)
    (Manufactured in 1913 by R.S.A.F. Enfield)

    c/w 1908 Web Pattern sling
    (Mfg in 1913 by M.E. Co. - Mills Equipment Co., London)

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)

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    Caliber: ....................... .276 inch Enfield
    Ammunition: ................. Specification RL 18000C (Troop Trials Cartridge)
    Bullet: .......................... 165 grain, CNCS envelope, 98/2 lead/antimony core,
    ..................................... secures by 6 indents 1.265 in. (34.7 mm) long
    .................................... 2,785 fps (Trajectory Vertex @ 800 yds = 5.23 ft.)
    Bullet Diameter: ............ .282 in.
    Charge: ........................ 49.3 grains of cordite M.D.T.
    Overall Length: ............. 3.23 in. (82.0 mm)
    Case Length: ................ 2.35 in. (59.7 mm)
    Head Diameter: ............. .528 in. (13.4 mm)
    Rim Diameter: ............... .517 in. (13.1 mm)
    Rifling & Twist: .............. 5 Groove, Enfield, Left Hand, 1 Turn in 10"
    Groove Depth: .............. .005 in.
    Width of Lands: ............ .0936 in.
    Overall Length: ............. 46.4 in. (1175 mm)
    Barrel Length: ............... 26.0 in.(660 mm)
    Weight: ........................ 8 lb 11 oz (3.94 kg) unloaded
    Action: ......................... Modified Mauser turn bolt
    Qty Mfg: ....................... 1,251 (508 completed by end of 1912 and 743 in early 1913)

    Source: .... The U.S. Enfield by Ian Skennerton (1983) - ISBN: 0949749028
    Source: .... The Lee Enfield by Ian Skennerton (2007) - ISBN: 9780949749826
    Source: .... Small Arms Identification Series #10 by Ian Skennerton (1998) - ISBN: 0949749362

    Canadian Collector Market Value Estimate: $

    Pattern 1913 "Trials" Rifle (.276 in.)
    This item has been reviewed by members of the Milsurps Advisory Panel.This item has been judged by members of the Milsurps Advisory Panel, to be authentic by original manufacturer, with all correct markings and components.
    (137 picture virtual tour)

    Observations: .... from Skennerton's "The U.S. Enfield" (Pages 11-26)
    With thanks to Advisory Panel members Lance and Wheaty for their assistance.
    Note: Pics of rifle provided courtesy of MILSURPS.COM member ~Angel~.
    Note: Pics of ammunition provided courtesy of TonyE.

    In 1912, the manufacture commenced of a nominal 1,000 .276 in. rifles for extended troop trials at home and overseas. These rifles are now referred to as the Pattern 1913, as they were completed in late 1912 or early 1913, for the 1913 trials in Northern and Southern Commands, Ireland, Egypt, South Africa, the School of Musketry at Hythe, and at Aldershot.

    Specifically, as noted in a unpublished Enfield Pattern Room manuscript by P. Labbett and P.J.F. Mead titled ".256 inch and .276 inch Enfield Experimental Ammunition", provided courtesy of Advisory Panel member warren, the rifles were dispersed for troop trials as follows:

    December 1912 the scale of issue of the Pattern 1913 "Experimental" rifle and ammunition for troop trials, to be issued by May 1913 was shown as:

    Rifles Issued:

    Cavalry: 300 rifles (100 to each squadron in each of three cavalry regiments, one in South Africa, two in Britain.
    Infantry: 560 rifles (70 to one company in each of eight infantry Battalions, seven in Britain, on in Egypt)
    School of Musketry, Hythe: 75 rifles
    School of Musketry, Bloemfontein 75 rifles

    Ammunition Issued:

    Troops abroad - 250 rounds per rifle
    Troops at home - 700 rounds per rifle
    Schools - 500 rounds per rifle
    During the trials, details were kept so as to answer a questionnaire on various aspects of the rifle and its performance., and the reports were returned to the War Office by the commanding officers of the various units. Questions were made as to the general handiness and serviceability, operation, sighting, durability in everyday service use, and shooting.

    In all, 965 rifles were issued for these trials, and the remarks, generally, were that the aperture sights were an excellent improvement, the rifle had good balance and was considered to be more accurate than the SMLE. The main complaints were that the design of the end of the barrel protruding beyond the fore-end rendered it liable to pick up obstructions, the hand grooves were placed at a bad angle, the body and barrel heated up more quickly than the SMLE, the muzzle blast was deafening, and the cocking piece too sharp for bayonet practice. Some edges were too sharp and damaged clothing.

    While some of these complaints were easily rectified, others were not. The main problem was still the cartridge. Higher velocities produced higher pressures and temperatures, with the side effects such as "blow backs", extraction problems and metallic fouling of the bore. Development of the new rifle was plagued with these problems and many variations were made to the cartridge design.

    During the troop trials, one rifle at Aldershot was severely damaged when the base of the cartridge blew out, and so the firing trials were suspended. This "blow-up" was attributed to "severe pressure". Excessive wear of the bore was complained of even after only 1,000 rounds fired.

    A small improvement was proposed for the aperture sight, and the six 1912 trials at Hythe were so fitted. The main difference was that the aperture was more deeply recessed. As a result of the experiences and reports on the 1,000 troop trials rifles, six new rifles were ordered incorporating improvements, and were scheduled for completion by 30th April 1914.

    Apart from the introduction of a smaller caliber, high velocity cartridge, the main aims of the Pattern 1913 rifle were to incorporate desirable features such as aperture sights, a heavier barrel, stronger action, and a more easily manufactured design. However, it was eventually to serve in a different role, chambered for a .303 cartridge that it was designed to replace.

    Some Pattern 1913 rifles were later considered during the Great War in an interesting role ... for penetrating loophole shields in the trenches. These armoured plates were inserted in the line to protect snipers and observation posts, and some success was obtained against these using large bore hunting rifles. When orders were sent home for an official supply of the big bore "armour busters", it was decided that the Pattern 1913 (of which there were 600 -700 in store) might be rebarreled and converted to .470-in. caliber.

    One of these rifles was sent to France in December 1915, but proved to be inferior to the large caliber sporting rifles. So, with the Pattern 1913 still in mind, it was decided to produce a high velocity .276 armour-piercing bullet so that the rifle might be used in its standard form. However, the idea was not put into use, and as the numbers of big bore sporting rifles were available for this role, and the .303-in. armour piercing round developed and was improved, it was soon discarded.

    While the outbreak of the Great War put off any plans for a .276 magazine rifle, the War Office was quick to see its potential in .303 caliber. It was easier to make than the SMLE because there were fewer component parts and the receiver involved less machining, and so inquiries were made to the trade as to the possibility of manufacture by the trade in Britain. Although manufacturing never happened on a large scale in Britain, the process eventually led to U.S. manufacture of the Pattern 1914 rifle in .303 caliber, by such well known makers as Winchester, Eddystone and Remington.

    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Here's an interesting oddity on the Pattern 1913. The long range dial sights are mounted on the left side of the fore-end similar to the original Pattern 1914 rifles, plus a long range back sight is mounted on the left side of the receiver. Note however, that because of the experimental .276 caliber, the dial plate on the Pattern 1913 "Trials" rifle was NOT graduated as part of the original manufacturing process (see pics).

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    (Feedback by "Badger")

    2. This is an unpublished Enfield Pattern Room manuscript by P. Labbett and P.J.F. Mead, titled .256 inch and .276 inch Enfield Experimental Ammunition (click here). The complete Knowledge Library entry for this manuscript may be found in the Technical Articles for Milsurp Collectors and Re-loaders (click here) forum.

    It is a detailed study and analysis covering .256 inch and .276 inch Enfield experimental ammunition trials, accompanied by 1937 technical drawings of various experimental bullet designs, the development path for main case types, highly detailed cartridge design specs and references, .280 inch Ross discussions, early 1912 trials and 1913 "Troop Trials" results, head stamp identification drawings and 1917 Armour Piercing Ammunition trials. .......
    (Feedback by "warren")

    Sample pages ....

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    Note: After you click on images to ENLARGE them, you may find they automatically size smaller in your browser's window making them hard to read. The auto sizing is your browser's way of keeping images entirely within the screen size you have set. If this happens, you will see a small box in the bottom right hand corner of the pic with four arrows point outwards. Click this box and the pic will EXPAND and open up to its normal size, so you should now be able to read any text and make out small details.

    Pattern Room .256 inch and .276 inch
    Enfield Experimental Ammunition Study

    PDF file size = 51.68 Mb

    (Click PIC to read and save Adobe PDF File)
    (Right Click on PIC and choose "Save Target As..." to download PDF file)
    Note: This is a LARGE file size, so you may want to download it for later reading.

    Additional Credits: Original hard copy of complete manuscript provided courtesy of Advisory Panel member warren and scanned with thanks to ~Angel~.

    NOTE: This article is just a sampling of a much larger body of work published by the authors. If anyone would like to purchase the complete content of their research, they should contact the following member:

    Mr. Tony Edwards (click here)
    Researcher and Collector
    British Military Small Arms and Ammunition

    3. There were a number of different .256" and .276" cartridges trialled between 1910 and 1913, and the one the P.13 is chambered for is design RL 18000C.

    Examples of the round are scarce rather than rare and fetch around $40 - $50 each in the UK. Most were made at Royal Laboratories and are headstamped simply R(arrow)L. There were also examples made at Kings Norton Metal Company (KN) and Greenwood & Batley (GB) but these are extremely rare. Strangely, the Canadian government let a contract to Winchester in 1916 for these rounds, which are headstamped "WRA Co 8-16".

    Here are pics of the 5 round charger for the P.13

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    Here are pics of some various rounds for the P.13

    In the picture on the left of four rounds, they are from left to right:

    Ball ..... headstamp "R^L"
    Tinned Inspector’s dummy, no primer ..... headstamp "R^L"
    Wood bullet drill, no primer ..... headstamp "R^L"
    Ball, Canadian Winchester contract ..... headstamp "WRA Co. 8-16"

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    The steel dummy cartridges (pic on the right) are two of the experimental rounds that preceeded the RL18000C design used in the P.13. There were a considerable number of these, but not all were made as live ammunition. The steel dummies were made to test action and magazine design. .....
    (Feedback by "TonyE")

    4. Here's a pic comparing the .276 Enfield cartridge against other common military cartridges of the day. I included the .280 Ross because some publications have stated that the .276 Enfield is identical to the .280 Ross. A look at the picture will show that to be erroneous. (Like the Pedersen cartridge, there were a number of development stages for the .276 Enfield, but all were basically the same in appearance.) ....... (Feedback by "Jim Keenan")

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    5. Here are pics of a barrel from the Pattern 1913 in my collection, which interestingly enough has no finish on it. I've also included a photo montage comparing my P13 and P14. For me it was really great to see how different the ears are, the length of the rear sight, there's no magazine box with the P13 and the volley sight dialler is much shorter than with the P14. Also, there are different curves on the left side of the stock, the finger groove as it's the same length as the four "cuttings" on the P13, the barrel having the same dimension on the muzzle as with the P14, though it's a smaller diameter.

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    Member Promo's Pattern 1913 "Trials" Rifle (.276 in.)

    (39 picture virtual tour)

    (Feedback by "Promo")
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Pattern 1913 (.276) Trials Rifle (Mfg by R.S.A.F. Enfield) started by Badger View original post