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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member amadeus76's Avatar
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    Greatest bolt action battle rifle in history...

    So Iím in the field right now and me and a couple of my guys had this debate last night and I thought Iíd see what answers I got here...



    What would you argue is the greatest standard issue bolt action battle rifle in history and why? Not necessarily your favorite, but the best? For example; my favorites are the K31 and the 1903a3 but I wouldnít argue itís the best (tho the K31 probably comes close). When talking about the best I would have to say the Lee Enfield No4. Yes, the 1903, Finnishicon Mosinís,and the Swissicon rifles were more accurate. Yes, the 1903 was better balanced. Yes, the Mausers were a stronger action. All that said however, when taken as a whole I still think the No4 beats them all. It is an accurate rifle with good balance (even if it some other rifles beat it out in those categories), but it also has a butter smooth and fast action, is very reliable, and has twice the capacity of almost every other rifle fielded.

    So the No4 is my pick... Whatís yours and why?

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    Contributing Member Aragorn243's Avatar
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    K31icon which should be self explanatory. But it was never used in anger and is a straight pull so maybe the question should be more specific. I would probably go with an Enfield although whether the No III or No 4, I don't know but also not sure if that's just because everyone says they are the greatest because of the smooth action and the 10 round magazine. Personally, I'd rather train men to shoot accurately rather than fast but if getting the lead downrange is important, the Enfield does it.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    I would have to agree, the No4 is about the pinnacle of bolt service rifle design.

    Beautiful unsurpassed fast and smooth as silk Enfield action, extremely reliable, relatively heavy floating barrel, 10 round mag, good trigger, good sights, it's plenty accurate enough for government work and finally, good balance.

    This combination makes the No4 the very best of the bunch.

    I would also agree, the K31icon is a very impressive rifle indeed in its own right, a true pleasure to shoot and a magnificent piece of firearms engineering.

    ---------- Post added at 12:53 AM ---------- Previous post was at 12:48 AM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by Aragorn243 View Post
    K31 which should be self explanatory. But it was never used in anger and is a straight pull so maybe the question should be more specific. I would probably go with an Enfield although whether the No III or No 4, I don't know but also not sure if that's just because everyone says they are the greatest because of the smooth action and the 10 round magazine. Personally, I'd rather train men to shoot accurately rather than fast but if getting the lead downrange is important, the Enfield does it.
    For sheer charisma it's the SMLE, but it's the No4 from a practical perspective.
    Last edited by mrclark303; 06-07-2018 at 07:51 PM.

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    Really Senior Member Merle's Avatar
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    I'd pick the No 4 over the SMLE, because of the better sights and stiffer action - improved accuracy.

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    Really Senior Member HOOKED ON HISTORY's Avatar
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    What they said.
    1. Because they are right & agree with me.
    2.You both said it better than I could.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    For doing it tough in battle field conditions with the way a weapon is treated even though the rigors of training ensconce in the soldier to look after his weapon he or they at times cannot guarantee the rifle will not get dropped or covered in mud,sand and other detritus as they try to keep alive dodging the $hit flying around.
    2 things I have learned one from reading the other from a Vet;
    When the "Old Contemptible's" early in WWI were in the line they were awaiting an attack from the field grey chaps and duly they came on in waves, the original BEF was trained to a very high standard of musketry not withstanding fast accurate fire so the advance continued towards them.
    At the appropriate time the English opened fire on the Germans and such was the volume of fire coming from the trenches they the Germans thought they were facing a machine gun battalion instead of soldiers with bolt action rifles they did not the Germans achieve their desired result except to retreat with heavy loss of life.

    The other I cannot vouch for its authenticity but after watching "We Were Soldiers" it stands to reason as a field expedient to get a weapon operating again.
    WWI was plagued by mud and the story is that Lee's got clogged up and were rendered non operational so they the troops pi$$ed on the bolts and actions (butt down I guess) to wash away most of the mud so it could get the rounds out again to do the business.
    It may be true but Hal Moore got his troops to do it on mortar tubes in VN so they did not get a cook off it may have happened in WWI with the 303's, who knows Hal may have heard the same story and improvised, but for me either will do but the 303 with 17" of cold steel peeking over the parapet in the hands of Aussie troops did put the wind up the Germans many times they hated our troops bayonet work because we were good at it......
    Last edited by CINDERS; 06-07-2018 at 09:06 PM.

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    Really Senior Member Ridolpho's Avatar
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    Personally I think the choice for "greatest standard issue bolt action battle rifle" has to take into account both effectiveness in the hands of troops AND cost effectiveness of manufacture. Was the particular design such that it could be pumped out in required amounts by the manufacturing infrastructure of the country even while under severe pressure? From this perspective the Mosin 91/30 may be the winner. A further consideration might be versatility- consider Sniper Rifle conversions, urgently needed by all players in WW2. The Mosin PU was put out in vast numbers (>200,000 in '43 alone) and, as we all know, they were/ are very good.

    Ridolpho

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    We accept battle as being used in large scale combat, include numbers manufactured and number of users. The LE, the Mauser, Mosin, Arisakaicon are left, with Arisaka an outsider because of one main user. Then how many are still in daily use all over the world. Still the first three.

    It depends what you grew up with. I have always found the LE to be the fasted and easiest to operate. I vote LE no4.

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    Really Senior Member Paul S.'s Avatar
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    My vote is for the No.4 Enfield. It's handy, has a quick, strong action, good sights and nice sight radius. Its 10 round, easily rechargeable, magazine --- stripper clip in, press, knock out, repeat, and go.

    I'm not a fan of the K98icon's open sights so it falls to second best for me.

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    Contributing Member speckles's Avatar
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    I have used the above rifles in CMPicon competition and my favorite for targets is the Eddystone 1917 Canít speak for battle time but most do say American rifles were for targets. Germanicon for hunting and Britishicon for war .

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