Sniper Country Duty Roster collective wisdom

Rifles - Enfield

I have a 1917 30'06 Enfield rifle - what's the possibility of finding some decent scope mounts for it? If anyone has/knows of these items, please tell


Ken (NoVa Shooter) <>
Nokesville, Va USA - Tuesday, December 01, 1998 at 23:25:01 (EST) 

To Ken, Scoping the 1917 Enfield
Does this rifle shoot good groups with the battle sights? There is very little difference in grouping ability between peep sights and a scope as long as you are shooting at nice round black bullseyes. I would not consider hanging a scope on one if it did not prove itself by shooting 1 moa or 1.5 moa with the sights that were issued. If it does shoot that well, then what I would do with this rifle is go out and buy an old Unertl target scope. and put it on. You only need do drill and tap four holes and find target blocks of appropriate height to be all set. Of course if you are married you will have to come up with an excuse as to why you are willing to pay more for the scope than you did for the rifle. Just keep in mind that as long as you have the scope on, you cannot use the really nice rangefinder that was built into the rifle.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ojio USA - Wednesday, December 02, 1998 at 18:23:47 (EST) 

To Bach: bolt manipiulation
One old method that is worth mentioning is to grasp the bolt with the thumb and trigger finger and never let it go. The trigger is then fired with the middle or (nasty finger). This is the fastest way to shoot a bolt rifle. It works best with a rifle that was designed for rapid fire, such as the N0 4 Enfield and also is best used in a Hawkins style prone position.

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Wednesday, February 17, 1999 at 21:42:42 (ZULU) 

Enfield Shooters: An expert with an Enfield #4 Mk1 against an "expert" with a decent semi-auto? I wouldn't bet against the Enfield guy. If you think I'm joking, you haven't seen what an Enfield can do in the hands of someone who knows how to use one. Accuracy? Always a matter of gunsmithing and money... but speed? "Never underestimate the man with only one rifle" -- especially if it's an Enfield.

Russell E. Taylor <>
Silvis, IL, U.S.A. -- and damn proud of it! - Thursday, February 18, 1999 at 11:19:39 (ZULU) 

Russell, Your comments on Enfields are interesting, but I think you are comparing apples to oranges. The Enfield might have a 10 rnd mag, and have a nice bolt throw, but it is no match (as far as speed and accuracy go) when you compare it to most semi autos. All you have to do is to look at an Infantry Trophy match. There is no way that anyone with any bolt type rifle could get off the number of rounds (with a hit on the target) that a semi can. I think the army guys are shooting 30+ rounds at the 600yd line in 50 seconds. Ok, it might be different with out a sling and jacket but it is like saying a P-51 is a match for a F-15.
Also gunsmithing is not the only thing needed to make an Enfield shoot (at long range only, they were never known as good short range shooters). They need to be shooting the worst crap ammo that can be found. Oh, and don't forget that the Comonwealth targets that they all shot on with their Enfields have huge, and I do mean huge scoring rings. Lots of rifles could be claimed to be accurate if you are shooting at the side of a barn.
I like Enfields, I have one, but it is out of its league when compared to any type of modern rifle.
Portland, ME, USA - Friday, February 19, 1999 at 16:51:20 (ZULU) 
I dont shoot rapid fire as a rule with my Enfield but I have seen good shooters get off as many as 35 rounds per minute shooting at man sized targets at 200 yards. Misses dont count. This is all kind of silly because there should be no reason to shoot at the same target 35 times. In reality the time it takes to re-acquire a new target is used by the accomplished bolt gunner to cycle the bolt. The time lag in target acquisition is approximately the same for a semi- as well as the bolt rifle assuming cartridges of equal power, and this time lag is usually greater that the time it takes to cycle a bolt regardless of the method of execution.
As far as accuracy goes, 3 inch groups at 200 yards are within reason for a rifle in good condition when shooting good ammuntion.
The No 4 Enfield is also known to have favorable compensation harmonics, that is they tend to shoot the slower velocity rounds high and the higher velocity rounds low. At long range this ammounts to the rifle having a better vertical spread than would be expected.
Your point about Barn Doors was well made, on the other hand these rifles were not designed to be used on prarie dogs either.
Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Saturday, February 20, 1999 at 01:54:28 (ZULU) 
Hi Steve,
I have read accounts of people that have shot that many rounds, but I donít think I believe it. You saw this with your own two eyes? More than one person do it? This is not a challenge, Iím just voicing my skepticism. Was the rifle fired from a rest, or from the prone?. Here is why Iím skeptical. They would have to start with 10 in the mag, assuming the mag will function with 10, and reload with FIVE clips, all in under a minute. Clips are fast, but I donít think they are quite that fast. I know they taught the Brits to keep the thumb and forefinger on the bolt handle, and squeeze (I donít think this is the right word) with the middle, but just being able to reload five times with a *^%$## clip in a minute makes me think that itís a tall tale. I have farted around with enough bolt guns on high power ranges to know what a goat rope clips can be. I have also seen Carl Bernosky shoot his M-70 in rapid fire, so I know how fast bolt guns can be. I would like to see the 35rnds @ 200yds with a clunker myself.
I shot a lot of Infantry Trophy and the Combat type matches when I was in the Service. I know how fast a semi can shoot accurately. I also own, and have shot Enfields, I know their limitations.

Your point about not shooting all your shots at the same target is true. Somewhere in my mind I remember reading that the Navy SEALS conducted a test on this same thing, and concluded semi and a bolt engagement times being equal. I donít think I could agree with the conclusion about the lag time. I would have to see the methodology the Navy used for the test. If all the targets are hidden, and you really have to search for them, then the difference would be nullified. If it was a shooting gallery environment, then it would be different story.

Iíve never seen an Enfield (battle rifle) that would shoot into 3 inches at 200yds. 6 inches is more my experience. C. Shore talks about Enfields shooting into 1.5 inches at 100Yds in his book, but I would like to see that as well.

Rich: The whole waiting for the gas gun to cycle thing has been going back and forth since the late 1930s

Portland, ME, USA - Monday, February 22, 1999 at 02:31:48 (ZULU) 

Brian: Enfields
Yes I have seen it done with my own eyes, also I can do it with my own rifle (dry fire only) and I believe that you can too! I saw it done by a Royal marine, and in truth his rifle and stripper clips have about as much in common with your average rifle as your average single action revolver has in common with a tricked out fast draw rig.
I also think that this feat can be done by changing magazines rather than charging with stripper clips. You can get 11 rounds in most Enfield magazines (some may hold 12. Add 1 in the chamber and that adds up to 13 rounds to start. Try dry firing 13 rounds with your enfield and then remove and replace the magazine and fire 11 more and repeat until a minute is expired and tell me how many how many make believe rounds you got off in 1 minute. My 11 round strings run around 10 seconds and magazine changes around 3.5 seconds with no practice.
You poor soul, having never seen a Enfield that would group into 3 inches at 200 yards. I would not do this for anyone, but I will do it for you. Go to this website:
I was testing some 8mm military ball ammo a couple of weeks ago and I brought along my Enfield and shot some ball ammo just to see which shot better, the 98K mauser or the #4 Enfield. The Mauser is very accurate with handloads but to date I have not found any surplus ammo for it which will group up to the capabilities of the rifle.
To see my test results go here:

Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Monday, February 22, 1999 at 06:12:55 (ZULU) 

To Brian: "I've never seen an Enfield (battle rifle) that would shoot into 3 inches at 200yds. 6 inches is more my experience." Um, mine gets 1 MOA at 100 yards from a COLD barrel. It's in a sporter configuration now, but it shot the same way when it was in a wood stock. No gunsmithing involved, either. True, 1 MOA at 100 doesn't necessarily equate to 1 MOA at 200 yards, but I'm "pretty sure" it'd do better than "six inches" at 200. In all fairness, though, my gunsmith, who has seen my targets, has told me that he's never seen an Enfield do that well. Go figure. Anyway, this is with Hornady 174-grainers and 41 grains of N-140.

Russell E. Taylor <>
Silvis, IL, USA - Monday, February 22, 1999 at 08:47:43 (ZULU) 

Steve, your comment was about two "experts" one using a Enfield, and the other a semi. It sounds like a stunt, loading 12 + 1 and then using polished stripper clips, or swapping out mags. Your info on the lag time in acquiring targets had a lot of truth to it but I got to say that I almost pissed my self laughing when you said you can shoot 35 + dry firing. Well how do you know that your 35+ shots hit the 200Yd target?
As far as the magazine change in 3.5 sec, is that with the mags sitting on the bench next to you, or pulling it out of a bandoleer or pouch. No doubt there are some situations where you have the ammo loaded up sitting right there, but most of the time you will have to dig it out of the pouches that it is carried in. And as far as I know, Enfields were issued with only one mag and loaded with clips. When you do that at 5 rounds a pop, it a lot slower than 30rnds at a pop with a modern military type rifle.
I'm not trying flame you, the Enfield is fast, mostly by virtue of its 10 rnd mag, but you have to be joking about it being anywhere as fast as a semi. The speed difference will be deadly apparent at close ranges. As in you will be killed as you are F*^$%(^ with a bolt. Imagine having to dick around with a bolt when 5 guys are blasting at you from 30yards with full auto AKs. You would be better of throwing grenades.
Any rifle (M-40A1 to a M-16 to a Win 94 to a blunderbus) is deadly, and if used within its limitations will help bring you home. The problem with the Enfield is that it has more limitations than a modern assault rifle. Yeah the 303 is more powerful with longer range, but does it make a difference? Ever try and shoot at fleeting, camo, targets at 500yds with irons? Any one who has shot at the Fig 11 type target at that range will tell you how tough it is. Their first reaction is where the hell are the targets? Ö.."Are the targets up?"Ö. "Where the hell are they." This is in front of a huge number board I remind you.

Russell: Well you have an exceptional rifle there. I agree with your gunsmith, and I think you should try it with ball ammo at a longer range. Oh Radway Green green spot doesn't count. Try shooting it with some crap ammo loaded with cordite. That is more like what most Tommies carried.

Portland, ME, USA - Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at 00:23:47 (ZULU) 

Lee-Enfield bolt guns: speed and accuracy

Recently took part in a speed event. My licence only allows bolt-action rifles or civilian semis (ie less than 7 rounds) so I took my Lee Enfield No 5 Jungle Carbine (a real one, Fazakerly, 1945). The other shooters were using AR15s, L1A1s and a couple of Velmets.

All events involved restricted times. The one I was worried about involved starting in the standing position with 5 in the magazine. On the command, fire 5, kneel, load 5, fire 5, stand, load 5, fire 5. Time allowed: 45 seconds. I finished with a good three seconds spare and, on inspection of the target, found all 15 shots counted. Oh, by the way, I was using the battle sights.

I am comfortable firing a No 4 out to 500 yards. At 900, it starts to be hard work. What optics am I using. Well, I am short-sighted, so I wear glasses. The only scope I want on a Lee Enfield is the No 32 on a No 4 (T), preferably matched to the gun. But that will have to wait until I pay off the mortgage.

11 rounds in a Lee Enfield mag? Good on you. Just don't complain when you have a mis-feed. 35 rounds in 1 minute? Crikey, I would not want to be anywhere forward of that shooter. Group sizes? What can you do with issue iron sights? (any range)

Sam <>
Wellington, New Zealand - Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at 00:46:11 (ZULU) 

This whole thread started when someone asked how fast can one fire a bolt action. I said 35 per minute because I saw it done. I did the dry fire excercise just to refresh my memory of the event and to reassure myself that it can be done. 40 + rounds dry fire was not a problem. That does not mean that I would prefer a bolt action rifle to a semi-auto. One can never have to much firepower! I have no intention of turning dry fire excercise to live fire just to prove a point and ruin my rifle. I thought it worth mentioning because proper manipulation of the bolt action is becoming a lost art and I regret that. Most people have no idea the amount of thought and science went into making do with the Enfield. For instance, (now this is all stuff that I have learned, I didnt invent any of this) The Brits issued three different length stocks for this rifle and went to a great deal of trouble to make sure that the rifle fit the shooter. Why? because secret #1 to shooting a rifle fast is the head does not move. If you have to move your head to get out of the way of a bolt sliding back, the stock is to short. If in the prone position, it is unconfortable to reach the bolt handle, the stock is too long. Speed trick #2 is that as soon as you ram the rounds in from the stripper clips, go for the bolt, do not waste time removing the empty clip. the act of closing the bolt will remove the clip. The actual bolt manipulation and firing methods have already been mentioned and do not need repeated.
#3 is as you mentioned, the stripper clips need to be polished. Also
you are correct in that all the rounds have to be laid out and in a easy to reach position beforehand. The firing postion has to be solid. Bone support is mandatory. Muscling the sights back to the aiming mark also wastes time. These are just a few tricks that I can remember off the top of my head. Anyone out there that can remember the rest feel free to butt in.
Steve <>
S.C.D.H., Ohio, USA - Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at 03:48:09 (ZULU) 
To Brian: I don't have any need to use surplus ammunition. Why in the WORLD would I want to shoot ball ammunition? I'm not concerned with being "authentic," I'm concerned with hitting what I shoot at. So I handload. I'll leave the Cordite to the reenactors. The only thing I'm concerned about with "authenticity" is cowboy action shooting. Everything else I shoot (whether rifle, shotgun, or handgun) has an intended purpose: targets, elephants, Naugas, unwanted guests, what have you. None of which call for me using crap surplus ammo. You're obviously content, Brian, that the ol' Enfield just can't cut it in the world, against modern semi-autos. Hey, if it works for you....

Russell E. Taylor <>
Silvis, IL, USA - Tuesday, February 23, 1999 at 06:46:14 (ZULU) 

I have an enfield .308 that was given to me as a gift but its tore the heck apart I need to find a manual somewhere to make sure I put it back together properly before I modify it. I also want an Unertl scope but I can't seem to find one. I am also looking for a good range in southern Ga or northern Fla. Or anywhere in the vicinity. Any help at all would be appreciated.
lcpl Pierce <>
Kings Bay, Ga, USA - Wednesday, February 24, 1999 at 23:02:31 (ZULU) 
LCPL Pierce: There are several good books on assembly/disassembly of various rifles. The DBI book "Firearms Assembly/Disassmbly Part IV", Frank de Haas' "Bolt Action Rifles", and "The NRA Guide to Firearms Assembluy/Disassembly" cover the Enfield #1 style rifles, while the latter two also cover the #4 style. You might want to try the FAQ at or one of the Enfield rifle sites to see if they have the info you need online.

You don't say exactly what you have disassembled, and your "Enfield .308" could be either the #1 (like the Ishapore 2A1) or #4 (like an L42A1) style. If you could provide specefics I could try to be of more service. In either case, as the new owner of a used Enfield it is probably a good idea to pay the small fee it will cost and have a gunsmith check out the rifle for you.

I've always like Lee-Enfields myself, I really wish I had an L42A1...

Dave <>
SJ, CA, USA - Thursday, February 25, 1999 at 04:35:00 (ZULU) 

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