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WWI rifles: Who had the best?

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  • #16
    Originally posted by copenhagen View Post
    Arent some ancient Lee Enfields firing at NATO troops in Afghanistan at the moment. So Ive heard.
    Yes the Taliban are using them.
    "To be defeated and not submit, is victory; to be victorious and rest on one's laurels, is defeat."
    --Marshal Józef Piłsudski

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    • #17
      There are SMLEs in service in Afghanistan,Africa,India and Pakistan.I'm sure in many other places as well.
      ALL LIVES SPLATTER!

      BLACK JEEPS MATTER!

      BLACK MOTORCYCLES MATTER!

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      • #18
        The SMLE was the best combat rifle of WWI. The ten round magazine and rapid bolt action make it a formidable weapon. My copy was made in 1918 and it still functions as well as the day it came off the assembly line.
        God Save The Republic.

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        • #19
          I'm voting for the SMLE. Better bolt/action, larger magazine, range was probablly better as well. Perhaps one of the Mosin-Nagant variants is second. But, if you want to include obscure weapons the Fedrov Avtomat is worth a look.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Pruitt View Post
            I think a mention should be made of the Moisin-Nagan from Russia. It was crude, rough and accurate.

            I don't normally include the Lebel when discussing "the Best" rifles. How do you load that 8 round tubular magazine? Most other rifles used 5 round clips that could be easily added to the magazine. You are aware the Lebel did not have a front sight?

            The Mauser was the most widely spread rifle design in the World. It was chambered from 6.5mm to 7.98mm. Technically the Springfield pirated the action of the Mauser.

            I personally like the Enfield 1917 that many Americans carried because they could not provide enough Springfields. It had a 10 round magazine, which was not detachable.

            Pruitt

            Pruitt,

            Where did you got that weird idea that the Lebel didn't have a front sight?
            Originally the Mle 1886 "Lebel" rifles had the narrow type of front sight called "grain d'orge" also adopted for the early Berthier rifles.

            Rifles returned for repairs during WWI or after were fitted with a new set of sights with a wide notched front sight, the wide front post being better suited for snap shooting in poor light conditions, while its top notch allowed accurate aiming.


            Fabrication drawing for the Mle 1886 rifle dated 1890.




            The Enfield Mle 1917, known in France as US17 is a sturdy and accurate rifle, it's magazine can hold 5 cartridges.


            kelt
            Attached Files

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Hugojose View Post
              All WW I rifles were excellent. The british SLME had the highest rate of fire, and smothest action, only inferior to a semiauto. I understand that achieved this at the expense of some robustness. The Mauser had two locking lugs, the Enfield only one. But in combat the higher rates usually wins.

              The Springfield was a copy of the Mauser, and it was a Mauser made in the US with US bells and whistles. The Germans complained, but the US said 'sue us'. The US copied it after fighting the Spaniards in Cuba (Spaniards had the Mausers, the US had the Krag). Praising the Springfield, is praising the Mauser.

              Some soldier said that a Mauser was a hunting rifle, the Springfield a target rifle, but the Lee-Enfield was a combat rifle.

              I own an Enfield, a Mauser, and a Springfield. If I had to go to war, and they were my only choices, I'd take the SLME.
              The US Government paid royalties to Mauserwerk for each Mle 1903 rifle built until 1917.

              The German government sued the USA in 1922 for not paying royalties on the rifles built from 1917 onward and won the case, the USA paid up.


              kelt

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              • #22
                The most suitable rifle for WWI trench warfare is undoubtly the Berthier Musketoon Mle M-16:

                It has what's needed to fight in the trenches, a short 450mm barrel, sights designed for low visibility/fast shooting while allowing accurate shooting without any change (wide front post with narrow notch), the late models as of 1917 had radium paint dots on the front and rear sight.
                The Mle M-16 magazine was designed to take 5 shots clips, the whole clip being inserted as one piece, much faster and reliable than the Mauser type of clip where bullet had to be pushed in and the clip discarded.

                The winning team of WWI, a French Infantry squad in 1918, all men have the short Berthier Mle M-16 rilfe, albeit two with Lebel 1886 M93 dedicated for grenade launching with VB tromblon, and the two LMG gunners (CSRG1915).



                kelt
                Attached Files

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                • #23
                  I have to say its the smle, To my knowledge some snipers in the British army was still using them up to the end of the seventies, as there was nothing better available.

                  The first time the germans encountered the smle at mons they thought they were up against massed ranks of machine guns.

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by 66thfoot View Post
                    To my knowledge some snipers in the British army was still using them up to the end of the seventies, as there was nothing better available.
                    British Army snipers used the Lee Enfield No. 4 (T) sniper rifle till just about the end of the seventies. Snipers then got, if memory serves, 7.62 Enfield L42A1 sniper rifles.

                    The long toll of the brave
                    Is not lost in darkness
                    Over the fruitful earth
                    And athwart the seas
                    Hath passed the light of noble deeds
                    Unquenchable forever.

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                    • #25
                      Originally posted by Hugojose View Post
                      All WW I rifles were excellent. The british SLME had the highest rate of fire, and smothest action, only inferior to a semiauto. I understand that achieved this at the expense of some robustness. .
                      At the expense of robustness where did you hear this? hear of any complaints from those people using them summer and winter and in all weather conditions?

                      The top three combat rifles of all time Include the Lee Enfield.

                      Paul
                      ‘Tis said his form is tiny, yet
                      All human ills he can subdue,
                      Or with a bauble or medal
                      Can win mans heart for you;
                      And many a blessing know to stew
                      To make a megloamaniac bright;
                      Give honour to the dainty Corse,
                      The Pixie is a little shite.

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                      • #26
                        Didn't the Brits have a semi-auto rifle under evaluation, and turned it down because they thought that the troops would burn up all their ammo?

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                        • #27
                          I have a Krag... I don't fire it anymore it hurts! it will knock over a fridge... heavy and scary. I have put a few rounds through a '03.. that's a rifle! German knock off or not!

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                          • #28
                            id have to say its all down to personal preference although if you like the ross rifle id have to ask u if youve seen a doctor lately

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                            • #29
                              Originally posted by future_warrior View Post
                              id have to say its all down to personal preference although if you like the ross rifle id have to ask u if youve seen a doctor lately
                              Re: the Ross Rifle. I heard if you could keep it clean, it was one hellova' fine rifle and accurate as all get out.
                              "Profanity is but a linguistic crutch for illiterate motherbleepers"

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                              • #30
                                Originally posted by johnbryan View Post
                                Re: the Ross Rifle. I heard if you could keep it clean, it was one hellova' fine rifle and accurate as all get out.
                                If you can get past the bolt issues I guess it was OK. Herbert McBride swore by them and he was in a position to know. Still, I'd prefer another make to a Ross anyday.

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