Greatest Bolt Action Battle Rifle in History...

Sep 14, 2012
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#1
So not really sniper related but certainly vintage...

I’m in the field right now and me and a couple of my guys had this debate last night and I thought I’d 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 favorite is the 1903a3 but I would never argue it’s the best. When talking about the best I would have to say the Lee Enfield No4. Yes, the 1903, Finnish Mosin’s,and the Swiss 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’s also the fastest action fielded, is very reliable, and has twice the capacity of almost every other rifle fielded.

So the No4 is my pick... What’s yours?
 

Skookum

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#2
So not really sniper related but certainly vintage...

I’m in the field right now and me and a couple of my guys had this debate last night and I thought I’d 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 favorite is the 1903a3 but I would never argue it’s the best. When talking about the best I would have to say the Lee Enfield No4. Yes, the 1903, Finnish Mosin’s,and the Swiss 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’s also the fastest action fielded, is very reliable, and has twice the capacity of almost every other rifle fielded.

So the No4 is my pick... What’s yours?
The No.4 was generally more accurate than the No.1 Mk3, if somewhat uglier. But the No.1 was always my favorite. Something about the balance, the nose cap, the butter smooth clickety-clack of the action, it just felt right.

I at one time had 2 examples that had been arsenal refinished and put up, never to be issued again before I bought them in 1990. I still regret ever selling them. I paid $165 a piece for them.
 

Basher

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#8
Paul Mausers design is hands down the most influential of all time. Nothing else comes close.
I came here to say this. I'm a HUGE fan of the Enfield (I love both the No1 and No4, but for practical application I find the No4 to be superior given the longer sight radius, the better trigger hinge placement of the MKII, and the micrometer ladder sights). But if I'm being honest here, Paul Mauser's design had the most effect on rifle design over the years. We copied it for the 1903, as did countless other countries and companies. It's an excellent design that's robust, reliable, and accurate. What's not to like?
 
#9
No1 MkIII all day everyday. It’s the most gorgeous looking battle rifle ever built and is the best complete package. I’m building a long range rifle out of one at the moment. Crazy? Maybe. But it was free and I look forward to seeing just how well it can shoot.
 
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Sep 14, 2012
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#10
I came here to say this. I'm a HUGE fan of the Enfield (I love both the No1 and No4, but for practical application I find the No4 to be superior given the longer sight radius, the better trigger hinge placement of the MKII, and the micrometer ladder sights). But if I'm being honest here, Paul Mauser's design had the most effect on rifle design over the years. We copied it for the 1903, as did countless other countries and companies. It's an excellent design that's robust, reliable, and accurate. What's not to like?
Again that’s not the question... Nobody can argue that Mauser’s design isn’t the most influential. As the strongest bolt action design it should be as hunting applications in which the safety of the shooter easily trump the need for speed and reliability in harsh conditions, and when you consider that the era of bolt guns only lasted about a hundred years.

But as a military arm, for all its qualities, I can’t agree that it is the best. I would certainly list it in the top 5 easy, probably too 3, but it’s tight tolerances negatively effected its reliability in harsh conditions and its relatively slow cycle rate compared to some other designs prevent it, IMO, from being considered the best.
 

sandwarrior

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#12
Paul Mausers design is hands down the most influential of all time. Nothing else comes close.
My favorite rifle is the Mauser. But, even I have to admit, the N0.4 is better.
More accurate long range sights, (some variants) which the 1903 has as well.
Longer sight radius is a help/hindrance. Sitting in a foxhole shooting 200m away it helps. Defeating a charge from 25-50m away it's a detriment.
But, here's the real kickers:
Faster cycle time. I defy any of you to cycle any bolt gun as fast as the LE No. 4
TEN ROUNDS! No other bolt gun had a ten round magazine.

And best...The ammunition. The .303 British had enough power to kill at short range just like any other bolt gun of it's day. But, the long sleek ogive combined with a boat tail 174 gr. bullet made this a truly excellent long range weapon. The .30-06 had more power, but without an aerodynamic bullet it's like shooting a plug compared to the Mk VIII round. The German Patron of WWII was a better and more powerful bullet, but without a ten round supply of bullets, the advantage goes to the No. 4.

A caveat though is which variant, as I mentioned above. The No4. Mk 1 is different from the N0.4 Mk 1* and the No. 4 Mk 2. The 1* only had flip sights and they were not so good for long range. I used to own a Savage built 1*. With a little help, and forcing myself to acknowledge (thus treat it as a capable rifle), I found it to be easily battle accurate to 300m. Ten for ten on a 6" plate at that distance, firing a full magazine as fast as it would cycle.

The days of finding those cheap are over now. Like many, i didn't appreciate they wouldn't be around that long at the price I got mine, $89.00.
 
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May 16, 2012
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#13
"Paul Mausers design is hands down the most influential of all time. Nothing else comes close. "

That is a true statement. Given that dozens of countries adopted Mauser-based military rifles from the 1880s until the 1940s - and no country adopted the other rifles in similar volumes, suggested that many countries felt the Mauser action was superior or "the best" as asked in the original thread.

I like the Enfield, but the only country outside of the UK that adopted it was Australia (and that was likely due to their unique historical relationship), and possibly one could argue India adopted the Enfield, but India didn't have a choice in the matter until after 1947. That said I think the British Mk 4 T sniper rifle was probably one of the best military sniper rifles of WWII, in large part due to the heavy duty scope, cheek rest, and accuracy testing when they were built. I don't own one, but I would like to add one to my collection.

Many folks will argue that the most accurate, fastest loading "bolt action" rifle with match quality standard issue ammo of the 20th century the was the Swiss K-31 service rifle. Indeed, the guys with the highest scores (High-Master shooters) who compete and win vintage service rifle matches seem to mostly use K-31 with GP11 ammo (or equivalent). The runner up in the accuracy department is often noted as the Swedish M96 rifles as their standard issue ammo, the GP/41, is regarded as "sniper quality" ammo. The Swedish rifle is a of course a Mauser-based design.

I think the question is highly subjective and un-answerable, and is more of less a pointless "Ford vs Chevy vs Chysler" type of pontification...
 
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Skookum

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#14
My favorite rifle is the Mauser. But, even I have to admit, the N0.4 is better.
Yeah, if you consider their use at the time, as battle rifles. The Enfields were undoubtedly superior. Rate of fire, as has been said, is the main attribute giving them the edge.

But it is kind of fascinating to me that as semi-auto battle rifles began to take over, and the rate of fire was increased beyond what any manually operated system could accomplish, that the bolt rifle didn't become obsolete. It just changed roles. When that role changed from battle rifle to precision rifle, it was the mauser design that prevailed.
 

Basher

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#15
Again that’s not the question...
Actually, that IS the question. You asked what I thought the best bolt action rifle was, and I told you what I thought. Not my favorite (which would be the Enfield), but the best. I think that means I answered you question exactly. This is an opinion thread. I'm not sure how you feel I can be "wrong" here...

My stance remains. I love the Enfield. And it has a LOT going for it. However, I, personally, feel the Mauser is a better design. Now, I can't really tell you which one I prefer, as there are so many variations of it. But I do still feel the base design is better, for the reasons I and others have stated.
 

Greg Langelius *

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Aug 10, 2001
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#16
Having owned and shot the 1903A1, Mosin-Nagant 91/30, SMLE No.1 MkIII (2A) (?) (Ishapore 308); my preference for accuracy is the 1903, for ease and smooth action the SMLE, and for robust, indestructible reliability the 91/30. I only still own a 91/30, it's somewhat modified (Archangel Stock w/10rd D/M), my least favorite, kicks way too hard, and accuracy is meh.

I just spent the last three days curating our VFW Post's eight M1 Garand Parade rifles following the recent Memorial Day Volleys. I also own one of my own. IMHO, military bolt rifles are simply not in the running.

Patton was right.

Greg
 
Sep 14, 2012
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#18
Actually, that IS the question. You asked what I thought the best bolt action rifle was, and I told you what I thought. Not my favorite (which would be the Enfield), but the best. I think that means I answered you question exactly. This is an opinion thread. I'm not sure how you feel I can be "wrong" here...

My stance remains. I love the Enfield. And it has a LOT going for it. However, I, personally, feel the Mauser is a better design. Now, I can't really tell you which one I prefer, as there are so many variations of it. But I do still feel the base design is better, for the reasons I and others have stated.
Rereading your original post I think I mistook you... I interpreted your “most influential” comment to mean its lasting influence on hunting rifles as essentially the only action to survive the transition to self-loading arms. I apologize.
 
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pmclaine

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Nov 6, 2011
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#19
Fuck this....

How about the Dreyse. The primordial beginning of all bolt action battle rifles from which without none would follow.

Sure the French had the Chassepot bolt rifle but it didnt allow them to beat the Germans in the Franco Prussian War but dropping them and running made them totally ineffective against their muzzle loading enemies.
 
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sandwarrior

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#20
Actually, that IS the question. You asked what I thought the best bolt action rifle was, and I told you what I thought. Not my favorite (which would be the Enfield), but the best. I think that means I answered you question exactly. This is an opinion thread. I'm not sure how you feel I can be "wrong" here...

My stance remains. I love the Enfield. And it has a LOT going for it. However, I, personally, feel the Mauser is a better design. Now, I can't really tell you which one I prefer, as there are so many variations of it. But I do still feel the base design is better, for the reasons I and others have stated.
Here's something else to consider. What if the rifle were NOT in it's original form?
This leaves the Mauser back up in the running. It has the ability to use a DBM (like the Enfield already has), but it can be chambered in any number of cartridges, which the Enfild not so much. I know the Enfield will handle .308, but will it handle -06? How about Magnums? Notwithstanding a hunting application, I mean a military sniper application. You can chamber the "Big" magnums in a Mauser. I don't think the Enfield will handle that.

Added: Again, though, in that vein of thought, the Lee Enfield lasted until 1996. Various Mausers are still in use in that capacity.
 
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#21
Here's something else to consider. What if the rifle were NOT in it's original form?
This leaves the Mauser back up in the running. It has the ability to use a DBM (like the Enfield already has), but it can be chambered in any number of cartridges, which the Enfild not so much. I know the Enfield will handle .308, but will it handle -06? How about Magnums? Notwithstanding a hunting application, I mean a military sniper application. You can chamber the "Big" magnums in a Mauser. I don't think the Enfield will handle that.

Added: Again, though, in that vein of thought, the Lee Enfield lasted until 1996. Various Mausers are still in use in that capacity.
Well the question was battle rifle... My implication is that we’re talking about bolt guns specifically made for mass military issue from the 1800’s to the immediate post-WWII period. Not sniper variations and not rifles converted from the original form.
 

Skookum

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#22
Short side trip...

The thing that made the Enfield so incredibly fast in it's rate of fire was the cock-on-closing feature.

It seems to me that we have a modern Precision Rifle game that also requires a rapid rate of fire...yet no one I know of has created a cock on closing action aimed at the PRS crowd.
 

Basher

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#23
Rereading your original post I think I mistook you... I interpreted your “most influential” comment to mean its lasting influence on hunting rifles as essentially the only action to survive the transition to self-loading arms. I apologize.
It's all good, man. :) I just didn't see where you were coming from since I followed your directions, haha.
 
Jan 28, 2011
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#24
98K

I love this debate. I have quite a few of each of the below and have competed and hunted with them. There are many runner up rifles, but I think this is the field to choose from. As for most influential, that depends heavily on what arena you are talking about. So many caveats and so little time, here is my take...



Strongest action - 1917 Enfield. This has been tested by quite a few foolhardy people willing to try and blow up bolt actions. But it is a cock on close. I'll comment on this below.

Target rifle - toss up between 1903 and Carl Gustaf
On average the Gustaf seems to do better in competitions that I have attended, but the record book dating back to the 1930's says the 1903 can hang with or beat any military bolt rifle made. The 1903 pictured is a Rock Island with a SA 2-30 barrel. I have much prettier 1903s but none that can consistently do 0.99 MOA, even a minty star gauged one, like this RIA can. The C stock grip is the most comfortable of all of these rifles. The Gustaf was made in 1900 and it is a tack driver. It is ugly as hell but shoots better than any other I own or have seen. I'm not a fan of the straight grip. The reason I won't pick either one of these as the best overall is because of the sights. These are target rifles, IMHO. If I were fighting a battle with hogs over large soybean fields (which I sometimes do) I would choose the 1903.

03A3 - sights are better suited (meaning less likely to get ripped off of the gun) during rough handling. But I have never seen one that can hang with the best of the 1903s when shooting at distance.

Enfields - No doubt they have better battle sights than the 98K , 1903, and Gustaf. Where I must eliminate all Enfields for the title of greatest is the cock on close. I have read that there are guys who can squeeze off as many as 43 rounds in a minute with one while hitting a pie plate at 100 yards. That is effing impressive. I have tried matching this speed many times and don't think I've gotten past 28 when trying to hit an 8" going at 100 yards. That friggin cock on close pulls (pushes?) me off target like nothing else. The straight grip stock doesn't help with a variety of shooting positions. Finally, 303 vs 30-06. Haha.

98K - action strength may be 2nd only to the 1917. Has excellent handling characteristics in tight quarters (relative to the other rifles mentioned here). The action can be made silky smooth, as can the trigger. Although the sights leave something to be desired, accuracy is plenty good for a battle rifle. When going for speed the cock on open enables (me) to get back on target much faster than any Enfield. Sling position is also the best.

Answering this question caused me to go into the Armory and dig through things, which has led to something interesting. I hope to post that up by the end of the day. This is my first day of not working (or just barely working) in over a month so it's nice to piddle around with things I actually enjoy.
 
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#25
Short side trip...

The thing that made the Enfield so incredibly fast in it's rate of fire was the cock-on-closing feature.

It seems to me that we have a modern Precision Rifle game that also requires a rapid rate of fire...yet no one I know of has created a cock on closing action aimed at the PRS crowd.
Definitely not a side trip.

I see it exactly the opposite considering what cock on close does to sight picture. Cock on open and you're simply pulling the rifle into the shoulder. Good technique and all motion is straight to the rear. Cock on close and you're pushing the rifle out of your shoulder. This may not affect speed, but in my experience it negatively impacts the time to get back on target.
 

sandwarrior

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#26
Well the question was battle rifle... My implication is that we’re talking about bolt guns specifically made for mass military issue from the 1800’s to the immediate post-WWII period. Not sniper variations and not rifles converted from the original form.
So, my last statement IS about rifles that were converted by countries for military use, sniper or otherwise. So, yeah, that counts. How many semi-autos can hold a candle to to a bolt action, i.e. Mauser, for accuracy? Short answer...none.

And, FWIW, the Enfield is faster because the locking lugs are in the rear. They don't have to travel the length of the action like a Mauser.
 
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#27
Here's something else to consider. What if the rifle were NOT in it's original form?
This leaves the Mauser back up in the running. It has the ability to use a DBM (like the Enfield already has), but it can be chambered in any number of cartridges, which the Enfild not so much. I know the Enfield will handle .308, but will it handle -06? How about Magnums? Notwithstanding a hunting application, I mean a military sniper application. You can chamber the "Big" magnums in a Mauser. I don't think the Enfield will handle that.

Added: Again, though, in that vein of thought, the Lee Enfield lasted until 1996. Various Mausers are still in use in that capacity.
Sandwarrior, I had exactly the same thought but let it alone. The Mauser with a DBM, and any improvement with the sights, puts it far ahead of the Enfield.

"Original form" is open to interpretation. I think it is fair for that to mean "as-issued". Look what the Finns did with Mosins or the Israelis did by converting 98Ks to 308.
 
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sandwarrior

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#28
Sandwarrior, I had exactly the same thought but let it alone. The Mauser with a DBM, and any improvement with the sights, puts it far ahead of the Enfield.

"Original form" is open to interpretation. I think it is fair for that to mean "as-issued". Look what the Finns did with Mosins or the Israelis did by converting 98Ks to 308.
I look at it as the basic rifle being able to take improvements. The Mauser had a fixed box attached to it during WWII of 20 rounds. This obviously was not standard issue. But, it is doable. The Lee Enfield didn't start out with a ten round magazine either. In fact, in 1888, when the Lee Enfield was adopted, it was still a black powder cartridge. It was quickly converted to smokeless powder. So, if you want to allow improvements to a rifle, then you would have to allow improvements to any variant of any bolt action rifle. In which case, I might want to take a C3A1 to combat. Then again, the M2010 might be the schnitza. but, I'm not a fan of .300 WM's in combat.
 

Skookum

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#29
So, my last statement IS about rifles that were converted by countries for military use, sniper or otherwise. So, yeah, that counts. How many semi-autos can hold a candle to to a bolt action, i.e. Mauser, for accuracy? Short answer...none.

And, FWIW, the Enfield is faster because the locking lugs are in the rear. They don't have to travel the length of the action like a Mauser.
I don't see how the position of the locking lugs makes a difference. The length of the stroke is the same either way. Cock on closing is faster because the force needed to extract and the force needed to cock are divided into 2 operations rather than combined. The cocking motion is combined with the chambering momentum to further aid in speed.

The getting back on target argument is a valid one, but that could probably be minimized. The Brits have already shown it can be done.
 
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#30
I'm experimenting real time (but not live fire) with this while under the clock... Working with 2 definitions of speed, spray and pray and time back to target I find the Enfield equal to or faster than some others in only the spray and pray scenario. When holding onto a distant target the 1903 is best. But I also have orders of magnitude more experience with the 1903. Maybe that's the difference between mine and others observations.

The Enfield is clearly faster with extended fire. Because I have to reload the 1903 and 98K with a stripper clip (for fastest results) it cannot come close the DBM of the No4 MkI. If the 1903 or 98K had a DBM then... we're back to talking about original configuration.

 
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sandwarrior

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#31
I don't see how the position of the locking lugs makes a difference. The length of the stroke is the same either way. Cock on closing is faster because the force needed to extract and the force needed to cock are divided into 2 operations rather than combined. The cocking motion is combined with the chambering momentum to further aid in speed.

The getting back on target argument is a valid one, but that could probably be minimized. The Brits have already shown it can be done.
I should say I mis-stated that. Lugs in the rear is a factor. Cock-on-close is, IMO faster as well.
 

sandwarrior

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#34
So, I was getting my years/models mixed up. The Lee-Metford was adopted in 1888 in .303 British. Which, at the time, was black powder. The name was changed in 1895 to Lee Enfield when the Metford Rifled barrels were dropped and Enfield Armory took over production using their cut-rifle barrels. HOWEVER, even as far back as the Lee-Metford, the magazine was employed. So, it's been a fixture from the beginning, unlike all the variants of Mausers who continued to use an internal 5 round internal magazine.

So, I look at this discussion as a progression of capabilities with a basic rifle system. Magazine boxes not being installed on rifles was a country, who fielded the rifle, making the decision not to arm their soldiers with the best available technology. It isn't so much the basic rifle.

FWIW, three rifles were designed at the time as straight pulls. The Schmidt-Rubin (1889), The Ferdinand Mannlicher Straight pull (1895, think 8x50 most rechambered to 8x56) and the Lee-Winchester (1895). These were the fastest cycling, but without magazines of 10 rd. capacity, they probably aren't as fast overall as the Lee Enfield.

One other correction to myself is the rear lugs was more of an advantage in that they allowed the bolt handle to be placed in a more ergonomic position than the Mauser.

All in all I think this is one of those great discussions where if you could have all the best features on one rifle, this would be the place to see it.
 
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Skookum

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#35
So, I was getting my years/models mixed up. The Lee-Metford was adopted in 1888 in .303 British. Which, at the time, was black powder. The name was changed in 1895 to Lee Enfield when the Metford Rifled barrels were dropped and Enfield Armory took over production using their cut-rifle barrels. HOWEVER, even as far back as the Lee-Metford, the magazine was employed. So, it's been a fixture from the beginning, unlike all the variants of Mausers who continued to use an internal 5 round internal magazine.

So, I look at this discussion as a progression of capabilities with a basic rifle system. Magazine boxes not being installed on rifles was a country, who fielded the rifle, making the decision not to arm their soldiers with the best available technology. It isn't so much the basic rifle.

FWIW, three rifles were designed at the time as straight pulls. The Schmidt-Rubin (1889), The Ferdinand Mannlicher Straight pull (1895, think 8x50 most rechambered to 8x56) and the Lee-Winchester (1895). These were the fastest cycling, but without magazines of 10 rd. capacity, they probably aren't as fast overall as the Lee Enfield.

One other correction to myself is the rear lugs was more of an advantage in that they allowed the bolt handle to be placed in a more ergonomic position than the Mauser.

All in all I think this is one of those great discussions where if you could have all the best features on one rifle, this would be the place to see it.
I love the straight pulls also, but I don't believe they should make the list because as battle rifles they were known to be quite finicky when mudded up. If I remember correctly that was the excuse of other nations not adopting the design. Though I'm sure the sheer cost and complexity of manufacture was a major factor also.
 
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#36
So not really sniper related but certainly vintage...

I’m in the field right now and me and a couple of my guys had this debate last night and I thought I’d 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 favorite is the 1903a3 but I would never argue it’s the best. When talking about the best I would have to say the Lee Enfield No4. Yes, the 1903, Finnish Mosin’s,and the Swiss 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’s also the fastest action fielded, is very reliable, and has twice the capacity of almost every other rifle fielded.

So the No4 is my pick... What’s yours?

I'm cutting a fine hair here, but,,,,. Since the Remmy 700 has been standard issue to snipers and DMs for a while I'll pick it. I have 3 No. 4s, a 1903 and a Mauser. Love them all, but the 700 has been my personal fav.
 
Sep 14, 2012
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#37
FWIW, three rifles were designed at the time as straight pulls. The Schmidt-Rubin (1889), The Ferdinand Mannlicher Straight pull (1895, think 8x50 most rechambered to 8x56) and the Lee-Winchester (1895). These were the fastest cycling, but without magazines of 10 rd. capacity, they probably aren't as fast overall as the Lee Enfield.

[\QUOTE]

I have a couple Swiss rifles including a K31 and Schmidt-Rubin M1911. Despite their cosmetic similarities, they’re actually fairly significantly different actions. They are fast but not quite as fast as the Enfield. Their speed is also negatively effected by having to pull your head away from the rifle so you don’t smack yourself in the face when you cycle the action.

I also don’t think the Swiss design is much more susceptible to the elements than a Mauser despite being a more complex system.
 
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#38
FWIW, three rifles were designed at the time as straight pulls. The Schmidt-Rubin (1889), The Ferdinand Mannlicher Straight pull (1895, think 8x50 most rechambered to 8x56) and the Lee-Winchester (1895). These were the fastest cycling, but without magazines of 10 rd. capacity, they probably aren't as fast overall as the Lee Enfield.
Not so. The Schmidt-Rubin 1889 had a 12 round magazine.
 
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#39
This is a fun thread.
FWIW my brother and I have raced a No.4 against a K31 and all the argument over which is faster is nonsense. The person that practices the most will win with whatever of the two he chooses to practice with.
When we timed it, if you weren't the least bit concerned with hitting a target the No.4 was faster. Aimed fire was a wash between the two and again, had more to do with the shooter than the mechanics of the gun.
 

AndreC

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#40
Off-topic, but related:

In WWII, the German Wehrmacht snipers used a ZF-K98k, with a Zeiss Ajack 4x telescopic sight, preferrably shooting pre-war German made ammo, or captured Yugoslavian. (Source: "Sniper Ace", by Bruno Sutkus...a really great autobiography, imo...the man's life could be summarized as 'a pretty wild ride'.)

For 20th century, I'd definitely put the K98 up near the top of the list, if not at it.

Kind Regards,

Andre
 

sandwarrior

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#43
K-31 is a solid battle rifle for the time, and one which I prefer over the Enfield. Just my opinion, and I did stay at the holiday inn last night.
I really love my k-31 too. For open sights it's the most accurate bolt action I own. But, I gotta say I couldn't shoot it as fast as my N0.4 Mk 1*. We hit an 8" piece of steel @ 300 repeatedly with ten rounds. The K-31 only had six.
 
Likes: diverdon
Aug 11, 2009
195
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London, U.K
#45
Gale McMillan once wrote about how he had been challenged to build a more accurate rifle than the enfield action . He initially laughed until he researched the scores these rifles achieved in the L39/42 etc format at Bisley until at least the late 70's. They are quite capable and records exist of early No1 RIFLES BEING USED WITH IRON SIGHTS IN VOLLEY FIRE EFFECTIVELY AT 2,400YRDS.
 

Thunderhorse

Sergeant of the Hide
Jan 31, 2018
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Central MO
#46
Mauser is no doubt easily the most influential. The number of copies in its day and continued use to today in various forms make that pretty clear.

Its not the greatest though, that goes to the Enfield. The 10 round magazine and cock on close make it way faster to cycle and shoot and you get more off before reloading. I also like the sights.

Cock on close gives you more leverage against the firing pin spring because you are pushing with your tricep. The Enfield also has rounded parts at the beginning of the turn that make it almost turn itself closed, and start itself backwards when opening.

Cock on open gives you a shorter lever arm to fight the firing pin spring; I don't know how you can say cock on close puts you further off target with its pushing motion than cock on open does with its torquing motion. It is easier to keep the rifle pulled into your shoulder with your support hand than it is to prevent it from rotating in it with a cock on open. I see no appreciable difference in one motion taking me further off target, but the Enfield bolt is way faster and smoother.

Talking WWII battle rifles, comparing Springfields to Mausers is splitting hairs. Even Mosins don't feature anything radically different to give them an upper hand. All were plenty accurate for their designed task
 
Likes: Dan M

TorF

Sergeant
Oct 9, 2003
419
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Norway
#47
In a rapid fire match nothing beats a Norwegian M94 Krag with period civilian speed loaders.
The best M94 Krags are Steyr manufacture from 1896-97.

Best battle rifle is Enfield P17 from Winchester.
 
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sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,560
336
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in yooperland
#48
Everyone is debating the Enfield versus Mauser and I'm just over here carressing my 1917 Enfield with it's glorious peep sights, sword bayonet, and gigantic claw extractor.
But, if you had to win a 10 hits first contest at 300m which would you choose? I love the 1917's too. I can't see beating 10 rounds "in the mag" for a quick shoot.

Interesting, most of the rifles mentioned have a quick charger system. Anyone find one of those better than the others? I've played with Mauser's, 1903's, 1917's, Enfield's, K-31's, and Steyr 1895's. For chargers, I like the Mauser.
 
Sep 14, 2012
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Savannah, GA
#49
But, if you had to win a 10 hits first contest at 300m which would you choose? I love the 1917's too. I can't see beating 10 rounds "in the mag" for a quick shoot.

Interesting, most of the rifles mentioned have a quick charger system. Anyone find one of those better than the others? I've played with Mauser's, 1903's, 1917's, Enfield's, K-31's, and Steyr 1895's. For chargers, I like the Mauser.
I’m actually a big fan of the Swiss chargers. Yes, like the Mosin, they’re a bit slower than Mauser’s or Enfield’s that kick the stripper clip/charger out of the action when the bolt is closed, but the Swiss charger design reliably feeds the rounds into the magazine with little issue. Personally I’ve had far more issues reliably feeding ammunition into rifles with Mauser stripper clips and Enfield chargers than I have the Swiss chargers.
 

Strykervet

Resident Phoenix Eye and Dim Mak Instructor
Jun 5, 2011
2,958
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Pierce County, WA
#50
SMLE #4, .303British, 10rd, detachable mag and the bolt was about as smooth as anything I've ever operated. Fast. Makes a great club when it's out of ammo too.

You did say battle rifle, not sniper rifle, so that's my choice having used one. And it wasn't too bad in the accuracy dept. either, paid like $50 for it in great but cosmolined condition in 1993 or so, refinished it and it was worth a good bit more later, wish I still had it.