PDA

View Full Version : Lee-Enfield vs. Mauser 98


rojocorsa
11-28-2010, 12:33 AM
Last week, we had the "Mosin vs. Mauser" thread. I was thinking we should mix things up a little bit and look at an even older rivalry.

Let's have an SMLE/No.4 vs. 98 thread this time. Do what you pretty much did last time, pick a rifle and explain why.


I'll pick the No.4 Mk.1(*). I love the sights and think they are better for a battle rifle in addition to the longer sight radius it has over the 98k. And who can forget about that wonderful 10round detachable magazine paired up with that simple, yet quick bolt?

It's true that I like Enfields, yes. The Mauser is a fine rifle, I've shot it plenty of times and always enjoy it, but the No.4 (In my case) is better suited to a war-fighting role. I also think that the No.4 balances better than the 98k despite having a similar mass. I would assume that to be because of its layout.

My only grievance with the Enfield is its extractor. Sure, the one that broke on me is 67 yrs old (most likely--or well-used), but I believe the Mauser and the Mosin are better suited in this department.

And sure, the Mauser may be a little more precise, but who cares about that in a battle field? Oh, and the 98k will never look as badass either. :chris: I mean, the Enfield actually went places the Mauser didn't--as in acutally owning the world at one point. :tt2:

I'm just kidding, I like all these guns. :grouphug:

Cowboy T
11-28-2010, 11:47 AM
I'd have to say the Mauser for its stronger action. You can safely make hotter loads in one of those than in an Enfield. But I would have no problem going hunting with either.

harmoniums
11-28-2010, 11:49 AM
Enfield for me, it's the rifle I've shot the most with.
IT would have to be a no4 variant though, I'm much more accurate with peep sights

FS00008
11-28-2010, 11:51 AM
I say neither. Remington 1917 ;-)

paul0660
11-28-2010, 11:54 AM
I got rid of my Enfields when the .303 shortage became obvious, but they truly did have the slickest bolt action of all, as well as sights that were cool, if hard to get used to (for me). Mad minutes, using middle finger on the trigger, thumb and forefinger on the bolt, with lubed up strippers, are amazing, and fun.

Dr.Mauser
11-28-2010, 12:04 PM
I sorry children I loved my SMLE, but I have to go Mauser. With it strong bolt, I've been more accurate with it (love the sight hood :D), a tiny bit lighter to carry, not so hard to take apart and clean, and the bolt isnt complicated. Just me though.

Beetle Bailey
11-28-2010, 12:21 PM
Don't forget that when the Enfield and Mauser faced off in South Africa, the Mauser was considered superior. Boers who had a choice picked the Mauser and after the war, the Brits developed the P14, a sort of Enfield-Mauser hybrid. The American version of the P14 is called the M1917 ;)

And what's with the "Which one do you prefer?" stuff? There is no requirement to be monogamous with your rifle. I've got a harem. . . errrr. . . safe full of different action types and everyone is happy. The ever-neutral K-31 gets along with the Mauser and the Finn and Russian Mosins share vodka. The Enfields still insist they would have taken care of Adolf without the Garands, but that's just the beer talkin' :cheers2: The AR15's, being princesses, forced the Saiga out, but what are you gonna do when an AR starts to pout?

I say, buy them all!

hawk81
11-28-2010, 1:07 PM
The enfield is a better battle rifle, but the mauser is more accurate. That's a tough choice.

smle-man
11-28-2010, 2:17 PM
Don't forget that when the Enfield and Mauser faced off in South Africa, the Mauser was considered superior. Boers who had a choice picked the Mauser and after the war, the Brits developed the P14, a sort of Enfield-Mauser hybrid. The American version of the P14 is called the M1917 ;)



The Lee Enfield scandal during the 2nd Boer war was as intense as the early M16 scandal during the Vietnam war. It was discovered that the Long Lee Enfield shot several feet to the left of the sight setting at distances beyond 500 yds which coincidentally was the range that much shooting happened. The Boers were armed with a flat shooting 7mm rifle, the Brits with a rifle that no one had a hope of hitting anything at long distance until the sight problem was discovered and corrected. The Brits drew the wrong conclusion from the Boer war: extreme long range shooting was the norm and a hyper velocity round was what was needed. It turned out that the 2nd Boer war was a fluke and rapid fire at ranges under 300 yards was going to be what the British military would face for the next 100 years except along the Northwest frontier where the SMLE worked just fine. The P13 in .276 was an evolutionary dead end for the Brits. When given the chance they kept the SMLE and issued the follow on to the P13 the P14 in .303 to second line troops.

Gryff
11-28-2010, 2:59 PM
The enfield is a better battle rifle, but the mauser is more accurate. That's a tough choice.

I thought that the Lee-Enfield was recognized as being the most-accurate battle rifle of WWI/WWII?

cmaher55
11-28-2010, 3:22 PM
You know, years ago I decided I needed every battle rifle from WW2 so I went out and bought them all.... I loved my Enfields (no. 1 Aussie and 4 savage ex. T) but I could not get them to group very well. I ended up selling them a few years ago to lighten up the gun safe and reduce calibers. I still have my two K98's. That's the answer for me. Regards

smle-man
11-28-2010, 4:06 PM
The attacking German forces were stopped literally dead in their tracks at Mons, 1914 when the 'Old Contemtibles' fired their SMLE's so fast and so accurately that the Germans thought they were facing massed machine guns. The Mauser is a fine rifle but is slow to function and has a limited magazine capacity. Volume of fire is what helps win battles and the Mauser doesn't have it.

socal-ar15
11-28-2010, 4:24 PM
I own both and I must say my Enfield is way more accurate then my K98. The range I shoot at only goes out 600 yards but the Enfield hits all the steel targets dead on but my K98 is down and to the left. Just my two cents.

Rogerbutthead
11-28-2010, 4:47 PM
Like both rifles, but would pick the Lee Enfield for the double capacity vs the Mauser.

Have a real mismatched High Turret Mauser sniper, but never fired it. My Lee Enfield sniper shoots great with my reloads. So would pick that one too just because of how it shoots for me.

knucklehead0202
11-28-2010, 4:52 PM
this argument could go on forever, but the mauser action has, and the enfield hasn't. that's the REAL answer.

rojocorsa
11-28-2010, 6:03 PM
What I like about these threads is that one can still learn something interesting. For example, take the stuff SMLE-Man has said so far. All the ribbing is just good natured fun, at least in my opinion it is so.

Truth is, I like all these guns. And when my friend's Garand visits my safe, it's a real mil-surp orgy in there.



Serious question:

Any reason for having Enfield barrels with 2 grooves?

Anubis Laughed
11-28-2010, 6:06 PM
Ah, gotta weigh in here. :)

While the Mauser action is definately stronger, and so works great for a wider variety of calibers, (espcially in hunting rifles) as a combat rifle, the Enfield action is a lot faster. And that 10-round detachable magazine counts for a lot too. I own rifles of both types, and in a fight, I'd pick the SMLE without hesitation.

As for accuracy, both types are excellent. Unless there's a problem with a truely shot-out bore, or the ammo, I've found accuracy (or lack of it) usually falls on the rifleman.

Anubis Laughed
11-28-2010, 6:08 PM
Rojocorsa: As for the No4 MKI rifles with the 2-groove barrels, it's my understanding that this was done simply as a wartime manufacturing expiedient during WW2.

Interloper
11-28-2010, 6:12 PM
My only complaint with the Enfield is it's relatively weak action. Otherwise, the Enfield wins hands down. Ten round mag, fast action, rugged design. The rimmed case is a disadvantage but not a huge one.


Any reason for having Enfield barrels with 2 grooves?

Manufacturing cost.

bigstick61
11-28-2010, 6:22 PM
I would pick my Lee-Enfield No. 5 Mk I without hesitation. Practical accuracy is more than sufficient (as long as it can hit a human-sized target at any range I can see the target at sufficiently to aim at it it is accurate enough; no need to drive tacks and my rifle is up to this task). I have fired hundreds of rounds in one sitting (heavy usage like that being what some say gets the wandering zero started) and my zero stays dead on. It is light, handy, well-balanced, good looking, has a decent mag capacity, has chargers that the bolt can push out, has sights I really like (the ghost ring sight; for the smaller aperture sight I actually like the P-14 arrangement better but the No. 5's will do), and can use a center sling swivel letting me use a speed shooting sling, either Ching or CW style. I also like the rapid action.

bigstick61
11-28-2010, 6:24 PM
My only complaint with the Enfield is it's relatively weak action. Otherwise, the Enfield wins hands down. Ten round mag, fast action, rugged design. The rimmed case is a disadvantage but not a huge one.



The action strength isn't a big deal though in this case. Typical ammunition will fall well within its capabilities especially if we are talking about military ammunition.

smle-man
11-28-2010, 6:35 PM
What I like about these threads is that one can still learn something interesting. For example, take the stuff SMLE-Man has said so far. All the ribbing is just good natured fun, at least in my opinion it is so.

Truth is, I like all these guns. And when my friend's Garand visits my safe, it's a real mil-surp orgy in there.



Serious question:

Any reason for having Enfield barrels with 2 grooves?

Production speed and cost. It is faster and easier to cut two grooves instead of five. Turned out 2 groove barrels are as accurate as 5 groove barrels although they wear faster but with the pressure to get rifles delivered two groove was adopted. Remington and Smith Corona both made 03A3s with two groove barrels.

harmoniums
11-28-2010, 6:48 PM
Production speed and cost. It is faster and easier to cut two grooves instead of five. Turned out 2 groove barrels are as accurate as 5 groove barrels although they wear faster but with the pressure to get rifles delivered two groove was adopted. Remington and Smith Corona both made 03A3s with two groove barrels.

Yep, I've got a two groove sniper wannabe, she'll do 1.5MOA

http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2565/3978863608_73f2aaa0d4.jpg

smle-man
11-28-2010, 7:10 PM
My '43 Long Branch with a two groove came to me set up for match shooting from someone before me, I suspect a Canuckian. Thin aluminum shims in the trigger guard and a wood tongue inletted into the forestock to cradle the barrel at the breech end. It is a tack driver and wth a 6x scope shoots great.

mosinnagantm9130
11-28-2010, 7:57 PM
In a combat situation, I'd take a No.4 over a K98 any day.

I love shooting my 48 Faz at 300+ yards.:D

John-Melb
11-28-2010, 9:30 PM
I think we've already had this debate at least twice before, the first time from 1914 to 1918, and the re-match from 1939-1945.

Lee Enfield won both times.

Springfield45
11-28-2010, 10:11 PM
1st place - Lee Enfield.
Pros - Ten round capacity, fast bolt, good feel and balance, accurate.
Cons - Week action, rimmed cartridge, goofy spike bayonet.

Close 2nd - K98 Mauser
Pros - Strong action, powerful rimless cartridge, good feel and balance, accurate.
Cons - Slow rate of fire and only five round capacity.

rojocorsa
11-28-2010, 11:58 PM
As far as both actions are concerned....does it really matter?


We're talking about using the cartridge for which the action was designed for--be it 7.92x57 or 7.7x56R. The Enfield action works fine for .303---so do we really need to worry about it having a weaker action?

rojocorsa
11-28-2010, 11:59 PM
Thanks for clarifying on the 2groover barrel.

But if 2 grooves are just fine, why bother with 4 or 5...? Are they just automatically groovier?

Interloper
11-29-2010, 7:18 AM
The Enfield action is weaker. That's apparent to the naked eye. Yet you don't hear stories of Enfield actions disassembling themselves all the time. In point of fact, an over charged load or a bore obstruction that would wreck an Enfield would probably also wreck a Mauser. The difference being that the Mauser would protect the shooter better. That said, I've shot the heck out of my No.1 Mk.III* and will continue to do so. The argument about action strength is purely academic. Wear shooting glasses when shooting surplus, plain and simple. Not that that's much of an issue considering the availability of surplus .303.
I still take the Enfield over the Mauser as the better battle rifle. Not that that means much coming from an armchair commando with no military training.

hybridatsun350
11-29-2010, 9:40 AM
All of this talk about weak actions means nothing to the Enfield's abilities as a battle rifle. The Enfield is a better battle rifle than the Mauser. Hands down. However, the reason the Mauser has survived (in the civilian market) is because of it's ability to be converted to so many different calibers by means of its stronger action.

rojocorsa
11-29-2010, 9:46 AM
All of this talk about weak actions means nothing to the Enfield's abilities as a battle rifle.

Exactly.

mosinnagantm9130
11-29-2010, 1:14 PM
All of this talk about weak actions means nothing to the Enfield's abilities as a battle rifle. The Enfield is a better battle rifle than the Mauser. Hands down. However, the reason the Mauser has survived (in the civilian market) is because of it's ability to be converted to so many different calibers by means of its stronger action.

Exactly. The enfield is better on the battlefield, the mauser is better as the base action for a hunting rifle.

MongooseV8
11-29-2010, 3:47 PM
My vote is for an Enfield, but Ishapore 2A1 style. I have had 2 of them and they shoot 7.62x51 Nato and a stronger action/receiver to match. Still get the smoot action, detachable 10 (actually holds 12) mag with the accuracy of the 7.62x51 Nato round.

But the Mauser is still one of the best ;)

bigstick61
11-29-2010, 5:37 PM
My vote is for an Enfield, but Ishapore 2A1 style. I have had 2 of them and they shoot 7.62x51 Nato and a stronger action/receiver to match. Still get the smoot action, detachable 10 (actually holds 12) mag with the accuracy of the 7.62x51 Nato round.

But the Mauser is still one of the best ;)

There are also 7.62 NATO No. 4s and No. 5s around.

smle-man
11-29-2010, 6:30 PM
I own two #4s in 7.62 (down from three) plus a 2A1. The #4s are accurate and free from rim lock but not for adventerous reloading! The action is just about at maximum for the standard 7.62mm NATO load.

jaq
11-30-2010, 7:18 AM
All of this talk about weak actions means nothing to the Enfield's abilities as a battle rifle. The Enfield is a better battle rifle than the Mauser. Hands down. However, the reason the Mauser has survived (in the civilian market) is because of it's ability to be converted to so many different calibers by means of its stronger action.

Hmmm. The Mauser has survived only because of that? Okay. I was under the impression that the M98 action set the standard for bolt-action rifle design regardless of intended application. The two main bolt-action sniper rifles used by the USMC and USArmy for, oh let's see - forever - are all M98 derived/evolutions. Namely: Springfield 1903/1903A3; Winchester M70; and Remington 700. And the following:

"A great number of military rifles derived from the M98 design. Some of these were German-made by various contractors apart from Mauser, and include the M1899 Serbian in 7x57 mm, M1902 Mexican in 7x57 mm, M1903 Turkish in 7.65x53 mm, M1904 Portuguese 'Mauser-Vergueiro' 6.5x58mm, M1909 Argentinian in 7.65x53 mm, Japanese Arisaka Type 38 and Type 99 in 6.5x50mm and 7.7x58mm, and numerous others." quoted from one of about 2.7M google hits returned in 0.03 sec.

But yeah, they make good hunting rifles too.

MongooseV8
11-30-2010, 8:51 AM
There are also 7.62 NATO No. 4s and No. 5s around.

Yeah, but those are just conversions arent they? I dont think I would be comfortable shooting one of those, but Im sure they are neat rifles.

tacticalcity
11-30-2010, 9:05 AM
My vote would be for the K-98. I'm not crazy about the split stock design on the SMLE.

Then again, neither is my dream rifle.

mls343
11-30-2010, 9:39 AM
1st place - Lee Enfield.
Pros - Ten round capacity, fast bolt, good feel and balance, accurate.
Cons - Week action, rimmed cartridge, goofy spike bayonet.

Close 2nd - K98 Mauser
Pros - Strong action, powerful rimless cartridge, good feel and balance, accurate.
Cons - Slow rate of fire and only five round capacity.

This pretty much sums it up for me!

Bhobbs
11-30-2010, 10:12 AM
I have limited experience with a Lee Enfield but I love my Kar98k. I am pretty accurate with it and can reload it pretty quick to. The few times I fired a Lee Enfield the bolt handle itself felt strange to me. If I owned one I would probably get used to it.

rojocorsa
11-30-2010, 10:45 AM
My vote would be for the K-98. I'm not crazy about the split stock design on the SMLE.

Then again, neither is my dream rifle.

I was thinking about calling the split stock design a flaw, in OP post here, but it seems to me that the stock is really a non-issue. Or do you have any examples to share?

I thought it was weird at first, but the gun works just fine.

jeff762
11-30-2010, 11:34 AM
it has been said of the ww1 rifles, the germans brought a hunting rifle, the americans a target rifle, but the brits brought a battle rifle.

mosinnagantm9130
11-30-2010, 2:16 PM
The stock design for enfields is interesting. It is unusual for military rifles of the period to have a butt stock that could be changed for shooter preference. I think the enfield stock design, at least in that respect, is fine.

Interloper
11-30-2010, 5:51 PM
I actually think the stock design is excellent. The 1886 Lebel, MAS 36, and pretty much all shotguns have a separate butt stock. Pretty much all other wood stocked military rifles are susceptible the breakage at the wrist, tang and recoil lug.
If an Enfield stock does break, only the affected piece needs to be replaced. The various parts can also be made out of smaller pieces of wood, saving materials.
I also like the slight pistol grip rather than the straight stocks of all the other rifles of the era.

rojocorsa
11-30-2010, 11:36 PM
Oh, after I got my own Enfield 3 weeks ago, I noticed how much more I liked my No.4's "grip" compared to that weird stubby one on the Mauser.

Is it just me, or do other people like to leave their thumb on the same side (instead of the thumb going over the wood onto the other side of the rifle; aft of the receiver)?

Beetle Bailey
12-01-2010, 12:54 AM
Another advantage of the two piece Enfield stock is that there are different length buttstocks so LOP can better fit the shooter. K98 fits me just fine, but if I were much shorter or taller, it would suck.

As for the thumb on the same side as the bolt handle, it does help with speed shooting, but I prefer to just wrap it around to the other side. I have no need nor desire to subject myself or my rifle to any more "mad minute" practice :D

Dr.Mauser
12-01-2010, 2:05 AM
I would like an SMLE but havent been able to find one except on GB.

rojocorsa
12-01-2010, 11:57 PM
Another advantage of the two piece Enfield stock is that there are different length buttstocks so LOP can better fit the shooter. K98 fits me just fine, but if I were much shorter or taller, it would suck.

As for the thumb on the same side as the bolt handle, it does help with speed shooting, but I prefer to just wrap it around to the other side. I have no need nor desire to subject myself or my rifle to any more "mad minute" practice :D

I actually feel that keeping the thumb on the same side helps me shoot more precisely. If it matter, I do shoot left handed, so when I cycle the bolt, I'd just go over the action and hit the handle. I'm still fast, and with the Enfield action, even more so.


Good point, about being able to change the LOP.