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  1. While the 1903 Springfield is the iconic American rifle of the Great War, the 1914 pattern Enfield in its American version, was far more common, and in many ways more useful. Its rugged, long-radius aperture sights are much easier to use when you’re not proned out and ‘slung up’ on the target range, and the cock-on-closing action was faster than cock-on-opening designs.

    Someone remarked at the time that the Americans made the best target rifle (the ’03) the Germans made the best hunting rifle (1898 Mauser) and the British brought the best combat rifle (the Lee-Enfield.) The 1914 was not included in this comparison.

  2. War-era bolt-action battle rifles were among the most rugged, best performing rifles ever made. Quality standards tended to deteriorate for the Axis later in the War, and for the Russians in the beginning. British and American standards did not seem to waiver; quality remained fairly consistent, although IMO it never did exceed the highest German standards. Owning and shooting any of these battle rifles is like owning and shooting a piece of history. I love the Garand and it was a war-winner, but it will never have the same aura as the simple, effective and beautiful bolt action rifle.

  3. Growing up, I had a cousin of this rifle over my bed. I had a M1917 Enfield, which my great-uncle brought home from the Army (and never turned in!) The barrel had a dowel in it, but it was a complete kit, right down to the cleaning kit in the butt. I used to take it apart, put it back together, practice my aim with it. All that sight and trigger practice made me a better .22 shooter in the Boy Scouts!

    My brother has the rifle now; I’d love to have another one, but you don’t see them often, and the ones I have seen have been pretty rough.

  4. The Enfield is a great rifle design. One of my all-time favorites is an SMLE that I converted to .45-70. What a sweetheart. The .22LR target rifles are nice, too.

  5. @UnclePete

    The only thing unusual about the P14/M1917s is just how common they are for a gun made for a handful of years. Original configuration ones are hard to come by because post-war, they were surplussed out and over the years, many ended up sporterized or the action used for target rifles.

    I was under the impression though that the P14/M1917 Enfields were cock on open actions though, unlike the Lee actioned rifles.

  6. i think its interesting to look back on a time in history when Britain had to deal with the idea of possible invasion. Think about it, this was shown to civilians at the movies just in case they had to pick up a rifle and fight of the germans…

  7. Chris Dumm is correct: The P14 and M1917 Lee-Enfields feature cock-on-closing actions. The P14 is .303 caliber while the M1917 is .30-06 Springfield. However, both the P14 and the M1917 employ the distinctive Enfield-type, five-groove left-hand rifling. In the film short above, the instructor refers to the rifles in the Home Guard demonstration as P14s.


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