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Honkytonk View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 03 2018 at 5:44am
I've noticed there are lots of US Lee Enfield lovers on this forum. I'm curious to know where this admiration for the British (and Commonwealth allies) main battle rifle comes from. When I worked in the US, most guys I talked to had barely heard of it, but we're very aware of Springfield's and Garands, both of which are fine arms. I suspect the US respect for the Lee Enfield was developed after WW2 due to surplus rifles becoming available? Thanks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote buckeye55 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2018 at 6:25am
In the 50's and 60's Enfields were available in the US for fairly low prices. A lot of people bought them as deer rifles and big bore plinkers. At that time all millsurps were selling for low dollars. You could walk into a lot of Sears Roebuck stores and find a wooden barrel with surplus rifles in it, Moisins, Mausers, Enfields along with others. I remember seeing a $15 price tag on a barrel like that in my hometown. Imagine buying a K98k today for $15? Or a Mk 4 #1 for $15. Surplus ammo was dirt cheap then as well.You could buy 500 rounds of .303 for $20-25.

I've always felt availability and price created the interest in the Enfield and other rifles as well, 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote paddyofurniture Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2018 at 6:36am
My Father's family is from NB in Canada. My Grandfather served in WWI.

Some of my Father's brothers service in the Canadian Army over the years and their children still do.

I saw Enfield's as Army rifles when I grew up.
Always looking for military manuals, Dodge M37 items,books on Berlin Germany, old atlases ( before 1946) , military maps of Scotland. English and Canadian gun parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2018 at 7:45am
Price was a big part for my dad and I. He bought me my first Enfield when I was 14. He had just had his guns stolen and deer season was coming so he bought 2 No 1 Mk III* for $65 each. This was in the late '80s. My next addition was when I was 18 and found an all matching No 1 Mk III* at a pawn shop for $70. Bought that one and I was hooked. I still have both of those rifles too. Here is one of them, 1917 BSA, my first.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2018 at 7:58am
Here in Arizona we had a store called Yellow Front. It was a sporting goods and clothing store. In the very late fifties all the way into the early eighties when they closed
You could buy No4 Mk1 rifles in three different classes, fair,good,and very good,all in fifty gallon drums. Prices were 10.00,15.00,20.00
If you were so inclined,for an additional ten dollars,you could get a box of bullets and a spike bayonet. Somewhere in a container of my dads,there are six bayonets with big washers welded to them for our tent spikes we used with the surplus army tent my dad bought at the same Yellow Front for 25.00...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2018 at 8:03am
Bear43, a very nice rifle and story. I'm currently looking for a SMLe for the collection, but in Canada I'm finding prices for non matching rifles @ $700 and up. Not having ever owned one, due to age, should they be more than a matching #'s No4 Mk2? I recently got one of those for $600 CAD. Again, my knowledge on SMLE prices is very limited.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 03 2018 at 10:51am
Well I was born in Canada, but grew up in England so I have to have at least one or they send the press gangs looking for me, (& to steal my beer). I learned from my grandfather who was an Englishman who moved to Canada. Then in the Cadets & the RAF & then just kept looking for something "better" & never found it.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 04 2018 at 12:53pm
yes - lets see , i once had a collection that started with an 1888 rod bayonet  trapdoor and progressed through the 1892 , 96 , 98 & 99kargs , then the 03 rock island  , 03A1springfield  , 03 mod remington , 03A3 smith corona and faux 03A4 remington , culminated in the winchester M1garand & national postal meter M1carbine , i still have my springfield M14 type and Colt M16A1, as well as my winchester M1917 all with original/correct slings , bayonets , scabbards and cleaning kit , 

i still have my windermusket trainer and all of my US handguns with their correct holsters , ill post a photo one day , others i gifted , traded or sold , 

what i sold off funded my enfield expansions , however back to your point , as a youngster my father purchased the surplus springfield and enfield [i still have this 1915 BSA mkIII ] in later years i learned the enfield was a mistake as he was looking for the 'american enfield' he had seen on saipan used by the marines on the island , he also bought lots of surplus ammo , 

i learned to shoot on both , they were both originals , i came to prefer the enfield [i inherited both as well as his 1911 with its holster and mag pouch , belt and mags ] thus started my collecting , i did research on everything i ever came into contact with and found the commonwealth far more interesting to me , i sold off the manuals and research documents with the firearms , i only have a few of my US collectible library left for items i still have , 

ill not pretend i have no regrets of giving up what i did , i do , but at the time it seemed prudent to emphasis one line and divest the rest , thank god i couldn't let go my handguns , i kept my FAL and 1895 nagant revolver , and late 60s chinese SKS ,

my swiss rifles and bayonets are gone as is my spanish mauser that fit with the krags , FWIW there were a lot of M17s , P14s , no4s that came and went over the years as well , also a couple enfield trainers , im still seeking out a couple select items and perhaps one day i will luck into them , so thats the story , maybe more than you wanted but it sorta explains this americans interest reasoning in enfield and webleys , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2018 at 11:07am
This sounds like an opportunity to introduce myself...
 
I was born in Canada and moved to the US 20 years ago after serving in the Canadian Forces.  When I joined the Reserve in 1977, we still had the No. 7 rifles for indoor target work.  My grandfather was born in England and moved to Canada in the early 1920's.  My Dad is my source of interest in British firearms; rifles in particular.  He had a decent collection at one time, probably more than 30 Lee Enfields, various Ross rifles including a rare match model in .280 Ross, Snider, Martini-Henry and various other countries' WWI/II era rifles.
 
It was his No. 4(T) rifles that I always had my eye on; two unissued ones all complete kits in the wood box.  I thought they were the coolest looking rifles ever (I still think that). Not sure how he acquired those; thru the RCMP I think.  Unfortunately, he sold them for practically nothing in the early 1990's before I realized he was downsizing his collection.  At least he kept his one No. 4(T) shooter.  I wonder what lucky guy in Canada has these rifles now.  I think he paid about $70 for them in the early '60's, and sold them for about $200 in the early '90s.  I suspect they are worth a bit more than that now.  I've kicked myself many times for not asking him to tell me before he starts selling any of these; I just never thought he would part with them.  I found out when I came home to visit day and he had a bunch of these rifles laying out on the bunk beds and asked him what he was doing.  My heart skipped a few beats when he said he thought it was time to reduce his collection.  Too late, the No.4(T)s were gone and the neighbour he sold them too was gone.
 
It is a bit surprising how much interest I find in the South East US for the Lee Enfield.  Even with the long standing misinformation about it's "springy action", the facts remain it was an exceptionally effective battle rifle.  One of the TV shows here on the top 10 combat rifles of all time ranked it No. 3.  Given they ranked that AK-47 thing as #1, I think they may have had got that reversed. 
 
 
 
 
   
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2018 at 2:11pm
I've seen that programme, as well. The guy has two big faults.
First, he will compare apples to oranges.(Ie;semi/automatic weapons vs bolt action)
Secondly - he has a large American bias. (It is - after all - an American show)
I watched on time when he was comparing the BAR against the Bren.
You'll never convince me a BAR is better than the Bren
Loose wimmen tightened here
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2018 at 2:19pm
Lee R Ermey. Drill Instructor from Full Metal Jacket. Tested a BAR against a Bren. The Bren outperformed the BAR on all accounts. The US Marine Corp tipped its hat to the Bren that day...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 07 2018 at 2:33pm
I remember that show, Bren vs BAR. Bren was awesome! I thought the sarge would give it to the BAR, but was pleasantly surprised that he gave two thumbs up for the Bren!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2018 at 5:42am
he whole trick with Lee Ermey is to not take him too seriously. I remember the bit with the Lee Enfield Vs the M-1 Garand & how outrageously he cheated "Winston" to have the Garand win. Its entertainment so don't get too serious after all he doesn't.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2018 at 6:13am
Luckily, we all know which was the better battle rifle! (Wink, wink!)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2018 at 7:53am
I'm know this is heresy and I'll probably be removed from this forum after being a member for only a week, but I must confess that if I was a WWII infantry soldier and had a choice between the M1 and No. 4, I would probably pick the M1.
Yes, I know, some of you guys out there can work the bolt faster than the M1 can auto load (after all, that gas system just slows the bolt down!); but not me.  I've shot a lot of rounds thru both rifles and with a full clip, that M1 would be devistating in a firefight.  Consider how much training the average infantry private had before being put in the front line.
 
Now, if I was a sniper, then no question at all, No.4(T) hands down over a M1C or D. 
 
I appologize in advance if I've offended anyone!  And tomorrow, I'll spend some range time with the No.4 and change my mind.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 08 2018 at 9:04am
It's all good Britrifles.
Castles made of sand slip into the sea.....eventually
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