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No. 4 Service Rifle Accuracy

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britrifles View Drop Down
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    Posted: February 24 2018 at 3:14pm
I would not hesitate to say that the LE No. 4 had the best compromise between accuracy and combat effectiveness of all the Service Rifles of WW II. How many M1s out there can routinely beat this 200 yard Prone rapid score I shot yesterday? Not either one of my two M1s can.   Oh, the second shot in the 9 ring was me, I called it low. This rifle can clean the CMP Vintage Military Rifle Match 30 round course, although I’ve still got a way to go to improve my standing position, but my best score to date is a 292-11x (out of 300 possible) with my No.4. My M1 best is 282-5x.

Like I said on one of the other forums, after spending a day at the range, I changed my mind about which rifle I would choose to carry into battle if I was in WWII.

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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 24 2018 at 4:14pm
nice shooting , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2018 at 4:39pm
Indeed very good shooting! I sure like these posts concerning actually shooting these rifles.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 24 2018 at 4:59pm
Britrifles:
I've owned / shot an M1..wasn't too happy with it.(Actually sold it back to the U.S Army - believe it or not)
I spoke to a few Cdn WWII vets that said they WISHED they had a semi like the M1..but they liked the fact they had a 10 rnd mag, and were more accurate in the fight..like one vet told me: "When your scared as he!! - its gotta work!"
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 25 2018 at 6:35am
No doubt target shooters get a lot of satisfaction from hitting the x ring on targets but I would think that level of accuracy would only be advantageous to snipers shooting out beyond 500 yds. The M1 is certainly capable of hitting man size targets at 300 yards consistently, within the ranges of most combat situations. I’ve put thousands of rounds thru mine only cleaning the bore and chamber and it’s functioned 100% reliable. I generally do a complete disassembly and clean/lubricate once a year. But, if I were a sniper and was given an M1, I’d be looking for a 1903A4, or better yet, a No. 4(T).

For those who have not seen these target pics before, the range I shoot at in Talladega, AL, has a Kongsberg target system. The target frame has sound sensors that determine the position of the bullet hits and displays it to a monitor at the firing point. No more pits! Targets are at 200, 300 and 600 yds, they also have the same target system on the 100 yard range. The monitor has various target overlays, the pic above is the NRA Short Range (SR) target at 200 yards. The 10 ring is 3.5 MOA so not that difficult to get a clean score in the prone position. Getting a clean score in the standing position is a different matter, I’ve not done it yet!





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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2018 at 4:25am
Great score! I wish I could be that consistent in our service rifle competitions.
We shoot prone at 200 metres,5 practice with spotting scope allowed, then two sets of 10 rounds with no scope until end of set. Our 10 ring 8 cm diameter if I remember correctly. So that would be around 1.5 MOA at 200 metres.
Needless to say if I can stay within the 8's 9's and 10's I'd be happy; but always seem to bung one or two off. Problem for me is that my local range only has 50 m range; so need to make arrangements and drive a bit further for 200metre practice. And at present; it's hard to find the time.
In fact I doubt I'll get to the 200 metre range before the first competition in April.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote RayR Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2018 at 1:51pm
WOW!!! Great shooting.
 
 
I have just shot two, 5 round groups at 100 yards that were 1.75". I did this while sighting in on consecutive days using Prvi Partizan FMJ Boat tailed 174 gr. the first day and Remington UMC 174 gr. MC the second day. This means that my 70 year old rifle with a 1960 south African barrel has at least 1 3/4" moa accuracy. I'm stoked!
 
 
Due to the high scope mounting (2.75" above the rifle bore), I had poor eye alignment with the scope and had to hold my head off the scope mount in able to align my eye with the exit pupil. I will soon be getting an adjustable cheek rest that has enough height that I can stabilize my shooting position and potentially see better groups. If its not high enough, I'll attach my wooden Enfield cheek rest to it in order to get even more height.
 
 
At my age (71) and with corrective lenses and eye surgery I am corrected to about 30/20 vision. Scaring from a macular hole in my right eye effects my vision at the point of focus. Lack of adjustable focus in my eyes makes iron sights a thing of the past. I needed a 32X scope to be able to see the target well enough to hit it. The tiny crosshairs at the center of the reticle appeared to have bumps in them due to the scaring near my retina. This is the best I ever shot at a hundred yards with a military rifle. I can't give enough credit to my Enfield #4 Mk I.
 
 
I will start reloading for the .303 British round next month. This is in preparation for getting into bench rest shooting. This will include turning the necks of the brass on a special lathe. I may even try some of the solid copper bullets that I have seen advertised. I'll post the results of the ammunition development by the end of summer.
 
 
A friend let me shoot his 6BR custom bench rest rifle. It had a 36 power scope, a two ounce trigger (that's not a typo, it was a two ounce trigger) and some custom loads. My 3 shot groups varied from 0.8" to 0.253". I will be getting a benchrest rifle, probably a Savage Model 12, in about a year. I may also look at the Australian Lithgow Crossover 102.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2018 at 2:11pm
The problem you need to watch out for is clearance for the bolt when working the action. My home made cheek-rest is only 1/16" below the cocking piece bent! This is as tall as they can be practically made!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2018 at 2:47pm
Shamu. I found the same issue when I installed that walnut cheek piece from Numrich on my No4 Parker Hale last week. The farther the bolt is pulled back, the more "up and down" movement it can have. Worse case scenario, as this is a sporter hunting rifle, I'll Dremel a small v where the bolt can hit. Not an issue yet as I'm aware of it when I cycle the bolt.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 26 2018 at 7:31pm
For those of you in other parts of the world, the Civilian Marksmanship Program Vintage Military Rifle matches are shot in three stages starting with prone slow fire (single shot feeding only). 5 sighters followed by 10 shots for score in 15 minutes total. Each shot is spotted, or with the electronic targets, each shot is displayed on the monitor. It’s not too difficult to shoot a clean 200 yard Prone slow fire score, but for me, I usually drop one low due to poor sight alignment or getting off my natural point of aim. The SR target has a 7 inch 10 ring (3.5 MOA) and the LE is certainly capable of that. The X ring is 3 inches, 1.5 MOA and I’ve shot my No. 4 in Prone slow fire with 8 or 9 of the 10 shots in the x ring a few times. But, I’ve never been able to do as well in a match as I have in practice. Maybe that’s true for most of us.

The next stage is 10 shots prone raid fire, which includes a magazine reload, in 80 seconds. The stage starts with 5 rounds in the mag, bolt closed on an empty chamber, safety on and shooter standing. On the “Targets” command, the shooter drops to prone and shoots the first 5 shots then loads the next 5 rounds in the mag. At this point I take a quick glance at the monitor. If Shooting paper targets, then here is no way to know how your doing. Honestly, I’m not sure if there is any advantage of seeing the first five shots or not. The target pic I posted in the OP was from the prone rapid fire stage.

Third stage is standing slow fire, 10 rounds in 10 minutes. This is a real challenge and where the game is either won or lost. This is also the stage that the most improvement in score can be made. I started out typically completely missing the target for one or two of the 10 shots. Try it sometime, it’s not easy! I’ve slowly worked up from a score in the low 70’s to the high 80s, occasionally into the low 90s. My best was a 94. You quickly learn to call your shots. Dry fire practice does help, but I can’t seem to motivate myself to keep up with it.

These are usually shot at 200 yards for all three stages on the same NRA Short Range target, but some are shot on a SR-1 target reduced for 100 yards.

These matches are a lot of fun, and gets you out shooting and striving to improve. It’s also interesting to see how other military vintage bolt rifles do. The Pattern 17 Rifle (M1917 Enfield in .30-06) usually does very well. M1s and 1903 Springfield’s are excluded from this match, they have their own class in the CMP Games matches.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2018 at 4:31am
The Service rifle competitions are great fun.
 In France we have 5 shots in 5 minutes practice; then7 minutes for 10 rounds prone (precision) and 3 minutes for 10 rounds prone (rapid).
 I also compete in the .22 military trainer class at 50 metres; using one of my No8 Lee Enfields, or occasionally the No2MkIV*.
The No8 is a great little rifle and generally very accurate once you've found the correct ammunition for it. I have two No8's and they don't like the same ammo';but with the right stuff they'll both shoot equally well.
Trainer class has 5 shots prone practice; then 10 prone in 5 minutes and 10 standing in 3 minutes.
Slight disadvantage with the single shot rifles is having to move to pick up and load the next round, so can cause a few errors.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Macd Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2018 at 6:18am
Exceptional marksmanship with an exceptional rifle.  I have never owned an M1 but have had a number of Lee Enfields over the years.  All would not  come close to that level of accuracy.   My present one is a Parker Hale #4.  It remains to be seen what level of accuracy it is capable of producing.

With regard to battle rifles,I think I would rather have a M1.  There are reasons the M1 was better than a LE or any other bolt action rifle used in WWII  The reasons were firepower (40-50 aimed rounds per minute versus 15 for the LE) and the ease of training of 100,000's citizen soldiers to use them effectively.  The Germans realized this as well as the Russians even before the war began.   To be sure the M1 had shortcomings such as not being able to top up the magazine because it used en bloc clips or the need to keep it cleaned and lubricated.  Unless specially selected and tuned it can't approach bolt action accuracy but then it didn't need it.   Most combat took place at fairly close ranges less than 200 meters.  Centre of body mass is the rule assuming the average soldier is actually aiming with any degree of concentration in the middle of an adrenaline high.  A wound is as good as a kill and sometimes even better.  There are reasons every army in the world has shifted their primary long arm to either semi, burst and/or full auto carbines.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2018 at 8:34am
Macd, you bring up some interesting points. I wonder if any stats are available for amount of rounds expended vs injured, KIA combatants. What ratio by bolt rifles, what by semi or auto. I would like to see WW2 stats, as I think that's when semi or auto personal battle rifles were issued enmasse. Can't count crew served MG's. Must be personal. Allied and Axis included. I have a feeling the ratio would surprise some, probably me most!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2018 at 11:19am
I would expect a lot more bullets per body with the auto's and semi auto's when compared to the bolt action. However each has it's advantages. If your clearing rooms in a building, an auto would be better than a bolt action. But out in open country or defending a building; being able to pick off adversaries at a distance without wasting ammo; it's got to be the bolt action. 
Just my point of view of courseWink
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote hoadie Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2018 at 12:51pm
"Clearing rooms"..that would be the infamous ROOM BROOM - aka the Sten gun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 27 2018 at 1:50pm
I did an anti-terrorist course years & years ago. It involved 2 Sterlings, 4 guys & 4 hand grenades. The premise was there were only Terrs in the room, no hostages or friendlies.

The gunners were inside the formation, closest to the door the grenadiers were behind them corps a corps close.
Both Sterlings had the butts extended. Each was held kind of sideways so the body wasn't in line with the door, but the barrels were. Both stitched a semi circle together, making one raggedy circular perforation about 10" in diameter. It was struck by both butts as the Sterlings were flipped end over end.
The gunners dropped & the grenadiers who'd pulled the pins on all 4 with fingers of opposite hands, flipped them through the hole, 2 to the left the other 2 to the right. Then they left rapidly.

One guy asked if they should check the room, the instructor said : "My son, you don't want to look in that room"!
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