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View Full Version : Has anyone seen this Brit bolt technique before?


RetiredNSmilin308
July 01, 2014, 15:40
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzEA0lNZCrY

At 5:00 and especially 5:02 you can see this guy shooting this .303 faster than I have ever seen a bolt gun ever do.

I noticed he held the bolt between the thumb & pointing finger and uses another finger to pull the trigger.

Is this how the Brits did their famous MAD MINUTE?

I also think the "cocks on closing" feature of the Enfields are what make this speed possible. It is awe inspiring nonetheless.

I remember reading somewhere, where some Brits beat some GIs using Garands in speed and accuracy. I never understood how that was ever possible until I saw this video.

Thoughts?

RNS

Topbanana
July 01, 2014, 16:24
Yes, it was shown to me a while a go, you use your thumb and forefinger to manipulate the bolt and pull the trigger with your middle or ring finger.

I don't really see a point to it but whatever.

RetiredNSmilin308
July 01, 2014, 16:32
I have to agree, Topbanana. It seems to be a technique developed for one specific rifle.

However, I do see how it could not only be terrifying and deadly if 500 guys were all doing it in your general direction. In 1914 I could see where it had its place. Today...no so much in my opinion. Which is worth nothing.

tdb59
July 01, 2014, 16:38
<iframe width="560" height="315" src="//www.youtube.com/embed/pK8fSVuxVaU" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>

TerryN
July 01, 2014, 17:34
My understanding is that this technique was developed and taught to use against infantry (bayonet) charges. When the Huns issued forth out of their trenches and stormed across No Man's Land, while the Vickers guns were at work the grunts would open up with rapid fire, and hopefully break the enemy's charge. Supposedly, it worked. Personally, I'm rather skeptical about that. I would expect that the Vickers guns (and artillery fire) had a lot more to do with breaking the charge than rapid rifle fiire did.

RetiredNSmilin308
July 01, 2014, 18:19
I just cannot imagine what it must have been like in those trenches.

The arty they used was huge, and they for some reason did not do anti-battery fire. They just shot at the grunts for the most part.

I shot a Gwehr 98 once and you had to try hard to miss. The only other rifle I experienced like that was a 7.7 Arisaka.

The Enfields rapid bolt & 10 round mag had it advantages too.

but...as usual the tactics were behind the equipment by 20 years. The tactics used by almost all the armies were developed using big bore single shots. Not high velocity small caliber pointed bullets. Close in and give them the bayonet was the rule of the day 20 years before.

Hiram Maxim was told by a friend that hated Brits to quit working on voltage converters and make a gun that would kill these damned Europeans by the thousands. He succeeded.

Retired Bum
July 01, 2014, 20:21
In the Great War artillery accounted for 50 percent of all the casualties. It was the big killer. The machine gun came in second. Between the two they accounted for almost two thirds of the carnage.

The rule has always been that for an attacker to have a reasonable chance of defeating the defender the attacking force had to out number the defenders by three to one. But this was before trench war took over from maneuver war after the Germans failed to take Paris in the fall of 1914. The Germans were the first to start digging in and in short order the trench systems stretched from the English Channel to the border with Switzerland. Barbed wire, land mines, rapid fire artillery, machine gun bunkers, and thousands of riflemen between the bunkers made it almost impossible for an attacking force to gain any ground. In the first battle of the Somme in 1916 the Germans inflicted 60,000 dead and wounded on the attacking British infantry in just ONE day. No man's land became a blood saturated piece of very expensive property.

When I was stationed in Germany in the 1960's I got the opportunity to visit some of the Great War battle sites in France. Portions of the trench systems were still there although mostly grassed over. I can only imagine what it would have been like to have been an infantryman in that war. Living in the mud and filth of the trenches for months at a time. And always wondering if that next incoming artillery shell had your name on it. I don't even want to think about poison gas attacks.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

kev
July 02, 2014, 08:33
The .303 Enfield is a firepower rifle with several speed advantages over its contemporaries. Cock on closing is one of them. The bolt opens easily without resistance when the shooter's leverage is least and closes easily compressing the firing pin spring when the shooter's leverage is greatest. Cock on opening is a triumph of marketing over functionality.

The Enfield bolt is also very well supported in its travel, making the action smooth and easy. The bolt handle is perfectly placed,.....neither too far forward nor too far to the rear. The rear locking lugs allow the rounds to feed directly into the chamber and shortens up the length the bolt needs to travel making it very fast to operate. Ten rounds loaded compared to five in most others(six in the 'other' Enfields 1914/1917 and the fabulous Carcano).

Artillery and Machine Guns can only be directed at one place at a time and are limited in what they can do against a frontal assault. When you've got hundreds(or thousands)of men rushing at you the best defense is hundreds(or thousands)of you own men who can shoot fast and accurate. The advantage is having many people individually targeting and firing against the many targets that suddenly present themselves.

That's on defense. On offense it's even more important where the MG and Arty can't keep up with the advance. The riflemen ARE the advance. We're talking WWI where the MG's are generally 100# tripod mounted guns treated more like artillery,...............for a reason.

RetiredNSmilin308
July 02, 2014, 10:55
kev...your post backs up this...

I read somewhere a long time ago about the rifles of WW1

it said...

The Germans built a HUNTING rifle

The Americans built a TARGET rifle

and the British built a BATTLE rifle.

Topbanana
July 02, 2014, 11:25
The .303 Enfield is a firepower rifle with several speed advantages over its contemporaries. Cock on closing is one of them. The bolt opens easily without resistance when the shooter's leverage is least and closes easily compressing the firing pin spring when the shooter's leverage is greatest. Cock on opening is a triumph of marketing over functionality.

The Enfield bolt is also very well supported in its travel, making the action smooth and easy. The bolt handle is perfectly placed,.....neither too far forward nor too far to the rear. The rear locking lugs allow the rounds to feed directly into the chamber and shortens up the length the bolt needs to travel making it very fast to operate. Ten rounds loaded compared to five in most others(six in the 'other' Enfields 1914/1917 and the fabulous Carcano).

Artillery and Machine Guns can only be directed at one place at a time and are limited in what they can do against a frontal assault. When you've got hundreds(or thousands)of men rushing at you the best defense is hundreds(or thousands)of you own men who can shoot fast and accurate. The advantage is having many people individually targeting and firing against the many targets that suddenly present themselves.

That's on defense. On offense it's even more important where the MG and Arty can't keep up with the advance. The riflemen ARE the advance. We're talking WWI where the MG's are generally 100# tripod mounted guns treated more like artillery,...............for a reason.

Excellent post! Thanks!

Topbanana
July 02, 2014, 11:30
I've chosen an ISHY .308 Enfield as my bolt gun type.I've got the CAI "Navy Arms" jungle carbine version too. Both are excellent, even without the odd speed technique we are talking about in the video.

I can get it on target just a little slower than my FAL's during a sustained fire.

RetiredNSmilin308
July 02, 2014, 11:36
Topbanana,
I have always believed every shooter needs a good reliable bolt gun.

One that no matter what happens it will shoot.

It will shoot accurately enough to do the job with one round, and powerful enough to do the job with one round.

What is funny, I was never able to stop with just one.

toys
July 02, 2014, 13:45
my www connection is slow, but i think if you google some of the Norwegian shooting competitions, you will find the same.

to me, its really cool. I wouldn't want to go head to head with any of them.

gew98
July 05, 2014, 11:42
My understanding is that this technique was developed and taught to use against infantry (bayonet) charges. When the Huns issued forth out of their trenches and stormed across No Man's Land, while the Vickers guns were at work the grunts would open up with rapid fire, and hopefully break the enemy's charge. Supposedly, it worked. Personally, I'm rather skeptical about that. I would expect that the Vickers guns (and artillery fire) had a lot more to do with breaking the charge than rapid rifle fiire did.

The british Doctrine on " 15 rounds rapid " which is the command for bolting your enfield fast to any amount of rounds ordered to do so. The bolt manipulation was not meant for gobs of bayonet laden infantry coming your way. Being the britain was a colonial power then it was meant for tossing loads of lead on hordes of 'natives' , fuzzy wuzzies and the like. Imagine several thousand fuzzies and or something akin to zulus coming at you.... you would work that bolt that fast and faster when given the command to do so. Up until 1915 the Enfields had magazine cutoffs. They were expected to use their rifles as single shots and keep a loaded magazine as reserve in case of a charge by fuzzie wuzzie types.

Trypcil
August 13, 2014, 21:28
The mad minute!
http://www.historicalfirearms.info/post/43102565094/the-mad-minute-marksmanship-training-in-the

This guy proves he's mad for a minute !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOT0EqNDbC4

He hasn't quite got the technique but he's doing good!

dfletcher
August 23, 2014, 02:18
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pzEA0lNZCrY

At 5:00 and especially 5:02 you can see this guy shooting this .303 faster than I have ever seen a bolt gun ever do.

I noticed he held the bolt between the thumb & pointing finger and uses another finger to pull the trigger.

Is this how the Brits did their famous MAD MINUTE?

I also think the "cocks on closing" feature of the Enfields are what make this speed possible. It is awe inspiring nonetheless.

I remember reading somewhere, where some Brits beat some GIs using Garands in speed and accuracy. I never understood how that was ever possible until I saw this video.

Thoughts?

RNS

I suppose the proof of how fast the bolt is being worked is that I can't tell for certain if he's using his trigger or middle finger. I roll the bolt knob between the base of my thumb and the web between it and the index finger - sort of a "slap & roll" and when closing the bolt with the base of your thumb the trigger finger is already at the trigger. The bolt is never touched by the finger.

nfafan
November 02, 2014, 02:35
Never fired a .303, but with my carcano, Mosin, or yugo M48 - I couldn't imagine the second or third shot in a mad minute being anywhere close to being accurately.

Andy the Aussie
November 02, 2014, 15:14
Ahhhh my childhood toys.... :) Beaten and "Sporterised" SMLEs were all around the place when I was growing up. As was .303 ammunition. I had a "couple" (at 14) and my school mate had a Turk Mauser, I proved the ROF race to him several times taking out rocks across a wide gully out the back of a property in the mountains near home. I do miss those days... :(

As a side note, for a long period of WW1 Britain (and Australia) deployed their Vickers Guns in batteries (like artillery and the doctrine dictated their use as such) using them to suppress areas of open ground. It was the Hun (as I also refer to Mrs Andy - I only pointed out to her the other day she was still bitter that her lots lost two WWs) I believe who initially pushed belt fed guns out into the trenches. Like all artillery it takes time to being guns to bear on on a location, the "rapid fire" capability of the SMLE would have most certainly been useful.

Remember to, the early SMLEs also had magazine cut offs and were conceived as being loaded and fired one round at a time with the "ten below" as the reserve for when "one needed to break a charge". The advent of MGs and a like armed enemy soon put that idea to the sword...!

Artful
November 02, 2014, 21:35
The mad minute!
http://www.historicalfirearms.info/post/43102565094/the-mad-minute-marksmanship-training-in-the

This guy proves he's mad for a minute !

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NOT0EqNDbC4

He hasn't quite got the technique but he's doing good!

WOW,
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mad_minute

Mad minute was a pre-World War I term used by British Army riflemen during training at the Hythe School of Musketry to describe scoring a minimum of 15 hits onto a 12" round target at 300 yards (270 m) within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle).

The record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, was 38 hits per Ian V. Hogg's The Encyclopedia of Weaponry, Sterling Publishing, New York 2006.

During the Battle of Mons, there were numerous German accounts of coming up against what they believed was machine gun fire when in fact it was squads of riflemen firing at this rate.

Fn/form
November 03, 2014, 17:03
The thumb/forefinger on bolt and middle finger on trigger has been used recently overseas by US snipers. I've heard them say it was used to bracket shots and/or used with multiple targets at similar ranges.

mrclark303
November 07, 2014, 19:27
Evening all, the pride and joy of my collection is an Enfield made No1mk3* , all original, as it left the factory in 1917, its NZ issued, a superb rifle to shoot, like driving a classic car, close to perfection with regard to bolt "battle" rifles, very fast bolt, that won't jam in mud/sand/snow, 10rd mag and plenty accurate enough for government work!

Its one of great pleasures in life shooting and owning this fine historic WW1 rifle that honour's our fathers and grandfathers.

fjnida
November 11, 2014, 20:54
Love those enfields. I have a mk4 #2 and this gun has one of the smoothest actions. Real easy to shoot good groups.getting hard to find 303 ammo. I bought an Izzy 308 that shoots like a lazer. It's a cut down navy arm fake jungle carbine. No collector value but fun to shoot. I leave it at camp for a camp rifle. Everybody likes to shoot some rounds out of it, but the recoil is a bit much for the newabs.

ramiller
November 12, 2014, 13:29
Cheaper than Dirt has 70's dated 303 British on 5 round clips