Best Battle Bolt - action of all time...

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by ysacres, Mar 7, 2003.

  1. ysacres

    ysacres Well-Known Member

    Joined:
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    Wazzu WA
    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 61
    (3/29/01 10:59:20 am)
    Reply Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    I like stupid polls, too.
    Springfield 1903
    K98 Mauser
    Mosin Nagant M91/30
    SMLE No.1 Mk III
    Other (specify)

    Show results


    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 62
    (3/29/01 11:03:00 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    My choice,SMLE. Just too many accounts from WWI of whole German advances and even offensives held up by reported "Heavy MG fire" when all the Brits and ANZACS had were their Smellies.

    The Tommies were trained at 1000yd shooting and routinely engaged at up to 600, and that action is SMOOTH and that 10 round mag tough to beat...

    shooter45 us
    *****Senior Chief Moderator*****
    Posts: 158
    (3/29/01 12:37:17 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Polishshooter, Just stopped by to say hello. The '03 may not be the best, but you got to love them. Shooter

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 71
    (3/29/01 1:21:14 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Heck, I love 'em all...

    Had a heckuva time not picking the Mosin, I own and shoot a ton of them, and I'm sure some of my anscestors used them at one time or another, either for against a Tsar or commie.

    And I am partial to US stuff of course, I don't have an 03/A3 yet, missed out when they were "cheap."

    My only real bias is against the Mauser, don't ask me why. I REALLY don't think it was THAT good, just that Paul von was a good salesman. Maybe because I'm Polish, and have a phobia against German stuff.

    The 03 "fixed" what was bad with the 98, IMHO.

    And when I post the "Semi" poll someday, NOBODY better dump on the Garand...

    Kdubya
    Moderator
    Posts: 49
    (3/29/01 3:27:20 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    We've had this discussion over on GB, Polish -
    Agreed that the "Smelly"(!) has a smooth action and 10 rd mag.
    Rear locking lugs give a springy bolt, the .303 round is not as inherently accurate as the .30 ball.
    The rear receiver site of the Enfield is desirable, negated by the rear peep on the '03A3.
    The split receiver is a detriment when compared to the Springfield.
    All in all, I'd chose the '03A3 over the SMLE, even tho it has the 5 round magazine. Owned several A3's and found all to be wonderfully accurate with both military and handloaded cartridges.
    Keep off the Ridgeline!!

    Xracer
    Moderator
    Posts: 83
    (3/29/01 5:24:32 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Historically speaking, I'd vote for the 1871/84 Mauser.....the first modern military bolt action.

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 1
    (3/29/01 6:15:51 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Plus two whole Vickers per battalion. They did get that kind of firepower out of the SMLE during the mobile war, but the BEF was a highly trained, professional army, while the Germans were using reservists.

    Bob In St Louis
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 122
    (3/29/01 9:14:02 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Sorry - I had to go with the Moisin Nagant. Drove Hitler out of Russia, still in use in many third world countries. Probably the most (numerical) number made of any rifle type in the world.

    Skol, Comrad!
    Support the Dead Party, vote Harry S. Truman for Missouri Senate in 2002!

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 451
    (3/29/01 10:54:39 pm)
    Reply
    Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    1917 U.S. Enfield 3006.

    Tac
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 86
    (3/29/01 11:36:52 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Tac, didn't have enough "holes" to punch!

    Yeah Sergeant York!

    The old 17 actually did more in War I than the 03....

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 456
    (3/30/01 12:16:30 am)
    Reply
    Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Polish,

    The only rifles and most handguns I own are military
    or military type firearms.

    I have a 17 that I got from a friend years back that
    looks almost like it did the day it was issued, I have
    never fired it but it's still my favorite bolt action.

    Tac
    The Firearms Forum Vietnam Memories Bulletin Board Contact Administrator

    AntiqueDr
    Moderator
    Posts: 60
    (3/31/01 8:43:42 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Krag, anyone?


    Purveyor of Fine Firearms to the Enlightened Few
    www.apaxenterprises.com

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 93
    (3/31/01 8:52:10 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Doc, love the Krag BUT the Spanish definitely outclassed it in '98 with the 7mm Mauser. May have been the reason we paid the $200,000 to Paul von for manufacturing rights just to build the '03....

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 10
    (3/31/01 4:28:58 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Well, I think they had to sue.

    Look, I'm 1/4 (I think; no comments) Polish myself.

    But what was the main Polish battle rifle in 1939? -- a Polish 98. So, they couldn't cope with Stukas...

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 116
    (3/31/01 8:00:37 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Yeah, but that 'Radom' in front of it would make ANY gun look good. (Well maybe not a Carcano...) The Polish Lancers main AT weapon was a lance, too, don't forget that.

    So THAT'S why you're so intelligent (AND talkative!)

    (100% Polish and you go wild with caps and stupid smiley faces...there's hope for you yet, but I'm a lost cause!)

    Edited by: polishshooter at: 3/31/01 8:03:02 pm

    obelix2
    Registered User
    Posts: 28
    (4/1/01 5:05:35 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    No hope at all. The other 3/4 comes from those silly looking islands north of France.

    polishshooter
    Senior Chief Moderator Staff
    Posts: 134
    (4/1/01 1:51:40 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    OK, how about a 1917 Enfield action, 03/A3 sights, and trigger, with a Lee 10 round feed system, with a National Match barrel in 7.62x54R...made in Poland...

    Sound like a winner, or a camel designed by a committee?

    velvetnsteel
    Member
    Posts: 70
    (3/9/02 4:38:03 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    I would have to go for the Enfield Mk.4 No. 2 The action and accuracy is a lot better than the previous version plus the No. 2's have the trigger pinned to the receiver rather than the triggerguard. You can still throw 10 rounds without reloading and the Mk 4's sights are a lot better.
    Long live the Swedish Mauser!!

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3173
    (3/25/02 2:08:44 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Is anybody as surprised as I am that the SMLE got so few votes?

    I expected the arguments from the Mauser freaks, (I get the feeling most Glockies are just "born again" Mausermen... ),along with the pro-US 03 guys, but thought more would like the SMLE than did, in fact, I think I was the only one to vote for the no1mkIII....
    "Don't hear him call you an @sshole, hear WHY he's calling you an @sshole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    WyomingSwede
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 352
    (3/29/02 4:50:27 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Once again from the mauser men .... K-98 pretty much every bolt action since is based off the mauser.

    swede
    Wyoming Swede

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 432
    (3/29/02 11:48:49 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Man - has this thread been around for a while! See back then (1 year ago) I only had 49 previous postings and still had the moniker "Kduba" (sigh!).

    Swede, you're pretty much correct in the Mauser being the parent of the modern bolt action - even tho there were many other bolt action firearms developed prior to the Mauser. Most others developed after the Mauser action were variations of that action, and in some cases, improvements. The British Enfield certainly has to be considered in any discussion of battlefield bolt actions because of it's ability for rapid manipulation and the 10 shot magazine. Firepower saturation was surely one of it's desired characteristics.

    The Springfield was deadly accurate, simple and easy to maintain.

    The Russian Mosians were also to be considered, if nothing else because of the harsh environment they were deployed in and the harsher treatment at the hands of the unskilled (at first!) soldier. They were a very effective firearm.I've joked with Polish often on these rifles, yet the fact remains, for a rifle that's over 100 years old in design, it still has ballistics comparable to the modern .308 Winchester - one of the most successful commercial and military rounds ever conceived.

    TallTLynn
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3629
    (4/5/02 7:30:22 pm)
    Reply
    Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    polish I voted for the SMLE - since it is my most favorite military rifle.

    And I truly think it is a better all around rifle than a mauser. Don't get me wrong mausers are nice rifles - as witness a friend of mine who has a 1898 Chilian Mauser in 7mm - that is one beautiful rifle.

    But for me, even though SMLE's are heavy, ugly as sin they still are one fine weapon and I'd grab one of them before the others any day.

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 1948
    (4/6/02 11:12:24 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    That's the mother instinct in you, "T".

    Every mother thinks her "babies" are special. 'Course, not every mother sings lullabys to her rifles!

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 13
    (4/23/02 10:10:57 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Guys I have to vote for the SMLE. It had a much faster bolt and twice the ammo of the Mauser(the 03 was a mauser clone). So an equal number of Brits VS Germans would have a higher volume of fire and would get out twice as many bullets before reloading. It was durable and battle tested.
    Do the math which is the better battle weapon.

    I have 2 SMLEs and have fired 03s and Mausers. I will take the SMLE any day.

    TCA24

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3529
    (5/20/02 11:34:07 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    I KNEW I liked you for some reason, TCA24!

    I know I said it somewhere before, but I've read several accounts of German advances in WWI being held up by, and this is according to GERMAN sources, "heavy and accurate Machine Gun fire" when ALL that was in front of them were Tommies with SMLEs.

    The interesting thing is that it happened MANY times, from the Marne in 1914, when the entire German OFFENSIVE ground to a halt in front of SMLEs, when the Brits only issued 2 Vickers to a BATTALION, to 1918, when the the first German offensive with Houtier tactics almost broke through, and hodge podge British units were thrown into the gaps in unprepared positions, armed solely with rifles, and stopped the offensive AGAIN...we're not talking small advances those two times either...but it DID happen many other times too....

    When did you EVER hear of a Mauser used as anything but "support" for the Maxims?

    The 03 actually saw little action in WWI, except with the Marines, you can argue that the 1917 Enfield was the better US rifle in WWI at least, too...Sgt York wouldn't argue with you!

    And what BA rifles are STILL issued to front-line units in Armies today, even if only in 2nd and 3rd world Armies? The SMLE and the Mosin Nagant...there are FEW Mausers still in service....







    Oh well, at least we can all agree the Carcano wasn't it, right?
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    Tank commanderA24
    Member
    Posts: 36
    (6/14/02 11:02:06 pm)
    Reply Best bolt rifle
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    Polish, I don't remember where I heard it but it goes like this:
    The Mauser is a great hunting rifle.

    The Springfield is a great target rifle.

    But the Enfield is a battle rifle.

    Earlier in the thread someone mentioned how the Nagants threw the Germans out of Russia twice, was it the rifle or the bravery of countless Russian soldiers that did it. Think how much better they would have done with SMLE's.

    TCA24

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3570
    (6/16/02 8:46:25 pm)
    Reply Re: Best bolt rifle
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    TC?

    While I agree the SMLE is a better rifle all things considered...I think you have to consider the quality of the troops involved.

    In 1914, England had a small but professional army, in which 1000 yd shooting was taught to recruits as a standard. And after mobilization, most of the new troops still were pretty intelligent and educated.

    The SMLE was not foolproof...it WAS as complicated, if not more so than any other BA design, maybe one black mark against it, at least for take down and maintenance. (i'e., bolt removal, 2 piece stock, removable magazine, etc.)

    The Mosin Nagant WAS pretty much next to foolproof. It also was pretty well suited to mass armies made up of illiterate turnip farmers who could ony judge distances in "paces."

    The Mosin Nagant was PERFECT for an army who was trained at the company level to completely strip the rifle down, throw all the parts together into a boiling 55 gallon drum and after they cook, just reach in and grab any old part and reassemble "your" rifle...which is one reason you RARELY find a "matching" MN with any wear...the illiterate peasants couldn't tell you what a serial number WAS much less read one...and after that they still WORKED much less didn't blow up. For a good comparison, ask a Mauser Man about "mismatched bolts" and see his reaction....it's not ONLY for collecting reasons....

    Throw in the fact that even IF it could be used as a "prybar," (Right, Kdub? ) and even IF it had the stock cracked from traditional slamming on the toe in a salute, and even IF mismatched completely, it STILL could hit as accurately as any other BA service rifle...(What rifle won the last International Service Rifle Match won by a BA rifle? HINT #1: it was NOT a Mauser or a Springfield. HINT #2: The Soviets won the match. ) Also consider when Carlos Hathcock was having his "duel" in Vietnam with the NVA sniper, the NVA had a WWII era 91/30 Snayperskaya....

    I guess what I'm trying to say, is I DO think the SMLE is the best battle BA rifle compared apples to apples...but just maybe only in the hands of the Tommies or Commonwealth soldiers...

    In the hands of Tsarist or Soviet conscripts, the MN was tough to beat...

    ...as was the 03 or 03A3 in the hands of a Gyrene...


    ...and maybe a 1917 Enfield in the hands of Sgt. York. (although even he maybe would have made a Carcano sing.)
















    But now even that brings up something I have to think about now...was the Carcano REALLY as bad as I think it was (see the other poll) or does it suffer a bad rap only because it was used by the Italians, arguably the WORST "modern" army in history? HHHMMmmmmm.....
    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"

    jespah
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (10/31/02 11:12:25 pm)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    I gota go with the P-14 Enfield chamberd in 303 british. I Own just about every military bolt-action built from the 98 barret to jap ariska's. Out of them all the p-14 is the most acurate and does the most damage. I pop cyotes with open sites at 100+ YDs with 180 grain spire points and it's not unusual to find a leg or torn off.

    give me a p-14 and a 1911 colt and i'd be happy for life.

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3200
    (12/13/02 9:09:58 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time....
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    Hi jespah.......and Welcome to TFF. Always great to see another HistoryNut contributing to our Forums.

    At least we agree on the M1911 part.......

    rattrucking
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (12/27/02 9:58:14 pm)
    Reply Best Battle Bolt-action of all time
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    speed and ease of use far outweigh accuracy, there for the SMLE was and is the best battle bolt action of all time. T'was the only WW1 rifle holding 10 rounds, the bolt handle lies in line w/ the trigger, (natural rise of hand puts you right on it), cock on closing uses less effort than cock on opening systems, for the average young soldier, rear sight on barrel is just as good as a reciever mounted sight, mag. box is as simple as any EVER made, unlike that wierd belgian designed nagant thing with all those diffrent leaves, front locking lugs are of No consequence, in fact on a BATTLE rifle I think there is a MINOR advantage to rear lugs, you can still slam or hammer shut a bolt with an incredible amount of junk in the chamber , not recommended, BUT do-able, WELL that should start a bit of discussion... Any one want to discuss the merits or lack there of of the old british .38-200 cartridge???

    polishshooter
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 3742
    (1/8/03 12:19:48 am)
    Reply Re: Best Battle Bolt-action of all time
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    I vote with the minority of Limeys who loved their .455 Webleys...

    "Don't hear him call you an ---hole, hear WHY he's calling you an ---hole." -------- From "A Season on the Brink"
    Last edited: Mar 7, 2003
  2. bobby00000

    bobby00000 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2006
    Messages:
    1

    I think that the french mas36 is an under dog and is one of the greatest bolt action rifles of ww2. the carcano is underated as well and has a bad reputation for some reason. i love mine and think the italians problems were lack of leader ship and dedication to the nazi cause and have herd of problems with there ammo. heres my list. some other great rifles that never really got much action would be the k31 swiss and the swedish mauser.
    1.1917 enfield
    2.enfild mk4
    3.kar 98 and 1903
    4.mas36
    5.spanish mauser
    6.polish radom
    7.berthiers
    8.arisakas
    9. m95 austrian
    10.carcano
    11.mosin nagant
    12.greek schoenaer
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