Best WWII bolt action.

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by Ursus, Aug 4, 2006.

?

Which woul'd you pick as the best WWII bolt action?

Poll closed Aug 7, 2006.
  1. Kar 98k

    50.0%
  2. Lee-Enfield MK IV

    50.0%
  3. Mossin Nagant

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  4. Other (specify)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    Which of the following wou'ld you say was the best WWII bolt action? Personally, I'll pick the Enfield.
  2. Kentuckian

    Kentuckian New Member

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    I'd have to go with the Mauser.
  3. I agree. The Mauser was by far the best overall, though the Enfield had the advantage of a greater ammo capacity. The Mosins are great rifles and did the job assigned to them more than adequately, but they're not in the same league with the Mauser in terms of design and servicability.
  4. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Oh, I can't let you get away with it, PS! :eek: :cool: :p

    The Mauser was the best SPORTING rifle to see action in WWII, but was not the best MILITARY BA rifle, EVER.

    The FIRST criteria you HAVE to use, is "Did anyone armed with it EVER win a war?"

    In the case of the MAUSER, the answer is "NO,unless BOTH sides used them!":D:cool: So the Mauser is in the same league as the MAS36, the Arisakas, and the Carcanos...

    The Mauser action, and specifically the bolt, is WAY to complicated and fragile for conscripts or less than well trained troops to use in the field, ESPECIALLY in any type of "climate" that is not basically "temperate."

    Now, GRANTED, many US guys are going to swear by the 03, and then tell you IT was essentially a Mauser too...but AGAIN, it never REALLY saw much actual wartime service EXCEPT with the USMC, who do not qualify as "conscripts" or "not well trained." Remember, most DOUGHBOYS were armed with P17 Enfields in WWI, that were SUCCESSFUL in the mud, not as mechanically complicated, and ALMOST was adopted after the war as standard...if not for the USMC RIFLE TEAM!!!! The Springfield is (YEAH I want one, and YEAH I'm going to get slammed by some 90 year young China Marine!:D ) just like the Mauser, a wonderfully accurate, strong, SPORTING action....

    The top two BATTLE BA rifles, of WWII, as your original premise states, HAS to me (1) Enfield, and (2) Mosin Nagant.

    One was reliable, accurate, fast, with almost as much firepower as a semi-auto, the other was reliable, accurate, mechanically simple, easily maintained, and "Peasant-Proof" with little or no maintenance. BOTH used RIMMED cartridges that ANYONE will tell you is the BEST and STRONGEST military small arm round there is, and not JUST for headspacing issues! (Russia and Britain had the right idea, MAKE BAs, semi's and autos FUNCTION with a rimmed round, not "settle" for a rimless.) (Why did Mauser "revolutionize" military rifles with his rimless rounds? HE COULDN'T GET HIS POS "DAINTY" ROTARY MAGAZINES TO FEED THEM!)

    And BOTH are still in active service with different armies, around the world TODAY. In fact the Canadian Sniper rifle in Afghanistan today, is a SMLE No.4. And the Mosin Sniper rifle is STILL used in RUSSIA much less China and other satellites.


    While Mausers (and Springfields, et al,) sit on collector's racks, on shooting ranges, or in "sporter stocks," where they belong....;) :cool:
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  5. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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  6. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Ursus, I just like to tweak PS and the fact he thinks everything mechanical that is GERMAN was made by the left hand of GOD, or at least one of the Twelve!

    You should see us argue WWII TANKS....;) :D

    And if I didn't say it before, WELCOME. I especially like the international flavor added to the site!

    And being a Republican Conservative whose Patron Saint is Ronald Reagan, El Salvador is near and dear to my heart.

    And if maybe we could get Daniel Ortega (and while we're at it, maybe Jimmy Carter?) to get treated at the same Cuban Hospital Fidel is at, our neighbor Nicaragua would finally be completely free as well!



    And always remember..."!En la Clase de Espanol, no se usan malas palabras!"

    (An exchange student friend of mine in High School from El Salvador taught us all the swear words in Spanish, and we taught him all the one's we knew from English, and when Senora Spaeth heard us USE any in class, it was...."!Miguel, escribe ciento veces, por favor!":) )
    Last edited: Aug 5, 2006
  7. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    Hey Polish.....can't let this one pass! Having been in the Biomedical field (I retired from Medtronic....world's largest manufacturer of implantable BioMed devices) for a number of years, let me tell you that, in general, Cuban hospitals are excellent.

    In the larger cities, the hospitals are pretty much state-of-the-art. Most of the hi-tech equipment comes from the European Union countries and is of a quality comparable to most U.S. hospitals.

    In addition, Cuban medical schools turn out excellent doctors. I met a number of them that came over on the Murial Boat Lift and are now practicing in the U.S., and their training and knowledge was equal to that of their American counterparts.

    OK......now back to the rifles........:D
  8. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    But you have to drive (push?) a '52 Chevy to get to the Emergency Room!

    C'mon, X, you KNOW that the "Best of Medical Care" in Cuba has to be reserved for those "More Equal Than the Others," just like ALL other dictatorships. I just BET you the sugar-cane workers or the cigar-rollers don't get anywhere NEAR the care Fidel is getting, no matter WHAT Hollywood or Cuban Propaganda says.....
  9. Welcome to TFF, Ursus ("Bear" in Latin :D)!

    So I've heard as well, X, but is it really true that when the Cuban docs are low on blood plasma they still substitute Cuba Libras? :D ;) Just kidding, just kidding! ;)

    Of course not, Polish! :D That is a categorical necessity! ;) You sell the Mauser rifle--particularly the Mauser Karibiner achtzehn hundert acht und neunzehn--much too short. They certainly worked well enough to mow down British troops at the Somme in 1916--and on Omaha Beach in 1944-- quite handily indeed, not to mention countless other engagements in two world wars. Indeed, they worked so well that the Wehrmacht of WWII did not believe it necessary to design and issue a new bolt action battle rifle, which they certainly could have done had they wished. The Mauser is the strongest bolt action design ever made, bar none, and the most positive in terms of functionality. Logically, your argument that no army that utilized the Mauser ever won a war--while technically true--is irrelevant. Germany (fortunately!) lost both world wars for a great variety of reasons, both economic and political, none of which had anything to do with a faulty battle rifle! I've handled and shot virtually all of the major WWII battle rifles at one time or another (as have you, I have no doubt), and none functions as smoothly and reliably as the Mauser. The Enfield and the Mosin were certainly fine battle implements. You'll get no argument from me on that, but so too was the Mauser. Yes, the Mosin is a much simpler design than the Mauser and that has its advantages in terms of manufacture. Of course, they had to issue them with a 20 oz. ball peen hammer as standard equipment just so the troops could get them loaded and the bolt closed, and there is that "minor" issue of a useless safety! ;) Yet, the Mosin is also much simpler than the SMLE, and even you do not question the quality of the Enfield. I would argue as well that your "peasant proof" theory only holds true with regard to Stalin's cannon fodder, not well-trained German, British, or American troops. I've read countless accounts written by soldiers on both sides during the world wars, as have you. The German troops complain about many things--the food, lack of artillery support, miserable living conditions, and the like, but I've yet to read an account complaining about the functionality of the Mauser K98, except perhaps its rate of fire as compared to the American Garand. But then, we're talking about bolt action rifles here, not semi-autos. Currently I own two 98s, both of which are still in battle configuration. I can honestly say I have no rifles--even my modern Remingtons and Winchesters--that function more smoothly, reliably, and accurately than these 60+ year old examples of the rifle-makers art.

    What Polish says above is quite true, Ursus. We have this kind of argument this all the time, mostly for the intellectual exercise and the pure fun of discussion. Of course, Polish is invariably wrong, but what can I say? :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 6, 2006
  10. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    Sorry PS! The Mauser is NOT the strongest action, by post-war blue-pill torture test! The ones tested were the Model 70 Winchester, the KAR98, a Sringfield 03, and an Arisaka 7.7...and they blew in that order, except the Arisaka never blew, even long after all the rest had blown up! It just stripped the threads off the barrel..and it accepted a new barrel with no damage to the receiver!

    Well. actually only the Model 70 Winchester blew BEFORE the K98...but then again, since you will claim some lineage, you will say,"SEE??? The Arisaka which is going away the strongest action is KINDA a copy of the Mauser!!!":p

    The only thing that MOWED down the Brits at the Somme were the German Maxims....at the same time the Brits were only issueing 2 MGs per Battalion, the Germans had over 20. (Because they actually had a GOOD rifle they didn't need as many????) The German's NEVER considered their rifles as anything other than SUPPORT for MGs, just like in WWII. (Again, the main OFFENSIVE and DEFENSIVE firepower of the company was MG 34s and 42s...) If the rifle is meant to be SLUNG while the poor soldier is humping two ammo boxes for the Maxims or MG34s, they would have been better off woth something lighter and cheaper in BOTH wars!


    However, TWICE, in WWI, once in '14 with ONE Battalion armed with NO MGS, just their Smellys and again in '17 with TWO battalions and NO MGS, British regular Infantry thrown into the gaps stopped two German OFFENSIVES cold BEHIND the line, BEHIND the trenches in OPEN ground, BEHIND the artillery lines, with "rapid, Accurate prone rifle fire" ALONE. And in BOTH cases the German after action report cited "rapid, intense MACHINE GUN FIRE" as the reason the offensive stalled.

    No, if you intend to USE the rifle in a battle, it HAS to be the Enfield. And I ONLY give the edge to the Enfield because of the 10 round mag.....and the fact it can be worked and fired accurately and quickly from the shoulder, not like the straight bolt Mosins and Mausers. And because of the sights and bolt, the Springfield has it over the Mauser. And while I'm at it, the Mannlicher M95 Steyr has it over the Mauser too....lighter, more firepower, easier reloads....better quality...:cool:

    SO Mausers rank somewhere between Arisakas and Carcanos, but just above Lebels and Berthiers in the "Battle Rifle" rankings....:cool: :cool: :cool: ;) :p
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  11. Polish, you're using a red herring again!!!! For shame! Aristotle is probably spinning in his grave and your logic profs at college are rolling their eyes in dismay. :D I didn't argue that the Mauser could shoot faster than the SMLE, only that the overall design of the Mauser as a reliable battle rifle was better in an engineering sense. If rate of fire is to be the sole criterion, then we should be comparing the SMLE with the Schmeiser or the Garand. Besides, the Mauser is much prettier than the SMLE. :p
  12. Ursus

    Ursus New Member

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    Got it right pistolenshutze! that's what Ursus mean. And I really have liked the exchange between you and polish. And about swearing in Spanish whenever in doubt, feel free to ask me.
    I still take the enfield.
    Last edited: Aug 6, 2006
  13. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    You ought to check out my thread in C&R on my trevails with my "new" Mark III 2A...I MAY have to take back some of the nice things I said about the Enfield since I detail stripped it...it DEFINITELY is not as "robust" as I thought it was... so I just MAY be leaning back to the Mosin! If you can't do the old drill...fire 5-grip it like a bat at the muzzle and whack-a-Fritz -reload and shoot the Hitlerite in the head at 200..." It don't QUALIFY....:D


    And PS is right, Mausers ARE "Pretty..." most HUNTERS would HATE to not have a sleek sexy rotary magazine all inside the nice lines of the rifle, not an UGLY militarily superior and more reliable removable BOX or single stack MANNLICHER style mag hanging underneath...but there IS a reason you can buy retrofit kits to make your 700 take DETACHABLE mags....

    And when I see those few "trench" mausers with the god awful looking 25 round mags hanging from them (My Bro-in-law has one!) and the kits to make them occasionally show up at Sarco, then you REALLY understand the "Enfield Envy" of the guys who actually had to USE a mauser in battle against them ...;)
  14. OK, Polish, there you go trying to use a single criterion and surrepticiously extrapolating that criterion to argue that the rifle as a whole was deficient. In logic we call that an "Ignoratio Elenchi" fallacy. It might also fall under the "converse accident" fallacy as well. :D Using that standard as the sole means of evaluation we would have to consider the M1 Garand a defficient battle rifle, for it too had no detachable magazine. In fact, it was darn near impossible to reload the Garand a single round at a time (which is easy with a Mauser or an SMLE). It is interesting to note as well that, while the SMLE did have a detachable mag, it was not normally loaded that way. The Brits loaded it using a clip they fed into the detachable magazine from the breech, a method not at all dissimilar to the method used by the Germans to load their Mauser 98s, albeit, admittedly, with fewer rounds than the SMLE.

    I must agree, the SMLE was, and is, a fine weapon. It is rugged, accurate, and functional (and it is also as ugly as a Texas cowpie in mid-July, but that is irrelevant ;) ). But so too was the Mauser 98K rugged, accurate, and highly reliable. Oh, and there is another possible retort: The Mauser bolt can be removed easily with just the movement of a small lever, repaired or replaced if necessary, and reinserted in seconds. Try that with an SMLE without small tools! :eek: :D Not to mention, try a full disassembly of an SMLE (as you recently did!), including complete removal of the stock from all metal. With a Mauser that can be done in a few seconds and reassembled just as quickly; with an SMLE one needs special tools (at least a very long screwdriver) to even get the butt stock off, assuming the lug holding it to the action is not frozen. Doing that in the field to replace a broken stock could be quite a hassle. Of course, with a Mosin the troops just used a bigger hammer or resorted to their Fritz-stickers. :D
  15. polishshooter

    polishshooter Active Member

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    No PS, the rotary mag IS the reason Paul von HAD to go Rimless! Now GRANTED, the rimless rounds derived from the Mauser rounds are OUTSTANDING (the 8x57 is kinda like the drunkard great grand Dad nobody likes to talk about standing in the background to some GREAT rounds like the .30-06 et al....) You have to admit for especially a BOLT ACTION rifle, but for ANY military weapon that will be used and abused exponentially more than any sporting round, the rimmed is so much better for strength, headspacing, extraction, etc. It is NOT actually the detachable magazine that is the the ticket, although if the Brits DID issue a few with each rifle and taught the technique, the Smelly's would have been that much MORE devastating.

    The M1 actually is more of a Mannlicher type mag, with the enbloc clip, which is FASTER than any "stripper," but is offset by the fact you HAD to have a clip or it's a single shot. Loading a Garand one at a time is easy, and how you shoot slow fire matches, but the only option REALLY was 1 or 8...no topping off. And "twisting" a couple of rounds together in a clip you could load two, so after they fired you only reloaded one full clip for the 10 round rapid fire stages but it's a pain, and would never work in combat.

    (Which incidentally led to LARGER than anticipated ammo requirements, more so than JUST because it was a semi, even more proportionately MORE than LATER with the M14 or 16s....GIs who had fired just a few rounds or half a mag were just as likely to pop off all that was left in the general direction of the Japs or Jerrys and then reload completely, than eject what's left and have to deal with 3 or 4 loose rounds in their pockets! Used to drive the non-coms crazy, but nobody wanted to have anything but a FULL rifle before the next Banzai attack!:cool: )

    That was one of the selling points of the Johnson, 10 rounds, and you COULD "top off."

    The M95 was similar, five rounds, and you either fired them all or ejected the remaining rounds and clip and recharged completely, but for sustained fire, with the clip falling out the bottom after the last shot, and how easy it was to load a new one from the top, the M95 would beat a Mauser....
  16. JohnK3

    JohnK3 New Member

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    Please forgive my ignorance, but I thought the 8X57 was developed to facilitate MACHINEGUN operation, rather than bolt-action operation. After all, wasn't German tactical doctrine to mass MGs and use bolt-action rifles as support roles for MGs?
  17. Actually, John, the 8x57 was originally developed for the Gewehr Model 1888 "Commission" rifle, which was actually a Mannlicher design, not a Mauser. It originally fired a .318 diameter bullet. When the actual Mauser design was introduced in 1898, the Germans opted for a slightly larger .323 diameter bullet and rebarrelled the old 88s, in most cases, to handle the larger diameter slug. It is true, however, that German tactical doctrine did make far greater use of machine guns (during both World Wars) than the other Western powers and the rimless design of the 8x57 certainly facilitated smooth function in the Maxim MGs of WWI and the MG 34s of WWII. It is much more difficult to get smooth functioning in an MG with rimmed ammo, which is one reason the old Gatling Gun (45-70) had such a bad reputation for jamming.
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