07 April 2006

Range report for the Lee Enfield No.4 MkI

The only real barometer of a weapon's performance is what impact it has on a hard drive. You can talk about your ballistics gelatin and modeling clay until you're blue in the face, not me brother. 2 - 6 metal platters evenly spaced and secured inside a metal box, that's where it's at!

The Lee Enfield has a long battlefield history, and a richly deserved reputation as a battle rifle. The British soldiers were trained to use volley fire, a method of rapidly cycling the weapon to produce covering fire, that was only possible because of the rifle's velvety smooth action. This was so effective that it's said the German forces in WWI frequently thought they were being engaged by machine guns. This is all the more impressive when you realize that the rifle is fed from a 10 round box magazine that was charged with stripper clips.

Battle Ready

The rifle is chambered in British .303, a rimmed 30 caliber cartridge that packs an adequate punch for nearly all North American game and delivers about 3500 joules, depending on the powder load.

I can hear you asking though, "What what's all this about hard drives?"

Here's a neat and clean entry hole;

Like a 30 caliber cookie cutter

A much less neat exit hole;


Note that this round penetrated the densest part of the hard drive, the core of the spindle. After exiting the hard drive, the round hit a rock the size of my head that was on the hillside directly behind where we set up our targets. It still had enough energy to not only split the rock, but also start a smoldering brush fire that had to be stomped out. You many sneer, but I was impressed.

This was Sellier and Bellot 180gr FMJ at about 40 yards from a standing position using the battle sights. It took a few rounds to get dialed in, and once I figured it out the shots were pretty consistent. This rifle has a 1947 manufacture stamp and it's a tack driver. Like the 30-06 though, a comparaible round, the ballistics get a little iffy past 100 yards, and some significant elevation is required. This is why the rifle comes with graduated sights as well as battle sights. It's a heavy rifle though, and it didn't take very long for me to get tired and my placement started to wander. On the plus side, the heavy weight of the rifle set off the recoil real well. 

A heavy, but comfortable rifle.

Over all, it's a good performer and an excellent rifle, especially considering that I spent less than $100 on it (minus security and FFL transfer).


Vicariance said...

Why'd you have to use an 82 Gig drive?!

Roninspoon said...

Well, to be fair I didn't have to. It was no longer functional though, if that makes you feel any better.