11 Rounds in 4 Seconds from a Lee Enfield .303

Discussion in 'Weapons, Technology & Equipment' started by Drew5233, Aug 21, 2015.

  1. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    Is the above possible?

    I've been reading a 1940 account today by a chap in France with the East Surrey's who states he put five rounds in two Germans that woke him up when he was sleeping in the back of a truck. He then's goes on to say how he could fire 11 rounds in 4 seconds which I'm assuming is one in the breech and a full magazine, and he taught recruits this technique handed down to him by his father who learnt it in WW1.
  2. idler

    idler GeneralList Patron

    There was a 'trick' to pull the trigger with the middle finger, so you could maintain a hold on the bolt handle. I notice he didn't claim a level of accuracy...
  3. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Fred Wilson and Drew5233 like this.
  4. smdarby

    smdarby Well-Known Member

    The British infantry at Mons in 1914 had been trained to fire 15 aimed rounds per minute, but they might be able to fire twice as fast at a large target such as the German formations in that battle (this is according to Holt's Guide) i.e. 1 round every 2 seconds.

    The video above is just under 100 rounds per minute.

    11 rounds in 4 secs is 165 rounds per minute - very unlikely in my opinion.
  5. Rualiam

    Rualiam New Member

    My grandfather was in the Commandos. He said there was so few Tommy guns at the start of the war, that they learned a trick to firing the 303, He said it wasn't very accurate,it was more for laying down covering fire. Back in the 1960's my Uncle came home from TA with a 303 and my Grandfather showed him in the back garden how it was done.They said he held the rifle at the hip height, his hand worked in a circular motion with bottom 2 fingers working the trigger and the others fingers working the bolt. My two uncles who were there still talk about to this day, they said the rate of fire was unbelievable.

    Hope this helps Andy.
  6. Blanket Stacker

    Blanket Stacker Junior Member

    165 rounds per minute assumes a 165 round magazine. The cyclic rate of fire often quoted for machine guns is a theoretical rate of fire assuming continous feed. For those 15 aimed shots in the Mad Minute the firer started with 9 in the magazine and one up the spout, but had to insert another charger of 5 rounds to complete. Quickly refilling the magazine was a part of the test that is often ignored.
    ceolredmonger likes this.
  7. ethan

    ethan Member

    3 shots per second?

    Sounds doubtful to me.
  8. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    Unless my eyes deceive me I think that's an Ishapore 2A series in 7.62mm, the very last version of the SMLE.
  9. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    Yes I agree. I noticed that at the same time that I noticed there doesn't seem to be any recoil. I've seen a lot of blank 7.62 ammo in the States but never any blank .303.

    I've never fired any blanks though. Would there be any recoil when fired in a bolt action? I would think it would be very little.
  10. Drew5233

    Drew5233 #FuturePilot Patron 1940 Obsessive

    I've fired blanks in a Lee Enfield .303 and there's no recoil on the other hand I ended up with a sore shoulder when firing live rounds on the same rifle. Blank ammunition loaded in the magazine was notorious for jamming when trying to reload quickly. I presume this was because the end of the round was crimped and didn't feed into the breech as well and a round with a bullet on the end.
  11. Owen

    Owen -- --- -.. MOD

    Years ago I had a WW2 Veteran tell me that way of fast firing a Lee-Enfield.
  12. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    Reproduced the 'Mad Minute' for TV programmes a couple of times - both with experienced armourers who used SMLE's in their spare time and were very experienced with the weapons. We also managed to get re-enactors, albeit again, pretty experienced with the weapon, to manage the feat too. Problems I remember were with ammunition as .303 rounds were of differing quality and the strips used for loading rounds into the magazine getting bent.

    Correct me if I'm wrong, but as the British Army policy of WW1 and certainly in 1940 was always about musketry - i.e. aimed fire and marksmanship - as opposed to what came to be called 'prophylactic' fire from massed automatics - (an American term I believe?) I'm not sure that banging off 11 rounds in 4 seconds would be something the army would expect to be a regular event?

    I remember a veteran friend describing an incident in Burma towards the end of the war when a large number of his men approached a Japanese village and discovered some Japanese soldiers hiding, letting fly with every weapon; rifles, stens, pistols. They killed a lot of monkeys and shredded several trees, but the Japanese soldiers popped up like rabbits and ran away unscathed....
  13. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    One thing I found when studying 50th Div was that so-called prophylactic fire became more common as the war went on and the infantry got more automatic weapons. Also, wartime weapons instruction (as opposed to pre-39) often left the troops with insufficient knowledge of their weapons to get the best or the most out of them. Your Burma incident does not surprise me.
    BrianM59 likes this.
  14. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    So I presume the infantry platoon of 1940 would have had rifles and a bren gun? The platoon of 1944-45 what? More sten guns and Brens presumably - but as you say, less training. The Hussars trooper I am (trying to) writing about was reputedly a good shot according to a troop sergeant - he joined up in October 1939 and died in June 1940 so some musketry training must have stuck. I've done plenty of interviews with old soldiers who wouldn't have a sten and had angry letters from (often American) enthusiasts who say they're perfectly good weapons - but presumably there's a difference between firing weapons on a range when calm and firing them in anger when your life is threatened and the adrenalin is raging. Hence Drew's vet putting five rounds into two men - I have seen what .303 rounds do and I can't see anyone getting up after that?
  15. Dave55

    Dave55 Atlanta, USA

    My friend told me that when he was a tanker in the early eighties they were taught to be on constant lookout for the flash of a wire guided missle launch and if they saw one to fire their machine guns at the general location. The theory was that if they could get the guy operating the wire guidence to flinch or duck that the missle would fly so widely off course that there wouldn't be time to bring it back on target. Seems to make sense.
  16. TTH

    TTH Senior Member

    By 1944, it was common for British sections in the field to have two Brens instead of the WE one. The 50th Div also supplemented its firepower in Normandy a little by scrounging some Brownings and captured MGs. The 9th Australian Division and the Australians generally went even further in that direction; their rifle sections had two SMGs each by 1944-45, and additional Owens and Brens would often by added. Australian infantry battalions also had their own MMG platoons as well as the divisional Vickers battalion. As to the quality of weapons training, an officer in 2nd Cheshire in Normandy commented that his reinforcements were willing and brave enough, but often lacked the skill or training to make the most of their equipment.
  17. dbf

    dbf Moderatrix MOD

    An observation by my father on using Brens to suppress counter-attack:

  18. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

    I seem to recall that the havildar was so annoyed he sent some men after the Japanese and they caught up and killed them - without using rifles or sten guns.
  19. BrianM59

    BrianM59 Senior Member

  20. brithm

    brithm Senior Member

    Interesting Answers to Correspondents in the mail about 11 rounds in a Lee Enfield

    Attached Files:

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