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Remembered Today:

Enfield Mad Minute Video


albert
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Anyone know of a good one? There was one posted several years back but I can't find it. I checked on youtube.

This is the only one I've ever seen.

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The Broomhandle Mauser footage is pretty good too!!

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For statistical purposes - that's 22 rounds fired in 58 seconds, with three pauses to re-charge the magazine.

The thing is though, it's not that difficult to get that sort of rate of fire in a minute on a Lee-Enfield, but it's the accuracy that was important at the time (15 hits on target minimum to qualify). Without seeing how his shots did, it makes comparison to the period mad-minute a bit pointless.

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The thing is though, it's not that difficult to get that sort of rate of fire in a minute on a Lee-Enfield, but it's the accuracy that was important at the time

I would suspect faced by oncoming hordes of "Feldgrau" atopped with Pickelhaube'; accuracy was the least of your worries & rapid fire was effective by pure volume?? :lol:

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I would suspect faced by oncoming hordes of "Feldgrau" atopped with Pickelhaube'; accuracy was the least of your worries & rapid fire was effective by pure volume?? :lol:

From what I've seen, in the early days of the war at least it was very much pick a target and shoot to hit. I recall reading an account of one soldier years ago, who had enlisted at the declaration of war and managed to end up in the front line only a short while later, with virtually no training. He described how, faced with the oncoming German hordes, the old soldier next to him carefully unloaded his ammunition pouches, laying out the chargers before him. He then proceeded to fire all his ammunition, saving the empty chargers as he did it. Then when he'd run out, he picked up the spent casings, reloaded the chargers with them, reloaded his pouches with those, and scarpered!

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  • 1 month later...

On December 26, I tried my hand, for the first time, at a version of the "Mad Minute." In a cold, driving rain storm, with melting snow, vast puddles and mud (although I shot from a sheltered area, I had to walk repeatedly through the muck to check the target) at my rifle range, I fired my 1915 SMLE Mk III (RSAF at Enfield-manufactured) loaded with ten .303 rounds in approximately 35-40 seconds at a thug-pictured target 100 yards away. The rifle worked perfectly and I hit the target 10 out of 10 times, with one tight grouping of three shots in an inch triangle in the target's neck where it meets the right shoulder, one in the center of the face, two in the lower neck, three in the heart and one in the right upper chest.

While happy with the results, I can only marvel at the standard the Army maintained in 1914 and Sgt. Snoxall's feat. Truly remarkable.

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This is the only one I've ever seen.

Points to note:

Did not remove thumb from bolt handle - fired with second or third finger. Means poor "pull" and likely to "snatch" at it causing poorer accuracy.

Must have stated with 10 in the magazine and 1 "up the spout".

Fired 10 (appears to throw one clear in stoppage after first round - "double feed" indicates incorrect loading of the magazine)!

Loaded five but not "counting rounds" as he fires a sixth time with no "reaction" and carries out the IA.

Loaded 10 rounds but only gets 7 "away".

Pulled rifle from shoulder and removed head from "sight picture" each time he "manipulated" the bolt - both "no no" in my training with the SMLE (!)

All in all - rounds "down range" but definitely unsure of accuracy. All unlike my reading of the "mad minute".

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I'm inclined to think these modern re-enactions are somewhat spurious. The site mentioned above includes a chap firing a No 4; but with the rifle supported on blocks. I would also agree Starlights comments. An expert rifleman - e.g a member of the Small Arms School Corps of the British army (if that still exists) should achieve 25 rounds per minute with fair accuracy - all within the inner at 200 yds- I have seen this done with the No 4, although this was some 60 years ago. I expect many regulars of the 1914 army would match that.

Old Tom

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From what I've seen, in the early days of the war at least it was very much pick a target and shoot to hit. I recall reading an account of one soldier years ago, who had enlisted at the declaration of war and managed to end up in the front line only a short while later, with virtually no training. He described how, faced with the oncoming German hordes, the old soldier next to him carefully unloaded his ammunition pouches, laying out the chargers before him. He then proceeded to fire all his ammunition, saving the empty chargers as he did it. Then when he'd run out, he picked up the spent casings, reloaded the chargers with them, reloaded his pouches with those, and scarpered!

Amusing - and probably pre-war habit.

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Points to note:

Did not remove thumb from bolt handle - fired with second or third finger. Means poor "pull" and likely to "snatch" at it causing poorer accuracy.

Must have stated with 10 in the magazine and 1 "up the spout".

Fired 10 (appears to throw one clear in stoppage after first round - "double feed" indicates incorrect loading of the magazine)!

Loaded five but not "counting rounds" as he fires a sixth time with no "reaction" and carries out the IA.

Loaded 10 rounds but only gets 7 "away".

Pulled rifle from shoulder and removed head from "sight picture" each time he "manipulated" the bolt - both "no no" in my training with the SMLE (!)

All in all - rounds "down range" but definitely unsure of accuracy. All unlike my reading of the "mad minute".

The video was shot at the Lee Enfield Rifle Association's shoot in 2007 marking the centenary of the No1 MkIII (1907).

This particular "Mad Minute" practice consisted of a Fig11 target at 200 yds. The shooter starts at the "standing alert" position, loaded and "ready". On the appearance of the target, the shooter drops to the ground and fires as many as possible in the remaining time. Scoring is by a hit in a vertical central band down the middle of the Fig11 - mimicking the targetry of 1907.

Using this method of "Mad Minute", it is just about possible to get off 25 aimed shots.

No documentary account has yet come to light describing how the pre-WW1 army carried out the Mad Minute practice and achieved levels of 32-36 rounds (Sgt Snoxall's achievement was in fact only one or two rounds above the average for a skilled shot). I personally believe that the practice must have been shot from the "fire trench supported" position - with the shooter standing in a trench and using a sandbag to support the rifle. This method would allow an instant first shot, and frees up the arms (ie by not supporting the rifle on your elbows) to enable greater dexterity and speed in reloading. At the LERA shoot in the video, I got off 25 shots; using the firetrench method I've managed 30.

The "second finger on trigger" method is faster than the conventional method for firing the rifle, but does take a fair bit of practice to gain the advantage.

I'm sure a few people on this forum know who the shooter is. He is using a mis-matched old SMLE that is so worn out that the issue bore gauges drop right through the barrel. In that Mad Minute practice, I think he got most of the shots into an 8" group...... I can vouch he is an excellent shot with both military and civilian weapons.

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  • 9 months later...

Here are some websites related to the action of the Lee Enfield rifle. Borden Battery

Lee Enfield 1915 Lithgow SMLE Rifle - YouTube Video

A closer look at my Lithgow-built Lee Enfield No1 Mike SMLE. It retains the original features, including volley sights and a magazine cutoff. It was army rebarreled in 1935 with a heavy barrel for marksman use. An 8 minute video with details on the rifle. [CEF Study Group - Oct 2010]

Lee-Enfield 1917 SMLE Shoot - YouTube Video

1917 BSA Lee-Enfield No1 MkIII* has ten rounds put through it [CEF Study Group - Oct 2010]

http://www.youtube.com/watch#!v=tfulvd2EwVw&feature=related

Lee Enfield SMLE Rifle - YouTube Video

The Lee-Enfield was, in various marks and models, the British Army's standard bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle for over 60 years from (officially) 1895[3] until 1957,[4] although it remained in British service well into the early 1960s and is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations.[5] In its many versions, it was the standard army service rifle for the first half of the 20th century, and was adopted by Britain's colonies and Commonwealth allies, including India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. [CEF Study Group - Oct 2010]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5_x1cpfjwY&p=2D99367D1763700A&playnext=1&index=6

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Here are some websites related to the action of the Lee Enfield rifle. Borden Battery

Lee Enfield 1915 Lithgow SMLE Rifle - YouTube Video

A closer look at my Lithgow-built Lee Enfield No1 Mike SMLE. It retains the original features, including volley sights and a magazine cutoff. It was army rebarreled in 1935 with a heavy barrel for marksman use. An 8 minute video with details on the rifle. [CEF Study Group - Oct 2010]

Lee-Enfield 1917 SMLE Shoot - YouTube Video

1917 BSA Lee-Enfield No1 MkIII* has ten rounds put through it [CEF Study Group - Oct 2010]

http://www.youtube.c...feature=related

Lee Enfield SMLE Rifle - YouTube Video

The Lee-Enfield was, in various marks and models, the British Army's standard bolt-action, magazine-fed, repeating rifle for over 60 years from (officially) 1895[3] until 1957,[4] although it remained in British service well into the early 1960s and is still found in service in the armed forces of some Commonwealth nations.[5] In its many versions, it was the standard army service rifle for the first half of the 20th century, and was adopted by Britain's colonies and Commonwealth allies, including India, Australia, New Zealand, and Canada. [CEF Study Group - Oct 2010]

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5_x1cpfjwY&p=2D99367D1763700A&playnext=1&index=6

I wish I had a video camera in the ealy 60's when the FN was introduced to the Cdn army in Wainwright Alberta training area, the whole Cdn brigade was in attendance, the soldier with the FN was dressed in the new

battle uniform. For comparisum the soldier with the Lee Enfield was dressed in the old traditional wool battle dress. they both commenced firing at several targets, the FN had a failure? while the Lee kept up its POP POP POP much to the chagrin of the brass & laughter from the ranks

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I think it is possible that we put too much emphasis on the the British Army's 'mad minute' skills in the war. The New Armies were notoriously bad shots anyway and even the Regulars in 1914 had many reservists who had not handled a rifle for years. Did those skills make much difference? A recent talk by Dr Dieter Storz from the Bavarian Army Museum suggests not. It was entitled 'Mons - A German View' - Mons of course was the battle generally used to illustrate the deadliness of the the British Army with the rifle. Using figures from the archives Dr Storz was able to show that the German casualties at Mons were just over 4,000 - a fraction of those claimed by the British, and just about what they themselves suffered. The German accounts do refer to the rifle fire being heavy and accurate, but the advancing infantry did what any soldier does when bullets are cracking past your ears - they went flat. Seeing lines of men dropping the British would believe they were hitting hard but truly most of those were simply dropping into cover and then advancing by short rushes as they were trained to do. As for accuracy in the mad minute- studies tend to show that what matters in battle is the weight of fire and not the accuracy of the individual shooter. S.W.

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  • 1 month later...

I wish I had a video camera in the ealy 60's when the FN was introduced to the Cdn army in Wainwright Alberta training area, the whole Cdn brigade was in attendance, the soldier with the FN was dressed in the new

battle uniform. For comparisum the soldier with the Lee Enfield was dressed in the old traditional wool battle dress. they both commenced firing at several targets, the FN had a failure? while the Lee kept up its POP POP POP much to the chagrin of the brass & laughter from the ranks

I remember "shooting" this program a few years ago at the US Army Infantry School at Fort Benning. If you look closely, that's me shooting eight of the ten rifles from my collection. The SMLE in question is a BSA made in 1918 with the magazine cutoff intact and no "*". There is a fill plug where the unit disc was. It was brought back by a Doughboy who carried it as a member of the US 30th Division in the BEF. It is a good shooter- much better than I. Because the 27th and 30th Divisions served proudly with their Dominion allies, I collect and exhibit the weapons they were issued and used to pierce the Hindenburg Line and cross the St. Quintin Canal. Does anybody have Lewis accessories to sell or trade?

Dave Stieghan

aka, dbar1918

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  • 4 years later...
QUOTE (Dan Brock @ Oct 29 2009, 02:58 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
This is the only one I've ever seen.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6m1yN-3n0FU

Points to note:

Did not remove thumb from bolt handle - fired with second or third finger. Means poor "pull" and likely to "snatch" at it causing poorer accuracy.

Must have stated with 10 in the magazine and 1 "up the spout".

Fired 10 (appears to throw one clear in stoppage after first round - "double feed" indicates incorrect loading of the magazine)!

Loaded five but not "counting rounds" as he fires a sixth time with no "reaction" and carries out the IA.

Loaded 10 rounds but only gets 7 "away".

Pulled rifle from shoulder and removed head from "sight picture" each time he "manipulated" the bolt - both "no no" in my training with the SMLE (!)

All in all - rounds "down range" but definitely unsure of accuracy. All unlike my reading of the "mad minute".

It was me firing and it was a competition no time to repeat and keep doing takes and making a perfect film, I was unaware I was being filmed. An had one chance at the competition.

The first round fired the empty case spun around and did not eject so had to be thrown clear, not an incorrectly filled magazine.

Yes to comment about put five in did not count.

Loaded ten got 7 off thats because the target dropped at the 1 minute point

Fired at a 4 ft screen with a central fig 11 Target 22 hits on the screen and 18 were on the figure target, distance 200 yds.

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Paul,

Not bad, although you know you can do better! B+ only. I think I'll try this this weekend, it seems like fun, I'll have to use an NRA at 200 but should be able to calculate the results from the spread of shots.

Rod

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Here's me competing in a Mad Minute event at a ANZAC day 303 shoot a few years ago, was using my 1907 BSA MkIII

15 rounds 1min starting with 5 in magazine & 10 loose or in chargers

07BSAmain.jpg

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The New Armies were notoriously bad shots anyway and even the Regulars in 1914 had many reservists who had not handled a rifle for years. Did those skills make much difference?

I'd be surprised at that. Bearing in mind how long many were in training. My grandfather was in K2 - a Sapper. I've read his unit war diary, and when out of the front line musketry practice seemed to be an almost weekly item and at Loos and on the Somme his unit fought side by side with the regulars without any issues.

John

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The Musketry Pamphlet of the time states "Better a good average standard by all, than phenomenal skill by a few individuals" I doubt if many actually could even achieve 15 rds a minute the Score book for Course of Musketry for the New Army lists only 1 Rapid Practice in Table B Part 2 Standard Test and low and behold:

Practice 9 Rapid

2nd Class Figure Target, Distance 200 yds, Shots 8, Lying, one minute allowed. Chamber and magazine to be empty until the command "Rapid Fire" is given. eight hits must be on the target 6 inside a 36 inch scoring ring.

The image is as close a representation of the First Class figure Target I can find the only difference is the center part would be as per the shape below. These Targets have been replicated for an Army WW1 Shoot next week.

f11f

f24c

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HI there,

Here are two that were done as part of a friendly "competition"....

As 303man also eludes to, the target is as described... The 1914 manual seems to be different than the New Army one in that there is the 15 round rapid from 300yds...

Nice job, 303man, on the target, I might add.

Cheers,

Rob

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