What nonsense. I was in Germany watching a British crew switch out a main gun on a tank. They had to pull the tube out through the back of the turret. More than a days work there. The lead man actually said to me "We are the only ones to have that set up". He was actually proud of it. I just answered " I'll bet." A U.S. 60 series tank tube change takes 1/2 an hour. An experienced crew, 15 minutes. It takes the British a couple wars to improve on a rifle? It is just a mind set they have. Who tried to copy them? Some Afgahns using old re-rod and railroad spikes. I seem to remember the '03 having some royalty problems with Paul Mauser. The Arisaka has some definite Mauser qualities. The MAS 36 leans toward the SMLE, but is so bizarre I would rate it as a distinctive design. I would rate the MAS 36 way stronger than a British bolt action anyway.
I can only think that the people up set over down grading the British bolt action are hardcore collectors and shooters, not to be swayed by facts or logic.