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Old September 27, 2012, 10:31 PM   #107
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Join Date: May 11, 2007
Location: NSW, Australia
Posts: 909
And you have to wonder why Enfield designed the Pattern 1914 if the LE was so great?

Can't let that one go ... I have discussed this many times in the past. The reason was that a faction within the British MOD and Ministry misunderstood the success of some Boer tactics during that war and attributed it to the rifle - namely the Mauser. This was inherently wrong, but the power play that existed at that time led to a push by certain factions within defense to attempt a rifle based on the Mauser design.

Please note, that as soon as WW1 started, as soon as the SMLE saw action in the first few weeks of the war, reports from soldiers and commanders at the front, overwhelmingly approved the success and superiority of the SMLE. This is precisely why the P14 never saw the light of anything but rear echelon duty after that, and at best a limited sniping role. The P14 was a home guard weapon in the end.

If the P14 was such a success, why did Britain not take the time to tool up for mass production of the P14 during the intervening peace years leading up to WW2? It is because the SMLE was a proven battle rifle in ruggedness, accuracy and design. Instead, the MOD merely tweaked the existing Lee Enfield to produce the rifle No4 Mk1 - there had been zero continuing interest in the P14 since the early weeks of WW1.

So a better question for this argument would be ... and you have to wonder why Enfield did not pursue the P14 if the P14 was great? The P14 was a short lived experiment ... it was a dead end as far as the British MOD were concerned as soon as the SMLE got into action during the early weeks of WW1.

Done ...

( For anyone else who encounters arguments about the P14 in future, feel free to cut and paste the text above - I do get tired of retyping it every 6 months ... )
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Last edited by Tikirocker; September 28, 2012 at 03:28 AM.
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