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Old September 19, 2020, 12:34 AM   #26
44 AMP
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I'll have to check but I recall reading that the SMLE's were issued with a spare magazine. Not for use as a loaded rapid reload, but as a ready replacement if the soldier lost the mag from his rifle.

The SMLE magazine doesn't have the kind of feed lips found on later design detachable magazines, and it seems to me that any kind of rough handling of the loaded mag outside the rifle can easily pop rounds loose.

Do remember that until our fairly recent all volunteer army, armies consisted of a few career types, a number of conscripts, and some people who chose military service over a jail sentence.

So, a General's distrust of the common trooper wasn't entirely a matter of class snobbery.
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Old September 19, 2020, 01:26 PM   #27
T. O'Heir
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"...SMLE's were issued with a spare magazine..." Nope. No. 1 Mk III series rifles mags actually had a wee chain holding 'em to the rifle. Troopies were issued with 5 round mag chargers(aka stripper clips). Ditto for No. 4 Mk I series rifles. It was 5 because anything bigger would be a gigantic pain to carry.
The mag cut off was dispensed with after the early battles of W.W. I showed how useless it was and because it simplified manufacturing.
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Old September 19, 2020, 07:43 PM   #28
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We understand the argument you are trying to make, but No 1 Mk IIIs and No 4 Mk Is are not SMLEs.
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Old September 19, 2020, 11:14 PM   #29
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The magazine cutoff met tactical requirements that were based on theories that were tested and found wanting. The only time I have found a magazine cutoff useful is firing single shots at the range. The Germans did not adopt it in their M1888 Commision rifle, the Italians did not adopt it in the M1891 Carcano nor the Russians in the Mosin-Nagant.
I wouldn't say that British officers and generals didn't trust their troops, rather it was a more formal army from a more formal country, the officers were expected to lead, the NCOs to ensure the troops obeyed.
I served in the Army 1967-1971, knew plenty of fine young men who enlisted voluntarily or answered their country's call. R. Lee Ermey admitted he was a "judge recommended" enlistee.
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