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Cut Down Lee Enfield

Article about: I am still 100% certain that this was a RE modified weapon. The fact that the picture is taken in the Hill 60 museum where mining was at its peak would back this up. Sappers cut them down be

  1. #141

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Quote by Battery Command Post View Post
    I was enjoying it until you descended into this kind of filth.
    You can be as 'disgusted from Tunbridge Wells' all you like, but you've taken my comments out of context, ignored the fact that I was correct about the possibility that a weapon could exist, and generally acted rather objectionably. I'm sorry if I've inadvertently brought turmoil to your forum. I really didn't mean to get you all riled up on it, ok?

    The first post I posted that got you so hot under the collar was this statement



    "I spoke to an army buddy in the Royal Engineers who reckons that yes - the kick on a SMLE is rough, it wouldn't be so bad on a cut-down. He tried to explain it to me - that the reduced barrel length would reduce the kick and if you held it two handed, not against a shoulder - it might not be as bad."

    Which, Ok - isn't explained very well. Im sorry about that. He explained it properly, I just didn't transcribe it very well. But you needn't have jumped straight in, calling my brother in law an idiot and be incredibly patronising (you followed on by saying "Trench warfare in WW1 wasn't a free-for-all in the style of an 80s movie with Stallone or Arnie in it.") ... do you act that way to all "newcomers" on this forum? Not everyone can be a genius like you, Rob, and theres no need to try and belittle anyone who might not be one hundred percent accurate.

    In one part I commented that "Since newtons law is no longer in play once it's out of the barrel." and you sniffily replied "Are you serious? Newton's Laws of Motion apply to every body/object in the universe all of the time.". So by your statement, when a car accident happens in, say, Texas, we should take into account a tree falling in Russia? Its a bit chaos theory but it wasn't what I meant and you knew it. Once the bullet is *out* and *away* from the barrel, the forces pushing backward (newtons equal and opposite etc) are severely decreased, and the bullet no longer exerts so much of a backward force on the gun. I didn't explain it very well, true - but I didn't expect to get chewed up about it.

    Anyway, Rob, as I said - I'm sorry I caused such havoc in your forum. Perhaps you should have spent some of your 30 years, that you spent researching the war, developing your social skills a bit. I'd have thought someone who was a Walmart Retail Manager would have been a little more gentle towards people not as advanced as themselves.

  2. #142

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    Unfortunatly this is the only paragraph I could find on cut down weapons so the search continues. However Proffesor Holmes was an excellent historian and I have no reason to doubt his research. Check him out on wickipedia his credentials speak for themselves.

    I highly reccomend the book though Rob. It gives a fantastic insight into the Tommy during ww1.

  3. #143

    Default Re: Cut Down Lee Enfield

    On another forum someone has stated that ...

    Cut-down SMLEs were used as firing mechanisms in locally-produced mortars (eg the 2" trench mortar) and projectors. Another use that might explain the "tunneller weapon" story is that pistols and cut-down rifles were also used as firing initiators in "flash boxes" - that is to say a box containing loose cordite or powder mixed in with the bundled ends of black powder burning fuzes. The rifle/pistol would have a blank or de-bulleted round chambered, and be fired by lanyard. Flash boxes were often used as an auxiliary method of initiating an explosive charge alongside or in place of electrical systems.
    However, it also states

    In the Imperial War Museum Review No.6 there is an article "Professionals and Specialists: mining on the Western Front" by Bryan Hammond. He mentions the use of cut down SMLE's by the mining companies and gives a ref: A rifle of this type is illustrated in the Visit Diary of First Army Controller of Mines. PRO WO158-137. It was principally for the use of listeners in forward listening posts. If someone could pop along to the Public Record Office at Kew Gardens and dig it out we could all see the picture!
    I quite like the info in the first quote - makes a lot of sense that this is what they'd be used for rather than combat.

  4. #144

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    From an article about the Royal Malaysian Police Museum found here:

    https://juleswings.wordpress.com/201...wo-days-in-kl/

    Seems to reinforce the theory that it's possible to fire a cut down lee enfield without serious or lasting injury.

  5. #145

    Default

    Interesting thread, i came across it while google searching for something else.

    As to this "Arm breaking recoil" that is all fine and well, except for one fact. The burn rate of rifle powder. On a cut down rifle like this, a good portion of the gunpowder will be unburnt, especially if it is an incredibly short barrel. Will cause a big flash and move a lot of unburnt powder, but it won't be arm breaking.

    Proof of concept? Take a .303 (or 7.62x54R) round, 12 gauge round, and a centerfire pistol cartridge, say a 9mm. Pull the bullet from each, empty the powder and ignite it (safely of course.. goes without saying) See which burns the fastest. It won't be the rifle powder. I have done it.

    Cut down rifles did historically exist, especially in Russia, the aforementioned Obrez. Crude, innaccurate, sure. But it was done when a pistol was unavailable (with concealment being the intent) or to get a better weapon.

  6. #146

    Default

    The thread lives again! I still maintain it's perfectly feasible for small numbers of available damaged weapons to have been modified as specific use items by troops with the time, resources and attitude to do so. An interesting example of how even an officially produced weapon could break all the conventional rules is the US Liberator .45 cal pistol-made for a very specific purpose, but if you showed one to a soldier who didn't know what it was. they'd never believe it was a factory made 'official' issue thing!

  7. #147

    Default

    Reading this old thread, I was abit amused to read how cut down weapons were considered unshootable. Short barreled heavy weapons, while perhaps not pleasant to fire, are, indeed, still usable. For example, Many years ago when I owned a fairly rowdy tavern, the beneath the bar pacifier weapon to keep guys from coming over the bar on top of you was a side by side 12 gauge shotgun with the stock cut off leaving a small knob at the end of the pistol grip and the barrels were shortened to the point of where you could see the end of the shell maybe a half an inch from the "muzzle". It featured twin long eared hammers. To fire it(and yes, I certainly did, fire it on occasion) I took a firm grip with with my right hand up hard against the grip knob and placed my left hand over the breech just ahead of the hammers and held Down on it very strongly. It's pattern had a wee bit of a "spread" and a bark to it, I have to say. I never, thankfully, had to do a double barrel shot, though. One barrel at a time was more than plenty.

    Another ferocious short barreled gun that I remember having back in the day was a stainless steel 4 barrelled 357 Magnum modern version of a "pepperbox" derringer named the C.O.P. or "Compact Off-duty Police". It was abit over 5 inches in length and when firing one barrel, it had a nasty habit of firing a second or more barrel as well at the same time. They don't make them anymore, but they do have an article on Google about them. I do know that when firing a full strength 357 Magnum in it, the recoil was brutal and required an iron wrist to control it. And, of course, when Two barrels would fire...well, it wasn't "fun".... If you pointed it at someone, the 4 barrels looking at them certainly did get their attention, to say the least.

    People would be amazed at what actually Is usable and what isn't when the need is there at it's greatest. I have no doubt that a pistolized Enfield could well have been carried in the tunnels for that one moment of life and death. Not something you would want to shoot every day, but if you Had to to save your life? Oh yes...
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

  8. #148

    Default

    Quote by PhantomGuitar View Post
    Interesting thread, i came across it while google searching for something else.

    As to this "Arm breaking recoil" that is all fine and well, except for one fact. The burn rate of rifle powder. On a cut down rifle like this, a good portion of the gunpowder will be unburnt, especially if it is an incredibly short barrel. Will cause a big flash and move a lot of unburnt powder, but it won't be arm breaking.

    Proof of concept? Take a .303 (or 7.62x54R) round, 12 gauge round, and a centerfire pistol cartridge, say a 9mm. Pull the bullet from each, empty the powder and ignite it (safely of course.. goes without saying) See which burns the fastest. It won't be the rifle powder. I have done it.

    Cut down rifles did historically exist, especially in Russia, the aforementioned Obrez. Crude, innaccurate, sure. But it was done when a pistol was unavailable (with concealment being the intent) or to get a better weapon.
    What kind of nonsense is this that you are spouting? Are you seriously claiming that the length of a gun barrel affects the burn-rate of the propellant? Your 'scientific' test with the various propellants shows your lack of knowledge on the subject too. Usually, propellant used in a pistol round, is of a faster burning rate than that used in a rifle round. it isn't the 'bang' that drives the projectile forward, it is the rapid expansion of gasses caused by the burning of the propellant. By the time the projectile has bitten in to the rifling - causing a gas-tight seal, the propellant has been burnt.

    .................................................

    Upon reading through this (again), my choice of wording seems rather abrupt - and for that I do apologise. But the facts and figures are out there for the best loads to use in weapons, and to just pull a cartridge apart and ignite the contents really isn't an accurate approach to reach a conclusion. The length of a gun barrel can determine several things, but the burn-rate of propellant isn't one of them!
    Last edited by HARRY THE MOLE; 09-08-2016 at 10:51 AM.
    Books published to date... 'Belfast Diaries: A Gunner In Northern Ireland'... 'A Tough Nut To Crack - Andersonstown'... 'An Accrington Pal: The Diaries of Pte Jack Smallshaw, September 1914 To March 1919'.

  9. #149
    ?

    Default

    I am usually a lurker but reading through 15 pages of this necroposted thread has been an unusually fascinating read. So many issues around this old rusty relic came up for interpretation, debate and one-upsmanship...

    - Would firing a cut down rifle cause severe injury?
    - How bad is the recoil actually?
    - Did the cut Nagant in the Youtube video use reduced loads?
    - What are the calculated physics of cut down SMLE recoil?
    - How much flash (and/or) ash/powder debris might come out of a 1" barrel using a full rifle round?
    - Was this a WWI era modification?
    - What was the true purpose(s) of the modification?
    - Did any soldier ever cut down their SMLE?
    - Was the modification officially or unofficially sanctioned by leadership in any way?

    I like the suggestion someone had of conscripting Mythbusters to answer the first 5 items definitively. The last 4 items seem much harder to prove or disprove either way.

    The recoil issues have me curious if anyone has experience shooting a Remington XP-100 pistol in .308 (7.62x51)? Weight at 3-4 pounds might be close to the cut SMLE or Nagant with loaded mag. Barrel at 10-14" is slightly longer than cut SMLE however.

  10. #150

    Default

    Recoil is directly related to the weight of the firearm being fired. The heavier the gun-the less the recoil. Like I said, I've fired 12 gauge 2 3/4's sawed off shotguns with very little weight to them and they were very difficult to control, but at the extreme close quarters, aim isn't all that important. Putting lead out in front of you is the main goal. The internet is full of custom made ludicrous pistols being fired and tested. I've seen videos of custom made pistols that fired 45-70 Government rounds and they could be fired with difficulty. An even more absurd pistol are the ones chambered in 600 Nitro Express. They require a bench rest vise. When attempt to hold them and fire, they were almost literally unable to be held on to. There is no reason at all that a 303 rifle round could not be fired in a pistol sized gun.
    William

    "Much that once was, is lost. For none now live who remember it."

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