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Fuddlore vs Reality 1: Lee-Enfield Rear Lockers Are In Fact Very Accurate

We hear this all the time from American Fudds: rear-locking rifles in two-part stocks are inherently inaccurate. Strangely, this sort of theoretical BS was promoted over a century ago by the British Army and target shooting types who thought that the SMLE should be replaced by a Mauser-type front locking rifle. However, once the P14 was allowed in Bisley competitions from 1936 onwards, if the Fuddlore were true, it would have dominated. It didn’t. It was generally believed to do better than the SMLE at short range and worse at long, but many top shots used an SMLE at all distances (200, 500, 600, 900 and 1000 yards). I don’t believe the final of the Queen’s Prize was ever won by a P14.

Once the changeover to heavy-barrel 7.62mm happened, Lee-Enfield No.4 rifles continued to be heavily used at 900 and 1000 yds until my era, and the last Queen’s win with one was in 1990. Once the modern rigid actions became totally dominant, none of the converted military rifles saw any serious high-level use any more (but still to this day make adequate starter rifles).


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