2nd Battalion the Border Regiment

The Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) Rifle

All illustrations from "Rifle Exercises Simplified" (Sydney: 1915)


| SMLE BASICS | COMPLETE SPECS | AMMUNITION SPECS | MAINTENANCE |


Chapter VI.

32. SMALL ARMS AND GUNS

1. RIFLE, SHORT, MAGAZINE, LEE-ENFIELD PATTERN 1903.

Weight, without bayonet, 8 lbs. 10-1/2 ozs.
Weight, with bayonet, 9 lbs. 11 ozs.
Length, without bayonet, 3 ft. 8.5 ins.
Length, with bayonet, 5 ft. 2 ins.

MARK VII .303" AMMUNITION.

Cartridge, weight 386 grains, 20 rounds (in chargers), 20 ozs.
Bullet, length 1.28 inches, weight 174 grains.
Charge, cordite M.D.T. 39 grains.
Muzzle velocity, 2,440 feet per second.

MARK VI .303" AMMUNITION.

Cartridge, length 3.05 inches, weight 415 grains, 20 rounds (in chargers), 22 ozs.
Bullet, envelope cupro-nickle, length 1.25 inches, diameter (at base), .311 inch, weight 215 grains.
Charge, cordite 31.5 grains.
Muzzle velocity, 2,060 feet per second.

2. NOTES ON THE USE OF SMALL ARMS

Dangerous space decreases as range increases.
Extant dangerous space depends on:-

(a) Firer's position.
(b) Height of object fired at
(c) Flatness of trajectory
(d) Conformation of ground.

The nearer the rifle in to the ground, the greater is the dangerous space.
The higher the object fired at, the greater is the dangerous space.
The flatter the trajectory, the greater is the dangerous space.
The more nearly the slope of the ground conforms to the angle at which the bullet falls, the greater is the dangerous space.

3. The accuracy of the short magazine L.E. rifle is not appreciably affected by fixing the bayonet but with the long L.E. or the L.M. rifle additional elevation is required when the bayonet is fixed.

4. More elevation is required:--

When the weather is cold.

Less elevation is required:--

(a) When the weather is hot
(b) High above sea level.
(c) Firing up or down a hill.

5. Rifles are sighted for the following conditions: --

Barometric pressure 30 inches (sea level)
Thermometer, 60° Fahrenheit.
Still air.
A horizontal line of sight.

6. The following rule for correction in case of variations in barometric pressure is approximately correct:--
For every inch the barometer rises or falls, add or deduct, 1-1/2 yards per 100 yards of range.

Thus a reduction of some 30 yards in 2,000 yards range would be required if the barometer stood at 29 cinches.

The barometer falls about 1 inch for every 1,000 feet of altitude. Therefore, at an altitude of 5,000 feet it would, in normal conditions of weather, stand at 25 inches, and for 2,000 yards range the elevation required would be 1, 850 yards only.

Every degree which the temperature rises or falls above and below 60° necessitates the subtraction or addition of about one-tenth of a yard for each 100 yards of range.

7. Ranges for objects are over-estimated:--

When kneeling or lying.
When both the background and object are of a similar colour.
On broken ground.
When looking over a valley or undulating ground.
In avenues, long streets or radiance.
When the object lies in the shade.
When the object is viewed in mist or failing light.
When the object is only partially seen.
When heat is rising from the ground.

8. Ranges of objects are under-estimated:--

When the sun his behind the observer.
In bright light or clear atmosphere.
When both the background and object are of different colours.
When the intervening ground is level or covered with snow.
When looking over water or a deep chasm.
When looking upwards or downwards.
When the object is large.

The above text from "Field Service Pocket Book." (General Staff, War Office, 1914) pages 159-160.


| SMLE BASICS | COMPLETE SPECS | AMMUNITION SPECS | MAINTENANCE |