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Thread: Automatic Lee-Enfields

  1. #1
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    Default Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Charlton (Australia & New Zealand):



    Howell (UK):


    Reider (South Africa):


    No images of the Elkins Automatic Rifle and Howard Francis 7.63x25mm machine carbine have been found yet as well as another unamed Australian conversion.

    Source: Special Service Lee Enfields: Commando and Auto Models by Ian Skennerton. Published by Ian D Skennerton, PO Box 80, Labrador 4215, Australia, 2001. ISBN 0-949749-37-0. Paperback, 48 pp, 50 plus b & w drawings and photos, 210 x 274 mm
    Last edited by RoverDave; 06-20-2010 at 07:22 PM.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Interesting, I have never seen anything on this...

    Is there any text you have on this?
    Last edited by Nickdfresh; 06-20-2010 at 05:20 PM.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Having seen one of these 'frightening contraptions' I always assumed that it would be just as easy to operate the bolt manually and a lot less scarey.

    A couple of links

    http://1914-1918.invisionzone.com/fo...howtopic=83641

    Weapon No. 71

    http://www.rememuseum.org.uk/arms/rifles/armaslr.htm

    There was more on several weapons on wiki (added for ease, the fire reported I have seen on several threads)

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charlton_Automatic_Rifle
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howell_Automatic_Rifle

    Part of a thread about these

    http://www.thehighroad.org/archive/i.../t-106474.html

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Wouldn't the ironmongery on the right of the weapon rather destroy its balance in the hands of the rifleman?

    A SMG with a side mag not designed for accurate fire is rather different to a SMLE with all that iron attached to one side when it is intended for accurate fire.

    Longarms are usually balanced along the forward axis. Even the Lewis gun with the drum mag was balanced.

    It's not my field, but I can't think of a longarm with a side mag, let alone anything like the SMLE auto attachment.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    They WW2 war versions (Charlton) seem to have been made as an operational need due to the lack of Bren guns to serve as interim LMG's not as automatic rifles.

    Only seen what I believe to be a Howell and with all that ironmongery strapped to it and a bolt whizzing back and forth in front of your nose I am so glad I started with and moved on through the No4/Bren, SLR/LMG, SA80/LSW. Much more refined.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    First time I see this rifle models, quite interesting.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Quote Originally Posted by Rising Sun* View Post
    Wouldn't the ironmongery on the right of the weapon rather destroy its balance in the hands of the rifleman?

    A SMG with a side mag not designed for accurate fire is rather different to a SMLE with all that iron attached to one side when it is intended for accurate fire.

    Longarms are usually balanced along the forward axis. Even the Lewis gun with the drum mag was balanced.

    It's not my field, but I can't think of a longarm with a side mag, let alone anything like the SMLE auto attachment.
    The only rifle I have seen having any type of side loading was the Krag-Jorgenson chambered in 30-40 Krag. Its an early small bore rifle that still used black powder cartridge nomenclature. 30 is for caliber, 40 is for the load of FF Black Powder given in troy grains.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Looking at these and knowing how hot gas parts can get on more modern weapons, I wonder how the ones with no forward pistol grip could be used for long before burnt fingers hinder play.

    They must be awkward to hold comfortably as a rifle in the aim with the furniture width effectively increased on one side.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Good gosh.
    I am 63 and have studied yhis stuff all my life.

    I must admit to having no knowledge of these developments.
    Thwy are very reminisent of the Webly semi auto revolvers.

    Never too old to learn.

    Thanks for posting.

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    They WW2 war versions (Charlton) seem to have been made as an operational need due to the lack of Bren guns to serve as interim LMG's not as automatic rifles.
    Given the industrial capacity required to manufacture the (inordinately complicated) equivalent of about half of a Bren gun and the time and skill required to attach it to a rifle not designed for it and to modify the rifle to accept it, why not just make some Brens?

    Wouldn't it have been more effective to produce even one fifth the number of Brens of whatever number of these SMLE contraptions was produced?

    I also wonder whether there would have been problems in the field with the apparatus having parts exposed to dirt etc which would not have parts performing the equivalent function exposed on a Bren.

    The versions which retained wood fittings forward of the breech might have been a fire risk in the hands of the gunner if used as an LMG, which might explain why some versions lose some of their wood. A related problem would be increased barrel droop from trapped heat during sustained fire with a timber encased barrel.

    It seems like a Heath Robinson solution to a problem which diverted resources to no real benefit.

    The only explanation that makes sense is that the Australian, New Zealand and South African versions reflect an industrial inability to produce Brens at the time, but it seems unlikely that the UK lacked that capacity.
    Last edited by Rising Sun*; 06-25-2010 at 10:15 AM.
    ..
    A rational army would run away.
    Montesquieu

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    The NZ Charlton was origionally made from Lee Metford rifles untill stocks were used up and from the write ups I assume was an expedient weapon.
    In the UK these weapons seem to have been issued to LDV/HG units in lieu of Brens which would have been used to re equip the regular units after the fall of France. (Another of those strange weapons the British introduced due to the lack of anything else)

    The UK did do engineering designs for other Commonwealth Country's that were simpler in design (either less resources, lacking some features, castings instead of machining, etc) that much better suited the engineering capability of the country until the industrial base could be built up.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    The failed succesor of the Enfield, good rifle killed by politics.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4-LE9rdfxB8

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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Very good weapon the EM2 in all trials and although similar in appearance to the SA80 they are not related at all.
    Never seen the squad MG before though.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Quote Originally Posted by leccy View Post
    Very good weapon the EM2 in all trials and although similar in appearance to the SA80 they are not related at all.
    Never seen the squad MG before though.
    Aparently the EM-2 was in fact reliable, thing that the SA80 is not.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  15. #15
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    Default Re: Automatic Lee-Enfields

    Quote Originally Posted by Panzerknacker View Post
    Aparently the EM-2 was in fact reliable, thing that the SA80 is not.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    That's rather misleading, Panzerknacker: these days, the L85A2 is regarded as one of the most accurate and reliable assault rifles in the world. A few years ago, Heckler & Koch did a complete rebuild of the existing, troublesome SA80. L85A2 is the result of that programme.

    Cheers,
    Cliff

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