Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 91.djvu/534

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The New American Enfield Rifle

A modification of the English Enfield with which our troops will be supplied

IN order to obtain a sufficient number of rifles with which to arm the new United States army in as short a time as possible, the War Department has decided to supplement its supply of Springfields with a modification of the English Enfield rifle which is being manufactured in this country in large quantities for the British government.

When plans for the army to be formed under the pro- visions of the draft law were being worked out, it was realized that the facilities which the Government had at hand for making the 30-caliber Springfield rifles were not adequate to turn out the number of rifles needed- and that to build factories capable of supplying this number would mean a delay of many months.

Three big arms concerns were then making about 2,200 Enfield rifles a day for the British Government and they were in a position to increase even this output. Hence the decision to manufacture a modification of the English Enfield adapted to the standard 30-caliber ammunition of the United States rifle. Within a few months these concerns will be making more than 5,000 of the new rifles a day for the United States Government according to present estimates.

The operating mechanism of the new rifle, while differing in general design, has the same functioning features as the Springfield; that is to say, opera- tion of magazine, loading and extracting, rotating motion of bolt and side ejection. The barrel is made of the same specifications as the Springfield with the exception that it is two inches longer than that of the Springfield, which measures 23.79 inches.

The weight of the Springfield with bayonet

attached is 9.69 pounds; the new Enfield model

weighs about three-quarters of a pound more.

The bayonet of the new arm is 1.125 inches

longer than that of the Springfield, which is

16 inches long; the assembled rifle with

bayonet attached is 4.125 inches longer

than the Springfield, which measures 59.212

inches from the butt plate to the point

of the bayonet.

The design of the bayonet of the new rifle is practically the same as that of the Springfield bayonet, the only difference being that in the hew rifle the back or top edge of the blade is straight along its entire length and the front or lower edge tapers to a point. The magazine is practically a duplicate of the Springfield, permitting the use of the same cartridge clip carrying five cartridges. In the Springfield the rear sight is on the top of the breach end of the barrel whereas in the new Enfield it is on the toprear end of the receiver.

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