Thursday, April 19, 2012


This is coolbert:

Back to the topic as originally a Military Thoughts blog entry from way back when. The record of English Sergeant Snoxall, firing a "Mad Minute, the "Lord Robert's Shoot", using the British SMLE rifle to fire and hit a 12 inch [4.72 cm.] bulls eyes thirty-eight [38] times at a range of 300 yards [274 meters] USING A BOLT ACTION RIFLE THAT WOULD HAVE TO BEEN RELOADED AT LEAST THREE TIMES WITH TWO FIVE ROUND CLIPS PER RE-LOAD!!

"The Lee-Enfield's superiority as a battle rifle: British Sgt. Snoxall recorded 38 hits on a 12-in. bull at 300 yards in only sixty seconds. Proficiency... the rifle was rapidly loaded in order to fire as many rounds as possible in one minute, dubbed by participants, 'the mad minute'. No other hand-operated bolt action service rifle can claim such a record. Enfields rule!"

This comment to the Military Thoughts blog entry:

"Snoxall's achievement is a well-documented result. Please note that he was a musketry Sergeant Instructor, not an average squaddie (english for 'grunt'). In 1914, he would have been using a Rifle, No 1 or a Rifle, Short, Magazine, Lee Enfield (more commonly known as an SMLE). This rifle is the reason that, early in World War I, German troops were convinced that the British had machineguns. Your qualifications for stating that this was 'NOT' possible', please?

NOT that I doubt this record, but for some time have been trying to find details. The record was at a range of 300 yards, one minute fire, load, fire, etc. And hits that 38 of them on the 12 inch bull in the center of a four by four foot target as I understand it. That is HITS ON THE 12 INCH BULL AND NOT ON THE FOUR BY FOUR FOOT TARGET THEN?? Can this be absolutely confirmed as true?

And the response from an acknowledged authority on the British SMLE rifle who responds:

"Yes, that is hits on the bull. I found this reference in some Musketry Instructions in England when I was there in 1980-81."

Without question an amazing feat! Even for the experienced shootist such as myself I DO find this achievement of Snoxall to be astounding. The contradictions present and faced by the marksman in such a situation are numerous to include:

* Speed.
* Accuracy.
* Distance.
* Power.

I defer to the persons who are authority in this matter. My own expertise and experience with high-power rifle fire [M-14] at long range [maximum of 250 meters] seems to suggest that the rapid repeated reload and ability to engage a target with the bolt-action SMLE in the manner as accomplished by Snoxall is just not possible. It seems however I AM WRONG!! Indeed, even Bert can be wrong!

Just because I cannot run a four minute mile does not mean someone else cannot run a four minute mile. Just because I cannot high jump seven feet does not mean someone else cannot high jump seven feet. Etc.


1 comment:

GEM of The Kairos Initiative said...

In the late 1970's in Barbados, my friends who were cadets were expected to handle the 15 rpm "rapid," admittedly with a 303 firing .22 rounds. I have no doubt that, starting with 10 rounds loaded, then reloading, given the 303 mechanism, reports of making 20 - 30 RPM were more than possible for a trained shooter. Exceptionally skilled ones would exceed that and Sgt Snoxall was exactly that, an Instructor in musketry. I wonder what was his fate, given how rapidly the Old Contemptibles were used up in the opening battles of the Great War. GEM

PS: Captcha is now going to very marginal images