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I can't guess what proportion of the forum members want to shoot their rifles more accurately, but assume it may not be in the majority. The number of collectors and plinkers would whittle the number down pretty quickly. The largest group would probably think they shoot their rifle as well as needs be already.

I was recently asked what good books are out there to learn better service rifle shooting skills. This was from someone in the early stages of getting into competitive service rifle shooting who wanted to know more, particularly about positional shooting. A self-starter, but they had to be when they were entering a club which is "sink or swim" as no structured coaching is available.

I can think of a few but they can be hard to find! I would not class any of these as suitable for the raw beginner, but anyone contacting their State or National Rifle Association could get a good beginner pamphlet. A very few (and very good) NRA affiliated clubs would have this pamphlet available on their webpage.

They range from texts which confirm good basic technique through to advanced information suitable for coaches.
  • Ommundsen's book, while good, is virtually unobtainium since being printed before WW1
  • Brigadier J A Barlow The Elements of Rifle Shooting. First published 1932, may be out of copyright
  • A G Banks A.G.'s Book of the Rifle. First published 1940. Probably out of copyright.
  • A G Banks Random Writings on Rifle Shooting First published 1943. Probably out of copyright.
  • James Sweet Competitive rifle Shooting. First published in 1948 but the book is still in print and is under copyright.
  • E G Reynolds and Robin Fulton Target Rifle Shooting. First published 1972 and probably still under copyright
Any more reading list suggestions which relate to Enfield's?
 

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"Shoot to live" springs to mind.
I think it was written in 1945 by somebody in the Canadian military.
 

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Shoot to Live, produced by the Canadian Army in 1945 is a very good Lee Enfield training document. Here's a link to a copy, downloadable in 14 Chapters:

Or you can download the whole document of 242 pages as a 43.9MB PDF here:

 

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This is a US authored book but is available in reprints from Amazon and elsewhere. Not only is it instructional, it is an interesting historical insight. It references the M1917 enfield, although it is obviously not an enfield specific reference. Also, YouTube is a great reference these days.
In the US, we have access to a program called Project Appleseed which instructs in the “lost art” of rifle marksmanship. It’s a two day course and a wonderful introduction.
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as a former Service Rifle shooter, (well, I do get the shoot the occasional match once or twice a year) I can say there are several books out there that cover the sport,
however they are generated more towards the AR platform, or M14 type rifle,

one set in particular, that will help just about anyone, is Jim Owens books,
short easy reads,
one on slings and positions Leather Sling and Shooting Positions
one on targets/sighting, "Sight Alignment, Trigger Control & The Big Lie"
etc

both would apply to any shooter,,

 

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I use an old copy of "Military & Sporting Rifle Shooting" by Edward Crossman to help me find what I'm doing wrong. Unfortunately I'm not sure it's wise to encourage people to buy Lee Enfields with the idea of using one in some kind of formal target shooting. First, they're going to need one that's in superb condition (and the knowledge to keep it that way) and access to ammo that works well. Secondly, many areas probably won't have active organizations that incorporate shooting of the older type rifles in their programs. I live only a stones throw from a superb fullbore target range/club (in a country that used Lee Enfields) ,with 1000 yard shooting, but they only welcome new heavyweight target rifles with 20x scopes and front/rear supports, etc. To get experience at the long ranges a young shooter, here, needs to buy the required equipment and get with the program. Down the road they may be able to apply what they have learned to shooting the "classics". I envy those of you living in places where you can actually use your LE in formal competition.

Ruprecht
 

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Lithgow Lee Enfield No1 MkIII/III*
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I use an old copy of "Military & Sporting Rifle Shooting" by Edward Crossman to help me find what I'm doing wrong. Unfortunately I'm not sure it's wise to encourage people to buy Lee Enfields with the idea of using one in some kind of formal target shooting. First, they're going to need one that's in superb condition (and the knowledge to keep it that way) and access to ammo that works well. Secondly, many areas probably won't have active organizations that incorporate shooting of the older type rifles in their programs. I live only a stones throw from a superb fullbore target range/club (in a country that used Lee Enfields) ,with 1000 yard shooting, but they only welcome new heavyweight target rifles with 20x scopes and front/rear supports, etc. To get experience at the long ranges a young shooter, here, needs to buy the required equipment and get with the program. Down the road they may be able to apply what they have learned to shooting the "classics". I envy those of you living in places where you can actually use your LE in formal competition.

Ruprecht
Ruprecht raises a good point. I was advised by other experienced Enfield shooters not to learn the basics with a .303 Enfield, but instead to use a 22 (Enfield 22 was suggested!). I was thinking bolt action and have a nice Model 12, but the Appleseed folks recommended a semi-auto such as a Ruger 10/22 to facilitate the process - allows you to focus on the technique . Im probably stating the obvious, but something else to think about for the beginning shooter.
 

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As an old NM competitor who also dabbled in Lee Enfield shooting, with some success in the 1990s through 2000s, Dry fire and position practice is critical. The Lee Enfield is not as easy to use as the modern target rifles, the low comb is hard to master for many. Predictability and constant pressure points are critical to good groupings on target. Getting in position and simply dry firing around 20 minutes a day will do wonders.

Get a Parker Hale king screw swivel and learn to use the two point sling.

Dry fire is the way to develop a good rapid fire cadence.

"Shoot to Live" and Brigadier Barrows tomes are both pretty good bases for the Lee Enfield.

A wider front sight is very helpful, between .070 and .080 is about idea on the US 6.5 MOA targets. Bren front sights are dandy.

If you really want to get into it, it is fascinating. the regulation of the No4 is an art, as is optimizing the use of the ammunition.

Whatever you do, do not shoot a K31, which has a very similar stock shape. Lee Enfield shooting will forever be soiled by that.
 

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One of the best things you could do for your rifle shooting is go to a weekend APPLESEED clinic. They teach U.S. Army rifle technique over a weekend at a range. They start by demonstrating web sling brace technique and proceed with for three-position rifle marksmanship. Of course, you don't just walk on: before the event they provide documents that teach you zeroing, dry fire, and position information, and request that you spend the month leading up to the event practicing your sighting and squeezing.

For budget purposes many of the events are are based around rimfire rifles. While you can shoot a centerfire rifle at many of the events, you will shoot approximately 250 rounds over the weekend. When you calculate the cost of ammo you may find it cheaper to assemble a training rifle from a Ruger 10-22 or some such so that you can inexpensively continue polishing your marksmanship after the event. The skills you learn will easily transfer to a large-bore rifle, as I learned when I purchased an M1 Garand. Your participation will also serve as your range time if you choose to purchase an M1 from the CMP. During the weekend they also introduce you to the history of April 19, 1775, the Battle of Lexinton and Concord, the first pitched battle of the Revolutionary War.

I attended one of their clinics. The clinic I went to was a 25 meter (82 feet) event. Garand rifles and many .22 rinfile rifles are battle sighted at 25 yards because the sights can then come up 1 click, allowing a zero at 200 yards. That should result in groups centered on a 4" diameter from 0 to 400 yards. Appleseeds use reduced-size and greyed-out targets that reproduce the optical effect of the U.S. Army 100 to 400 yard targets. Why reduced range? Appleseed is not making a profit. The inexpensive tuition covers range costs. It is far easier to put a typical thirty-person class on a large open range than to find a 200 yeard range large enough to support the event.



Range safety is scrupulously taught and followed. The rifles are hands-off until the instructors order an action. You can see that in the pic above. You can read the story of my experience, HERE.

Bob
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Interesting that Nagloc's reference, published 1943, is a story in pictures which follows the training plan Crossman (I have a copy, same as Ruprecht) had to describe in words.

Nothing here like the CMP, but do they still use a "triangle" aiming drill?
 
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