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bayonets

Old 12th Aug 2019, 21:34
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bayonets

Have just seen some footage on the BBC news as it's 50 years since troops were sent in to NI.I was rather surprised to see that some had fixed bayonets - was there ever a possibility of these being used in anger,or were they just to intimidate the opposition ?
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Old 12th Aug 2019, 21:48
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Originally Posted by ex82watcher View Post
Have just seen some footage on the BBC news as it's 50 years since troops were sent in to NI.I was rather surprised to see that some had fixed bayonets - was there ever a possibility of these being used in anger,or were they just to intimidate the opposition ?
Talked with people who decades ago who were there on both sides, there was little doubt on it. Revisionism made claim they were for show, but those there didn't think so.
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Old 12th Aug 2019, 23:57
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Remember when we went PC with the SLR in the 70's where we used to carry it resting on ones hip, barrel facing up and this was deemed an aggressive posture and we subsequently had to carry it barrel facing down across the body in a "submissive " posture
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 07:03
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I too saw that clip on the BBC news and I was impressed. The soldiers pictured were replacing their bayonets into the scabbard in drill time! ie, the movements culminated in "put the tip of the bayonet in the mouth of the scabbard, pause 2 3 and shove it fully home."
During my time, fixing bayonets would never have been for show. It was effectively a message to say "I am quite prepared to use this". I often used to think how absolutely terrifying it would be to have one of those coming at you!
As for carrying the SLR, I always found the "stick it on your right hip" method of carrying was necessarily a single handed operation and had 2 disadvantages; right arm got tired and the weapon was going to be slow to get pointed at the bugger who was annoying you. Carrying it across the body meant it was in 2 hands and could be deployed and used very quickly. I loved the SLR. If you were shot with one of those, you stayed shot!
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 09:46
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May be just me, but when you have a rifle, full mag on, If you were pointing it at me, I wouldn't really be that worried. Stick a bayonet on and that tends to focus one's attention. Jings you could have someone's eye out with one of those.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 16:29
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I think it was probably SOP at the time. Different times. Wouldn't happen now. I think lessons were learned about how bad it looked on TV. I remember when on riot training been told to avoid using batons overarm because it looked bad in photos and on telly. Keep it low was the instruction.

​​​​
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 16:38
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I loved the SLR. If you were shot with one of those, you stayed shot!
True, but ditto the SMLE. The Canadian Rangers are only now in the process of finally phasing them out... hell of an achievement for a weapon first adopted in 1895!!!
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 17:35
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In the 50s, was involved in a 'little local difficulty' with the Saudis at Buraimi Oasis. We iook the 'proceed' order in one afternoon and went back the following morning to pick up the 'prisoners'. I was appointed Boss guard with two Trucial Oman Scouts as helpers. They had pike bayonets fixed and I had my revolver. We three occupied the front of the Valetta cabin and one of our 'passengers' (foolishly) made as though to cross over the spar. Big mistake! - he had a pair of spikes at his throat in an instant and the Scouts looked round to me to approve 'action'! Much too early for blood so he was persuaded of the wisdom of retreat! The other type of bayonet saw active use on the first time we operated with dry rations instead of the previous lunch boxes. We had loaves of bread and tins of butter and ham ... but no knives! Pongo pax, so out with pig stickers and doorstep sarnies were on the menu. Fine dining. it was not!
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 19:47
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Arrow

Originally Posted by NutLoose View Post
Remember when we went PC with the SLR in the 70's where we used to carry it resting on ones hip, barrel facing up and this was deemed an aggressive posture and we subsequently had to carry it barrel facing down across the body in a "submissive " posture
I always carried the SLR barrel down. It was quicker to get the butt into the shoulder and take up aim should it be necessary.

Nice weapon!
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 20:08
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Re the SMLE. Minor correction.

The Magazine Lee-Enfield was indeed introduced in 1895, but the Short, Magazine Lee-Enfield did not show up until 1904.

I bought a No. 1, Mk. III in the early 60s. It had a heavy barrel and Parker Hale micrometer sights. Cost me five quid!
It was going cheap because serious target shooters were converting No. 4s to 7.62 Nato. The action of the No. 1 was not deemed strong enough to allow conversion.

PS I just saw a de-activated No. 1 advertised for 800!!!
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 20:19
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Few years ago an antique shop in Wendover had several rifles including the SMLE on the wall within touching distance.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 22:55
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I have an SMLE which has been bored out to .410 and can be legally held and fired on a shotgun certificate. Cartridges have to be loaded singly. I have only ever fired it a couple of times, it is far less handy than my Belgian "poacher's gun" for vermin control - much too heavy for one thing. Kudos to those WW1 infantrymen whose "ten rounds rapid" often had the Germans opposite believing they were facing machine guns.
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Old 13th Aug 2019, 23:15
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I was taught to fire the Lee Enfield No.4, rapid fire. It's simple. Finger and thumb on the bolt. None of your palm action. Balance a penny on rifle and dry fire endlessly without it falling off. Squeeze the trigger.

When it came to live fire even the massive kick in the shoulder didn't stop the accuracy and rate of fire.

Training is everything.

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Old 14th Aug 2019, 00:12
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Originally Posted by er340790 View Post
True, but ditto the SMLE. The Canadian Rangers are only now in the process of finally phasing them out... hell of an achievement for a weapon first adopted in 1895!!!
And only retiring them due to lack of spares / replacements. Works well in the cold, hence still in use.


https://nationalpost.com/news/canada...n-armed-forces
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 01:36
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The pump action shotgun must be one of the most intimidating weapons around, the loading action makes it very clear that the person holding it means business, whereas turning the safety catch off on a SLR would go unnoticed.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 09:08
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You would still need to cock the SLR, unless you are walking round with one up the spout, which is as per the pump action..
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 16:02
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The pump action shotgun must be one of the most intimidating weapons around, the loading action makes it very clear that the person holding it means business, whereas turning the safety catch off on a SLR would go unnoticed.
True, but cocking an SLR is much better at signalling positive intention - even at a distance beyond shotgun range.
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Old 14th Aug 2019, 21:08
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Which reminds me of a scene in the Longest Day film which was obviously from fact. Airborne forces had a cricket as a covert signal for friend or foe. In the film a German went
Click, Clack as he cocked his rifle to be answered by a cricket.

The audible click clack is certainly a demonstration of intent.
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Old 15th Aug 2019, 07:45
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Where as the US rifle when empty used to sound a ping as it ejected the empty clip, thus allowing the opposition to know you were out of ammo and reloading.
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