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Mad Minute

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timbo1955
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Mad Minute

#1 Post by timbo1955 » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:20 pm

British Muzzleloaders on utube has a great article on this posted last week , clears up a lot of wrong ideas about this , and has another one to follow , check it out !

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Re: Mad Minute

#2 Post by Tommy Atkins » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:24 pm

Have you a link, please? This guy is not only hilarious but also very informative & has done his homework usually.

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Re: Mad Minute

#3 Post by shoot4fun » Mon Jun 11, 2018 4:26 pm

link?

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Re: Mad Minute

#4 Post by lloydiam » Tue Jun 12, 2018 9:28 am

I thought the Mad Minute was the speed to which, how many more rounds an Enfield could get off compared to other bolt action rifles !............

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Re: Mad Minute

#5 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Jun 12, 2018 10:54 am

It is, the standard required was 15 rounds aimed in 60 seconds hitting a 4' target at 300yds. Many did better.

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Re: Mad Minute

#6 Post by DaleH » Tue Jun 12, 2018 11:44 am

In the video it said one of the Brit instructors put 38 rounds into a 12” target st 300-yards ... in a minute!

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Re: Mad Minute

#7 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Jun 12, 2018 12:50 pm

Yes that was the (disputed) world record.
There was a confirmed one with (IIRC 36 rounds). 15 was the "pass/fail" standard for riflemen, if you could do 15 (or more) you got the marksmanship bonus pay! Many could do 30 & I've done 28 more than once. The target had a 12" "center" but was 4' square.
“Mad minute” was a term used by British riflemen during training to describe scoring 15 hits onto a target at 300 yd (274.3 m) within one minute using a bolt-action rifle. It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to greatly exceed this score. Many riflemen could average 30+ shots, while the record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall was 38 hits.
[ Ian V. Hogg, The Encyclopedia of Weaponry, Sterling Publishing, New York 2006.]
An alternate view & definition. http://www.historicalfirearms.info
At the turn of the century the British Army was the most professional in the world with each soldier trained to be an expert marksman.   The Mad Minute itself is arguably a myth surrounded by myth, its proper name was Serial 22, Table B of the Musketry Regulations classification course of fire. Which instructed a soldier to fire rapidly into a distant target with 15 rounds being a target. However, this was not a requirement as the rifleman’s scores were calculated by aggregate with the other stages of the classification. The exercise of firing as many rounds as possible was probably a challenge set for fun to encourage pride in marksmanship and to see just how many rounds it was possible to fire in a minute. During the musketry classifications shoots of recruits and again shot each year by all infantrymen, engineers and cavalrymen to gauge how good of a shot they were. 
The classification shoot was shot in several stages shot out to 600 yards, the various stages or serials were laid out in Table B, Appendix II in the Musketry Regulations Pt.1,  these included grouping with 5 rounds at 100 yards, snap shooting with 5 rounds out at 200 yards, two 5 round stages fired slowly with the first at 400 yards from the prone position and another at 300 yards from kneeling.   Then came the so called ‘Mad Minute’ stage fired from prone at a target 300 yards out.   This was to be fired with 5 rounds loaded - 1 in the chamber and 4 in the magazine, the rifleman would then reload with 5-round chargers firing until 60 seconds had elapsed.  The target used for this stage was the Second Class figure target which was a 4 foot screen with a 12 inch high figure silhouette at the centre surrounded by two rings, a 23 inch inner ring and a 36 inch outer ring.   This stage was then followed by three final stages fired from prone out to 500 and 600 yards. 
The first and confirmed record for the most hits on target during a ’Mad Minute’  was set by Sgt-Major Jesse Wallingford - 36 hits at 300 yards in 1 minute in 1908.  However, this was allegedly bettered in 1914, by Sergeant-Instructor Alfred Snoxall with 38 hits within the 24 inch inner ring in 60 seconds.  It has not been beaten since although there is little documentary evidence of the feat readily available. This means Snoxall must have averaged around 1.5 seconds per shot to hit the target 38 times in a minute. Quite a feat.
Each man to shoot the classification course was allotted points for where each round hit - 4 points for a ‘bull’ figure hit, 3 for a hit in the inner ring and 2 points for an outer ring hit.  Troops could be classified as follows: Marksman (with at least 130 points out of 200 across the classification), 1st Class (105-130 points), 2nd Class and 3rd Class (sub-standard).  The majority of British troops, even cavalry, were excellent marksman with 50% of troops in some battalions scored as Marksman with the rest being 1st and 2nd class shots.  

The magazine and repeating bolt action of the Lee Enfield, adopted at the very dawn of the 20th century, allowed for an unprecedented volume of fire. The fast-operating Lee bolt-action and large magazine capacity enabled a well-trained rifleman to perform the "Mad minute" firing 20 to 30 aimed rounds in 60 seconds, making the Lee-Enfield the fastest military bolt-action rifle of the day. The Lee-Enfield Resource website has a video of 15 rounds in one minute, aimed, but no reference to the methodology & techniques used originally. It was not uncommon during the First World War for British Empire servicemen to beat this record! On average a rifleman could fire twenty-five shots, and some could even make it to forty shots.”

Supposedly there is a formal “Mad Minute reenactment” annually in the U.K.
During the 'mad minute' British riflemen were required to hit a target 300 meters away, with at least fifteen rounds fired in sixty seconds; one round every four seconds. A modern-day, semi-trained guerrilla soldier with a semi, or fully automatic assault rifle can easily top that, although not with the same accuracy, but the Lee-Enfield was a bolt action rifle, requiring the soldier to rotate and cycle a bolt with his hand between each shot. The rifle fired the powerful .303 British cartridge, which had a hefty recoil, and the magazine could only hold ten rounds, requiring several reloads during the minute.
Reloading a bolt-action rifle of the time involved sliding bullets from 5-round Chargers (stripper clips) down into the magazine from above. The Lee Enfield required two five-round clips, and debate still rages as to the best method for ensuring high-speed fire; polishing the clip guides, flipping the bolt with the thumb and forefinger of the right hand whilst firing with the middle finger, or even reloading with the Lee-Enfield's detachable magazine (not usually recommended due to manufacturing imperfections which could cause each magazine to be of a slightly different size).
The mad minute turned out to be extremely useful in the early stages of the Great War, when the lightly-armed British Expeditionary Force was on the defensive; the BEF's soldiers could put up a tremendous, murderous volume of fire against advancing close-formation German troops, many of whom reported that they were facing machine-guns. The upper limits of aimed fire in the mad minute were 30-35 rounds per minute, slightly more than one round every two seconds, including the time taken to cycle the bolt and stuff several clips into the rifle.
Here is probably the best-documented methodology available, but most of the documents & records from the period are destroyed so even this is speculative! Remember this was a "set up" World Record attempt, so there was a lot of manipulation & setup involved!
Targets
On military ranges, where most full-bore shoots take place, targets are chosen according to the distance and course of fire. As time changed so did supplies, several targets were used at varying periods starting with the 4’X4’ Second Class figure target (an “Hourglass “bull” surrounded by rings), but by the time I was learning it had updated to the Figure 11. This is 44 inches high by 17 inches wide and depicts a charging infantry soldier.

The drill happened during WW1 so we can assume it was done from a trench standing with the rifle supported on a sandbag. A bench & bag is a reasonable substitute if you don't feel like digging a bloody great hole in the range firing line!
Load up at least 8 chargers with 5 rounds each!
The rifle is not slung & (this is vital) the buttstock never leaves the shoulder. Resist the temptation to "look at the bullets going in". Use tension from the left forearm to keep the buttplate in position firmly pressed into the shoulder pocket throughout. Try to keep the muzzle pointed at the bullseye as well, this is why the positioning setup is so important, the rifle should recover from recoil almost naturally if you do it right.
The bolt operation is done by butting the bolt knob in the bent right hand's "trigger finger" & held in place by the right thumb. That finger/thumb never leave the bolt handle, except when grabbing another loaded charger from the right front of the shooter's position. The second finger is used for the trigger operation exclusively. If you get it set up just right (which needs practice) you'll find as the bolt is "whipped sharply" into the closed & locked position the second finger presses the trigger without you doing anything except keeping it rigid. This takes a bit of practice but is almost instinctive when you get it down pat.

Now you're set up here's the actual firing drill.

Get prone or benched & rested & set up position so you naturally point at the life sized silhouette target at 300yds. (You can use a reduced size one at 100yds if you like.)
LOAD 11 rounds. (2 chargers & one "up the spout").
Fire 6 rounds as quickly as you can re-acquire the target. Time (1 Minute) starts here at the sound of the first shot.
Breathe!
You have fired 6 rounds & have 5 rounds left, DO NOT close the bolt on round #7, just whack in a charger with 5 more rounds & snap the bolt forward to eject the empty clip.
You have 10 rounds loaded.
Fire 6 rounds as quickly as you can re-acquire the target.
Breathe.
Keep repeating the "fire 6, charge 5" until either the minute is up or you run out of bullets after 38 rounds fired! Once you’ve fully emptied the magazine (assuming you’re still going) just dump in 5-round chargers & fire them off to complete the one minute time frame.
If you fire 38 congratulations you beat Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall’s World Record! Most can fire 15~20 aimed shots in a minute with just a day or two's practice, but the world record set in 1914 was 38!
Some rules for the course:
From Small Arms Training Volume No1, pamphlet No1.
No sling is permitted.
Pp28, 27, I
No sighting shots permitted
Pp28, 27, ii
Misfires. If the cap is proven struck round replaced & time to use allowed.
Pp28, 27, iv(a)
Forfeiture of rounds: Failure to fire in time is scored as “miss”
Pp28, 27, v
Firing after time allotted. Highest possible score for round is deducted.
Pp28, 27, vi

“Rested” is a sandbag supporting the forearm & wrist, no contact with weapon.
Pp28, 28, (a).
Image

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Re: Mad Minute

#8 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Jun 12, 2018 2:28 pm

Are we thinking of this video, perhaps? The guy is excellent the only flaw I could find was his dismounting the rifle to reload.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1DhjUrqH88s

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Re: Mad Minute

#9 Post by 72 usmc » Tue Jun 12, 2018 3:42 pm

Interesting, thanks for that information Tommy. 38 and they hit the target is crazy. He must have been a great shooter. Indeed, I just found this: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jesse_Wallingford
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Re: Mad Minute

#10 Post by Tommy Atkins » Tue Jun 12, 2018 5:55 pm

Great find.
Part of the problem with Snoxalll's world record is there's no information on him ever existing, much less doing this! Now, many records from that period are missing, for many reasons, but the guy's an enigma wrapped in a riddle.

You also have to remember it was a "World Record" attempt, so as a "Sergeant Instructor of Musketry at Hythe" I'm sure he had time & materiel to practice with, plus "musketry" was very serious business back then, it took almost 18 months to "properly regulate" a rifleman to "expert level" with its daily pay bonus!

I'll bet dollars to doughnuts the actual attempt was very carefully stage-managed as well as the reputation of the Tommy for fast accurate fire was a huge thing in that environment, probably comparable to Xth generation Stealth Technology today.

Back in the '70's when I was shooting seriously my grandfather who was an "Old Contemptible", from the 13th Gloucesters, guested at a range as an instructor & actually taught WW1 Style shooting periodically!

I've actually done a multi-man "real" Mad Minute, not just "how fast can you dump a magazine", but hitting for a solid minute. Now these guys were already experienced bolt action shooters, but it impressed the heck out of more modern shooters when, after a little training we "went at it for real with 300 yd targets". You also have to work in the 4' target size. That's 16 MOA @ 300 yds. So it boils down to 30 rounds one every 2 seconds into 16 MOA @ 300 yds, supported.
:dance:

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Re: Mad Minute

#11 Post by HectorFuego » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:42 am

I took my 03A3 to an Appleseed shoot once. The first stage of timed fire is 10 rounds, offhand at an upper torso silhouette. The distance was 25 meters but the target is scaled to equal 100. Allotted time for that stage was two minutes, and you started with a loaded rifle. Of course that meant 5 rounds for me so there was a stripper clip reload in the middle. I used conventional bolt and trigger manipulation and still was able to finish the stage in exactly 60 seconds. I know this because the guy with the stopwatch calling the line was standing right behind me and told me so. All shots were in the numbers and out of 50 possible points, my score for that stage was in the mid forty's.

For that kind of rapid fire the key is cadence. Run the bolt as you inhale, re-acquire the target and start taking up the slack on the trigger as you exhale, and finally break the shot during the respiratory pause at the bottom of your breath. Repeat till done.

Also, that Springfield has the smoothest bolt I've ever touched. Great rifle. So much fun to shoot it.

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Re: Mad Minute

#12 Post by lloydiam » Thu Jun 14, 2018 3:51 pm

I have NEVER ran one of my Enfield's to see just HOW fast I could shoot it !..............

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Re: Mad Minute

#13 Post by Tommy Atkins » Thu Jun 14, 2018 4:14 pm

Regarding cadence.
At that kind of speed (12 seconds for 6 rounds on average) there's a better way. Inhale while charging a new load of 5, let it out slowly as you fire 6, step & repeat. If you cant comfortably do a slow exhale for 6 seconds you're in really poor shape!

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Re: Mad Minute

#14 Post by TNGhost » Thu Jun 14, 2018 10:14 pm


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