Enfield vs Springfield

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It's hard to choose......I have originals and repros of both.

The Enfields are beautiful rifles, and great shooters. I like the Enfield sights better. If you add in the 1855 Springfield with the ladder sight, it's a toss up. I was never a huge fan of the leaf sights of the Springfield although they do work.

The Springfields, in my opinion, are really good looking rifles but so are the Enfields. I like the Armory Bright steel but if you want, you can polish up an Enfield.

The Enfields feel a little more reliable. Maybe it's just me. I just fired 40 rounds with 0 misfires through the Musketoon. I recall my ArmiSport CS Richmond being kinda finicky the last time out. A few misfires.

Both of them are iconic and are historically important.
 

ResearchPress

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Beyond the aesthetics and assuming the shooter is happy that either sight is suitable for their needs, fit will play a part in choice. The Enfield‘s straight stock may not suit some as well as that on the Springfield. I like the Enfield stock and butt plate, although most of my shooting is prone 100 - 600 yards.

David
 

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I agree, if the Enfield had about an inch more drop at the comb I would consider it the ideal rifle. As is, it is certainly better for shooting prone compared to the Springfield. For offhand I have had to learn to hold it like a shotgun rather than a rifle to make it work.
 

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I shoot both in offhand competition but for different reasons. I like the post and notch on my Enfield and partly because of the rear sight location. In N-SSA competition, the range can fill up with smoke quickly sometimes and if you're shooting an aperture sights, you will be at a disadvantage. When that's not going to be the case, I like the stock on the Springfield better. Both are great rifles, it's just what fits better.
 
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I'm sure we're all aware but many new people to muzzleloading are not, that the Enfield and Springfield have stocks cut for two different shooting stances.

If I remember to square my body to the target , it's like a light switch coming on with the Enfield cheek weld and sight picture .

The Springfields are cut for the American " boxer type" shooting stance

Also , most people don't Quarter Sight or Half Sight the Enfield sight picture . Once I figured this out it was another piece that fell into place

Springfield sights vary, even on originals. One of my original 61's has a big, coarse triangle shaped rear sight notch, and the other is a very fine , small notch more suited to target shooting. The repros are the same, the Pedersoli has a fine notch and my Miroku has an enormous one
 
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Stan - Could you explain what quarter and half sight means?
Most people are taught from a young age to hold the tip of the front sight even with the top of the rear sight

I tried to find a pic, I'm at work and I have books with an illustration of the proper sight picture at home

Basically the British Army trained soldiers to use a sight picture with the tip of the front sight blade halfway between the top of the rear sight and the bottom of the notch

Quarter Sighting was also mentioned but not heavily emphasized where the tip of the front sight is barely visible in the notch for close up shooting which would have rarely been done.

But , I have used a Half Sight picture with my Parker Hale P53 to hit dead on at 100 yards.
 

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Could you explain what quarter and half sight means?
This extract from 'Drill and Rifle Instruction for Volunteer Rifle Corps' (1859) should help along with Stan's explanation.

sights-1859vrc.jpg


It's not unusual to see bemoaning that the Enfield shoots high, but as Stan notes that is often because people are taking a full sight, not the half sight which was the usual method. That and not using ammunition with the same characteristics as the 19thC issued ammunition.

David
 
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I have both but prefer the springfield when it comes cleaning time, for me it is much easier to take apart. It really depends on the owner both are fine rifles.
 

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Thanks, Stan and David!

I knew what fine sight was, but had never heard the terms half and quarter sight. It's obvious, now that I know what you're talking about.
 
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I recall reading somewhere that as soon as Union troops were offered new Springfields they gladly traded in their Enfields. I have an original of each and a couple of reproductions of each. Maybe I just don't shoot enough (never enough!) but I can't tell why the Springfields might have been preferred. Maybe it really came down to convenience of the band springs versus screws for disassembly and cleaning. (All my reproduction Enfields have bunged up band screws from previous owners.)

I don't really notice any difference for me in the "fit" and I like shooting both. I'm always testing loads and lube but I try only to use Miniés that are as close to design, size and weight as originals as my molds and sizing dies will allow. I may not have the best accuracy but it gives me a better sense for what the ACW soldiers' experiences might have been, my goal in owning and shooting these in the first place.
 
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View attachment 141572

View attachment 141573

It's hard to choose......I have originals and repros of both.

The Enfields are beautiful rifles, and great shooters. I like the Enfield sights better. If you add in the 1855 Springfield with the ladder sight, it's a toss up. I was never a huge fan of the leaf sights of the Springfield although they do work.

The Springfields, in my opinion, are really good looking rifles but so are the Enfields. I like the Armory Bright steel but if you want, you can polish up an Enfield.

The Enfields feel a little more reliable. Maybe it's just me. I just fired 40 rounds with 0 misfires through the Musketoon. I recall my ArmiSport CS Richmond being kinda finicky the last time out. A few misfires.

Both of them are iconic and are historically important.
I have repro of both, and had at one time originals, too. Back in the early '60's, I fired live an Enfield musket which I later found out was a CS import; how many guys can say they fired live a real Confederate musket? Whew. Anyway, have repros of 42 Springfield, 61 Springfield (x2), and Enfield de-farb by the Blockade Runner; the later appearance of an 'accuracy modified' Enfield by Pedersoli kind of killed the cottage-industry of 'de-farbing'; most of us have flint muskets, too, but that's for another post. Your comments are right on. The replica 61 Springfields have flash pathways that are not as direct as the Original armory muskets. That's why the finicky schtick.
 
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I have a minty PH 2-band. It is a really nice rifle. I need to get back to it. Unfortunately the stock is made for a strange non modern shooting position. The idea is to use an open tactical type stance. The best off hand shots stand with left foot toward the target, with their elbow resting against your body. This is impossible for most shooters with the super high comb on the stock. If mine was not in such great condition I'd modify the stock. Even shooting off a rest requires a contorted head position.

I read that when those rifles were originally issued some officers had them restocked to resolve the problem.

The PH 2-band does have the progressive depth rifling with a faster twist . That is supposed to help accuracy. I may make a high clamp on front sight and rear peep to see just how accurate it is.
 
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I recall reading somewhere that as soon as Union troops were offered new Springfields they gladly traded in their Enfields. I have an original of each and a couple of reproductions of each. Maybe I just don't shoot enough (never enough!) but I can't tell why the Springfields might have been preferred. Maybe it really came down to convenience of the band springs versus screws for disassembly and cleaning. (All my reproduction Enfields have bunged up band screws from previous owners.)

I don't really notice any difference for me in the "fit" and I like shooting both. I'm always testing loads and lube but I try only to use Miniés that are as close to design, size and weight as originals as my molds and sizing dies will allow. I may not have the best accuracy but it gives me a better sense for what the ACW soldiers' experiences might have been, my goal in owning and shooting these in the first place.
Many of the Enfields the Union issued, recall they were all English imports, and were 'seconds' to begin with; the dealers in England rushed to sweep up large numbers and ship them to the US. Our National Armory and (22!) contractors turned out a good product.
 
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