C&Rsenal is at it again, continuing their coverage of World War I weapons turning their attention to the British Pattern 14 rifle. With over 1.2 million built, the rifles served the Empire admirably and would later go on to serve as the inspiration for the US M1917 Enfield rifle, which was the primary weapon of the US infantry in the war.
The weapon was ultimately the result of the British “Small Arms Committee” that “scoured the world for innovation”. Like other powers of the day, the British Empire ran into the ugly end of the truly revolutionary Mauser rifles, which beat out the British rifles in terms of weight, range, rate of fire, and other critical metrics.
Despite being more accurate than the Lee-Enfield rifle, it was not widely deployed due to a combination of manufacturing constraints and preference by infantry for the higher magazine capacity of the Lee-Enfield. With its weight (it was heavy), rapid fire mechanism, and accuracy, the rifle was primarily used by sharp-shooters and snipers all the way through World War II before it was pronounced obsolete in 1947. In fact, a “fine adjustment” iron sight set was developed for the rifle and later a telescopic sight.
Interesting bit of history: the Pattern 14 rifle was primarily manufactured in the United States. US companies to make the rifle included Winchester, Remington, and Eddystone.