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The Mad Minute Drill

Now this is a very old infantry trick that can be still used today. Especially when you really want to upset somebodys plans on messing with you.
For example the British Army at the Battle of Mons gave the Germans a very nasty surprise. With their rapid aimed fire that could take a man out at over 4oo yards.
Below is how it came about and how to do it.

Mad Minute Marksmanship — The One-Minute Lee-Enfield Drill

Lee Enfield Mad Minute one-minute rifle drill British Army Gary Eliseo Dennis Santiago
British Lee-Enfield Model SHT’22/IV Rifle, courtesy
Our friend Dennis Santiago was a technical advisor for History Channel’s Top SHOT TV show. One of the notable Top Shot episodes involved the “Mad Minute”, a marksmanship drill practiced by the British Army in the decades preceding World War I. Dennis observed that the Top Shot competitors didn’t fare too well in their “Mad Minute” attempts, not scoring many hits in the alloted one-minute time period. That prompted Dennis to give it a try himself — seeing how many hits he could score in one minute with an authentic Lee-Enfield rifle. So, a while back, Dennis ran the drill at a range in California.
Dennis, an active high power rifle competitor and instructor, enjoyed his “Mad Minute” exercise, though he assures us that this takes practice to perfect. Dennis tells us: “Here is a ‘Mad Minute’ drill, done using a period correct Lee-Enfield (SMLE) No.1 Mk III rifle and Mk VII ammo. I got to the Queen’s Regulations (15 hits in one minute) on the second run and put a good group on the target at 200 yards. This is ‘jolly good fun’ to do every once in a while. This is ‘living history’ — experiencing a skill from a time when the sun never set on the British Empire.”
Dennis Does the Mad Minute

Lee Enfield Mad Minute Mark IV
British Lee-Enfield Model SHT’22/IV Rifle, courtesy
Lee Enfield Mad Minute Mark IVLee-Enfield No. 4 Rifle (1943), courtesy Arundel Militaria.
“Mad Minute” was a pre-World War I term used by British Army riflemen during training at the Hythe School of Musketry to describe scoring a minimum of 15 hits onto a 12″ round target at 300 yards within one minute using a bolt-action rifle (usually a Lee-Enfield or Lee-Metford rifle). It was not uncommon during the First World War for riflemen to greatly exceed this score. The record, set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall, was 38 hits. (From WikiPedia.)
Want to See More “Mad Minute” Action with a Modern Tubegun?
In 2012, Gary Eliseo ran a “Mad Minute” exercise using a modern, .308 Win Eliseo RTM Tubegun of his own making. Gary ended up with 24 hits on a bull target set at 300 yards. (Gary actually had 25 hits in 25 rounds fired, but the last round hit just after the 60-second time period expired.) Note how Gary pulls the trigger with the middle finger of his right hand. This allows him to work the bolt faster, using his thumb and index finger. CLICK HERE for Eliseo Tubegun Mad Minute story.
Watch Gary Elesio Shoot the ‘Mad Minute’ (Starts at 4:47 on Video)

NOTE: In an interesting coincidence, Dennis Santiago was actually in the pits pulling targets for Gary during Eliseo’s 2012 “Mad Minute” exercise.

History of the Mad Minute
Commentary by Laurie Holland
The original military requirement of the “Mad Minute” saw the soldier ready to fire with a round in the chamber, nine in the magazine, safety on. This course of fire is still followed by the GB Historic Breechloading Arms Association and other bodies in their recreated “Mad Minute” competitions.
The first 10 would go quickly, but reloads were critical, this not done by a magazine change as Gary did with the RTM or in a modern tactical or semi-auto rifle, but through slick use of ‘chargers’. It is this aspect which fouls so many of my colleagues up as it is very easy to cause a jam and a large part of 60 seconds can go in sorting it out!
Charger clips were selected for those that just held the rounds firmly enough to stop then falling out, were sand-papered and polished with a stove / fireplace polish called ‘Zebrite’ so that the rimmed rounds would slip through the clips like corn through a goose.
lee enfield 1916 rifle
If you’re unfamiliar with the cock-on-closing Enfield action, it seems clumsy. With intensive practice it is very smooth and can be operated incredibly quickly. The trick is to whip the bolt back onto its stop and initiate a rebound movement that takes it and the cartridge well into the chamber thereby reducing the effort required to close the bolt and chamber the round.

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Mad minute

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

British sergeant instructor with the Royal Scots Fusiliers trains a recruit on how to fire the SMLE Mk III Lee–Enfield in prone position, 31 August 1942.

The Lee–Enfield bolt action rifle is known for its smooth operation and often associated with the Mad Minute.

The Mad Minute was a pre-World War I boltrifle speed shooting exercise used by British Army riflemen, using the Lee–Enfield service rifle. The exercise (Practice number 22, Rapid Fire, ‘The Musketry Regulations, Part I, 1909) required the rifleman to fire 15 rounds at a “Second Class Figure” target at 300 yards.
The practice was described as; “Lying. Rifle to be loaded and 4 rounds in the magazine before the target appears. Loading to be from the pouch or bandolier by 5 rounds afterwards. One minute allowed”.
The practice was only one of the exercises from the annual classification shoot which was used to grade a soldier as a marksman, first-class or second-class shot, depending on the scores he had achieved.
The rapid aimed fire of the ‘Mad Minute’ was accomplished by used a ‘palming’ method where the rifleman used the palm of his hand to work the bolt, and not his thumb and fore finger, while maintaining his cheek weld and line of sight.
The “Second Class Figure Target” was 48″ square (approximately 1.2 x 1.2 meters), with 24” inner (61 cm) and 36” magpie (92 cm) circles. The aiming mark was a 12” x 12” (30 x 30 cm) silhouette figure that represented the outline of the head of a man aiming a rifle from a trench. Points were scored by a hit anywhere on the target.
Although a 12” target is often mentioned in connection with the Mad Minute practice, this seems to have been an error originating in Ian Hogg’s book, ‘The Encyclopedia of Weaponry’. No other source mentions a 12″ target.
Thus according to the myth the target size would have been a 1.11 mil circle (3.82 moa), while in reality the target size was a 4.5 mil square (15.3 moa) making the area counting scoring hits over 15 times bigger.

World record[edit]

A sketch of the Second Class Figure target used in the original Mad Minute Classification Exercise. The 12″ aiming mark resembles the silhoutte of a soldier. 3 points are scored for hits within the inner 24″ circle, 2 points are scored for hits within the outer 36″ circle and 1 point is scored for hits within the 48″ square

The first Mad Minute record was set by Sergeant Major Jesse Wallingford in 1908, scoring 36 hits on a 48 inch target at 300 yards (4.5 mils/ 15.3 moa).[1]
Allegedly another world record of 38 hits, all within the 24 inch target at 300 yards (2.25 mils/ 7.6 moa), is said to have been set in 1914 by Sergeant Instructor Alfred Snoxall,[2] but there is little documentation and it is unsure whether it was actually accomplished or British propaganda.
There has been major discussion whether it is actually possible to shoot that fast and accurate with a bolt rifle.

In the Mad Minute Challenge in Norway in 2015 a standard 200 m DFStarget was used, scoring 1 point for every hit inside the black area which is 400 mm in diameter and corresponds to 2 mils at 200 meters (6.9 moa).

This actually makes the target size used in the Norwegian event smaller compared to the myth of Alfred Snoxall, who allegedly had all 36 hits inside a 24″ circle at 300 yards (2.22 mils/ 7.64 moa).

A Mad Minute event was held in SoknedalNorway, on 30 May 2015 featuring some of the best stang shooters in the country.[3]
The competition was called the “Mad Minute Challenge”[1], and was shot at a round 400 mm diameter target at 200 meters (2 mils/ 6.9 moa), making the target smaller than original. The winner, Thomas Høgåsseter, scored 36 hits. The average score, of 11 shooters, was 29.

Target section sizes[edit]

The tables below are based on the sections (12, 24, 36 and 48 inches) of the original Second Class Figure target placed at 300 yards, and shows the same relative target sizes for different ranges.
The military service ammunition from that time (such as .303 British.30-06 Springfield6.5×55mm8x57mm etc.) are more high powered and less wind drift prone compared to modern military intermediate service ammunition (such as 5.56 NATO5.45×39mm5.8×42mm, etc.).
With the high powered calibers wind drift will barely be noticeable at 100 m, slightly more at 200 m and will only become a small factor at 300 m.

Relative size 100 yd (91 m) 200 yd (183 m) 300 yd (270 m)
3.82 moa (1.11 mil) 4 in (100 mm) 8 in (203 mm) 12 in (305 mm)
6.75 moa (2 mil) 7 in (180 mm) 14 in (355 mm) 21 in (530 mm)
7.64 moa (2.22 mil) 8 in (203 mm) 16 in (406 mm) 24 in (610 mm)
11.46 moa (3.34 mil) 12 in (305 mm) 24 in (610 mm) 36 in (914 mm)
15.3 moa (4.5 mil) 16 in (410 mm) 32 in (810 mm) 48 in (1220 mm)
  • Equivalent metric target sizes
Attachments area
Preview YouTube video The Great War – opening shots. The BEF at Mons 23 August 1914

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