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|31st January 2003||Bolt-Action Rifles in Zulu?|
By George Hulmes
Just something that I'd seen a few months ago and had been planning to ask you guys.
While re-watching Zulu, several soldiers were using single-shot bolt-action rifles. Notable scenes include when the flying platoon drives off the Zulus from the ramparts, with one soldier firing and reloading in the forground, and during the redoubt scene near the end, with one of the soldiers in the middle rank operating his rifle in the same way. (The latter appeared to slot a regular Boxer-Henry cartridge into the breach of his rifes like the MH users were doing with thier guns.)
I'm a bit Hazy about the rifles used by the British army from the Crimea (Minies and Enfields) to the Zulu war, but the bolt action rifles in Zulu looked startlingly like Mauser 1898s, but being used as if they were single-shot jobbies like the Dresin Needle-rifle.
I'd apreciate it if you could shed some light on this for me.
|31st January 2003||David Colbourne|
You are quite right, some of the soldiers were using bolt-action rifles. They were, in fact, Long Lee-Enfield rifles with the magazine removed to disguise them. (If you look really closely you can see the cocking piece go forward when the rifle is fired. Maybe the film makers didn't have enough Martini-Henry's for all the lads, so kept them for those in close up and the foreground. Anyway, it works pretty well. By the way, I am pretty sure that some of the Martini's are Martini-Enfields and not Martini-Henry's, but that's another story!
|4th February 2003||George Hulmes|
Thaks for the info David, its cleared things up a treat.
Now that you mention it, I do remember the cocking pieces at the rear of the bolt mechanism snapping forward when the rifles were fired. I own a Lee-Enfield * myself, so I know what you mean.
Anyway, thanks again!