HC Deb 22 March 1900 vol 81 cc39-40
MR. HEDDERWICK (Wick Burghs)

I beg to ask the Under Secretary of State for War whether having regard to the importance in modern warfare of rapidity of loading, to the admitted inferiority in that particular of the service rifle now supplied to our troops, and to the sums voted by Parliament for the equipment of the Army, the War Office will consider the propriety of taking immediate steps to bring the British service rifle in respect of its loading arrangements up to an equality with the rifle in use by the Boers, and with the other well-known rifles, so that our soldiers may not be placed at a disadvantage in the field as compared with the soldiers of other-Powers.


It is not admitted that the British rifle is inferior in rate of continuous fire to the rifle of any other Power. Experiments are, however, being made to secure greater expedition in the process of replenishing the existing magazine. It should be remembered that our rifle is intended to be used normally as a single-loader; the magazine with its ten cartridges being kept as a reserve.