Extended Magazines for Bolt Action Rifles
The bolt-action rifle was the premier weapon of the early 20th century. With virtually every country in the world using an Arisaka, Lebel, Mauser, Mannlincher, Enfield or Mosin designed box fed weapon, the foot soldiers of every continent stood neck and neck in the small arms race. Once the balloon went up in August 1914 and World War one erupted, these bolt guns suddenly could not be upgraded and modified fast enough to compete with a modern battlefield controlled by belt-fed machine-guns.
The British, with a professional pre-war army built on long serving regulars, had already adopted the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE) whose 10-round detachable magazine doubled their rate of fire. Germany responded by retrofitting large “Trench” magazines to their Gewehr 98 Mauser rifles. Holding 25-rounds in a steel box, it replaced the standard factory installed five round internal magazine and hung from the bottom of the rifle prominently. The downside was that the rifle could no longer be fired in a true prone position, but this was not a problem on the trenches of the Western Front.
See the rest at my column at Firearms Talk.com http://www.firearmstalk.com/entries/Extended-Magazines-for-Bolt-Action-Rifles.html