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Thread: My Shrunken Wood... need advice on No 4 Enfield.

  1. #16
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    Pictures tell 1000 words.

    "Lee Enfield No 4 shoots 2" vertical and 6"-8" horizontal spread at 100 metres"

    A good as issued no4 mk1 should to 2inch MOA.
    A good target bedded no4 mk1 should shoot approaching 1moa

    "On examination of the patient, the barrel fore-end touches against the left/bottom of the fore-end of the stock whereas it should be free floating there (as it is centre barrel bedded, but it is not even resting fully into the fibreglass centre bedding pillar). Further back, only the left one of the twin recoil lugs is in firm touch with the stock, from checking with some sprinkled flour. The rear transverse steel bar is 1 millimetre ahead off of the wrist band, leading me to conclude there has been some serios stock shrinkage."

    So its target bedded. A well done no4 gun should do 1inch MOA, however it sounds more like the stock is twisted as well as dried out? If you need a new forestock $150NZ ish.

    The transfer bar should be clear of the wrist but the wood stock should project back further on to the wrist. Indeed for the 1 moa accuracy the wood must be hard against the wrist.

    Both lugs have to take weight on the draws, if the right lug is touching then that explains the left touch at the nose. To correct the alignment the easiest way is cut out the old draws and insert copper or brass 3mm thick plates and then pack shims behind them to align the barrel. I can give you a screenshot of the job if need be (pic is at home). At some point I need to build a 3d printable jig to make fixing this easier.

    I would indeed carefully remove the varnish and proceed to multi-coat (like 10 heavy coats with fingers) with boiled linseed oil. Do not let any get on the Inner wood surfaces as you need to do a lot of epoxy bedding I suspect.

    There is a very good book on kindle "accuarising enfields" not expensive to download if you have a tablet or something.

    150gr v 174gr. Lots of comments on these but its simple, some no4 guns actually like 150gr more than the 174gr.

    Boat tail v flat base. Depends on the barrel, I have a tight (new) 303 Heavy barrel that I get 1/4moa at most from SMK HPBT v Barnaul 174 FB FMJs. I have a reasonably used barrel that shoots the same accuracy with both. In this instance though the ammo has no significant bearing on the problems you have IMHO.
    Last edited by steven; 21-08-2017 at 04:59 PM.
    Bagheera likes this.
    "I do not wish to be a pawn or canon fodder on the whims of MY Government"

  2. #17
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    spreydon christcurch.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cordite View Post
    @kotuku and @Mickey Duck,

    Yes, no point being in denial that the No 4 is just no 1200-metre sniper's dream but a more rough tool, a semi-auto bolt action at best.

    In the book dealing with WW1 snipers, "Sniping in France" (creepy title - sounds like a holiday memoir!), the author points out that main factor was age of barrel. Over 600 shots the SMLE's accuracy deteriorated. I guess fibreglass bedding would not help that.

    Meanwhile, it is fun to tinker and dream of what may never become reality and to play with different kinds of ammo. The groups will get smaller, but there has to be a point of diminishing returns, and it's not at 0.5 MOA.
    very true squire but then again bugger me ye old.303 is 2nd rifle off the rack in afghanistan behind the infamous AK47. ive recently read a few brit/yank books written by those that served and was suprised,but given that you can buy anything in kabul or in the khyber pass regions real or homebuilt cant say im suprised.

    Im not a "sniper" by any strectch but if it falls over when i touch the trigger(as have quite few ducks geese rabbits possums and the odd bunny) well its job gone!!!!

  3. #18
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    Hi im not expert but those draws at the back of the foreend should have copper shims in them. Possibly fallen out and lost in the past.

    Fibrrglass bedding may just need replacing.

    I'd check the sights too. Is that ladder a bit wobbly ?

    It will do you good to rework the stock. Could be if varnished some parts allowed more moisture in or out so is warped and a traditional boiled linseed finish might allow it to straighten. I use linseed on inside surfaces of mine but its a free floated sporter.

    I feel that mine shoots better with 150 than 125gr. Its a
    Mk III*. Flat base are said to be more tolerant in some way. I use sierra 150gr.

  4. #19
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steven View Post
    So its target bedded. A well done no4 gun should do 1inch MOA, however it sounds more like the stock is twisted as well as dried out? If you need a new forestock $150NZ ish.

    The transfer bar should be clear of the wrist but the wood stock should project back further on to the wrist. Indeed for the 1 moa accuracy the wood must be hard against the wrist.

    Both lugs have to take weight on the draws, if the right lug is touching then that explains the left touch at the nose. To correct the alignment the easiest way is cut out the old draws and insert copper or brass 3mm thick plates and then pack shims behind them to align the barrel. I can give you a screenshot of the job if need be (pic is at home). At some point I need to build a 3d printable jig to make fixing this easier.

    I would indeed carefully remove the varnish and proceed to multi-coat (like 10 heavy coats with fingers) with boiled linseed oil. Do not let any get on the Inner wood surfaces as you need to do a lot of epoxy bedding I suspect.

    There is a very good book on kindle "accuarising enfields" not expensive to download if you have a tablet or something.

    150gr v 174gr. Lots of comments on these but its simple, some no4 guns actually like 150gr more than the 174gr.

    Boat tail v flat base. Depends on the barrel, I have a tight (new) 303 Heavy barrel that I get 1/4moa at most from SMK HPBT v Barnaul 174 FB FMJs. I have a reasonably used barrel that shoots the same accuracy with both. In this instance though the ammo has no significant bearing on the problems you have IMHO.
    @steven

    Thanks, I did get that transfer bar thing totally wrong... by epoxy-shimming the transfer bar surface (?correct name for that part) into firm contact with the wrist, rather than the wood above and below it.

    The linseed / wood turps, as far as I see, did not cause any great re-expansion or untwisting of the wood, in the end I redid the glassfibre bedding. Also put a bit of cork strips under the ends of the topwoods under the central barrel band. The front half of the barrel is now free floating and not resting against either the bottom of or the right aspect of the wood forend.

    Still have to go and test her on the range this weekend. Have some CAC Mk VII spitzers, HXP boattails and S&B BTSPs so see which one it favours. I might end up asking for that screenshot of the draws job.
    Make God laugh. Brag about your plans.

  5. #20
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bagheera View Post
    Hi im not expert but those draws at the back of the foreend should have copper shims in them. Possibly fallen out and lost in the past.

    Fibrrglass bedding may just need replacing.

    I'd check the sights too. Is that ladder a bit wobbly ?

    It will do you good to rework the stock. Could be if varnished some parts allowed more moisture in or out so is warped and a traditional boiled linseed finish might allow it to straighten. I use linseed on inside surfaces of mine but its a free floated sporter.

    I feel that mine shoots better with 150 than 125gr. Its a
    Mk III*. Flat base are said to be more tolerant in some way. I use sierra 150gr.
    @Bagheera,

    Should the twin draws slots always have brass shims in them? Mine don't. It would seem to make sense as it is an area very prone to damage when disassembling/assembling the firearm, no matter how much care you take.

    I did rework the stock with plenty linseed, did not see clear obvious results, but it feels right having "fed the wood". (-:
    Make God laugh. Brag about your plans.

  6. #21
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    mine did this not that long ago. Open up the tight area and move on. Its my understanding that trying to reverse the shrinkage is very difficult and requires steaming.
    Cordite likes this.

  7. #22
    Member Cordite's Avatar
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    A very helpful page, from our esteemed colonial cousins in Canada:

    Link: RIFLECHAIR'S LOUNGE: Match tuning considerations for the Lee Enfield rifle

    Name:  comparison.jpg
Views: 33
Size:  143.3 KB

    I didn't "get it" before how the rear shims lift the action rear end up in order to cause a forward tilt of the action at the action screw, and thus help to get the desired barrel down-pressure at the front of the stock.

    The stock draws slots unfortunately then must be re-shimmed as the angle is changed from the action tilting forwards.
    Make God laugh. Brag about your plans.

  8. #23
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    I would not call this stage one and stage 2 myself.

    So the top bedding is military bedding with 3~5lbs of pressure on the nose bed. If you want to shoot in service rifle as far as I am aware this is the only approved bedding method.

    The so called stage 2 is but one option for target bedding with about 10lbs pressure. The other very popular one is where that middle band bed is moved back to 1/2 way between the knox and the mid band.

    and then there are variations all over the place like both "mid" beds and all beds, and 4 beds and simply just bed the entire damn thing.

    In terms of poundage this is where the rear most shims come in, you shim different amounts to get different pressure to find what the gun likes.

    Really its a pain in the ass.....
    "I do not wish to be a pawn or canon fodder on the whims of MY Government"

 

 

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