Read Microsoft Word - Enfield No4T Conversion text version


n Introduction y alley Guns (TVG) is the professional renovation of classic m n military rifles The primary business of Thames Va from the tur rn of the cen ntury to the mid1970s. I am regularly asked to u upgrade thes se rifles to m more modern n specification ns; however converting a Lee Enfield No4 to a N d No4T is a rather rare ev vent, which i is due to the e rather large outlay and e effort, requir red. echanical En ngineers) Arm mourer I am a REME (Royal Electrical & Me d Course at Bo ordon, Hampshire, who trained on No62 Armourer C England in 1 1979. It was d during this course that I was trained on the L42A1, durin ng my 12yr career in the e British Arm my I spent m most of my time with Infantry battalions a in partic and cular workin with ng Sniper conce entrations. It t was this wo ork that developed L42A1's on S my passion for Sniper r rifles and I h have been w working with them h ever since. w pages desc cribes of how w Thames Va alley Guns su uccessfully an nd professionally conver rts a No4 into o The next few a No4T and describes ho ow's you the buyer can avoid any pot tential pitfall ls. Copies Fraudulent C No4T's fetch h a good pric ce these days s (2010) typi ically £3500 £4000 and that is simply due to the eir increasing g rarity. As a r result, unscru upulous dealers will atte empt to sell r rifles made u up from part ts as a genuine No4T and d as course at t a genuine r rifle's price. T The only way y to avoid th his is to stick k to known tr rustworthy d dealer and to o do your hom mework. lenty of good d publication ns out there e and some d decent inform mation on th he internet, however the e There are pl books I would recommend are as fol llows: No4 and No5 5 Rifles by Ch harles R Strat tton 1. Lee Enfield N ers perspectiv ve .303 No4T T Sniper Rifle e by Peter La aidler and Ian n Skinnerton n 2. An Armoure ield Story by Ian Skinnert ton 3. The Lee Enfi build up a No o4 that is a co opy of the No4T, it may h have a genui ine No32 sco ope and No4 4T parts but it At TVG we b is not an o original. We do however build the rifle with the intention of havin the sam or similar e ng me performance e as the original. convert a No o4 to a No4T T Reasons to c Only two rea asons that I a am aware of ff; to own a N No4T and at an affordable price, but even then d do not expect much chang ge out of £25 500.00. Also expect the project to ta ake some tim me as you w will have to s source all the e various parts prior to pre etest, the build itself and the final ac ccuracy tests s.

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Sourcing and d purchasing g the parts Rifle As a Armourer and as a person who o constantly restores No o4's I know t there are certain No4's t that function n better than t standard rifle, they just feel rig this is a difficult thi to describe as it is a the d ght, ing a and shoot b

matter of ex xperience bu ut suffice to say, their w woodwork loo oks more ap ppeasing, the ey assemble with greater ease, they cy ycle more ef fficiently and d most impor rtantly they s shoot a tight ter group. est fire the ri ifle to ensur re it is capab ble of a tight t group and t this is easier r said than d done as most You must te dealers do n not have rea ady access to o a range. Secondly it is s time consu uming and re equires a sm mall supply of ammunition n, all of which h will cost yo ou. ould also mee et the follow wing gauging requiremen nts. If your de ealer is a kno owledgeable e gunsmith or The rifle sho Armourer he e is likely to have the foll lowing gauge es: tridge head s space gauges s: 0.64in & 0.74in 1. Cart 2. Firin ng pin protru usion gauge: 0.40in ­ 0.50 0in 3. Bore e gauge: 0.30 01in 4. Bore e gauge: 0.30 07in Muzzle 5. Bore e gauge: 0.30 08in Lead y d er uire 4 Should the rifle fail any of the above, it should be rejected. One othe criterion I would requ is a No4 een blued ra ather than pa ainted finish, , which I exp plain the reas sons for later r. which has be y ect ver cluded other This is how I personally would sele a donor rifle; howev the customer might want to inc ple; criteria into this equation, for examp e lection process. This wo ould include the foresight blade sec cured with a a 1. In line with the original sel ew and a med dium sized b butt. scre 2. By m manufacturer, Maltby, En nfield, Longb branch and B BSA Shirley. 3. The customer could try and source an original No4 rifle with d 4T hout a scope but I doub very much e bt h ether this is f feasible as th hey have all b been snappe ed up. whe of the day al ll this selecti ion criteria, adds time, c cost and in m my opinion is s not worth it. If you are e At the end o planning to spend £2500 0 you need t to ensure th hat the rifle w will regularly y achieve a good 3" or less group at quality unwo barrel, r orn receiver and bolt, the r d rest is irrele evant as it c be easily can y 100yrds, have a good q restored. ave identifie ed your rifle, you then ne eed to have e the rifle inspected to e ensure the rifle has been n Once you ha assembled a and is functio oning correct tly and what t work is nee eded to the b basic rifle to g get it up to s standard.

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Woodwork The only oth her item of w woodwork yo ou will requir re to purchase is the che eek rest. They y were manu ufactured for No4T and the L42 and you will find both in the y e both the N market pla together with some more modern replicas ace r e s. The ones th hat are advertised as orig ginal should be looked at closely as t the seller will definitely have raised the price, in n my opinion most of th n hem will be for the L42' this is OK 's, K because as far as I know the design was identical. In my s y experience I have only seen original c cheek rest's red in Beech h; however t that does no ot mean they y manufactur were not m made in walnut. modern replic cas in circula ation and as s long as the ey match the e original the ey should be e considered d, There are m they tend to o be in walnu ut and they require a lot more work t to fit. o replica chee rests from the US but the ones I have encou ek m t untered are considerably y You can also purchase r different in s shape, so I w would stay aw way unless you can confirm their authenticity. e Ebay, Gunp parts Corp an nd various British dealers. Suppliers are Cheek rest s screws I have added d this paragr raph because e unfortunat tely there are unscrupulo ous dealers o out their selling so called d genuine scre ews. One of my customers purchase ed these scr rews in good d faith only f for me to po oint out they y were moder rn cheap pla ated Philip sc crews. The o originals wer re brass slotted wood sc crews, if you u can't find a a supply go to o B&Q's and buy some go ood quality b brass slotted d wood screw ws of the correct length, , I can assure e you, there is s very little difference. No32 Scope These are rare beasties and you w pay a lot of money for one. I s one from time to ti s will t see m ime on Ebay y ou will have to search th he internet u until one comes up with h a dealer or r private sale e. In the UK I otherwise yo occasionally y see one from time to tim me at the Bis sley Phoenix Trade show w. hese scopes so the following I am not an expert on th are confined to my limite ed knowledg ge as comments a an Armoure My first comment is to do s er. t some serious hom mework, read up as muc as you ca If d ch an. you have an ny contact w with Peter Laidler, have a a talk as he is in m my opinion th he foremost t expert on t these scopes. T There is also a web forum called a b (http://w m www.milsurp w which contains som useful information. Do not go into me the purchase e of one of t these scopes s blind as it c could cost you dea arly. a scope the f first thing is to verify the e dealer, if h he's genuine your half way there, if i it's Ebay or a a If you find a dealer with a a poor history, approach h with extrem me caution.

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urer, my brie ef inspection criteria for t the scope wo ould be as fo ollows: As an Armou en you handle the scope, , does anything appear lo oose. 1. Whe 2. The external sur rfaces should d be reasonable with no obvious dents, fractures, burrs or dis stortions k at both len nses in the lig ght, this is difficult to ex xplain but loo ok at the len ns from an an ngle, look for 3. Look scratches, foggin ng, chipping or obvious fractures. k through the ocular lens s, the one ne earest your e eye, it should d be bright a and clear with no obvious 4. Look dam mage. 5. Look k through the sight at an object 100y yrds or more away, the p picture should be clear an nd in focus. 6. Look k at the retic cle, again no damage, no distortion, b breaks or dust. 7. Look k at the wind dage and ele evation drum ms, they shou uld be sitting square to th he body. 8. Gently adjust the drums, the ey should rot tate positively, should no ot slip, or fee el rough or erratic. k at the obje ective lens, lik ke the ocular lens it mus st be free from damage. 9. Look s of damage 10. Look k through th he objective lens and me ean through the lens, loo ok behind it for any signs e, fung gus, growth o or anything t that may be loose. 11. Look k at the scop pes markings s, this is whe ere your rese earch will pa ay off; do the ey appear ge enuine, seria al num mbers, correc ct font and M MOD marking gs. t the above w will offer you any guaran ntees, I am s simply offeri ing you my e experience in n I make no promises that n a reasonable scope. the hope you can obtain Body Pads I am only aware of rep plicas and th one's I have experienced were o the wron thickness. This causes he of ng . pr roblems beca ause if they are too thin n yo ou will have to shim to g get the scope e in line with the bore. If the person t f n ssembling the rifle lacks the e as en ngineering sk the scop kills pe will never ali ign correc ctly and your very y ex xpensive proj ject will be o over. Original pad ds taken of an unservicea able rifle will l be heavily s staked and w would have b been fitted/m machined for the original rifle. Genera ally I persona ally would av void second h hand pads. Telescope B Bracket The bracket on this rifle e was a repli ica. Whilst it t presented no problems s, it should b be clocked to ensure the e es are true a and that whe en the brack ket is secured to the pad ds, it is comp pletely vertic cal. It should d bearing face also be fitte carefully to the scope to ensure the scope a the bracket mat co ed and orrectly. If th bracket is he poorly made e there is eve ery possibilit ty it could da amage the sc cope. Sling swivel Two issues t be aware off. With the No4T the main screw which sec to e e w cures the receiver r to the woodwork was f fitted with a sling swivel for use with h the M1907 sling g. There two sling swivels s in circulatio on that look almost ident tical, the No4T an nd the P14. T The P14 has a a different th hread which will damage e the rifle if you tr ry to force it. . ng swivel was also modif fied to take t the 1907 slin ng and can e easily The rear slin be identified d by its much h larger size. 4 | Thames Val lley Guns ­ 0 03/12/10


Rearsight The No4T re earsight is different to th hat of the sta andard No4. The battle s sight is removed and a sectio on of the sigh ht is machined to provid de clearance and olt moved witho lifting th rearsight as was requ out he uired allow the bo to be rem for the No4. ely ulous dealers are selling sights with only the battle s g h Unfortunate unscrupu sight filed of ff Buyers be eware. Chest and ancillaries It is not my intention to o go into the e transport c chest and an ny of the anc cillaries in th his article as s we are only y he conversio on of the rifle e. discussing th f the rifle Assembly of rt to expand on this subj ject I think a a few word o of explanatio on are neces ssary. Most p publications I Before I star have seen in circulation and on the n n e internet, discuss the as ssembly of t scope to the o the rifle by the origina y al methods use ed by Holland & Holland and as a sou urce of inform mation are e excellent refe erences. is is 2010 and those facilities, tooling g and techniq ques are long g gone, I do not have unl limited spare e However thi parts, I have e one set pu urchased at c considerable e expense by y the custom mer, who ma ay have take en months or years assem mbling the rel levant parts, , so therefor re I cannot afford to mak ke a mistake. If I do mak ke a mistake I want to be a able to put i it right other rwise I will h have to reim mburse the cu ustomer. The erefore I ass semble these e rifles using m modern engineering stan ndards as I w will explain as s we go along g. Preparation n and tooling g A note of warning; this is not a job f for a amateu ur or super k keen shooter who has re ead a few bo ooks and can n D bers for a Le Enfield rifle. You will need a well equipment ee l quote from memory all of the MOD part numb with a lathe milling ma e, achines, highest quality tooling and measuring equipment d g t. engineering workshop w most importa antly you ne eed a tool maker/Armou urer who kno ows not just rifles inside e out but has Lastly and m considerable e experience e working on the L42A1 o or the No4T. Preparation n The rifle nee eds to be co ompletely disassembled d right down n to the basic receiver and barrel. This is a good d opportunity to degrease e both the rif fles action an nd all the parts. This process is very revealing and you will be e s ount of debr rust and dirt that is hidden underneath the oil and gre ris, e ease. Whilst I surprised as to the amo complete th process w all my r his with rifles as a matter of prid and profe de essionalism it is also for a very good i d reason. Your rifle is about to be mac chined to tolerances of p plus or minu us one thous sand of an in nch. Any rust t, rt is simply n not acceptab ble. Once the e rifle has be een degreased I then po olish both the e rifle and al ll debris or dir the component parts to remove any y debris or ru ust that the d degreasing process has id dentified. to s to e The rifle is now ready t be mounted on the milling machine's bed. This process is critical t the whole e rifle must be secured t to the bed an nd must be p perfectly setup in three a axis's, vertica al, horizonta al exercise. The and rotation nal. The rifle' 's bore must t be absolute ely parallel to the bed an nd the receiv ver utilising t the rearsight bracket mus st be vertical to the bed. . I stress the rifles bore a as no external surfaces s should be used. The bore e is where all measuremen nts must be taken from.

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Tooling eed to be ma anufactured for this task k. Two tools ne ndrical bar w which has th he identical d diameter to the No32 Sc cope and tapered to a p point at both h 1. Cylin ends s. This replac ces the No32 2 scope in the scope brac cket. 2. Cylin ndrical bar m machined to the same d dimensions a as the rifles c chamber and bore. Once inserted in n the bore and cha amber there e must be no movement. e of the two bars is to act as point o of reference to ensure e exact alignment of the sc cope bracket The purpose with the rifle es bore. f the pads Assembly of I have no in ntention of describing t engineer the ring process here as thi is not the purpose of the article is e e. How wever there are some po oints you should be awa of. The o are original pads s were fitted and then machined in situ to achieve a e t alignment with the bore e. We cannot do t with rep this plica pads as they have already bee machined s en d, refore the pa ads have to aligned with h a microme etre or clock k. The side of ther the rifles receiv has to b milled to ensure vert ver be tical alignme with the ent e e. The front p pad is to be f fitted first an nd the rear p pad second. The rear pad d bore again has to be not only ali igned with the bore but also the fro pad. The t ont e s to be profiled to rifles r receiver. rear pad also has t that you wi ill identify if the replica p pads you hav ve purchased d It is at this point at some con nsiderable expense were machined to the right dimensions In my case and I susp e t s. pect in many y others they are not. The e pads I was s provided w with were to o ore you can never align t them with th he bore. The e thin, therefo only solution hem out. If t the pads are e n is to shim and pack th too thick this is not such h a problem a as they can b by machined to size. nor ess eceiver; this s Another min issue is the hardne of the re varies dep pending on hardenin n ng process of each manufacture er. Whilst th he metal at t the front of the receiver r was relative soft the rear was so hard, even a tungsten ely o n carbide tool o get through h. struggled to scope bracke et are perfect tly aligned w with the bore e, the pads and the receiver require a a Once the pads and the s e pads have t to be secured. protective finish and the inish Protective fi Many No4's have a bak paint fin s ked nish, I am no sure if this finish was applied to No4T's, it w however ot s was applied to L L42A1's. The problem wi ith this finish h is that it c cannot be re eplicated tod day. There is a very good d modern pain nt process fo or firearms c called "Durac coat" and po otentially you could utilise this proce ess, however it is not my p primary choi ice as any pa aint will prod duce an unev ven surface a and will affect the fitting g of the pads s. Secondly if y you paint aft ter the pads s are fitted, m moisture can n gain access behind the e pad and ru ust and again n cause an un neven surface. If your No o4 has this f finish I would d suggest yo ou have the receiver pow wder blasted d before the m machining pr rocess takes place and th he fitting of the pads. blued receive ers which ar re my prefer rred choice o of protective e Fortunately the No4's I have experienced had b eason is that t you can blu ue the pads, screws, shim ms and receiv ver with no e effect on the e pads. finish. The re 6 | Thames Val lley Guns ­ 0 03/12/10


e pads Securing the On the original rifles th screws were secured to the pads by staking Whilst this process worked in the he g. s e troyed the p pads. I remem mber seeing as a young Armourer pads that mo ore had more e 1940's it ultimately dest ad craters. It t looks terrib ble and ultim mately the pads surface b becomes so d damaged you u stakes than the moon ha er effectively y lock the scr rew. can no longe e, it looks bet tter, it is just t as effective e and if the s screw becom mes loose it c can be cleaned up and re e I use Loctite secured, last tly the pad is s not damage ed in any wa ay. So far I am m using Loctite 243 with no problems, however if the pads do become los se you can in ncrease the a adhesive stre ength up to Loctite studlock. Howev ver if you use e e only way yo ou can releas se the screws is by applying heat. studlock the Collimation rticle on the internet by Peter Laidl that the rifle and scope were co e y ler ollimated, if I remember I read an ar correctly at 175yrds. On nce again the e facilities ar re no longer r available an nd I certainly y have no ac ccess to such h and state tha at when I fit a scope it is parallel to the bore, give or take a a facilities, so I will be quite honest a ustment must be done o on the scope. . thou, so adju works Remaining w Woodwork restoration ve" are in various conditi ions and usu ually the woo od work has seen a rough h Most No4's purchased "off the shelv

life. Therefo if you ar going to invest in a conversion o this type g the woo ore re c of get odwork resto ored. A good d walnut stock k, fully restored will reall ly add to the e rifles appea arance and w will add to the overall pro ofessionalism m of the job. est should be e colour mat tched to the butt and correctly fitted d, ensuring that it is secu ured, vertical l, The cheek re contoured to the butt and does not t interfere w with the remo oval of the b bolt. The slot tted brass sc crews should d e into recess s for the oil b bottle. not protrude Bedding on a No4T/L4 42A1 has to be correctly y fitted and the two rifles differ slig ghtly in this respect. The e The wood o L42A1 has a a heavy barre el and has to o be "Floatin ng"; the No4 4T has a light barrel and does not flo oat, in fact it must bear ag gainst the fo ore end with a force of ap pproximately y 3lbs.

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To bed an Enfield by traditiona o y al methods requ m uires skill, pa atience, time e, en ngineers blu and a sha chisel. In ue arp n sh hort the receiver and barrel must be against certain ke points to ear ey o maximise the rifles accu m e uracy. Get it wrong and the rifles ability to w o ge enerate a tig ght group goes out of the e window. w Whilst the abo W ove process is fine, it can n be very time consumin and thus e e ng s ex xpensive. To o minimise th he cost I use e modern bedd m ding materials which is a a ement on th he old metho ods. Using a modern two o pack epoxy y resin achiev ves a perfect t fit between n vast improve the receiver and the woo od. purist start to scream b blue murder, I was taught to do it t hard wa but I rem , the ay member quite e Before the p clearly that once I was in the field w with an Armo ourers works shop we were issued wi ith a two pac ck putty that very purpose e of bedding g. was for the v Trigger his section de eliberately ti ill after the b bedding section for the simple reason n that on a N No4 Mk1, the e I have left th fitting of th woodwor will affect your trigger pull. The he rk t erefore it is imperative that the wo is fitted ood d correctly bef fore you adjust the trigger. s fantry No4 r rifle had a tr rigger which could be anywhere ar h a round 58lbs s. The reality is that the standard inf rifle was for a shooting team or it was a No4T the trigger was checked for safety and was not w w d Unless the r tuned for a fine, crisp r release. With upwards o 800 rifles in a battalio the unit a h of on armourer sim mply did not me or in some e cases may I say, the inc clination. have the tim e if you are converting a a No4 ensure the trigger r is tuned to o typically ar round 3lbs, a anything less So therefore with an Enfie eld type trigg ger mechani ism I would d deem dangerous, anythin ng more will affect accur racy. ng Range testin The moment of truth for me, all the e effort, the c choice of rifles, the precision engineering work t to ensure the e ng of the scope all comes s down to the next few shots. correct fittin e scope is se et to zero an nd I Initially I The lase bore sight the rifle the scope er e, e sho ould be fairly y close. In La aidlers book k, An Armourers prospective .303 No4(T T) eter shows a chart for dry y Sniper Rifle, Pe o32 nd s testing the No scope an describes e uplicating th process is his s the process. Du a g good indicat that the scope has tor e s bee correctly fitted. If this process en y s fails there is something wrong and d proceeding f further may be wishful thinking. 8 | Thames Val lley Guns ­ 0 03/12/10


as produce a fir round hit with a cold rst t d There is no such thing a warming shots for a Sniper; the rifle must p not have an Enfield rest s so therefore e I shoot from m a bench ut tilising shoot ting bags to m minimise any y barrel. I do n human errors and my ta arget is place ed at 100yrd ds. My target consists of f a black four inch square and I place e eft or right hand bottom corner of th he black squa are. There is good reason n the tip of the scopes reticle on the le roach, magn nification on these old sc copes was m minimal and in the case o of the No32 I think I read d for this appr they were x3 3.75, therefo ore you need d to find a go ood referenc ce point where your poin nt of aim will be constant t. The middle o of the black square will n not provide a any consisten ncy and your r point of aim m will always s vary. th a cold bar rrel I fire thr ree rounds u using factory ammo and check the gr roup. The gr roup must be e Shooting wit 3" or less an nd within four inches of the point of aim. Using g the scope d drums I adju ust onto the point of aim m and let the r rifle cool. On nce cold I fire e a further 3rds and repe eat the group p. My last rif fle I built, ach hieved a 1.5" " group. elieve slip the e scope drum ms, a process s which I am not ofay wit th. However as Peter Laidler states in n You can I be his books, "i if it works leave it alone" " the No32 s scope is getting old now and is not as robust as i in its heyday y, adjusting the e drums may y break them m and there i is no easy ac ccess to spare es. Summary That was ach hieved throu ugh a long pr rocess of rifle selection a and precision n My last rifle achieved a 1.5" group. T have its worr rying moments from tim me to time, however it is not alway ys possible to o engineering and it did h hat result every time as t there are ma any things th hat potentially can go wro ong, for exam mple: guarantee th fective in som me way. 1. The scope is def ective replica a parts like the pads and scope brack ket. 2. Defe 3. The rifle was not t bench teste ed for accura acy prior to t the conversio on taking pla ace. a ong s, nce Converting a No4 into No4T is a lo and precise process where a lot of patien is required, however success at th he end I can honestly say y is extremely rewarding as the picture below dep picts.

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Microsoft Word - Enfield No4T Conversion

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