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(BOUGHT IT) a 1914 BSA SMLE ftr'd in 44*

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 14 2017 at 6:57pm
one fine looking rifle ............
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2017 at 2:48pm
Please do me a favor guys.
Take a good, close look at the images of the bare receiver & the inside of the mag-well & tell me if you think you see any evidence of welding, or filling in any way. In particular I'm looking at where the magazine cutoff slot should have been.
I have one person elsewhere telling me he can see where it was re-welded or filled somehow, but I can see nothing. Your second/third & so-on opinion is valued as I do not want a rifle who's receiver has had that much heat applied over such a large area.
TIA as always.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 15 2017 at 7:27pm
i dont see welding , but my eyes are not so good anymore , 

what is the marking below the mkIII marking its one ive never seen before , 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2017 at 4:30am
I don't see any welding in the photos. If you wanted to weld up the slot and machine it as per original, you'd have to remove the charger bridge as well. That's an awful lot of bother for no real benefit; would have been easier just to buy a rifle without the slot.
It is interesting though being stamped as a MkIII. Could it have been a trial rifle for the intended modifications?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2017 at 5:47am
A Square: its "F.T.R.", I've never seen it with periods before either its usually just "FTR", but I'm assured its just a routine variation in the stamping. Its another oddity though as there's no date or facility. The barrel is dated '44 so I assume its a '44 FTR?

Zed: I don't know that's the big mystery! Supposedly there was a short run of BSA rifles that was made this way as the result of a mix up when the plant was re organizing, but that would have been almost 2 years later! I know they made receivers in large batches then worked their way through them till they made the next batch, but 2 years in wartime seems unlikely.

My personal guess is its "Friday Ford" kind of thing that just messed up.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2017 at 12:41pm
Anyway it looks like a great rifle! Just enjoy it and get it shooting well. 
I've found that my No1 rifle likes slightly lighter loads than the No4; probably due to the thinner barrel. 
I'm running around 2320 feet per second with 174 grain boat tail bullets.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 16 2017 at 1:43pm
I usually run my hand-loads about 100FPS below MilSpec anyway.
Now I have 3 of these beasts to hand cater to the whims of!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2017 at 12:25pm
Well I got it to my mate, who does custom off road truck builds & custom frame & roll bar welding & so on, so has access to & knowledge of, the Ultrasonic Testing rig. Fascinating bit of kit, its all computer-generated & split into 2 graphics areas. One shows the actual signal change amplitude as a clothesline graph, the other the generated interference image, its a bit like looking at a side-scan sonar visually.

We had all the guys at the shop there as they were fascinated, it was the first "real shewting gun" some of them had seen.
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We ran the tests with the action stripped from the forend & without the bolt. The charger bridge was the first "target" inspected as we knew there were joined pieces, fasteners & "linear discontinuities" where it was riveted to the actual action body casting. This gave us some experience with the equipment & how it reacted with a complex multi-part test subject.

Where the probes (there's 2, one injecting the signal & the other collecting it again) passed through the join of the bridge & the body there was a very distinct, strong pulse increase the jagged line graph peaked massively, very obviously different form other areas. Surprisingly once we found a rivet it was immediately obvious as well! It showed up as 2 peaks above the "norm" with a depressed area in between them. The resolution was much higher than I expected. The graphic area looked a bit like a super-fine barcode with thick-thin-thick lines as we passed differing materials & voids.

Now we went for the area where the slot would be if it existed, & was either filled or welded.
Nada!

Shocked

My mate was right IMO, the UT ignores things like material thickness, & shape, because the casting & machining makes a really complex 3D unit & this ignores the clutter of shape & concentrates on finding difference within the material. I was amazed that it actually found the rivets to be "different" from the bridge & the bridge different from the action body! The "joins" or "cracks" where the parts came together looked lie mount Everest in Holland! I think an X-ray would have been really cluttered as even a 3D image because of the complexity of the cast & machined areas & the double decker nature of the receiver.

So, now I'm happy its not filled or welded we can go shoot this puppy!

It shot a few 3~41/2" 10-roud groups at 100Yds. with South African 1981 made R1M3Z. The rifles trigger is a tad gritty on the first pressure so a bit of Scotchbrite polishing of the bumps & sear face is indicated & I need to do more work on shimming the PH-5A at the top as the dumbbell spring bolt is bottomed out. Under recoil it slowly slants after several rounds  so I need to re-shim the area between the mounts arm & the area around the dumbbell spring hole. Not to bad for old eyes in an old head & hands with iron sights.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2017 at 9:37am
Snagged it!
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Found a (supposedly) new upper handguard with the fingers!
Lost one on e-pay, but got the other!
When it arrives I'll match the stain to whats on there as close as I can & install it.
Also Kudos to Libery Tree for replacing the duff screws. They're just mailing me a couple of replacements as the cost of shipping back would be more than the value of the screws.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2017 at 4:16am
glad to hear it's all OK and coming together nicely.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 21 2017 at 7:18pm
keep us informed if you please , some of us have not had a "new to us" in a good long time , we live vicariously you know 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 22 2017 at 5:30am
Count on it!Tongue
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 26 2017 at 2:45pm
OK, the Upper handguard arrived. Its an Aussie "Slazenger", so coachwood I assume. Its actually a fair bit darker than the picture of it I ordered from, which is fine as its a close match to the existing wood color.
I have some water-based walnut stain that I think will do the job nicely. The wood is utterly dry & unfinished, apparently this is correct for how they left the factory I'm told. The end cap seems parkerized? & is riveted, not screwed. It also looks like the ears are perfect, if a little long, I guess a bit of trimming & hand fitting is in order.

As it arrived.


After staining & drying.


Now all I have to do is apply oil to this part while removing it from everything else at the same time so they match at the end of the day!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 12:54pm
Well the birthday is complete for the old lady. Nothing drastic, just removing a ton of oil from the wood, replacing both handguards for the fingers & to not have the badly split lower handguard it came with. The front metal darkened back nicely with just oiling, so I didn't paint it. The screws were worked on, or replaced to fix the damaged slots & ratty finish.

The P-H 5A is now aligned in all 3 axis so that's a help because now the vertical & horizontal adjustments are only vertical & horizontal with no drift from not being square or plumb to the action.

The new front handguard was made slightly oversize so I was able to make it a snug fit. All it took was some sanding on the bottom to allow the nosecap to fit snugly to the front ferrule & a trim of the back of the fingers as it would drop in at the rear sight. 2 Coats of the walnut dye (made from wild walnuts that grow right behind me) & 7 hand rubbed coats of BLO. Its really close to matching the 100 year old original wood. Just a hair lighter. Every image I see of fingered ones has a slight gap, I made one here too as I guess its like the butt-stock where there is an intentional slight gap to not beat up the ends under recoil?

I added a piling swivel & a "king screw" sling swivel. I know its not 100% authentic but I have a use for both of them so I did it anyway.

Finally I polished (not ground) the upper bottom sear face & the trigger bumps with my usual oiled ScotchBrite as they were a bit gritty. Now they're slick & smooth & have a 3 1/2Lb 1st & a 4 3/4Lb second pressure.

I know, Shaddup & show us some pictures!

Nosecap details.
(before on top & after on bottom)



Before (top) & after (bottom) left side.



Before (top) & after (bottom) right side.



I like the way it came out, keeping the character, but nicer, not quite so "Rode hard & put up wet".

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 2:26pm
You perform nice work, Shamu! That rifle looks lovely!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 05 2017 at 3:37pm
Thanks, sometimes less is more I guess.
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