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I finally found the problem

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saffer View Drop Down
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    Posted: August 19 2012 at 3:00am
Some time back I wrote a post about the accuracy issues on my sporterized No4 MkI. I think I tried everything, including bedding the knox form, the action and even putting in a new trigger, new scope, and still one shot would go to point of aim, and the rest would float around. Thus giving a 6-8 inch grouping.
Last ditch resort,, I bedded the whole front stock. So this weekend I went down to the range, and after doing a view sighting shots to figure out were the shots were going on the target, I finally got around to shooting groups. Well 3 shots into 1 inch, and then the shots opened up to 6-8 inches again. I check the barrel in the bedding, and whole darned thing was loose. Screws were all tight. At this point, good old masking tape was used, and I taped the barrel down in two places to keep the barrel in the bedding, and the groups were back on station.
The conclusion I can finally make, is their is something very odd with this stock. The wood is a very light coloured wood, and was formed from the orignal front stock, but cut down. I can only summize, that the wood is warping with every shot causing the POI to change unless it is clamped down tight. What I can't ascertain, is if the problem is to the rear or the actual front part of the stock.
Not a complete idiot. Still missing a few parts.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 3:58am
I've often wondered why some people have better results with a fully bedded fore-end while I have god results with bedding the action and Knox form only.

How I bed the action is to set the full body and Knox form (including the angled protrusions inderneath) onto epoxy mixed with fine sawdust.  The epoxy must be a slightly flexible kind like Prattley clear slowset.  The slowset part is important or there won't be enough time to work it and set it all together.  The next step is to bed the bottom strap the same way.  Once set and the excess trimmed away I add more to to bottom strap so that it ends up clamping with the little nubs first then the rest of it flattening out at the front screw is tightened.  Next, I add another thin layer of the mix over the existing epoxy under the action.  Being fibrous, this creates a pressure onto the wood over the full bearing surface, again including that angled bit so that the bottom strap pulls the wood rearward and applies a pressure over its length.  The epoxy mix also squeezes up the sides of the body giving it side support.

It may be better to leave a clearance in the area of the body spanning the magazine well because that is where the flexing takes place during firing.  It's also much easier that way.

Another thing I do is key the rear of the wood together with a piece of brass epoxied across so it can't split and move there.  The existing cross pin may be able to move in the wood.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 6:24am
Are you saying that the forend is loose even though the main screw is tight?
That being the case I would say the the front trigger guard screw bushing is too long and needs to be shortened. It can be done with a file but make sure you keep it square. There needs to be a small amount of crush on the wood, not much though. I cant remember the exact amount, i think about 10 thousands of an inch.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 6:29am
I wouldn't shorten the spacer.  That is what sets the trigger position.  If there is no 'crush' then build it up until there is.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 6:36am
There should be crush on the wood. That is how they are built and is the correct method, it will not alter the trigger too much if done properly.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 19 2012 at 7:32am
True.   Shortening the bush would put some pressure across the length of the bottom strap.  The trigger position should be held more or less constant by the wood itself as the strap does spring over it as the screw is tightened. But there must there must be some crush.  But possibly the wood has shrunk and needs to be built up over the bedding area.  I did find when making a spacer where one was missing that there is a narrow margin of error.  If the wood had deteriorated around the spacer then shortening it won't help.  Removing some of the weakened wood and rebuilding it would be the way to go.  It's easy enough.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 1:21pm
A temporary fix can be done by cutting out a shim from thin paste board. The thin pasteboard used to make tissue boxes looks about right.
 
The positioning of the part of the trigger guard to which the trigger is hung is not entirely dependent on the front of the trigger guard. The hump at the trigger pivot pin seats against the inletting at that point.
There should be something of an angle from the rear of the rails of the magazine opening, so that when the king screw is tight there'd be some upward pressure on the rest of the trigger guard so it seats firmly and holds the rear of the fore arm tight to the action body and butt socket.
Main thing is to be sure the front of the trigger guard bow does not interfere with the magazine seating at its natural angle.
 
If need be you could add a slender shim on either side of the rear of the trigger guard.
 
If thatdoesn't do the trick then glass bedding may be in order.
 
The rules of some shooting clubs service rifle matches prohibit glass bedding or any repair or bedding method not in use by armorers when the rifle was in service. Other organizations are more lenient due to the age of the rifles and difficulty in finding proper replacement stock sets.
 
PS
This Canadian manual
Has instructions for bedding the No.4 rifle for competition.
They use thin metal shims bonded to the wood.
I suppose pieces cut from a throwaway aluminum pie plate might serve the purpose well enough.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 20 2012 at 2:04pm
LE Owner, thank you for that information! It is such vital information that nobody who owns at least 1 Lee Enfield rifle should be without. It is information like this that makes this site, and its' members such a valuable resource to our hobby. Thank you!
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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 2012 at 11:42pm
I've found the best shims come from soda cans for thin ones & the roll up alloy wind shield from Coleman stoves for the thick ones. If you use multiple thicknesses of soda can metal make each one seperate, don't go the easy route & fold a big one double.
 
Don't ask me how I know this either it's really embarrasing!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2012 at 2:37am
For wooden shims I use pieces from scrap laminated luan paneling which I left out in the weather till it delaminated.
For thicker shims I use pieces cut from old table tops also left out in the weather till they delaminate.
 
The luan laminations also come in handy for inletting to patch a badly gouged walnut stock then staining to match. The grain can be continued from the stock wood on into and across the patch by dragging a dull needle into the soft luan.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303Guy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2012 at 6:18am
Tight to the butt socket?  Now there's a question, it's very difficult to get pressure at that point and some if not many leave a gap.  Mine seats at the radius between the flat and butt socket.  How important is it really?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2012 at 7:12am
As long as there is a slight (1/16" or so) gap between the rear edge of the butt socket & the wider part of the butt where it exits the "shaft" inside the socket its fine. You do not want the edges in contact though it will splinter the buttstocks wood if you do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 24 2012 at 8:06am
I second what Shamu said. My books tell me the same thing. Its the interface between the front of the wrist socket that meets the lower handguard that needs to be tight. Accuracy is negatively affected if there is a space between the handguard rear face and the wrist socket.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2012 at 5:15am
Originally posted by Canuck Canuck wrote:

I second what Shamu said. My books tell me the same thing. Its the interface between the front of the wrist socket that meets the lower handguard that needs to be tight. Accuracy is negatively affected if there is a space between the handguard rear face and the wrist socket.
 
I was speaking of the fore end.
Quote holds the rear of the fore arm tight to the action body and butt socket.
 
During WW2 mass production, when kiln dried wood was substituted for properly seasoned wood, and they found they could not guarantee that the fore end would not shrink or swell shortly after being shipped from the factory, they left a tiny gap so the fore end did not butt up against the butt socket at all. Better no contact than unequal contact.
 
If everything is fitted properly upwards pressure from the trigger guard works with the angle of the draws to force the fore end back against the front face of the butt socket.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lithgow Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 25 2012 at 9:35am
The draws are the critical point here.
They are what determine how tight the interface will be.
I have seen brass shim stock screwed to the rear of the forend to tighten the gap between the forend and socket. Some rifle club armourers used this method. All armourers had their beliefs when it came to accurising and most kept their secrets closely guarded.
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