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Bit-o-backstory

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eristole View Drop Down
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    Posted: January 14 2020 at 1:35pm
So howdy everyone,

I would like to say i am a new owner but technically i have owned a mk4 no 1 since 1993’ish. Dates fuzzy because i was like 13 or something.

So my dad bought this one acre parcel in glen allen alaska in the middle of nowhere back then and took us all up for a trip.

Explored ghost towns, explored caves, ran away from bears on logging roads. Etc.

Came across this burnt out shack on public land, i imagine back then no one cared but my brother and i explored it.
This is where i found a completely burnt up enfield mk 4 no 1

Fast forward alot, i am older, wiser’ish, and had some time and money to restore it a bit.

Got some cleaning up to do and going to get a mag and see how she fires (already had a gun smith check the barrel integrity)

Numbers on it are H28252
Those are stamped but it has the same thing electro penciled on it

However the electro pencil has another marking 8/42a

So to the meat of my question here, where could i go to find out any specific info on where this rifle has been? I dont even have any idea how this thing ended up in alaska to begin with.

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Shamu View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2020 at 3:44pm
"Through a Fire"!
Confused
I hear alarm bells right there. How hot & for how long?
Seriously, its a nice find, but as a working firearm I'd be concerned.
The parts may be de-tempered or worse made brittle, so I'd advise some major caution on firing it with my face anywhere near it.
If it were mine I'd finish up the project & hang it on a wall as an interesting prop for a great bunch of tales.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2020 at 4:01pm
For the furniture (wood bits) to burn off, I'm guessing the temp was 600F +... I'm not sure of the exact composition of Enfield steel, but gotta assume it's nothing real exotic like chrome-moly or other heat resistant steels. You can almost bet the internal structure of that rifles steel has been altered. I would not shoot it.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2020 at 4:53pm
I would not shoot it.  I would permanently deactivate it so no one else could.  

Isn't the receiver and bolt heat treated to get the required strength?  Not sure about the barrel.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2020 at 5:24pm
I suspect they are, but probably at a controlled temp and time and cool down, or maybe quench. I don't know the composition of the steel in Lee Enfield parts, but I do know piping. At our fertilizer plant, carbon steel was good for certain temps, then we would use more exotic (alloys) up to Inconel, which can see a lot of heat. Very expensive.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote eristole Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2020 at 10:31pm
I actually was worried about that hence why i did bring it in to have some sort of metal testing done to it in ketchikan and had a gunsmith look it over.

I honestly cant remember what testing we did and the picture above doesnt do it justice in regards to fire damage.i remember “most” of the stock was still there when i found it but the front was majorly charcoaled.
But still intact.

I did setup a remote firing station on my property today and sent 5 rounds through it. Shot straight and was no deformation of she!!s.

I do NOT plan on using it for hunting (thats what my tikka 300wm is for) or even shooting it much more. I might finish up this box and probably never touch it again. Its got a good story and history for passing it down. i just love the feel and style of it and i look at the history of it and wonder how long it would have been before it got given to a soldier after production? What parts of the war did it see? Was it used in a battle? Etc i spent most of my free time today coming up with “reasonable” answers to these and more questions. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2020 at 6:59am
No problem we are usually concerned for the safety of especially new guys.
Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2020 at 7:19am
I would think that a hardness test could determine if there is a drop in material properties, but we would need to know what the specified heat treatment was for the receiver.  Heat treatment is usually expressed in pounds per square inch of tensile strength, that is correlated to a hardness value (e.g. Rockwell hardness).  Some of the areas of the receiver and bolt lugs are also likely surface hardened.    
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2020 at 7:49am
The receiver is a hot drop forging. If I remember correctly, it was not hardened but it was tempered to stress relieve.

The steel isn't particularly high in carbon. It is a tough steel, not a hard one. It has good fatigue properties and is actually quite soft to take the shock and stress subjected by recoil.

The concern would be if the rifle was made red hot and then quenched in water. I don't think that this is the case here. There was still wood left on the rifle and the barrel is straight.

But, it is still a gamble. But you are an adult. You know the risk. 

I would let my brother in law shoot it, no problem.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2020 at 11:54am
Originally posted by englishman_ca englishman_ca wrote:

The receiver is a hot drop forging. If I remember correctly, it was not hardened but it was tempered to stress relieve.



One of Peter Laidler's lectures :


CHS - Body and bolt wear
Posted By: Peter Laidler
Date: Mon 28 Apr 2008 9:17 am
You should all read and re-read this if you have ever thought about CHS, body wear or fitting a new bolt, especially in response to the recent thread about the matter.
I was having a chat to one of the most senior examining Armourers at a huge Base Workshops at Warminster a few days ago. Long retired, he was a 1930's apprentice and one of the very strict examiners. I was asking him about chroming bolt heads to get longer life out of heads bolts and bodies when he reported back something that was VERY interesting.
He said that during the mid 50's, there was a plan mooted to make a No4 size bolt head available so as to decrease the number of old wartime/tired/just plain worn out rifles being condemned as unfit simply because of excess CHS. The alternative was to increase the MAX CHS to .078".

He was involved in this project as the research Officer, so was in from the start. The PROBLEM was that once the BOLT, Inspectors, Gauge (a calibrated slave bolt used to test wear) plus a calibrated No2 bolt head (No3 not permitted at Base/Factory don't forget) had been inserted into the inspectors gauge bolt, then making a further bolt head available was palliative and not a cure because these simple tests indicated that it was the BODY that was worn and not the bolt or the face of the barrel. And thinking about it, while it's obvious really, it's absolutely correct!


Another problem they encountered was that with the speed of wartime production, the induction hardening of the bodies was at best, mediocre, and at worst, sometimes virtually non existant. The hardening sometimes had no depth and it was tested at Base Workshops by the old IZOD impact test method. Apparently, all manufacturers were as bad or good as each other including Savage and LB (I bet that has shocked a few of you who were probably lead to believe that some makers were 'better' than others......)

I spoke about resurfacing bolts but he just shook his head sternly and wagged his finger as if to say. 'No, it's the BODY that's worn beyond the point of no return and once the hardness is gone, then there is no cure.'
There, that's straight from the horses mouth and it doesn't come any clearer or louder than that. If you cannot get CHS with BOTH bolt lugs bearing evenly using a No3 bolt head, THEN trying a new bolt, then it is the BODY that is finished. Sorry about that.....................
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2020 at 12:36pm
Ya, I think that I have a couple of rifles with bodies worn beyond limits and that they are 'finished' as far as factory gauging goes. I cant find a bolt head long enough. But I do the O-ring trick, segregate the brass for that rifle and and neck size my reloads.. 

Several thousand rounds later, I'm still shooting them.

As far as a palliative cure goes. How many rounds get passed through these old rifles? There are some guys that shoot them a lot. But most collectors might put a few through them once and a while just for fun.

Gauging has its set limits. If it falls outside those limits it is considered a fail. The limit bar however does seem to be able to move around. If I remember correctly, there was a wartime relaxation of CHS.

With the panic after Dunkirk and rifles were needed desperately to be put into a soldiers' hands. CHS limit was relaxed to 0.080 to stop scrapping still shootable rifles.
 
Got to find it in my notes.

No.4 rifles had their resisting shoulders induction hardened. Unlike case hardening which is only a few thousandths of an inch deep, induction hardening goes much deeper below the surface. I cant see wearing though an induction hardened surface. There is no thin hard skin to wear through.

What puzzles me is that if it was induction hardened once, why could it not be induction hardened again if it was thought that the lugs had worn through the hardening?

So that is an interesting passage to read. If something is worn out, then worn out it is. Agreed.

However, years later, we get good at keeping these 'worn out' rifles shooting.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 15 2020 at 1:40pm
Originally posted by englishman_ca englishman_ca wrote:

With the panic after Dunkirk and rifles were needed desperately to be put into a soldiers' hands. CHS limit was relaxed to 0.080 to stop scrapping still shootable rifles.
 
Got to find it in my notes.


You and I had this discussion 2 years ago when some 'deniers' on another forum got very heated.


I have the original document (somewhere) stating that, but cannot 'copy it'.

It referred to No1 rifles only (unless there was another notice)

This is the actual 'wording'.

Index to Army Council Instructions Affecting Armourers
1942
Document Number 1807
“Rifles No.1. Fitting of Boltheads”
CHS permitted to extend to 0.08-inch if new bolt heads N.A.
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