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Criterion Barrel Throat

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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2020 at 10:09am
Armorer, will it shoot sub-MOA for 10 rounds consistently?  I can show you lots of tiny three shot clover leaf groups at 100 yards, 1/3 MOA or less, and 5 round groups not much larger.  But getting 10 consecutive shots under 1 MOA is tough to do, barrel vibration will inevitably cause a “flier”.    In shooting many 10 shot groups off the bench with a scope with match ammo thru a Fulton match prepped rifle has lead me to conclude 1 to 1.5 MOA is more typical for 10 shot groups.  And that’s what the Bisley Queens Prize winners have stated in the historical records for the No. 4.  (1.5 MOA was considered to be an exceptionally close grouper).  When the No. 4 was the rifle used in Service Rifle competition, the target bullseye was 2.5 MOA (200, 300 and 600 yd targets) even then, shooting clean scores was not easy.  This was with Mk 7 ammunition produced for the matches.  
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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 04 2020 at 2:26pm
Since the OP is about throat erosion affecting accuracy, below is an example of the first five shots off the elbows, no support, PH 5c aperture sight.  Rifle is A 69L Long Branch No. 4  Mk 1/3, BSA 5 groove barrel with a very loooooong throat.  174 gr SMK seated to 3.05 cartridge overall length, the bullet is about 1/2 inch off the lands, yet the rifle is still accurate for its intended purpose.  Of course, accuracy is a relative term. 

600 yards, first 5 shots in just over 6 inches (1 MOA).  The next 5 opened up the group to 12 inches (2 MOA), some of that was undoubtably me, a few of the last shots dropped just below the edge of the 10 ring.

The 10 ring on the US NRA Medium Range target is 12 inches (2 MOA).   It’s tough keeping all ten shots in the 10 ring  (Score of 100) with an aperture sight, regardless how accurate the rifle is, even for a NRA High Master shooter (average score of 97/100 or higher on the High Power Service Rifle course). 






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The Armourer View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2020 at 8:08am
Originally posted by britrifles britrifles wrote:

Armorer, will it shoot sub-MOA for 10 rounds consistently?  I can show you lots of tiny three shot clover leaf groups at 100 yards, 1/3 MOA or less, and 5 round groups not much larger.    


Once out of 'lock-down' I'll try and see what I can do.

The rifle can manage much better than I can, so everything needs to come together on the same day.
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britrifles View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2020 at 9:30am
I’m in that same boat.  Range is closed for at least the next month, possibly longer.  On the plus side, I’ve now got some time to tinker with the Velo and re-blue the Long Branch Mk 1/2.  


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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: April 05 2020 at 11:48am
dont forget to post the end results , we do want to see that saved rifle when your done , im glad i never touched it so that the right person puts the finish on it 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 105GunGrunt Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2020 at 4:57pm
Here is what is driving my questions about the Criterion barrel, and whether to swap out my current barrel.

After I bought my No 4 I completely disassembled it and reassembled it starting on Page 1 of Wadham's book on accurizing the Lee Enfield.  I did a light bedding of the front and rear of the receiver and made sure I had a floating barrel with the 4-5# pressure from the forestock.  From a bench rest I am lucky to keep 10 rounds in the black (a 13" bullseye) at 200yds. 

I am comparing this to being able to keep 20 rounds in the 10 ring (7" bullseye) using only a sling in the prone position when firing my M1917 (Pattern 14 in .30-06) or my 1903A3 Springfield.  I even manage to keep most shots in the 10 ring with my M1898 Krag at the same distance.

The bore of my No 4 looks good and a lead slug revealed the barrel had a lot of life left in it.

Are my expectations for this rifle just too high??
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: April 05 2020 at 6:59pm
Originally posted by 105GunGrunt 105GunGrunt wrote:


The bore of my No 4 looks good and a lead slug revealed the barrel had a lot of life left in it.

Are my expectations for this rifle just too high??

No, they are not.  In my experience on the firing line of the CMP VMR matches, the No. 4 will do every bit as well as a 1903.  You should have no trouble holding the 10 ring on the SR target with a high x count prone in sling.  

Are you using handloads in the No. 4?  

I had this problem with a M1 which had a brand new barrel installed by the CMP.    Turns out there was no rifling at all in one side of the throat, most likely from a bad finish reamer.  The bullet likely corkscrewed down the bore and out the muzzle.  A new barrel solved it, one I installed myself.  No way to say if the problem with your No. 4 is the barrel, but if you have eliminated everything else, then I would find myself a new barrel (Criterion or if you are lucky, a NOS or excellent condition original barrel).  






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