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My Sporterized #4 Mk1

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W.R.Buchanan View Drop Down
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    Posted: September 29 2014 at 12:19pm
I recently did a redo job on my newly acquired #4 Mk1 BSA Shirley.
 
I bought the gun for $200 From a Local Gunshop, They had 5 Enfields in various states of Sporterization,  none were stock issue guns, all had been modified in one way or another.
 
Randy
 
I started with this,,, which was the only #4 in the bunch, all the rest were #1's of varying ages. This was the newest gun.
 
 
 
And ended up with this,,,
 
It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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I am still trying to learn how to post on this site so bare with me as I try to take you through my Rebuild.
Please to understand,,, I had very little knowledge on these guns when I started.  I am not new to guns at all, and have been doing my own work for 40 years but never to an Enfield. I knew by doing some research that I wanted a #4,  which I thought at the time was a Mk4,,, because they were the newest versions of the guns and I had the best chance of getting a good shooter. I also definitely wanted a peep sight on the gun.  I also knew after watching several videos on YouTube that I wanted the gun to look like what I thought was a classic Canadian Sporter, or more plainly like an L42A1 with no scope mounted.  I later found out what I really wanted the gun to look like was the predecessor of the L42,,, the L39A1, which I guess was a Target Rifle.  That's what I was going for in this build.
 
When I got it home after putting up with the CA 10 day wait once more I immediately stripped the gun down as far as I could and started on the wood.
 
The wood on the gun was rough and coated with what looked and "Scraped" like a 1/4" thick coat of Spar Varnish. there were deep gouges, not dents but gouges in the buttstock and fore end. IE they weren't going to steam out.
 
After scraping the varnish off with a  Bearing File and Pocket Knife I attacked the wood with a Finish Sander and 60 grit sand paper to remove as much of the kluge as possible.  Luckily the wood was so proud that I was able to sand most all of the gouges out and I left just enough of the deepest ones to convey some character. The buttstock was a nice common Dark Walnut color, and the fore end was kind of Orange color but still smelled like walnut. The grain in the wood was not spectacular, but was still very interesting so I knew If I could half way match the colors it would look good in the end.
 
I ordered a bunch of stuff for the gun from various parts outlets around the US and UK and got pretty much everything I needed coming before I started on the Metal work. The gun had no Hand Guard on it, so I ordered one of those as well.
 
Randy
 photo 100463698_zps0c81e06d.jpg
 
 
It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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After stripping the wood I moved to the metal.  I completely disassembled the guns mechinism down to the last part.  I then started in detailing each part. By detailing I mean breaking all sharp edges and taking care of any massive flaws in the manufacture of any given part. Things like this are to be expected in a gun that was made in 1943 during the middle of WWII, but I see no reason they should be present in 2014.
 
I am a highly Skilled Machinist and shop owner so things like sharp edges or bad chamfers offend me.
I took every part and deburred it by either refilling chamfers on edges or using a Scotchbrite Wheel.  I then recolored these open spaces on the parts with Birchwood Casey Super Blue.  This stuff actually works really well if you are patient.
 
This guns metal is much more "Tactile Friendly" now.  Or in other words you can touch it and not get cut!
 
Here's a pic of some of the metal.
 
Randy
 
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It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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Since this is an abbreviated version of this build I will cut to the chase and show pics of the finished wood parts of the gun.  The thing really comes alive outside, but is still pretty good indoors and that's what shows the details best.
 
Randy
 
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It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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My gun came with a Mk2 rear sight and no front sight protector.
 
I wanted a Ladder Rear Sight and the winged protector for the looks and functionality of it all.
 
The Mk1 sight is the one to get, I got it I think from Liberty Tree.  FS Protector came from BRP.
 
Other parts came from Sarco and Numrich.
 
I had a small problem with my rear sight not wanting to fold all the way flat in to the receiver.  This was unacceptable and I was not about to file on the Brand New Sight itself or the receiver so I went another way. 
 
I tried various # drills until I found one that acted as a pivot pin and would allow the sight to lay flat.
 
The stock part is .145 in dia.  The size pin that allowed the sight to go flat was .125 so I made a new pin.
 
There is so much spring tension on the plunger that locates the Sight up or down that even with a  pin that is .020 smaller there is plenty to positively locate it.in either position .
 
Randy
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It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 1:45pm
Nice work, Randy!
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Since this gun has had the Fore Arm shortened to just behind the barrel band and I wanted the Upper Hand Guard for aesthetic and functional reasons  I had to make some minor alterations.
 
After examining the hand guard I found there was a metal reinforcement in the front of it.  However the front of the hand guard is only relieved so that it will only go half way into the barrel band. So I had to move the back edge of the relief back so that the barrel band was behind the front edge of the hand guard. I wanted about 1/8-3/16 of material outside the Barrel Band when done.
 
Since the Hand Guard was longer than the Fore End of the gun I had to shorten it, and this took place at the rear of the handguard.
 
Once I got that done I proceeded to cut a new relief for the Barrel Band in the Fore End.  This actually took about 2 hours to complete as it was all done with a square file and I took my time so as to not go too deep and ruin the fore end.
 
I also had the front edge of the relief start at about 1/8-3/16 behind the front of the Fore End so as to make it a channel that the Barrel Band couldn't slip out of. after finally seeing a pic of a real L39A1 I realized that the Barrel Band should have been about 1/2" from the end of the stock and hand guard and the relief should have ran all the way around the front end of the gun, but this is what I've got and it looks and works well.
 
Randy
 
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 photo 100463763_zps7cdf3a96.jpg
It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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I realized that now that I have the gun and some Cast Boolit Ammunition loaded that I will have to regulate the sights. Obviously these guns didn't have any way to easily regulate the sights in the field unless you had the tool,,, Which I didn't,,,  so I made one.
 
Randy
 
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It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 2:18pm
Thats a nice tool for the sight adjustment. I have a commercially made one which is OK, but I prefer the hex bolts on your version, much easier to turn than the wing nuts and also easier to judge how far you've turned it.
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Now that the gun is ready to go  I have to tell all of you that I feels really good in the hands.  I love handling this gun and in fact it is one of the nicest feeling guns I have  ever held!  I know I am going to love shooting it as well.
 
I am up to the load development part of the project.  The first order of business will be to shoot it with some cast boolit handloads and regulate the sights to that load.
 
My main purpose for this gun will be shooting Short Range or Cowboy Silhouette. This game is shot from 50-200 meters on Chickens 50m,  Pigs 100m, Turkeys 150m  and Rams at 200m. This is done only with Cast Boolits as jacketed bullets at those range would kill the Steel Targets.
 
I am waiting patiently for Hornaday to make some 174 gr RNSP's so that I can load some real hunting loads. and hopefully next year I will get to go to Canada for a Caribou hunt with this gun.  I think it is the proper weapon for this hunt.
 
The sights will then be regulated to those loads which will be the flattest shooting loads I would ever shoot.  I will install the correct front sight to get the 200 yard zero on the ladder sight correct.
 
All other loads will be compensated for from that "Mechanical Zero." and noted down in the Sighting Log..
 
This way all you have to do when changing from one standard load to another is reset the Rear Sight to the new elevation offset and you're good to go. With the flattest shooting load at the bottom of the rear sight you only need to go up from there.
 
Brownell's has a neato little book that you log all of your Sight Settings in so You have all this data written down and you don't have to figure it out everytime you change something. Well worth the $5.
 
Anyway If you would like to read the entire build from beginning to where we are at now you can goto,,, http://castboolits.gunloads.com/showthread.php?251781-New-Project-Enfield-Mk4-1 and see the whole thing including all my trials and tribulations while learning about this gun.  Lots of good info there and lots more pics. although I have to say they look better here.
 
Randy
 
 
It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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Zed:  yes on this tool one flat on the bolt is .006 movement or .036 for a full revolution.  I believe that works out to about 1 MOA per Flat.  I have to check and see for sure.
Randy
It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Canuck Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 3:19pm
Randy, IF you decide to ever make more of these front sight adjusters, I am certain you would have more than few requests from folks on this site, me for one!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 3:34pm
Oh heck yes!
I'd be in for one.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Bear43 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 29 2014 at 4:48pm
Randy, you certainly spent a lot of time and effort to make that into a very nice rifle. And I would be third in line if you ever sell front sight adjusters! That has got to be one of the best designs I have seen.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote W.R.Buchanan Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2014 at 12:32am
Thanks for all the support on the sight tool .  I may just make a run of them  However they won't be made from brass they will probably be aluminum as it is much cheaper material and easier to machine.
 
It will work just as well as the brass.  I only used brass on this one because I had a chunk laying around.
 
Bear:  I probably have 20-30 hours in that gun over 3 weeks, and most of that was in the wood finish. All the metal work was done in about 6 hours. A lot of time was spent on the internet finding parts and writing the story on Cast Boolits.
 
Randy
It's not how well you do what you know how to do,,, It's how well you do what you DON'T know how to do.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Jon287 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: September 30 2014 at 5:06am
Very impressive work. Put me in line for a sight adjustment tool as well.
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