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No. 4 Front Handguard Fitting

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britrifles View Drop Down
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    Posted: March 19 2020 at 7:11am
I’m in the final assembly stage on my Long Branch No. 4 Mk 1/2.  The hand guards look new, and the fit at front band is quite snug.  In fact, the barrel appears to be fully restrained at the front band.  

Does anyone know what the original stocking up procedures called for here?  I’ve got the 4 to 5 lbs upward muzzle pressure from the forend, but I thought the hand guards should not be holding the barrel down.  



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2020 at 8:28am
No contact from the handguard.
5~7 Lbs with the barrel sitting at BDC of the forend.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2020 at 8:58am
Is this a factory component or is this repro? 

The action is not a drop in fit, as your are well aware. But just telling you this as something that you probably already know, sorry.

Peter Laidler has written some excellent guides over on Milsurps web site. He does it as per the armourers' instructions.  There you will find the 'original stocking sequence' as you call it. All good info.

I follow the instructions and can share a couple of points from my experience with stockin up the No.4.
I have made wood sets from scratch, so I know that even using an original factory stock, it is still a lot of work.

Hand guards should not touch the barrel. In fact, the barrel should be free to move off the fore stock bearing and rattle in the woodwork. 

If you are happy with the upwards pressure of the fore end, leave it be, then address the inside of the hand guard. A file will make quick work of it, open up the barrel channel, remove material to give you clearance.

Also it is important that the end caps on the fore stock and hand guard be clear of and not in contact with the front sight protector. 

The last No.4 that I did was a CNC made repop, the barrel sat too high on its bearing pad at the muzzle with the inletting, the hand guard was nowhere close to fitting, off by about 1/8 inch. just a little too much to adjust on the fit of the hand guard alone.

The whole action teeter-totters around that front trigger guard screw and bushing. The bedding at the receiver front and barrel reinforce needed to be to lowered to get the muzzle end of the barrel down into the stock combined with correct upward pressure. Which makes sense, new wood is always over sized to allow one to remove material for a perfect fit. 
It can be a pain in the arse going back and forth and having to redo everything every time that you make an adjustment somewhere else. Take your time. It aint rocket surgery, but it does take patience. 

So, you can adjust the front of the receiver to tilt it down in the bedding at the front to lower the barrel, or you can hog out the hand guard to give clearance. One method is easier with less work than the other, and one makes a better job of it.


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2020 at 9:09am
Thanks guys.  I’ve already finished with repairs and fitting of the forend.  It was beat up pretty bad, loose fore to aft.  I’ve repaired with bedding compound and had to raise the rear receiver bearing by .01 inches.  

The handguards are Long Branch marked, look to be NOS as does the butt stock.  I will need to also file the nosecap on the handguard as well.  

Is 0.01 in clearance around the front handguard sufficient?




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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote englishman_ca Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2020 at 10:52am
Lifting the rear of the receiver will have an effect on the fit of the draws.  You took care of that no doubt?

And yes, as long as you have no touch, you are good to go, .010 clearance on the hand guards is ok, I like to get a little more. My thinking is that things might swell and move if it the rifle gets wet one day. Then I would have a rifle that was accurate only when dry.

Don't forget to treat the inside the hand guards and fore end channels with linseed to seal out moisture. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: March 19 2020 at 11:30am
 Yes, the draws were badly damaged.  I cut them back to good wood, about 0.05 inches removed.  Shimmed is the rear of the receiver and bedded in epoxy compound at the draws lugs, rear receiver and under the chamber reinforce.  




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