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Working out some loads.

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Honkytonk View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2020 at 2:59pm
Actually, I think Explosive is from Saskatchewan, Canada. Right to the west of my province of Manitoba, Canada. As a Canadian, I apologise for his behaviour on behalf of all Canadians... way to much banjo playing within the family.
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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: July 30 2020 at 3:02pm
I will say no more. He clearly knows more than all of us combined, and all who have come before.  Not sure why he is on this forum.  
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303 Hunter View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303 Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2020 at 10:07pm
Okay, thanks for the advice everyone!
I did the preliminary barrel wiggle test and I got upwards movement, very little side to side movement and no downward movement. Hope I’ll be able to find out how much pressure there is at some point over the weekend.
Although I don’t think that the central bedding will work for this stock because the two cuts in the stock on Goosic’s picture is one long cut on my stock.

As for the the load workout I’m going to do one more test between load five (because it grouped 3.236 inches with all rounds) and load two ( even though only three rounds hit the target I had a sheet of plywood behind it and I’m fairly sure I the other one hit just out side of my paper target and would only at about an inch too an inch and a half to the the total grouping still making it one of the tighter ones.)
Each load will have ten rounds. Haven’t decided if it will be one ten round string or two five round string per load.

Will post close up pictures of the stock so that you all can see what I’m seeing and can give your advice.

P.S I had noticed that explosive was hot tempered. It’s good to see him gone.
The Lee Enfield is to the Canadian north what the Winchester repeater was to the American west.   Cal Bablitz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2020 at 10:38pm
Before getting too involved with the rifle adjustments; it's probably worth going back to the range with more rounds, and maybe a bigger target to at least see the fliers. 
Looking again at your target photos; I think the last photo shows promise, with 3 impacts on the same elevation. The sideways movement could be the shooter if your using iron sights. Try at least 10 rounds of that load and see how you get on.

Glad to see the back of "explosion". I don't like that kind of attitude. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2020 at 10:46pm
Are you starting out at 100 yards?  If you are, may I make a recommendation that you start at 25 yards aiming at the bottom center of the bullseye and note where the bullets strike. Make front sight adjustments as needed. Move out to 50 yards and repeat the process aiming at the same point on the 25 yard target, making sight adjustments as needed and noting  where the bullets strike.  Move out to 75 yards and so on until you are at 100 yards. It is very time consuming but will give you a better understanding of how to make the rifle perform for you...
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 30 2020 at 11:06pm
I noticed something from you very first post. You are using 46 grains of the BL-C(2) powder behind a flatbased 174grn bullet. That is .5 grains from maximum charge.  According to Hodgdon reloading data,that round can generate around 42,900 CUP and a muzzle velocity of 2616 fps.
It might not seem like much but you might want to consider backing the charges down to the starting weight of 43.0 and having the recommended  COL of 3.075". You will.lose over 200 fps but you will also drop the pressure down almost 7000psi giving you a better burn and allowing the bullet to stabilize itself prior to and after leaving the barrel. It is my personal belief that you have too much of a bullet jump to the lands with your particular seating depth. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2020 at 5:14am
Sounds like you have had the forend off.  If there is no perceptible downwards movement of the barrel, it must be making contact with the forend.  There might be a barrel bearing (raised piece of wood or Composite material).  Can you take a photo of the forend barrel channel for us.  

I’m not familiar with the L42 forends, but I do know they had sufficient clearance to free float the 4 lb heavy barrel, so there should be a lot of clearance around the Criterion barrel which is of standard service weight.

And Goosic brought up a good point, might want to back down on the charge weight, a mid range load should do well.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2020 at 5:21am
I also see that the 3.045 OAL was 0.025 off the lands, I assume you have measured that.   I can’t seat bullets to get anywhere close to the lands in any of my No. 4 rifles, about .25 inches as measured with a bullet comparator when seated to magazine length (3.075 max).  

46.0 grains of BL-2(C) with a bullet only .005 from the lands is a bit risky.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: July 31 2020 at 10:17am
The fore end on my L39 should be the same as the L42 with exception of the trigger area (receiver hung trigger) . I have a spare No4Mk1 fore end on my bench too so I'll try and get some photos this weekend to compare the two.
 the L39 wood is covered in some type of laquer and I've been meaning to strip it back to linseed oil it as original. So good reason to get started!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Zed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2020 at 1:43pm
So I got a chance to compare the fore end's of the No4Mk1 and the L39A1 (similar to L42 for barrel channel). the L39 is basically made from a standard No4 type. But the barrel channel diameter is increased to approximately 1", for the heavy barrel; where the no4 is probably around 7/8" in the same area. The fore end is cut short just after the mid band.


The standard No4 barrel would be bedded at the centre bearing; as seen in Goosic's post. You can test using a wooden shim. I made some oak shims just for an experiment; in case I want to try accurising a rifle with this spare No4 fore end. i was able to curve the shim by heating it up in boiling water  until it became flexible, then set it in a press made from a steel tube. Once shaped it would be easy to fit for testing.
It may be worth looking at this type of bedding to improve the rifle.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote 303 Hunter Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2020 at 2:19pm
Okay, here is the pictures of the forestock.
As you can see there is only one groove in the bottom of the stock so in order to improve the bedding I have right at the barrel band to work with unless I make some thing to fit the groove.

As for the load it self I have already worked up the powder charge and 46 grains was one of the better ones and I haven't really seen any pressure signs.
I did make a mistake on how long the freebore was. I thought that I had contact with the lands at 3.071 inches but I went back and checked it yesterday I found that I had contact with the lands at 3.150 inches so my bad.
The Lee Enfield is to the Canadian north what the Winchester repeater was to the American west.   Cal Bablitz
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2020 at 5:28pm
If it were me, I would experiment with shims under the barrel at the middle band.  12 to 14 lbs works good in my No. 4 rifles that have bearings at the middle band. 

This pressure is measured at the muzzle, and corresponds to the upwards force needed to list the barrel off the bearing such that a thin shin (0.003 thick) will slip as you pull lightly.  The trick is that the rifle must be supported at the receiver and butt stock only, not by the forend.  

If you test with various shims and find what works best, you can bed the barrel with bedding epoxy, no  more than one third of the circumference of the barrel.  
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 02 2020 at 5:36pm
Note how the rifle is supported.  In this case, the rifle has standard barrel bedding at the muzzle, you will see a sheet of thin aluminum shim stock under the barrel at the muzzle bearing (front of forend) and a trigger scale in the muzzle. Pull down on the trigger scale and lightly pull on one end of the shim stock, increase pressure on the scale and note the reading when the shim stock begins to slip.  


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Pukka Bundook Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2020 at 6:02am
Simon,
 
With a half-stocked rifle, I don't think .303 can get an accurate reading at the muzzle, can he?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote britrifles Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2020 at 10:47am
That’s why it’s important to support the rifle as shown in the photo, the forend has no influence forward of the barrel bearing.  Of course, the thin shim (or paper) is placed between barrel and forend bearing which in his rifle will be at the middle Sling swivel band.  

Barrel bearing pressures are measured at the muzzle, regardless of the position of the bearing in the forend.  The desired pressures will not be the same between muzzle bearing, middle band bearing or center bearing.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: August 03 2020 at 10:57am
This old lecture from Peter Laidler in 2008 may be of interest :

L42 handguards

Peter Laidler 
Date: Sat 15 Nov 2008 10:02 am

The fore-end and handguards of the L42
Or how to turn a silk purse into a sows ear
By Peter Laidler

Unlike the same meat, different gravy L39, the now famous L42 was programmed differently. But before we go on a bit, let’s drop a whole bucketful of praise onto this famous Enfield offering. True, it is probably the rarest of the breed, possibly the most expensive, its price is rocketing skywards as we speak, in fact terms like world economic depression are almost alien to its upwards spiraling prices. It is without doubt, as accurate as anything before it and even though I’ll say it quietly, in reverence to the L96 stable, since….., but………… ! You’ll realize now, that all was not good about the L42 and I’ll tell you why…………….

The conversion programme from No4T to L42 was, as we all know, undertaken in several tranches at Enfield between 1970 and 81. The butts, if they were serviceable, remained with the original rifle and the same applied to the fore-ends but unlike the butts, the fore-ends were to be modified by an outside contractor. The reason for this is unknown to the author in spite of asking many questions. But it’s felt that there was little wood-machining facilities remaining at the Enfield factory at the time. Additionally, even if there were, the facilities that did remain, a left-over from the L1A1 era, the General Staff Requirement (the GSR) of 1080 L42s was insufficient to re-start it. But there you go! In their previous morphication from No4 to No4T, then if it was accurate enough to be selected as a telescope rifle as a plain No4, then provided it was put back, as it was, after conversion, then the accuracy would remain. And as a general rule, it did. This was (presumably) the thinking back in the 70’s. Put the same fore-end back onto the rifle and it should retain its accuracy as before.

Of course there were several differences. The first being that the fore-end was shorter BUT, as there was no barrel bearing from the reinforce forward, then already, life is easier. Additionally, if the OLD No4 barrel and body was a proper fit in the fore-end at the reinforce then given that the new reinforce was machined to exactly the same dimensions, then that too would be a perfect fit. And by and large, they were. So far, all is well ….., in theory.

The problems start when the fore-ends are sent out on a rotating basis to an outside contractor for conversion. Cutting the front end off is simple but it’s the simple mathematics of routeing a 1” half-round groove down a fore-end that’s narrowing towards the front that are flawed. When the 1” half round cutter gets to the front of the ‘new’ shortened fore-end, you’re left with a wood thickness of anywhere between .050 and .070” thickness at the top edges. What planet were they really on? Did they really need a 1” wide channel when the new barrel was only .830 or so in diameter? I ask this because when Armourers were fitting new fore-ends at Field and Base workshops, they would slide a .020” shimmed spacer between the barrel and fore-end, right down to the reinforce and if it cleared all the way, that was sufficient. So, .870” (.040” + .830”= .870”) is all that was really needed for the new barrel channel. That way you’d have a bit of meat spare on each of the top front ends of the fore-end. But no………. It wouldn’t be half as bad if the bodger with the routeing cutter machine routed it down the centre of the fore-end. But no! Of all those fore-ends that I’ve seen, it’s slightly off centre to the extent that while even the thicker side is thin, the thin side is, well……………

But that’s not all. After the conversion process, the fore-ends have been scraped or sanded off to within an inch of their lives. But not as you’d expect a half decent Armourer to do it ….. Oh no, not with a bit of care and thought as he’d been taught over years and years of his apprenticeship and during his service of care and consideration. The contractor had gone hammer and tongs with what seems to be a sanding belt and in doing so, had rounded the top edges making them thinner than the thin-ness they are already but also has run the sander into the upper band recess and as you’ll see later, has caused even more problems. Let me give you an example. At one particular Infantry unit I was charged with overseeing, the snipers would pull the sling tight, almost wrapping it around their arm and body and in doing so, pulling the top band backwards as they did so. You’ve got it in one! The fore-end at the band part was so sanded away that there was insufficient support for the band by what should be the edges of the band recess in the wood. So, the band would just pull in and chip away and take a gouge or two out of the bottom of the fore-end or just slip back, down the bloody fore-end! Then the top of the band would draw down into the band groove in the handguard and that’d split too. And so far, we’re only with the original Mk1 fore-ends already fitted! It gets even worse when it comes to the spares stockpiles ordered next!

As fitting a fore-end was a Field Workshop repair, the rifle, with its split handguard and fore-end would make its way to the workshops. There, in the days of plenty, a new fore-end would be ordered from Ordnance. The old handguard and fore-end would be put into a rack waiting for the day that once a pile had been gathered, they’d all be repaired in one hit. The ‘new’ fore-end would duly arrive from Ordnance. But that was only half the battle because the ‘new’ fore-end had been converted by the same butchers who had converted the original. Even previously new Mk2 types that were retro-modified to Mk1 spec were sanded to within an inch of their lives too, with thin front ends and off centre barrel routing channels. As for the modification to the rear, to retro modify from ‘open rear’ Mk2 to ‘closed rear’ Mk1 spec, well, words fail me! Many of those that I’d encountered were simply a bodge too. For example, even the back strap (that replaced the Mk2 type tie bolt and nut) wouldn’t sit into the recess machined for it, making it impossible to fit to the rifle right from the start.

Armourers soon started to file defect reports about the situation. I saw one with the report that came back from Ordnance to the effect that ‘……..most of the retro modified fore-ends were converted from second hand stocks, taken from scrapped or other well worn rifles and their condition reflect this’. I suppose that makes it alright then was my immediate thought! But that reply in itself was incorrect. Clearly some of the converted fore-ends were clearly converted from NEW stocks of Mk2 fore-ends. Indeed, some I saw were retro converted from a brand new very late Mk2 Fazakerley fore-end configured for the UF55A type rifles …., you know the sort, the partially completed No5 rifle bodies without the original cut-off block. We know this because Sgt Roger Xxxxx had to cut this away from the fore-end before he could even start to fit it to the rifle! I actually saw a new fore-end come straight from Ordnance, with the front top edges so thin that when the Armourer saw it, he came over to me, commented on it, pressed it between his finger and thumb and it cracked away before my very eyes. Yes, they were an absolute disgrace. As if to make them look a bit better (difficult…..) it looked as though they’d been given a bit of a quick blow job with a can of cheap varnish. Words fail me

It soon became apparent that it was easier to forget about ordering ‘new’ fore-ends and simply repair what you had. At least you knew it fitted! This was achieved by undercutting and dovetailing in a 2” or so long patch x 1” or so deep at the front of the fore-end and extending it an inch or so behind the upper band so that by carefully making good, you could a), leave the top much wider by narrowing the barrel groove/channel and b), leave a LOT more wood to the front and rear of the band recess. The accompanying photographs show a selection of the repaired fore-ends and some of the methods used by the older Armourers. Apologies about the picture quality as some of these are taken from old photographs taken during the era, to highlight the problems. They do also show just how you can go about completing a similar repair to your own rifle should you need to. But just remember this. ONLY TAKE OUT THE MINIMUM OF WOOD FROM THE NEW BARREL CHANNEL. The minimum is the diameter of the barrel PLUS .020” clearance all around.

As a sop to make the best use of many otherwise ‘serviceable’ fore-ends, a small plate was inserted into and under the front of the trigger guard. It would appear that this plate was done to all replacement stocks but not necessarily to the original fore-ends unless it was required. This WAS a good idea but not a ‘new’ idea because the gun trade had been using a similar ploy for many years

As for the handguards, well, the converted No8 handguards were the first to go because being originally wider than the No4 fore-end, they were also slimmed down on the sander to within an inch of their lives and in turn, this had left the front end about as marginal as the fore-ends! The later ‘new manufacture’ handguards were much better but during the mid 80’s, these were in short supply and with trials being undertaken to replace the trusty old steed, no more were ordered. Maybe Ordnance had got the message about the pxxx-poor quality of the bodgers involved earlier! When this happened, many Armourers were made aware of the shortage of serviceable L42’s and reverted to the converting of No4 rear handguards by extending them forwards to fill the need. You’ll still find these on some L42’s but you’ll have to look hard to see the join, under the band and inside, extending rearwards. An external giveaway is the small wooden plugs in place of the brass liner rivets. The quality of these REME Armourers repairs and conversions is a testimony to their years of apprentice and on-the-job training. A far cry from the diabolical workmanship of the original bodgers that they’d encounter later.

As Sgt Roger Xxxxx said to me once while we were ‘busy’ range testing a few ‘……….the rifle is just SO accurate, it’s a credit to Enfield and that’s in SPITE of the fore-end, and not BECAUSE of it’. I couldn’t have put it better myself Roger! Oh yes…., a word of advice and warning. If you see him or any other old-time Field and Base workshop Armourer of the 70’s and 80’s, please don’t mention L42 rifle fore-ends and handguards because you’ll soon learn that they all suddenly suffer from rabid outbursts of Tourettes syndrome and a robust reply can sometimes offend

Next, we’ll show how a needy fore-end can be saved from the great scrap-bin in the sky. Thanks to Armourer Sgt Roger Xxxxx for the technical explanations and old defect report photos

 



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