• Worn draws in your No1, 4 or 5 fore-end .... (by Peter Laidler)

    The following article is published with the kind permission of Advisory Panel Member, Peter Laidler. Capt. Peter Laidler is the senior Armourer in the UK Military, now retired, but based as a Technical Officer at the UK Military Small Arms School. On behalf of MILSURPS.COM members, we'd like to publicly thank him for his support of this forum, as well the broader Lee Enfield collector community in general.

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    "Worn draws in your No1, 4 or 5 fore-end...."

    By Peter Laidler


    In this article I hope to be able to advise you the correct way to replace the worn draws in your fore-end. Worn draws can usually be identified by you visibly noticing the group pattern opening up over a period of a couple of weeks. The SCREW, front trigger guard remains tight but the fore-end is able to slide fore and aft very slightly. The purpose of the draws is this……. But before I go any further, I want you to pull up the excellent pictorial study by that master of schematics and illustrations, Ed Horton (click here) dated 22/10/09 in the article titled REGARDING No4 AND 5 BEDDING (click here). Now look at the relative angles of the inside face of the butt socket and the angle of the draws. From the axis of the bore, the butt socket angles downwards at approx 80 degrees* and the similarly downward angle of the draws is 74 degrees*. It therefore follows that the ‘line’ of the angles would meet (they do indeed, at approx 12” above the line of the bore. This tells us that there is in fact a taper effect between the two surfaces AND the higher up the taper you get, the narrower it becomes. We are going to make this taper work for us by using the taper of the DRAWS to DRAW the fore-end rearwards, towards the butt socket where it’s going to abut rock solidly. It’s this rock solid (well, as good as you’ll get to that effect with wood of course…..) abutment, secured by the fitting of the fore-end at the front of the body and the fit of the knox form that makes the No4 body the rock steady platform that it is. At the muzzle end, it’s the muzzle bearing plus the barrel steel mix, its weight and length that gives the rifle its superb accuracy. And don’t forget the brilliant mathematically calculated harmonics of the bullet and barrel too.

    There’s a LOT more to it than that of course that can be seen in operation in the laboratory using simple trials and experiments. Having been there and seen these things operate, is it any wonder that I ask myself several pertinent questions? No other method of stocking up the No4T sniper rifle has ever proved to make it more accurate than the correct, approved method. So why do some STILL try to change it? And one other point too. You won’t fine here any mention of glass bedding, double sided tape, wood fillers, plastic wotsits, acra-stuff, this that and the other, cork inserts or any other things that don’t quite fit into the bubba category and some things that definitely DO. I will also mention some things that I have learned about doing the job. Not for speed or cheapness, but copied from other Armourers….., REAL Armourers, who probably learned from their dads. Alas, these skills are a dying art and there’s no-one left within the system so it’s up to you to pass on the good word.

    Right, here we go. First, a bit of advice. When you remove the fore-end from your rifle DO NOT pull it down from the muzzle. Remember that it’s sat in a tight taper at the rear, so while you might give the muzzle a bit of a tweak or a wiggle, it is removed from the rifle AT THE REAR, by gently tapping it downwards on either side of the top surface of the fore-end, either side of the backsight bed. This will free the fore-end from the taper we have spoken about.

    Having established that the fore-end is as loose as old socks and that the draws are in dire need of some sort of repair, this is what you do. Next, we’ll use the same old fore-end to show you how to remove and patch the dreaded ‘ishy screw’ hole

    * Don’t quote or work to these figures, they’re simply worked out roughly while using a laser across a surface plate


    The top, rear of a No4 fore-end with a set of worn out draws, in need of patching.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    This picture show the draws cut out to a depth of about ½” rearwards. This is to allow a good depth of new wood and importantly, to permit a hardwood peg to secure the patches in place.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    The oak patch has been cut to shape and glued into place. Notice in this case that the patch is for the full width. This allows it to be cramped front to rear and side to side as shown. Notice that the wood grain of the patch is top to bottom as this makes for a better load bearing surface and easier to chisel while fitting it to the angled draws. That’s a little tip learned by Armourers with many, many years experience.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    The patch, now securely glued in pace and made off along the top surface. All we need to do now is…..

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    Mark out the position of the pegs, drill the holes, glue and tap into place the hardwood/oak pegs. Ok, ok….., these aren’t hardwood but are shown for simplicity due to the fact that this is a scrap fore-end. Personally, I always use a peg from each side as opposed to one long peg going right through.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    Pegs cut off and made good externally. The next part is a matter for you. Do you fit the body with the patch intact or do you split the patch? I have always fitted the body with the patch intact but…………………..

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    The draws cut and body fitted but now, the draw patch has been cut across and cleared to allow the trigger and sear to operate.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    Notice how the body is sat correctly across the internal ‘shelf’.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)




    Last but certainly not least, the finished article showing the cut-away fore-end and the tightly fitting draws cut at the correct angle ‘drawing’ the fore-end rearwards towards and tightly up against the butt socket. If it’s possible, note that I (and many other Armourers) always insert the draw patch with the grain of the wood angled for strength to the angle of the draws in the body. Not clearly shown is the cross-peg for added security. Next time I’ll use a dark wood peg! Good luck.

    (Click PIC to Enlarge)


    Copyright ©2006 - 2009 by Peter Laidler and MILSURPS.COM


    Collector's Comments and Feedback:

    1. Capt. Peter Laidler is the senior Armourer in the UK Military, now retired, but based as a Technical Officer at the UK Military Small Arms School. In addition to being a trained and highly experienced military "Armourer", he has authored two excellent books about the No.4(T) sniper rifles and their No.32 scopes. They are titled "An Armourer's Perspective: .303 No.4(T) Sniper Rifle", which he co-authored with Ian Skennerton and his own dedicated work, "Telescope Sighting No.32".

    If you're really interested in some in-depth learning about the No.4(T) sniper rifles and the No.32 series of scopes, their history, evolution, repair and adjustments for shooting, I'd highly recommend those two books, which are pictured below.
    ....... (Feedback by "Badger")


    (Click PIC to Enlarge)



    Note: The opinions expressed herein or statements made in this article are solely those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Military Surplus Collectors Forums, or the ownership and moderation group of this site. MILSURPS.COM accepts no legal liability or responsibility for any claims made or opinions expressed herein. Also, please note that neither the author nor MILSURPS.COM recommends that any member of these forums, or a reader of this article, try this type of experimentation without the proper knowledge, equipment and training.
    This article was originally published in forum thread: "Worn draws in your No1, 4 or 5 fore-end .... " (by Peter Laidler) started by Badger View original post
    Comments 2 Comments
    1. tbonesmith's Avatar
      These pegs you use here and on the forend (L42 etc), are they all hand cut with a knife, or do you turn them down on a lathe?
    1. ssj's Avatar
      and the similarly downward angle of the draws is 74 degrees*

      Do we have a better guess? Im about to do my first draws...
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