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Making Up a Useable No.4 Sniper
(Part 3 - The back end!)
By Peter Laidler
Up to this part in our project, you’ll have a properly set-up telescope in a bracket, a front pad screwed on to the rifle, but NOT permanently fixed quite yet and a bracket that fits to the front pad where the graticle swings up and down right across the point on which the bore is bore sighted. This has fixed the left – right deflection. What we want to do next is equally important. We need to fix the REAR pad between the bracket and the body, EXACTLY in such a position that it allows the bevel of the bracket to fit solidly and firmly against the corresponding bevel of the pad. This will fix the up and down movement of the bracket. Is it all making sense now?
As per the front pad, clean away the rear pad area down to white metal. Now boresight the rifle this time onto another DAP approx 250 yards away with the rifle held firmly in its rest. Now set the range drum of the telescope to 250 yards and swing it on its front pad axis until it too coincides with the 250 yard DAP. THIS IS THE APPROXIMATE POINT AT WHICH THE TRAJECTORY OF A .303” Mk7 ball round CROSSES THE OPTICAL AXIS OF A TELECOPE MOUNTED 1.7” ABOVE THE BORE. Just a simple home-made rest/fixture will do, just so long as it’s fairly solid. Now slide your rear pad into the gap between the body and the bracket. If it’s a loose fit then you’ll need to work out the amount of brass or steel shim that you’ll need to make it a good sliding fit. Likewise, if it’s a tight fit, then you need to skim as much metal off the REAR side of the pad to ensure the same.
This exact fitting of the rear pad is important because if it’s too tight a fit between the bracket leg and the body, it’ll strain the bracket and the twist will move the optical axis of the telescope over to the right won’t it? And if it’s too loose, as soon as you do the rear thumbscrew up, it’ll do the same, but pull the bracket and optical axis of the telescope over to the left. If you strain the bracket, left or right, that strain goes directly onto the front pad. And unlike the rear pad that is secured to the body by 1 sq.” of soft solder, 2x 4BA screw heads AND the huge bracket leg, all screwed down tight with a ¼” BSF screw, the front pad is only secured to the rifle by 1.5 sq.” of soft solder and 3 screw heads. To get a perfect height fit, you might need to remove metal from the bottom edge of the pad so that it seats on the angled or rounded ledge of the rifle body.
Think about it…. NOW READ AND DIGEST THAT PARAGRAPH AGAIN
Now that the rifle is boresighted on a DAP at 250 yards away, the grat is on that point too, we need to fix the rear pad to the body. There will be a dozen ways of doing this but the problem is that unlike the front pad, the rear pad is always covered by the rear bracket leg. But this is how I would do it. Firstly, while it’s all set up, ensure that the pad ¼” thumbscrew hole is central to the thumbscrew hole in the bracket. That is glaringly obvious. When it is central, carefully scribe a sharp line on the rifle body at the front and rear of the pads position. This ensures that the pad position is accurately marked in its fore and aft position.
Now remove the bracket and pad. Flux and tin the pad (and spacers if you have needed them) and pad area on the body and playing a flame over the area, set the pad into its fore and aft position. Allow to fix in place. After the pad is fixed in place with the soft solder, replace the bracket and realign the bore and telescope to the 250 yard DAP.
If you were really lucky and accurate, the rear pad will have been accurately semi fixed so that the telescope aligns perfectly. But it wont! But this is how you correct it. Gently play the gas flame over the bracket rear leg/pad/body area from the outside of the body until the solder melts (not too much heat – remember that there’s a telescope about 2” away so protect it with a sheet of alloy or plywood!) and if you’ve done it right, your slight correcting movement will move the pad AND allow the bevels of the pad and bracket to meet exactly. Look and adjust one last time and allow it all to cool. If it’s not quite exact or aligned or the ¼” hole isn’t central to the thumbscrew hole in the bracket or for whatever reason, just jiggle about and correct while it’s in this state. After the next phase, it’ll be toooooo late!
You now know that your bracket is perfectly matched to your rifle, remove the bracket and like you did before, with the pad fixed to the body with soft solder and in its exact position (because you’ve checked it several times…..) you can put the body back onto the machine table or adaptor as shown in the last article ready to mark the 4BA holes with a .1456”/3.7mm drill and having centered them, drill through with a .118/3mm drill and tap them. Repeat the process with the ¼” BSF hole, this time, mark with a ¼” drill and drill through with a .208”/5.3mm drill ready to tap. You can now drill and tap the holes knowing that you have checked and rechecked the positioning several times.
You can see from this that the telescope fits to and is collimated with the bore of the rifle. Not only that, but it is collimated to the rifle while the point of the grat is is in the centre of its adjustable range. How much better than that can it get? If during the next phase, the telescope needs a bit of a tweek in order to get it zeroed, YOU know it is a) pretty close anyway and b) you have loads of left – right, up – down movement within the telescope.
Next, we’ll look at completing the job to the satisfaction of the Out Inspector, a bit of bore sighting and a spot of range testing. And if it’s a nice sunny morning, I might join you on the range……………….
No photographs this time but hopefully all that I’ve explained will be pretty well self explanatory
Copyright ©2006 - 2010 by Peter Laidler and MILSURPS.COM (Content Policy)
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.