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Making Up a Useable No.4 Sniper
(Part 4 - The last bits and tarting it up!)
By Peter Laidler
When we left part 3, we had the front and rear pads fitted to the bodyside with their 4BA machine head or raised countersunks (x3 at the front) and countersunk x2 in the rear pad. Now is the time to scrupulously clean and flux and tin the flat and angled mating surfaces of the pads and the body side and allow a small amount of the flux to run into the 4BA holes too. Because we want the soft solder to penetrate into the threaded holes in order to LOCK the screws too. Just run a smooth file down one side of the 4BA threads because this small flat is going to allow the molten solder to run into the threads and lock the screws. Position the front pad and start the screws. They’ll soon get tight in the holes so this is the time to get the flame of the blow torch to soften the solder on the body and pad. While the solder is fluid and you’re playing the flame over the area, get your colleague to slowly, bit at a time and evenly tighten up the screws……… There, they are now done up very tight locking the pad to the body. If he as professional as you and if he’s got the correct size and serviceable screwdriver, you won’t have any amateurish gouges of the screw heads either.
As the body, screws and solder are cooling down, the screws are contracting too, squeezing the pad close to the body. Now do the same to the rear pad. Afterwards, you might just have to clean out any loose solder in the rear ¼” screw thread. Now get a scraper and clean away any old snotty solder from the edges of the pad.
Now we’re going to ‘classroom’ boresight it! Once again, fit the fore-end and mount the rifle on the sturdy bench with the telescopic sight attached, with the muzzle exactly 28 feet from a wall on which a sheet of paper or card is stuck. Mark on the paper/card the exact position of the axis of the bore. Now place vertically above that, another small mark (a felt pen dot will suffice) exactly 1.7” above the axis of the bore mark. Now with the drums BOTH set to 0, using a special reverse headed screwdriver (shown illustrated in the No4T sniper rifle book), and without disturbing the rifle, rotate the lead screws so that the point of the grat falls EXACTLY on that point. Alternatively, you could use a commercial collimator.
Once you have done this, you’re ready to go. But before you do, might I suggest that to make the job even BETTER, you strip the rifle down, take the telescope off the bracket and get the whole thing bead blasted, phosphate and sunkorite painted by BDL. Because the next time we use the rifle, it’ll be on the ranges with your friends and you want them to say ‘….wow, can I shoot it next?’ While it’s away in the capable hands of Brian, take a bit of time to clean the woodwork. Make sure that you only use the finest sandpaper or wire wool and if necessary, use hot shellac to fill any holes. Armourers don’t do wood filler or epoxy resin or coke cans! And make sure that you DO NOT go close to the edges. They must be reasonably sharp and square
Repro cheek rests are readily available from the gun trade but before you fit it, take a few minutes to rasp it into the correct shape of the old originals AND make sure that it is in the correct position. I notice that the original drawings that relate to its application on the P’14, that it says that looking from the rear, the screws should enter the butt through the cheek rest vertically. This wasn’t the case during No4 production era as they canted over to the right slightly. Get yourself a long Bren sling, and get out on the range…….
Where were we………..? Ah yes, what’s this……? A target 290 yards ahead, just to the left of the break in the hedge, moving up into position……….. he’s stopped……….. looking through his binos……., it’s an artillery observer….., a good target. Safety off, watch ….., watch……, aim….., aim…., aim….., tighten up……, take up the first pressure….., breath out slightly……….., relax breath and 2nd pressure squeeeeeeeeeeeze. Remember your training and repeat ten times ‘Thump-relax-observe-don’t move. Thump-relax-observe-don’tmove. Thump-relax-observe-don’tmove. Thump-relax-observe-don’t move’. Target falls when hit
Enjoy your new No4Sniper ...
Knocking down 12" steel plates at 500 and 600 meters with a 1945 Enfield No.4 Mk1(T).
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There's also few related range videos in The Screening Room (click here).
WWII Milsurp Sniper Rifles at 400 Meters (click here)
Milsurp Sniper Rifles at 500 Meters (click here)
This is some fun video, which I thought many collectors here would enjoy. It shows MILSURPS.COM and CGN members ~Angel~, Scott and Badger, shooting various sniper rifles from their personal collections, including a No.4(T). Turn up the volume so you can hear the sound of those plates dropping! Notice the sound delay between the time you see the plate fall, until you hear the metal PING sound return back up range to the shooter's position.
One thing I haven't mentioned is obtaining the hardware such as the screws, taps and dies. If anyone out there wants these bits, then I suggest you try locally but if all else fails...................
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")
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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.