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Thread: No4 MK1 identification

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Length of barrel is what you make of it.

    The LE barrel length [25.5"] was decided about 120 years ago [down from 30.5"], and had a lot to do with target shooters wanting a longer barrel for accuracy. Thinking at that time hadn't progressed far from volley firing on command but all military forces wanted to be able to shoot to at least 2 000 m/yds. Since that barrel length and its ammunition worked very well it wasn't changed. Similar to all military rifles from that era.

    If you compare the military cartridges of that time they all have similar ballistics.

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    Really Senior Member englishman_ca's Avatar
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    The long Lee barrel was 30.2 inches in length, and the rifle the same length as that of the Martini Henry that it replaced. The LE cavalry carbine barrel was 20.75 inches.

    My metal arithmetic (Ummmm!) tells me that the Sht.LE barrel length of 25.2 was pretty much half way between the two.

    There was a bit of controversy about the new Sht.LE and it did not get very good press when it was first rolled out as the new service rifle. The target shooting fraternity were not impressed at first

    The military taking target shooters views into consideration for barrel length in my mind is doubtful. The long rifle was sighted to 1800 yards and the shorter carbine to 2000. The rifles were factory tested for grouping and not tested to be able to hit a bulls eye.

    The No.4 rifle barrel is same length as that of the Sht.LE and same diameter and taper as that of the MLE.

    I find the evolution of the LE to be fascinating. Everything seems to have been done for a reason by some very clever designers.
    Last edited by englishman_ca; 04-24-2018 at 10:36 AM. Reason: spellng

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    Member army1882's Avatar
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    IMHO, it's not worth restoring. By the time you buy all the parts necessary to restore it and pay a smith to replace the barrel, you would have spend a lot more than buying a complete full stocked No4 Mk1. And after all that, a restored copy is still not worth as much as an original. Just shoot it as is and enjoy it.


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