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Thread: Lithgow SMLE Target Rifle Draws repair

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Lithgow SMLE Target Rifle Draws repair

    So this BSA old target rifle I picked up a while ago seems to have some very very worn draws, and despite being a BSA rifle it seems has had the fore-end replaced with Lithgowicon furniture, or at least has had these copper plates installed at some point in its life.

    Now I would not be too worried about this (Considering I have done this once now and I am confident I could do it again at least to a useable degree), EXCEPT it has been bedded with what looks like some kind of putty directly over the rear of the action bedding where the most damage to the draws is. I thought perhaps I could very gently remove the bedding in one piece, do the repairs and then place it back but it seems a bit too solid to do that without it breaking excessively. So the question becomes, does anyone have any ideas as to how I can do this, or should I leave the old girl the way she is and just not worry about shooting her again? I like at least knowing I can take my guns out, and being a target rifle I feel she should be able to shoot at least a bit better than the average SMLE even in her old age.

    Any not too crazy antiquety preserving ideas are welcome. (I will post pictures tomorrow since right now my internet is being annoying)

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Silly me I forgot to do this yesterday. One day late but ah well.

    Not only can you see some splitting of the wood down the grain, but also that the copper plates are bowed in. The rear of the fore-end that butt's into the wrist had a spacer to take up some slack because of this. I suppose the armourer that made and maintained this rifle got to the same state as me and then did a quick fix.
    Last edited by nijalninja; 05-21-2018 at 05:56 PM.

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    Using the Google CSE (Custom Search Engine) located in the top right corner of the site (see white rectangular box), I found the following references searching for the phrase "cracked Lithgowicon", which should get you off to a good start ...

    Lithgow SMLE ... Causes of Cracked Foreends

    Repairing a Split Stock on a Lithgow SMLE

    Regards,
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    That rifles bedding is typical of the shoddy bridge-ups that are all too common. To properly sort it out it’s all got to go, and if the draws are loose, then they need to be patched out per Peter Laidlericon’s instructions published on this site.
    You can guarantee that the crush collar is not properly fitted and that the barrel and Knox bearing is wrong.
    ... Trigger will need adjustment after the bedding rectification.

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    I was going to suggest starting from scratch but TBone has beaten me to it. But that said, it's not scrap - yet. I say that because without the proper in-depth knowledge, it could very easily become so. Here's a thought. TBone is a man who definitely knows what he's doing with regards woodwork and Enfields. What about having a quiet word in his ear 'ole

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Badger, cheers. I'll have a good look at those. Even if they don't have answers I will always appreciate knowledge about stocking up these rifles.

    tbone, its an old gun (Been target shooting since the 1920's) and I suppose there technology for bedding and whatnot was not what it is now, and knowledge of stocking up much more scarce. I am currently in the middle of repairing a set of draws in Mr Laidlericon's instructions, though I lack much experience to make it quick and neat. Crush collars and knox bearings are something I still find hard to wrap my head around. I just don't know how on earth you can manage all these different things that are reliant on each and have them all where they should be. Trigger adjustments I can do however.

    Mr Laidler, I realise it is far from a simple job hence I am asking before trying anything. Tbone being in Aus is extremely convenient for me and I have been wanting to talk to him.

  11. #7
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    He's your man........... And just a small correction in your post2, last sentence. You can be rest assured that it definately wasn't an Armourer that did that 'work' on your rifle. It was probably what we call a '........home tinkerer or enthusiastic amateur'. There are other terms and phrases in use to describe their antics, but best not used on a forum like this where forthright words might upset sensitive ears. Have a quiet word with TBone........

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Regardless of the state of what it looks like this rifle must have shot well considering its career and accolades in the queen's shoot and other competitions, but I do understand what you mean.


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