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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Fultons No4 MK1/2

    I am not a massive fan of making a post sheerly since I got a new Enfield, but this is one fills a few empty spots in my collection.



    At first this rifle and a Savage MKI* stood out at a gunshop to me, having both been fitted with Central No4 rear apertures (This Maltby also having Central front sights fitted). This Maltby had me much more excited as it was a MK1/2, something I have wanted for a while, and a brit made No4 (My only other No4 is a Long Branch). This one is much more marked up than the LB and I understand that is likely since the Maltby's were peddled-scheme rifles.

    Its a Maltby made Mk1 which saw an FTR and conversion to MK2 in 1950 at Fazakerley, at which point I believe certain parts such as the sear (Marked 'F49'), magazine, and wood-work were all replaced (The bolt matches the action, and the magazine matches too. Its serial being electro-pencilled and 'F49' on it suggests it was replaced during this FTR). The wood looks like the pale beech I see on a lot of MK2's. I also noted an 'ENGLAND' stamp on the RHS of the reciever ring, which from what I understand means export from the UKicon before the 60's?



    On top of this there is also a 'REGULATED BY FULTON' stamped square on top of the reciever ring, which caught my eye. I had a look at the muzzle end and the barrel was well and truly floated, which honestly made me hesitate since I have seen so many bodgy 'target' jobs done on SMLE's around here with floated barrels.



    This one I also found had a commercial barrel without bayonet lugs as compared to a standard military barrel. Turned out to be a Sportco "LE303/4T", the 'T' I suspect means this is a No4 (T) rifle ... Probably just means target. Either way it has awesome rifling a tight muzzle and neat crown.



    So I obviously bought the rifle.

    Now are the pictures of everything which to me seem like Fulton's modifications. First is the fitting of the action to the fore-end:



    Next is what I assume is Oak, or some other hardwood, blocks as replacement for the draws. This area is a little confusing as there are dowels on the each side of the action inline with the draws but these dowels do not show on the inside. There is also what looks like part of a bolt behind the draws, but it does not show on the outside; almost like magic. Also looks like this rear area has been raised with this same hardwood to bear on the rear of the action better.



    On the underside of the fore-end is also a large dovetail cut into the Main screw bearing area (Milled out) and a suitably dovetailed hardwood block fitted into it. Additionally there is a flat piece of steel fitted to the underside of the trigger guard at the front to bear on this hardwood block harder I assume?



    Then there is the relieved fore-end and handguard which have then been packed behind the mid-band and floated forward. The bearing in the fore-end for the knox form has also been filled and fitted.



    Honestly these are all modifications I have heard of, but I have never seen them done so well. All the bearings and bedding look even and tight. Only thing which looks out of place is that dovetail in the main screw which looks on the generous side of 'tight', but hey if it is still in there good... AND, its been varnished. I hate varnish, and unless someone tells me its a trademark of a Fulton special rifle I will be removing it ASAP.

    Pretty cool rifle, and honestly one I am quite excited to take out shooting. I will be particularly excited to see if all these modifications have made it a target rifle or just made everything a bit more complicated. I am also in need of an unstoned No4 trigger as someone, after Fultons, crudely ground down the nodes on this trigger, and also stuck black tape to the top of the hand-guards.

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    Contributing Member mrclark303's Avatar
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    I also noted an 'ENGLAND' stamp on the RHS of the reciever ring, which from what I understand means export from the UK before the 60's?

    ROF Maltby wasn't so much of a peddled scheme, in the WW1 sense, I believe it manufactured its own Action bodies, Bolts, Bolt heads, trigger guards and barrels, but it also took component parts from the other factories to complete rifles.

    The fact that the factory was up and running a year after the first builder turned up in a muddy field with a shovel on his shoulder, has always amazed me. It shows what can be done when your back is against the wall!

    As I understand it, the Englandicon stamp was a Country of origin, US import requirement post 1968 I think?

    The bedding mods are quite period standard for a 1960's 'go faster' Futons special.

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    Really Senior Member Frederick303's Avatar
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    Actually not: the packed handguard was not allowed until post 1968, when there was a general relaxation in the rules. Prior to 1968 a center bed was allowed, but handguard packing was strictly prohibited on the No 4.

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Thanks for clarifying mate. The packing definitely does not have the finesse to it as the centre bedding.

    If that stamp is to do with export to the US then how did it get over here? haha.

    Also this varnish is coming off pretty soon.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Interesting hand done crows foot either SOOS or Acceptance near the top near the charger bridge Pic #1

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    The varnish is a standard Fultons finish (it's like a Shalac). I have many no4s and an smle with this finish applied. It would be a shame to remove it given that its collectability is as a Fultons regulated no4 target rifle and not as a milsurp. Here in NZicon they are not uncommon but tended to be purchased by those gentleman who had a "few bob" and not the standard shooter who typically purchased No4s direct from the army or from one of the many gunsmiths who tuned them Many paid to ship their rifles back to Fultons (surface freight) at the end of each shooting season for re-barreling etc.
    Fultons of Bisley were (and still are) highly regarded for their precision & craftsmanship as gunsmiths

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Cinders I noticed that too, and the upside down "D" in a circle beside it. Any ideas?

    Omark, the varnish is off now. It was on pretty thick and did not look like it was applied the best. Stock was dry as chips underneath it and is taking linseed like there is no tomorrow. With the extra packing in the handguard and new barrel, done post-fultons, it is not in perfect Fultons shape either. Getting that varnish off and oiling the stock can only do good for it in my eyes and that shiny orange is not as appealing as the blonde without the varnish. This rifle and that savage would have come from the same person but I wonder who they were and how long it has been since they were taken to the range or even looked after.

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    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Ill look that up tomorrow afternoon Nijal I also noticed in pic#1 just under the ejector screw on the flat appears to be 69 its pretty faint but if you blow the pic up you can see it pretty easily.

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    Whoever did that engraving wants pulling through with a christmas tree..........

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    Really Senior Member nijalninja's Avatar
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    Cinders, you have better eyes than me I did not even see that. There are marks like that all over the action and the various parts, reminds me of my old SMLE's as compared to my Long Branch, and on the other side of the action are plenty that look to be post and pre-refinishing.

    Mr Laidlericon, do you mean the inletting for the main screw block? It is pretty bad honestly, but if need be I could cut it out and replace it with some Iron bark wood and hand fit it.

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