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  1. #21
    Member zh75's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Looks like someone had at the bottom locking lug. They built it up by looks, you can see a couple blow holes towards the rear. Whole area was red and then allowed to slowly cool. That would take care of hardness there. I suspect someone stoned too much off or it was broken right off. We've seen that here before... Beware...
    Hmm, so what do you think the best course of action is in this case? Would it be even safe to fire then?

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  3. #22
    Senior Member BurtonP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by boltaction View Post
    I have owned a tremendous number of LB #4 rifles over the years and have yet to see one with the last 4 of the serial number stamped on top of the buttstock behind the receiver.

    I got a buttstock with a 4 digit number in this place a while back and I wondered what it was. I'm thinking it from a Longbranch rifle now.

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  5. #23
    Contributing Member 22SqnRAE's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by zh75 View Post
    Longbranch Bolt - Album on Imgur

    More pictures of the bolt
    G'Day zh75,

    Interesting LB specimen. Looking good so far.

    The bolt in question has been heated to around 300 degrees Celsius. The Yanks can work out thier own equivalent temps!

    Now for mild steel, or structural steel, 300 degrees isn't too much of a concern, as it's just getting in to the range of altering the steel's mechanical properties. I've spent the past 30 years as a civil/structural engineer, so I'm confident to discuss this topic.

    I am unsure of the standard for the bolt steel on a No 4, but I can assure you that the locking lug faces are heat treated for hardness for a few 10 thou depth. Additional heat, as seems to be the case here may well alter the face hardness of the rear lug. In short that is: Bad. (I hope the techo terms aren't too confusing... I'm trying to keep the engineering stuff to a minimum.)

    The first thing I'd want to know: Why TF is the rifle cocked in photos... No that's my safety prejudice surfacing, I apologise (well, a bit...) I recognise that only Commonwealth countries have a desire to 'ease springs' at any chance. I digress...

    The real questions from you to the seller is: Why is the rear lug discoloured? Why was the rear lug heated? By whom? When? How much use has the rifle had since the heating of the bolt? What was the gunsmithing outcome of the heating of the lug?

    Don't take a face value question as acceptable. Consider, if you buy the rifle and put our face behind that bolt and it fails...

    It's probably not a death knell for the rifle, but it's a bloody good reason to ask more questions. Your safety and eyesight is at stake.

    Now, the rest of the rifle is pretty good, but that heated bolt is a concern.

    Ask sensible, probing questions, by all means, return to the forum with them or even direct them as PMs to the people you consider appropriately senior and experienced to help. But do ask these questions of the seller. Don't take thier initial "oh, that was done by a gunsmith..." as gospel. It's safety first, second and always that counts. Doesn't matter how flash the rifle looks on your wall, it's whether you can safely and reliably use it that counts. Your safety, and that of people around you, is not negotiable.

    That's my 2 bob's worth...
    Last edited by 22SqnRAE; 01-10-2021 at 10:59 PM. Reason: punchooashun
    Trying to save Service history, one rifle at a time...

  6. #24
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    I'd say there is some chance that is a cold blue attempt, sometimes funny yellow tints appear. But it is possible that some banzai bozo did indeed attempt to soften the lugs, fiddle with them and then harden them again.

    But normally such industrious types would attempt to remove the evidence of their work with a bit of fine 80 grit paper.

    However, looking at your earlier photos, the bolt does indeed look original and therefore bozo should have had few reasons to mess with the lugs, in fact no reason at all, as they must have been lapped/stoned in at the factory. There is a slight possibility the bolt was replaced by an armourer who didn't do the job correctly, but very unlikely.

    The two little divots in the bottom of the smaller recoil lug are from the factory hardness test I believe. The same was done near the front guard screw hole on the underside of the receiver.

    The number on the butt wrist is obviously spurious, but the others look original to me, with the exception of the magazine, which was probably added in post-WWII service somewhere.
    Attached Images
    Last edited by Surpmil; 01-10-2021 at 08:59 PM.
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Wrong on all points. That has been heated...quit leading him astray.
    The bolt is either original or a service fitment; look at the "L" stamp. Compare with other Long Branch No4 bolts. Notice the original machining marks around the serial number?

    I just pulled out one LB bolt with four of those hardness test divots in the same place. Tomorrow I'll pull some others out.

    So you're wrong on two out of three.

    You saw some photos of a bolt and you KNOW it was heated? No, you THINK it was heated. I think it might have been too, but we don't KNOW yet...
    Last edited by Surpmil; 01-11-2021 at 02:28 PM. Reason: Typo
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

    "None need deceive a people determined to deceive themselves."

  8. #26
    Member zh75's Avatar
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    Very much appreciate all the input from everyone, I think regardless the bolt in question shouldn’t be trusted at the moment. It’s getting shipped down to Brian Dickicon today for him to take a look and fit a new bolt if that’s the solution that’s needed. I’m not about to risk my face shooting it with a bolt looking like that.

    I am still wondering about the serial number stamped in the stock behind the receiver, is that for sure something that would’ve been added outside the factory?

    Also had a question about some of the stamps, on the band opposite side of the serial number there’s stamping with “RTC” and what looks to be “S.E.M. Ga”. Does anyone have any idea what that would stand for?
    Last edited by zh75; 01-11-2021 at 08:34 AM.

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  10. #27
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    The only time serials were added to the wrist of the butt was on the No4(T)s and that is not a "T" so some civilian has added it. And probably the number under the forend too, if the stamps are the same.

    Don't recognize the other marks you refer to, but possibly importer marks. No doubt Brian will be able to tell you all about those.

    Before you ship it off, how about some close up photos of the rear surfaces on both of the bolt recoil lugs, and preferably the recoil shoulders in the receiver too.
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

    "None need deceive a people determined to deceive themselves."

  11. #28
    Member zh75's Avatar
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    Already shipped unfortunately otherwise I would. And hopefully Brian will be able to tell me more about it.

    And now starting to wonder if I got fleeced on this rifle

  12. #29
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    Typical Long Branch hardness test marks on small recoil lug of bolt - not usually this many though.

    Attached Images
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

    "None need deceive a people determined to deceive themselves."

  13. #30
    Member zh75's Avatar
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    So happy ending all of this - Brian Dickicon got my rifle today and had the chance to give it a look over including the bolt and had this to say:

    "Your LB No.4 arrived safely today. I gauged/inspected it and everything is well in specification. In fact, it appears to have been worked on in Britishicon service as it sports many British replacement parts, all of which are perfect and properly fitted. The serial number on the top of the wrist strikes me as ROF Maltby work but I'm not sure they refurbished many rifles post WWII. It could have been done in European workshops post war. Just a couple of wild guesses. It doesn't appear to have been used much after being reworked.

    The LH locking lug on the barrel is fine. The rifle has been refinished during rebuild and I think the bluing was affected by the original hardening of the locking lugs. It doesn't look to me to be welded back on. To be honest, it's perfect as far as I'm concerned. All this rifle needs is for you to keep the screws tight, barrel clean, shoot and enjoy from what I can see."

    So thankfully no welding, and will be looking forward to getting the rifle back and enjoying it.

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