+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 24

Thread: I shot my No.4(T) scopeless and was underwhelmed

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    Legacy Member Maple_Leaf_Eh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Posts
    252
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    05:10 AM

    I shot my No.4(T) scopeless and was underwhelmed

    On Sunday I attended a scheduled regional milsurp matches. Looking at the rules, the gun locker and the ammunition locker, I decided to shoot a No.4. There were "a few" good ones to choose from.

    The rifle with the best pedigree and provenance is off limits. So, it was a never-fired (by me) BSA T without the scope, and a 1945 LB 'Regulated by Fulton' service rifle A. The particular scope came with the purchase 20-plus years ago. It had never been inspected and I heeded wise advice not to chance destroying the antique sticky gums, greases and resins shooting a sustained course of fire where the only prize was match experience. But that protectiveness didn't include shooting the rifle it arrived with.

    I had never fired this No.4(T) because of the scope. It left the house a month ago for an inspection and repair as required trip to Warren Wheatfield. The basic rifle as a T ought to be a more capable rifle than even the one 'Regulated by Fulton'. For those who don't know, Fulton's shop at Bisley was where masterful inspection and tuning turned pretty good Service Rifle A rifles into match and aggregate winners. This one came from my father's house. He of course had decades of high level provincial and national competition, with several trips to Bisley and other lesser important tilts like the Olympics, World Championships, Commonwealth Games and Camp Perry. He would not have kept a bad rifle willingly, but it probably also fired a ton of DAQ and DIZ Mk7Z ball and there are no guarantees he left any bullseyes in the barrel. Therefore, the Fulton LB came out of the locker to join the T as the number two choice.

    So, thinking about the T my mind wandered to several factors, like consistency at the manufacturing plant, sorting out a good rifle from the run of the mill for candidacy to become a T, H&H's exacting and relentless inspections with many off ramps for down selection, not to mention its rather pampered postwar life led me to the conclusion it would have shot just that much better. I was wrong.

    Three things arose during my zeroing practice the weekend before. The front sight, the elevation knob and the magazine made me turn my thinking inwards at the rifle and not outwards to the match. When test zeroing with known good 1950 DAQ Mk 7Z, I found the front sight was hitting about 4" offline of my hold. That is fixable. I have small automotive windshield wiper arm tool with the other range tools. It fits over the sight ears and in quarter-turn of 'feels about right' increments I moved the element into alignment. I was expecting a tensioning screw on the base, and had my reverse screwdriver at hand. Not required. The element moved with enough resistance but smoothly. I thought it was de rigeur that every good T rifle had the tensioning screw.

    The next issue was the graduations on the sight and the ball bearing elevation knob detent on the installed machined backsight. It is correct for a T with no battle sight. Interestingly, it doesn't have the extra clearance radius underneath which Peter Laidlericon describes so thoughtfully. Hmmm? This rifle may not have had a well-trained armorer’s care in its preparation before issue to the troops. Could it have been used by a less than warlike regiment, corps or school? For my purposes, I want the knob to stay where I leave it. The ball didn't give me that peace of mind. Instead, I put a short piece of adhesive tape across the top bar to avoid accidentally touching or turning the knob. I have other sights. If I have a much better one, I'll replicate the battle sight by grinding it off, and marking a year or an 'R' to avoid later accusations of forging a back sight. When I finished zeroing, the rounds were hitting point of aim on the black face, but the increment indicator was already up several clicks.

    At the match I wound it up more increments to get into the scoring rings. Even when sighting in at 200, the group was at 500 which didn't correspond to the distance. When I'm tuning the back sight, I will replace the front sight element with a lower one to raise the group at a neutral 200 yd setting.

    Finally, I was unsatisfied with the magazine. For a magazine fed repeating rifle it should strip the top round off easily. Not so. The nose of the bullet always pressed against the front of the box without slipping off the front feed corner lip and pointing towards the chamber. Consistently I had to flick the round over with my multi tool for magazine feeding. That was not satisfactory, so for the rapids and snaps I single loaded out of my hat. As a rule, I do not remove No.4 magazines, and this was the same magazine from the previous owner.

    Although I did not win any single matches, I was consistently good enough to win the iron sights aggregate with the No.4(T), shooting under the match conditions and rules. My prize is a nice association medal and a pound of coffee beans from a sponsor. But I hammered in a lot of tightly grouped 3s and 4s that really should have been 5s. Time to tune up a few replaceable parts, that don't alter the rifle. Then back to the range and next year. And yes, these are embarrassing problems to have!

  2. Thank You to Maple_Leaf_Eh For This Useful Post:


  3. # ADS
    Friends and Sponsors
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Posts
    All Threads
    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  4. #2
    Legacy Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 10:59 PM
    Location
    Centurion RSA
    Age
    72
    Posts
    1,225
    Real Name
    Daan Kemp
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    12:10 PM
    Slight, careful, bending of the magazine lips should solve the feeding problem.

  5. Avoid Ads - Become a Contributing Member - Click HERE
  6. #3
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last On
    Today @ 01:08 AM
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    27,932
    Real Name
    Jim
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    02:10 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_Leaf_Eh View Post
    its rather pampered postwar life led me to the conclusion it would have shot just that much better. I was wrong.
    It goes with what Peter L stated years ago about #4 "T" rifles...some with mirror bores shot for crap and some with crappy barrels shot like magic... Or words to that effect.
    Regards, Jim

  7. #4
    Advisory Panel tiriaq's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 07:34 PM
    Location
    Central Ontario
    Age
    76
    Posts
    1,015
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    05:10 AM
    As it happened, I was RO for this shoot - and in the tool box in my truck is a nice Mk. I sight complete with detent. We could have installed it right on the range... I wondered what the tape was for.

  8. Thank You to tiriaq For This Useful Post:


  9. #5
    Legacy Member Maple_Leaf_Eh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Posts
    252
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    05:10 AM
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by tiriaq View Post
    As it happened, I was RO for this shoot - and in the tool box in my truck is a nice Mk. I sight complete with detent. We could have installed it right on the range... I wondered what the tape was for.
    I might not have taken your offer on the spot. I know in my parts bucket (almost all air and Ziploc bags, and not many parts), I have spare Mk I sights. I'd want to match the maker to the original if possible.
    Last edited by Maple_Leaf_Eh; 08-23-2022 at 07:14 PM. Reason: grammar

  10. #6
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last On
    Today @ 01:08 AM
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    27,932
    Real Name
    Jim
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    02:10 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Maple_Leaf_Eh View Post
    I'd want to match the maker to the original if possible.
    Have a look and see, I have a couple here that I would send if a maker matched...Mk 1 sights. I don't need them.
    Regards, Jim

  11. #7
    Legacy Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2016
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 10:59 PM
    Location
    Centurion RSA
    Age
    72
    Posts
    1,225
    Real Name
    Daan Kemp
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    12:10 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    #4 "T" rifles...some with mirror bores shot for crap and some with crappy barrels shot like magic.
    They were initially selected for above average accuracy, weren't they? What happened to make them inaccurate then?

  12. #8
    Legacy Member ColinA's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    Last On
    Today @ 02:10 AM
    Location
    Shropshire, England
    Posts
    7
    Real Name
    Colin Armfield
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    10:10 AM
    Quote Originally Posted by Daan Kemp View Post
    They were initially selected for above average accuracy, weren't they? What happened to make them inaccurate then?
    They aged some 80 years in use, and storage. Some suffer from lack of maintenance, some too much.
    Wood alters over time which on a No.4 can affect accuracy.

    Probably the most interesting thing is that some of them still do shoot well.

  13. #9
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 09:22 AM
    Location
    Southern Corner Western Australia
    Posts
    7,144
    Real Name
    CINDERS
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    06:10 PM
    You do not describe whether the rifle was checked over by you before going to the range all the screws etc tightened one would think that this would be the first item on the agenda.
    You talk of a 4" drift well that's not to bad when I procured my T from a chap who said it was good to go I found out the hard way that it was not so as with my handloaded ammo with 174 SMK's which I've won comps with had a 20" group at 100M yes a 20MOA dispersion at 100M everything was tight I suspected the scope but it tracked as it was designed to do and the turrets move freely.


    The cause as I found out by error, I was checking the up lift at the muzzle when low and behold I discovered that the action was rocking on the collar ! I pulled the rifle down to discover that the draws were mushed to hell and beyond my skill level, so I shipped it off to a master stock maker who cured the draws problem forever.
    My friend shot it at 100M after the repair and it clover leafed the 3 round group he fired with my reloads, I'm kicking myself for not taking a picture of it but to say its cured is a definite yes.
    So the ammo may be good to go but again its 72 year old ammo so I cannot see why you have to have the sights so high perhaps the ammo is not burning correctly as having to have a higher sight setting is a malady for using high B/C projectiles like the SMK's.

    Pic of the draws area Ken Davies built from aircraft grade aluminium he has done this to a few 303's over the years with excellent results.
    Some of our West Australianicon members may know of Ken and his workmanship he is a master of the craft.
    Attached Thumbnails Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0927.JPG‎
Views:	211
Size:	820.5 KB
ID:	128006   Click image for larger version

Name:	IMG_0928.JPG‎
Views:	201
Size:	973.8 KB
ID:	128007  

  14. The Following 2 Members Say Thank You to CINDERS For This Useful Post:


  15. #10
    Legacy Member Maple_Leaf_Eh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Last On
    Yesterday @ 09:42 PM
    Posts
    252
    Local Date
    12-10-2022
    Local Time
    05:10 AM
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    You do not describe whether the rifle was checked over by you before going to the range all the screws etc tightened one would think that this would be the first item on the agenda.
    I did not turn the screws snug. There is a metal to metal interaction that a big part of me says to leave alone. Even tensing a screwdriver will change whatever happy equilibrium and "bond" has formed over the years. Ordinarily on any other rifle, that step would be part of the inspection and confirmation.

    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    You talk of a 4" drift well that's not too bad ...
    I'm a good enough shooter to recognize operator induced inconsistency! But I chose to move the sight over because the group wasn't very tall and aiming off with the particular glasses I had wasn't going to be consistent enough. The target rifle shooter in me says to adjust moveable sights and centre the group. It saves having to remember an aim off.

    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    The cause as I found out by error, I was checking the up lift at the muzzle when low and behold I discovered that the action was rocking on the collar ! I pulled the rifle down to discover that the draws were mushed to hell and beyond my skill level, so I shipped it off to a master stock maker who cured the draws problem forever. ...
    Unless I have other indications of wild inconsistency, I'm not going to touch the bedding of this T


    Quote Originally Posted by CINDERS View Post
    So the ammo may be good to go but again its 72 year old ammo so I cannot see why you have to have the sights so high ....
    The ammo came from an unopened box of arsenal original ball. The Canadianicon .303 was always spoken of as commercial quality noncorrosive primers, brass alloys, and powder. I have no idea what load or lot or factory or conditions were present when selecting and setting up this rifle. Not all ammo is the same. Thinking over what I know of the ammo's storage conditions, I had no reason to believe this had been subjected to great heat or temperature swings. And I had more than enough of one lot to shoot the match.

    Had I done my part with better glasses, the front sight been lower to raise the fall of shot, and the backsight giving reassuring clicks, I know I could have stretched out my scores. That is what next year is for!

  16. Thank You to Maple_Leaf_Eh For This Useful Post:


+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 3 1 2 3 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Shooting My Savage No.4 Mk1 (Scopeless T)
    By DiegoMenendez in forum The Lee Enfield Knowledge Library Collectors Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 01-22-2017, 12:49 PM
  2. Savage No. 4 (T) Scopeless stamps?
    By wotter in forum The Lee Enfield Knowledge Library Collectors Forum
    Replies: 44
    Last Post: 01-12-2014, 08:29 AM
  3. my first no 4 mk I (T)...scopeless......
    By mrbungle in forum The Lee Enfield Knowledge Library Collectors Forum
    Replies: 10
    Last Post: 06-28-2013, 08:09 PM
  4. Took my scopeless No4 Mk1 (T) to the range
    By PAshutr3 in forum Range Reports - Show us how good you are!
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 03-04-2011, 09:29 AM
  5. .308 FN-49, 20 shot?
    By sdh1911 in forum Milsurps General Discussion Forum
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: 06-03-2007, 03:46 PM

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts