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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Just picked up a decent 1912 dated enfield. (my first No1) the butt is a little loose and I went downt he oiler hole and got the screw to turn to hand tight and it still is a little loose. Before I tear anything up is there something else to do?
 

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I surely hope the forend is off before you cranked on the screw? If not, you risk cracking the forend wide open. There is a lug on the tip of the bolt which protrudes into a slot in the forend iron at the rear.
Make sure the forend is off before going any further. You may need to back off what you turned on the screw already to do that.

1. Add another washer
2. Cut a strip of craft paper or, from a brown paper bag, to wrap around the buttstock tennon. Wetting it with diluted glue or BLO and allowing it to dry.
3. Both of the above.
 

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DONT tighten up the Butt-bolt with the forend in place you will split the forend - hopefully its not too late.

Remove the forend - have a look at the rear of the forend is there a split across it ?

Now tighten up the butt-bolt as tight as possible and then a bit tighter, if it is not tight, take it off and let it soak for a few days in BLO (boiled linseed oil), or liberally coat it, let it soak in, coat it again and again and again .......

When the wood has swelled to where it should be, refit the butt, refit the forend (if its not cracked) and away you go.

Oil the wodwork once a day for a week, then once a week for a month, then once a month for a year then once a year for the rest of your life.
 

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Something to keep in mind whichever approach you choose. Tighten the buttstock onto its tapered tenon and not against the tenon shoulder. Tightening against the shoulder creates a chisel-like effect against the end grain and results in chipping away at that area. Always leave a slight gap once tightened. The thickness of a matchbook cover should suffice between the wood shoulder and the rim of the buttsocket.
 

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The reason you want to remove the forend first. Early enfields had a metal plate inletted in the rear of the forend. This had a U shaped notch in it. The buttstock bolt had a squared end that protruded past the butt socket and fitted into the notch in the plate. The idea was to prevent the stock bolt from turning causing the butt to become loose. Further tightening will spread the plate and crack the stock. The plate was deleted in later models as was the squared end of the bolt
 

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I made a leather washer using a thick piece of a sling. That worked like a charm. One could probably use a thick, hard rubber washer, as well (though you might have to trim the outer circumference and/or open the center hole).
 

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glad I asked and only turned it hand tight, I did not crank on it, it will have to wait till sunday since i am leaving town for a few days.
Short of using a vise, a small sledgehammer, and a pipe wrench (or being an angry lowland gorilla), I very seriously doubt that you'll do any damage to the keeper plate or bolt end, not to mention the forestock, with just a hand wielding a screwdriver. You'll just find it all but impossible to remove or tighten the stock bolt.

I had a very nice coachwood stocked 1918 Lithgow years ago that a previous owner had both overtightened the bolt by a full quarter turn (corner to corner contact with the flats of the keeper slot), then pounded the forestock on with a mallet. When I finally got it all apart, it was very apparent that he hadn't done it only once. While both the keeper and the bolt end were wrecked, the forestock was in fine shape with only the "standard" small vertical crack at one end of the keeper, and some crushing at the sides of the keeper cutout. I fixed the issue of the bolt overturn and went on shooting it. To my knowledge, it's still getting range use by the friend I sold it to (with full disclosure of course).

All that aside...lots of good advice here. I'd start with the soaking in linseed oil first. I've got a CLLE that had a pretty wobbly butt when I got it about 3 years ago. I haven't done anything to it yet, but after about 6 months up here on the wet side of Washington State, it's tightened up pretty nicely. The heavy paper shim was an official method, outlined (with a template) in several of Skennerton's SAIS series of books.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Well finally got around to taking it apart and the stock is slight cracked in the mentioned area but it was already like that based on a small bit of epoxy someone put there. Should be a simple fix to get her tightened up. Thnx for the advice.
 
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