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My 1944 dated Long Branch No. 4, Mk 1* forearm will move / rock left and right a tad when I grasp the forearm . All screws are tight. I broke it down and the wood inside shows no compression or wear patterns. The kingscrew hole is pristine and no signs of cracking or compression.

I think the wood has just shrunk with old age. I can see some daylight from the side when I look at the seam where the rear of the forarm and the butt socket (wrist of receiver) joins. That metal strap on the rear end of the forearm clearly hows daylight between it and the socket.

The bottom of the entire barrel is richly blued and no signs of rubbing on the stock.

Any suggestions on how to tighten this up?
 

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You may need to bed the stock in the area of the "keeps" and at the fore end. I like to use gasket material available at any auto parts store. Get a variety of thicknesses from .005 to .032 . Here is a link to some good instructions, I would avoid the center bearing as this is a difficult procedure and in my experience is not always beneficial..
http://enfieldrifles.profusehost.net/ti18.htm
 

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before you do anything, try this experiment:

remove the collar from the forestock that bushes the kingscrew. Now re-install the kingscrew WITHOUT the bushing. Count how many turns of the kingscrew it takes to tighten it up. Now check to see if the forestock still has movement. It shouldn't if it was properly fit.

Now re-install the bushing and count how many turns to tighten the screw. If it bottoms out on the bushing before you get to the number of turns without the bushing, then the kingscrew busing needs to be filed to improve forestock compression at the kingscrew.

Now loosen the kingscrew a half turn and remove all the stock bands and handguards. Try to slide the forestock forward and backward along the barrel. is there any lateral movement? If so, there is space between the receiver recoil shoulders and the forestock draws. You will need to shim the draws to snug up the fit in this area if there is any movement. It should be completely snug.

Hope that helps.
 

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I had a brain fart it's draws not keeps, thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Its the bushing

I did the tests and had to file a tad off the bushing and now its all snugged up. While I had it apart, I did the other tests and it has zero lateral movement. Off to the range now as it ought to shot really good now.

THanks so much,
 

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Step #1 should have been to give the wooden stocks a good soaking in raw linseed oil, this “revitalizes” the wood and causes it to swell or go back to its original shape (Hopefully)

Peter Laidler a British Armourer and author of the book “An Armourers Perspective: .303 No.4 (T) Sniper Rifle and the Holland and Holland Connection” has stated that during the Enfield’s yearly inspections the stocks were placed in a hot tank of raw linseed oil and allowed to soak over night.

A wall paper wetting tray can be used as a small “soaking tank” and “careful” selection of “your” type of linseed oil by reading the MSDS sheets will help a great deal.

By reading the MSDS sheets you die hard “BLO” fans will find out the real contents of the “BLO” and be able to separate the cheap BLO with all the chemical additives and REAL actual “BOILED” linseed oil. (I use raw linseed oil)

WWII Enfield’s had RAW Linseed oil applied to them, BLO was NOT used until the 1950s.



Below is a photo that was incorrectly labeled “Cosmoline soaked” at another forum when in fact the stock had been “hot dipped” in raw linseed oil, please notice how far the linseed oil has soaked into the wood.

The cheap fast drying modern BLO dries on the surface of the wood and does not penetrate as deeply as raw linseed oil will.
(save this to your mental hard drive or gray matter)

 

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Ed, It is probably important to note that regular infantry rifles (not No.4T's) were NOT hauled down and resoaked annually.

Also, I have never seen a stock that was so loose as to move around appreciably while assembled that could be corrected by applying linseed oil alone, though it certainly doesn't hurt! :)

As for BLO vs. RLO, bear in mind everyone that your Enfield stock did not come to you totally dry (usually - probably 99.9% of cases). There is decades worth of oil, both factory and hand-applied, in your stock. RLO will penetrate deeper and longer, yes, but this is more of a concern on new, unoiled wood IMHO. Even RLO will eventually oxidize and seal the surface pores. This is a good thing as it adds some small weather resistance. BLO is also not a fast dryer. It takes weeks or moths to oxidize and will penetrate more than any polymerizing oil such as Tung Oil.

For the record, I use both :) I typically start with a few coats of RLO if the stock looks to be relatively dry, and finish off with some BLO so that the surface wil oxidize more quickly once I am happy with the finish.
 

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Claven2

Mr. Laidler WAS talking about regular infantry rifles and the manual states during its yearly inspection the stocks will be re-oiled.

The people in this forum will have Enfield’s that were put in storage after British and Commonwealth Armourers did their fine work on them OR they can have Enfield’s that came from Turkey where unemployed ex-bicycle mechanics worked on them and the stocks are as dry as a popcorn fart.


INSTRUCTIONS FOR
ARMOURERS

CHAPTER II

EXAMINATIONS AND INSPECTIONS



Section 1.—Examination by Armourers of Small Arms, Machine-Guns, Mountings and Bicycles of regular Units

1. Examinations are to be carried out by armourers periodically as laid down in ER., Pt. I. The following is for general guidance

Quarterly.—All rifles, bayonets and scabbards, swords and scabbards, pistols, machine-guns (including D.P.) with spare parts, mountings arid accessories in use, and all bicycles on charge.

Annually.All rifles, pistols, bayonets and swords with their scabbards, and bicycles in use, and all machine-guns, with their mountings and accessories, including those held for mobilization. In this examination, the machine-guns, rifles, pistols, and bicycles are to be thoroughly stripped, cleaned and re-oiled. The examination is to take place during the .winter season at a time to be determined by the C.O., and, where possible, should coincide approximately with the dates when the quarterly examinations are due in order to avoid unnecessary duplication of work.

 

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I would argue that those instructuions (Chapter II, E&I) are in relation to the mineral oiling of the metal components, not the linseed oiling of the wood stocks.

Frankly, my experience of the Lee Enfield does no include knowledge of armorers yearly soaking the woodwork of all infantry rifles in heated linseed oil.

I could well be mistaken, but I've been a this a long time and have never seen documented proof of that taking place.

Also, I challenge anyone to demonstrate to me a stock where the depply penetrated linseed oil was totally removed. Usually "dry" stocks are only "dry" near the surface if they were originally well oiled (as all Enfield stocks were at the factory).
 

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Claven2

In another chapter it states that during the yearly inspections regular troops can be conscripted to oil the stocks and do other non-technical work. This means the lowest ranking troops got to stay on base and re-oil stocks while everyone else went home for Christmas.

Below are Mr. Laidler’s own words about oiling stocks.


Re: Woodwork care advice.......

Peter Laidler <Send E-Mail> -- Sat 22 Mar 2008 11:43 am


I'll let you into a little secret Newcastle and all the rest of the forumers. We had two SMLE rifles recovered from the sea in 2000, in 6 feet of water, off a little place in France called Dunkirk. Both were immersed in a fresh water tank for a couple of years to desalinate them. We used one for some metallurgy trials and other bits and pieces. It was cut up and the first thing the chemists discovered was that the wood was still saturated in linseed oil.
If you ever have any doubts about the value of linseed oil, this should convert you for life. I wonder how long the wood would have lasted if it'd been varnished. My fence posts were immersed in creosote for 6 months before they were dug in and they only lasted 11 years! Fuzzy logic I appreciate, but ..........



Re: popcorn fart

Peter Laidler <Send E-Mail> -- Sat 22 Mar 2008 2:31 pm


Edward, is the phrase 'dry as a popcorn fart' another technical phrase that I need to teach our current military Armourers? This is a new one to us! Perhaps it indicates a desire to lubricate........ with oil of even, dare I say it, a large glass of something strong
We dunked our rifle woodwork in warm/hot to the touch linseed oil all day/night in Malaya. It opened up the pores of the wood and got right in. It drained off for a few hours afterwards and that way, our No1 EY's, No4's, No5's Brens and L1A1 wood lasted for decades in the most attrocious, mind numbing, stench ridden and filthy conditions that anything could throw at them.
And I smile when I see or read of No4's and 5's marked with our Base Workshop marks where the owners seem to think that they are 'unused'. They've been worked to death but looked after

http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/lee-enfield/lee-enfield.pl?noframes;read=57273
 

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As a shooter of both "smellies" and Martini-Henry service rifles for over 50 years, I can say that the first thing I do with a new acquisition is take off the woodwork and give it a good dose of raw linseed oil. I let it stand for about 3-5 hrs (depends on whether it is summer, or winter) then wipe it over with a soft clean rag inside and outside; then re-assemble. If you ever come across some of the old pre-1900 competitive shooting articles, you will find that this would be one of the first things the old buggers would tell you to do. It's a great product for protecting, and rejuvenating old walnut fore-ends, as well as beech, coachwood, and Queensland Maple stocks.
Be careful with the Kar.98 laminated stocks though, as RLO sometimes has a tendency to slighty open up the laminations if the adhesive used for joining the laminations was a bit dodgy when initally applied - as I once experienced !
 
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