Nooo! My SMLE is a duff...

#21
S&B 180gn. 311 are flat based.
You absolutely sure about that? I used to buy them to load in .303 and 7.62x54R and they were BT.

I can pull one if I can lay a hand on my bullet puller...
 
#22
So, I've got my hands back out of the old girl, and the barrel band spring is missing... Everything else is there.

I've found one in Germany so I've ordered it from there, together with some new screws to replace the ratty ones. And an extra extractor cos it was cheap and you never know...

Overall the forend is in good nick - draws are pretty tidy, no warping visible.

Would there be any milage in putting some graphite on the barrel band and in the nosecap to make sure it can slide when it heats up? That's a trick sometimes used with K31's on the muzzle bearing if they throw their first shot or 2.
 
#23
You absolutely sure about that? I used to buy them to load in .303 and 7.62x54R and they were BT.

I can pull one if I can lay a hand on my bullet puller...

The S&B component projectiles were but then it's been a long time since I purchased any!

Off to shoot today and one of the blokes there has a long Lee which he uses flat based in. I'll ask him where he sources his from.
 
#24
The S&B component projectiles were but then it's been a long time since I purchased any!

Off to shoot today and one of the blokes there has a long Lee which he uses flat based in. I'll ask him where he sources his from.
Annoyingly I can't put a hand on my puller... I need a new one anyway...

I can imagine the SP is flat-based, but it would surprise me a lot if the FMJ was. But I don't mind being corrected if I'm wrong cos then we learn something new :)
 
#26
Judging by the photos there does seem to be a definite connection between the top of the barrel and the inner edge of the nose cap cutout. Should there be a distinct gap all round?

The original type of nosecap had a small section cut-out at 12 o'clock, and most No1s have this. However the purpose isn't clear, and it was deleted by some of the factories (eg Lithgow and Ishapore).

Other than that small gap, a typical No1 nosecap should be a close sliding fit all around the barrel. Its only later full-bedded target SRb rifles that typically had the nosecap relieved to allow free floating of the barrel end.

 
#27
I reckon (hope!) that once I've put the barrel band spring in there (and maybe fiddled the tension on it) all should be well.

Might also put a little graphite on the bits that get slidy as the barrel heats.
 
#28
I reckon (hope!) that once I've put the barrel band spring in there (and maybe fiddled the tension on it) all should be well.

Might also put a little graphite on the bits that get slidy as the barrel heats.

Judging by the font on the nosecap, its a fairly modern replacement. What is the rest of the rifle like? If its a rebuild, then it may be that the forend isn't fitted properly.

What I have found with No1s is that, if they do have a bedding issue, then they become super-sensitive to adjustments in the inner band screw/spring, or even a fraction of a turn on the main trigger guard screw. Once the bedding is ok, the rifle becomes insensitive to adjustments to the point that you can often remove (or accidentally drop it out!) the front spring and stud.

I think its because of the thin whippy barrel and the complex bedding system they were experimenting with when the rifle had to go into mass production. The barrel has six critical contact points, which must be a record for a production rifle!

Up - reinforce
Float
Up - pre inner band
Down - inner band
Up - post inner band
Float
Up - spring stud
Float
Down - nosecap

Enfield were caught out by WW1. I think if they'd had time to implement the new barrel harmonic knowledge they'd discovered in the transition from fully-bedded rifles to semi-floating barrels, they'd have developed something like the No4 by 1915-ish.
 
#29
Judging by the font on the nosecap, its a fairly modern replacement. What is the rest of the rifle like? If its a rebuild, then it may be that the forend isn't fitted properly.

What I have found with No1s is that, if they do have a bedding issue, then they become super-sensitive to adjustments in the inner band screw/spring, or even a fraction of a turn on the main trigger guard screw. Once the bedding is ok, the rifle becomes insensitive to adjustments to the point that you can often remove (or accidentally drop it out!) the front spring and stud.

I think its because of the thin whippy barrel and the complex bedding system they were experimenting with when the rifle had to go into mass production. The barrel has six critical contact points, which must be a record for a production rifle!

Up - reinforce
Float
Up - pre inner band
Down - inner band
Up - post inner band
Float
Up - spring stud
Float
Down - nosecap

Enfield were caught out by WW1. I think if they'd had time to implement the new barrel harmonic knowledge they'd discovered in the transition from fully-bedded rifles to semi-floating barrels, they'd have developed something like the No4 by 1915-ish.
Thanks for that - the nosecap is numbered to the bolt and replacement serial number on the action, so was mated to the rifle during refurb. I'm not seeing any warping or anything in the forend, which is also tight. Which is nice. But I can imagine there's something not quite right cos of the refurb.
 
#30
There is (or was) apparently someone somewhere it t'North who has a line in flat based boolits.

My man is digging details out
 
#31
Stoaty you’re just rubbish shot.

However, this not the only SMLE to do this. I was shooting one last year that was hitting the bund below. It only got on with the sights at 500 yrds. All seemed good, nothing obvious and never worked out why.

So, that was no help to you at all. You’re welcome...
 
#32
Stoaty you’re just rubbish shot.

However, this not the only SMLE to do this. I was shooting one last year that was hitting the bund below. It only got on with the sights at 500 yrds. All seemed good, nothing obvious and never worked out why.

So, that was no help to you at all. You’re welcome...
Helpful, no. Interesting, yes :)
 
#33
If the top of the draws is a little worn is that likely to be the source? Or a contributing factor?

I can take a photo next time I have the rifle apart (I don't like taking rifles out the wood more than strictly necessary).
 
#35
No, not really. Unless the forend is a rattle fit on the action, in which case split groups will soon be the least of your problems...
Nah, it's nice and tight, and is quite a tight fit. It's just that the tops of the draws have that rounding you sometimes see from where they've contacted the cam surfaces on the receiver.

BTW someone showed me their M1 Garand where the entire action would actually slide in the stock a fair way. I asked him how well it shot. "Not great".
 
#36
Got my bits in - will fit the barrel band spring and an unused main screw when I get a moment...
 
#37
Got my bits in - will fit the barrel band spring and an unused main screw when I get a moment...

Talc the forend and oil the barrel, then try fitting everything and look for witness marks.

You might have a touching spot (ooh er) where its not supposed to be, or the barrel not bearing correctly.

Alternatively, it might have been a tiny bit of grit in the barrel channel that dropped out unnoticed when you dissembled it.

These rifles can be very individualistic! I think I've repeated a dit previously where i had a 2A1 that was shooting dinner-plate size groups at 25yds. I took the nosecap off, gave it a wipe, replaced it. I did not even take the handguards off. Thereafter the rifle shot about 1.5 moa. I have no idea what changed...
 
#38
Talc the forend and oil the barrel, then try fitting everything and look for witness marks.

You might have a touching spot (ooh er) where its not supposed to be, or the barrel not bearing correctly.

Alternatively, it might have been a tiny bit of grit in the barrel channel that dropped out unnoticed when you dissembled it.

These rifles can be very individualistic! I think I've repeated a dit previously where i had a 2A1 that was shooting dinner-plate size groups at 25yds. I took the nosecap off, gave it a wipe, replaced it. I did not even take the handguards off. Thereafter the rifle shot about 1.5 moa. I have no idea what changed...
Thanks!

I think the issue is perhaps that they were trying to do too much with the bedding - not only get a light barrel to shoot straight, but to have no POI change (with Mk.VI ammo) when fitting the bayonet. This resulted in it being over-complicated and a bit of a diva if anything's wrong. And all that extra complication came to nought when they changed the ammo a few years later which resulted in them shooting massively high with the bayonet anyway.

But by that point I guess they'd decided it worked well enough and they didn't care any more, leaving it as-was.
 
#39
More tests and ammo expenditure - played with the barrel band screw, and when I cinched it up tight I only had one flyer from a 10 round group. Something to work with.

Rob from Britishmuzzleloaders said his rifle won't shoot anything approximating Mk.VII for dog toffee, but it shoots well with a Mk.VI equivalent lead bullet load. Next up is to slug the bugger and work on doing that.

I also zeroed my M17 (with a hammer and drift) - that's an excellent rifle from a shooting perspective, but it's got a bit too much target rifle in it for my liking as a combat rifle - forend is too chunky for carrying and baynittin' and it's heavy with a point of balance too far back. We defeated the staking on the action screws - the front one was pretty much tight enough, but the rear one needed another quarter turn, which tightened the groups right up!
 
#40
Not brilliant, but looking better. Seems it wants the barrel band screw cinched down tight. Only 1 flyer out of 10 rather than 8 flyers out of 10 like before.

next step - slugging and cast loads to Mk.VI specs.

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