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Old 02-20-2019, 01:36 PM
jimthompson502002 jimthompson502002 is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: La Crosse, Wisconsin
Posts: 2,676

The #4 rifle is heftier and more rigid, and the receiver far stronger. This doesn't always translate to accuracy. However, the best #4's were produced AFTER World War 2, when barrel straightness standards and chambering tightness were improved. Sights were much superior, especially when the modified Parker-Hale windage rear kit was installed.

The Lee-Enfield S.M.L.E.'s were much more susceptible to overheating, and when fired very rapidly, accuracy deteriorated. Having fired hundreds of each, and only shooting those with perfect bores, in slow fire, the #4's are very slightly inherently superior. However, in rapid fire, that gap OPENS. With postwar #4's, especially the #4 Mark II's, this is more dramatic.

It's all in De Haas books. And Small Arms of the World. And elsewhere. And among those who did.

One other detail: Top quality handloads are the only meaningful fodder for accuracy testing these rifles. Even the best surplus isn't even close in accuracy.

In detail.

Last edited by jimthompson502002; 02-20-2019 at 07:37 PM. Reason: detail
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Old 02-20-2019, 05:15 PM
Doubs43 Doubs43 is offline
Join Date: Oct 2011
Location: Byron, GA
Posts: 847

Originally Posted by jimthompson502002 View Post
The #4 rifle is heftier and more rigid, and the receiver far stronger.
All true and the #4 action was easily converted to 7.62 NATO cartridges.

OTOH, I've always found it interesting that the Indians, who had no way to manufacture the #4 action, used the #1 action for their 7.62 NATO rifles. They used higher quality steel and tempering that proved to be up to the task. If any of the Indian rifle actions have failed, I'm not aware of it.
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