I have two questions, I?m new to the Enfield and just received a #4 Mk1 from Centerfire Systems last week. It has sharp clean grooves cant see any erosion, No rust or pitting but is a wartime (1943/4 ROF) gun so exterior machining is a little rough. Very light bluing but almost perfect under the wood. The wood is almost black now but looks to be Walnut? Mahogany? Hard to tell w/heavy grease. No cracks but heel and toe repair.
My rifle was in similar condition. I don't know if mine was actually blued, though. It looks more like black oxide that was painted over with traditional British black paint. I thought my stock was walnut but when I started cleaning it, I found out it was beech. There was so much grease, oil, and dirt, and with the cosmoline it looked black. There was only one arsenal repair on the rear of the back handguard.
To strip all the cosmo from my new toy, I completely disassembled it (including front sight base) and scraped most of the cosmo off with a piece of stiff cardboard. I soaked everything, including the wood, in lacquer thinner. The lacquer thinner melts the grease out of every nook and cranny and even gets the old oil out of the endgrain of the stock. It will take several soakings to clean the stock, but it does a fantastic job. The lacquer thinner dries so fast there isn't time for the wood to shrink or split. I did find a couple cracks in the forearm that were invisible under all the dirt and grease. The lacquer thinner degreases the wood perfectly for repairing cracks. The cracks were on the inside, so I used cyanoacrylate (super glue).
#1 Do you guys take the metal pieces that are riveted to the upper hand guards off so the wood is easier to work on? And if you do, how do you rivet them again?
I didn't care for the arsenal repair in the back handguard, and the front handguard was really dented up. I tried steaming it, soaking it, and the dishwasher trick, but it never smoothed out. So I just went ahead and bought a new pair of handguards on Gunbroker. They were reasonably priced and in unissued condition. They didn't have any wood finish, so I stained them with MinWax "Special Walnut" and a couple coats of polyurethane. After a few days I really didn't like the poly, so I soaked them in lacquer thinner and wiped the wrinkled poly coating off. I restained them and used Tung oil. I like that finish MUCH better.
I did drill the brass rivets out of the cap on the front handguard. I'm going to spray all the metal in satin black moly-resin after parkerizing. The rivets are unique, so I'm going to have to make new ones out of brass rod on the lathe. Take this into consideration before removing the end cap.
I left the metal support bands on both handguards alone. They're not visible, so I figured why bother with them.
The end cap on the lower forearm is held on with 2 steel pins. I ground the heads off one end and tapped the pins out to remove the cap. I'll replace them with brass rod during reassembly.
#2 What to do about that metal reinforcement that?s at the rear socket end of the lower stock and is held in place with a pin through it. Do you grind one end of the pin and push it out to remove that metal part? Or keep it in place and do your best without removing it?
My rifle is actually a #4 Mk 1/2. The later version has the trigger pinned to the receiver, not the trigger guard. As a result, the receiver is slightly different from the Mk 1. My lower forearm does not have the reinforcement strap across the back. There is a wide notch cut down the back of the forearm for the portion of the receiver that holds the trigger. On my rifle, there is a captive nut and screw where the the reinforcing strap is on yours.
You could remove the reinforcement strap, but you'll have to make a new pin when you reinstall it. I think the pin is brass on the Mk 1.
For some extra info on the Enfield: