Fitting a No4 Rifle Nosecap Band
1. Safety first. Ensure that the rifle is unloaded. Remove the magazine and the bolt from the rifle.
2. You will require the following tools for this job.
a. A small hammer.
b. A 3mm tip drift.
c. A thin bladed flat point screwdriver.
d. A flat point screwdriver suitable for the band screw.
e. A vice with soft protective jaws.
f. A small box, tray or other suitable container to keep the small parts in as they are removed.
3. There are several patterns of nosecap band (also known as the ‘upper’ band) for the No4 rifle. If you are fortunate enough to have one of the rare hinged bands (fitted to trials rifles and again to some late production Canadian rifles), then the majority of this guide can be ignored, as will become clear. However, for most of us mere mortals, it is far more likely that we will be fitting one of the ‘solid’ pattern bands. These can be absolute pigs to fit, especially the earlier production bands which are manufactured from thick gauge steel and are really strong. By following this guide you can save yourself much effort and avoid damaging both yourself and the very band that you are going to the effort of fitting. This guide is written assuming the worst case, which is an early heavy gauge solid band. If the band that you have is a lighter pattern you may be able to skip a step, but only trial and error or experience will tell you that.
4. Lay the rifle flat on a bench with the left side uppermost. Remove the foresight protector by locating the small slot headed screw on the left side, unscrewing with the screwdriver (c) it and removing it by pulling it clear of the protector. The foresight protector ‘ears’ can then be removed by sliding them forward until clear of the muzzle.
5. Remove the foresight block from the barrel. To do this the transverse pin which locks the foresight block in place must be removed. This pin must be removed from the right side by drifting it out (right to left) using the 3mm tip drift (b) and the hammer (a). It is located below the dovetail that the sight blade sits in, just at the top of the band. The pin will be a tight fit, for best results nip the foresight block up in the vice so that there is no movement of the barrel, keep the drift in line with the pin and tap it out using the minimum force. DO NOT overtighten the vice, it should be just enough to grip the block without movement. As the pin emerges from the left side of the block make sure that it does not shoot out and disappear never to be seen again! Once the pin is fully out the foresight block can be unlocked from the vice and removed from the barrel by gently tapping it forward until clear of it’s locating lugs, it can then lifting clear of the muzzle.
6. Having removed the obstructions the band can now be slid into place over the front hand guard and the fore-end. Note that the band should be fitted so that the screw will do up from the LEFT side to the RIGHT side of the rifle. On both the fore-end and the hand guard you will see that there are small studs protruding about 1mm from the surface of the metal caps, 2 towards the front and 2 towards the rear. The nosecap band fits between these pairs of studs. As an aid, fit the front hand guard and secure it temporarily using adhesive tape or a strong elastic band. If the nosecap band is closed up or particularly stiff then use a suitable flat point screwdriver as a wedge, pushed between the lugs on the band to open the band out sufficiently to slide easily over the studs. Once the band is in place the screwdriver can be removed to allow the band to spring closed again.
7. DO NOT attempt to fit and do up the band screw yet. At this stage the lugs on the band will not be parallel. If this is the case then the screw may cross-thread when you attempt to pull the band tight with it and may destroy the screw and/or the band!
8. Place the rifle in the vice with the band lugs uppermost and the vice jaws only contacting the nosecap band sides. Slowly draw the vice jaws shut ensuring that the jaws do not contact and damage the fore-end or hand guard. As the jaws close up the band will be squeezed closed so that the lugs come parallel with each other. Once in this condition the screw can be fitted and screwed up. Use moderate pressure only and just nip up the screw until the band stays tight when the vice is opened. If required the rifle can then be laid on the bench left side up so that the screw can be finally tightened without danger of the screwdriver slipping out and causing damage.
9. With the band fitted the foresight can be re-assembled to the rifle. Assembly is the reverse of the removal but the following points may help.
a; The foresight block will fit back to front so ensure that it is the right way round before pinning it in place. To ensure that the block is correctly aligned use the drift as a dummy pin to make sure that the securing pin holes line up and with the drift keeping everything in line lock the block into the vice as for stripping before fitting the pin. The pin is always fitted from left to right. The pin must be flush or completely below the lip of the hole on both sides when fitted otherwise it will foul the foresight protector when it is slid into place.
b; The head of the foresight protector screw goes to the left side so that the screw fits from left to right. If you experience any difficulty in doing up the foresight protector screw make sure that the ears are parallel, with the screw pushed home by hand nip up the foresight protector in the vice ensuring that the jaws of the vice are not above the bottom of the screw hole, and then tighten the screw. The screw needs to be nipped up so that it is tight - but there is no need to tighten it until the head shears off!