Cabelas Sportered No4 Mk1T "Scopeless" Restoration
Updated: Dec 14, 2021
When I started back into my shooting and rifle resurgence around 2012, I had a couple of base No4 rifles to target shoot with but dreamed of owning and operating an original No4Mk1T "sniper" rig. As I was researching what to look for and the then state of affairs for real and reproduction gear, I happened across a suspicious listing the in the Cabelas USA gun library. It had been put on reservation a couple of times as it was advertised as an "L42" - which it was discovered not be by each would be owner and the reservations dropped. When I realized that it was available again, I reserved it for myself and paid for its transfer to the local store - needless to say it came home with me and a restoration research, practice and execution journey was afoot!
So it was originally a "scopeless" BSA Shirley M47C 1945 No4Mk1T - sold out of service in the 1960's without having a No32 scope paired with it while in British or Commonwealth service. These were typically of the last months of the Holland and Holland contracts and were stocked in case of need - in a transport crate marked "scopeless". Seems that this rifle appealed to a deer hunter or similar and it was improved by having its front wood shortened - luckly that was all the "improvements" made! These scopeless rifles are typified by having an absence of the "T" stamp on the left action wall and an absence of a scope number on the butt upper wrist. All other signs and marks were there: TR stamp, Enfield inspection stamps, S51 on the butt heel, Scope bracket pads - complete with "brunofixed" surface finish, Triangular swivel. The lower forewood still had the H&H pencil marked rifle serial number, this was stamped into the second step on the butt socket too - all part of the H&H marking and kitting process.
So it needed a new front lower wood, front upper wood, front band and sniper cheek piece with screws. All of these came to me on eBay at that time in original walnut - a thing that seems imposible to find now.
This was my first attempt at bedding a No4 - lots of reading and then one careful fateful jump - with an exacto chisel.. it all went together well and shot beautifully afterwards - proof of the pudding!
I sourced the correct plain steel slot head countersunk "6 screws for the cheek piece and fitted the bottom profile to suite the curves of the butt.
This would have been how a scopeless No4MkT would look - no bracket or scope or cross referenced stamped numbers. I wanted to add a scope to this rifle though so a long save a search was held until one day I won a No32Mk3 scope in original later war sqaure cornered tin.
Later still and after a fruitless search for spare original scope brackets I got a couple of authentic copies from the UK. One of these proved to be pretty well being in columniation on this rifle during testing - resulting in shots 3MOA left with a centered scope. So now the assembly sits awaiting test shots at range and a scope adjsutment to take up the small mounting error.
Other original parts and accessories to complete this kit are 1907 leather sling by Boyd and 1944 dated scope lens covers.