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  1. #1
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    Default Enfield No. 4 Savage MK I Rifle Range Report

    Well I have a couple issues some I already have the solution for and others I need your help.
    First of all my overall feelings about shooting an Enfield for the first time. I LOVE IT!!! My Savage has a wonderful 2 groove barrel that shows great promise for incredible accuracy. Open sights at 100 yards I shot about a 1.5 -2" group with one flyer (my fault). Only problem is my front sight is cocked counter clockwise about 4-6 degrees and I don't know how. I checked and the front sight is on the lugs perfectly with no adjustment possible that I can see. This is one of the problems I'm not worries about since I have a scope on the way. I will worry about it later.
    The other issue I noticed scared me. Using Prvi 174gr FMJ I got a bulge on every brass case that is huge! The average bulge measures 0.478 inches where a fresh case measured in the same spot as the bulge measures 0.446 inches. Is this normal? (I attached a picture of this) I know if I reload the cases this will be an issue but wow someone really cut that chamber big (bigger than rumored since all 303s are big IIRC. I picked up a couple 303 brit S&B cases someone else shot and did see a tiny bulge (no worse than a hot 30-06) and their primer showed preasure signs and mine didn't.
    Here are some Pics:

    Case Bulge:


    Case Comparison:


    Group Size:


    Twisted Front Sight:


  2. #2
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    Default

    Take it to your gunsmith , I would guess your barrel has been mucked with ,in turn, messing up the headspace . It is not safe as is .

  3. #3
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rattrod30 View Post
    Take it to your gunsmith , I would guess your barrel has been mucked with ,in turn, messing up the headspace . It is not safe as is .
    Thats grim and vague... What are signs its been mucked with? Does the barrel have a notch like mosins that the smiths would line up? is it worth taking to a smith or just wall mounting this rifle? (Its not that great looking) Do many gunsmiths even work on these rifles? Because I don't have a trusted smith to take it too.

  4. #4
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    sorry..

    the barrel threads into receiver , your site is misaligned ,your cases are bulging , so my GUESS was that barrel was swaped out or removed and reinstalled incorrectly thus increaseing headspace (the chamber moves in and out with the threads changing the distance from bolt head). I'm sure someone wiser than I will weigh in on this with more useful info soon .
    Does the barrel # match receiver # ? Good luck !

  5. #5
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    Default ...

    Has the rifle been headspaced? Bolt head are easy to swap, and if it had a #3 that the previous owner wanted to keep, well, you see the problem. A set of good guages is over a hundred bucks.

  6. #6
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by rattrod30 View Post
    the barrel threads into receiver , your site is misaligned ,your cases are bulging , so my GUESS was that barrel was swaped out or removed and reinstalled incorrectly thus increaseing headspace (the chamber moves in and out with the threads changing the distance from bolt head). I'm sure someone wiser than I will weigh in on this with more useful info soon .
    Does the barrel # match receiver # ? Good luck !
    There is no number on the barrel. Only one mark of and Capitol A with a circle above it that looks like it has wings. The bolt has a Number 2 bolt head and I think your right that the barrel was replaced. the top flat is cocked also 4-6 degrees counter clockwise. There is a hole on the left side of the action and when I shine a flashlight through it with a pulled case I can see a gap between the bolt head and the casing. (about 3 sheets of paper think I think.)

    Quote Originally Posted by limpetmine View Post
    Has the rifle been headspaced? Bolt head are easy to swap, and if it had a #3 that the previous owner wanted to keep, well, you see the problem. A set of good guages is over a hundred bucks.
    The Rifle has not been headspaced by me or anyone else I imagine. I bought this rifle from Century Arms ... I doubt somebody tore through the looking for a #3 head when I could barely get the bolt open when I got it. I don't get the feeling this is as simple as changing a bolt head. If it is could changing the headspace by going from a #2 to a #3 bolt head have this much affect?
    I don't think I will buy a set of gauges... I'll buy another rifle and hope for better luck.
    Last edited by Paperkiller; 01-30-2009 at 07:57 PM. Reason: I'm a slow thinker

  7. #7
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    Default

    Headspace is not NOT the issue here. Enfields have generous chambers. In some rifles the bolt/bolthead/extractor and their relation to the breech will force the cartridge to the left, this causes all of the difference in diameter between the case above the web and the chamber to expand on one side. Your chamber may be on the large end of the bell curve, but this is not in and of itself dangerous.

    Also, since your front sight appears cocked to the left, if the barrel is not clocked correctly, it would be tighter, not looser.

    If you haven't allready, disassemble and clean the bolt head, making certain the extractor, extractor spring and their recesses are not gummed up. also clean the extractor recess in the breech.

    MM

    MM

  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mozark View Post
    Headspace is not NOT the issue here. Enfields have generous chambers. In some rifles the bolt/bolthead/extractor and their relation to the breech will force the cartridge to the left, this causes all of the difference in diameter between the case above the web and the chamber to expand on one side. Your chamber may be on the large end of the bell curve, but this is not in and of itself dangerous.

    Also, since your front sight appears cocked to the left, if the barrel is not clocked correctly, it would be tighter, not looser.

    If you haven't already, disassemble and clean the bolt head, making certain the extractor, extractor spring and their recesses are not gummed up. also clean the extractor recess in the breech.

    MM

    MM
    Everything but the firing pin and firing pin spring have been cleaned. Every piece of this rifle (within my limits) was broken down. I am waiting on the tool to disassemble the bolt. The bolt head is clean and the extractor spring has been replaced with a Modern factory new spring as with the firing pin spring when I can break it down.
    What you said about the forcing the cartridge to the left seems true. One side of the case is bulged more than the other.
    So, should I worry about blowing off the end of my nose or getting the bolt sent threw my skull or what? Is this a shooter or something to sell for parts and try my luck with another rifle?

  9. #9
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    Default

    The extractor on the end of the bolt head fits into a recess in the chamber end of the barrel . How does this line up ? Seems like it should be having issues there as well
    maybe causeing bolt to be hard to open . Can you exchange the rifle for another at Century ? Wouldn't think it would be a huge ($) deal to get it fixed though.

  10. #10
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    Default

    "Also, since your front sight appears cocked to the left, if the barrel is not clocked correctly, it would be tighter, not looser."

    That is true if you further tightened the barrel on a properly set up and functioning weapon.

  11. #11
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    Default

    Because both the case and chamber are tapered loose headspace gives much the same appearance to the fired case as an oversized chamber.


    In my opinion this rifle is not safe as is, and I doubt that a No.3 bolthead would be enough to make it safe. Some .303 cases aren't as thick at the web and might blow out if fired in this rifle.
    Last edited by GunnerSam; 01-30-2009 at 09:39 PM.

  12. #12
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    Paperkiller

    Normally when the bolt is closed the extractor moves to the right and away from the rim of the case, this lets the case lay in the bottom of the chamber and this leaves more room for case expansion in a upward direction (toward the 12:00 position and explains the bulge)

    Your cases are stretched and warped beyond reusing and look to be banana shaped or the base of the case is no longer 90 degrees to the axis of the bore (the base of the case has been pushed off center with the bore.

    You could have the following problems:

    1. Excess headspace or the distance from the base of the case to the bolt face is too great. (Head gap clearance)

    2. Your chamber could be fatter than normal (large diameter)

    3. Your Ex-Communist Serbians who made your ammunition could be suffering from capitalistic growing pains and to increase profits they decreased the quality of the ammunition.

    4. All of the above.


    Shoot some Remington ammunition in your Enfield and check for the same faults as the Privi Partizan, if you have the same stretched and bulged cases you have headspace problem.

  13. #13
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Edward Horton View Post
    Paperkiller

    Normally when the bolt is closed the extractor moves to the right and away from the rim of the case, this lets the case lay in the bottom of the chamber and this leaves more room for case expansion in a upward direction (toward the 12:00 position and explains the bulge)

    Your cases are stretched and warped beyond reusing and look to be banana shaped or the base of the case is no longer 90 degrees to the axis of the bore (the base of the case has been pushed off center with the bore.

    You could have the following problems:

    1. Excess headspace or the distance from the base of the case to the bolt face is too great. (Head gap clearance)

    2. Your chamber could be fatter than normal (large diameter)

    3. Your Ex-Communist Serbians who made your ammunition could be suffering from capitalistic growing pains and to increase profits they decreased the quality of the ammunition.

    4. All of the above.


    Shoot some Remington ammunition in your Enfield and check for the same faults as the Privi Partizan, if you have the same stretched and bulged cases you have headspace problem.
    I don't have any Remington 303 Brit available to me. I will have to mail order for some. I did the next best thing... I got out the trusty reloading manual and calipers and checked the specs of the Prvi Partizan ammo. All the measurement are within 0.005 inch of spec.
    Anyone have a #3 bolt head I can try?
    I am writing Century arms about the condition of the rifle not matching their product description. I am hoping they will help me off set the cost of repairing this mess. I have put so much work into refinishing I don't want to return it.

  14. #14
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    Default My letter to Century Arms .. lets see how they respond...

    Here is what I wrote Century Arms:

    Product ID: RI1176-G
    Product Name: Enfield No. 4 Savage MK I Rifle, Cal. .303 British
    ---------------
    After cleaning my purchase I have found multiple cracks in the stock. One on the rear hand guard and two on the forearm near the trigger guard.
    Also, The barrel is over rotated 4-6 degrees so the sights are cocked to the left and I believe it is affecting the headspace.
    A part was also missing. The ejector screw was not present when the rifle arrived.
    I originally intended to look past some of the small things I didn't expect to go wrong with this purchase. That is just part of collection in my opinion. However, I am convinced now that this rifle did not match the description of "Good Condition."
    When possible I would like to find a resolution to this issue.
    Thank you.

  15. #15
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    Ex-Air Force enlisted men are level headed, good looking and smart.:D
    (and never lie)

    Receiver level.



    Barrel level.



    Front sight will be straight and centered on bore.


  16. #16
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    Default Return it

    Return the rifle if you can and let Century figure it. Mention to them that you are a gunboards member since I believe it might add leverage.

    Let us know if they do or don't take it back.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve98664 View Post
    Return the rifle if you can and let Century figure it. Mention to them that you are a gunboards member since I believe it might add leverage.

    Let us know if they do or don't take it back.
    Will do!

    I really don't want to return it. I am just being bitter because I only spent 16 hours stripping then re-blueing the metal. Plus the expense of materials. but i would rather have a rifle that shoots and I can reload for... ugh its miller time I need to stop whining.

  18. #18
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    Default

    Brownells has NoGo, Go and Field headspace gauges at 20 bucks each. is this a worthy investment for someone that only has one enfield?

  19. #19
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    Default

    Paperkiller,

    You might take the time to read some of the vast technical archive linked at the head of this page. This may help alleviate some worries.

    http://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=10 this may be particularly useful in this instance, and is in the Knowledge Library above.

    http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/lee-e....pl?read=75869 a link to Peter Laidler's bit on headspace. Mr. Laidler is a UK armourer. Note that there are only 2 armourers gauges, Go at .064 and nogo at .074. The nogo .074 is what SAAMI calls "Field." Sammi calls .067 nogo. http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/lee-e....pl?read=75861 .

    If you have access to a lathe, or a friend with one, you can make rimmed cartridge headspace gauges in a few minutes.

    MM

  20. #20
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by mozark View Post
    Paperkiller,

    You might take the time to read some of the vast technical archive linked at the head of this page. This may help alleviate some worries.

    http://www.milsurps.com/showthread.php?t=10 this may be particularly useful in this instance, and is in the Knowledge Library above.

    http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/lee-e....pl?read=75869 a link to Peter Laidler's bit on headspace. Mr. Laidler is a UK armourer. Note that there are only 2 armourers gauges, Go at .064 and nogo at .074. The nogo .074 is what SAAMI calls "Field." Sammi calls .067 nogo. http://www.jouster.com/cgi-bin/lee-e....pl?read=75861 .

    If you have access to a lathe, or a friend with one, you can make rimmed cartridge headspace gauges in a few minutes.

    MM
    Just to clear up a minor item, below is my 1943 Maltby, my feeler gauges, my fingers and my name isn’t Alan Roberts.


  21. #21
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    Default

    The Canadian No.4 manuals are more modern or up to date than the older British manuals and the Canadians have different headspace standards, I believe this might be due to the Canadian Rangers using commercial ammunition in their Enfield’s.

    I read this as:
    GO - .064
    NO-GO - .070
    FIELD - .074



  22. #22
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    Paperkiller

    You have a severe headspace problem that will ruin every case you fire and plan to reload, plus your barrel is off center,
    SEND THE ENFIELD BACK TO CENTURY, IT IS A WALL HANGER.

    Every case fired in this Enfield rifle will have a warped banana shaped case that has the base of the case pushed and stretched off center with the axis of the bore.



    Your ammunition is lying in the bottom of the chamber like below and expanding on one side, these warped fired cases will never shoot accurately ever again if reloaded.




    SEND THE ENFIELD BACK TO CENTURY, IT IS A WALL HANGER.
    Last edited by Edward Horton; 02-02-2009 at 10:42 AM.

  23. #23
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    Default

    As always, good information Ed. I wasn't aware that the Canadian standard was a bit tighter than the British. .070 is reasonable, the saami .067 is not. I like to keep mine under .070, but it's not really necessary. I have a Lithgow with .072, and (as has been said many times) with careful fire forming and neck sizing only, am on the 7th or eighth loading in that brass.

    My point for Paperkiller and other new Enfield owner/shooters is that they would be well served to avail themselves of the archived knowledge base that lies within this and similar forums, much of which is linked at the head of this forum. When I started 6 or 7 years ago the only way to do it was to go to the first page of the forum thread archive and start working toward the present.

    About a year ago I bought 4 of these Pakistani No4 Mk.1*s from Century. 2 Savages and 2 LB's. Two were quite good out of the box, if I'd been a new collector and gotten one of these I'd have been well pleased. One of them, a Savage, had an absolutely, falling off the rifle, unuseable forend. I called about this, and without even asking a practically new, WWII vintage birch Savage forend showed up. With this forend correctly fit this is one of my finest No.4's. Perfect unscrubbed Savage metal. If I'd gotten that one as a newbie I'd have had a lot of questions, but eventually wound up with a fine rifle. The last was a basket case. I wouldn't say unsafe or unshootable, but not one I'd want to shoot. If I gotten that as a first timer, well very unhappy. I think that the Pakastani's arsenaled and stored their Mk.1*s as emergency small arms, keeping their Mk.2's and of course the Mk.2's they were manufacturing, in service. Many of these Mk1*'s are fine or excellent, but some are mediocre, at best.

    Paperkiller,

    It's quite likely that Ed's correct about your rifle. I'm not 100% convinced. Mostly because Brass is notoriously difficult to photograph. Your pics are blurred, and parralax can distort or magnify subtle features even in a clear photo. But, I'll not gainsay someone with his experience.

    The good news is that you really like Enfields in spite of all this. Personally I'd have trouble demanding to return a rifle that I'd disassembled, cleaned and re-blued. My experience with Century is that they are reasonable, they may well take it for another, or they may offer a very good price on another. If it were me, I'd see if the'd go for 2 for the price of one.

    I'd like to see some more pictures. If the rifle is fine otherwise, with desirable features, save it to rebarrel, it may be that you can swap or sell it to someone with the ability to re-barrel.

    MM
    Last edited by mozark; 02-02-2009 at 01:46 PM. Reason: poor proofreading

  24. #24
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    Default

    “As always, good information Ed. I wasn't aware that the Canadian standard was a bit tighter than the British. .070 is reasonable, the saami .067 is not.”

    Headspace is governed by the cartridges (cases) you shoot and not the specifications written in a military manual, the British set the headspace standards for the Enfield rifle and also the standards for how the ammunition was made.

    The biggest criticisms you hear about headspace on the Enfield rifle deals with American made cases and more specifically SAAMI standards for these cartridge cases that are fired in a military rifle with a military chamber and military headspace settings.

    When you fire a SAAMI specification commercial case in an Enfield rifle with headspace settings over .067 chances are the case is ruined due to stretching beyond designed limits. (ruined for reloading due to the case being warped)

    Enfield headspace is just part of the problem shooting commercial SAAMI (American) cases, you also have to deal with large diameter or fat chambers that also let the case stretch outward to meet the chamber walls so the case is excessively stretching in two directions.

    In 1946 Jim Sweet stated to set your headspace between .064 and .067 on your Enfield rifles.



    In 2005 Brian Labudda and Ian Skinnerton stated to set your headspace to .003 (three thousandths) over your case rim thickness on your Enfield rifle.



    I have many gauges for measuring and checking headspace and the effects of headspace for the Enfield rifle simply because there is so much incorrect information being given out in these Enfield forums. (bovine skat)









    The Enfield below has the headspace set at .062 or .002 under minimum headspace of .064 and .003 thousandths over rim thickness and the cases only thin .0005 after being reloaded and fired three times.



    The bolt is resting on the .064 gauge





    In the photo below a commercial Winchester case was fired once in my Maltby with the headspace set at .067, what do you think the case would look like if the headspace was set at .074.





    I don’t make the headspace rules, I just observe the affects and try and keep the cases I reload in good condition.

    I think the books pictured above and written by experts mean more than what is said by amateurs in these forums.

    P.S. Whiterider, eat your heart out and go fly a kite! :D :eek:
    Last edited by Edward Horton; 02-02-2009 at 03:42 PM.

  25. #25
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    Default

    I am a bit confused and I know I'm in over my head with this rifle. I don't have a gunsmith that can fix this rifle (not that I can't find one I just don't have one.)
    I previously wrote a letter to Century Arms about the condition of the rifle with a cracked stock and such... See above. Century replyed this morning with the following reply.
    We can either credit you the back difference of a cracked stock model... or we can do a return... whichever works for you best.
    Century
    I have put a bunch of Parts / materials, Elbow grease, time and a little blood getting this rifle up and running. It have a really nice barrel that shows great potential for accuracy. But what good is that if it is not safe to shoot and/or it is not possible to reload for since it ruins every case I run through it. The question is.... Is this rifle repairable? Is this rifle repairable by me? If not about what will a gunsmith charge to fix the issue?
    The key issue... By turning the barrel to its proper position with the sights perpendicular to the action will this help or fix the headspace issue. Is spending $40 a worth investment for Go NoGo guages to see where my headspace is actually set. Are tools available to make these repairs? Am I totally toasted with no other option other than to pay out the life savings to a gunsmith to look through this thing? Does anyone have a trusted gunsmith they would recommend?

  26. #26
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    Paperkiller

    A British or Commonwealth Armourer was not the last one to work on your Enfield before you got it, the off center barrel is proof of this and it does not have BNP stamped on it meaning it was proofed and tested by the British. (smells like bubba worked on your Enfield)

    You might have a Turkish Enfield that was worked on by hammer and chisel mechanics or a bitzer put together by Century, in either case I would drop the rifle like a hot potato and find a better one.

    Would you marry the first ugly girl that ever kissed you or keep looking for an Elle McPherson?

    Guess which photo below matches the Enfield you have now.:eek:

  27. #27
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    Default Hey Ed...

    Im gonna tell your poor long suffering wife that you compared her to the view from the back of the dog team.......

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by whiterider View Post
    Im gonna tell your poor long suffering wife that you compared her to the view from the back of the dog team.......
    Whiterider, here is a new product that an Australian pilot like you who drinks beer and eats Vegemite could use badly.

    Please click on the link below (warning movie is a 6 megabyte download)
    http://ehorton.home.comcast.net/~eho...reathRight.avi




    Nothing personal Whiterider but you’re a slinky :D
    Last edited by Edward Horton; 02-02-2009 at 10:50 PM.

  29. #29
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    Well I have been thinking about What Ed said... I think I am going to ditch my bubba'd babe and see if I can do better. Problem is Century only has No4 with cracked stocks... time for a whole new bag of monkeys.
    Does anyone know of any other C&R dealers that have Enfields in stock?

    OH... I found a Stamped T on the bottom of my action next to where the trigger and mag release attach. This is normally covered by wood. I hope this is just a random mark but I would not be surprised by more surprises from this rifle. Anyone know what this means?

  30. #30
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    Default

    Paperkiller, Your best bet for a good No.4 will be from Brian Dick.
    www.bdlltd.com
    I and many others have nothing but good to say about him.

    Brad

  31. #31
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    Default Update....

    I am currently speaking to Century Arms on the phone. I am very pleased with their customer service as a side note.
    It was their admission that they made this rifle "United States Compliant." They could not tell me from their records what was done but we can guess. They offered to take the rifle back and also compensate me for shipping to first check head space overall functionality of the weapon. They are going to repair the weapon at no charge and if they can't repair the rifle they will either credit me back all of my money or replace the weapon.
    I am very impressed they are standing behind their products. Great customer service!

  32. #32
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    Default A request for more pictures!

    Center line of action and barrel:

    Only marking on barrel. (Yet to be identified):

    #2 bolt head measurement:

    Faint #2 marking:

    Bolt Face:

    Enfield Markings (Two lover marking not identified):

    Other marking not identified:

    Giant S and questionable T markings:

    Close-up of T marking:

    Different shot of T marking:

    Savage Stamp on trigger guard:

    Forearm /bedding:



    Handguards with repaired crack:

  33. #33
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    Default Bulged Case Picture


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