I very much doubt that the "DP" mark and the hole are actually related.
Presumably the rifle was DP'd in service. Looks like the rifle as then had another shooting career - if that is indeed a civilian BSA ball-burnished barrel fitted, as it appears. Someone has then decided to make it into a display rifle with a rather stupid "invisible" de-activation.
This incident again makes me wonder why the US and some other countries have no system of proof or other stringent check. At least in UK and Europe you can be reassured that your salvaged DP or home-made conversion is safe enough by submitting it to an independent over-proof test.....
09-17-2012 06:17 AM
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Two things jump out at me, the experienced enfielder bit and the big bloody DP on the receiver.
There are fools and there are lucky fools.
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The rifle is clearly marked DP so only a fool would try to fire it.
I seem to remember that the Air Training Corps had No.4 DPs like that BUT!!!!!! they also had cut firing pins. I wonder if the moron who did this replaced the bolt with a bolt from a Service Rifle?
DP is a term that should be commonly known but unfortunately many have no idea of it's true meaning.
The common lack of knowledge of the true meaning of DP is made worse by tossers trying to confuse the issue with terms such as "Durban Police."
Locally, every firearm sale now requires a serviceability certifcate. Hopefully those issuing the certificates know what to look for as the average shooter probably has no idea.
The pic showing the fired case against the drilled knoxform, gives a good illustration of position of the chamber within the barrel.
Just glad it was not me.
Note to self - wear safety glasses when shooting and keep away from shooters using a new acquisition for the first time.
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As I mentioned earlier, we (not the Army, but the RAF....) had DP No4's that had a large diameter hole in the barrel just forwards of the nocks form. But on these the hole went rhrough the fore-end and hanguard too. The rifle was liberally stamped DP and the strikers were cut short and the bolt face welded up - and I seem to remember that the striker had a small run of weld across it and the rear face of the cocking piece to secure it.
Some RAF blokes were doing what we call 'background activity' at the rear of the firing point while the firing detail were on the firing point. Nobody realised that the arms storeman had given one of the squad a DP rifle............ When one of the firing party rifles misfired a few times, one of the range officers realised that the rifle was defective and to speed things up a bit, just called one of the other shooters to bring HIS rifle up to the firing point. Which he did and took the 'defective' rifle away.
Nobody realised it at the time that during a bit of previous background activity, the DP bolt had been put into the 'service' rifle hence the reason that it wouldn't fire. But the rifle that had NOW been put onto the firing point was the DP rifle, with a hole right through the fore-end, barrel and handguard BUT had a service bolt in place. It was charger loaded and as the first round of his 'check group' was fired, the rifle went pear shaped - as did two of his fingers.
One of my friends at 14MAG was the technical investigator of that rifle/incident and I seem to remember that this was the incident that lead to all the bullshi............ er............... horse manure about crazed barrels cracking. It was nothing of the sort.
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I don't suppose I really need to jump in here, but I too see the DP as glaring. The hole was originally drilled through the wood as well and has been change out at some point to make it better for display. People see and believe what they want. Therefore this happened. No sympathy here either.
Personally I will not shoot an aging rifle that I haven't stripped down to the point that I can examine every square inch of metal. I admit I have a couple of old guns I won't shoot because I lack the knowledge to strip without possibly damaging something- eventually I'll figure those out too. Removing the forend/ handguards on Number 1's or Number 4's is very straightforward and newcomers to the gun should purchase any one of a number of excellent references that have detailed stripping instructions. As everyone here knows, SMLE #1 MkIII's are simple to strip with one caution being to remove the forend before attempting to remove the butt (which isn't often necessary, anyway. No.4's are even simpler and the only thing I've found difficult is that some front sight guards retaining screws may be seized and/ or chewed up and if you bend the front band over the guard to remove it it may be damaged (at $10.00 to replace, who cares?). As the responsibility for my safety is ultimately my own, I've literally resorted to putting a rifle action under a microscope when I suspected cracks in an Ishapore action body (turned out to be milling ridges). Again these comments are for newcomers to the Lee Enfield, as I was about two years ago. The info. available on this forum is wonderful.
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Ok, interesting update;
Here's an email I didn't expect today, but does go more to the experience of the man I know... Whats quite scary is that only stripping the rifle would have revealed the issue, or a determined look into the chamber with a mirror. The number of times I've bought a rifle and gone through it that thoroughly I could probably not count even a couple.
"Hey again Roger.
I'm certain no armourer (or any sane person) would drill those holes and not fix a pin. Barrel isn't ball burnished.
Forend serial (and bolt) don't match the action.
The blued barrel has a small amount of parkerising round its base it from when I presume the action was dipped.
Had a look at the milsurp posting - thanks for that. As you're fully aware I wanted this known to help prevent the possibility of this happening to someone else. Feel free to post this email (or part of it) also.
My eyes are still quite good and I value my body intact, so prior to shooting of course I scrubbed the barrel thoroughly and gave the rifle a good going over including head spacing it before I fired it. Didn't want to disturb the fore end/screws taking it apart, and as I've owned several DP marked rifles over the years that were in fine condition had no reason to. The fact that the bolt had an intact firing pin also made me think all would be well.
I wasn't expecting to find a hole through the reinforcing of course.
Even now it's been "driven into me" that there is a hole in the chamber & light isn't being restricted getting to the offending holes due to the wood being blown off, all I can detect looking down the shiny chamber in the daylight is a slight shadow that could just be a tiny blemish...
As a side note, some years ago I talked to a bloke that was the head armourer in the NZ Army in the late 1970's and early 1980's. He said they'd get a request from a unit for certain amount of DP rifles and they would just use the closet ones to the workbench. All should've been in good serviceable condition as otherwise they wouldn't have been in their stores, some would've been new condition. Besides stamping them, the only other alteration would be to snip the tip of the firing pin and braize up the (striker) hole in the bolt head.
If you know anyone that collects blown up LE's this one could be up for a deal.
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>>>This incident again makes me wonder why the US and some other countries have no system of proof or other stringent check. At least in UKicon and Europe you can be reassured that your salvaged DP or home-made conversion is safe enough by submitting it to an independent over-proof test..... <<<
It makes no difference if the hole is drilled after the fact. Plenty of junky #4s made it to the US with British proffs all over them. It is never safe to assume the government is going to act in your best interest. Who knows how many hands a rifle passes through after proof.
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O.k., I should have qualified that to include the existence of supporting law as well - i.e. in UK and Europe its a responsibility of a dealer to ensure firearms are in proof, and for any firearm to be re-submitted to proof if any change has occurred that affects a pressure-bearing part (change of bolt, hole drilled through barrel...). This doesn't cover a private to private deal involving an idiot, but it generally ensures that the majority of firearms do get screened at intervals.
Originally Posted by ireload2