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  1. #1
    Member splicenut's Avatar
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    Condemned marking

    I saw a thread on here years ago, in which Peter detailed which markings were stamped on DP rifles that armorers had condemned as unsafe. Does anyone recall what those markings are? I've come across a DP marked No 4 that will go for a song and am trying to decide whether it can be made into a shooter or if it's going to be a parts donor. Any input would be appreciated. I also came across a bubba'd No 4 1943 Long Branch with a decent bore today that I am going to put right. I have the wood and rear sight. I'll just need the front metal hardware. If the DP rifle is a no-go, then it will be the donor.
    Thanks, and cheers!
    Splice

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    Really Senior Member Alan de Enfield's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by splicenut View Post
    I've come across a DP marked No 4 that will go for a song and am trying to decide whether it can be made into a shooter
    NO NO NO

    You have DP, BER, ZF and R/Reme all pretty much condemning the rifle

    Peters article on DP (There are others on ZF etc)

    DP rifles in Britain

    I have mentioned ‘Britain’ here but while I can’t include Canadaicon, I can certainly include New Zealand and Australiaicon with a degree of certainty plus India, whose Army liaison Officer at work ran his eyes over this paper for me. I have also mentioned DP too and in this respect, it isn’t meant to mean ‘DRILL’ in the parade square context, it is meant to indicate practicing your rifle ‘training drills’. And it’s not only rifles that were downgraded to DP either because in the days of the old ‘number’ radio sets, many of these were classified as DP sets too.

    When I read about DP rifles in various places, I get the impression from the armchair experts that they are formulated by someone in the Armourers shop who decides that he’ll make/convert a few rifles in order to …………. NOTHING could be more dangerous nor further from the truth. One other thing too. Do not mix up DP rifles with the ‘higher’ standard (?) ‘sub-standard’ rifles that trickled out of service in the early 50’s. At least there were gauging limits for those!

    When need exists for such rifles, the idea is put up to the Brigade Training Major for example and ‘staffed’ up the chain of command where a decision on the matter will be reached after due questioning of all concerned. I’ll take a fictitious unit training for an operational role in bongo-bongo land. The attrition rate of the weapons on the training team, due to the arduous nature of the training is critical is such that they need 20 rifles and 6 GPMG’s that can be used and abused. Authority is given for them to be issued these ‘extra’ DP classified weapons from Ordnance stockpiles. So, in the normal course of events, these are issued from training stocks.

    But, let’s say the DP stocks aren’t available, then authority will be issued FROM THE MINISTRY OF DEFENCE no less, for such weapons to be made available. Ordnance stores would then select from returned weapons that are deemed to be ‘ZF’ (that’s an Armourers technical explanation that I won’t go into) or BER (Beyond Economic Repair) to select the required amount for conversion to DP specification.

    Now, if the required amount cannot be made from the ZF and BER stocks, then the remainder will simply be converted from standard war stocks. You will see from this, that while on the face of it, some 30 years down the line that your bright and shining No1 or No4 rifle LOOKS bright and shining, under the bright and shiny surface might be lurking a metallurgical nightmare ……………… Let me give you an example

    During the 60’s and 70’s there was a constant need for No4 DP rifles, not only for cadet Forces but Parachute training too where the actual carrying of a rifle was more important than what the weapon was for. The reason for the attrition in this case was quite understandable. So a small but continuous rolling programme of ‘DP-ing’ was undertaken. Naturally many ZF/BER No4’s plus otherwise serviceable rifles were put into the programme plus a healthy dollop of L1A1 rifles too. Not only were these worn out rifles put into the pot, but we later learned, several thousand extensively fire damaged No4, L1A1 rifles and Bren guns that had been involved in a massive fire. These were aesthetically cleaned down, rebuilt to DP standard and profusely marked JUST so that there could be no doubt about their status. Oh, they looked very nice but what had gone on under the surface was a matter of conjecture. Would YOU fire one? I’ve been an Armourer for a couple of years and while I or your local gunsmith could examine one and give it a bright clean bill of health, would YOU trust it. NO, I wouldn’t either!

    Let me give you another example too. NO dates here of course but ‘recently’ several hundred assorted weapons were recovered from a fire ravaged/damaged ship, sunk in low water (and later towed out to sea and scuttled). These were all quickly earmarked for scrap and eventually side tracked for DP/Training use. Like the other example, these were also cleaned, and refurbished, painted and ‘restored’ to aesthetically ‘serviceable’ condition. Oh, they looked good but within a couple of years, these had started to rust from under the welds, seams and joints.

    And before I forget, let me remind you of something else too, JUST in case you’re tempted to buy one to use as spare parts. This is what the Armourers bible says. ‘……..it will be assembled as far as possible with components which are below the standard required for a service weapon’. And another thing you ought to remember. There were NO gauging limits for DP rifles. Mmmmmmm, food for thought there!

    That’s about it. In my very limited experience as an Armourer and having overseen some of these DP programmes, I can tell you with certainty that they were all profusely marked DP so that their status was unambiguous. Agreed, some might be taken straight from stocks, but the rest ……………

    Would YOU trust one? There certainly IS a place for a DP rifle in a collection as it forms a place in the lineage of the breed. But in the cupboard or rack or on the wall. NOT on the firing point.


    And how does he know this? An Engineering Graduate, Capt. Peter Laidlericon is the senior Armourer in the Britishicon Army since serving his apprenticeship between January1963 and 66. He is currently the senior technical Officer at the Small Arms School at Warminster. And oversaw the introduction of the current L59 series of DP rifle. Or he just guessed. Pick what you think suits!
    Resurrect a DP rifle from ANY nation......., no fear!
    Mine are not the best, but they are not too bad. I can think of lots of Enfields I'd rather have but instead of constantly striving for more, sometimes it's good to be satisfied with what one has...

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    Really Senior Member englishman_ca's Avatar
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    Words to live by....If you want a rifle to use, don't buy a DP marked one.
    Last edited by englishman_ca; 11-03-2019 at 10:44 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by splicenut View Post
    DP rifles
    Donor rifle for the wood parts...and bands and screws.
    Regards, Jim

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    For quick and thorough searches, everyone should check out the Google CSE (Custom Search Engine) which is located at the top right corner of the forums, just under the standard search box.

    It's a piece of custom code from Google that just searches Milsurps.Com posts and threads, including the archive.

    So, give it a try and you might find some really interesting old threads with content about topics you either never knew about or had forgotten.

    In this example, try searching for DP or Drill Purpose and see what turns up.

    Here's a few links to other threads where Peter Laidlericon and others have discussed the pitfalls of DP and ZF marked rifles ...

    ZF marking on Enfields?

    DP Stock Marks Query

    DP Rifles

    Hope that helps ....

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  10. #6
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    Thread Starter
    Thanks, gentlemen! Looks like the front wood, bands and sight protector will be coming from the DP.
    Cheers!
    Splice

  11. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by splicenut View Post
    Looks like the front wood, bands and sight protector will be coming from the DP.
    Pics after then...

    Regards, Jim

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