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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Couple three years ago I bought what I thought was an RFI .303 DP trainer for it's parts. This evening I got around to dismantling it expecting to find holes in the chamber but no holes or molestation of the barreled assembly. Has a very nice bore. Has the usual black stock with red/yellow/white painted stripes on both sides of the stock at the receiver. It was not painted anywhere with the DP markings. I think someone had replaced stock with a DP stock for one that was cracked or otherwise bad someway. Has a #1 bolt head and I'll do a headspace check tomorrow.
 

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Is it marked "DP" on the top of the receiver, or the top barrel flat?
 

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Couple three years ago I bought what I thought was an RFI .303 DP trainer for it's parts. This evening I got around to dismantling it expecting to find holes in the chamber but no holes or molestation of the barreled assembly. Has a very nice bore. Has the usual black stock with red/yellow/white painted stripes on both sides of the stock at the receiver. It was not painted anywhere with the DP markings. I think someone had replaced stock with a DP stock for one that was cracked or otherwise bad someway. Has a #1 bolt head and I'll do a headspace check tomorrow.

Do you, or your, gunsmith have the knowledge, skills and equipmemt to determine if the action has stretched, warped or the hardening around the locking lugs worn thru ?

Pretty much everything else, apart from the action on the rifle is replaceable, if the action body was 100% but it had (say) a bent barrel, the barrel would just be replaced, (and it wouldn't be downrated to DP). Checking integrity of the action body is way more than just achieving headspace.

The other thing to remember with DP rifles is that all parts used to build them were rejects / out of tolerance parts so they are not even particularly useful for 'spares'.

Because of the potential liabilities and safety issues it is the forum policy that any discussions about bringing a DP marked rifle back into use are not to be allowed.

DP Rifles | Gunboards Forums


If you have a bolt shoot backwards and go thru' your eye and into your brain because of your decision that's one thing, if someone on the forum has said 'its safe to do it' thats a very different story.

Rifles were made DP because the people who knew, were qualified to make the decison and had the correct gauges & had determined they were no longer safe to shoot live ammunition.
Many nations simply 'clipped' the firing pin as no soldier was in a position to replace it and any armourer would see the markings and know what it meant. It is only once civilians start getting hold of these rifles and saying "looks OK I'll replace the firing pin and shoot it" that the problems start.
DO NOT expect to always find welded up actions, holes drilled thru barrels or cut-off bolts.

Why would anyone want to take a perfectly good rifle and put it in DP woodwork, Surely the least they would do would be to remove any doubt by removing the paint / DP markings.

Do it if you want to, thats your choice, just don't discuss it.
 

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This brings up a question.
what makes a DP rifle, the stock or the DP marking on the receiver? Are there DP rifles without the marking?

I have seen DP rifles that are not drilled and appear intact but they all have the DP mark.
 

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This brings up a question.
what makes a DP rifle, the stock or the DP marking on the receiver? Are there DP rifles without the marking?

I have seen DP rifles that are not drilled and appear intact but they all have the DP mark.

A DP rifle is 'made' because it has been deemed to be unsafe to fire it.

It is marked on the metalwork, and often on the woodwork (to make sure blanket counters don't issue it by mistake)


From Peter Laidler :

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 ……………
 

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There is more to learn here. Size numbered bolt heads are inherent to the No4 family of rifles, but RFI never made No4's.
Before making guesses, is there some way to get a few pics posted into this thread?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
There is more to learn here. Size numbered bolt heads are inherent to the No4 family of rifles, but RFI never made No4's.
Before making guesses, is there some way to get a few pics posted into this thread?
I'll endevor to take some pics of any marking but with my cell phone the pics are not with any perfect clarity. I will write down any and all markings on top, rightside, left side and bottom of the receiver. Some of the characters can't be explained with my keyboard. They could mean testing and mfg marks.

"NOWHERE" on the receiver, barrel or stock is there a "DP" marking.
Top of barrel chamber:" W, with * on top
Receiver right rear: Crest, R.F.I., 1962 *, No 1 MkIII
Receiver rear right side: CAI ST ALP VT (Importer)
Receiver lower front just before receiver ring: S
Receiver ring right side: 71358 with an M below it, stripper bridge No 1 Mk III
Receiver right side stock mounting lug: T8
Barrel left side: Crest, 30, D5, square box with o inside of it
Left side receiver ring: Crest and no other marks anywhere
Bottom of barrel chamber: K, R, and marks that I can't describe

20210424_082539.jpg
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
I just did a headspace check, yes I removed the extractor, and it does close on a Field Guage of .070". I added .009" shim stock on guage and it does "not" close on .079". I have rat-holed, somewhere, several bolt heads of of different sizes. Can't find them at the moment though.
 

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I just did a headspace check, yes I removed the extractor, and it does close on a Field Guage of .070". I added .009" shim stock on guage and it does "not" close on .079". I have rat-holed, somewhere, several bolt heads of of different sizes. Can't find them at the moment though.

You are using the wrong gauge.

The American SAAMI Field gauge is 0,.070" but the Lee Enfield 'No-Go' Gauge is 0.074".

So many Americans have scrapped their rifles simply because they use the wrong gauges.
It is an English military rifle, all gauges should be English military dimensions, rather than from an American civilian organisation who were founded some 20 odd years after the Lee Enfield was manufactured & are more concerned about operating in a litigious society than upholding original specifications.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thanks for that info. I'm sure though the bolt would close on a .074 field gauge though I think the only fix is going to be to put another longer bolt head on it and see what happens.
Do you know length of bolt heads #1 thru #4? So I'm still .004" to .005" of being able to "not" close the bolt.
 

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Thanks for that info. I'm sure though the bolt would close on a .074 field gauge though I think the only fix is going to be to put another longer bolt head on it and see what happens.
Do you know length of bolt heads #1 thru #4? So I'm still .004" to .005" of being able to "not" close the bolt.
REMEMBER your rifle is a No1 and No1 bolt heads are not numbered, Only No4 & No5 bolt heads are numbered so the following information is of absolutely no use to you and your rifle, but, anyway, for future interest :


Bolt head 'numbers' are indicative but bear no relationship to the actual dimensions and you can have a Number 0 that is larger than a number 3.

Have a read of this old post I made 8 years ago it'll save me typing it all out again :


No4 Bolt Head Survey and Instructions | Gunboards Forums
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 · (Edited)
That's a great article you wrote. Lot of information to absorb. So without trial and error of bolt heads I'm screwed. Only reasonable fix would be to have a gunsmith extend the length of my bolt head to put it into some sort of specs. I probably won't do that because of the expense of an old rifle. Look like it might be time to clean it up, strip the stock and refinish it. Put a tag on it that it has excessive headspace and don't fire it. Or take everything apart and sell it's parts. I just can't see having a firearm that I can't shoot. Thanks, as you have bee very informative!

(I printed out your provided link for future reference.)
 
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That's a great article you wrote. Lot of information to absorb. So without trial and error of bolt heads I'm screwed. Only reasonable fix would be to have a gunsmith extend the length of my bolt head to put it into some sort of specs. I probably won't do that because of the expense of an old rifle. Look like it might be time to clean it up, strip the stock and refinish it. Put a tag on it that it has excessive headspace and don't fire it. Or take everything apart and sell it's parts. I just can't see having a firearm that I can't shoot. Thanks, as you have bee very informative!

(I printed out your provided link for future reference.)
Just use the case and primer 'trick' and find out what size bolt head (for a No1 Mk3) you actually need (min & max), ask on here to see if anyone has a 'spare for a fair price' that fits your dimensions and 'Bobs your Uncle'.

I am still unsure about reactivating / using a rifle that appears to be DP. As I said previously, there is more to making a rifle 'DP' than just headspace, although headspace could be one of the symptoms of something greater (stretched action, worn thru' locking lugs etc)
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
Just use the case and primer 'trick' and find out what size bolt head (for a No1 Mk3) you actually need (min & max), ask on here to see if anyone has a 'spare for a fair price' that fits your dimensions and 'Bobs your Uncle'.

I am still unsure about reactivating / using a rifle that appears to be DP. As I said previously, there is more to making a rifle 'DP' than just headspace, although headspace could be one of the symptoms of something greater (stretched action, worn thru' locking lugs etc)
Just to get it back to .074" specs I would need another .005"-.007" to make it not close on a field guage.
 

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Just to get it back to .074" specs I would need another .005"-.007" to make it not close on a field guage.

Ok, so measure your existing bolt head (lets say) it is 0.060" add (say) 0.008" and ask if anyone has a 0.068" No1 Bolt Head.
The problem then is it may still not 'clock' correctly (overturn) so you'd need to find another one, and then maybe another one and then maybe another one................ thats why we all love LE's, they make life interesting.


Bolt Head Wear 1.jpg



bolt head measurement.jpg





The bolt head and striker changed design so you also need to ensure that you get the correct one, as they are not interchangable.



Different Bolt Heads No1 Mk3.jpeg
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Other than having excessive headspace I find nothing that would identify this rifle as the "usual" DP rifle. No DP stamping anywhere on metal receiver/barrel including the stock. Just some paint on a black stock with no DP stamped or indicated. If I had a bolt head that put it back into safe specs I would not be afraid to take it to the range and fire it.
 

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If I had a bolt head that put it back into safe specs I would not be afraid to take it to the range and fire it.

I have told you what I know re DP rifles, I have explained how to get a bolt head to fit so you can now make an informed decision, if you chose to do as you suggest, that is entirely within your perogative to do so, I would just suggest that you only shoot it when there is nobody near by, who could be injured if 'the worst happens'.

Good luck whatever you decide to do.
 
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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My bolt head measures .641" and so I would need one that is at least .651 or .652" for field guage pass! I have to find some spare bolt heads I have rat-holed. I saw them a few days ago and can't find them at the moment. Don't have many but I think I had two Mk1 III and a couple for a MK4. Right now it's just a chunk of useless metal taking up space in my safe.
 

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The DP issue comes up time and time again, why do people still insist that they know better than some highly experienced examiner who only had access to the weapons history and all the gauges and inspection/examination techniques?
Still we are fortunate to live in a society where we have free choice over our actions, just don't involve others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #20 ·
My bolt head is like the lower one in your picture. Your depiction of the bolt head turning is a little confusing as it looks like it's a depiction of a MK4 bolt head. Hears a pic of mine.

20210424_145331.jpg
 
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