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Donor rifle

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Lowkeyed View Drop Down
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    Posted: November 16 2020 at 7:43pm
So I picked up a 41 Lithgow off of a local internet site because the price was less than a used stock set I was looking to buy. I believe it to be a practice gun but it is matching. The only problem is once I stripped off the yellow latex paint on the stock and hand guards, there are all these cool cartouches. Now I am thinking of just making her a wall hanger, but just curious as to what the marks on the stock mean. Does anyone know what any of them mean? 
 There are more photos to come.



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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 12:23am
DP = Drill Purpose only.

These rifles were deemed unsafe to fire and were then relegated to 'practice use only'.

An interesting article from the UKs most senior military armourer (Peter laidler)

I have mentioned ‘Britain’ here but while I can’t include Canada, I can certainly include New Zealand and Australia 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 Laidler is the senior Armourer in the British 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!

 

Note the paragrah in 'bold', the parts used to build them were parts that themselves were out of specification.
Pressure bearing parts will be outside of specification with (for example) the action being distorted, twisted or unsafe in one way or another.
Wood work is normally OK but will require WORK (as in modifying) to fit. The woodwork, in fact most parts, are not 'plug and play' on any Enfields.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 12:55am
Quick scan of the butt stamps:
CMF stamp on the butt means Citizen Military Forces (reserve militia)
3MD = 3rd military district -southern command victoria.
MA 5/44 rebuilt at LSAF may 1944.
HV=sighted for High Velocity Ammunition
Butt has early shield stamp 1915 
I think the butt is off a much earlier rifle, the stamps are quite prolific and cool.
The photos probably don't show them all clearly
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lowkeyed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 5:24am
Thanks guys for the information. 
Guess I’ll leave the stock alone for now and continue the search for my bastardized 1918 replacement stock.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote smerdon42 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 1:19pm
if it is just painted dp and not stamped it may be ok to shoot if it guages well and headspaces well .please remember if it has a dp stamped on the reciever and barrel it is not to be fired . I have seen rifles not stamped that fire well but where painted yellow like that . Buttstock is from a much earlier rifle as is the stock probably as it is walnut not coachwood as it was in 42 on
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lowkeyed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 6:47pm
Here is some more pictures with the wood off to show some additional markings.

That’s all the markings on the receiver and barrel. Only other stamps are on trigger, sight, barrel band etc.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 17 2020 at 11:00pm
i could be wrong, but above the 1 to 10 factory inspector stamps there looks to be the stamp of John Jovino Company a US importer.  If that the case they imported a lot of Lithgow rifles, some were made up from old parts etc. Some of the others on this forum know more about it than I.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote The Armourer Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2020 at 12:10am
Originally posted by Marco1010 Marco1010 wrote:

i could be wrong, but above the 1 to 10 factory inspector stamps there looks to be the stamp of John Jovino Company a US importer.  If that the case they imported a lot of Lithgow rifles, some were made up from old parts etc. Some of the others on this forum know more about it than I.


 
The "10 stamps" are the original Lithgow factory acceptance marks.
As the rifle progressed down the production line it was QA tested at each stage and if it 'passed' was stamped with the station number (1 to 10) and passed on down the line.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lowkeyed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2020 at 2:54pm
The importer stamp is IA Co Sac Ca. I know them as Inter Arms as I have several SKS they have imported.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Marco1010 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 18 2020 at 3:04pm
I was referring to what was just abovethe factory stamps  Looks to me  there is a very faint J A Co ??? CA then Australia 303
I guess these will be the importers markings?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2020 at 7:48am
OK, I see what you're talking about.
I enhanced the image a bit to see if that helps.

I don't think its a Jovino stamp, theirs was usually "JJ&Co"


Don't shoot till you see the whites of their thighs. (Unofficial motto of the Royal Air Force)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Twodogs Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2020 at 8:13am
As an ex British army armourer, though of a somewhat later vintage than Mr Laidler, I fully agree with and support the comments made in the article and by The Armourer.

Use any bits at your own peril, even if they gauge/fit ok.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Lowkeyed Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2020 at 12:57pm
I purchased the rifle solely to use the stock as a replacement for an older gun that I already own but it has issues with the stock. I just thought the markings were cool but never had any intention of shooting it. Here are some pictures of the gun that is going to receive the stock as long as there are not any issues swapping it over.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Goosic Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2020 at 2:11pm
There is a place here in Arizona , J&G Guns in Prescott.  They have dealt with numerous Enfield rifles in all configurations.  When an Enfield shows up with any DP marks on it, be it painted on or stamped.  You cannot purchase it until a waiver has been signed by you stating that you will not fire the weapon. I worked in a gun store in Phoenix for many years and we had the same policy. DP regardless of how it came to be was just that. It is no longer safe to fire except in emergencies based off of the paint code of yellow. 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Honkytonk Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2020 at 3:01pm
No matter how much you want to convince yourself this rifle might be safe to shoot, weighing advise and opinions that support not to, looking for some that might say it'll probably be ok, I say, why would you even consider risking it? 
If, in the end, you decide to shoot it (my advise is to make it a wall hanger), for a small nominal fee (plus expenses) I would volunteer my wife to take the first shot.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote devrep Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: November 19 2020 at 3:25pm
pretty sure he said he gets it.  
double gun
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