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ConD II* rifles safe to shoot?

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    Posted: February 03 2012 at 9:52am
nice to see a new face [er-see a new moniker] welcome , and thanks to all for the input on this thread - its a good one ,
 
as i see this , yes i might invest in a wall hanger with all the right bits on her , because i dont feel the need to shoot every one of mine , too many to shoot em all regularly anyway , but i agree all DP rifles were Not unshootable , just not recomended elegated to training purpose.....and the cadet rifles were coded as well with red/green/yellow paint for the same reasons ,
 
i would require it to have all the right bits and the mkI bits are fairly dificult to find , that said - they can be had with great dedication and some research , also spending some cash - which is why the $ might be worth it when buying ,
 
i would love to do it myself - but i dont have the project rifle nor the free time these days , i do have a mkI so im not as inclined when there are others on my list because of how i veiw my collection , im looking for a nice military marked martinni-enfeild before most anything else these days ,
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 10:51pm
Originally posted by muffett.2008 muffett.2008 wrote:

Very rarely was any service arm DP'd because of a barrel.
 As the barrel is a replacement part, if suspect the rifle would have been marked for repair and returned to a base workshop to have the barrel replaced.
 Despite the overuse of the DP stamp on occaision, if applied to the receiver or bolt, than consider that component to be unservicable.
 No if's but's or maybe's, it is considered by a qualified Armourer or Inspector to be UNSERVICABLE.
 It would be a totally pointless exercise for those of us that carry out these sort of inspections to go the rat with a DP stamp, our jobs aren't worth it, nor is the possible loss/injury to a serviceman or civilian and just does not occur.
 It's your rifle and your life, do with it what you will. It's obvious that anything licenced tradesmen say will not effect the outcome, but please do not try to sway others into this line of thinking.
 
Mr. muffett.2008

   I have not yet had the pleasure of introducing myself and welcoming you to the forum.  Welcome and thank you for your kind and informative post.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 10:45pm

Alan first of all, no apologizes were necessary no offence was taken, and thank you again for your input, my intentions were cordial as were yours.

The mentioned rifle was checked by a competent Gunsmith or Tradesmen one of the most reputable in this area, with a pedigree of championship rifles and pistols to numerous to list. And in his professional opinion with some minor adjustments and or repairs the rifle could make fit. For whatever the original reason was. We were both surprised as to why this rifle was decommissioned

 We will make ourselves perfectly Clear NO ONE here on this forum will endorses or approve of returning any decommissioned Rifle”DP”ed rifle into service for any reason and by no means is trying to sway anyone’s opinion. This was referenced to one rare occasion. . We would not, have not, and will never recommend anyone to restore a “DP” rifle.

We do approve of cordial debates just like this one and the expressions of one’s opinions as long as it’s kept tasteful with no direct personal attacks.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan de Enfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 4:34pm
Cookie Monster - firstly apologies if any offence was taken - non was intended.
 
Electronic communication is a difficult one - no nuances, voice inflection, smiles etc and it is not always possible to ascetain ones experience from their postings (although often it is - there are 'moderators' and high posting counts on some forums where the person obviously hasnt got the slightest knowledge of the Enfield rifle but they are 'looked up to' as they are mods / very high posting counts - et at they must know what they are talking about.
 
In your original post you said that the rifle had the 'wrong bolt' but now you are saying it has a matching numbers bolt but possibly an incorrectly fitted barrel (or one that the previous owned could not headspace to)
 
Your scenario is of course possible but I think unlikely. The criteria for a rifle not being 'worth' repairing was / is 80% of the cost of a new rifle to give it 80% life of a new rifle. If the action was still in good condition I doubt that re-barreling would have approached anywhere near the 80% cost.
Shot-out barrels were replaced as a matter of course.
 
Depending on when-it was re-barreled would determine if it was a civilan or military job. Yes No4's were coming on stream but if it was 1939-45 (particulary after Dunkirk) then every rifle that could shoot was needed - if not for front line than for the Home-Guard etc.
 
If you have a DP rifle that was DP'd just because they needed another one (and they just took an old - serviceable -one from the armoury) then you are fortunate.
Maybe I am just 'risk-averse' but I would never re-build a DP into a live rifle.
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote muffett.2008 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 4:14pm
Very rarely was any service arm DP'd because of a barrel.
 As the barrel is a replacement part, if suspect the rifle would have been marked for repair and returned to a base workshop to have the barrel replaced.
 Despite the overuse of the DP stamp on occaision, if applied to the receiver or bolt, than consider that component to be unservicable.
 No if's but's or maybe's, it is considered by a qualified Armourer or Inspector to be UNSERVICABLE.
 It would be a totally pointless exercise for those of us that carry out these sort of inspections to go the rat with a DP stamp, our jobs aren't worth it, nor is the possible loss/injury to a serviceman or civilian and just does not occur.
 It's your rifle and your life, do with it what you will. It's obvious that anything licenced tradesmen say will not effect the outcome, but please do not try to sway others into this line of thinking.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 12:00pm
Originally posted by Alan de Enfield Alan de Enfield wrote:

Originally posted by Cookie Monster Cookie Monster wrote:

Shamu I had a DP that was a head space issue, found out had the wrong bolt in her. Smith fixed her right up and is one of my better shooters... But yes as a general rule DP= no shoot !!
 
I do find that hard to believe - it would have been marked DP by an Armourer and I doubt that an armourer would mark it DP purely as it had the 'wrong bolt' in it.
 
 

Alan de Enfield,

First I would like to welcome you to the forum and thank you for all your contributions! , I do not think we have been formally introduced. Hello I’m The “Cookie Monster”

     Thank you for the information and opinion regarding this post, some may find it highly useful however. You can rest assure I’m no novice in this matter and very well could have wrote and published that article myself. I’m also fully aware of the procedures and processes that an armourer uses to assess the condition of an Enfield’s readiness for battle and to deem her worthy of service or not. I concur under normal circumstances an armourer would not render an Enfield not serviceable because of something as simple as a bolt change.  Now since the bolt and the receiver have matching serial numbers, barrel is not. So let me run one viable explanation  by you and you tell me if it is probable. The barrel was defective and the armourer decided the rifle was not worth the time, effort, age and financial resources to return her to battle ready status. Remember by now the No1MkIII’s were being replaced by the No4MkI’s  So he stamped her with a “DP”. Then the weapon was the sold for parts, a previous owner attempted to replaced the barrel and sold it again because the bolt would not close on a round. I picked it up and checked the headspace and now have a fully functioning rifle.

This Just my opinion as to how this may have happened, tell me what you think? 

 Thank you again for your concern however, all I know is the receiver has a “DP” stamped on it and all I had to do is replace the bolt facing to return the rifle to a fully functioning firarm.

 

CM

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan de Enfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 4:08am
Originally posted by Cookie Monster Cookie Monster wrote:

Shamu I had a DP that was a head space issue, found out had the wrong bolt in her. Smith fixed her right up and is one of my better shooters... But yes as a general rule DP= no shoot !!
 
I do find that hard to believe - it would have been marked DP by an Armourer and I doubt that an armourer would mark it DP purely as it had the 'wrong bolt' in it.
 
There is much more to fitting a bolt than sliding in any old bolt : The most important factor is getting the locking lugs to seat properly, then headspace and then finally overclocking. You then need to adjust the cocking piece / sear, look at the firing pin protrusion and test the main spring.
 
Here is an extract from a series of 'seminars'  (2007) Peter Laidler gave on fitting a bolt :
 

Bolts could only be fitted at Field and Base workshops because they were the only ones that had a 'GAUGE, Inspectors, Bolt'. This is a brand new, calibrated bolt. Still in white metal and marked as such. If my memory serves me right, the slot in the long/top locking lug is machined right through to identify it. So that's the reason if you have ever seen one. This bolt is bare. Clean the locking lug surfaces of the rifle and put a smear of 'engineers blue' marking dye onto the corresponding locking surfaces of the inspectors bolt. Insert this bolt RIGHT FORWARD, rotate it closed, then draw it backwards and forwards a couple of times to mark the mating locking surfaces of the rifle. Push it forwards, unlock and remove.

Examine the locking surfaces of the rifle. The blue witness marks should be evident. This ensures that whatever wear that has taken place on the rifle locking surfaces has taken place equally. If its not, then I'm afraid that the rifle is unserviceable.

BUT, that's not quite the end of the story because you won't have this 'Gauge, Inspectors, bolt' but it's only right that I tell you. Now for a little secret. If you have ever bought a rifle that has a sploge of red paint on the left side, adjacent to the internal left side locking lug, then you now know that the rifle was condemned for 'worn locking lugs'.

If you are going to fit a second hand or new bolt, then do the same thing. If the dye pattern is one sided, then stone the high surface of the bolt until BOTH locking lugs bear evenly against the locking surfaces of the corresponding surfaces in the body. BUT DO NOT ATTEMPT to stone the rifle to get a bolt to fit (you can only get to the right hand surface in any case ....). The rifle body is induction hardened at these points to a depth of .004 - .006" but we have found it deeper.

Now that you have got the bolt fitting, with the locking surface bearings matched, it's time to fit a bolt head. Any one will do. Screw it into the bare bolt and test the CHS against the .064" GO and .074" NO GO gauges. Disregard the numbers on the bolt head or treat them as a bit of a rough and ready guide but not as the bee all and end all of life as we know it! Once you have got a fitted bolt, with CHS, we'll come onto bolt head overturn.

The bolt head should not overturn the long/top locking shoulder by more than 16 degrees but if you have a No4T or L42, it should not overturn buy more than a 'few' degrees. Mine were always 'in line' through selective fitting but you won't have a big tray of bolt heads to select from! The reason for this is because over a 'few' degrees (it doesn't define 'a few' but use 2 or 3 as your MAX), the recoil is taken on the bolt head and bolt threads. That is OK, but on an accurate No4T and L42, we want the recoil to be taken on the face of the bolt and transmitted radially, down through the bolt head and onto the front flat surface that mates up to the bolt head. Got it?

Now we have a correctly fitted bolt AND bolt head AND CHS. That wasn't painful was it? During the week, we'll go into striker protrusion, bolthead lift and anything else. But before we do, I want you to get your strikers and roll them along a flat surface (overhang the collars of course) and sift out the bent ones because they're going to cause you trouble. It's always the 1/4" BSF threaded end that's bent and you can only TRULY straighten them if you have access to a lathe.

 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 1:40am
Shamu I had a DP that was a head space issue, found out had the wrong bolt in her. Smith fixed her right up and is one of my better shooters... But yes as a general rule DP= no shoot !!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Shamu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 02 2012 at 12:54am
Smart choice there, congratulations on it.
I guess you could sum it up as:
A "CondII" may be safe to fire, but it's a good idea to check first, but a DP is probably NOT safe to fire & is marked as such, so why take the risk?
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 Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2012 at 10:10pm
Homer2,

I agree, Gunsmiths are like doctors, auto mechanics, or any other person that provides a service. You must find one with an excellent following and reputation, and is a trusted name in your area. 

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2012 at 9:37pm
I find that most gunsmiths these days have less knowledge of these rifles than I do.  I'm not sure I really trust someone just because they have the title 'gunsmith' and can scope a remchesterby.  I always ask what experience they have with the model.  No one in my area has much experience with really early Enfields.

Thanks for the replies.  I'm not firing DP rifles at any rate. 


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Alan de Enfield Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2012 at 6:27pm
It has to be your choice but - would you put $500-$600 in a gun thats just a wall-hanger ?
 
With DP on it (for me) its always a non-shooter.
Yes some were DP'd because they were obsolete but mainly (the majority ?) were DP'd because they were out of specification and were deemed to be unsafe to shoot.
 
The three parts that would render a gun 'unsafe' are Bolt, barrel and action. Of these the bolt and the barrel are easily replaceable so it is generally the action which has either stretched / warped or the locking lugs that have worn thru' the hardening - once this has happened there is nothing that can be done to rectify it.
 
Even Peter Laidler who has the experience and the equipment to 'gauge' the rifle will not un-DP a rifle.
 
Does your gun-smith have the knowledge, experience, metalurgical testing equipment and skill to tell you your rifle is safe to shoot ?
 
For me there are enough good rifles out there without risking life and limb on an unknown.
 
Your life, your choice.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote A square 10 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2012 at 8:03am
i cannot tell you if its shootable , i shoot some of my old ones but the ones i question i do not just because i treasure my body bits and life , i do not find the inner need to shoot all of them ,
 
i cannot tell you what to do in terms of spending , cannot coment on value except to me , with all correct bits i would put $5-600 in one of these ,
 
having said that - the correct bits are not easy to find so it will require a great deal of dedication and it will be a labor of love as moch as an investment untill you find a buyer if thats what you are after ,
 
one option would be to sell one 'project' to someone with that dedication , and use the funds to start your 'project' , JMHO but i think its worth it ,
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote LE Owner Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2012 at 4:46am
Originally posted by Homer2 Homer2 wrote:

I know there is no sensible person who would say anything is safe to fire without having it checked out. I'm not really looking for someone to justify any decision, especially with a DP rifle.  I was more looking for someone with knowledge of ConD II* rifles to see if they shoot them.  The rifles I like to collect I like to shoot generally.  I have a few (ha!) Mosins, some of which are older than the oldest ConD II I just picked up.  I have no problem shooting antique Mosins, so I was wondering if anyone shoots antique Enfields that don't have barrels marked for MkVII ammo.  I believe many of the upgrades for MkVII ammo had to do with the sights rather than anything else.

These are rather uncommon rifles, but the condition is a problem.  I wanted to get a feeling for them before I invest a lot of money to restore some or all of them.  I believe I may keep the 1896 Enfield for restoration at minimum.  Each sporter cost $150, and with the cost of the missing parts, I'm looking at a total cost of $500-600 each for a restored gun.  Would anyone think that these would be worth $600, even DP marked?


 
The bore and throat of a earlier barrel are not inherently unsafe for MkVII ammunition, so long as the action is up to snuff.
The SMLE MkI type barrel has a slightly looser throat (for the older 215 gr RN bullet) and usually the reverse taper lapped bore I mentioned, both of which would work to reduce operating pressure if anything.
A replacement barrel without the reverse taper was authorized by 1917, but how many actually got rebarreled is anyones guess.
 
I can't comment on prices, I've never seen one of these offered for sale.
 
I usually end up with more invested in a rifle than its worth, with a few happy exceptions.
Sometimes you just feel you have to put something right regardless of whether its good business sense.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Homer2 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: February 01 2012 at 12:58am
I know there is no sensible person who would say anything is safe to fire without having it checked out. I'm not really looking for someone to justify any decision, especially with a DP rifle.  I was more looking for someone with knowledge of ConD II* rifles to see if they shoot them.  The rifles I like to collect I like to shoot generally.  I have a few (ha!) Mosins, some of which are older than the oldest ConD II I just picked up.  I have no problem shooting antique Mosins, so I was wondering if anyone shoots antique Enfields that don't have barrels marked for MkVII ammo.  I believe many of the upgrades for MkVII ammo had to do with the sights rather than anything else.

These are rather uncommon rifles, but the condition is a problem.  I wanted to get a feeling for them before I invest a lot of money to restore some or all of them.  I believe I may keep the 1896 Enfield for restoration at minimum.  Each sporter cost $150, and with the cost of the missing parts, I'm looking at a total cost of $500-600 each for a restored gun.  Would anyone think that these would be worth $600, even DP marked?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Cookie Monster Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 31 2012 at 10:48pm
I'm with Shamu thanks A square 10 I was not aware of that as well.
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