A thoroughly damaged Enfield

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by rjwnz, Oct 15, 2012.

  1. rjwnz

    rjwnz New Member

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    Auckland NZ
    A friend sent these pics afew weeks ago, and story, (sept 2012) and asked they be posted as bit of a safety illustration. Its a No4 Enfield that shattered the forend on firing. He indicated that the rifle appeared in new condition, with no marks on the bolt face, and .... He’s been quite honest is his own errors in not stripping the rifle on purchase and seeing the DP, but to be honest, how often have I actually done that?

    "Have you ever heard of a DP #4 with a (professional looking) hole through the chamber? I certainly hadn't till I fired it last Friday. Gave me a bit of a start -photo's attached.
    It appeared to have never fired a shot and I couldn't see the holes of course because they were encased in wood and there was no light coming through them. All the forend screws look to have never been removed from their first fitting. Thought I'd knabbed a real bargain...
    Those are (three day old) splinters & powder burns on my wrist, saved somewhat by my watchstrap. Took a couple to the leg also as I was sitting down. Projectile made it about 3/4 the way down the barrel. Those bits of handguard ended up several metres apart, don't know where the rest of it & the top of the retainer went. ****ed me off as it was a real tidy rifle.

    Yeah pleased I had ear muffs on.
    Hole goes all the way through, note the perfect hole traced through both both sides of the cartridge case. The bore/bolt face looked new, and forend screws looked untouched. Couldn't believe it - it came fitted with a firing pin, I just happened to be the first guy to try it."

    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...

    Follow up a week later; “I just received a brief email to say that on back tracking some of the rifles history, it may have been on display at a servicemans club in the past, where it was deacted in the interests of not having a shootable firearm on display. Whether this was sold close to this set up or it had traveled several owners before I don't know. The deact could have been done by someone somewhat knowledgable or simply a casual bubba job by a club member.”

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  2. jack404

    jack404 Former Guest

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    rjwnz, mate what can i say ?

    its a official stamp , some bugger has sold it and sold it as a shooter or it would have a big deactivated sticker on it

    I'm sorry this has happened to you but as the same time congratulate you in getting away as well as you did , massive shrapnel wounds to forearms and groin are common results

    tell your mate to take it back unless he knew it was deactived and marked as such at the time of sale the courts would take a dim view of the seller eh .

    cheers
  3. Mainegunner

    Mainegunner New Member

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    Oct 16, 2012
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    I am glad to see your friend was not seriously hurt and no one standing near him was either. However, I am a bit confused. There is a large "DP" marking on the top of the chamber that should not have been covered by the wood on a No. 4. DP is a standard marking for Drill Purpose and an indication to not fire the rifle. Was it not visible or were he unaware what the DP marking means?

    I know not everyone knows what it means. I even bought a DP marked rifle at a pawn shop here in Maine that the owner was selling as usable. He was not aware of the meaning of the marking. When I told him he was happy to sell it to me cheap and I was happy to get some parts.
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2012
  4. JoeF

    JoeF New Member

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    Whoever did this is either an idiot or a psychopath, I am pleased your freind got off so lightly.
    This was once a British Drill Purpose rifle, a standard weapon which along with thousands of others had been written off and 'deactivated' for training cadets or National service men. The 'deactivation consisted of drilling right through the barrel and furniture so that the hole can be clearly seen from above and below. The firing pin was cut short and a solid (no firing pin hole) bolt head screwed into place. The stock was clearly stamped DP as was the breech. Often the magazines were also removed to be replaced with balsa wood blocks painted black. Incidentaly, this kind of deactivation is not currently legal in the UK and they are still classed as Section 1 as the barrel is not plugged.
    Your friends was one of these before someone replaced the furniture and added a working bolt (bet the numbers dont match). Utter, utter madness....!
  5. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

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    Apparently "DP" does not necessarily mean either deactivated or unsafe to fire. I have seen several U.S. M1917 "Enfield" Rifles with "DP" electric pencilled into the receiver ring that seem to have nothing wrong with them except that they were chambered for U.S. .30 caliber rather than .303. I have one, which also has a red band behind the front sling swivel. When I got it, I checked it over, could find nothing to warrant the "DP" and fired it. I have since fired it hundreds of times and I think I would probably have noticed a hole drilled through the chamber.

    Jim
  6. JoeF

    JoeF New Member

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    I dug out some of our DPs today so you can see what the rifle would have originally looked like, in British service at least. Two are without the bolts - fairly common, after all they were for drill only, and one with bolt but no firing pin hole. Note also how they have been painted with red led and then a coat of black paint - again this is standard. I guess the cadets got the job of making the magazines.

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    Last edited: Oct 20, 2012

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