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Here's one for the brain trust. I have been offered a complete Vickers crank assembly with arms, etc. The assembly is marker VSM - so it's 1928 or earlier. The bluing is good, about 95%, but IMO is an old re-blue with all marking still nice and crisp and not buffed down or buffed out. The downer is that every part of the assembly (and I do mean EVERY part) is either stamped or electro-penciled "DP." The seller is telling me all the Vickers spare parts were DP marked when the weapon was taken out of front line service, but I can find no such verifiable citation anywhere. I know that there are two schools of thought, one being any DP marked part is junk, and the other school of thought that not all DP marked parts are junk. It looks good and does not exhibit any signs of excessive wear. Thoughts? Comments?
 

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Here's one for the brain trust. I have been offered a complete Vickers crank assembly with arms, etc. The assembly is marker VSM - so it's 1928 or earlier. The bluing is good, about 95%, but IMO is an old re-blue with all marking still nice and crisp and not buffed down or buffed out. The downer is that every part of the assembly (and I do mean EVERY part) is either stamped or electro-penciled "DP." The seller is telling me all the Vickers spare parts were DP marked when the weapon was taken out of front line service, but I can find no such verifiable citation anywhere. I know that there are two schools of thought, one being any DP marked part is junk, and the other school of thought that not all DP marked parts are junk. It looks good and does not exhibit any signs of excessive wear. Thoughts? Comments?
D.P. = Drill Purpose. Armour would mark parts that were outside of spec and not considered usable in combat/service as D.P. They were then regulated to training guns for display or for drill practice.
They often marked an assembly in dozen's of places, especially old WWI parts. I have had WWI tripods, locks, and feed blocks like that which were in visibly good condition but marked all over with D.P.
IMHO unless the part is rare or cheap, I prefer non-D.P. marked parts. For critical wear parts (locks, barrels, etc. ) it is best not to use them in a live gun, if it is a tripod it is less of an issue.
 

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The military felt that the parts weren't good enough for military service, and that's good at me. Best case scenario, they were making a DP gun, but didn't have any really bad parts. They then pull out ten of the identical part, and in my opinion pick the worst out for DP usage. They wouldn't take the best....

An entirely DP marked gun just sounds like a headache. Even if only 25% of the parts are out of speck junk, that's a pile of parts you'll need to replace.
 

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I once had an exchange with Ian Skennerton specifically about a DP marked fluted jacket Vickers I used to own. As I understand it, whole guns were taken out of service and designated for "Drill Purposes" to meet the training purposes of multiple gun sections. The aim was to reduce wear and breakage on serviceable guns by using a designated unserviceable gun to take the abuse of training.

When designated for Drill Purposes, every removable part was marked DP so as not to be mixed with the parts of serviceable guns. As I understand it, DP guns do not seem to have been assembled from worn parts but routinely began their DP service as a gun that was not economically repairable for a problem with a major component such as a water jacket with an unrepairable leak. If this is true, some DP marked parts were certainly in spec when the gun was removed from service. This is IMA's line when they sell DP marked parts as serviceable parts. The real question is what was the condition of the part when the DP marked gun was taken out of service and sold a surplus?

It is unquestionable that DP guns were intended to take the abuse of repetitive disassembly and reassembly. The trunnion on my fluted jacket DP gun was badly beaten from repeated disassembly and assembly. I would not doubt that some of this training was done blindfolded. The DP lock had been disassemble so many times that the parts fell off of it after the first part was removed.

Here's my bottom-line. Some DP marked parts can be serviceable but DP guns we designated to take the abuse of training, so beware.
 
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