DP mg conversion to .303


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Old 04-07-2013, 08:28 AM   #1
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Default DP mg conversion to .303

Hi guys, new here. I have an off the wall question hope someone can help with.
I was idly wondering....

if a Russian DP machine gun was converted to fire the British .303 cartridge (another rimmed round) would it be able to use the British Lewis Gun Magazines or is there some reason why it would not work?

I do not own such a weapon and my question is conjecture only. It is research for possible use in a fictional story. But I would appreciate if any answers wanted to go into detail.



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Old 04-07-2013, 10:54 AM   #2
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You mean the Degtyaryov? Well, both used a 47 round flat mag that turned when the gun fired. Resemblances sorta stop there. That, and the gun was replaced with a different model in about 1960.


But with a complete machine shop, a skilled machinist, and enough time and money, you could do about anything.



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Old 04-07-2013, 11:59 AM   #3
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You mean the Degtyaryov? Well, both used a 47 round flat mag that turned when the gun fired. Resemblances sorta stop there. That, and the gun was replaced with a different model in about 1960.


But with a complete machine shop, a skilled machinist, and enough time and money, you could do about anything.
Thanks c3shooter, yes that's the one. My story would be set in the pre war II period . Some "freedom fighters" would be financed by Britain and their Russian made weapons converted to .303 so as to ensure ammunition supply. I knew that the DP plat pan mag turned but I did not know the Lewis one was designed to rotate too. That seems like they could be made compatible then in theory, which is good enough for story purposes!

Thanks for your feedback.
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:06 PM   #4
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Watch the firing, you can see the mag rotate.

PS- rotation of the mag caused the Deg to be nicknamed "the record player".
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Old 04-07-2013, 12:35 PM   #5
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Excellent video! Thanks for that. Worked great for a 102-year old design too. Wonder how old that actual piece was at least 50 years old I bet and still going good as new. That's quality.

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Old 04-09-2013, 03:41 PM   #6
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Just a note for continuity. If the brits are supplying ammo why go to the hassle of converting?? the brits would ship in guns with the first supply of ammo. Thats how they historically supplied their guerrilla forces as needed in asia.

Insurgent forces would stockpile captured weapons and ammo and use when needed as a reserve.

The only military force that actively converted enemy weapons were the vietcong and that was on a very very very limited scale.

I read a lot of fiction and it really grinds on the story when an author tosses in something like that. If your writing historical fiction keep the fiction parts with the character actions and use real things people would have done with the technology of the time. Making up technology for historical fiction really ruins a book

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Old 04-11-2013, 04:57 AM   #7
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Just a note for continuity. If the brits are supplying ammo why go to the hassle of converting?? the brits would ship in guns with the first supply of ammo. Thats how they historically supplied their guerrilla forces as needed in asia.

Insurgent forces would stockpile captured weapons and ammo and use when needed as a reserve.

The only military force that actively converted enemy weapons were the vietcong and that was on a very very very limited scale.

I read a lot of fiction and it really grinds on the story when an author tosses in something like that. If your writing historical fiction keep the fiction parts with the character actions and use real things people would have done with the technology of the time. Making up technology for historical fiction really ruins a book
Point taken and noted.
However, didn't both Germans and Russians in WWII convert a lot of captured weapons to their own ammunition calibres? I am sure I read that somewhere.
I admit that my plot device is beginning to look a bit creaky. however, Initially I figured that the captured weapons would be hidden away by the freedom fighters, and converted to the British calibre in a rural workshop. The guns would be in bad condition , rusty etc and would need overhauling anyway so that was the excuse to give them new barrels and change the calibre. My thoughts were running that it would be easier to smuggle in small batches of ammunition over time than a load of Lewis guns.
I don't know if there is any historical precedent in any country for this. What gave me the idea was reading an account of Russian DP machine guns and rifles that were supplied to British volunteers in the Spanish Civil War in 1936. The weapons had been badly stored and were for the most part completely rusted up and unusable .
It is a small point and as the writing is at a very early stage I may yet change everything. But thank you for your feedback. I remember reading a fiction novel about WWII Norway where it had some French troops about 300 miles from where they actually historically were and yes, that pissed me off no end.


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