Starting a DP28/DPM build

So if you’ve read the “About” page, you may have noticed that I claimed that we here at Forgotten Weapons are building (and selling) neat old guns.  Well, the various folks here have all built guns from kits to one extent or another, but we are just beginning to get on track building on a more serious level. The shop we use was in a bit of disarray, and we’ve been spending a lot of time rebuilding and rearranging it into a really top-notch facility. I’ll be posting a shop tour video in a couple of weeks – something along the lines of the tour of Red Jacket posted on the Discovery Channel web site, but much more impressive. And with so much less drama. 🙂

In fact, we will be posting video content before too much longer, as we get some real projects up and running. No bogus deadlines or shady mustachioed clients, and lots of technical content. We love what we’re doing, and we to share it and encourage other interested folks to try their hands at it.

But I digress. The news today is that we are starting to plan out the first project. We are going to be building a handful of semiauto DP light machine guns. This won’t be a commercial enterprise – you can already buy a nice semi DP made by Wiselite, and we don’t have enough parts to make very many. This is a project to break in the new shop, and to get us each a DP – who wouldn’t want a DP? Besides being fun to shoot with pan magazines, they will serve as testbeds for the RP46 belt-fed conversions we will be making and selling later on.

We’re going to be rewelding these (instead of making new receivers from scratch), so the important parts are overlapping receiver sections (including intact barrel sockets), intact shrouds, and intact barrels. We laid out what we have, to plan what we can build.

DP components

We’ve got six good front receiver sections, six shrouds, 5 good barrels (plus a couple demilled ones), and six center receiver sections with intact locking recesses. Rear receiver sections will be a bit trickier – some have matching pieces, some are overlapping, and a couple will need to be welded to partial center sections and then cut square and welded a second time onto intact center sections. The trick is to match up pieces from the various types of demil cuts made on the different batches of kits that were imported. Intact barrels are fairly rare for the DPs, so we may need to come up with a creative way to salvage the interrupted threads from a demilled one and fit them onto a new barrel turned to the correct profile.

We’re going to make a mix of DP28 and DPM guns, so we need to work out (or copy) an acceptable semiauto fire control system for both models. The DPM has a recoil spring running behind the bolt that will make it a bit trickier unless we use DP-28 spring assemblies in both versions. Which might be the simplest solution.

Anyway, the first step is putting together a jig for rewelding the receivers. I’ll post more information on how we’re doing that in a week or two when we’ve made some progress on it (there is still a lot of work to be done on the shop – the EDM and all three lathes still need to be hooked up, and the welding area finished). Stay tuned for more updates as the project progresses!