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Thread: U. S. Model 1917 Enfield question

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    97th Signalman's Avatar
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    U. S. Model 1917 Enfield question

    I am considering adding a 1917 Enfield to my collection. Winchesters seem to be the priciest, followed by Remington and Eddystone in that order. I have read elsewhere that Eddystone rifles had an issue with cracked receivers. I read that the cracks were hard to detect and weapons with such a crack should not be fired (which makes sense). Several of the Eddystones that I have been looking at on the web seem to have heat treat marks visibe on the receiver side raild. The receiver generally appears lighter in color (more gray than black) from the rear bridge up to about one inch from the front receiver ring.

    1. How wide spread was the cracking issue?

    2. Were did the cracks occurr on the receiver?

    3. Is this heat treating coloration described above a sign of heat treating to correct the cracking issue?

    4. If model 17's were re-arsenaled for WWII, as many were, were they inpsected and re-proofed to eliminate those with cracking issues?

    Obviously, I want to avoid any risk of getting a rifle with a cracked receiver but I would like to take advantage of the lower prices for Eddystones. Maybe I should consider a Winchester because of family connection. My great Uncle, John Otterson, was president of Winchester from 1917 to 1924. Maybe I should seek out a Winchester Model 1917 as all were made during his tenure at Winchester.

    In any event I would value comments and suggestions from anyone with experience and knowledge related to Model 1917 Enfields.
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    Last edited by 97th Signalman; 05-29-2007 at 07:49 AM.

    97th Signal Bn, 7th Army Main Communications, Germany, 1960-63

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    Veteran Tread_Head's Avatar
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    I'm not to familiar w/the Eddystone M1917, but I do own an all original Winchester M1917 made in 1918 (pictured below). From my experience firing her, the M1917 is very accurate, but she kicks much more than my K98 and slightly more than my Mosin-Nagant. Ammunition is plentiful and pretty cheap. If you are looking for an all 100% Winchester/Remington/Eddystone, made sure to check the barrel for its date and manufacture. It can be found behind the front sight post. Also, most manufactures will stamp the rear sight, stock, and other parts with the first letter of their name ("W" for Winchester, "E" for Eddystone, ect.) I have been seeing less and less of the M1917 at gun shows, and some of the ratty ones are priced too high IMO. Sorry I cannot help you w/your Eddystone questions, but I'm sure someone else here knows the answers.



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    Norton's Avatar
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    Signal, I am suprised to hear about cracked receivers on M 1917 Enfields of any make.
    They were and I assume still are considerd one of the strongest of the Military Mauser type actions ever built. I know from the 1920s to the 1950s they were used as a platform to build custom 'High Power' big game rifles. I know they were built in 300 Winchester magnum and was considered to be perfectly safe with that strong round.
    I am not saying you are wrong but I have never heard about weak M 17 or P14 receivers in my life. So if you find out some details please post them as I am very interested in the M 1917. It is one of my favorites.
    I have heard about Krag receivers having age cracks.
    We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union

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    Senior Veteran weasel_master's Avatar
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    Perro's got one for sale if you haven't seen.

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    97th Signalman's Avatar
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    Source article on Enfield 1917 receiver cracks

    Here is where I read about the cracked receiver issue:

    http://www.recguns.com/Sources/IIID2a5.html

    The following is an excerpt from the article:

    Model 1917 rifles were well made, and those on the market are generally in better condition than British No. 3 Enfields (Pattern 14 Enfield). However, many specimens have neglected bores, and some, especially those made by Eddystone, have cracked receiver rings. These cracks are often not easily detected, and specimens with this fault should not be fired.

    97th Signal Bn, 7th Army Main Communications, Germany, 1960-63

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    Norton's Avatar
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    Thumbs up

    Signal that was good article and the first I have heard of Receiver cracks on those makes. I did not know the Army was torn between it and the M 1903 in 1919. They were not sure which one to make the 2nd standard subsitute and be put in storage.
    It all came down to windage adjusments.
    I like the M 1917 because it looks and feels like like a tank and is built like an ox. But If I had to carry a US bolt action into a war I would want the the 1903 A3 as it's lighter and shorter. But still it is one hell of a combat rifle.
    I heard it was unpopular to use for D&C and to march with.. Also it was difficult to do inspection arms as opposed to the 1903.
    We thought about it for a long time, "Endeavor to persevere." And when we had thought about it long enough, we declared war on the Union

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    Quote Originally Posted by 97th Signalman View Post
    Here is where I read about the cracked receiver issue:

    http://www.recguns.com/Sources/IIID2a5.html

    The following is an excerpt from the article:

    Model 1917 rifles were well made, and those on the market are generally in better condition than British No. 3 Enfields (Pattern 14 Enfield). However, many specimens have neglected bores, and some, especially those made by Eddystone, have cracked receiver rings. These cracks are often not easily detected, and specimens with this fault should not be fired.
    I guess even "experts" can make mistakes. The Pattern 1914 is actually an Enfield Rifle, Number 2.

    I heard the receiver cracking was due to overtightening when a new barrel was fitted. I could be wrong.

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    Veteran walt-oxie1's Avatar
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    The 1914 was mass produced for the British and when the US got involved in WWI they rebarreled alot of P14 in 30-06 making them 1917 pattern rifles to supply US troops. The early 1917 rifles were in fact reworked P14 rifles which have had issues with them cracking.

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    RIP 1/6/2012 okie shooter's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Norton View Post
    Signal that was good article and the first I have heard of Receiver cracks on those makes. I did not know the Army was torn between it and the M 1903 in 1919. They were not sure which one to make the 2nd standard subsitute and be put in storage.
    I read some where when the AEF went to europe 75% carried 1917 rifles vs 25% with 1903 springfields,(wasn't Sgt York issued one, but there is debate with what he used). I imgaine it was the armies vanity that kept the springfield in service, the army couldnt stand not having a home designed gun I imagine(yet both rifles were mauser based).
    Still building bigger and better bombs for your brighter tommrows(aw heck and takeing them apart and demilling them for that tommrow too)

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    Senior Veteran Woodman in MO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by M1Marksman View Post
    I guess even "experts" can make mistakes. The Pattern 1914 is actually an Enfield Rifle, Number 2.

    I heard the receiver cracking was due to overtightening when a new barrel was fitted. I could be wrong.
    No, the P14 is the No3, the No2 was a No1 in 22lr for training.

    I do agree that the receiver cracking was due to over tightening barrels.

    I'd get the first/best M1917 you can get and wouldn't worry about the cracking issue.
    "When shoes and clothes and food, when even hope is gone, we'll have the rifle."

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