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Old December 26, 2012, 06:29 PM   #1
Buckley
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Eddystone U.S. Model 1917 30-06

Just pulled up past threads on this rifle and I am intrigued with it. I found one today at an auction house and gave it a quick inspection as the place was crowded.The stock looks fine and original with no splits or damage and has not been "sporterized". Some wear on front sight ears ;but really not bad for a rifle this old. The barrel exterior , receiver, bolt etc are in mint condition and the cartouches are in place. Only problem I could find was that the bore is dirty and has a layer of rust . Also it appears that there is a screw missing from the base plate of the receiver near the trigger housing.

The auction house is estimating that it will sell for between $200.00 - $400.00.The rifle strikes me as being an excellent opportunity to buy a big bore for military fun shoots at my club.I would buy an M -1 Garand if I had the money ;but just can`t swing it and don`t really need a semi auto capability.

Did not have a chance to check for matching dates on the barrel and the receiver. nor for serial numbers Can anyone give me an idea where these dates and numbers might might appear on the rifle.? Is the price range accurate ? Thanks in advance for any help . Buckley
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Old December 26, 2012, 06:37 PM   #2
m.p.driver
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Barrel date is behind the front sight on top of the barrel.Hopefully 1917-1919.They made replacement barrels during WW2,for refurbishment, and will be so marked.$200-$400,hopefully closer to $300 is still a good price.Soak the barrel over night and most of the crud would probably come out.If not CMP sells replacement barrels.
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Old December 26, 2012, 06:39 PM   #3
Jim Watson
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The serial number is on the receiver ring.
The barrel is dated right behind the front sight.

All 1917s were made in 1917-1918, maybe into 1919.
A barrel dated much later would be a replacement,
If the gun is Parkerized instead of blued, that is the result of a post WWI overhaul.
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Old December 26, 2012, 06:45 PM   #4
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and look for some import markings, often on the left side of barrel or rcvr. A company name, like Blue Sky (did they import 1917's??)

That makes it less desirable.
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Old December 26, 2012, 09:06 PM   #5
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not necessarily true. importers marks are required by law and there's just no getting around them but the fact that this rifle is an american rifle on american soil suggests that if there is an importers mark that the history of this rifle extends beyond other 1917s as the US stopped using them after WWI for the most part however England's home front security and several other European resistance groups used them during WWII and these are more valuable to collectors than a gun that's been sitting in storage collecting rust for 80 years.
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Old December 27, 2012, 12:35 AM   #6
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If its in as good a condition as you indicated grab it.

Even at $400 its a good price.

Barrel does not have a serial number, you check the mfg barrel date and then see what date the serial number is for produciton (that will come up with a month and year)

OEM barrel will be within a month or two of the receiver date.

Other item to check is what stock it has. On the for-end there will be an E, R or W (possibly nothing, there seems to have been original stocks made that did not get a mfg stamp, in my limited looking I have seen two of them now and they were old and matched the gun).

If you buy it PM me and I will send you links on sights that can get you parts, how to dissemble the gun and the bolt and ID of various parts and where the markings should be on them.

Best match collector wise if the barrel and receiver are same mfg.

WWII barrel least desirable, you do find a lot that have good barrels and receivers that do not match up mfg. They were redone so much in various calibers that spare barrels were around and someone would convert them back.
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Old December 27, 2012, 08:38 AM   #7
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Even a post-WWI rebuild M1917 will have value so if it checks out otherwise $200~400 isn't too bad.

At one time M1917's were the redheaded stepchild of the collectors world. Yes, they had history, but they just weren't that desirable and they sold for cheap. Now with '03 Springfields bringing $800 and (way) up, they have come into their own as a US military collectable and the prices have started to climb.

Original condition M1917's are getting hard to find and will bring a premium. One thing about the US Endfields is that they have the manufacturers mark on all major components and are therefore much easier to verify their originality.

As for the barrel, you would be surprised what a good cleaning will do for it. I have had great success with using a bronze bore brush, Hoppes No9 and lots of elbow grease. Clean it from the breach end and after a half dozen passes with the brush, run a couple patches down the bore. It may take a while, but I have had barrels that looked hopeless come out nice using this method.

I once bought a 1898 Krag that was in beautiful exterior condition very cheap because the barrel looked like a sewer pipe. It sat in my safe for a year while I looked for a barrel for it until one day out of boredom, I decided to try and clean it up. Due to the difficulty of trying to push a brush through by hand, I wound up having to put the brush on a cleaning rod in my drill and running it through the bore (slowly) while chunks of petrified carbon came out the other end. It took a while, but eventually I was rewarded with an excellent shiny bore with very few pits.

Just for a little gun related eye candy, here is a Winchester M1917 that was overhauled at the Ogden Arsenal during WWII and inspected by Elmer Keith.




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Old December 27, 2012, 12:46 PM   #8
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I paid $500 for a matching Remington barrel/receiver. Hope to one day get an R marked.

As the de-facto was a post WWI refurbish (some escaped but unusual) that's part of the history.

Fun part was to go through it, ID what was Remington and what was not and start building a list to get it to all Remington. Stock will be the hardest.

Best sights of any gun until the 1903 A3 put the peep on the rear (K98, SMLE etc all had that forward of the receiver sight that is ok but not anywhere near as good as the 1917 type peep.

Funny to see you have the bayonet. I found one when I had mine ordered and got it. Great character and the price was decent for that too.
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Old December 27, 2012, 01:17 PM   #9
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the enfield number 4s also had a variety of sights, all of them included a peep.
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Old December 27, 2012, 08:49 PM   #10
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I stand corrected, but not by a lot (grin)
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Old December 27, 2012, 10:01 PM   #11
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if it's any consolation it is the only WWI era rifle that I'm aware of that had apertures.
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Old December 28, 2012, 11:28 AM   #12
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Some, I hope I can hold back my tears for now.

Interesting heritage for both major models (1917 and SMLE).

And an interesting conjecture if they had continued to develop the 1917 into a true carbine how popular it could have become.
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Old December 28, 2012, 11:42 AM   #13
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Quote:
The auction house is estimating that it will sell for between $200.00 - $400.00.
The auction house is wrong, if it goes to auction it's gonna go for a grand or more.

Not many around in that good of shape. Oh, and it hasn't been mentioned, the square or rectangle around the OGEK in the above pictures indicates that Elmer Keith was the inspector at the Ogden UT depot.
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Old December 28, 2012, 01:22 PM   #14
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elmer keith could inspect a mcdonalds cheeseburger, that doesn't mean it'll be worth more than it's actual value of 99 cents. unless you are familiar with elmer keith and inspectors proofs in the first place, few would even know or care who keith was and less would know what OGEK stands for.

also regardless of whether woodrow wilson himself inspected this rifle, it has a rusted out bore and missing receiver screw, repairable damage to be sure but not something that is easy to find original parts for anymore.
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Old December 28, 2012, 01:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
If you buy it PM me and I will send you links on sights that can get you parts, how to dissemble the gun and the bolt and ID of various parts and where the markings should be on them.
RC20,
Would you be kind enough to post this information for all of us that already own a Model 1917?
Thanks in advance,
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Old December 28, 2012, 01:51 PM   #16
tahunua001
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numrich arms generally has a large amount of replacement parts for most milsurp bolt actions. most of their stuff is current production however they have been known to get USGI stuff in from time to time.

liberty tree collectors also has a number of parts available but their selection isn't as wide as numrich.
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Old December 28, 2012, 04:31 PM   #17
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Happy to. I like this site a lot for the general nature of it and at times better than the experts, I haunt this one more than the others as I like the wide range of interests.

This place has a lot of parts for the 1917 (Numrich as noted has some as well)

http://ssporters.com/parts/1917-and-P14-enfield.html

This is the tear-down of the gun. The only place its wrong is taking the pins out when you remove the upper hand guards and the ring. Just spread the sling ring a bit and it slides over just fine, easy and no messing with pins.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/m1917/ri...mbly/index.asp

This is the tear down of the bolt. I cut a washer up so it horse collars over it and more secure than the nickle. Having the nickle or washer in there also deactivates the cocking part and allows you to head space it and not destroy the gauge with the cock on close feature.

http://www.surplusrifle.com/m1917/bo...mble/index.asp

CMP Forum site has some good experts. John Bear, Rick the Librarian and Chuck in Denver are all very informed.

http://forums.thecmp.org/forumdisplay.php?f=79

and the following is pretty active and " Chuck in Denver" who is one of the true experts is on both sites."

http://www.milsurps.com/forumdisplay.php?f=111

Last edited by RC20; December 28, 2012 at 04:40 PM.
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Old December 28, 2012, 05:18 PM   #18
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Thanks!

RC20,
Great stuff...Thanks!
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Old December 29, 2012, 01:31 PM   #19
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You are certainly welcome

I like the good forums because we get a lot of information from others and in turn we can pass on what we find ourselves.

I am getting some great information on a Luger I picked up. Other than liking them a lot I know (knew!) almsot nothing about them.

I would be foundering there if not for generous response from those who know those guns.
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Old December 29, 2012, 03:18 PM   #20
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If you can get it for $400 or less, get it.
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Old December 29, 2012, 04:20 PM   #21
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That "Elmer Keith" inspection stamp means more to me, as far as a Mcdonalds Hamburger goes taunhaa, there are a hell of a lot more people than you will ever realize that not are impacted by Elmer Keith and his trials and tribulations than you think. I suggest you take the time and read "Hell I Was There" you'll find he's "THE MAN"
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Old December 29, 2012, 08:05 PM   #22
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Contary to popular belief the M1917 saw quite a bit of service with the U S Army and USMC during WW2, both as drill and range rifles in training and as a weapon for non combat service troops, who often ended up in the thick of it regardless (such as at Bastogne, there are photos of cooks at Bastogne carrying the M1917), and as combat rifles for Marine mop up squads on the smaller islands when the standard Garands and Springfields were in short supply due to the massive troop build up in expectation of an invasion of Japan.
The M1917 was also commonly issued to U S Airforce airbase sentries. From what I've read (maybe true maybe not) due to concerns that curious British civilians (especially kids) in some areas might be shot by mistake they did not let the sentries carry loaded weapons and sometimes removed the bolts from these rifles, so the sentries were mainly for show. Due to pressure to get as many new recruits as possible into action Airmen seldom received much if any training with small arms, so safety was a concern.

State National Guard outfits had been asked to turn in all Springfield rifles in their possesion to be refurbished and issued to combat troops, with the promise of as new M1917 rifles and ammunition as replacements. One source from a western state wrote that they received the rifles, in excellent to new condition, but only received one five round stripper clip per rifle. They never got the chance to do any shooting with these rifles, so these remained as new when sold of as surplus. Photos of these Guardsmen on a mountain patrol show them carrying various sporting rifles and a few Krags, rifles they had ammunition for.
Another National Guardsman wrote that on arriving at Fort Dix all the excellent well cared for Springfields his outfit brought with them were confiscated never to be seen again and they were issued M1917 rifles. When word got around some other Guards units left their good Springfields at home and bought some unserviceable beat up drill rifles to turn in when they got there.

Probably the best buy on an M1917 would be those sold to Canada, I think these went mainly to the RCAF.
A veteran Canadian armorer wrote that for some unknown reason the bolts were shipped seperately, and not serial numbered to the rifle. This armorer and his mates spent weeks carefully handfitting bolts to these rifles and checking headspace, then numbered each bolt to the rifle it had been fitted to.
So if you find one of these with matching numbered bolt its likely a hair better mechanically than its contemporaries in equal condition.

I have seen an old newspaper article about the sale of these rifles to canada, the number of 80,000 rifles was mentioned, there may have been more.

Many Canadian M1917 rifles were given to Denmark to replace rifles lost in the war. The rifle was so popular that the Danes continued to issue these to arctic patrols for many years, until replaced by a clone of the Winchester Model 70 also in .30-06, and these occasionally show up in far flung ranger stations even today.
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Old January 2, 2013, 10:09 PM   #23
Buckley
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Awesome Response - Maybe Next Time

Many thanks to all who responded to my request for information on the Eddystone Model 1917 rifle. You instantly provided me with more information than I could ever have developed on my own.The members of this forum are terrific in terms of sharing their knowledge unselfishly.

The auction was held New Year`s day . My practice on auctions is to determine what I can actually afford to spend on a given item and leave a bid , I left a bid of $400.00 plus one additional bid of $25.00. I came out the underbidder at $425.00. The rifle sold for $450.00 plus the buyer`s premium of 10%.

We buy a lot of antiques ( furniture, glass, pottery, etc.) at auction and follow the same practice of determining what we feel an item is worth to us and leave bids. In this way there is no chance we might be caught up in a bidding frenzy and wind up exceeding our budget..

Hopefully I`ll find another Eddystone Model 17 someday and will have all of your knowledge as a guide. Again, Many Thanks. Buckley
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Old January 3, 2013, 03:37 PM   #24
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Buckley, I hope you find one in good shape soon. I got really lucky and found some at the CPM South Store, and I had an hour to inspect and select what I felt was the best one. The bore was rough though, and took forever to get somewhat clean... but that rifle is super accurate for a 95 year old gun: 2" groups at 100 yards not uncommon at all, plus it absorbs recoil much better than my M1903A3. It's great fun to shoot, and mine fires many loads equally well. It's easily my favorite mil-surp shooter that I currently own.
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Old January 3, 2013, 11:58 PM   #25
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For those interested (or have older eyes and need to), The SK not intrusive (not holes to drill and tap) scope mount for the Model of 1917 works very well.

I went with the SK rings as they work fine but the mount also comes setup for Weaver (those you have to buy so the SK mount and rings package is less and they are the best height to clear the bolt handle)

I am in the need to, got one when I got the gun but the range closed for the month and the weather was sub zero anyway!

Range is open, a whole lot warmer and got it mounted and tested today.

The only caveat is the front part of the scope has to be no larger than a Redfield 4-12 hunting scope (Revolution?) Anything larger hits the upper forearm. My brothers suggestion (as I also have Cabellas 4-12 that is too large) is to get a sacrificial forearm and carve it down. That would work fine.

Also, due to the height you do not get a cheek weld, so either have to adjust or get a strap on type.

The mount itself goes on simply and easily. Only minor caveat is the rear set screws for the rings have to be put in before you pout the mount on as the ears are just a tad too high to allow you to insert once it is mounted.

Seems plenty solid.

Got about a 2 inch group at 100 yds at the end. Lot of fuzzting with how to get a solid sight picture but the scope setup works.

I suspect better as time goes by and will see what kind of bullets it likes (reloads). Cleaned the bore during the shooting and after and its cleaned up real nicely.
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