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300magman
January 27, 2010, 09:32 AM
I have an old WWI vintage 30.06 that has been in the family forever, but after an extended period of unattended storage it needs some restoration.
A lot of the blueing is worn off with age or at least it has become thin and shiny, and there is light surface rust over a lot of the rifle and one or two deeper spots where the scope bases meet the rifle.

The barrel is likely too far gone to ever be a great shooter, and I don't have a big budget but I would like to get the rifle reblued or treated with something to give it a lasting finish again....something that could stand up to many years on a gun rack and an annual deer hunt.

Can anyone recommend a Smith/Shop that could take good care of this old gun and preferably not cost an arm and a leg.......and would having the rifle treated cover over, remove, or otherwise damage/obscure the stampings and engravings on the barrel and action. They are quite numerous and somewhat distinctive, I would like to preserve them if possible...they just give it a bit of recognition/character.

As a final challenge, the bases are in pretty rough shape and changing them would really help its appearance and probably performance, but the screws are slightly buggered and RED locktighted on (done about 40 years ago) Is there any chance a good smith could remove/replace them without harming the rifle?

rezmedic54
January 27, 2010, 10:03 AM
Pic's would help. I've done a few rifles and shotguns like you described. They came out very good but before anyone could give you a true price on bringing new life to your rifle they would need to see it. Send me some good pic's and I'll let you know.

mapsjanhere
January 27, 2010, 10:36 AM
Red loctite isn't any worse really than blue, it still comes out at elevated temperatures, just takes a bit more heat. At worst the screws can be drilled out and the threads chased.
If you have lots of "stamping", you might want to take some pictures and post it in the Nolden section, so you actually know the history behind it.

300magman
January 27, 2010, 01:06 PM
Thanks for the suggestons, I'll post up some pictures later this evening when I can get my hands on a camera.
I've been chasing this rifle's origins for a long time now, and so far I've been told everything from "blah, just another old war rifle, a million out there just like it" to "wow, I've seen lots of these, but never seen one with markings/proof marks like that before"
All I know for certain is that its been in the family for at least 50 years, probably 60+

warbirdlover
January 27, 2010, 01:57 PM
Assume it is an '03 Springfield? Friend had a sniper version and was deadly accurate with the original barrel. There are sources on the web where you can find out about it based on serial number.

Winchester_73
January 27, 2010, 02:01 PM
Not to restate the obvious, but I would confirm that its an original sniper rifle before I would bother restoring it. If the gun was altered and someone added a scope onto it, its not worth the cost of a restoration. Perhaps make a wall hanger out of it in that case. If the gun is an original sniper, I would only have a very qualified person mess with it. A WWI sniper 1903 is worth a nice sum of money so don't let any basement gunsmith work on your heirloom if thats the case.

300magman
January 30, 2010, 11:19 PM
I didn't mean to mislead with my first post when I said the rifle was WWI era...its actually a bit later than that, most people seem to refer to it as a P17, but I've been told that isn't exactly correct.
And I'm quite certain it doesn't hold much value outside of the value to me and my family, because of its history with us. It seems quite certain that it had been modified from its original military form before my family came to be in possession of it. As well the stock was changed around 1975 when the orginal was brocken by a careless friend who had the nerve to fall out of a tree and land on it.

I really just want to fix it up so that it can live on for its sentimental value to me...and I am curious about its origins.

Here are some pictures of the most prominent stampings and engravings.

300magman
January 30, 2010, 11:21 PM
More pics

300magman
January 30, 2010, 11:22 PM
Even more pics

300magman
January 30, 2010, 11:26 PM
Last one I swear......oh, and though I don't have a picture of it, the butt plate is solid steel and has a hinged circular opening that I would estimate to be slightly less than an inch in diameter, which contains a cyliner with a screw off top..seemingly water tight, and containing a tool of sorts.

300magman
January 30, 2010, 11:28 PM
..

T. O'Heir
January 30, 2010, 11:48 PM
Those stamps are English. Especially the 'B.S.A.'(Birmingham Small Arms) and the 'Made in England'.
It's a P17(Pattern 17) that was sporterized. It was made by BSA. A sniper's rifle it ain't.
The steel butt plate isn't unusual. The cylinder is an oiler.
"...a tool of sorts..." Got a picture of it?
The BP NP .30/06 2.250" stamp is the stamp required under English law for any milsurp sold through England. Kind of odd that it was tested with a 220 grian bullet though.

gearchecker
January 30, 2010, 11:50 PM
It looks like a "sporterized" Remington Model 1917 30-06 Eddystone rifle.
They called it an P17 or a "US Enfield". It was produced at the Eddystone Armory for the Brits because they couldn't build enough of thier own .303 Enfields.

Since the Eddystone armory was already tuned up for the 30-06 they took the Enfield design and modified the chambering to the 30-06.

Here is a link to a website explaining your rifle.
http://world.guns.ru/rifle/rfl19-e.htm

I bought one of these at a Pawn Shop here in north Idaho about 2 months ago for $150.00 in much worse condition.
I just saw one yesterday at the Cabela's here in pretty good condition for $249.95.
You rifle is not in original condition and the stock has been "Sporterized".
It was common practice to cut down the stocks and barrels to reduce the length and weight to make them better hunting rifles after the war.
After cutting them down they would mount a front sight on them and usually weld it to the barrel. Yours will be a prime candidate to use for hunting medium game. As far as historical value there isn't much to it.
there were hundreds of thousands of these rifles produced and it is rare to find one in original condition now.
Restoring it is cost prohibitive. It would cost far more to restore it than the value would ever reach after the restoration.
My advise is to either shoot it, or to hange it up as a mantle piece.

300magman
January 31, 2010, 12:17 AM
The value isn't really important to me...nor is a full "pretty" restoration, my concern is just getting the steel back into a stable and long lasting state. The past decade or so, it seems to rust faster and faster, even when well oiled.


I do wonder about the assertion of it being an Eddystone though, I've had 2 other rifles that were nearly identical (other than completely different markings on all parts) and they were both CLEARLY labeled as "Eddystone" in very prominent fashion. :confused: Would some have been labelled as such and some not?

And yes, sporterized it is...the barrel is also 24" at present..probably shortened from 26" as the other two similar rifles I owned were both 26".

DnPRK
January 31, 2010, 12:22 AM
It has a mix of US 1917 Rifle parts and British P14 rifle parts (bolt and barrel).

T. O'Heir
January 31, 2010, 12:38 AM
"...assertion of it being an Eddystone..." It's clearly stamped BSA. The 'Made in England' is a U.S. import requirement.
It's in fairly good condition. I'd give it a 'go over' with 0000 steel wool and some light oil(gun oil will do) then oil it.
"...the rifle was WWI era..." It is.

gyvel
January 31, 2010, 12:44 AM
Those stamps are English. Especially the 'B.S.A.'(Birmingham Small Arms) and the 'Made in England'.
It's a P17(Pattern 17) that was sporterized. It was made by BSA. A sniper's rifle it ain't.
The steel butt plate isn't unusual.

The gun wasn't made in England. It is a U.S. Model 1917 "Enfield," originally made in the USA and sporterized in England, hence the BSA and "Made in England" engravings (not stampings).

It has a mix of US 1917 Rifle parts and British P14 rifle parts (bolt and barrel).

Neither the bolt nor the barrel are from a P14 as the barrel is chambered for .30-06, not .303, and the P14 bolt wouldn't work with a .30-06 round.

Abel
January 31, 2010, 09:24 AM
The barrel is likely too far gone to ever be a great shooter

You won't know that until you shoot it.

Can anyone recommend a Smith/Shop that could take good care of this old gun and preferably not cost an arm and a leg....As a final challenge, the bases are in pretty rough shape and changing them would really help its appearance and probably performance, but the screws are slightly buggered and RED locktighted on

Any gunsmith worth a damn can take your rifle and send it off to have it reblued (some will reblue themselves), take it completely apart/clean, and mount a scope on it for a fair price. Stock refinishing is very easy and you will save alot by doing this yourself. There's plenty of info on the internet on how to do that.

The only thing left to do, in my mind at least, is to find a reputable gunsmith in your area.

mapsjanhere
January 31, 2010, 02:53 PM
The gun doesn't seem to have neither British (broad arrow, or the star-like double broad arrow for demilitarized) nor US property marks. This, to me, indicates that we don't have a sporterized military gun but a commercial product for the civilian market. Might have been assembled from leftover parts after the war for the US export market, what would explain the unusual US caliber on an English made P14.

DnPRK
January 31, 2010, 03:47 PM
Neither the bolt nor the barrel are from a P14 as the barrel is chambered for .30-06, not .303, and the P14 bolt wouldn't work with a .30-06 round.
Wrong. The proof marks on the bolt handle and barrel (crown) are 100% British, not US Ordnance marks (eagle's head) as seen on the bolt catch/ejector housing. My guess is that it was commercially reworked by BSA some time between WW1 and WW2

300magman
January 31, 2010, 04:01 PM
lol, this old rifle always has had a way of making people argue over its origins ;)
Thanks for the input so far guys....but does anyone know of somewhere I could run the serial number and see what that turns up?

DnPRK
January 31, 2010, 04:37 PM
Picture 8.jpg shows the front receiver ring was ground down, removing the original serial, and a new custom serial was hand stamped by whoever did the customization. There is no way to determine its date of manufacture without the original military serial number.