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Old April 14, 2009, 09:44 PM   #1
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US model of 1917 chrome/nickel?????

Have researched for days before posting and cannot for the life of me find information on a chrome or nickel plated 1917 I have come across at a local shop. Shop owner says it's a ceremonial rifle. Very nice condition and it does not appear redone but I don't know. Does anyone have any information to share, I'd certainly appreciate it. I understand many were converted or customized but this one is very authentic looking with the exception of the metal finish.

Thanks in advance

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Old April 14, 2009, 09:48 PM   #2
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There was a guy from one of the U.S Milsurp companies who went through a spell a few years back of doing this to all kinds of rifles ... No5's got hit and Mosins etc ... I believe this is exactly the same result here. I have seen them turn up on the Milsurp boards from time to time.

Personally I think they are hideous.

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Old April 14, 2009, 10:28 PM   #3
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I seen a Winchester M1 Carbine that had been done that way. Ick it went from a historic collectable to a pimp stick in the blink of a plating tank. It seems the 1950's were a bad time for cheap and plentiful war surplus rifles( now neither cheap nor plentiful)...everybody seemed to have to try thier hand at bubba-nazation back when.
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Old April 15, 2009, 04:33 PM   #4
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Model 1917s and U.S. Krags were once very plentiful and cheap, so many became the gun of choice for drill teams, color guards and the like. Some were chrome (or, rarely, nickel) plated for show, and usually deactivated to a greater or lesser extent, everything from cutting the firing pin to welding everything movable.

The good news is that the plating can usually be removed. The bad news is that the rifle may be junk underneath because the plater used a big belt sander and wire brushes to get down to base metal for plating. (You can't plate over bluing or Parkerizing.)

Another common practice was to paint the rifles in school colors, and some of those crop up from time to time. (Today, the very idea of giving a real gun, even deactivated, to a high school or college color guard would cause the nut-case liberals to have heart attacks, but those were different times.)

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Old April 16, 2009, 05:14 AM   #5
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Parade or Drill rifle

+1 in Agreement with Jim. It sounds like a parade or drill rifle.

Your local VFW usually has a squad's worth of these rifles that they use in parades or at Veteran's funerals. Or used to. Seems like they are selling out to CMP more and more.

I have seen some with the stocks painted white!!!
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Old April 16, 2009, 05:38 AM   #6
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There must still be a number of working ex-army rifles around in the hands of drill squads and the like because they are used for firing salutes at funerals. There was such a squad at my father's funeral a few years ago and the members of the saluting squad were pretty much my father's age. Even though I made the funeral arragements, I have no idea who arranged the saluting squad, presumably the funeral director. The funeral director was a relative who graduated from high school with my mother.

My wife's father died three weeks ago today and though he was also a veteran (Army Air Corps), there was no saluting squad. There was a Mason ceremony instead.

The custom appears to be to present the family with the empty shell casings after the funeral.
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Old April 16, 2009, 09:25 PM   #7
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"...used for firing salutes at funerals..." Most of which get little or no cleaning or maintainence. Rusted and pitted barrels on most of 'em.
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Old April 17, 2009, 07:15 AM   #8
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And you know, I have absolutely no recollection of the model rifle used for firing the salute. Springfield bolt actions still show up in Washington, D.C., for honor guards. Navy, I think.

This reminds me of something from years ago. I used to attend the St. Andrew's Ball held by the St. Andrew's Society in Washington, D.C. At the time, it was actually held in a big hotel in Washington. There was going to be a color guard (they would say "colour guard"). Naturally, any self-respecting color guard has to have rifles and they started asking around. I happened to have several Lee-Enfield rifles at the time, which naturally would be most correct for something like that, so I loaned them two. Just think about it. Here I was driving into D.C. carrying two completely functional bolt action rifles, and bringing them upstairs to the ballroom, where they were used, then sat next to the table we had. Then I carried them to the car and off to home. This was about 30 years ago. I doubt anyone could get away with that now.

They weren't chrome plated, either.
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Old April 19, 2009, 03:58 PM   #9
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Chrome plated

I have to agree with some of the statements here. I was at Fishburne Military School (Waynesboro) in the 70's and the Color Guard carried chrome plated 1903 rifles that were mostly functional. There deactivation was to remove the firing pin. We also had a drill team with the same '03's and 03a3's that as a stock etc was broken they were thrown in the trash! No I did not leave them there!
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Old April 19, 2009, 05:06 PM   #10
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Sounds like more trouble than it is worth, unless you want a wallhanger. A very flashy wallhanger. I hope the price is very low as you know the dealer talked it down and payed peanuts for it.
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