Need opinions on M1917 Eddystone...


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tone
February 4, 2012, 03:14 PM
This was my grandfather's rifle in the war. I acquired it after my father passed almost two years ago. It's been sitting in the closet since. Well, now I am getting the few parts it needs to be functional. I would really like to shoot it. (I will have it checked out by a gunsmith of course) before I do. I have, however, been thinking of restoring it. Part of me wants to keep it like it is, but is there a way to restore it and keep all of the original markings? I was thinking parkerize, but don't know. Really need some suggestions/advice guys!:confused:

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CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 03:43 PM
What condition is it in? Those are great rifles.

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 03:46 PM
Also, a gunsmith check may not be necessary, unlike the 1903's the M1917 has one of the strongest actions ever made, it should be able to handle all modern SAAMI approved .30-06 loads.

cyclopsshooter
February 4, 2012, 03:49 PM
Do what makes you happy, but beware of the regrets that come later after you have learned more. There is nothing wrong with appreciating an honestly worn firearm..

rcmodel
February 4, 2012, 03:53 PM
A worn original finish is worth more to a collector then the best refinish Job you or anyone else could possibly do to it.

Also, your grandfather put those scratches and bluing wear on it with his own hands in the Great War to End all Wars.

Do you really want to sand that history off??

rc

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 04:02 PM
If I were you I'd buy a sporterized 1917 to enjoy and keep this one safe. You could even get a display case for it, do you have any other war mementoes you could put with it, it would be a very fitting tribute to him.

OR

Fire it off once on his birthday every year. That may be even more fitting.

kaferhaus
February 4, 2012, 04:10 PM
1917 pattern rifles are very strong indeed. Collector interest, even in correct "minty" specimens is very limited. I'd leave it alone as it would seem to have some family history.

They're heavy, a bit ungainly and most of them need a much higher front sight blade installed. They were fitted with front sight blades to compensate for the extreme ranges between the trenches knowing that the GIs using them were likely not to adjust the rear sight properly.... I bought a crate load of them 25yrs or so ago and ever one of them shot 8-10" high at 100yds.

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 04:16 PM
1917 pattern rifles are very strong indeed. Collector interest, even in correct "minty" specimens is very limited. I'd leave it alone as it would seem to have some family history.

They're heavy, a bit ungainly and most of them need a much higher front sight blade installed. They were fitted with front sight blades to compensate for the extreme ranges between the trenches knowing that the GIs using them were likely not to adjust the rear sight properly.... I bought a crate load of them 25yrs or so ago and ever one of them shot 8-10" high at 100yds.
Ah yes, write of a great milsurp because the sight is a little off... not like that could ever be changed or anything.

kaferhaus
February 4, 2012, 04:45 PM
Ah yes, write of a great milsurp because the sight is a little off... not like that could ever be changed or anything.

Apparently you failed to read where I said "needs to be replaced".... didn't register with you? Brownell's carries one that you can file down to "fit" the load you want.... jeez, get a grip.

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 04:46 PM
Actually I did miss that. Oops. Sorry.

dprice3844444
February 4, 2012, 04:55 PM
have the bore cleaned,check head space and function of all safeties, and enjoy it.

surfinUSA
February 4, 2012, 08:50 PM
Great rifle. Most folks don't realize that the majority of Americans (75% or more) carried this rifle in WW1 rather than the famous Springfield. They make great sporters and one day I may seek out an original.

gearchecker
February 4, 2012, 09:02 PM
If it were my Eddystone, I'd be inclined to keep it coated very lightly to keep it from rusting and enjoy it. They're great shooters and fun to shoot as well. Like Kaferhaus mentioned most seem to shoot high. Mine too.
Brownells is an excellent source for anything you might need for it. You might want to add wideners to yuor list of suppliers too.
Out here in Idaho an Eddystone in good condition sells for around $250-300. Excellent condition brings a bit more, but they're hardly ever found in excellent condition.
I wouldn't have it Parkerized, just keep it oiled and it'll stay in that condition pretty much forever. The action can easily handle a common commercial load without any issues that I know about. If you like hunting, it'll make an excellent deer rifle and wild hog won't stand a chance either. It's weight give it much stability and with practice the accuracy is excellent.
That's a nice rifle to inherit. Treat it well and it'll be still around to give to your grandchildren.

Regards,
Gearchecker

HKGuns
February 4, 2012, 09:04 PM
Depending on condition you should probably just clean up the stock with some mineral spirits and oil the stock afterward, assuming it is already a standard military stock. I restored this previously lightly sporterized version back to its Military glory and it was quite rewarding because it has a family history as well.

http://hkguns.zenfolio.com/img/s7/v8/p908234421-5.jpg

ball3006
February 4, 2012, 10:09 PM
The 1917s were blued until the end of production where they got a black finish. I don't know what it was/is. Mine are blued and I never had to change anything about the sights. All shoot just fine. The rifles that were rearsenaled during WW2 were parkerized. A 1917 in military configuration is getting close to 800-900 bucks in value....chris3

lefteyedom
February 4, 2012, 11:21 PM
If the gun is currently close to original mil-spec, and can be returned to "as issued" then by all means do that. The numbers of 1917 that are still intact is drying up every year. Once the grinder starts reshaping the receiver there is no going back.

After that, we get into the George Washington's axle problem. It has worn out 3 axle heads and 24 handles. How much of the original rifle do you need to still be there to be happy?

I totally rebuilt two of my father's rifles to the point where only the receiver and bolt remain. They are guns I use every year; and I am very happy with them. The other 10 or so long arms remain as he left them to me.

As for the 1917, The receiver has been the base for untold thousands of hunting rifles. The next "butchered" 1917 I get my hands on is going to become a 300 H&H or a 375 H&H. It would be far cheaper to buy a new rifle than what it will cost to build a first rate custom. Being a "Bubba Sportizered" gun is a sad retirement for a noble war veteran.

But that is just me...

madcratebuilder
February 5, 2012, 06:29 AM
Being a family rifle I would keep it as is. The original metal finish was a dark brown bluing. War2 refurbs received a parked finish. If you like cartouche marks this is a good rifle for you, almost every part is marked with either "E" "W" or "R"

Chronic weak point on these is the ejector. Poor design causes early failure. You can buy a replacement with a coil spring to replace the original. Some Eddiestones that were re-barreled cracked at the receiver ring. If you have a war2 barrel "JA" it's a good idea to check this.

You can find some rufurbs with Elmer Kieth's stamp mark on them, "OGEK" In my AO a complete 1917 is at least $500 bucks these days and going up.

kaferhaus
February 5, 2012, 08:11 AM
Out here in Idaho an Eddystone in good condition sells for around $250-300. Excellent condition brings a bit more, but they're hardly ever found in excellent condition.

Same story here on the prices. I almost bought another one a few weeks back at a gun show. It was in very good overall condition and correct. But the dealer wanted $400 for it so I passed it up.

One of mine was very tastefully sporterized back in the late 50s, ears ground off and receiver drilled and tapped. With good ammo it shoots under 1.5" 3 shot groups. Which is about what you would expect from your average modern commercial bolt gun. The downside is that it's still woefully heavy...LOL gets heavier every year as I get older...

The other three I have are all original. One could pass for never issued, one in excellent correct condition and the other as overall very good.

3 are blued, one is a arsenal refurb so it's parked. All of the as issued guns shot way high (except the parkerized gun it was dead on... front blade was probably changed when it was re-worked)

Brownells sells a replacement front sight blade that is "file to fit" specifically for these rifles.

I don't use the rifles much any longer, but 30yrs ago, the sporter was my deer rifle for several years. Finally got tired of toting it...LOL

tone
February 5, 2012, 12:42 PM
Well, thanks for all of the responses. I do appreciate it. I have had the same idea as to keeping all original. Certainly not selling it at all and definitely would not "bubba" it up. Really would like to just clean it up a bit, but not sure how far to go. Is there a way to clean it up without loosing the "patina". Also, I've got a main spring and cocking piece coming from Numrich. Then, it will be fully functional. Anyway, here's a few pics. Let me know what you think....

http://tinypic.com/r/2q1c9so/5
http://tinypic.com/r/wcgu0z/5
http://tinypic.com/r/15ydojc/5
http://tinypic.com/r/2i9s6cz/5

CmdrSlander
February 5, 2012, 12:45 PM
Looks good for a war horse. Is that wear or rust on the receiver/bolt.

Vaarok
February 5, 2012, 12:46 PM
East coast value seems to be in the $500 range, at least up in NY. Here in NC, I haven't seen any under $400. Regardless, it looks full military, so keep it as-is and enjoy.

tone
February 5, 2012, 02:04 PM
No rust at all... just a lot of wear, that's why I was considering a reblue, but I really just want to make sure it's protected.

tone
February 5, 2012, 02:28 PM
Hey HKGuns... That certainly is a beautiful stock! What all is involved in the process? Also, looking at my pics, what would you recommend I do with the metal. It's just so worn, but I want to keep it protected... Thanks, tone.

mboylan
February 5, 2012, 04:04 PM
Don't reblue it. Don't refinish the stock. If it's all original and hasn't been refinished or altered in any way, some people on the board are underestimating it's value.

Most of these fine rifles have been sporterized, reimported with new marks or refinished. Original military configuration and condition is getting to be rare.

ol' scratch
February 5, 2012, 05:07 PM
There are people undervaluing the rifle. The CMP was just selling service grades for $600. I paid $450 for a Remington in field condition with a mint original barrel. You can shoot modern ammo in it. I wouldn't change a thing. They are great rifles and I really like shooting mine.

ol' scratch
February 5, 2012, 05:12 PM
Hey HKGuns... That certainly is a beautiful stock! What all is involved in the process? Also, looking at my pics, what would you recommend I do with the metal. It's just so worn, but I want to keep it protected... Thanks, tone.
You have to really be careful "restoring" stocks. I have done lots of Garand stocks. I haven't gotten to my Enfield yet, but I will. I use Acetone and just rub it lightly. It takes the grime off without destroying the color. I got the tip from one of the gentlemen at the CMP North Store. After that, use BLO or Natural Tung Oil (Avoid the "Finish") to make it "pop." Avoid poly or other hard coatings. Those rifles have what is called an oil finish. Keep it as original as possible. If you do what I recommend, the rifle will still have collector value and retain its original finish.

mtrmn
February 5, 2012, 06:06 PM
My grandfather gave me one as well. I have it in it's original condition except I removed the rear sight and mounted a S&K scope mount which does not require modifying the gun other than the sight removal. Scoped it because my eyes are getting so bad I can no longer deal with the peep sights.

With handloads it will put 3 rounds in about 7/8" at 100. My accuracy loads are 150gr Nosler ballistic tips over 57 gr IMR4350 with a CCI large rifle primer.

I had to correct an over headspace problem but all is well now. If I want to hit what I'm shooting at on the first round it's my go-to rifle and I enjoy shooting Grampa's gun a lot.

HKGuns
February 5, 2012, 06:45 PM
Hey HKGuns... That certainly is a beautiful stock! What all is involved in the process? Also, looking at my pics, what would you recommend I do with the metal. It's just so worn, but I want to keep it protected... Thanks, tone.

Tone, your stock is just dirty from years of grime and dirty hands fondling it all over. Here is what I would do with your stock and this is based on the advice I received for mine from a master cabinet maker who restores lots of Milsurp stocks. You can read Cabinetman's many articles / posts over here.

Click (http://parallaxscurioandrelicfirearmsforums.yuku.com/forums/101/C-R-stock-cleaning#.Ty8VKsgd4uk)

1. Remove the reciever, stock and trigger guard from the stock.

2. Buy some MINERAL SPIRITS and wipe it down liberally, wiping heavily with a soft cotton cloth in the darkest areas. You can repeat until you've removed as much grime as you desire. I DO NOT RECOMMEND USING ACETONE AS IT WILL REMOVE THE FINISH.

3. After you are done wiping with the mineral spirits, let it dry completely and before you start the next step be sure the mineral spirits has evaporated completely.

4. Buy some BLO (Boiled Linseed Oil) and wipe down liberally on your stock. Use your hands to work it into the rifle.

5. Let it sit for 1/2 hour.

6. After 1/2 hour wipe off the excess BLO with a soft cotton cloth.

7. Let it sit in a well ventilated, dust free environment for 24 hours. (I hang mine in my attached garage.)

8. Repeat steps 4 through 7 three times or more as you desire.

After this process you'll have an amazingly clean and wonderful looking stock.

gpb
February 5, 2012, 06:49 PM
Be careful with the rags with BLO on them. Under the right conditions they can start a fire. Check for the precautions on handling them.

HKGuns
February 5, 2012, 06:51 PM
Be careful with the rags with BLO on them. Under the right conditions they can start a fire.

Yes, great point gpb.

tone
February 6, 2012, 11:48 AM
Thanks for the responses. I do understand the safety precaution as I have refinished two SKS's. (Cosmoline is my enemy). At this point, I'm leaving the metal as is. I'm going to take some time to consider redoing the stock as HK said, cause, damn, that thing is beautiful! I'll let you guys know what I decide to do. It's been a long time since I've been on these forums. I don't know why I was gone so long... You guys are awesome!:D

BrocLuno
February 6, 2012, 12:22 PM
Good one. I have 4 Eddystones. They are heavy and big and strong. They had a tendency to get cracked receivers during arsenal rebuilds due to over-torquing the barrels. That's the number one cause of Eddy's with low values. Yours was carried by G'Dad and brought home so it was not rebuilt between the wars. All original - Whew - it will be either a family heirloom or a great collectors piece if the family does not want it any more in the future?

Point being, you have made the right decision. Keep it original. Get a photo of Grandpa back in the day. Make the connection between the rifle and one person. An original war horse with known provenance is worth many times more than one without.

Normally I clean and refinish as most of my old rifles are nothing special. Even the WW-II bring backs are beaters and were parted out on the way. But yours is a very special rifle with a known history. Keep it original and well and it will reward as you talk about what the family did in the past :)

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