? 1917 Eddystone(value/advice/expertise)


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theinvisibleheart
December 6, 2012, 03:24 PM
I have questions about 1917 Eddystone.

Are they variants of 1903 Springfield?

How do I tell if it's the original barrel or not?

If all the parts are matching?

What should I look for when looking to buy one?

What are market value for them?

How do I tell if the receiver has problem or not?

Will the price for them appreciate when 2017(100 year anniversary of 1917) comes by?

Is there any s/n range that I have to be aware of?

Thanks. Appreciate your help.

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Jim Watson
December 6, 2012, 03:30 PM
Until a surplus expert comes along:

No.

Maker's mark and date on barrel.

At least some parts are stamped with maker's mark.

Originality and condition.

I am not up to date on prices.

The stories about cracked Eddystones largely arise out of removing the very tight barrel. If it has the original barrel, it is probably ok.

Crystal ball is offline.

No.

theinvisibleheart
December 6, 2012, 03:32 PM
thanks.

How does the action/handling compare to 1903?

I'm familiar with 1903 and Enfields.

Thanks for sharing your expertise.

rcmodel
December 6, 2012, 03:40 PM
They are nearly a pound heavier then a 1903 Springfield.

Unlike an 03 Springfield, they cock on closing like a Lee-Enfield.

Unlike an 03 Springfield, there is no windage adjustment on the rear sight.

But Google is your friend if you want to know more:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1917_Enfield

http://www.thecmp.org/sales/m1917.htm

http://www.odcmp.org/503/rifle.pdf

rc

theinvisibleheart
December 6, 2012, 03:56 PM
thanks. Checking those links. Appreciate your help.

303tom
December 6, 2012, 08:31 PM
Go to your local library & see if they have Hatcher`s Notebook..............

Cosmoline
December 6, 2012, 08:44 PM
The Eddystone was a derivation of the P14 Enfield and not an offshoot of the Springfield 03. It's an extremely strong action--one of the strongest of all bolt action military rifles. Unfortunately this has led to a great many being cut up for use in custom rifles. And the value of intact military rifles has been going up and up and up. There's a supply of parkerized WWII revamps that are somewhat more affordable. The Eddystones are heavier and stouter rifles than the Springfields.

theinvisibleheart
December 7, 2012, 01:13 AM
thanks.

How do I tell if it has being refinished or not?

csa77
December 7, 2012, 01:31 AM
the m1917 and p14 are enfield rifles, designed by enfield. most all p14/m1917 where made in america , aside form the 1,200 extremely rare vickers versions(p13) made in england. m not certain on how to tell if its the original barrel other then it should me marked with its makers mark E for eddystone W for winchester or R for remington and have WWI date (I dont know much date wise , but I image it should correspond with serial number on the receiver). all marked parts should have the corresponding makers letters.

I really dont know much about this series of enfields other then the basics.

theinvisibleheart
December 7, 2012, 09:21 AM
Thanks!

BTW, if 1917 Eddystone has a barrel marked 'R' followed by 9 and then 18, how do I tell if the receiver is OK, since the barrel is not the original Eddystone?

Geneseo1911
December 7, 2012, 10:11 AM
The CMP sold a number off about a year ago, that is where I got mine. They sold them for $450, market price (as judged by completed Gunbroker auctions) was around $500 at that time for a complete, decent looking gun, similar to the condition the CMP guns were in.

rcmodel
December 7, 2012, 12:09 PM
how do I tell if the receiver is OK, since the barrel is not the original Eddystone? Maybe it is, and maybe it isn't.

During WWI Remington contracted with Baldwin Locomotive Works to manufacture almost 2 million Pattern 14 and M1917 rifles, and, of course, this operation became what we all know of as the so-called Eddystone Arsenal.

If your rifle hasn't blown up by now, it isn't likely to start blowing up any time soon.

rc

303tom
December 7, 2012, 10:01 PM
Here I thought this might help, still think you should get this book !

303tom
December 7, 2012, 10:04 PM
Here is the last two pages...........

velocette
December 8, 2012, 12:26 PM
Here is a forum specifically for the 03 springfield & '17 enfield:
http://forums.thecmp.org/forumdisplay.php?f=79

'17 Enfields do not have the hard receiver problem that early 03 springfields had.
The '17 enfield is a very strong durable long action that is by far the strongest of the WW I rifles, mauser included. They might not be pretty or light, but they are accurate and hell for strong.
They were commonly sporterized and re-chambered in long magnum cartridges.

Roger

theinvisibleheart
December 10, 2012, 12:38 PM
THANKS! You guys ROCK BIG TIME!

Appreciate the education!

Jim K
December 19, 2012, 01:37 PM
To go back a bit. Before WWI, the British began to feel that the Lee-Enfield was no longer suitable and undertook to adopt a new rifle with more power and on a stronger action. The result was the Pattern 1913, chambered for the .276 Enfield cartridge (not the .280 Ross as sometimes is written). The .276 Enfield is a very large diameter cartridge, with a rebated rim and a base diameter of .526", though the case is only a little longer than the 8mm Mauser. The magazine of the new rifle had to be very large to accept five of the huge cartridges, a feature that would help in the future. Plans were made to gradually change the British and Empire forces over to the new rifle and ammunition, but the approach of war forced a reconsideration of that decision.

So as not to waste all the development money and time, the British chose to keep the new rifle, but to convert it to the standard .303 British cartridge. That rifle then became the Pattern 1914. The large magazine, made to accommodate the .276 Enfield, could easily accept the rimmed .303, and the conversion was feasible. But the British did not have factories tooled up to produce the Patter 1914, so factories in the UK produced only the Lee-Enfield rifles. Production of the Pattern 1914 (or P 14) was contracted out to companies in the United States, Winchester and Remington. A new company was formed to establish a new factory at Eddystone, PA, south of Philadelphia, which would be tooled up and run by Remington.

The three factories produced some 1,235,000 Pattern 1914 rifles in about three years.

As the British contract was winding down, the U.S. entered the war with a severe shortage of its standard rifle, the Model 1903, and few prospects of increasing production in the short term. But U.S. Army ordnance was well aware of the three large capacity factories now sitting idle, and had the Pattern 1914 reworked to handle the U.S. Caliber .30 cartridge (the .30-'06).

That rifle became the U.S. Model of 1917 and the three plants made some 2,534,000 of them into 1919. Most American soldiers in France were armed with the Model of 1917, commonly called the "Enfield" by Americans, rather than the standard Model 1903, always called the "Springfield".

One interesting point. Remember that big .276 cartridge and that big magazine? It was retained in the Model of 1917 simply because there was little reason to change it other than to feed the longer .30 cartridge. But it means that the Model of 1917 can accept six rounds in its magazine, though it was always considered a five shot rifle and was loaded with five shot clips.

Jim

theinvisibleheart
December 19, 2012, 01:58 PM
does that mean it's a better gun than Lee-Enfield and/or 1903?

Thanks for the education!

Jim Watson
December 19, 2012, 02:55 PM
Define "better."

The 1917 is stronger than a SMLE or 1903, many have been sporterized in safari calibers.
The 1917 has a receiver sight which we did not fully embrace until the M1 and the British with the No 4.

On the other hand it is longer and heavier than the Springfield or SMLE. The British definitely preferred the SMLE with shorter OAL, 10 round magazine, and short throw bolt.

Sgt York was said to have preferred the '03 to the 1917 and one version of the legend has him swapping guns in France. No doubt a lot of other US soldiers did, too.

Target shooters preferred the 1903, peacetime barrels were very accurate and the sight was more finely adjustable, even though an aperture sight on the barrel is not as optically effective as a receiver sight.

It was briefly proposed after WWI that we go to the 1917 as GI because we had so many on hand and three then-modern plants to make more versus a smaller inventory of 1903s and two old arsenals. But the NIH syndrome struck and we stayed with the '03.
Remington adopted the design, sans receiver sight and "ears", and built sporting rifles with the 1917 tooling and leftover parts until WW II.

SlamFire1
December 19, 2012, 03:32 PM
The P17 was a more advanced bolt action than either the SMLE or the M1903. Whether it was a better battle rifle than a SMLE is debatable but the original cartridge would have been flatter shooting than a 303 Brit. The aperture rear sights on the P17 were a real improvement and the Brits recognized this and carried over a rear aperture to the No 4 rifle.

I do not have a high opinion of the 03 action. It breaks too many parts: extractors, ejectors, firing pins, collars and cocking pieces. It's gas handling ability is the same awful as the P17, no real improvement there. The only good thing that can be said of the rear sight is that it is adjustable for windage. In 4 MOA increments.

The straight grip 03 stock is just horrible to shoot, the straight grip P17 stock is not much better. It is clear that these stocks were designed by the bayonet lovers not the shooting crowd.

In so far as bayonets, both rifles have fearsome bayonets, if you are going to bayonet a homo sapiens one is as good as the other.

I had a firing pin break on a P17, apparently that is rare, but the ejector spring, that breaks often. I stuck a coil spring in the recesses of the bolt stop and have not had an ejection problem since.

Jim K
December 19, 2012, 08:14 PM
"The aperture rear sights on the P17 were a real improvement and the Brits recognized this and carried over a rear aperture to the No 4 rifle."

Hmmm. The British invented that sight for the P. 13. So they didn't need the U.S. to show them the benefits of a peep sight.

Jim

Jim Watson
December 19, 2012, 08:35 PM
And yet they did not go to the peep sight for regular use until 1939, based on a slow development through the late 1920s.

Jim K
December 19, 2012, 09:02 PM
The same thing (or lack of it) that delayed U.S. adoption of a semi-auto rifle. Money. Moolah. Dollars. Pounds sterling. Marks. Francs. etc. A world-wide depression and tight budgets did not make it easy for folks who were suggesting spending millions of whatever for new rifles when the politicians were still congratulating themselves on having won the "war to end wars."

In the case of the U.S., though, the delay was probably to the good. The M1 rifle finally adopted was a far better battle weapon than any semi-auto of the 1920's or early 30's, including the vaunted Pedersen.

Jim

tahunua001
December 23, 2012, 09:03 PM
Are they variants of 1903 Springfield?
no, the 1917 was based off of the pattern 14 enfield that was being built by remington and Eddystone on behalf of great brittain, when the united states was unable to build 1903 springfields fast enough to supply the troops remington, and eddystone along with winchester stepped forward with a modified pattern 14 design and called it the 1917.

How do I tell if it's the original barrel or not?
most still have the original barrels, it'll have the national ordnance acceptance stamp, makers initials and acceptance month and year stamped on the barrel just behind the front sight post.


If all the parts are matching?

most metal parts should have an E stamped on them to show eddystone, R for remington and if I recall correctly only select parts on winchesters.

What should I look for when looking to buy one?
you should make sure that the wood is in good condition with no signs of cracking, splitting or otherwise serious damage beyond cosmetic dings and dents. you should open the bolt and look down the bore to make sure it's not rusted out or shot out.


What are market value for them?
nowadays they average about $500 for original models, $350 for sporterized. exceptional condition models can go for north of $700 though


How do I tell if the receiver has problem or not?
unless it has been seriously abused there are no problems with the 1917 receivers.


Will the price for them appreciate when 2017(100 year anniversary of 1917) comes by?

short answer, no. these guns appreciate with supply and demand, there were millions of 1917s made but a number were sent to england for homefront security during WWII and others were sent to a number of resistance groups throughout europe and africa if I recall correctly. in addition the 1917, being such a robust design was popular with gunsmiths to convert to other calibers such as 300 win mag and many were converted into hunting rifles, some very nice ones, some hideous ones that were done with a hack saw and a drill. since the number of these guns in original, collectable condition are constantly going down and the number of people now wanting to collect are going up, they are constantly appreciating in value, so yes they will be worth more in 1917 but it will have nothing to do with the centennial.

Is there any s/n range that I have to be aware of?
short answer, no though very low numbers(under 100,000) are usually more sought after by serious collectors.

How does the action/handling compare to 1903?
completely different mechanics, the springfield is a cock on open design similar to many of today's modern sporting rifles while the 1917 is a cock on close mechanism that offers resistance on forward motion but aids in rapid extraction. it makes for a more fluid motion while cycling the bolt but is a little disconcerting for someone not expecting to have to apply forward pressure to chamber a round.

hope this helps

theinvisibleheart
January 3, 2013, 02:00 AM
THANKS! Very informative post! Once the current frenzy has died down, will get one.

I've handled mint 1917 belonging to other people and it's very cool!

Little stiff on working the bolt but that's it. Love the SIGHT!

cyclopsshooter
January 3, 2013, 02:12 AM
This thread is pure fun for me.

303tom
January 3, 2013, 10:30 AM
This thread is pure fun for me.

Why ?????????

cyclopsshooter
January 3, 2013, 12:49 PM
Why ?????????

Is it ok for me to like reading about 03s and 17s?

303tom
January 3, 2013, 09:26 PM
Is it ok for me to like reading about 03s and 17s?
No, that`s cool just wondering, it was just the way you said it................

jaysouth
January 3, 2013, 09:59 PM
In 1966, I was a young infantryman with the 8th Cav in VN. One day while mindlessly walking up hills and down hills, We stopped for a break. One of the flank security men posted when one stops, found the entrance to a cave. We found a small mountain of military gear. There were French rifles, left behind by them, numerous M-1 Carbines, a couple of chinese mauser rifles and a 1917 Enfield. One supplied to the Nationalist Chinese and dropped by them when retreating from the Chinese mainland to Formosa. The chicoms picked these battle field captures up and kept them in good condition until their southern cousins needed them in VN.

A couple of months later, I was in Taiwan (formerly Formosa) visiting some family members. The airport that services Taipei is a shared civil/Military installation with the usual paranoid security measures in force then in Taiwan. I was flying to Taichung, so I went to the airport and bought a ticket on CAT(civil air transport) the Nationalist Chinese carrier which was subsidized by the CIA. At the terminal we boarded a bus with the windows painted black. After a few minutes we pulled up to the plane that we were to board for the flight. When we got off the bus, we were greeted by the sight of a chinese soldier standing at parade rest with a 1917 Enfield tipped with a bayonet that looked two feet long, one which was not dropped by retreating Nationalist Chinese. He was standing in front of a Curtiss C-46 Commando painted up in CAT livery.

He did not leave his post until a crew member showed him some identification. then he retreated a few feet and kept a sharp eye on us. The flight crew were wearing Chinese air force uniforms. All had a brown leather bomber jackets and a peaked caps with a "40 mission crush".

After lengthy preflighing and more seccurity mickey mouse, we boarded and the plane departed.

About half way to TaiChung, I suddenly remembered why the USAF abandoned the C-46, the last of which was made in 44 or 45. It seems that this particular model had a nasty habit of exloding in mid air. No one ever figured out the cause to effect a cure.

I took the train back to TaiPei.

backbencher
January 4, 2013, 02:27 AM
jaysouth, wandering way off topic here, but they finally figured out what was happening to the C-46's, & fixed it - some are still flying commercially:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/C-46

Isn't the damage our OP speaks of on the Eddystones from improperly removing the original bbl? Not that it shouldn't be removed, it just has to be removed carefully, or the receiver may crack?

If you enjoyed reading about "? 1917 Eddystone(value/advice/expertise)" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!