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? 1917 Eddystone(value/advice/expertise)

Discussion in 'Firearms Research' started by theinvisibleheart, Dec 6, 2012.

  1. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member

    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.
  2. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    Until a surplus expert comes along:


    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.

  3. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member


    How does the action/handling compare to 1903?

    I'm familiar with 1903 and Enfields.

    Thanks for sharing your expertise.
  4. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

  5. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member

    thanks. Checking those links. Appreciate your help.
  6. 303tom

    303tom member

    Go to your local library & see if they have Hatcher`s Notebook..............
  7. Cosmoline

    Cosmoline Well-Known Member

    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.
  8. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member


    How do I tell if it has being refinished or not?
  9. csa77

    csa77 Well-Known Member

    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.
  10. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member


    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?
  11. Geneseo1911

    Geneseo1911 Well-Known Member

    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.
  12. rcmodel

    rcmodel Member in memoriam

    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.

  13. 303tom

    303tom member

    Here I thought this might help, still think you should get this book !
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  14. 303tom

    303tom member

    Here is the last two pages...........
    Last edited: Jul 14, 2013
  15. velocette

    velocette Well-Known Member

    Here is a forum specifically for the 03 springfield & '17 enfield:

    '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.

  16. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member


    Appreciate the education!
  17. Jim K

    Jim K Well-Known Member

    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.

  18. theinvisibleheart

    theinvisibleheart Well-Known Member

    does that mean it's a better gun than Lee-Enfield and/or 1903?

    Thanks for the education!
  19. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Well-Known Member

    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.
  20. Slamfire

    Slamfire Well-Known Member

    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.

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