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1917 eddystone and Remington 1903A3

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by nathan, Nov 12, 2009.

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  1. nathan

    nathan Member

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    Both are prominent in Vintage Rifle MAtches. Which would you choose and why ?
     
  2. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    Funny you would bring that up, I was just looking at my P.O. Ackley book in which he tests the strength of various military actions.
    Both actions rebarreled in 270 Ackley.

    Nickel-steel Springfield action, # 1484929.
    62 gr 3031 140 Barnes-"blown primer. Pressure high"

    Eddystone-Enfield # 637777.
    62 gr 3031 140 Barnes-"Action completely wrecked; receiver ring blown off; Bolt still in action"

    Take what you will from that. Also aside from strength, the Eddystone [as well as the Rem and Win versions of the 1917] have very slow lock times.
     
  3. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Do a side-by-side comparison. The Enfield will be longer, heavier, and clumsier than the more elegant 03A3. They are both good rifles, but the 03A3 is much better for use in the field.
     
  4. ClemY

    ClemY Member

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    The Eddystone Enfields have issues with the early guns. The receivers were sometimes not heat treated properly and were brittle. If you check the serial number of the one that Ackley blew, it is probably one of the early ones.

    The Enfields also have pretty horrid stocks. The comb is approaching .75” too low for me to line up with the rear sight. Also the rear sight isn’t adjustable for windage. It is a very good combat rifle for it’s day, but not a great range gun.

    The slow lock time is from the firing pin fall of .7”. Great if you are in the trenches of Flanders in freezing rain, not so great when shooting on the range.
     
  5. missouri dave

    missouri dave Member

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    If I'm target shooting the springfield. If I'm fighting with it the enfield without a doubt.
     
  6. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    I would choose the Springfield '03 hands down over the Eddy 1917. No big surprise as I prefer the light and trim Mauser feel (much like the 1903) over other designs of the period. :)
     
    Last edited: Nov 12, 2009
  7. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    And how is the 1917 not a Mauser type?
     
  8. Maverick223

    Maverick223 Member

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    Referring more to the feel of it than the CRF/claw type...I realize it has an action based upon the Mauser design, but it feels unwieldy to me. OTOH the 1903 was nearly a carbon copy of the Mauser 98.

    :)
     
  9. jim in Anchorage

    jim in Anchorage Member

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    I never handled a as issued version, but my sporterized Win[ears off,bolt altered] is not to bad. I never got used to the cock on closing though.
     
  10. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    Me either, I prefer the 03.
     
  11. dafitch

    dafitch Member

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    It's always been my understanding that the issue with recevier strength were as related to s/n 800,000 and below 1903 Springfield of SA manufacture. RIA 1903's had issues before around s/n 285,000. Hadn't heard of 1917's having problems with the steel.
     
  12. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

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    Well there is NO question the 03A3 is the more accurate gun. If I could only own one that would be my choice. However...Who says you can only own one? Happen to have a couple of both.
     
  13. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Some experts feel the problems with low number Springfields is exaggerated.

    In the case of Eddystones, they would some times crack at the receiver ring when being rebarreled. Gunsmiths used to put them in a lathe and make a relief cut from the face of the receiver ring forward before trying to unscrew the barrels.
     
  14. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    Just as a point of interest, not to start a flame, Remington chose to make a commercial version of the Enfield in their Model 30 series. If the Springfield was a "nicer" rifle, why didn't Remington use that design for commercial purposes? Remington built both under Gov't contract.
     
  15. Art Eatman

    Art Eatman Administrator Staff Member

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    Not an Eddystone, but I sporterized a 1917 Enfield in 1950. Weaver K2.5 scope. Bishop stock. Dayton-Traister trigger conversion. Barrel trimmed of the military front end.

    From the benchrest, five-shot groups of one MOA (Ah, to once again have 16-year-old eyes!). 150-grain Remington Bronze Points, 52.5 grains of DuPont 4064, Remington 9-1/2 primers.

    My father's sporterized Springfields would do the same, with the 150-grain Hornady spire points and using 4895.

    I was real proud of a group, one day, so my uncle put a patch over the holes and then shot the center out of the patch with five shots from his Varminter. :D

    Some folks have a knack for keeping a kid from getting the Big Head.
     
  16. Vern Humphrey

    Vern Humphrey Member

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    Because of the time difference between having the tooling on hand at the end of WWI to build the Enfield, and getting the Springfield '03 tooling basically given to them at the beginning of WWII.

    In other words, at the time they built the Model 30, the Enfield tooling was on hand and paid for. They didn't get the Springfield tooling until about 15 years later.
     
  17. MMCSRET

    MMCSRET Member

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    Thanks Vern. I grew up around a Model 30 in 30-06, that rifle took Mountain Goat, Sheep, deer, elk, moose and all the predators roaming around Idaho and Montana, and is still in use today, all original. No scope; rifle has never been to a gun smith.
     
  18. Kor

    Kor Member

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    I own one of each(Smith-Corona 1903A3, Eddystone 1917), and if I had to shoot a HighPower Rifle-style match at distances greater than 200yds, I would choose the '03A3 for the following reasons:

    - The very thin, sharp, narrow front sight blade(it's just a strip of stamped sheet metal, barely qualifies as a "post"), which IMO allows me to draw a finer sight picture on a small, distant target - yes, the '03's front sight was known to break under harsh handling in the training fields, let alone the battlefield, but if this is an issue at your match, you've got the wrong gun for the wrong game...

    - The rear sight, which allows repeatable click-adjustment for doping windage and elevation. Yes, in the heat of battle you should just hold-off for "Kentucky windage" rather than fiddle with your sights, but an ordinary shooting match ain't "the heat of battle," and holding-off instead of "drawing a fine bead" might cost you just enough shots dropped out of the "X-ring" to lose.

    As a "battle rifle," the 1917 has a lot of advantages over the '03A3 - a sturdy, bold front sight that is well-protected, an extra round of capacity, stronger primary extraction due to the cam angles on the bolt locking lugs, slightly faster bolt operation due to the "cock-on-closing" design, and the rear peep sight with protective wings integral to the receiver. However, the old canard that "the range is not the same as the battlefield" works both ways - and in a target match on a "one-way range", IMO the '03A3's "target rifle" features give it an edge.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2009
  19. barnetmill

    barnetmill Member

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    Relative to strength the 1917 actions have often been used to build rifles for the very long magnum cartridges like .375 H&H and .416 rigbys. I guess there were no problems due to cracking of the thin receiver rings that were known to cause problems.
    I believe the 1903 action is an intermediate mauser action and not as big as the large ring 98 that the germans used. The US at one time was paying mauser a royalty for each rifle that we made prior to WWI. For 30-06 shooting I would choose a later manufactured nickel steel springfield since it is a trimmer rifle and it is a strong action.
     
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