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1917 project--I need advice

Discussion in 'Gunsmithing and Repairs' started by biggyfries, Jan 19, 2013.

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  1. biggyfries

    biggyfries Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    walla walla, wa
    I aquired a Rem 1917 full custom rifle that was obviously done by a craftsman--I bought it from a young guy at a gun show who knew almost nothing about it, not even what it was or the caliber. But for $200 I took the plunge.
    After getting it home I separated the action from the wood and found the markings "Shevill 300 WBY" under the wood where it couldn't be seen. I found an old gunsmith by the name of Arthur Shevill in Los Angeles--his heyday was in the '60's, and he died in 1989, that's about all I have on him. The rifle has many beautiful custom features, it had a custom-handled bolt at one time, but it was lost somewhere along the way, the bolt in it is just a G.I. bolt, and didn't fit the receiver or the wood well at all, it was very rough feeling. With a lot of trimming and fileing I have it feeling very slick and happy, and now the bolt fits.
    I put a .300 Weatherby Mag. cartridge down the chamber, and it dropped in easily. But when I looked to see if it fit the bolt face it was not a good fit: the bolt face accomodates a .30-06 perfectly, but the magnum brass is too big. I obviously need to get the bolt face made larger. Question: can I modify the standard extractor to fit the magnum brass or must I get a special extractor?
    I am a fairly knowlegable amateur, but I have never built a custom rifle. I would appreciate any advice or comments you may have to get my rifle perking. I hope it will not be so expensive it won't be worth the effort.
    Last edited: Jan 19, 2013
  2. lefteyedom

    lefteyedom Member

    Mar 18, 2006
    seen this before, someone looses the bolt, buys an another bolt and then dumps the gun on a new owner,,,,

    Get thee rifle to a gunsmith!!

    Have a caste made of the chamber to fined out what it is currently chambered for.

    Once you know for sure what it is chamber for have then:

    1. bolt face "opened up" for a magnum case head,

    2. Have the head-space checked and set if need (it will need adjusting)
    2A.Have the gunsmith inspect and re-crown the muzzle.

    3 have a new bolt handle installed that matches the stock.

    4 Have fun with a great rifle
  3. N.Schafer

    N.Schafer Member

    Jul 9, 2009
    Waterville, MN
    Yes you can open up the bolt face and fit the original extractor. Or, since it isn't original anyway, you could try to find a 1914 bolt. These had larger faces for the 303 round and were commonly swapped on sporterized rifles.

    I would definitely have the head-space and chamber checked. It does sound like the guy lost the bolt and just bought another one, found it didn't work, and sold it.
  4. spitfire_er

    spitfire_er Member

    Aug 21, 2012
    I'll give ya 250 for it!
    Any photos?
    I'm. Building a 338 rum on a 1917 right now and just about finished. Most common way to go is to use the 1914 bolts, however the bolt face usually needs to be cleaned up and the extractor will need to be fitted to the larger case. not rocket science but like most things there are a few tricks to it to make them work properly.
  5. Kp321

    Kp321 Member

    Jul 12, 2012
    West Texas
    Depending on how the barrel was fitted, a 1914 bolt may not fit. That would mean modifying the 1917 bolt which is not a big job for a smith. A 1914 extractor works fine with either bolt and fits the magnum case properly. Unfortunately, 1914 extractors are hard to find these days. That means modifying the 1917 extractor. Go slow and check often, can't put metal back on easily! Jack First Gun Parts has newly manufactured 1917 extractors if you can't find an original.
  6. Mauser lover

    Mauser lover Member

    Jul 13, 2011
    Adjusting the extractor won't be a problem, if you know how to do some relatively simple metalworking, and are extremely patient.

    BUT! The headspace WILL be a problem, unless you are EXTREMELY lucky! Make sure you check that, and have it adjusted, or adjust it yourself if you have the tooling/aptitude.
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