Another 1903 Springfield
This is truning into an expensive diversion. My first mistake was buying that darn K-98k, which led to the Enfield no. 4 Mk-1, which led to the 91/30, and a 1903-A3, then the M1 Garand, and then the Arisaka. So continuing into the fray, the wonderful wife bought me the 1903 Mk1 (1920 manufacture with the cut-out for the pederson device) for our 15th anniversary. She gets expensive jewelry and I get guns, a win-win for all! The stock is bit beat up (after all it is 90 years old and it was a lend lease to New Zealand in WW2), it has the original 1920 barrel but the bore is great!
Still gotta get the Eddystone Model of 1917, and the Krag! Like I said this is turning into an expensive diversion!
Congrats. A 1903 is on my wish list.
I am curious. Why would you want an (improperly heat treated) Eddystone US M-1917, when the Winchester and Remington variants are so much more shootable?
When you get yours, by all means, think about swapping out the firing pin for one of those speed lock firing pins. You can actually feel the difference in firing time (pull of the trigger to the fall of the firing pin) with those.
My own Century Arms US M1917 was a Winchester with a WW II 2 groove Johnson arsenal rebuild rebarrel. It had something written in what looks like Persian with white paint on the stock and obvious stock wear, but was otherwise in V.G. shape. [I couldn't see any rifling and it looked like it had been shot, but not cleaned, so I plugged the chamber, filled the barrel with Hoppes 9, and let it sit for a week. What I can best describe as dark green paint was poured out the next week, ran a rag through and the barrel was now in good shape with plainly visible sharp edged rifling.] I was going to sporterize the rifle, possibly rechambering it to .300 Winchester and a accraglass bedded stock for accuracy, until I realized it (repeatedly) did one hole 5 shot groups at 200 yards (sandbagged from a bench) with a mixed lot of ammo. [I can't own an old gun without trying it out at least once.] I am humble enough to realize any conversions and accuracy treatments I would give it would probably not even come close to that, so beyond the new speedlock firing pin I left it alone. Found the correct bayonet and today it still looks as issued. Very much a favorite shooter although a little too heavy for hunting in brush.
A shame the older surplus guns can't talk. Made in WWI for American troops, used so much it needed an Arsenal rebuild by WWII, then obviously shipped out as Lend Lease after WW II to someone, but Century found it in the Mid East. How many times, and in what wars, did it fire at someone? Who else has held it?
Congrats on the 03! Nothing wrong with the eddystone as long as it has it's original barrel ;)
Why an Eddystone? Well I have this wild hair up my butt to create a collection of US military arms from the early days of the country to the present. Within reason of coarse, and all have to be shooters, so anything earlier than the Krag will be replicas, and civilian models of later military models will have to do. The plan is:
1. Early America and French and Indian War: .54 cal flintlock rifle (Pedersoli) - Check
2. Revolutionary War Period: Charleville Musket (Pedersoli) On the list
3. Western Expansion (non-Military): .54 cal Hawken percussion (Pedersoli) - Check
4. Civil War: Conferderate .54 cal Robinson/Sharps breechloading carbine (Pedersoli) - check
5. Also Civil War: Enfield 3-band rifled musket (also Confederate) on the list
6. Indian Wars: Trapdoor .45-70 carbine: On the list. Probably will be a Perdersoli, but good original ones are available
7. Pre-WW1: Krag - On the list, I have my eye on a few nice ones at my favorite toy store
8. WW1: 1903 Springfield: My new 1920 Mk1 is close enough for the original '03, and it is a shooter - check
9. Also WW1: The Model 1917 Eddystone (see note later) on the list
10. WW2: 1903-A3 - check
11. WW2/Korea: 1941 Garand - check
12. WW2/Korea: M1 carbine, I have a uiversal M1 carbine, and will trade it in on an original WW2 USGI carbine later
13. Vietnam era: M1A - as close as I am going to get to a real M14 - check
14. Vietman era: AR-15 Colt Sporter (I still have the original triangular hanguards) - as close to the original M16 as I am going to get - check
15. Modern Era: 16" RRA M4gery as close as I am gonna get to an M4 -check
Now about the Eddystone, I am aware that the early versions of the 1903 Springfield (where the receivers were only single heat treated) are an issue and therefore should not be shot with modern ammo (my 1920 1903 Mk 1 is OK to shoot), but I had not heard of this problem with the Model 1917's - I believe (but I could be wrong) that the heat treat issue had been resolved by then.
6mm Lee Navy
Johnson---Marine issue WWII
I believe the Navy also used the Hotchkiss and Remington-Keene rifles
Semi-Auto Thompson and Reising SMG's?
Heck--the US has used the Mosin-Nagant and Canadian Ross rifles
As far as I know, the 1917 is one of the strongest rifles out there with the exception of the Arisaka. Also as far as I know, heat treating is not an issue with them in the least. It was an issue with the early 1903 Springfields, but I have never heard a thing about this problem with the 1917's.
I believe the Springfield rifle issue is mostly about serial #s below 800,000. Early in the manufacture of the Springfields the arsenal switched from windows and natural light to electric lighting and that threw off the worker's sense of color so the rifle actions were being quenched at the wrong time. Quite a few were made and issued before a problem was noticed. Later on they developed high temp gauges and the problem went away.
However, it has also been my understanding that there was a similar problem causing cracking of the receiver ring with the Eddystone 1917s. [As someone else alluded, this was mostly encountered during a rebarreling, however some not yet rebarrelled, but well used, specimens were found to already have the cracks before the work was done.] Whether or not it was a heat treatment issue, or over torquing while screwing in the original barrel really hasn't been determined. It could occasionally be a combination of both.
This is why so many of those were converted into lamps or sold as 'wall hangers only' back in the 1950s and 1960s when the government released them.
This problem doesn't exist with the Remington or Winchester variant. Full agreement the action design (being essentially a beefed up Mauser 98) is one of the strongest. However, not wanting to someday see cracks in my receiver I personally avoid the Eddystone variant and I anticipate no problems with my Winchester.
There were many more M1917s used for battle in WWI than there were Springfields. The conversion of the Remington made P-14 English rifle into the US 1917 was the work of Hatcher and his staff. [There are parts differences between the two rifles.] Due to low numbers of Springfields on hand (partially due to the recall issue) fairly few of the Springfields went 'over there.' Most American soldiers (movie to the contrary, this includes Cpl York) in Europe carried 1917s instead of a Springfield. [A worthwhile movie showing the US 1917 in action is "The Lost Battalion." Some good .45 (1911 and the revolver too) action is in there too.] In the period between the wars many 1917s remained in service with US forces in places like the Philippines and South America while the Springfield did mostly garrison duty here in the US. By the time of WWII some Enfields has been fired so many times the barrels were worn out. As winning the war was not a certainty and rifles were needed, many were rebuilt at US arsenals. This is when the Eddystone cracks suddenly got a lot more attention. Normal field maintenance had not involved removing the rifle from the stock. It is therefore rather unusual to find an Eddystone with an ordnance approved WWII Johnson barrel in it (unless done after the rifle left government hands of course).
Very interesting information superc, I had no idea. Thanks.
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