Eddystone Enfields
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Old 12-11-2011, 11:40 PM   #1
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Default Eddystone Enfields

I read a lot on the forums that Eddystone Enfields have bad heat treating. I have a few Remington and Winchesters in my collection. I even built one in 458 Winchester Magnum. I have a chance to buy a few Eddystone P-17 actions at a what I call a fair price. Are they like the Springfields, certain serial numbers are to stay away from? If so, what are they? I have read that some had the barrels put on with a hydralic machine and it cracked the reciever ring. Can these actions be repaired? Doe's anyone know who reheat treats them? Or can we heat the front up and put it in oil as you would anything else?

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Old 12-12-2011, 12:51 AM   #2
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Trap- have never heard a complaint about the M1917 Eddystone rifles. Problem was with certain 1903 rifles. Folks argue this back and forth. I cannot claim expertise on this matter- but this is a C&P from the US Civilian Marksmanship program-

WARNING ON “LOW-NUMBER” SPRINGFIELDS

M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000 and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

In view of the safety risk the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).

CMP DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE WITH A ”LOW NUMBER” RECEIVER. Such rifles should be regarded as collector’s items, not “shooters”.

CMP ALSO DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, REGARDLESS OF SERIAL NUMBER, WITH A SINGLE HEAT-TREATed “LOW NUMBER” BOLT. SUCH BOLTS, WHILE HISTORICALLY CORRECT FOR DISPLAY WITH A RIFLE OF WWI OR EARLIER VINTAGE, MAY BE DANGEROUS TO USE FOR SHOOTING.

THE UNITED STATES ARMY GENERALLY DID NOT SERIALIZE BOLTS. DO NOT RELY ON ANY SERIAL NUMBER APPEARING ON A BOLT TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH BOLT IS “HIGH NUMBER” OR “LOW NUMBER”.

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Old 12-12-2011, 02:35 AM   #3
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http://www.odcmp.org/503/rifle.pdf
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:12 AM   #4
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Eddystone is not an Enfield.In 303 British cal. it is a P-14 rifle.In 30-06 cal. it is Rifle, M-1917.

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Old 01-20-2012, 02:13 AM   #5
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Have a little experience with the U.S. M1917, none with the P14 which is the earlier English .303 Enfield cartridge version. Eddystone M1917s kinda known for the hardness of receiver metal due to heat treatment. Also Eddystone plant had a hydralic machine to screw barrels into receiver. Sooooo, barrels sometimes a problem to remove and complaints about cracks in receiver where barrel screwed in have been made. As to Eddystones being unsafe to shoot due to heat treatment like the 1903 Springfields....never heard/read of this. However, drilling into an Eddystone receiver for a scope mount can be a problem due to hardness of metal. Recommended to use a carbide drill bit and then be prepared for dealing with problem of tapping the drilled holes.

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Old 01-21-2012, 11:01 PM   #6
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I have an M17 action Eddystone that had a .243 barrel in it. Now what I'd like to know is would this be suitable to take a .458 barrel and will the action taken these sort of pressures or would I be better off getting M98 action of which I have a spare sitting around waiting for a possible bigger badder boom stick barrel?

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Old 01-22-2012, 11:23 PM   #7
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The M1917 action can handle any pressure (and then some) a M98 action can. Gent I use for gunsmithing built a pair of 404 Jefferies? rifles for a guy a year ago. Gunsmith used P14 Eddystone actions. The P14 rifle was made at Eddystone plant, before production of Eddystone M1917s (somtimes called a P17 in error) began. Have no idea about useing a Eddystone action for a 458 Win magnum, but starter of this thread used either a Remington or Winchester action to built a 458. FWIW, Eddystone was a plant built by Remington to make P14 .303 rifles for Britain and then later M1917 30-06 rifles for U.S. Only difference between these two actions are bolt face, one for a rimmed cartridge and other for non-rimmed and changes in magazine for different types of rims.

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