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Discussion Starter #1
friends,

i received, just yesterday, a 1917 US Rifle, by Winchester (sometimes called the P-17/American Enfield) in EXCELLENT condition EXCEPT that it's missing the complete front sight. ======> ANYBODY have one for sale? if so, i would be "a buyer" (please PM me.)

the serial number is: 2265XX, which i think is 04/18 manufacture.

YEP, it's a inter-war rebuild "mixmaster" with a "gauges great" Eddystone barrel, that i think is "home from an extended vacation" in GB.
(CLEANEST/best bore that i've ever seen on a 1917.)

the stamping on the left side of the stock is: C-SAA in a rectangle. ===> is that a Springfield Arsenal re-build stamp?

thanks sw
 

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One of my "I never should have sold it" mistakes was an M1917 of Remington Eddystone manufacture. I bought it for firing reduced-power cast-bullet loads, after realizing how expensive M1903's had gotten. It filled that role admirably but, when I purchased my first gun safe, it never occurred to me that I would ever own more than eight long guns and I sold it to make room for something I considered more useful.

I hope its current owner is enjoying it.

P17, by the way, would be the designation for the British model, chambered in .303. The ones that passed the star-gauge test were sent to the Continent, for sniper use, and the ones that did not, stayed in Britain, for assignment to the Home Guard.
 

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spwenger,

according to the Australian National Museum's document on the P-17/P-14 that i have, P-17 was the British nomenclature for the 30.06 chambered "Enfield" (SOME of the "loaned" P-17 were "banded in red/white stripes", so that they wouldn't be used with the wrong ammo.) & P-14 was the .303. British. = BOTH calibers were issued to the British Home Guard & to Commonwealth forces as well (Australia & NZ got LOTS of the P-17, evidently).

yours, sw
 

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spwenger,

fwiw, i'm FREQUENTLY confused, so don't let it bother you!

fyi, there also were a FEW rifles designated as P-13, which was chambered for the .276 British experimental cartridge. = evidently even FEWER (i was told, by a WWII RCAF flight LT, that the actual number issue was LESS than 20 rifles.) were issued to The Home Guard in 1940.
(must have been "somewhat interesting" to get ammo for those! = GB was really scraping the bottom of the barrel for anything that would SHOOT.)

fwiw, Australia in 1942 issued some single-shot Martini muskets in .450 BP & also in .303 British!
NZ reportedly issued single barrel shotguns to their "home yeomanry".
(and you wonder WHY i'm so opposed to ANY sort of "gun control"?)

yours, sw
 

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stand watie said:
fwiw, Australia in 1942 issued some single-shot Martini muskets in .450 BP & also in .303 British!
NZ reportedly issued single barrel shotguns to their "home yeomanry".
(and you wonder WHY i'm so opposed to ANY sort of "gun control"?)
I believe it was in a thread on this site that I learned the origin of the .410-bore shotshell. The original loading (I don't recall the length) was made from the parent case of the British .303. It was for use in SMLE rifles, converted into single-shot shotguns, for the Indian police to use for riot control. It seems that the British were afraid that anything more effective might eventually be used against them.

This bit of history got pieced together after one of the newspaper article on the terror incident in Mumbai made reference to police still being equipped with Colonial-era .410-bore rifles.

I now have to wonder if these are what were issued in New Zealand.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
spwenger,

according to my uncle (who was Acting Chief of the Boat of the USS Champion during WWII & spent considerable time in NZ/AUS), what was issued to the NZ home forces was a large number of sporting shotguns, that were donated to "the allied war effort" by Americans & Canadians. - most were 12 & 16 guage.
further, i remember my grandfather saying that all the rifles/shotguns/pistols "suddenly disappeared from the hardware stores", as they were "bought up" by the US government.

as far as i know, the .410 muskets were NOT issued for anthing but riot/prisoner control, as they were UNsuitable for war use.

yours, sw
 

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We recently received an Eddystone Model of 1917, serial number 297XXX. It came from my wife's father, along with an old Remington Model 12. The Model 12 has seen better days, but the 1917 is complete, with a shiny bore, and good crown.

I'll clean it up, and see how it compares to my other DCM 1917.
 

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JR,

LUCK guy you are, imVho.

i looked for a 1917 for YEARS that was "basically all in one piece" with a GOOD or better bore. - mine is a "bit oversized" but VERY clean/shiney. - my friend Ed Harris (YEP, the gun writer) did a cast of the bore = it's .311.
(some of the 1917s that "went on an extended vacation" to GB/AUS/NZ/KENYA were "reamed out" to .303 British in the early WWII period. as .311 is exactly the right bore for 303 British, i suspect, but do NOT know, that this is the case here.)

as i plan to shoot it with cast bullets, it will make ZERO difference.===> our TX deer are small & 170+ grains of linotype just might be "good medicine" on javalinas, bobcats & WTs???

yours, sw
 

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Snake; JR; ALL,

the only things that i now need for the 1917 Winchester is:
the stacking swivel (i have the screw)
the rear sight "underside" spring
a proper bayonet with scabbard
and
an ORIGINAL leather OR canvas (British made/marked & issued to the home guards in GB/AUS/NZ/Kenya & perhaps to other Commonwealth nation troops) sling.

ALSO, i found out from a former Marine Raider that at least SOME marines were issued P-17s in the VERY eartly days of WWII. - he said that he saw a E-3 carrying one on the Makin Island raid.

ANOTHER TIDBIT: be NOT deceived, slings (and certain other goods) marked USMC are NOT "U S Marine" items. - instead the marking stands for United Shoe Machine Company!
(LOTS of "gun show attendees" have gotten seriously BURNED by people who knew or should have known this FACT.)

yours, sw
 

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to ALL,

WOO HOO! = got ALL the "pieces" for the 1917, including a "perfectly servicable" WWII vintage leather sling!
(except for an original bayonet w/sheath - still looking for that one.)

also, Ed gave me well over 300 rounds of loaded ammo for it, as he sold his last 30.06. = most is @ 200 grain linotype with "The Load". - about 50 are JSP in 180 grain, which i'll "put away" for hunting. - a few are 140GR lead w/6grains of UNIQUE for "tin cans".
(YEP, "The Load" is his invention & it works fine in .303Brit, 30.06, .762 Russian, 7.65 Argentine & a HOST of other calibers/weapons.)

yours, sw
 

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Discussion Starter #12
12/27/10 UPDATE!

to all:

fwiw, my buddy Ed & i took the "new to me P-17" (with a BIG box of cast handloads) to the range Saturday afternoon.
(like to have frozen to death, too. it was 22 degrees with a 30MPH wind. that stopped being "fun", quickly. = BRRRRRRR!)

we fired several 5-shot groups at 50M & several of them could be covered with a nickel. the rest with a quarter (until we got so cold that both of us were shivering/shaking, had teeth chattering & went home to warmup)!

color me pleased with "the old girl".
(not bad for a 92YO "WWII home guard service" rifle!)

yours, sw
 

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01/18/2011 update:

found a NICE & "correct" 1918 Remington bayonet/sheath for the P-17, which is "Home Guard" marked.

"color me PLEASED"!
(now if i could just locate a suitable British "American Squadron" uniform to go with the rifle/bayonet!!!)

yours, sw
 
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