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Thread: A LOVELY WINCHESTER P 14 MK1*........with pictures!!!!!!!

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  1. #1
    Contributing Member bros's Avatar
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    A LOVELY WINCHESTER P 14 MK1*........with pictures!!!!!!!

    Well I must first confess this is my first attempt at posting pictures so hopefully everything goes according to plan, browningautorifleicon......has been my "go to guy" in the past for posting pictures (thanks again Jim).....with a little encouragement from Jim and pointing me in the right direction.....here we go.......

    I recently added one to the family and I think it's a lovely rifle....too bad I couldn't take a picture of the bore.....it's about as close to perfect as it gets!!!

    I by no means am a P14 expert fellows, so correct me, chime in with your thoughts, tell me I'm crazy etc,.

    I've been referring to Statton's booklet on the P14/US Model 17 as my basis for research as soon as I unpacked this rifle.

    I initially thought this rifle was a MK1 and not a MK1*.
    I was sent a number of pictures before I purchased the rifle and noticed the "absence" of the * stamp on the receiver ring and bolt that would normally indicate a MK1, not a MK1*. Stratton's book say's the MK1* will have the star or asterisk on the receiver ring, bolt handle, barrel and buttstock roundel. Stratton also says serial number on the MK1* will be stamped on the rear sight, barrel, receiver ring and bolt handle.
    When I un-packed the rifle. I noticed the * stamped on the extractor (which seems to have a phosphate finish unlike the rest of the blued metal parts), I was curious to see the barrel date etc., so I removed the handguard and noticed the * stamped on the barrel, this is when the confusion started.
    I then removed the bolt to look at the rear barrel face and did see the relief machined in it to accommodate the longer bolt locking lug.......well that confirmed to me I was the owner of a MK1* not a MK1, unless, unless.....this is not the original barrel?
    Can a MK1* barrel work fine in a MK1 action and MK1 bolt, I don't see why not ? The barrel is a '17 dated barrel but no serial number stamped that I could see...another anomaly or is Stratton not always "bang on" he says a MK1* barrel will be serialized! Do you believe this to be the original barrel? If this is not the original barrel maybe the the rest of the rifle is a MK1 with a MK1* barrel!

    This gun I must admit has me a bit puzzled, not in a bad way though. On close examination I'm sure this is a "period correct rifle", I have no doubt. I don't believe it was cobbled together from a bunch of parts. The first thing that attracted me besides the fact it was a Winchester was the shape of the stock and especially the clarity of the manufacturer's roundel. Most P14's I have seen do not have the roundel anymore....they are not deeply struck and a lot of P14 stocks have had the living daylight sanded out of them, to the point where the stock is absent of any markings. This also has a nice deep Weedon stamp under the butt...I looked up the code letter "0" and it indicates Skimin & Wood was the contract firm that did the work.
    Upon further "close" inspection I saw that below where the marking disk should be, there undoubtedly is the "Maltese Cross" stamp which Stratton says, " is found on the buttstocks of a small number of very early rifles that the war office found doubtful". Now I'm asking the question, why was this rifle considered "doubtful" especially when it has a as new bore, tight action, nice clean bolt face (have not checked headspace yet) etc., This rifle does not look like it fought even part of the "100 Year War".
    Now really getting confused.......the stock looks to me like the rifle had a relatively easy life but maybe the rifle had a tremendous amount of rangetime and bore was compromised and therefore received the Maltese stamp....this all prior to the Weedon Repair Standard. When WRS came on board this rifle could have been re-barreled with a MK1* barrel, explaining the lack of the * on the various places Stratton indicates it should be for a MK1*rifle.

    Are my thought's sort of on the right track trying to put together the journey this rifle had or am I completely out to lunch?? One thing I will check in the next few days is, I'll get the gauges out and check headspace.
    Help me out here guys!! if you want additional pics I can do that too. I've got ample amounts of time now as a badly sprained ankle has me more less confined to the couch and bed, that's whats enabled me to be so long winded. LOL.



    Whatever the case, I think (at least in my own mind) this rifle is a bit of a gem and I'm a happy camper to be the owner of it. I guess the only period correct thing that is absent is the wooden plug in place of the marking disk.....just maybe I'll fine a nice brass disk to temporarily put in it's place.

    It's going to be a tack driver and I'll be eager to try it out soon.

    Thanks!!
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    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    Love that rifle!
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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    Nice P-14 pity they removed the butt disc as you can sorta get a jist of where the rifle has been.

    A quick note on pictures - is before you submit the thread after inserting the pictures hold Rt mouse button highlight the Attach then delete them then hit submit post and the Attach wont be part of your post as what can happen is the pics can end up with the text instead of down the bottom like has happened here.

    When I go to insert or attach I should say my pics I always ensure the cursor is under the last bit of text that way its easier to highlight the attach and get rid of it

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice looking old rifle, you can make a brass disc from brass round stock and a cut brass screw. Look for an older slot screw...short... Pics look fine mostly.
    Regards, Jim

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    Member P51Mustang's Avatar
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    Really nice looking rifle.....

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    That one isn't lovely, that one is marvellous! You can be proud of this one, have not seen such a nice rifle in a long time. Congratulations!

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    Contributing Member bros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    Nice looking old rifle, you can make a brass disc from brass round stock and a cut brass screw. Look for an older slot screw...short... Pics look fine mostly.
    Yup ......Jim a few technical errors but I got them there.....still some junk that managed to follow along with the pictures but I feel like I made it to the moon!!!!!!

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    That's an excellent looking rifle be happy with and shoot it often.

    Now for the bad news, a phosphate finish was never originally used on a P14 in fact it wasn't introduced until late in Model 1917 production so the extractor is a refurbished WWII era replacement.

    The short bolt lug * upgrades were performed on rifles produced prior to December 1916. By 12/16 all rifles were factory produced with the longer lug so a Weedon process upgrade wasn't required. My point is any rifle with a 1917 production date wouldn't require an * added to it. However your rifle has a low serial number under 100,000 so it would have certainly been in the group of * converted rifles if it was in stores. I see your in the 93,000 range so while early its not early enough to have been condemned so I'm assuming the stock is a replacement. Without question the barrel is a replacement to be dated '17 with a receiver number that low. And I'm going by your sight number assuming its matching to the receiver. Production began at Winchester in April 1916 so by December the serial number range was well over 130,000 and even higher by 1917.

    Don't feel bad as any 100+ year old military rifle has been through many hands and situations so plenty has happened to them over the years. Perhaps it was sportered with a cut down barrel and stock and returned to military spec, so be thankful for that.

    Also don't put all your eggs in one basket by assuming that just one author is all knowing. Read all you can on the subject including the excellent reference of the 1914/1917 series rifles on the Remington Society of America website which has the actual production information from those who built them and not someone who copied and reprinted it.

    Edit: the rifles that were considered doubtful were labeled as so for a parts interchangeability aspect and not the physical condition of a particular unit. Those rifles never made it into service and no P14 was used in front line service by the Britishicon military during the war.
    Last edited by oldfoneguy; 02-15-2020 at 11:22 PM.

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    Contributing Member bros's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldfoneguy View Post
    That's an excellent looking rifle be happy with and shoot it often.

    Now for the bad news, a phosphate finish was never originally used on a P14 in fact it wasn't introduced until late in Model 1917 production so the extractor is a refurbished WWII era replacement.

    The short bolt lug * upgrades were performed on rifles produced prior to December 1916. By 12/16 all rifles were factory produced with the longer lug so a Weedon process upgrade wasn't required. My point is any rifle with a 1917 production date wouldn't require an * added to it. However your rifle has a low serial number under 100,000 so it would have certainly been in the group of * converted rifles if it was in stores. I see your in the 93,000 range so while early its not early enough to have been condemned so I'm assuming the stock is a replacement. Without question the barrel is a replacement to be dated '17 with a receiver number that low. And I'm going by your sight number assuming its matching to the receiver. Production began at Winchester in April 1916 so by December the serial number range was well over 130,000 and even higher by 1917.

    Don't feel bad as any 100+ year old military rifle has been through many hands and situations so plenty has happened to them over the years. Perhaps it was sportered with a cut down barrel and stock and returned to military spec, so be thankful for that.

    Also don't put all your eggs in one basket by assuming that just one author is all knowing. Read all you can on the subject including the excellent reference of the 1914/1917 series rifles on the Remington Society of America website which has the actual production information from those who built them and not someone who copied and reprinted it.

    Edit: the rifles that were considered doubtful were labeled as so for a parts interchangeability aspect and not the physical condition of a particular unit. Those rifles never made it into service and no P14 was used in front line service by the Britishicon military during the war.
    First......thanks a lot "oldfoneguy" for taking the time to respond to this thread!!!

    Yeah I'm aware that the extractor is a replacement, the phosphate finish certainly looks out of place.

    You state that the bolt lug upgrade was incorporated into rifle production (MK1 to MK1*) around Dec 1916. Now, the rifles that went thru the W.R.S during WW2..... are you suggesting that the conversion from a MK1 to MK1* was also something completed at this time as well?..........or......once a rifle left the factory as a MK1 it stayed a MK1 thru it's entire life and never upgraded to a MK1* whether it went thru the W.R.S or not?
    The reason why I ask this is, if the reason for the conversion to MK1* was the longer bolt lug ( which undoubtedly it was) and this was an upgrade also completed during the W.R.S process......have all the rifles that were upgraded to MK1* been issued new bolts incorporating the longer lug, and then stamped with rifle serial number? You just can't take a original MK1 bolt and merely add some length to the locking lug....bolt and locking lugs are the same piece of steel!!! I need you to clarify this for me. Sorry I just never heard of new bolts being issued but that's the only way I can see it if there was a W.R.S conversion to MK1*

    I'm not understanding your reason for figuring the stock to be a replacement......you mention that the rifle is, "in the 93,000 range so while early it's not early enough to have been condemned so I'm assuming the stock is a replacement".

    The Maltese Cross .....after jogging my memory, (and this was verified by a well respected member here) refers to "non-standard parts". Example....I have a Long Branch made rifle with a Maltese Cross stamped on the fore-stock, in this instance it is in reference to the rifle having a rear sight made by the Savage Co. and not Long Branch.........Stratton say's in his book the Maltese Cross means "emergency use only" that implies rifle must be on the cusp of being un-serviceable, not sure what to think about that!!

  17. #10
    Contributing Member Ovidio's Avatar
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    That is getting extremely interesting. Also my P14 is a Winchester, with Maltese cross etc.
    By the way, it shoots divinely.
    34a cp., btg. Susa, 3° rgt. Alpini

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