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Thread: very early Winchester P.14: * or non-*?

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    very early Winchester P.14: * or non-*?

    It fits quite good to the discussion in the other thread, but I got a Winchester P.14 last week that is very early being serial W3817. All serial numbers on receiver, bolt, barrel and rear sight (factory) match, the rifle does not bear any modern firing proofs. The barrel is thickly covered in grease, I did one additional picture prior to wiping off parts of the grease to picture the markings under it. Either the grease left a green cover on the barrel, or green paint was applied prior to greasing it, however there is something green visible on the barrel under the handguard.

    Secondly, the rifle does NOT have the star mark on the receiver nor on the bolt - as it should not have it from factory. However, there is a five pointed star on the extractor. Is this extractor marking "just" an early marking, or would it mean it got *-updated?

    Third, the stock of this rifle has the Weedon arsenal star mark on bottom (six pointed star) with the letter O under it for Skimin & Wood. The stock however also does have some examiner marks right behind the trigger guard. It however does NOT have nor appear to have had any IW (or IR or IE) markings on the butt which it usually should have, but the Maltese Cross is still visible. Additionally the very tip at the stock is marked "W&S" over 13 or 18.

    Does anyone know what W&S means? Could it be that early stocks didn't get the IW in a circle marking, since many other stamps are present and I can't really find any other explanation to that.
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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice looking old rifle, I'd make a stock marking disc rather than leave it. I know how now. Finding a cut brass screw would be the hardest part...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    These parts are available as reproductions, complete with screw at 8 GBP here: lee enfield smle butt disc and screw REPRODUCTION | eBay . I think I have some spare of these around, but didn't find any time yet to check my parts. This is just a detail, nothing I'm too worried.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    That screw is about twice the length...needed. They only used a short screw with no shank to speak of. Anyway, like you say a detail.
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member bros's Avatar
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    Promo.......that is a beautiful rifle and yeah a real early number. I'm not going to comment on the rest as the more I read, I realize the less I know......and I've put my foot in my mouth a few times.

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    Promo, a clue to to originality or otherwise of the stock can be found on the stock under the receiver. I have found that the various inspector stamping in the receiver and/or trigger guard leave an impression on the wood work over time. Do the stampings also match those impressed into the woodwork and if so, do they mirror each other? I think from memory there is a triangle stamp on Winchester receivers that can leave a pretty good impression in the stock.

    Regarding the star on the extractor, I have a bunch of spare extractors, some with and some without such star markings. I would suggest your extractor is a replacement in service (or out of service) that just happens to have the star marked on it. The presence of the star marked extractor does not make the rifle a Mk1* in my opinion.
    Last edited by Kiwi; 02-18-2020 at 10:53 PM. Reason: additional extractor comment

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    Contributing Member #1oilman's Avatar
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    could the W&S have anything to do with English gun makers Webley and Scott? Were they possibly contracted to do inspections? Just a thought

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    Thanks for that tip, I'll remove the stock later today and check for any markings inside the barrel channel! I however noticed that the W stamp which usually is found on various parts of a P.14 rifle does not apply to this rifle. It seems to have been so early, it does not have any letter on any parts. And good comment of yours on the extractor, thank you for this!

    It might be a stupid idea, but I had already wondered the following ... per Skennertonicon "Skimin & Wood" outcarried the Weedon-Overhaul. What if during the overhaul they replaced the stock with their own stock and for whatever reason they used W&S as abbreviation for "Wood & Skimin", so the name mirrored?

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    Really Senior Member harry mac's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kiwi View Post
    The presence of the star marked extractor does not make the rifle a Mk1* in my opinion.
    I'd go along with that.
    As for the absence of "IW" stamps on the stock; I seem to remember that Winchester rushed the rifles into production to try and get ahead of Remington. Could it be that the early ones weren't marked because there weren't any Remington (or Eddystone) rifles around to distinguish them from? (That is a complete SWAG).
    I'd say the rifle is a Mk1, not a Mk1*.


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