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Thread: Need Advice Getting a Neglected M1917 Sporter into Shape.

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  1. #1
    Member LukeM's Avatar
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    Need Advice Getting a Neglected M1917 Sporter into Shape.

    Hello everyone, hope you're all doing well. I've a new-to-me Eddystone 1917 that needs some TLC to get up and running. I'm not trying to make a collector's item, just want a safely functioning rifle. I think the last time it was fired was twenty years ago, and it's been bouncing around the family without anyone taking care of it.

    The stock that's on it is the one it came with when it was bought in the Fifties, and there are no major cracks in it that I can see. It looks like there was something for a sling on the underside of the butt-stock, but nothing up forward. The original rear sight is gone, and an adjustable open sight is attached to the barrel. The barrel has five rifling grooves so I think it's the original. There is light rust in spots all over the place. The action cycles fine.

    The first thing I did with the barrel was run a copper bore brush though it, then blew some air down it. Out came a small orange cloud, so I went to town with patches and solvent. The patches come out clean now and the bore looks smooth when I look down it with a light on the other end but shining a light into the muzzle still shows a faint orange. I don't know how well the chroming on these old barrels is expected to age. The muzzle itself doesnít have any visible damage, and I ran a straightedge along the barrel. Didnít find any bulges or cracks. About cracks, are the rumors about cracked receivers debunked, or should I be concerned?

    So, from what I understand the rifle should still be safe to shoot, since it hasnít been used enough to lose headspacing, though I donít know how well the wood stock will have aged strength-wise. Do hardwood stocks last over the decade, or should I look into an aftermarket stock like one from Richards Microfit Stocks? As for needing a new barrel, is the only real way to know if I need one is to take it to the range? Iím not sure how easy it will be for me to judge the rifleís accuracy with the open sights. I've always been into guns, but I donít have a huge amount of experience actually shooting them.

    Also, what recommendations does anyone have for refinishing the rifle? I think if the barrel's lining is intact, getting the rifle parkerized would be good enough. Is there any risk to the wood if the receiver is removed by a professional? And any competent gunsmith will know how to replace the barrel if needed, with the relief cuts and such? The top of the receiver has been machined into a shallow arc. Is that the Remington Model 30 style? For scope mounts and things like that?
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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LukeM View Post
    but shining a light into the muzzle still shows a faint orange.
    That could be heavy copper deposits. Can be removed with a suitable solvent. But Jim has said it all - ACWOTAM to try to turn it back into a military configuration M1917.

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    Contributing Member bros's Avatar
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    I wouldn't put any $$ into that one. Here in Canadaicon you can buy a very decent P14 sporter that's not Bubba'ed other than the stock for a $225-275 can. I would think in the US you could do the same if not better.
    That one's like trying to make a "silk purse out of a pig's ear". If it was mine at best it would fall into "truck gun category".
    Unless if it has sentimental value like grandpa's old war horse..........

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    Member LukeM's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    It does have a bit of sentimental value. It was one of the first things my Dad's foster father bought when he emigrated from Italyicon to Canadaicon after the War. Just getting the steel refinished would be enough. The barrel not being chromed isn't much of an issue with modern non-corrosive ammo as long as the bore is kept cleaned and oiled, right?

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    Contributing Member mmppres's Avatar
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    Take the barrel action out of the stock. Scrub the bore with a very good solvent. Get some Oxyblue from Brownells . Re. due your metal. The stock. Scrub down with BLOicon, a few times after you put a new reciol pad on it. Put all back together an have fun shooting a family heirloom. JMO

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    Really Senior Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    I converted my 1917 sporter into a faux US Model 1918 the greatest sniper rifle that never was. I added a weaver detachable side mount with a weaver 3x scope and Garandicon cheek piece.
    I've owned this for 36 years and it's been through many changes but in full military stock is the most accurate configuration it's ever had.
    Edit, have been trying to add pictures but the site isn't letting me.
    Last edited by oldfoneguy; 03-26-2020 at 08:33 PM.

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    Due to the sentimental value I agree with mmppres post #6. Take the metal out of the wood. Clean both properly. Replace the horrible sights with something better. Reblue the metal. Replace the pad with a new and better one. Re-oil the wood. Put it all together again.

    Enjoy the family heirloom for another 70 years. Just some oil every now and then, and lots of shooting often.

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    Really Senior Member Mk VII's Avatar
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    Could it be one of these? .303, I know but they seem to have done .30s as well. Think I see a Canadianicon ownership mark on the receiver ring.



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    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mk VII View Post
    Could it be one of these? .303, I know but they seem to have done .30s as well. Think I see a Canadianicon ownership mark on the receiver ring.

    https://www.milsurps.com/images/impo...1catP141-1.jpg
    Good spot. So undoubtedly one of the many rifles brought up from the USAicon as Lend Lease in WWII. AFAIK none of those .3006 rifles were taken to the UKicon or used there by Canadian troops, so probably the chop was done here in North American post-war.

    No sign of the action being drilled and tapped as per the advert?

    OP: I think what you've got is a decent quality action you could rebarrel and build something out of if your sentimental attachment to it is strong enough; otherwise it's a "parts car" for someone else.

    All manner of magnums were built on these actions, although some may have been re-heat treated in the process, as there were issues with some early rifles, Eddystones in particular.
    Last edited by Surpmil; 03-27-2020 at 05:29 PM. Reason: "Some"
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

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    Really Senior Member Daan Kemp's Avatar
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    The calibre seems to be more than sufficient, be it 303 or 30-06.



    Doesn't look like the front sight had a hood and the milling of the ears was done locally. Then the pad. Probably saw the BSA ad or a real one and adapted his rifle.

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