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Thread: Lined Through/Defaced Broad Arrow on P-14 MkI E ?

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  1. #11
    Senior Member AD-4NA's Avatar
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    EY rifles in general were not some deathrap DP rifles, as stated by this forum's own Peter Laidlericon:
    https://www.milsurps.com/content.php...ter-Laidler%29

    But they will have been out of service and out of an armorers care for many decades now.

    Furthermore, having looked at a lot of them when they come up for sale, P14 EY rifles are nothing like No1/SMLE EY or GF rifles at all. Like fjruple partly said P'14 EY rifles are pretty exclusively early Eddystone Mk1 no asterisks rifles with less interchangeable early production parts. They seem to have been declared "EY" en masse, with consistent stamping and most unmolested examples seem to have kept their original volley sights. I don't believe these EY P14's were used for firing grenades at all, and were never wire wrapped. Far from being cobbled together junk, Eddystone P14 EY rifles usually seem to be generally some of the absolute nicest condition P14 rifles out there today. I have no archive documents backing this up, just observations but if you look closely at just a couple of these rifles you'll see what I mean.


    I would be very interested to see if rifles in this particular configuration could specifically be spotted in use by the Home Guard or other second line units; if the Weedon refurbished rifles went elsewhere.


    And now I've given up a collector secret to the market...maybe!
    Savvy buyers seem to have spotted the condition these rifles are usually in over here and they seem to go for a premium price now. They certainly beat out beat up rifles covered in Weedon stamps that some silly previous owner put fake volley sights back on.
    Last edited by AD-4NA; 08-01-2021 at 07:37 AM.

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  3. #12
    Member charlieboy's Avatar
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    My own ERA P14 Mk1 has no EY marks on it. And as previously said only has 4 digits, so it IS definitely early. So they didnt get stamped en mass unless that occurred after the first 10,000 were built/ shipped.

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  5. #13
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    It's probably been said already, but the Broad Arrow, which is an acceptance mark of a kind, has been struck through, presumably to indicate the non-acceptance of the rifle(s).

    The rifle has been refinished since the EY mark was applied, and the B.A. struck through.
    "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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    Senior Member AD-4NA's Avatar
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    My contention was that this particular variant of EY rifle which all seem to have happened to have been originally manufactured by Eddystone seem to have been marked en masse, years after manufacture, not every P'14 MkI (E/R/W) ever made or used throughout the Commonwealth.

  7. #15
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    We've discussed these EY or DP Eddystone P.14s before, and IRRC the problems are documented in "The U.S. Enfield" by Skennertonicon.

    There would have been some excuse if the rifles were being made at high speed, but once the P.14 became the M.17 the daily output miraculously quadrupled!
    "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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    Member 72 usmc's Avatar
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    A very nice specimen to hang on the wall for display. At our range drill conversions, DP and EY cannot be fired as well as ammo that shows too many hang fires. Of course it is up to the range officer that day. Some get cranky with the green, yellow and red paint striped ones. It is more an insurance thing with the ammo. Also no rapid fire is allowed as more of a political thing & neighbors possible complaints
    Last edited by 72 usmc; 08-04-2021 at 10:31 AM.

  9. #17
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    For real 16XXX range. I have not detected any modifications from the Mk.I E standard. It evidently never saw the inside of Weedon.

  10. #18
    Senior Member AD-4NA's Avatar
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    It would not have been marked "EY" if it was never accepted in the first place. But anyway I personally have no clue why the broad arrow was messed with.

    Yeah, they (P14 EY rifles) have been discussed before, I am just tired about the same generalizations from SMLE EY rifles getting repeated over and over again.
    I am also tired of that silly "One U.S. maker never even made any bayonets" rumor that is somehow still occasionally being passed around as true rather than as irony. Remington and Eddystone were connected; obviously Remington Ilion made all the bayonets. There are no "Eddystone" M1917 bayonets either. Therefore there was no scam and no stunning incompetence, Q.E.D.


    I have read "The US Enfield" but I don't recall this information being covered in Skennertonicon I don't think, which is too bad. Anyone feel free to fact check me on that.

    I think it is interesting that apparently there was never any L.O.C. entry or apparently no notes in the Instructions for Armorers on this variant of rifle.




    Surpmil, wouldn't the rate of production of the rifle be a Britishicon choice that they would stipulate in their contract? And wouldn't the lack of a requirement for absolute parts interchangeability also be British choice that they would stipulate in their contracts? In addition the British ordnance system apparently always seemed to find some degree of hand fitting acceptable for their small arms and the Enfield Rifleicon. Nevertheless, I cant believe they found six different variants of the same rifle to be acceptable, at least after the emergency had passed.

    Also, clearly being allocated more labor and having a labor force that was gaining in experience in building the rifle would increase the maximum possible production rate.
    But I certainly won't deny the scam that Winchester and the other companies tried to pull by trying to retool their whole factories or build new factories completely on the UK's dime, or shilling as it may be!

  11. #19
    Advisory Panel Surpmil's Avatar
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    That is a good point that the rifles were apparently accepted before being condemned not long after. I don't know the ins and outs of it, but the problems were so serious and numerous that reportedly consideration was given to just cancelling the whole program.

    Skennertonicon suggests that for political reasons, probably around the US entry in WWI, cancellation was decided against.

    On the face of it, the UKicon War Department would have no incentive to condemn 60,000 odd brand new rifles they had just paid good money for. To say it was done as a negotiating tactic - and to my knowledge no one has suggested such a thing - that doesn't hold water IMHO.

    There is some slim chance the condemnation was done on bad intel, or was extended over too wide range of serial numbers, but in the midst of a war when rifles were needed, it seems unlikely brand new rifles would be condemned unless there was a good reason to do so.

    As for speed of production, that was probably set higher up in the companies. The rifle was designed to avoid as much "hand-fitting" as possible. The longer the contracts ran, the more that could be squeezed out of them!
    "Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing had happened." W.L.S.C..

    "None need deceive a people determined to deceive themselves."

    "If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you" J.R.K.

  12. #20
    Really Senior Member Mk VII's Avatar
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    The Britishicon assessed Winchester as the least cooperative, and most argumentative of all three makers. Eddystone were assessed as the most helpful and willing to make requested changes (evidence given before the Nye Committee in the 1930s).



    Winchester ended up losing money on the project, and it made them unwilling/reluctant to bid for British contracts in 1940.



    Rate of delivery would be contractual, but failure to perform was something the British had no control over, other than resorting to litigation. Interchangeability was certainly desirable, but if you had to wait for it, the rifles were going to be too late to be of any use.





    New York, September 27, 1916. [Copy of telegram despatched 9:15 to Morgan, London) 27424. E. W. Moir requests following be transmitted to Ministry of Munitions of War:
    “22931. I have investigated the situation of the rifle contracts and conferred with Col. Webley Hope, who has now visited all three firms and studied reports of Capt. Manley, Mister Reavill, and Moir's department.
    “Winchester, contract B7231, November 24th, 1914, and B17–15W, March 16, 1915: Captain Manley reports that so far as he knows the model rifle was approved and accepted by Winchester Co. March 23, 1915. There is a doubt about the actual date which I have been unable to confirm as it appears that the Remington Co. say their model rifle was approved by Major Smyth Pigott in January 1915, but Major Smyth Pigott was not in the country in January 1915. The following alterations have been made since approval of the model:
    1. Checkering of stock ordered prior to April 19, 1915, was cancelled and grooved fore end substituted on May 20, 1915.
    “2. Thickening of fore end ordered. Orders for checkering machinery cancelled and claims satisfied by payment 15 cents per rifle.
    “3. Lengthening of ejector approved December 30, 1915. The firm bitterly objected to this but ejectors already made were accepted.
    “4. Recess in face of bolt enlarged not to apply to bolts already made approved March 2, 1916.
    5. Alteration to pattern locking bolt cover plate dated April 16, 1916 made at firm's request to be allowed to make the Remington pattern on account of difficulties with their own pattern.
    “6. Alteration to bolt, barrel, and extractor June 9th, 1916. Firms were told that the change was not to be allowed to interfere with production. Winchester fought this change and have only recently adopted it. Besides these changes there were several slight relaxations of specifications to assist manufacture and inspectors did everything possible to assist production. Mr. Reavill reports that he considers delays in promised supplies were due to
    "1. Promises being made which even in peace time under normal conditions could not have been kept.
    “2. To difficulties in obtaining machine fixings, jigs, tools, and gauges, owing to the great demand and trade disputes.
    "3. To the usual manufacturing difficulty of producing a new unstandardized weapon suitable for military requirements.
    “4. Want of skilled labor, the quantity in the country being totally inadequate.
    5. Owing to want of gauges, the production of unsuitable components which blocked assembly.
    Sir Ernest Moir's staff report: The manufacturers installed ample buildings and machinery to produce the outputs required, but at present over 50% of the machinery in all factories is idle on account of difficulty manufacturers experience in assembling. No changes initiated by the British Government has caused delay in production, while permission to allow the manufacturers to change the materials have been a help to them. The delays in the early days were caused by lack of machine tools, difficulty in obtaining jigs, fixtures, cutting tools and gauges, and lack of skilled mechanics and craftsmen. Much delay has been caused by the manufacture of components before it was known whether they would assemble. The staffs of all three companies were ignorant of what a military rifle required. While we cannot assess any delay caused by the British Government, three months' extension would be ample to meet any claim on that account. There is no doubt that the time required to produce a military rifle was entirely underestimated by the manufacturers.
    "The Winchester Company have been by far the most difficult to deal with throughout as compared with the other firms, and have objected to changes of any kind unless made to their own convenience.
    * Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co., Ilion, contract B7235, November 24, 1914, B7-7W, February 10, 1915, B465–358W, September 27th, 1915: Capt. Manley reports date of approval of model rifle as March 24 or March 25, 1915. As in case of Winchester, I have not been able to verify the date. All alterations of pattern mentioned under the head of Winchester apply to Ilion, except number five. Mr. Reavill's remarks also apply. This firm has cooperated with inspectors to a much greater extent than Winchester and have readily made all changes asked for and have done their best to meet our requirements.
    “Eddystone, contracts B67-59W, April 30, 1915, and B262-195 W dated August 2nd, 1915: Capt. Manley states alterations of pattern mentioned apply except number five, and there is one additional number seven reducing thickness of stock to enable rifles to pack in the service chests dated August 21, 1916. E. W. Moir's organization state of this firm that the spirit of energy, cooperation, and wholehearted desire to produce the best possible rifle in record time has eclipsed even that of Ilion. The main causes of their failure to realize their promises are the same as with other firms. Col. Webley Hope informs me that after going carefully into the defects and difficulties of all three firms he considers that the present design of rifle is such that it cannot be guaranteed to function with all makes of service ammunition and no one is yet in a position to say exactly what change is necessary to put matters right. This opinion entirely bears out my contention that the pattern is unstandardized. Col. Hope agrees that firms have been seriously handicapped throughout by the original trials of the rifle having been carried out by only one make of ammunition. He also agrees that full production of none of the firms can be expected in view of the pattern difficulty. It seems to me, therefore, desirable that firms should not be held responsible for late deliveries to the full extent which would be implied by cancellation in accordance with the terms of the contract. In view of difficulties of functioning of the pattern rifle it would have been impossible for the promises made to have been realized. _ The other causes of delay are clearly set forth in reports by Mr Reaville and E. W. Moir's organization. Minchin."

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