+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 14

Thread: Found my M1917 had been modified...THE HORROR!

Click here to increase the font size Click here to reduce the font size
  1. #1
    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Last On
    06-23-2022 @ 11:59 AM
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun, northern half of the western hemisphere, USA, Texas, Highland Village
    Posts
    129
    Real Name
    David Minick
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM

    Found my M1917 had been modified...THE HORROR!

    Well, this story has a happy ending as I just finished restoring my unscrupulously modified Remington M1917 to spec. Oh, its still not as-issued, as it has an Eddystone lower handguard, but at least the handguard original an not modified! Thru EB I acquired a used, but nearly pristine Remington barrel that was even closer to the date of manufacture of the rifle (based upon the serial number.) The SELLER even turned out to be "local" and I was able to fully check out the barrel before purchasing. ME & TE were 1.0 & 0.0 respectively! I ordered and quickly received a proper handguard ring and a nice looking used handguard (it even had similar wear characteristics as the rest of the wood!) and it all went together effortlessly (even the barrel change went well!) HOWEVER, and Im not sure what to think about this, the bolt closed on all three gages ("GO", NO GO, and "FIELD"!) So do I need to find another barrel, and if so...how do I know the HS will check out????????

    So here it is, with bayo mounted and the offending parts replaced! THANKS GUYS FOR ALL YOUR HELP! Im jus tjot sure I actually have a "shooter" due to the headspace!!!!

    BACKGROUND TO THIS STORY:

    I bought an M1917 a few years back and just two weeks ago got around to checking it out and WHAM...it was unscrupulously modified. All my firearms are shooters, but Im a collector and have slings, bayonets, and accessories for each of my 87 long gun collection (WWI, WWII, & Cold War) so I had to have the proper bayonet mounted on it for my display. I recently acquired an M1917 bayonet and when I tried to mount it on the rifle the muzzle ring would not go over the muzzle. When the handle was located properly the bottom of the bayonet muzzle ring was EXCACTLY in line with the top of the muzzle!

    After some help with the guys here on this forum I sussed out that the barrel had been shortened by 3/8" (two turns of the thread) at the chamber end and the barrel turned down and rechambered. My guess is that it was a NOS barrel and someone tried to cut the headspace, cut too much, and ruined the barrel. Ive done it myself to a total of 4 '03 and A3 NOS barrels...I cringed each time thinking that I knew better! Anyway, the owner at the time then put the modified barrel back on and found a unidentified handguard ring that was too small that would only fit to the seam between receiver and barrel. Then bubba-scam-artist cut the lower hand guard so that everything "fit" and to the casual observer the rifle looked like a normal M1917. In fact, the new headspace was good anAttachment 121550Attachment 121551Attachment 121552Attachment 121553d the ME and TE were both under 1.5!

    OK, so that resulted in a good shooter with lots of life left, albeit NOT to spec, let alone "as-issued". To some, that might not have mattered, BUT the GB listing never mentioned ANYTHING about the modification! Now I confess that if I had done my homework and paid more attention to the listing maybe I should have noticed that the rivets were missing on the far end of the lower handguard, but otherwise, it was a fake...a good fake, but a fake! I was devastated (I just discovered all this within the last two weeks.)

    So, the moral of this story is that it is possible to acquire a decent M1917 these days...but it may take some effort and just a little additional cost! And as always...CAVEAT EMPTOR!

  2. # ADS
    Friends and Sponsors
    Join Date
    October 2006
    Location
    Milsurps.Com
    Posts
    All Threads
    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  3. #2
    Legacy Member SFC Higgins's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2021
    Last On
    06-23-2022 @ 04:16 PM
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    21
    Real Name
    Rick Higgins
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM
    Well it's very nice to see. I love a happy ending and maybe soon you can get it to the range. I also love to have bayonets for each of my own Military issue rifles and the last one I need is one for my own M1917. Thanks for posting photos of such a fine rifle!

  4. Avoid Ads - Become a Contributing Member - Click HERE
  5. #3
    Legacy Member jamie5070's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Last On
    Today @ 10:24 AM
    Location
    tucson, arizona
    Posts
    513
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM
    After all that work, I would test fire some rounds through it and see what the case look like. Even take a mic to them so you have before and after measurements. Even if it's out of spec, you could reload for it, neck sizing only, and keep those rounds for that rifle only.

  6. #4
    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Last On
    06-23-2022 @ 11:59 AM
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun, northern half of the western hemisphere, USA, Texas, Highland Village
    Posts
    129
    Real Name
    David Minick
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by jamie5070 View Post
    After all that work, I would test fire some rounds through it and see what the case look like. Even take a mic to them so you have before and after measurements. Even if it's out of spec, you could reload for it, neck sizing only, and keep those rounds for that rifle only.
    Good advice! Ive never done that, but perhaps its time. Ive got the dies and a Dillon press, but Ive only reloaded pistol rounds to date.
    This experience made me wonder about all my other rifles of foreign calibre that I have. First, the barrel has nearly no erosion, so how is it the headspace fails? Was it cut too long!??! Or is it actually OK? As to the other rifles, most with barrels not near as pristine, how do I even know what the headspace status is? Ive shot my type 97 sniper, G43, VZ52, WWI Enfield No1Mk3, FInnish M39, Moson Nagant 91/30, k98 Mauser, Mause 33/40, etc. many times and no issues!!!

    Am I being to cautious or conservative?

    ---------- Post added at 10:08 AM ---------- Previous post was at 10:04 AM ----------

    Ive seen A LOT of M1917 bayos for sale lately, and at reasonable prices! A few years back they seemed very scarce!?!? Mine has a UKicon scabbard at the moment, but Ive got a proper M1917 scabbard coming soon. Ita seems the WWI scabbards are almost rarer than the bayo.

  7. #5
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last On
    Today @ 09:29 PM
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    27,391
    Real Name
    Jim
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    08:22 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by 1903Collector View Post
    Ive got the dies and a Dillon press, but Ive only reloaded pistol rounds to date.
    Don't try to load those in a dillon, too much of a problem. You have to size, trim, chamfer, tumble before you can load so you can only do one step...sizing. Use a single stage.

    Quote Originally Posted by 1903Collector View Post
    Am I being to cautious or conservative?
    Perhaps have the headspace checked but I suspect it was when the barrel was changed. If so go out and have fun, stop worrying.
    Regards, Jim

  8. #6
    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Last On
    06-23-2022 @ 11:59 AM
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun, northern half of the western hemisphere, USA, Texas, Highland Village
    Posts
    129
    Real Name
    David Minick
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM
    Thread Starter
    Jim, I have the gages and checked it myself! ;-( I also changed the barrel myself. (Is that analogous to a defendant representing himself having a fool for a client!?!? ;-] )

    The removal of the old barrel and installation of the new one went extremely well and took little time. I was thrilled with the results and flying high after it all assembled so well amd the bayo finally fit and felt so smug while I checked the bore erosion, but crashed and burned when the bolt closed easily on each of the gages.

    Today I will try to verify if the rifle had been chambered to a different 30 cal. cartridge, but it is academic because if it is not correct and headspace unsafe, I will need another barrel (and call the guy who sold me the "new" barrel and ask for my money back!)

    One step forward...two steps back!

    Now for the bitter sweat ending, so yesterday I visiting Lee's Gun Parts in Irving, TX to pick up some Enfield mags and '03 and Garandicon parts (Jeff has EVERYTHING and somehow knows where to find the most obscure part in the small ramshackle store front store that has ben a fixture in the Dallas area for decades) we discussed my M1917. Both Jeff and his "tech" (old crony) suggested I bring the rifle in (mostly, I expect, to get a good laugh at my expense, as Jeff is wont to do) to check the headspace and chamber cartridge type, but advised that I was more than likely "screwed" (that was not the exact word they used!)

    After Jeff scrounged for my parts (and showed me a pristine M84 scope, and more tantalizingly, a serialized Griffin & Howe M1C mount that I cant afford) I noticed a pristine example of a Eddystone M1917 with Kerr sling and frogged bayo hanging on the wall tagged at a pretty damn good price (this is typical of Jeff at Lee's Guns, parts and guns for exceptionally low prices (as well as advice and deserved ridicule) are always available as well as many obscure parts and firearms. So...without thinking it thru, but despairing of finding another barrel with good bore and verified chamber sizing, I bought the damn thing while mentally justifying an expense I cant really afford, by thinking I can at least change it back to the shortened barrel and sell it, and sell the Kerr sling and M1917 bayo separately (with the modification clearly explained in the description, of course!) in order to offset the purchase of the Eddystone.

    Surely someone out there will be looking for a good M1917 shooter and will not be too bothered by it being 3/8" too short and unable to fit the correct bayo!?!?!?

    So next week, Ill take heed your advice and take the Eddystone out and murderlize a lot of hanging paper at 200 meters! :-)

  9. #7
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last On
    Today @ 09:29 PM
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    27,391
    Real Name
    Jim
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    08:22 PM
    Quote Originally Posted by 1903Collector View Post
    I also changed the barrel myself.
    I can do mine as well, even things like Lee Enfield and Mauser so I'm not surprised. Just so many can't.

    Keep the Kerr sling for the new one as it's right and yes convert the other back. You can return the "New" barrel and recoup some of the cash for the sale of the shooter M17. That way the white elephant is gone.
    Regards, Jim

  10. #8
    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Last On
    06-23-2022 @ 11:59 AM
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun, northern half of the western hemisphere, USA, Texas, Highland Village
    Posts
    129
    Real Name
    David Minick
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM
    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by browningautorifleicon View Post
    I can do mine as well, even things like Lee Enfield and Mauser so I'm not surprised. Just so many can't.

    Keep the Kerr sling for the new one as it's right and yes convert the other back. You can return the "New" barrel and recoup some of the cash for the sale of the shooter M17. That way the white elephant is gone.
    Jim...If you could see me I must look like I have egg on my face...a red face of embarrassment, but a smile of relief!

    I think I wrote in the previous that working on this rifle and checking the results myself might be analogous to a defendant representing himself having a fool for a client? Well, its true! I used my headspace gage this evening to check if the chamber was maybe for a different cartridge. I used the "FIELD" so that Id have a bit extra length. The gage fit snuggly so I was reasonably sure it was .30-06. But for for some reason I again closed the bolt on the gage and, unlike yesterday, noticed that the bolt handle didnt quite rotate all the way down. Now, I am as near an expert on the history, versions, and acting as a armorer on 1903's and Carbines as one can be, but I dont know Enfields, No1 Mk3, No4 Mk1, No5 Mk1, P14 nor M1917 what so ever. Ive just got them in my collection and shoot them now and again. So I was utilizing my '03 experience yesterday when closing the bolt on the gages. Its always a quick slide into the receiver and a hard "clunk" when rotating the bolt that doesnt close on a gage. I failed to recognize that the Enfield M1917 is a different design entirely. It has a resistance force when shoving the bolt into the receiver and the bolt handle buries itself into the middle of the stock when rotated closed. Long story short, I mistook the "feel" of the M1917 bolt for being fully closed on the No Go and Field gages. Today I verified that the bolt DOES NOT close on either!!! The the headspace is good and the gun is safe!

    Now...what do I do about the Eddystone!?!? Do I complete the sale next week (I always get DELAYED by NICS), or do I plead mea culpa to Jeff Lee and back out of the deal? Both rifles look great, the furniture of both is outstanding, both have the Kerr sling and M1917 bayo (the Eddystone has the correct scabbard and a FROG!!). Jeff guarantees his items, I bought my M14icon from him about 12 years back and it is flawless. So Im certain the Eddystone also has good bore and headspace! To be honest, I could flip it and probably make a couple hundred...but Im not sure that will stand well with my moral compass...

    Decisions, decision!
    Last edited by 1903Collector; 11-18-2021 at 08:05 PM. Reason: clarification

  11. #9
    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Last On
    Today @ 09:29 PM
    Location
    Victoria BC
    Posts
    27,391
    Real Name
    Jim
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    08:22 PM
    If the one you fixed is good and you don't want the other, just 'Fess up to him and he'll not care. A buyer can be found every day for those. I wouldn't bother trying to buy and flip it as that can sometimes bite too.

    I would have been surprised if the "Field" gauge failed in a decent barrel too. Anyway, it's all worked out for the rebuild.
    Regards, Jim

  12. #10
    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2012
    Last On
    06-23-2022 @ 11:59 AM
    Location
    3rd Rock from the Sun, northern half of the western hemisphere, USA, Texas, Highland Village
    Posts
    129
    Real Name
    David Minick
    Local Date
    06-26-2022
    Local Time
    10:22 PM
    Thread Starter
    Yes, and many lessons learned...I HOPE!

    Im toying with the idea of completing the Eddystone buy. Ive got a WWI, WWII & Cold war collection of 80 long guns (battel rifles, sniper, carbines and trench gun) from each of the main belligerent countries (I include the Finns with the Axis and the Frenchicon cheese-eating-surrender-monkeys with the Allies, but have limited my WWI collection to the UKicon, France, Italyicon, Japanicon, USAicon, Germanyicon, & Austriaicon). My US WWI & WWII collection includes an early SN representative from each manufacturer ('03, '03A1, M1903A1(m), & 03A3, M1 Carbine & M1 Garand). But if I get the Eddystone, I will need only the Winchester to complete the theme and include the M1917 in the list. At this point in my financial history Ive no business adding ANYTHING to the collection...but my self control in this area has been demonstrated as being...a work in progress!?!?

    (still need a Lebel 1888, Mosin Nagant 1891, '03 Air Service Rifle, IHC M1 Garand, Rashid, RPK, and SVD! and then...and then...need to complete the relatively small 10 gun hand gun collection ;-] )

+ Reply to Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Why doesnt my M1917 Bayo fit on my M1917??
    By 1903Collector in forum Edged Weapons Forum
    Replies: 35
    Last Post: 11-16-2021, 10:45 PM
  2. 1903 Modified
    By Raven26 in forum M1903/1903A3/A4 Springfield Rifle
    Replies: 7
    Last Post: 02-09-2021, 03:15 AM
  3. No 1 Mk 3 modified?
    By Slater in forum The Lee Enfield Knowledge Library Collectors Forum
    Replies: 11
    Last Post: 11-19-2013, 11:51 AM
  4. Found A Smith-Corona 03A3 "Sporter" For Dirt, It Will Stay As Found
    By echo1 in forum M1903/1903A3/A4 Springfield Rifle
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 12-30-2012, 12:55 PM
  5. 1950 Long Branch "The Horror"
    By Brian B in forum The Lee Enfield Knowledge Library Collectors Forum
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 05-10-2012, 01:21 PM

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts