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  1. #1
    Contributing Member METT-T's Avatar
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    Winchester 1917 questions

    Hi guys, new to the forum and wanted to get a read on what looks like a matching Winchester I recently picked up. I've been a casual milsurp collector for years but have never really had anything that might present as "correct," but I'm hoping I might've done pretty well rolling the dice at an auction. Went down the rabbit hole last night so I hope I'm asking the right questions, apologies if I'm missing something obvious.

    The rifle is 278xxx. Barrel is marked 5-18 and looks great. Everything I see has a W. Stock looks great, no markings other than the W, the eagle with a 544 seen below, and a 43 underneath the bolt handle. Take a look at these action screws, tho. One appears to be still staked but buggered, the other doesn't have the punch indent lined up with the slot. Thoughts? Maybe somebody decided they were going to take it apart with the wrong size screwdriver, got one screw to move and then gave up on the other? Or is it a restake?

    Thanks in advance and let me know if there are any other pics that can help. Attachment 121999Attachment 122000Attachment 122001Attachment 122002

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    Legacy Member martin08's Avatar
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    It's not unusual to see that the previously staked screws have been moved. There has been a century's worth of curiosity of what might be found inside.

    The stock appears to have crisp inspection stamps. And the blond shade of the wood is OK for the Winchester.

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    Legacy Member pickax's Avatar
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    Welcome and thanks for showing your Winchester, your few pics are enticing. Would love to see more of the whole rifle. The barrel date lines up with receiver mfgr. time as well.
    Both screws appear to have been turned to me, albeit with a non hollow ground screwdriver. Not the end of the world though.

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    Contributing Member METT-T's Avatar
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    I'm not the best photographer but I'm happy to share! Let me know if there's anything in particular I should take a photo of. Guess I shouldn't be fixated on the screws. It has some honest wear, wasn't a NOS rifle for sure.

    I'm very pleased with this one. I also have a boxed OGEK Eddystone with JA barrel - never had the receiver checked - and a great uncle's Eddystone Colorado deer rifle. That's a compass in the stock. Can't hate it. I wonder if 50 years from now these sporterized rifles will have their own collector's niche as examples of mid-20th century craftsmanship. Attachment 122003Attachment 122004Attachment 122005Attachment 122006Attachment 122007

    ETA: Should mention, came with a 1918 dated sling and I picked up a Remington bayonet in really nice shape for an additional $100.
    Last edited by METT-T; 12-14-2021 at 12:14 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Nice looking rifles, yes more detailed pics would be nice.
    Regards, Jim

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    Legacy Member Salt Flat's Avatar
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    That is a really beautiful Winchester. Nicest blue and wood that I've seen for awhile. Regarding the sporterized milsurps--- They have risen in value lately and will rise over time to a certain extent. I used to like to restore sporterized rifles but in this era it is really not smart due to the high cost of parts and wood. So that leaves me with a few ugly sporters that I will enjoy all the same! Salt Flat

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    Contributing Member METT-T's Avatar
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    Thanks! Yeah, very pleased with this. It was an auction where I was really looking at a Kragicon, pictures weren't great and details were scarce, but I took a chance and threw a bid on it. Nobody else bit.

    My grandfather did wood inlay and checkering on various rifles, mostly commercial, but some surplus as well. I have a high-wood IBM Carbine I'll post pictures of one day...no collector value in the wood but I wouldn't trade it for anything.

    Here are a few more pics. Anybody want to take a SWAG at valuation? Closest thing I could find on Gunbroker was $1950; this look pretty similar?

    https://www.gunbroker.com/item/914802048

    Attachment 122050Attachment 122049Attachment 122048Attachment 122047Attachment 122051Attachment 122045

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    Legacy Member martin08's Avatar
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    The Gunbroker auction is a very good indicator of the value of your rifle. Sreisel usually gets around a 10-15% premium over other sellers with similar wares. But your gun looks nicer than his. It's a $2,000 piece to the right buyer. But don't sell it! It will be difficult to replace such a beauty.

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    Contributing Member METT-T's Avatar
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    Awesome.

    I rarely sell anything, but I keep a running Excel spreadsheet so my wife doesn't get ripped off at my estate sale.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    "I rarely sell anything, but I keep a running Excel spreadsheet so my wife doesn't get ripped off at my estate sale."

    A precaution that I have also taken, and recommend to everybody.

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