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    Legacy Member GSM44's Avatar
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    Question Eddystone Barrel Date Question

    I have a 1917 eddystone P17 SN 540xxx manufactured May 1918 with an Eddystone barrel marked 12-17.
    Is the barrel date to early to be original to the receiver, or is it more likely to be a replacement barrel?

    Thank You

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    From a manufacturer’s perspective, it makes a lot more sense that the barrel was found on the back of a shelf and mated up in May.

    I would think that *most* replacement barrels were manufactured some time after the rifle.

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    Immediately after WWI many M1917 were rebuilt with existing parts including barrels if need be and placed in storage. Those placed in storage were rebuilt a second time as many barrels were improperly preserved for storage and had to be replaced. This caused a shortage of M1917 barrels at the beginning of WWII and new barrels had to be subcontracted. Of course this also includes additional M1917 rifles built from spare parts at the beginning of WWII. The US military at the beginning of WWII always had a shortage of .30-06 rifles, even with M1icon Garand and M1903 production and M1917 in surplus stockpiles.

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    So there I am, it's 1918 and I'm screwing barrels into receivers just as fast as I can. There's a war on, don't cha know?

    So I grab the next one out of the stack and fit it just as fast as the machine will let me.

    Date on barrel? Number on receiver? I dunno. Who cares anyway? They've all passed inspection.

    Collectors worried about matching in a century's time, when I'm long gone?

    Give me a break, this is a factory and I've got work to do!
    Last edited by Patrick Chadwick; 06-13-2022 at 10:48 AM.

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    Legacy Member GSM44's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Patrick Chadwick View Post
    So there I am, it's 1918 and I'm screwing barrels into receivers just as fast as I can. There's a war on, don't cha know?

    So I grab the next one out of the stack and fit it just as fast as the machine will let me.

    Date on barrel? Number on receiver? I dunno. Who cares anyway? They've all passed inspection.

    Collectors worried about matching in a century's time, when I'm long gone?

    Give me a break, this is a factory and I've got work to do!
    That sounds about right as to what the "factory" worker may have been thinking back in 1918, however, not relative to the question in my original post.
    I was simply asking what other, more knowledgeable forum members thoughts were regarding originality of barrel to receiver on my rifle based on manufacture dates.
    I appreciate the above members who posted helpful responses to my question.

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GSM44 View Post
    That sounds about right as to what the "factory" worker may have been thinking back in 1918, however, not relative to the question in my original post.
    Well...that's exactly relative to the question at hand. Who do you think decided which barrel to install? That worker.

    My day job is as a production manager in a factory. Today we strive for "first in, first out," "just in time production," and all sorts of Lean manufacturing principles.

    In 1918, John Patterson at the National Cash Register Company was just starting to put policies like these into overdrive. Ford had been working on continuous improvement for a few years but nothing concrete. Toyota was still busy making weaving looms.

    Point is, I think Patrick's take is probably pretty spot in. It was a wartime subcontractor factory. Even if they had rigid production and quality systems in place (they didn't), things like Patrick describes would happen constantly.

    They still do in modern factories.
    -Ryan

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    GSM44, I am sorry if you found my post unhelpful.

    I was just trying to illustrate that any correlation between receiver numbers and barrel dates is of a statistical nature, not a rigid rule. The help (and so it was meant to be) is to point out that assuming such a rigid correlation can lead to faulty judgements as to so-called "originality". And in that sense, it was indeed relevant to the question in the original post.

    Of course, if you still find this unsatisfactory, you can study a copy of "United Stated Rifle Model of 1917" by C.S. Ferris, where you will find tables showing that Eddystone barrel dates and receiver numbers did indeed show a scattering of several months.

    In other words, there is no unambiguous answer to your question.

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    Legacy Member oldfoneguy's Avatar
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    I have a potential theory for this situation.

    Would it be possible that barrels that had a slight defect be stockpiled in a barrel. One day when management decided to give out some overtime worker A would be assigned the task of correcting those defects. Then the next day that barrel was added to the line so maybe 30 to 60 rifles in this rifles serial number sequence all ended up with variously dated non matching barrel dates?

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    Advisory Panel Patrick Chadwick's Avatar
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    Barrels being reworked and then added to the stockpile on the assembly line sometime later?
    Yes. it's a theoretical possibility. Although I imagine that the barrel would only have been stamped if it had passed inspection.
    Once again, it's all speculation with no certain answer.

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    I would like to note that a video does exists of a worker assembling the Model of 1917, placing the barrel into the receiver. He placing the barrel on the receiver as fast and efficiently as possible no attention is given to the markings on the barrel or the serial number on the receiver. These rifles were assembled with no thought of doing them in sequence. First in and First out. They were shipped out the same way.

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