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Old 06-16-2016, 01:46 PM
Jpm Jpm is offline
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Massachusetts
Posts: 1,461

1917s are big ugly brutes while the grasping groove 1903 is a sexy seductress. I think that's part of it, plus its not something you see in movies and TV shows like Private Ryan or Combat, Rat Patrol, etc. So its not really as famous/well known as a battle rifle in that regard.

Also I think it gets a bad rep on the internet because of the cracked receiver issue that some with JA barrels had. I know when I was looking for info about the one I was thinking of buying (first I'd ever seen!), that was something that came up a lot in my searches.

But once you actually get one and shoot it, you quickly change your mind. The extra weight tames the recoil nicely and you can load it with 6 rounds, a 20% bonus over the 03!! And after a couple of rounds, I came to love the cock-on-close action of the 1917 bolt.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:07 PM
RC20 RC20 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 571

Originally Posted by jcharlt33@yahoo.com View Post
Thanks, that makes sense, and I was also theorizing that the "ugly" factor had something to do with it...
Edsels were ugly but they are worth a lot (though an Edsel station wagon is pretty cool)

Someone once told me its not how rare something is, its how people perceive and desire it that drives the value.

A one off no one wants is worthless, 5 million of something everyone wants goes sky high.

Until I got into this a few years ago I had no clue a 1917 existed let alone its crucial role in WWI and on into WWII even (usually as a secondary arm, but allies and such it was ll that was available to give them)

I love them, not sure why, something abut them grabs me.
Some hopes with 1917 coming up we will see a change. Stay tuned!
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:08 PM
bruce bruce is offline
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: Georgia
Posts: 977

Have owned and fired a number of these rifles. For carrying and shooting some... like the 03/03-A3. For carrying and shooting a lot... P-17 is a better choice. For any kind of rough duty the 17 is superior to the 03 which has a delicate rear sight and less than strong front sight. For careful fiddling around target shooting, the 03 w/ a micrometer adjustment tool to use with the rear sight can produce some really remarkable on target results. The 17 is a better rifle for any kind of practical shooting. The 03-A3 is in that respect at least as good.

Value? It depends. In equal condition, I would likely buy another 17. I like the way they handle. The bolt travel is incredibly smooth for a traditional mauser pattern rifle. I can see why some might prefer the 03. In slow fire, either rifle handles well. The 17 is easier to use sighting. In rapid fire, again, either rifle handles fine. However, it will be easier to acquire the front sight on the 17 ... or the 03-A3 compared to the 03. Over a long match, recoil is a factor. The extra bit of weight of the 17 is a help. I can see why in an earlier era devoted to target shooting, folks would have preferred the 03 as its rear sight was more adjustable. The 03 was and is more ideally suited to the target range. For the knock about reality of actual field usage, the 17 and the later product improvement of the 03... the 03-A3 ... these were better rifles much better designed for actual use in the field.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:09 PM
RC20 RC20 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 571

Originally Posted by trfindley View Post
M1903s are worth $200 more than P17s because York is using a M1903 at 9:18

That time in the Morning ?
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:14 PM
RC20 RC20 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 571

I would say if there is a saving grace it is the Internet that we can communicate where it stands and get it in its correct place and desirability.

It simply never bot the cachet the 1903 did.

Keep in mind at the time 100s of thousand were converted to practical hunting guns.

No one though anything of either one of them, they were4 cheap practical conversions, dice throw as to which one you got and did.

Its the post WWII generation that drove it, and the 1903 was given all the credit for WWI and the Sgt York think did not help.

You didn't find surplus 1917s after WWII like you did the 1903s and that's what my Dad went with. Low cost, lots of stocks for it.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:34 PM
S99VG S99VG is offline
Join Date: Jun 2010
Location: Northern California
Posts: 2,073

Hey, the 1917 is a fine rifle with a better battle sight than the 03. So many were produced that there was talk of adopting it as the standard service rifle. I say grab one as long as they are still relatively cheap!

PS - don't worry about their looks. They all are battle rifles, not beauty queens.
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:40 PM
RC20 RC20 is offline
Join Date: Sep 2012
Posts: 571

Say yea!
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Old 06-16-2016, 02:48 PM
Saiga Saiga is offline
Join Date: Sep 2010
Location: Wisconsin
Posts: 17

But Sgt.York used the M1917
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:09 PM
road road is offline
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: Tennessee
Posts: 92

Historically contended that York was using an M1903. I may be wrong, but I thought I read his outfit was armed with M1917s. I shot one, had to get one and really like how they look.

Last edited by road; 06-16-2016 at 03:22 PM.
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Old 06-16-2016, 03:34 PM
steelap steelap is offline
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: North AL
Posts: 5,638

What I have read (but can't find the citation right now) was that the Perry shooters complained about the inability to make windage corrections with the M1917 rear sight, unlike the M1903.

Accordingly, even though the M1917 was a superior battle rifle, the target shooters carried the day and the M1903 was designated (or kept the designation) as the Service rifle.

May have been in Brophy or Ferris, not sure.

"Life is Good!"
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