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  #1  
Old 11-08-2015, 08:55 PM
amaxwell amaxwell is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
Posts: 17
Default Advice on 1917 at LGS

My LGS just took in four ex-USMC honor guard rifles: two Winchester ($800 ea) and two Eddystone ($600 ea) M1917s. The Eddystone stocks appear to have an arsenal marking on the side, so I'm assuming they were rebuilt; all have greenish parkerizing. I'm hesitating over the bores, which have strong rifling, but are dark and heavily frosted; apparently they fired a lot of blanks without cleaning. The bolts don't close on a field gage, and are E marked; barrels are E marked, 1917-1918, and the wood is good, aside from usual wear.

What are the chances these would be good shooters as-is, or could be cleaned up? The price seems a bit steep to me, but I don't see many un-sporterized rifles locally. Thanks in advance for any advice.
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  #2  
Old 11-08-2015, 09:25 PM
Jpm Jpm is offline
 
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Location: Massachusetts
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I bought an ex ceremony Eddystone from my LGS because it looked so good aside from the bore. It was a sewer pipe and I could barely find rifling after several trips to look for it. I finally saw a hint of rifling and decided to offer 500 and they took it. Figured it would be worth re-barreling if necessary because the rest of it was so nice.

I scrubbed the bejesus out of that bore with Krud Kutter, Hoppes #9, M-pro7 and bronze brushes until it finally had pretty well defined lands & grooves. It was still dark but I took it to the range and put 5 rounds through and the bore look much better! Blew out some of the crud with those shots. Took it home and scrubbed some more and came back and shot it again and it did pretty well but it was still kind of rough.

I bought the Tubbs Final Finishing system with the bullets you load yourself and fire 10 of each, then clean, 10 more and clean etc. Each round of 10 is slightly less abrasive than the last and it smooths and polishes the bore as you go. You could actually feel the bore get smoother every time you cleaned it afterwards. It definitely cleaned it up nicely and its a good shooter now.

So pick a nice one and make an offer for less and prepare to do some scrubbing! But it will be your favorite when you bring it back to life.
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  #3  
Old 11-08-2015, 09:30 PM
ceresco ceresco is offline
 
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Ask if you can clean the bores and make offers accordingly. A new Criterion barrel is about $200 plus installation. Decent 1917s are typically $5-600. I did see a nice one with bayonet go for $1100 at a recent (real) auction. It took two bidders to make that happen--we thought they were nuts. 1917s are not particularly valued outside CMP circles, but they have a following for vintage class. Good Shooting.....
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  #4  
Old 11-09-2015, 08:44 AM
Slapshot Slapshot is offline
 
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Location: Kalamazoo County, Michigan
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The Winchesters are way overpriced. All four are undoubtedly rebuilds and if the bores are decent, $600 would be the maximum I'd pay for any of the four. As Ceresco suggests, see if you can clean the bores of some of the accumulated crud for a better evaluation.
I've owned a couple of 1917's with bores that rated 8-9 out of 10 and both shot quite well.
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  #5  
Old 11-09-2015, 09:31 AM
amaxwell amaxwell is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2015
Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
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Thanks, all. I forgot to mention that they had already cleaned the bores, so I suspect anything that would come out with a basic patch/brush was already done. It sounds like my instinct re: price was correct, but it might be possible to turn one into a shooter.

What are the chances of rebarreling an Eddystone successfully? I've heard rumors of cracked receivers from that.
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  #6  
Old 11-09-2015, 10:03 AM
Oldvetteman Oldvetteman is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Location: Larkspur, Colorado
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Where did the LGS get these rifles, directly from the honor guard? If so, they probably still belong to the military and would fall into the "stolen" category if there were to be an accounting.
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  #7  
Old 11-09-2015, 02:57 PM
Jpm Jpm is offline
 
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Location: Massachusetts
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The receivers cracked when they were overtorqued during rebarreling at the factory. If I remember correctly its typically Eddystone receivers with JA barrels. Normal rebarreling methods should be fine if its the original barrel. Or you can try cleaning it aggressively and/or using electrolysis to clean it. Nothing to lose really.
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  #8  
Old 11-09-2015, 09:18 PM
amaxwell amaxwell is offline
 
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Location: Olympic Peninsula, WA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Oldvetteman View Post
Where did the LGS get these rifles, directly from the honor guard? If so, they probably still belong to the military and would fall into the "stolen" category if there were to be an accounting.
I wondered the same thing, but based on a local newspaper article, it appears they were turned over to the Marine Corps League honor guard by the county commissioners in 2012, having been in the Sheriff's armory for over a decade. Who knows what the full chain of custody is, but they didn't come directly from the Army.
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  #9  
Old 11-11-2015, 03:00 PM
FredG FredG is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Yutan, Nebraska USA
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Any 1917 Enfield with a 1917 dated barrel is tough to find.
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  #10  
Old 11-11-2015, 06:07 PM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is offline
 
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Location: California
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Winny's are nice. Find one with a Winny barrel and low-ball the shop. Sorry, haggle over it. Try to bring a rod and check out the bore. Good luck.
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