1917 Eddystone range report

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by cointoss2, Mar 4, 2003.

  1. cointoss2

    cointoss2 Guest

    ThePitbullofLove
    Member
    Posts: 19
    (8/10/02 11:16:10 pm)
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    Finally got to take my pawnshop acquired M1917 to the range.
    I'm impressed. When I had it inspected by a gunsmith, he said he was amazed at how tight the action locked up, and how good the bore was, being an 84 year old rifle and all.
    So I hoped for good things when I got it to the range.
    Didn't do any meaningful accuracy work; mostly fired offhand. It hit the paper and grouped consistently at 100 yds. In fact, several groups were very nice. I was using Twin City's M-2 ball dated 1955.
    The thing I noticed most was apparent lack of recoil compared to the M1903 and M1903A3. The '17 recoiled about like a Garand, helped no doubtedly by it's weight and length.
    I was concerned about the lack of windage adjustment, but it shot to the point of aim, so it was a moot point.
    I love this rifle. A couple of guys came down to the range during a break in our session, both carrying Garands. The saw my '17 and I got bombarded by questions. They were amazed that it still wore it's original finish and by how little I paid for it. I let both of them shoot it and they both remarked on it's accuracy and lack of recoil. They said they too liked it better than the '03. The only down side was that they were both better shots than I was with my own rifle...oh well, more practice is needed!
    public.fotki.com/ThePitbullofLove/gats-things_that/us_model_of_1917/


    life is the crummiest book I ever read, there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up-Guerwitz-1994

    Xracer
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2564
    (8/11/02 7:29:08 am)
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    PitBull.....that is one pretty, pretty rifle. I'm jealous!

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 892
    (8/11/02 11:52:32 am)
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    Yup, the 1917 is heavy, is massively built and is an accurate rifle. Gunsmiths used to use this action when building up the big bore magnums in the 50's and 60's when mag actions weren't generally available.

    The reason you notice less felt recoil between the '03's and the '17 is, indeed, somewhat due to the greater weight. The main factor is the difference is stocks. The short pull-length and severe drop on the 03's make them real stompers. If you're aware of it, you can compensate - that's why a lot of the old timers would place the thumb along side the stock, instead of wrapping it around the grip. Ever had a thumb get in your eye? OUCH!
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
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    (8/11/02 7:51:10 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: 1917 Eddystone range report
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    What did you give for that beauty pitbull?

    I would love to own one.


    Tac401
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    (8/11/02 8:18:05 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: 1917 Eddystone range report
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    I've got one in the same condition only parkerized, the
    finish on the wood, metal and rifling are mint!


    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    ThePitbullofLove
    Member
    Posts: 20
    (8/12/02 1:08:14 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: 1917 Eddystone range report
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    Thanks guys, glad you like her!
    I paid the princely sum of $300 OTD at a pawnshop.
    She was marked at $400, but managed to talk the girl who ran the shop down.
    I think she's worth it
    life is the crummiest book I ever read, there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up-Guerwitz-1994

    Bob In St Louis
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 2736
    (8/12/02 6:51:54 am)
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    "I think she's worth it" -----

    The rifle or the gal at the shop? (nudge, nudge, wink, wink, know what I mean?)
    Crusty Cruffler of Fine Spanish Pistols - Eibar Rules!

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5746
    (8/12/02 7:59:54 am)
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    That is a very nice looking rifle. LTS

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 5700
    (8/12/02 6:11:51 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: 1917 Eddystone range report
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    It's worth at least twice that or better from what I see
    lately of 17's in that kind of shape!

    In all the years I've had mine I've never fired it however,
    now I think I'll take her to the range and enjoy after
    being pumped up from this thread!
    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    Smokin Guns
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 130
    (8/12/02 7:05:50 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Damn Nice!!!
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    You can sell me that rifle any time ya want!!!

    nighthawksh
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 142
    (8/13/02 1:43:22 pm)
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    I am not wishing to get an argument going, but I would like some clarification. It is my understanding that ALL Eddystones are, or can be, unsafe to fire. My boss (a gunsmith for over 50 years) will not repair on one at all. I have seen him, on more than one ocasion, take a hard rubber mallet, hit the receiver of an Eddystone, and it cracked open like an egg. To my untrained eye, the guns had looked fine. He has a large box in the back of his shop with over 100 cracked receivers off of Eddystones. Whenever a customer comes in with one, he advises them to just hang it on the wall.
    Now, Winchester and Remington 1917's are another story. Or so I am told.

    I know this has probably been argued ad infinitum, ad nausium, but I am still interested in hearing opinions.
    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    "Those willing to give up freedom in exchange for security will soon discover they have neither"

    ThePitbullofLove
    Member
    Posts: 21
    (8/13/02 8:12:37 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Damn Nice!!!
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    Funny you should ask...
    The "problem" with Eddystones comes not from a manufacturing defect, but from ham-handed gunsmiths.
    The barrels of Eddystones are notoriously tightly attached. When barrels are replaced, or removed from the receiver, relief cuts must be made to facilitate removal. If these cuts are not made, micro cracks can form in the reciever due to the extreme pressure and torque required to remove the barrels. This can lead to the reciever problems your friend noted.
    If your Eddystone has it's original barrel, then you're pretty safe. If it's rebarreled (whether sporterized, or having a replacement barrel) then it's always a good policy to check the reciever for stress cracks.
    Please note that while the Eddystone was the 1917 produced in the highest numbers, and the 1917 was used more than the 1903 during WWI, the 1917 never developed a "dangerous rifle" reputation like the low number Springfield's did. It wasn't until some poor attempts at gunsmithing, that the '17 developed any problems at all.

    Here's a link to a discussion on this subject:
    pub109.ezboard.com/fparal...=366.topic
    life is the crummiest book I ever read, there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up-Guerwitz-1994

    Edited by: ThePitbullofLove at: 8/13/02 9:15:10 pm

    HondoJohn6508
    V.I.P. Member
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    (8/13/02 8:55:58 pm)
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    That is one really nice looking 1917!!!! I would say that it is definitely a keeper.

    In reference to military actions-I always return to the books of Parker O. Ackley-"Handbook for Shooter & Reloaders", Volume II, 'The Strength of Military Rifle Actions'pp1-22 and in the same volume,"A Few Causes of Blowups",pp22-45.

    It is a not-too-subtle reminder to "PAY ATTENTION,STUPID"
    Sometimes I need a little reminder--how about ya'll?

    ..............Ol' John..............

    nighthawksh
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 143
    (8/13/02 9:43:08 pm)
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    OK, before I go any further with this, I shall go back and research to find the NRA article and warning from a few(?) years back. I do recall a very severe warning about this weapon, and not for 'HEAVY HANDED GUNSMITHS" but for the condition of the reveivers (with no mention of the barrels)!


    I will withdraw until I find said article, and if I can not find such article, then I shall return, and offer my humblest apologies.



    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    "Those willing to give up freedom in exchange for security will soon discover they have neither"

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 913
    (8/13/02 10:49:02 pm)
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    No need for apologies, Nighthawkish -

    We're all here to learn and discuss. Right or wrong, it sparks good conversation and we all benefit by it.

    I'll still stand by my original statement of large bore, high pressure customized rifles made by competent gunsmiths using the P-17 action. Fact is, my brother has one (still in 30-06) that was done years ago that shoots just fine all these years. Heavy as Hell, but he likes it!
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    nighthawksh
    V.I.P. Member
    Posts: 144
    (8/14/02 12:49:07 pm)
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    kdub

    my boss (James Brock,gunsmith) has built many custom rifles using 1917 receivers, but always Remington or Winchester, and never Eddystone,,,oppss,,I was not going to comment anymore until I find that article,,,,
    Stan H ,, nighthawk

    "Those willing to give up freedom in exchange for security will soon discover they have neither"

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5785
    (8/14/02 1:42:00 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Damn Nice!!!
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    Anyway, this rifle you are considering--- Collectors due tend to look down on "import marked" guns (and value them accordingly) however that attitude seems to be softening somewhat, especially for the low end items which appeal as much for their shooting quality as their historical significance. Century Arms International (CAI) apparently used the generic P14 model designation, or whoever did the stamping just plain screwed up, as I think they are also found more correctly marked M1917, but that is not a big deal one way or the other. The stock markings indicate overhaul or inspection at U.S. arsenals, probably after WW1 or during WW2. SAA indicates San Antonio Arsenal, and is usually followed by another letter indicating the inspector. The 3-GM-K marking is unidentified, but has been noted mainly on M1917s and very rarely on M1903A3s or other U.S. arms. There is no known problem with "low number" Eddystone rifles. However, there have been cases of a few Eddystones which suffered cracked receivers, apparently during the overhaul process. The bearing surface between the face of the M1917 receiver and the rear of the barrel is much larger than on the M1903, and it takes a HUGE amount of force to break the old barrel loose, and to seat the new one. I have never seen one, but this has been reported in reliable sources, so they must exist, but not in such numbers as to be a real worry. (Have any gun you intend to shoot checked by a competent gunsmith prior to firing.) While you note that only the rear sight appears to be marked R or W instead of E, that alone should be an indication that other parts are also likely to be mismatched. Nothing wrong with such parts mixes as a result of overhauls, but totally matched rifles will bring a premium, as will rifles with original blue finish instead of a parkerize refinish. Hope you find one you like, if not here, then somewhere else. John Spangler



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    # 4889 - Krag Bayonet



    ThePitbullofLove
    Member
    Posts: 22
    (8/14/02 3:13:50 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Damn Nice!!!
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    Which is exactly what i was saying in my previous post.
    Thanks LTS.
    life is the crummiest book I ever read, there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up-Guerwitz-1994

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 5717
    (8/14/02 10:26:17 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: Damn Nice!!!
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    Checked mine, functions, shoots and looks great too!

    I got it 8-years ago from a WWII Vet and close friend.


    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    Edited by: Tac401 at: 8/15/02 9:14:14 pm

    kdub01
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 921
    (8/14/02 11:04:33 pm)
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    A magnifying glass may be of benefit, Steve -

    However, if you have access to dye penetrant type of nondestructive testing, this is a great way to detect cracks you can't see with the eye. Check your local area for testing labs and give them a call. They can either perform the work at reasonable cost or let you know where to get a test kit. You may like to have a kit on hand in your shop for general purposes, if the cost isn't prohibitive.
    "Keep Off The Ridgeline"

    warpig883
    *TFF Staff*
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    (8/14/02 11:45:41 pm)
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    ezSupporter
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    The dye penetrant kits can be bought from supply houses like MSC. They are not very expensive and work very well.


    I was actually school trained on nondestructive testing when i was in the Army. We did dye penetrant, magna flux, and flourescent penetrant.

    ThePitbullofLove
    Member
    Posts: 23
    (8/15/02 9:55:17 am)
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    I'd seen an article referring to a way to test for receiver cracks using either white gas or gasoline applied to the area in question. The liquid would quickly evaporate, but if a crack were present, the liquid could be seen as a "wet spot" in that area after the remaider has evaporated.
    If you try this, please do it outside, in a well ventilated area, away from sources of ignition/
    life is the crummiest book I ever read, there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots, pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up-Guerwitz-1994

    tccox
    V.I.P. Member
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    (8/16/02 9:12:17 am)
    Reply | Edit | Del 1917 eddystone
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    Hey LTS,

    I was looking for this thread last night and couldn't find it so I posted on the other site. I knew I had seen a picture someplace.

    I haven't been able to contact the seller of the one I was interested in but hope to sometime today. Not really sure I want one now since I read about the receiver cracks. Tom

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 5807
    (8/16/02 9:54:19 am)
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    There is nothing to really fear about these rifles, if you are informed. Try here oldguns.net/cgi-bin/f2f/f...&a4_02.htm

    LIKTOSHOOT
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 6546
    (11/20/02 7:56:08 pm)
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    BTT

    Tac401
    Administrator
    Posts: 6393
    (11/20/02 11:10:47 pm)
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    ezSupporter
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    Love my 17, will always have it, outstanding!

    Tac
    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    Zigzag2
    *TFF Senior Staff*
    Posts: 4684
    (11/21/02 6:32:24 am)
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    T and I were discussing C-n-R's and I dug 1 out of the safe I have'nt shot in 10yrs. They do make great shooters.

    ThePitbullofLove
    Member
    Posts: 45
    (11/21/02 3:16:41 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Wow...my post is still alive...
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    I still love the Eddystone. Fired it at a shoot last month and concensus of all shooters at that event was that it was a terrific shooting rifle with great sights.


    Tac401
    Administrator
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    (11/21/02 6:52:42 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: Wow...my post is still alive...
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    You Bet PBL!
    TFF VMBB Email Tac

    EvilAudio
    Member
    Posts: 1
    (1/4/03 9:57:53 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del 1917 Eddystone
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    Not to interject as a rookie....but I recently found a '17 (a browser sent me in your direction..love the forum BTW) and it has no rear sights. No sign of a sight ever being there and later removed. There are also four small holes for a scope mount. One screw is even still present in the hole.
    My question is, were thre ever any sniper models produced by Eddystone? I can't seem to find any info.
    I might also add that the stock is not a full length, it stops midway out the barrel, doesn't go the length like the photo shown in this thread. There is a stamping in the stock that reads:
    R. A. K.
    E3
    It is obviously an old (perhaps original?) and worn stock.
    Any info you guys may be able to give would be appreciated. Thanks.



    Edited by: EvilAudio at: 1/4/03 10:53:45 pm

    TallTLynn
    *TFF Senior Staff*
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    (1/4/03 10:21:51 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: 1917 Eddystone
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    EvilAudio - don't know a lot about the Eddystone's but the rear sight was probably mounted where the two rear holes are for the scope mount.

    From the sounds of what you are describing you may have one that was sporterized at one time - I've seen some beautiful jobs done with the original stocks - they are cut back and look quite good.

    As for if a scope mounting would be stock - well on that I can't even hazard a guess.


    EvilAudio
    Member
    Posts: 2
    (1/4/03 10:44:53 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Scope mounts
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    You may very well be right about the stock. A friend tells me that the stamping is someone's initials and rank. So it being an original cut down to sporterise sounds about right.
    Perhaps you are correct about the sights too, but I can't for the life of me find evidence that there were ever rear sights on it at all. I might add that there is no shroud on the front sights either.

    idunno .....damn frustrating rifle to find info on.

    Edited by: EvilAudio at: 1/4/03 10:50:47 pm

    TallTLynn
    *TFF Senior Staff*
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    (1/4/03 10:52:06 pm)
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    ezSupporter
    Re: Scope mounts
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    Evil - the rear sights on one of those goes on the back part of the receiver - it's a peep sight I believe. That is what leads me to think they took it off and just bored two more holes in the front for a scope mount. But again it could of been made for a scope to begin with. Is the bolt for it original - can't remember if they numbered bolts for 1917's and is the bolt turned down so one could use it for a scope?


    EvilAudio
    Member
    Posts: 3
    (1/4/03 11:03:17 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Scope mounts
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    By the looks of this picture of Pitbull's rifle the rear sights were machined into the receiver. If the '17 I'm looking at had these sights on it at one time, someone went through alot of trouble. I'm beginning to beleive this IS a sniper model. But as you said the stock has been cut down. I wish I could post some pictures.
    The reason I actually need the info is that I am thinking of buying this rifle from a neighbour and would like to know how much to offer. (he thought it was a Garand!!!!) So if I can get the thing for 200 bucks and it's worth like, 800.......I'm ALL over that deal!!!
    images.fotki.com/v6/photo...IMG-th.jpg
    "If a tie is like kissing your sister, losing is like kissing your grandmother with her teeth out." George Brett

    Edited by: EvilAudio at: 1/4/03 11:04:15 pm

    ThePitbullofLove
    V.I.P. Member
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    (1/4/03 11:13:32 pm)
    Reply | Edit | Del Re: Scope mounts
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    To my knowledge, the M1917 was never a dedicated sniper.
    There wasn't an M1917 that lacked iton sights or had a cut down stock in military service either.

    That said, many M1917's were used to build sporter rifles following the War. They were prized for their strength and smooth actions. In fact, the Remington 700 line of bolt guns is derived from the Enfield 1917 line.
    Many of these sporters had front & rear sights removed and the protective ears for the rear sight ground off. When done professionally & well, it can be difficult to tell that the sights were ever affixed to the rifle, or that it ever had ears. While I morn for the 1000's of rifles that were sporterized, a great many were done by gunsmiths of great skill.

    So it's entirely possible that if your gun were sporterized by a skilled smith, you might not be able to tell where he removed the sights. The mounting points could have been filled, polished and blued over. Some gunsmiths built absolutely beautiful sporters on these actions.
    ...............................................

    life is the crummiest book I ever read,
    there isn't a hook, just a lot of cheap shots,
    pictures to shock and characters an amateur would never dream up-Guerwitz-1994
  2. Dogma

    Dogma New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 24, 2004
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    Location:
    Gilbert,Az.
    That is great to here someone else who has an Eddystone 1917. I aquired one from my father when he passed away who aquired it from his Father who aquired it courtesy of the United States army during WWII when he was in Okinawa. This 30-06 shoots amazing. Tight groupings at 100yrds. with open sights no less!


    Chad
  3. Admin

    Admin Active Member Staff Member

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2001
    Messages:
    11,654
    You bet, Dogma!

    It's one of my absolute favorite rifles, and as you said;

    Welcome to TFF Dogma!
  4. oneissuevoter

    oneissuevoter New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2006
    Messages:
    1
    Location:
    Texas, Nort near McKinney
    I am looking forward to shooting my new to me remington 1917. Ill post pics later, but I paid $339

    Ive wanted one of these along time.
  5. .30-06 shooter

    .30-06 shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    My 1917 Eddystone shoots really well. I shoot 180 grain bullets out of it. They are my handloads. I know what you mean about the recoil difference because i also have a 1903 Springfield. I think it is because of the shorter barrel that the M1903 kicks so much harder. Its funny cuz my grandpa bought my eddystone for $10 and when my other grandpa was a kid his dad bought him my Springfield for $14.95!
  6. whirley

    whirley Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2008
    Messages:
    542
    I have seen "Eddystone actions rebarreled for everything from .458 Win. magnum to .270. All worked well. I have a 1917 Eddystone in .375 H&H that is a real pleasure to shoot. I have an unmodified 1917 rifle made by Winchester that has been used for deer hunting since 1936. With the original aperature sights it's faster on a deer than a scope sight. Never had any problems with feed or ejection or anything, and I really like the very positive safety that pulls back the firing pin and locks the bolt.
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