Picked up a Winchester 1917 on GB

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Ever since I borrowed an M1917 at the CMP New England Games, I've been on the lookout for a shooter.

The past few weeks a few of them have slipped away
* GB Auction for a Remington with a HS Barrel and nice rebuild cartouche - got into a bidding war with another guy. The 15 minute rule turned into 2.5 hours. Clearly the other guy wanted it more than I did, and grossly overpaid
* CMP Forum member posted a nice Eddystone with a replacement W barrel on it, gauged nicely, but I was too late to respond as I was sick that day
* Same guy offered me another 1917 through PM, but the muzzle was at 2.5; too worn for me. Otherwise nice rifle.
* Fellow shooter called from the Wilmington gun show, there was a vendor there with a few nice '17s. Friend passed contact info, but the guy never called back.

I found this one in the depths of GB. Not a featured auction, way down at the bottom of the search and pictures make it look very field grade-y. Stock has a noticeable repair. I also noticed that the barrel didn't feature a date or mfgr stamp behind the front sight AND I noticed that the barrel was a 4 groove RH twist. This could potentially be a Criterion replacement barrel..... Ended up taking a risk, placing the only bid and won. The vendor is in S.NH so I drove up there with my C&R, threw down some cash and there I had it. $500.

The receiver appears to have the original blued finish, the bolt is W, stock is W, bayo lug W, trigger housing and floor plate W, other parts a mix of R and E. Muzzle gauged to '1' and turns out to indeed be a Criterion barrel from late 2009. Checked headspace and it's fine too. It came with a 1917 marked sling which is wicked old, maybe repro, but it came off in favor of a Ron Brown sling.

http://imgur.com/a/xCAzR
 
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majspud

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Gotta Love Winchesters. Now that I have both carbine and Garand in Winchester, maybe a M17 as well. Not my favorite shooter though the trigger is about 1 inch too fat away for comfort, and its a heavy bastard to boot.

The lack of rear sight elevation was the main reason why production was cancelled in favor of the M03 after WWI. Nice catch.

T
 

majspud

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You can find original stocks if this one is unserviceable. You will pay a premium for a Winchester. Welcome to the Winchester club. There are two on eBay now; one in sad shape. Several on GunBroker as well. A quick 'Bing' search found several other sources.

T
 
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Despite the repairs, I believe the stock to still be plenty serviceable. If the '17 stock is anything like the '03 stock, the only points where the barreled action makes contact with the stock is at the rear tang, the front lug and at the fore-end / tip of the barrel channel. All of these areas are fine. Plus, I kinda like the look of a patched up stock. Since taking those photos, I removed the action again and will apply a few coats of BLO. The wood is very dry.
 

mac1911

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Despite the repairs, I believe the stock to still be plenty serviceable. If the '17 stock is anything like the '03 stock, the only points where the barreled action makes contact with the stock is at the rear tang, the front lug and at the fore-end / tip of the barrel channel. All of these areas are fine. Plus, I kinda like the look of a patched up stock. Since taking those photos, I removed the action again and will apply a few coats of BLO. The wood is very dry.

I don't mind a been there done that look...it's just amazing what a nice fitting stock can do for consistency and accuracy.
 
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I don't mind a been there done that look...it's just amazing what a nice fitting stock can do for consistency and accuracy.

Yep, definitely an important part of the equation. Have Friday off work, gonna bring the 1917 down to the range and see what happens.
 
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I was able to take the rifle to the range earlier. I loaded up 25 rounds of my bolt gun load, 46.0 imr4064 under a nosler 155cc

Earlier this morning I gave the bore and chamber a deep cleaning.

Got setup and shot 5 into the berm right away

Shooting prone at the 100 yard SR1 with a 6 o'clock hold. I was more interested in seeing where the rifle grouped. Adjusting sights will be another day.

Looking at the picture below, the group started by the china marker and 'migrated' down towards the pencil. Probably the action finding it's home in the stock and also I was shooting with a brand new sling. The caliper in the photo is the size of the 10 ring on the SR1 target.

http://i.imgur.com/oRMBte9.jpg
 

mac1911

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your probably going to need 10 plus rounds to seson the bore and another 15+ to settle the action... now dont remove that action for a while... I needed to play with action screw tightness on both my 1903s to get the groups to tighten up.

I was schooled on tightening the front action screw 1st. just enough to have no felt wiggle. than give the butt end a good thud down on a padded piece of wood. then slowly tighten the rear tang screw and watch the tang/rear of reciever...if it moves downward you have bedding problems. this can be enough to bnd the reciever enough to keep bolt from cycling smoothy.
I run my 1903a3 at 40 inlbs up front and finger tight and a 1/2 turn more on the rear...both ny stocks are new though. also be sure there is a little clearence around the tang so you dont crack the wrist of the stock
 
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Exactly... That's why I put 5 in the berm right away. That and I wanted to make sure the rifle was safe to shoot before I had my face pressed against the rear sights.

Interestingly enough I expected the shots to go high; I was using the flip up sight and it starts at 200 yards. Of course there are variables like front sight height, ammo, etc. Nice that I can now use the rear sight elevation to get me where I want to be and not have to find a taller front sight or something. I have set my 03A3 to shoot at 100 yards when set to '200' on the rear sight via front sight height.

Afterwards I shot my 03A3 and it felt like a nice oiled glove. I can see why the soldiers preferred the 03 vs the 1917 in WW1.
 

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Exactly... That's why I put 5 in the berm right away. That and I wanted to make sure the rifle was safe to shoot before I had my face pressed against the rear sights.

Interestingly enough I expected the shots to go high; I was using the flip up sight and it starts at 200 yards. Of course there are variables like front sight height, ammo, etc. Nice that I can now use the rear sight elevation to get me where I want to be and not have to find a taller front sight or something. I have set my 03A3 to shoot at 100 yards when set to '200' on the rear sight via front sight height.

Afterwards I shot my 03A3 and it felt like a nice oiled glove. I can see why the soldiers preferred the 03 vs the 1917 in WW1.

Depends I guess on What you read.
There is stuff in Hatchers books about how some old marines rather the krag and or 1917... The big complaint on the 03 is the useless rear sight.
I have no real desire to shoot a 03.
Anyway nice you have some room to play with on the rear sight.

Can't figure out how to link it but if you have not found it
Google. 30 cal US rifle M1917 by dick culver 2003 pretty good read.
 
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Still fun to shoot, just a different animal.

Only downside to the 1917 sights is no windage adjustment at rear. Gotta drift the front sight.

Have until next spring to make this thing shoot 10s and x's at 200 :)

Might look for a wider front sight too.
 
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mac1911

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Still fun to shoot, just a different animal.

Only downside to the 1917 sights is no windage adjustment at rear. Gotta drift the front sight.

Have until next spring to make this thing shoot 10s and x's at 200 :)

Might look for a wider front sight too.

been a while since I shouldered one and don't know if the front sight is big enough for my eyes now!

here is a old post when I was close to buying one and wanted to be ready for cmp vintage if I did

http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=124274

I have been slowly figuring out other rifles also...
 

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I'm taking mine to the range tomorrow; I haven't shot it in four years, I think. Hopefully the massive size will dampen the recoil next to my Mausers.

T
 

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mac1911

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I'm taking mine to the range tomorrow; I haven't shot it in four years, I think. Hopefully the massive size will dampen the recoil next to my Mausers.

T

Nice... is that sling long enough to use in loop fashion ?
Anytime I want to keep recoil at a minimum I shoot prone or sitting.
When benched all the recoil just goes into your shoulder differently.
Sling used correctly will help with precieved recoil also.
 

mac1911

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Should be; its a reproduction M07 marked Hoyt/1917. Nice and supple; I've had it for 8 years. It was first used on my M03.

T

The few reproductions I have are all a tad short to sling up loop style. Basically a carry only sling.
 
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