I was lucky enough to get in on the last batch of bolt guns from the CMP in early October 2011. After much heartache she showed up a couple of months later.
I didn’t make the 200 some service grade and got “downgraded” to a field grade. Those couple of days between the card charge and delivery were very stressful. However it was well worth it.
I received a great looking Eddystone with a July 1918 receiver and a Remington November 1918 barrel and a WWI Eddystone stock.
Per the tag the muzzle erosion was 0+ the “bullet test” confirmed this.
The Model of 1917 (it’s proper name BTW) has a neat story behind it. The British were tooling up to replace the SMLE with the “Pattern 14″ or P14 (which is where the erroneous “P17″ nickname came from).
The brits didn’t have the production capability to build these at the rate needed to beat back the Hun so they contracted out to Winchester, Remington and Eddystone.
When 1917 rolled around and the US started to ramp up for war production Springfield couldn’t produce 1903s fast enough and the Brit’s production of SMLEs had caught up. So the P14 was converted to 30-06 and the Model of 1917 was born. The Model of 1917 went on to out number the 1903 by 3 to 1 by the end of the war.
In my option the biggest advantage the 1917 has over the 1903 is the rear sight. As opposed to the 1903 ladder sight mounted in front of the action. And the 1917 has a peep sight behind the action. Of course the 1903 has windage and the 1917 doesn’t.
My 1917′s rear sight.
If you have the chance to pick up a Model of 1917 do it. They are great shooters with a fascinating history.
If you’re looking for more information on this rifle C. S. Farris’ book is a great resource on this rifle.