The Sunday after my first High Power match I took my 1917 to a vintage rifle match. I was having some trouble with it last season that I had rectified with a Flex Hone but I hadn’t taken it to a match yet to give it a full work out.
I was worried about rapid fire but it turned out the time I had spent practicing paid off. I finished in plenty of time even before some of the Garands. I’ve gotten the hang of keeping the rifle on my shoulder as I work the bolt which makes rapid a lot more consistent. Next time I’ll take a bit more time on each shot.
I struggled a bit in off hand per normal but all and all it was a good match. I beat my personal best for this rifle which is great, with a little luck and practice I should be in better shape by Camp Perry.
I was able to successfully fix the ejection problems my M1917 was having with a flex hone, I posted about it here
While my initial “less than a minute” wasn’t enough, I honed it again for longer maybe 3 minutes in and out slowly (that’s what she said?) After I was done the shoulders were “white” so there was probably a lot of build up from years of shooting blanks.
HXP ejected like butter, some of my reloads still needed some extra force but that could be related to me poorly sizing the brass, mentioned back in may
I may touch it up just a bit more but I am excited that I finally found a solution!
I forgot to take a picture of my 1917 so instead here is one of my Winchester Grenadier while being test fired for the first time. (worked pretty well, 4 MOE, for an ME=3 rifle)
As mentioned in the last post my Model 1917 and I haven’t been getting along very well. To try and repair our relationship, I got up early and went out to the range with the 1917, a big box of HXP, and some SR-1s to do a little couples counseling.
80 rounds later I think we have a better understanding. I stuck to prone and did several timed rapid strings which have been a problem for me.
It looks like a big part of my problem was simply having the elevation set too low. A couple clicks up to the 300 yard mark did the trick. I do seem to have a windage issue as you can see many of the shots are trending to the left. For now I am going to hold off with just a bit of black to the left of the front sight.
I also feel better about working the bolt. I have been having trouble with the rear sight folding back and coming dangerously close to having the battle sight crushed by the bolt. I’m trying to get in the habit of watching my “workspace” and the rear sight while I work the bolt. Its hard to “feel”
When this is about to happen due to the force needed to close the cock on closing action .
Sore shoulder aside It was a good day at the range hopefully it will translate to better performance in the next match.
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.