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Curio & Relic Gallery Post pictures of your favorite milsurp here.

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Old 08-13-2019, 11:01 AM
loademup loademup is offline
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Update for new readers:

I wrote this post about WW2 Lend Lease M1917 rifles to Britain and used one of my own M1917 rifles as a example, including pictures of some markings and features. A forum member subsequently identified my rifle as being sent to Canada.

Subsequent quick research gives a figure of 2193429 M1917s going to Canada, but zero under the Lend Lease program. In fact, it seems from reading, that Canada didn't get much in the way of equipment during WW2 under the Lend Lease program compared to other countries; and Canadian factories produced weapons for the own army and under their own agreements with Britain and Commonwealth nations.

There must still be a few M1917s up in Canada which the Canadians probably adopted for hunting and sporting purposes after the war.

Original post follows:


While surfing the web on a rainy day this winter, I ran across this website that lists the numbers of various military equipment sent to allied nations under Lend Lease during WW2:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/...dex.html#index

There are 7 sections in the document covering everything from chemicals to aircraft sent overseas under the WW2 Lend Lease Act.

Of possible interest to firearms collectors would be the types and number of US military small arms…M1903, M1917, M1 Garand, etc., sent to various countries under the Lend Lease Act. This is found in “Section 3-A, Ordnance- General Supplies”:

http://www.ibiblio.org/hyperwar/USA/...L-Ship-3A.html

After the index pages in this section, on page 5, line 25, it indicates:

Great Britain received 119.000 M1917 rifles, China got 152,241 and the remaining free Netherlands Dutch forces (exiled forces in Britain or maybe Asia?) got 40,000 M1917 Lend Lease rifles.

I lack other historical resources to verify the exact figures given in the document and the authority which these numbers are stated, but I’ll make an assumption the information is authentic and correct.

Other minute details about the M1917 that can be dug out of the above Lend Lease inventory information…Britain received 255,202 M1917 extractors, 50,001 M1917 bayonets, 208,995 M1917 scabbards and so on. Why did they receive far more scabbards for the M1917 bayonets than the bayonet itself? Well, perhaps they needed scabbards for the bayonets used on the British Pattern 14 rifle. The scabbards were made of leather and maybe deteriorated faster during field use.

I happen to have an example of one of the 119,000 M1917 rifles shipped to Britain. CAI was selling M1917 rifles back in the early 1990’s and my British returnee was among them.



In the picture above:

Remington US Model of 1917 rifle (receiver and barrel) with Remington made M1917 bayonet. The scabbard is a reproduction.

The rifle had a ring of red paint around the stock and upper hand guard when I obtained it. Thinking it ugly looking, I mistakenly removed the red paint. I should have read the history books first because I do value history.



One can still see traces of the red paint on the stock. I gather that the red paint was used to quickly identify the rifle as being a US Model of 1917 rather than the British P14 which used a different caliber.

The stock has a very meticulous, fine repair…a sign of Old World craftsmanship and wood working skills?



The rifle has a British Broad Arrow stamped on the receiver below the serial number.

I have noticed that the rear end of follower has been shaved down. I think this possibly was done for drill and inspection. It allows the bolt to close on an empty magazine well without the need to push down the follower. There is also a device invented called a “Depressor” that permitted the M1917 bolt to be closed without interference from the follower. Here is a link to what this part looks like if you want to see it:

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/products/413460

Perhaps the shaved follower was an armorer’s simple way of fixing the problem for rifles used a lot in training, drill and inspection.

In addition to the later British service markings, there are, of course the original American Bomb Ordnance and Eagle Head Inspector stamps on the receiver and various individual parts.



Above, what looks like a British Unit marking stamped on the stock with a Broad Arrow seen on the right. Though I have researched, I have not been able to find any other information on the Unit marking.

I have read that in Britain, the M1917 rifles were given to the British Militia, the Home Guard. When the Home Guard was disbanded in 1944 after the immediate threat of invasion across the channel was over, the rifles were then used for training by the military. So, maybe the “TC” in the stock marking may mean something like “Training Corp”.

I went through the task of identifying parts on this rifle. It seems that the stock and related parts are Eddystone and the receiver and barrel along with the bolt body are Remington manufactured. There are a few Winchester parts sprinkled in on the stock and BCG.

The serial number on the receiver indicates that it was made around September 1918 and the Remington barrel is dated July 1918. Based on the closeness of the two manufacturing dates, I may hazard to guess that the barrel is probably factory original to the receiver, and from my barrel inspection examination, excellent for its age. I’ll also hazard to speculate that the rifle, being made so late in the war, never made it to the front of the Great War and was probably put in storage and then later sent to Britain and started service there in fairly pristine condition ( I also see no US arsenal rebuild stamps/markings on this rifle to further support my speculation).

Another feature on this rifle:



There is a serial number on the bolt, a very British-like thing to see. The serial number does not match the receiver’s serial number, and is in fact too high to be in the range of Remington made M1917’s but falls within Eddystone numbers. I speculate that the bolt once was used on an Eddystone M1917 during its British service life.

I have headspace checked this particular firearm and for a 100+ year old rifle, it passes with flying colors. Muzzle erosion at the barrel end is also minimal. It still looks and feels pretty solid and with the known background and markings on it, I am glad to have it in my collection.

If you should find one these 119,000 M1917 British Lend Lease rifles, don’t let the red paint, bumps, dents and Broad Arrows scare you off. You are looking at a war relic from two wars that can factually be placed at a time and place in some of the darkest days of WW2 facing Western civilization, and such a rifle could be a great addition to any M1917 historical collection. I wouldn’t pass one over for inspection if I saw one, and if you obtain one of these rifles...keep the red paint!
Attached Images
File Type: jpg remington-receiver-broad-arrow.jpg (53.3 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg remington-stock-broad-arrow.jpg (82.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg remington-bolt-serial-no.jpg (49.7 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg lend-lease-m1917.jpg (22.1 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg remington-stock-photos.jpg (46.2 KB, 18 views)

Last edited by loademup; 09-04-2019 at 1:03 PM..
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Old 08-13-2019, 4:47 PM
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highpower highpower is offline
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The broad arrow inside the “C” indicates your rifle went to Canada.
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Old 08-13-2019, 11:26 PM
loademup loademup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highpower View Post
The broad arrow inside the “C” indicates your rifle went to Canada.
Thanks for the update. Good to know. I was off by 3600 miles. I found something about the Canadian M1917s on the Gunboards, CMP and other forums. Using your information, I did find a Canadian 31st Brigade Group unit active during WW2. So it is a wonder whether the unit marking on the stock is in reference to that unit. They still used M1917s for training purposes, and I have found some indications that "TC" after the "31" may mean "Training Center".

Last edited by loademup; 08-14-2019 at 8:51 AM..
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Old 09-01-2019, 6:50 PM
risingsun212 risingsun212 is offline
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I bought one earlier this year with red paint and faint "30.06" that you can barely make out on the stock. I read that these red painted rifles were given to the British Home Guards. 30.06 was marked to distinguish from the P14s that fired 303. I will post pictures of mine soon.
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Old 09-02-2019, 7:12 AM
risingsun212 risingsun212 is offline
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Default my 1917

Red paint and "30.06" marked on stock, follower ground down as well. Looks like it's originally made in 1918 based on serial number and barrel marking.

RS
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File Type: jpg IMG_1346.jpg (7.4 KB, 10 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1342.jpg (16.1 KB, 5 views)
File Type: jpg IMG_1343.jpg (7.1 KB, 5 views)
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Old 09-03-2019, 4:24 PM
loademup loademup is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by risingsun212 View Post
I bought one earlier this year with red paint and faint "30.06" that you can barely make out on the stock. I read that these red painted rifles were given to the British Home Guards. 30.06 was marked to distinguish from the P14s that fired 303. I will post pictures of mine soon.
Quote:
Originally Posted by risingsun212 View Post
Red paint and "30.06" marked on stock, follower ground down as well. Looks like it's originally made in 1918 based on serial number and barrel marking.

RS
Thanks for showing some pictures of your M1917. I see you have what looks like a broad arrow within a "C" on your rifle's stock too. My Canadian broad arrow marking is very faint and I had to magnify the picture greatly. Not knowing much about the Canadian Broad Arrow marking, I always thought the faint "C" was just part of an impression circle left from a stamp used to make the broad arrow...that's about a quarter of century misconception on my part.

I've read the same thing about the red paint around the front of the stock, that it helped distinguish the M1917s from the P14 .303 cartridge firing rifles.

I don't remember my rifle as having a "30.06" marking by the paint. As I said, I regret removing the paint from my rifle.

I mentioned my rifle was imported by CAI (Century Arms International) back in the 1990's. I wonder if your rifle was part of that batch and has a CAI import stamp on the barrel.

Regards!
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