1917 enfield sporter

Whistler

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Need help with modification of 1917 enfield that has been sporterized. Have been stoning the action including feed rails. Can I remove part of the back part of the receiver just above the bolt release lever. Would like to be able to taper this down and do not see a reason why I can't but want to make sure before hand..
 

AMMOe

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Whistler: I used to make magnum actions from P-14 actions, which are the .303 variety of the 1917. Yes. You can remove some of that high left wall on the back of the reciever. There is alot of meat there to carve on. Have you removed the rear sight ears? I used to machine plugs to fit in the recesses left in the the top of the reciever and have then heli-arced into place. Then I machined the rear reciever bridge to match the front. I always got rid of that dog-leg bolt handle as well, and switched it to cock-on-opening. It was one of my favorite actions to tinker with.~AMMOe
 

Whistler

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AMMOe; thanks for confirming my thoughts. I have the rear sight milled down, didn't add any metal and it ended up just a hair lower than front. One piece scope base for 96 mauser will take care of that. Have also been polishing rails, stoning front ring to remove a few nicks. Have original barrel but it groups tight enough that I am not going to go there...its an eddystone receiver and I am worrying about it cracking. I actually like the bolt handle. Rifle came with a very nice piece of wood, just needs refinishing and checkering. Then I will have match receivers for my 06 and 35 Whelen that I got last year. Then all I need is a change to cock on open for both. Nice winter/spring project.

Lucky about accuracy, if it had been a dog, I was seriously considering the 400 Whelen......Now, if I could just find a Winchester or Remington 1917 receiver..
 

scr83jp

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It would seem prudent to purchase a newer safer receiver that requires less modification to be built into a custom rifle.My gunsmith used Sako receivers and Douglas barrels for the custom rifles for his clients and explained the Sako receiver was much safer than the unshielded bolts found in older receivers such as pre 64 Winchesters 03s and others.
 

AMMOe

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There have been some Enfield recievers with cracks and Eddystones have been the most promenent. Winchester and Remington actions have also been found with cracks. If you want to look for a crack then dunk the reciever in gasoline. When it drys the gas will have seeped into the crack and it will be visible. The crack is usually on the front reciever ring and extends towards the rear. The late Frank d'Haas used to think that the cracks were caused by slam fitting barrels at the factory rather than poor quality.

I have built many custom rifles on Enfields though almost all of those have been the P-14, 303 actions. I have built two .375 H&H and some other magnums because the bolt face is correct for the larger rim. Likewise, it was the first choice when I built a 25 Neidner-Krag IMP. The Enfields were 3% nickle steel and pretty tough. Enfields are very hard and drilling requires spot annealing. I done many. Remington made a "civilian" version in their ultra sweet Model 30 Express that became the Model 725 in the forties. Many high pressured rounds have been fired through these actions and they are highly sought after, though basically just a 1917 with an extra bolt guide milled into the top of the rear reciever ring.

If the rifle in question has been in service now for some time then you are probably OK. Should you ever pull the barrel, again check for cracks; the stress of pulling the barrels is also said to crack the recievers.

Have fun with your project!~AMMOe
 

Whistler

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scr83jp. 2 Reasons for using the 1917 receiver. 1. Matches the receiver on my 35 Whelen... 2. cost...price was right, original barrel that shoots good, nice wood. And, assuming that if I change the barrel, any cracks can be fixed, I could have a 35 and a 400 Whelen in the same receiver....No, its not a sako, or a pre 64 win, but its a good solid rifle that I had the opportunity of doing a lot of the work. To me, its all about the project and the matched set.....

Ammoe, had not heard about using gasoline...I have access to a 2 part spray that will ID cracks and to a electronic scope that will allow me to look at it at aprox 6000X....had planned on doing that if I change the barrel....gas is easier and cheaper. Thanks
 

larrysogla

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"And assuming that if I change the barrel, any cracks can be fixed". Front receiver ring cracks are not repairable at all???? right???That is the part where the barrel is threaded into.....all the thrust of the bolt upon firing is absorbed by the front receiver ring. If it ever gives way, there will be one seriously injured shooter. 50,000+ PSI chamber pressure exerts 6+ tons of bolt thrust & will accelerate that bolt toward the shooters head at killer speeds. Careful, it is only a hobby, not a job. God Bless. larrysogla.
 

AMMOe

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Larry is right. If it's cracked, it's scrapped. The one you see won't be the only one. The gasoline trick is an old one but it works in leu of more 20th century techniques. Be cool. ~AMMOe
 

Whistler

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Just a quick update on the 1917. Have removed the extra metal on the back, smoothe off with file and need a smaller wetstone than I have. After finishing this out, I need to polish rails and then a final overall sanding with crocus cloth remove any scratches, then its off to be rust blued. Next project for this rifle is to refinish the stock then have it checkered.....anyone know of someone that can do the checkering?
 

Judson

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The P-14 and P-17 actions are probably the most under rated actions going. I have built many rifles based on these actions including .416 Rigbys. If you clean them up you end up with something looking like a 720 Remington (not the 725 which is closer to the 721 and 722) Just to give you an idea what can be done with this action,this is a P-17 fitted with a P-14 bolt and chambered for the .366DGW which is a necked down .416 Rigby.
By the way, if you want checkering give me a call 207-938-3595
 

Whistler

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Judson, what did you use for the stock finish?? I am not fond of the true oil / linseed oil finishes. Used two different types on a muzzle loader and first time I hunted with it in wet weather, it washed out....
Believe it or not, I have had good luck with Formby's Tung Oil. Came recommended by a friend who does a lot of wood refinishing. Seems to hold up very well in wet weather (3 yrs on my .54), dries hard, has just a little more shine than I like but that's can be fixed. Checkering....Have your number will get around to calling, too many projects with school, work, three rifle projects and keeping the wife happy (top of the list, she buy's me guns)
 

Judson

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I have had very good luck with Tru Oil. However if you are refinishing a stock make sure you get all the stripper out of the wood or else the first wet day, guess what, the stripper is still working!!! Also I wet sand out the stock with mineral spirits before the first coat. Since this thins the TruOil it penitrates deep into the wood and since I wet sand between coats again with mineral spirits I get the finish building up from the inside of the wood out and the end result is a good water proof finish. As with any finish if water can get into the wood it will and this means seal the inletting and all surfaces. Never tried the finish you mentioned but I know others who have and have had good results. If it works, use it! If you want checkering I can help you out there however I cut it all by hand, no electric tools used here for many reasons, look forward to talking to you.
 

DATUM

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If you turn the ears down on a lathe using a mandrel, touch off the front of the receiver and cut the bridge to .100 deeper...Now you will be able to use Remington 700 bases. I've done it and it works.
 

Whistler

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Actually I didn't get to a mill untill after the ears came off with a dremel tool. Don't let that scare ya, been using one for various projects for over 30 yrs. Anyway, I also took some of the extra metal off just above the bolt stop. finished it out with a file and sandpaper...that's what happens when ya live in an apartment. Course I am probably the only one with a 16 speed floor model drill press in their apartment. And yes, the wife is used to this type of activity (after 33 yrs). I took more off the side with a file and am about ready to go to the smith for blueing. Actually, it should look better than my 35 whelen when done.

Shot the Whelen 2 weeks ago and it was way off, may have been the new hand loads but I have been looking for a reason to pull the Springfield Sporter scope off and put a 3x9 Nikon on I had in the cabinet. Will have to sight it in next weekend. I also got my 6.5x55 sighted in last trip...3 rds in 3 different groups that I could cover with a nickel...guess I can live with that.


Anyway, Judson, thanks for the advice on the refinish. Will not start that until the lake thaws. The wife does draw the line with solvents.
 

JOSE A. MARINE

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AMMOe:

I just bought a 1917 remington, with ears and all. it has a cracked stock (need a new one) but has a very nice bore.

since I own a couple of 06´s I was thinking of rechambering this new baby to .300 win mag. which I have reamers already. is this very difficult. ?

I own a machine shop here in old mexico and metalsmithing is my middle name, I even re-blue in my shop.

as a shade tree(new) "gunsmith" I want to know, because I don´t want to go over my head.

what are the most common steps?

we dont have any good gunsmiths in a 300 mi radius.

thanks for any advise.

from down the border, Joe.
 

AMMOe

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JoseM: Sounds like a project! The first thing is to get the barrel off. That can be a real bugger with the Enfields. It's a standard job but they can be very stubborn. I have found that making a relief cut with a parting tool -or even a hacksaw if the hand and eye is steady-right along the front of the reciever ring will relieve a huge amount of pressure on the barrel shoulder. I used to do this to P-14 Enfield actions and they would turn off with a good twist of the wrist in many instances. Do the work carefully and just set back the barrel enough to clean up the shoulder.

For the belted magnum the Brit P14 bolt saves you from having to open the bolt face. It's cut for 303 which is the standard magnum rim. I think I have one here at the house if you don't want to mess with the 30-06 bolt. Of course, if you are going to scrap that dog-leg bolt haandle and MIG another standard bolt handle in place then it's no sweat to chuck up for a bolt face opening: Just cut the handle off and chuck up the bolt body.

The 30-06 magazine might work as-is. With the Brit magazines I drill out the rivets that hold the end pieces in place and reverse them to add the length. If you need more room, an easy fix is to find/ make some half round that will be the same width of the magazine. Cut the end off and weld the half round stock in place.

I hate the perch-belly look to the bottom of the reciever. I cut the dog-leg out of the triggerguard by cutting parallel to the top of the trigger guard area and another parallel cut to the bottom of the magazine area. This will cut out that bend and allow the OAL to remain the same. I made a jig to reweld these.

I have never made a 300WM on a 1917 but I've made a bunch up on P-14's. The cosmetic touches are your own to figure out! There's a lot of metal there to remove.

Anything else??
Let me know. ~AMMOe
 

JOSE A. MARINE

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thanks, I´ll start ASAP.

cosmetic improvements are on the way...

from down the border, Joe.
 

jmabbott888

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You guys would laugh at me on the range, we have a P14 & a P17 both look identical so I have an aluminum planting tag on each trigger guard with the Cal written on it so I don't make any mistakes. Looks funny as sin but it works
 

caterpillar270

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Could someone recommend a gunsmith that can take of the ears of my Remington 1917 enfield and drill and tap? I'm in Texas but could ship the rifle to anyone you might think is competent to do the job. Thanks
 


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