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Winchester P14
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February 6, 2022 - 12:12 am
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 Recently picked up a Winchester P14 rifle as part of a three rifle deal.Rifle is in decent condition,barrel has not been cut,but the wood has been cut back ,as most of the old full wood army rifles have been.Not just sure what I will do with it.If I have it for awhile, I will give it a try at the range when the weather warms up.

 

 The fellow I obtained it from ,told me it was his Dad’s rifle and that he had bagged a lot of deer with it in the past.

 

 Any one ever shoot one of these rifles ?If so, what were there thoughts on the rifle?

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February 6, 2022 - 12:54 am
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28 gauge said
 Recently picked up a Winchester P14 rifle as part of a three rifle deal.Rifle is in decent condition,barrel has not been cut,but the wood has been cut back ,as most of the old full wood army rifles have been.

Which is why those that escaped butchery (inc. ’03s, Mausers, etc.) are worth so much today.  But is yours a true P14 (.303), or a Model 1917?

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February 6, 2022 - 2:45 am
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 Thanks for the reply,clarence.Pretty sure it is a .303.Will have to try a cartridge in it to be sure.SmileIf one could find a good stock ,this would be a good rifle to put it on ,as everything else seems to be original to the rifle.Of course I am no expert on the P14.

 

 Even the old Lee Enfield rifles are getting up in price.Altered ones selling in the $300 range and the unaltered ones, going for much more.At one time these rifles were a dime a dozen and the poor man’s deer rifle.Smile

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February 6, 2022 - 3:15 am
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28 gauge said

 Even the old Lee Enfield rifles are getting up in price.Altered ones selling in the $300 range and the unaltered ones, going for much more.At one time these rifles were a dime a dozen and the poor man’s deer rifle.Smile  

Oh, brother, do I remember that well!  As late as the early ’60s, when they were being sold for pocket-change in Rifleman ads, & almost every month there were articles in the Rifleman or other gun mags on how to “sporterize” military rifles. 

I thought most of the P14s were shipped to England, but I guess there were exceptions.

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February 6, 2022 - 1:19 pm
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 Could very well of been to England and shipped to Canada after the war as surplus,I suppose Clarence.I remember as a boy Dad having a 303 Lee Enfield ,that was stamped Made in Australia.Wonder how that made its way to Canada.SmileThe stories these old firearms could tell.

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February 6, 2022 - 3:52 pm
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Hi 28 gauge,

The P’14 (Pattern 1914) rifles in original condition are getting pretty hard to find.  Like the Model 1917 they were made by Eddystone, Remington and Winchester (with the Winchester being more desirable to collectors of course).  The early rifles were marked on the receiver with simply a “W” prefix in front of the serial number and similar for the Eddystone and Remington (“RE” in an oval).  The barrel will be marked under the rear handguard near the receiver (again with a W, R or E and the serial number of the receiver).  All other small parts will be marked similar to the Model 1917 except for the lack of the U.S. “eagle” ordnance acceptance stamp.

As Clarence mentioned, many of the Model 1917 rifles and, to a lessor extent, the P’14 rifles were sporterized which creates a shortage of original stocks and barrels.  The stock for the P’14 is slightly different in the magazine well area than the 1917.  They can be interchanged with a little fiddling but there will be a gap at the magazine well and the floorplate will not be at the right level.  There are semi-finished stocks available for the 1917 but if your intent is a correct restore then it is not worth the effort.

The other reason the P’14 stocks and barrels are in short supply is that Britain and Canada used those rifles for Training and Drill.  Many of them were demilled with a hole drilled though the chamber from the side and a pin welded in place.  The receivers were then stamped “DP” for “Drill Purpose”.  Since the drilled hole was lateral it left a large scalloped area cut in both sides of the stock just forward of the receiver.  When stock shopping make sure you do not accidently purchase one that has had the scallops neatly repaired as they directly affect collectability (but not shootability).  Also, if you run across a “restored” (re-barreled) DP marked rifle examine it VERY carefully since the poorest condition rifles were pulled from the armories first for the DP conversion and many had issues, including cracked receiver rings (which is why some were demilled).

And, finally, since there is a barrel shortage, Criterion did a run of the .303 P’14 barrels a few years back (short-chambered).  I bought a few for some shooter grade rifles and they are excellent, brought my groupings down significantly, and that is with the open sights.

I enjoy shooting the .303, it is still a great caliber and classic rimmed cartridge, especially if hand-loaded.  I have my Dad’s Lee-Enfield .303 he sporterized as a graded project in High School shop class back in the early fifties (try doing THAT today).  That lend-lease Lee Enfield (made by Savage and U.S. Property marked) was purchased at Sears Roebuck from a barrel of rifles for $15.  He couldn’t afford a 1917 since that tub of rifles was $20.  So, for the simple difference of five dollars 70+ years ago it sparked an interest in the .303 in me which is still going strong to this day since that was the first centerfire rifle I shot as a young boy.  While one small part of me wishes the rifle was in original condition I would MUCH rather have it in the condition my Dad left it.  His love and craftsmanship is still evident on the rifle and it was sitting in my Dad’s modest rifle rack for as long as I can remember.  It will go to my kids (who have also already shot it).  Wonder if Dad was thinking about his future son and grandkids shooting that rifle when he was shortening the barrel and re-crowning it on the High School shop lathe….. 

I do collect them so let me know if there are any other questions you may have.  Also, I would be interested in seeing pictures of yours.

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February 6, 2022 - 9:21 pm
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 The rifle is at a friend of mine at present.Was there today and tried a 303 cartridge in it and it fit and extracted as it should.Afraid picture posting is a bit beyond my poor computer skills.Thanks for the information.All very interesting.Have no real interest in the rifle myself.Just part of a three gun deal I did.If I have it long enough, I will take it to the range to shoot.The barrel has not been cut and all looks original to me except  the cut off wood on the forend.

 

 My friend is having some medical problems of late.I told him if he wanted to sell the rifle ,get what he could for it and  I would split the money with him.Would help him out a little, as he cannot work like he used to.

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February 6, 2022 - 9:32 pm
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 Just wanted to add ,that at one time I had a 303 Lee Enfield that was marked U.S.Property.The story I was told when I  got the rifle, was that it was made at a time when the U.S. could not legally sell arms to either side in the war.So the British would tell the U.S. government what they wanted and pay for it.Then the U.S. government would order the rifles.When they were completed and delivered to the U.S. government.The U.S. government said they were surplus and since surplus arms could be sold,delivered them to the British.

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February 6, 2022 - 9:53 pm
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JWA said

I enjoy shooting the .303, it is still a great caliber and classic rimmed cartridge, especially if hand-loaded.  I have my Dad’s Lee-Enfield .303 he sporterized as a graded project in High School shop class back in the early fifties (try doing THAT today). 

Well, try bringing your .22 revolver into Jr. High shop class to make a leather holster for it, as I did!  Shop teacher merely verified it was unloaded & proceeded to help me with my project.

Alas, the shop class of my little country school had no metal working eqpt. at all, otherwise I might now be enumerated with the likes of Pope & Niedner.  Because even at that time I was fascinated by lathes, & begged my parents to spring for one of the Unimat lathes I’d seen advertised somewhere; but to no avail.

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February 7, 2022 - 8:02 pm
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28 gauge said
 Just wanted to add ,that at one time I had a 303 Lee Enfield that was marked U.S.Property.The story I was told when I  got the rifle, was that it was made at a time when the U.S. could not legally sell arms to either side in the war.So the British would tell the U.S. government what they wanted and pay for it.Then the U.S. government would order the rifles.When they were completed and delivered to the U.S. government.The U.S. government said they were surplus and since surplus arms could be sold,delivered them to the British.  

Hi 28 gauge,

I would be interested in purchasing it if the barrel is in good condition.  You can PM or email me the details if or when it is decided to sell it.

Thanks!

Jeff

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February 7, 2022 - 8:08 pm
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clarence said

Alas, the shop class of my little country school had no metal working eqpt. at all, otherwise I might now be enumerated with the likes of Pope & Niedner.  Because even at that time I was fascinated by lathes, & begged my parents to spring for one of the Unimat lathes I’d seen advertised somewhere; but to no avail.  

You and I both!  I longed for a lathe through high school and it wasn’t until I was 22 that I got my first VERY used Atlas (made for Craftsman).  It was borderline too small to do any but the simplest of barrel work but I did re-barrel (set back) several rifles before moving up to a longer bed and larger throw lathe.  I currently have 3 but still looking for a mid-sized Clausing to round-out the stable.  The lathe I can afford, it is all the dang associated tooling that will break the bank.

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February 7, 2022 - 9:49 pm
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 Sorry Jeff,but I sold. that rifle a long time ago.

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February 8, 2022 - 12:14 pm
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28 gauge said
 Sorry Jeff,but I sold. that rifle a long time ago.  

Hi 28 Gauge,

Sorry for the confusion, I was interested in buying the sporterized P’14, not your previous Lee-Enfield.

I responded to your PM.

Thanks!

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February 8, 2022 - 2:01 pm
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  Okay Jeff.Sorry about the misunderstanding on my part.Smile

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February 9, 2022 - 9:54 am
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Winchester made Pattern 14 Rifles in .303 was the only make selected by the British War Office, to be upgraded to a sniper rifle with either a fine adjustment back site, serial numbered to the rifle, or a telescopic sight.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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February 9, 2022 - 10:35 pm
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Hi Alan, glad you are feeling better! 

If I recall correctly, the Winchester rifles were also called out by the War Office as being the least interchangeable with the R and E rifles.

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February 10, 2022 - 11:49 am
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Hi Jeff

At Cody is a couple of large file boxes full of stuff on the whole production of the .303 Pattern 14 Rifle by Winchester. Much is covered including the relationship between the factory and the British inspectors – which was one of friction. Test samples of targets shot at the Winchester test range, with the rifle serial number written on the target. The chief inspector who was sent from the UK to the factories where he controlled inspection ended up getting appendicitis and dying. One would presume he is buried in America somewhere.

 

One interesting fact is that virtually no spares were provide with the order for rifles. There is a note of 200 fore-end hand guards being left over. In reality spares were provided by a prosses of cannibalization. This obviously becomes a problem when there is limited interchangeability between the 3 manufactures. Just as well a lot of the components were marked to indicate who the manufacture was.

 

In reality the P14 was a secondary issue rifle. As yet nobody has found a photo of one on active service on the Western Front in WW1, other than sniper rifles. They ended up being used mainly for training and did see quite extensive use in India. In WW2 quite a few different units used them in the UK, including Police, the RAF and various army units including Commandos early in WW2. The Home Guard had some as well, in addition to the Model 1917 .30 Rifles, which was  the main rifle used by the Home Guard.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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February 10, 2022 - 6:22 pm
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Alan, what is the difference between a Remington and an Eddystone?   Since Eddystone is actually Remington.

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February 10, 2022 - 7:47 pm
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aland said

In reality the P14 was a secondary issue rifle. As yet nobody has found a photo of one on active service on the Western Front in WW1, other than sniper rifles. They ended up being used mainly for training and did see quite extensive use in India.

A curious turn of events, considering there were MORE M1917s issued to the AEF than ’03 Springfields!  By a substantial margin, something like 60% to 40%.  A M1917 was the rifle used by Sgt. York, contrary to the Gary Cooper film.

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February 10, 2022 - 9:34 pm
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Chuck said
Alan, what is the difference between a Remington and an Eddystone?   Since Eddystone is actually Remington.  

Hi Chuck,

Not Alan but,

Eddystone is the name of the town originally called “Eddystone Borough”.  Early in the 20th century Eddystone was the home of the Baldwin Locomotive Works plant, which at the time was the largest manufacturer of steam locomotives in the world.  Early in WWI Remington was approached by the British War office to manufacture the Pattern 1914 rifle.  Remington was concerned they would not have the manufacturing capability to deliver the P’14 in the time frame required by the British so, in partnership with Baldwin Locomotive Works, Remington Arms opened the Eddystone Rifle Plant on Baldwin land with Baldwin management as a separate entity from Remington Arms.  Both the Pattern 1914 Enfield rifle and M1917 Enfield rifle were manufactured at the plant. Baldwin also formed a subsidiary company, Eddystone Ammunition Corporation in 1915 to build artillery shells.

So, while the “Eddystone” P’14 plant was technically started by Remington, the original Remington Arms facility also produced some of the P’14 rifles as well (although fewer than Eddystone and Winchester).

And Clarence is correct, not only were there more Model 1917 rifles than Springfields in the trenches, most of them were made at Eddystone.  Unlike the P’14 which saw little, if any usage in the field, the subsequent Model 1917 was heavily used as a primary arm by the U.S. in WWI.

In addition to the marking differences between the Eddystone and Remington rifles there were also some manufacturing differences as well.  Eddystone was typically the first to implement any drawing revision changes or changes in manufacturing with Remington and Winchester following later (or not at all in some cases).

I am sure Alan has more detail on the separate entity of Eddystone vs. Remington but thought I would give you the quick answer.

Best Regards,

 

Attached is a photo of the Baldwin Locomotive Works, home of the “Eddystone” Plant.

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