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Winchester P14
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February 10, 2022 - 11:39 pm
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JWA said

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.

  

One illustrious division of the AEF fought their war (Battle of the Hindenburg Line) armed with neither M1917s nor M1903s, but with the SMLE NO. 1 Mk. 3!  This was the pre-war New York NG Div., mustered into Federal service as the 27th “Orion” Div., but assigned to the British 3rd Army, & completely refitted with British eqpt.  Though Pershing had originally insisted that no US troops would serve under foreign command, he was pressured by the desperate Brits into accepting this exceptional reassignment. 

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February 11, 2022 - 12:32 am
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clarence said

One illustrious division of the AEF fought their war (Battle of the Hindenburg Line) armed with neither M1917s nor M1903s, but with the SMLE NO. 1 Mk. 3!  This was the pre-war New York NG Div., mustered into Federal service as the 27th “Orion” Div., but assigned to the British 3rd Army, & completely refitted with British eqpt.  Though Pershing had originally insisted that no US troops would serve under foreign command, he was pressured by the desperate Brits into accepting this exceptional reassignment. 

 

Very cool history, did not know that – thanks!

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February 11, 2022 - 6:07 pm
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JWA said
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.

Best Regards,  

Thanks for the history.  I was just wondering if there were any differences between the Remington and the ones produced at the Remington owned Eddystone plant.  I have been looking for a Winchester model 1917.  I really don’t find any of these with Remington parts but I sure do find a lot with Eddystone parts.

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February 11, 2022 - 7:21 pm
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In general, the Remington and Eddystone are interchangeable with most of the differences being minor machining.  If I recall correctly there was a report done by the British that described the differences and lack of interchangeability between the 3 plants.  I believe a copy of that report is in the banker boxes of P’14 material at McCraken that Alan previously referred to and is the basis of my previous statement that the Winchester P’14 was the least interchangeable of the 3.

I don’t think I copied it when I was there last time but will check to see what I do have in my files to see what the British noted differences between the Eddystone and Remington were.  There were certainly much fewer Remington marked P’14s made than Eddystone, I have the production numbers for each jotted down somewhere also.  I will follow up when I get back home later today.

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February 13, 2022 - 11:26 am
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Hi Jeff

 

JWA said

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.

BaldwinLocomotiveWorks.jpgImage Enlarger  

Good reply and great photo as well.

For anyone with a serious interest in this I suggest they buy the following two books.

 

The U.S. Enfield by Skennerton. This covers the original design of the .276 Pattern 13 Rifle, which then morphed into the Pattern 14 Rifle and Model 1917 Rifle. As far as I know Ian’s research for this book was done at the National archives in London, I don’t think he has been to the Mccracken Library.This book is out of print but you could try Skennerton’s website to see if he has copy’s .

 

The best book on the Model 1917 and this really is a very well researched book with great photos: United States Rifle Model of 1917, by C S Ferris. It is quite cheap on the second hand market. This covers the making of the Pattern 1914 Rifle in America and then the transition to Model 1917 production. Mr Ferris even does a good job of estimating the number of Model 1917 Rifles which Britain and the Commonwealth obtained mainly through purchase and a small amount of Lend Lease in WW2. I have been studying this topic for years and still do not have a definitive total, but I am pretty close to getting there.

 

A lot of people do not realize that in April 1917 America was not fully prepared for war in Europe. SMLE rifles and .303 Vickers guns were supplied by the British for training. 20,000 Ross rifles and bayonets were hurriedly purchased from Canada and so on. However, once the American manufacturing industry swung in behind the effort to make rifles and munitions there were some impressive results. The huge number of rifles made by the 3 plants especially Remington are often quoted by modern day historians.

 

As far as estimating a date of manufacture for one of the Pattern 1914 Eddystone, Remington or Winchester this is possible but not definitive. There is a file in the National Archives in London which shows shipments of the rifles, I think, on a weekly basis. Because the serial numbers start at 1 if you look at cumulative total in the file you can read off which week your rifle was probably shipped. There is a guy on the Great War Forum who has a copy of the file and if you post on the Arms & Equipment section of the forum he will dig the file out and give you a date. However, it is not dead accurate as gives a shipping date not the date of inspection acceptance. So a rifle that was made in the same week as 5,000 other rifles might be rejected at inspection and take a week or two to fix and resubmit for inspection. Even then it may still fail inspection again. In the two large file boxes on this at Cody there is an example of a rifle that was rejected 4 or 6 times – so it could have shipped a month or more after the rifle 1 digit away. In fact this rifle was used as an example of how unreasonable – (and ineffective in my view) the British inspectors were; if the rifle had 4 or 6 faults why were they not all picked up on the first inspection?

I believe Pauline Muriel may have some Polishing Room records relating to Winchester made Pattern 14 rifles – Bert?

Next just a few random thoughts.

 

The magazine of the Pattern 14 rifle will hold 5 .303 rounds. The magazine on the Model 1917 will actually hold 6 .30/06 rounds – no rim.

In one of the two box files at Cody there is reference to the British chief examiner asking Winchester  to make modifications to the design of the stock on the Pattern 1914 rifle, while production had stated!! It does not work that way. While the proposed modification to the design of the stock was not clear, I often wonder if it was along the lines of the ‘fat boy’ stock which can be seen on either Remington or Eddystone made rifles. Perhaps the Chief Inspector got his way with one of the factories. I do not know of course, so this is speculation.

 

The Model 1917 rifle which as issued to the Home Guard in the UK, during WW2, is an effective rifle. accurate and with a cartridge that is ballistically superior to the British .303 and more importantly the German 7.92mm cartridge, at least at the shorter rangers. With its high velocity it had excellent penetrative power though walls and other material which would  be found in the great Battle for London, which would have been an absolute blood bath had Germany managed to gain a foot hold on British soil and try to slog it out – but of course that never happened. The Luftwaffe was unable to break the RAF although they nearly did. Even if the Battle of Britain was won by the Luftwaffe the German navy would have been far to small to take on the might of the Royal Navy successfully, so as to make a beachhead and hold it for a week or more to land enough troops and supplies to start an invasion. Its only in the last 10 years that the history revisionists have realized this fact.

 

All good stuff.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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February 13, 2022 - 2:34 pm
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aland said

  The huge number of rifles made by the 3 plants especially Remington are often quoted by modern day historians.

 

Not to mention the 900,000 Moisin-Nagants Remington also produced for the Czar!  British inspectors were probably push-overs compared to the implacable martinets sent by the Russian gov’t to oversee production at Rem & also the former Stevens factory, taken over by the war-profiteering entity called NE Westinghouse. (Hope you’re not unacquainted with the 1934 Senate Nye Comm. investigation into war-profiteering by US banks colluding with arms makers.)  This contract scuttled Stevens as a major player in the US arms industry–before the war, Winchester’s major competitor, post-war, reduced to a shadow of its former prominence. 

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February 13, 2022 - 5:28 pm
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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).

Winchester did not make changes unless they were paid more money.  You can see the same thing during WW II with the Garand.

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February 13, 2022 - 5:38 pm
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The U.S. Enfield by Skennerton. This covers the original design of the .276 Pattern 13 Rifle, which then morphed into the Pattern 14 Rifle and Model 1917 Rifle.

I wonder if this .276 round is similar to the .276 that was first proposed as the cartridge for the Garand?  As we know it was never used in the Garand but ammunition can be found.   I believe this was a Lee designed round and was used in a Lee rifle?  I have a box produced by Frankford Arsenal in 1929.  My memory is not good on this subject but I believe that the rounds produced for the Lee are coated and the ones proposed for the Garand aren’t?

Alan help me out.

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February 13, 2022 - 6:25 pm
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Cody has the PR records for the Model 1917 S/Ns 1 – 548255. I do not know who has the records for the P14.

Bert

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February 13, 2022 - 8:22 pm
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 Well had the P14 to the range this afternoon.Rifle worked well, but hard to tell just how accurate the rifle is ,based on the shooting today.I had no .303 British ammunition ,so I got some odds and ends of ammunition that a friend of mine had on hand.Also ,it was a bit on the cool side for shooting today with a north wind,so that did not help either.:)

 

 Fun shooting the old girl though.:)

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February 15, 2022 - 7:42 am
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Chuck said

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).

Winchester did not make changes unless they were paid more money.  You can see the same thing during WW II with the Garand.  

Yes good point.

 

A very good book on these rifles and rifles like the Winchester Model 1895 in 7.62mm, is:

 

Allied Rifle Contracts in America, by Luke Mercaldo.Regards

 

Alan

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February 15, 2022 - 8:02 am
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Chuck said

The U.S. Enfield by Skennerton. This covers the original design of the .276 Pattern 13 Rifle, which then morphed into the Pattern 14 Rifle and Model 1917 Rifle.

I wonder if this .276 round is similar to the .276 that was first proposed as the cartridge for the Garand?  As we know it was never used in the Garand but ammunition can be found.   I believe this was a Lee designed round and was used in a Lee rifle?  I have a box produced by Frankford Arsenal in 1929.  My memory is not good on this subject but I believe that the rounds produced for the Lee are coated and the ones proposed for the Garand aren’t?

Alan help me out.  

Chuck

 

Two quite different rounds even though they are really only separated by a decade.

 

The .276 Enfield round had a large case, although there were a few slightly different designs before it was finalized. It fired a 165 grain projectile. Details of the velocity in official paperwork are hardly quoted, surprisingly. However the velocity is thought to have been between 2,700 and 2,800FPS.

It was developed mainly while WW1 was in full swing and so was a result of experience gained in South Africa where British troops did not do well against the Boers and their 7X57, ballistically efficient rifles. .276 is roughly 7mm, so its not hard to see why the British were looking at it.

 

The .276 Pederson is an Intermediate cartridge which can be used in a rifle even on fully automatic due to the smaller propellant charge. The Pederson cartridge was really a product of the 1920’s. Even today its still a very efficient cartridge ballistically for the type of war fighting that we have now. It was well ahead of its time.

The .276 Enfield was a dead end but would make an excellent long range hunting cartridge, today..

 

Interestingly Winchester got a contract to make some and the head-stamp is marked, WRA Co. 8-16.

 

Keep an eye our for one!

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February 15, 2022 - 11:46 pm
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Thank you for clearing things up. 

Here is some more info.

https://www.thefirearmblog.com/blog/2016/04/03/the-276-garand-that-almost-was-the-t3e2/

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February 19, 2022 - 3:16 am
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Just a couple of random thoughts.

 

I re-read my copy of Allied Rifle Contracts in America, by Luke Mercaldo and realized the delivery schedule for all three manufactures is shown in the book.

 

This info is taken from the relevant Ministry of Munitions file in the National Archives in the UK.

 

When I was going through the boxes on the Pattern 14 Rifle production in the McCrakon Library I came across the original contract between the UK and Winchester. Its written on parchment and has various wax seals and bits of silk. It was signed by the Winchester – so I assume the President of the company at the time and the British Council General in NYC  representing the  British Ambassador in Washington, representing the British government.

 

When you hold this document you are literally holding a piece of history in your hand.

 

In the box’s there was a reference to a vary early serial number W29 it was noted that this had been converted to take a Maxim Silencer. So if you have this rifle it has not been bubbered! I wonder if its in the collection at Cody.

 

I am have trouble finding my notes on this and there is a chance its serial number W28, but look at the muzzle if you have  W28 or W29.

 

Regards

 

Alan

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