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Ive been trying to find an earlier one that couldve been used in the war but im finding that a lot of them are later 1918s. They mustve made a ton of those rifles in that short period. Im still looking tho. Was thinkin about getting a serbian mauser too.
User cplnorton posted a US Ordnance Department letter which estimated that, by May of 1919 some 734,107 M1917 rifles (out of 2,544,853 manufactured) had been "lost, scrapped and consumed". It's no wonder that earlier-production rifles aren't as frequently encountered with that kind of attrition.
 
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