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Discussion Starter #1
Good day to everyone!

I have bought a .30-06 "U.S. Model of 1917 Eddystone" rifle with a serial number 484xxx (I do not wish to share the last three numbers - but might do so in private if you should ask), hence it seems to have been manufactured sometime during April in 1918. It has a red line painted on the hand stock close to where the wooden part ends and the steel barrel is visible. Far as I know, this designates that it was used in Britain during WW2, where as the red paint distinguished it from the British .303. This was done as to avoid serious accidents that would have followed had one used wrong bullets in the rifle (gun possibly blowing up on the shooter's face, etc.). My main question actually is that is it likely that my rifle was used in the European theater during the WW1, and/or perhaps also/only in someplace else?

My secondary question is about the markings that have been carved and stamped all around the rifle. I have pasted pictures of all of them (at least I could not find any other markings, but I still have not dismantled the gun). I have attached half of the pictures in the comments below, for I can only attach 10 pictures along within the publication. What do these markings signify? I do really appreciate any knowledge that people can share about the subject. I bought the gun in Finland and the previous owner was also a Finn like me. I might call the shop to ask if they know how he got it, as the gun's previous owner is the shopkeepers' friend.



- Roope, Finland
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Good day to everyone!

I have bought a .30-06 "U.S. Model of 1917 Eddystone" rifle with a serial number 484xxx (I do not wish to share the last three numbers - but might do so in private if you should ask), hence it seems to have been manufactured sometime during April in 1918. It has a red line painted on the hand stock close to where the wooden part ends and the steel barrel is visible. Far as I know, this designates that it was used in Britain during WW2, where as the red paint distinguished it from the British .303. This was done as to avoid serious accidents that would have followed had one used wrong bullets in the rifle (gun possibly blowing up on the shooter's face, etc.). My main question actually is that is it likely that my rifle was used in the European theater during the WW1, and/or perhaps also/only in someplace else?

My secondary question is about the markings that have been carved and stamped all around the rifle. I have pasted pictures of all of them (at least I could not find any other markings, but I still have not dismantled the gun). I have attached half of the pictures in the comments below, for I can only attach 10 pictures along within the publication. What do these markings signify? I do really appreciate any knowledge that people can share about the subject. I bought the gun in Finland and the previous owner was also a Finn like me. I might call the shop to ask if they know how he got it, as the gun's previous owner is the shopkeepers' friend.



- Roope, Finland
 

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Wood and steel!
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Looks like you have a Canadian lend/lease one. I have one with the red painted hand guards as well.
 

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As with any rifle without a clearly documented history, it’s hard to know for sure. This rifle clearly has a long history but based solely on an April 1918 production date there is definitely a chance it saw service in WW1 in some capacity.
 

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The early to mid-year 1918 M1917s seem to make up a large proportion of the documented 1917s in France in WWI. I would say the chance is very good that it was at least in theatre.
 

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Barrel date is 3-19..probably a WW2 replacement as the guns were refurbished before being sold to Canada....incidentally ,the guns were not lend lease ,which was important because it meant they could be imported back into the USA in the 1960s ,when they were sold as surplus.
 

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Barrel date is 3-19..probably a WW2 replacement as the guns were refurbished before being sold to Canada....incidentally ,the guns were not lend lease ,which was important because it meant they could be imported back into the USA in the 1960s ,when they were sold as surplus.
Exactly, these were sold to Canada.
Canada had sent much of its supply of Lee-Enfields to the UK to help make up for losses at Dunkirk. The Long Branch factory had yet to be established.

It's a very cool find!
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks to everyone for the answers! I now know more about my rifle's history. If possible, I would also like to know, when did the Canada lend/lease take place, and which parts were generally replaced prior to that? During WW2, the Enfields that the Canadians sent to Britain were mainly or exclusively used in the rear at home in Britain, but not in mainland European battles? Regarding the replaced parts, for example, would the barrel be replaced but not the bolt, etc.? Therefore, most if not all of the Canadian lend/lease guns have a mixed set of parts with different dates, and perhaps just the wooden stock is original, or dated as the rifle's serial number designates (in my rifle's case April 1918)? The original parts were probably smelted? If the barrel was replaced, did the rifle's serial number remain the same? Also, could anyone identify the markings in my rifle's rear stock? The C character has already been designated as a symbol for Canada, but how about the letters and numbers that have been drawn over, the large R letter, and the number 748 (the number can be found on both sides of the stock)? I know I have a lot of questions, and I do not expect any one person to (be able to) answer them all. Thanks a lot again for any knowledge that you share with us!
 

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Discussion Starter #11
One more question. Before sending them over to Canada, were all barrels replaced, even if the barrel was in good condition? I am trying to deduce, if barrel refurbishing would insinuate that it had been in so much use that it had to be replaced - e.g. possibly in the battlefield.
 

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Interesting M1917 to say the least IMHO. The rifle was sold or given to the Canadians at some point during WWII. Those rifles given to the Canadians were not cleaned, inspected and repaired before shipment. Those rifles were still packed in cosmoline. I believe the barrel was probably replaced by the Danish after they received the rifle as no replacement barrels were available. The roll pin front sight is a Danish modification s proper front sight blades were no longer available probably since WWI when the rifle was built. The stock was made by the Victorola (RCA) for the Eddystone Rifle Plant that is what the V stands for. The outlined out FMR is probably a Canadian regiment. I discovered another Canadian Eddystone on the web with a similiar outlined marking that also made the trip to Denmark.
 

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is there a notch in the receiver, ?
it would be on the top, front, where the bullet tips would pass as they are put in the magazine
 

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Discussion Starter #14
is there a notch in the receiver, ?
it would be on the top, front, where the bullet tips would pass as they are put in the magazine

Howdy! I have taken 8 pictures. Are those any good to tell if there is a notch?
 

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Thanks, mate. My rifle has no notch. I have posted a picture of that part yesterday. What does it mean if there is / is not a notch?

it was some speculation as to why it was notched, but I think the last theory to stick was that Norway used some and had a different style of stripper clip,
the notch was so the bullets would pass ,

again, I think,,,

one of my 1917's has Canadian ownership marks and has the notch
 

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The story I got about the notch was that it was done by the Danish Army for rifles used in Greenland. The Sirius Dog Sled Patrol is a Danish military unit that patrols a large area of Greenland to maintain a boots on the ground presence in an area that would otherwise be deserted. As a military unit they are armed with military FMJ ammunition but out patrol they can encounter Polar Bears and Musk Ox. The military FMJ bullets will be not too good at stopping a Polar Bear so they also carry ammunition with a heavy hunting bullet. This bullet is longer than the military issue ball ammunition so in order to retain the ability to load these via a charger, they cut a notch in the receiver to clear the bullet. This patrol is still armed with US Model 1917 rifles as these have proved to be able to operate reliably in extreme cold temperatures. When I bought my rifle, the dealer told me the batch he had had come from the Danes in Greenland. Mine also came with a sighting sticker stuck on it for the battle sight. The M/53 is the Danish designation for the US Model 1917 rifle.
M1917 sticker.JPG

Regards
Peter.
 

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The MkIIIs sent from Canada to the UK were used however they were needed, from the front line to the Home Guard. The MkIII was the main battle rifle in North Africa & Italy, and was used in smaller operations such as the Dieppe raid. It was used in the CBI, and was never fully supplanted by the No.4.
 

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The story I got about the notch was that it was done by the Danish Army for rifles used in Greenland. The Sirius Dog Sled Patrol is a Danish military unit that patrols a large area of Greenland to maintain a boots on the ground presence in an area that would otherwise be deserted. As a military unit they are armed with military FMJ ammunition but out patrol they can encounter Polar Bears and Musk Ox. The military FMJ bullets will be not too good at stopping a Polar Bear so they also carry ammunition with a heavy hunting bullet. This bullet is longer than the military issue ball ammunition so in order to retain the ability to load these via a charger, they cut a notch in the receiver to clear the bullet. This patrol is still armed with US Model 1917 rifles as these have proved to be able to operate reliably in extreme cold temperatures. When I bought my rifle, the dealer told me the batch he had had come from the Danes in Greenland. Mine also came with a sighting sticker stuck on it for the battle sight. The M/53 is the Danish designation for the US Model 1917 rifle.
View attachment 3789158
Regards
Peter.
I have not heard that one before,


I wish I had saved whatever I had read,
 
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