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9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 3/26/2006 3:59:04 PM EDT
So, I'm working on getting a 1917 to complete my U.S. WW1-WW2 rifle collection. I really want and have been looking at the Winchester makes. I like Winchester but My friend who is very knowledgeable of firearms tells me the Winchester guns are of very poor quality compared to the Eddystone or Remington. I had never heard this before but he tells me the Winchester 1917s were so out of spec the government threatened to cancel the contract if Winchester didn't clean up the quality of the guns. He also says Winchester has a long history of turning out of spec or sub standard military contract guns up through the Garand and M14. Again I never knew this. Is my friend correct and if so should I avoid the Winchester 1917s? thanks.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:09:26 PM EDT
I've heard it both ways from men who REALLY know the 1917. Some claim the Winnies aren't the best 1917's, others say (and I tend to agree with this) that Winchester's guns were as good as Remington & Eddystones.

Certainly, they're more valuable on the collector's market as they're not as common.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy a Winchester. Not for one second. As a matter of fact, I didn't hesitate and bought one.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:17:10 PM EDT
I've heard through the years it's the Eddystone that is the least desirable of the M1917's. Although I forget the reason why now.

(I think it could be the receivers are more prone to cracking, but I could be wrong)
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 8:51:48 AM EDT
I'm pretty well versed with 1917's. I call bull crap on this!..............Essex
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 11:11:50 AM EDT
As common with the later WWII M1 Garand's, Winchester's were known to have a slightly rougher finish with more machine marks left.

The rifles were as good as any other, just with a slightly rougher finish.

Remember, the M1917 was first the British contract P14, and Winchester had to meet the demanding British standards.
Had Winchester been making substandard rifles, the Brits would have discovered it long before the US contracted for the M1917.

So, while you MIGHT notice a few more machine marks on non-critical surfaces, the Winchester M1917 was as good as the Remington or the Remington-Eddystone.

The reason for rumors about the Eddystone comes from a batch re-barreled during WWII.
The people doing the re-barreling did it incorrectly, and over-stressed the receiver.
Some of these were cracked, but due to the strength of the action, the rifles had no problems until people found the cracks years later.

As I recall, the barrels used were WWII Marlin replacements and that's what to watch for.
Link Posted: 3/27/2006 6:52:21 PM EDT
I have two 1917s - one Eddystone that's still in original configuration (though it's missing some parts) and a Winchester that was sporterized. Been thinking about putting the Winnie back into original condition and sporterizing the Eddystone, but haven't made the final decision yet.

Thinking about putting the sporterized rifle into .416 Rigby.
Link Posted: 3/28/2006 8:38:24 AM EDT

Originally Posted By dfariswheel:
As I recall, the barrels used were WWII Marlin replacements and that's what to watch for.

I think it is JA (Johnson Automatic) marked barrels on Eddystone receivers that had potential problems.

On the original topic, I had two Eddystone 1917s that I eventually sold and got one Winchester 1917. The Winchester quality was easily on par with the Eddystones and was by far the better shooter. Of course, accuracy is more a matter of the rifle's history than it's manufacture.

Link Posted: 3/29/2006 3:08:08 AM EDT
The first ~10,000 Winchesters had problems with part interchangeability. Winchester corrected this problem so all the rest are as good as the rifles produced by the 2 others. Unlike their WW2 M1 product brethern, Winchester M1917s are known for their outstanding fit and finish.

The cracked reciever problem with replacement barrels came from the bbls being machine installed as opposed to hand installed. Apparently it was very easy for the machine to overcrank the bbl and crack the reciever ring.
Link Posted: 3/29/2006 8:41:36 AM EDT
Wow, Thanks for all the help fella's, lots of good info, so winchester are good decent quality but unless if for a collection is over priced.. Avoid numbers under 10,000... any other tips?
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