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Posted: 3/26/2006 4:24:27 PM EDT
Alvin York's Rifle, In a past 1917 ENFIELD thread I posted we discussed the rifle that Sergeant York may have used. It was always thought to have been a 1917 until recent supposed revelations..

The revelations being his son giving several interviews to gun magazine and tv shows.. also his diary was mentioned as a source, However York's Diary only say he used "a rifle" he talks in good detail about his Colt 45 1911 automatic but Sadly does nothing to reveal which rifles he may have used

He son gives conflicting reports however so I don't know if we can take his word as authoritative, He says his dad was issued a 1917 when deployed but he traded it in for an 03 because he didn't like the 1917s sights. But then he son goes on to say his dad never talked about the war..

Would it be reasonable that a low ranking anonymous elisted man would be allowed to change or choose his rifle of choice??

Also I find it curious among Alvin York's personal possessions was a 1917 Enfield, not An 03.. You'd think if Alvin would have preferred the 03 so much and used said rifle to commit his acts of bravery that he'd have an 03 Springfield not a 1917..

On the other hand Alvin was involved with the making of the film starring Gary cooper based on his actions, You'd think Alvin would make sure that kind of thing was right. Cooper used a Luger instead of a 1911 too though since the director couldn't obtain any .45 ACP blanks. Perhaps the director couldn't find a 1917 handy either?

My last thought is that the Statue of Sergeant York in his home town of Pall Mall shows him with an 03.

As gun enthusiast we like to ponder such things I would love to know. I prefer the 1903 and thinks it's a finer rifle but believe York used the 17..

We may never know what York actually used and in the grand scheme of things it really doesn't matter. He was a great American hero, Who saw his duty and served his country despite his moral obligations to war becoming one of the greatest heroes of all time..
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:00:21 PM EDT
I don't buy the 03 story, myself. For me the story hinges on the claim that Alvin York preferred the 03's sights to a M1917's....to which I call

Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:21:54 PM EDT
I think it was in the article in The American Rifleman that said Alvin York traded his M1917 for an M1903 in France. Traded as in he "secured" an "unsecured" rifle. Creative trading, if you will.

In a way it makes some sense. The rifles he grew up with did not have aperature rear sights. The leaf sight on the Springfield is much closer to what his muzzle loaders and such had. He may very well have prefered the sights on the Springfield to the Enfield.

Now which rifle did he really use that day?

I think we'll know the answer to that question only when we meet him on the other side.
Link Posted: 3/26/2006 8:22:54 PM EDT
Personally, I find the 1917 to be the superior rifle.

(and thus it begins...)


Link Posted: 3/27/2006 11:21:22 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/27/2006 11:22:58 AM EDT by MauserMark]
yes it made more sense to me that he "liked" the 03 sights better, but I never read whether or not he used one. I was actually under the impression he used the 17 even though he said he didn't like the sights as much. Can't remember where I read that exactly but that was my take.

I would of guessed the rifles he used while a citizen were the basic sights like that on the 03 and that's why he liked them better. It doesn't mean the 03 sights are superior, we generally accept the 1917 and the sights after that like Garand and AR are superior in precision shooting, but he wasn't accustomed to them I guess.

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