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Winchester 1917 Enfield
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Picture of tim416
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I just acquired an Winchester 1917 Enfield rifle in very good condition. It has a poorly done sporterized stock on it that will be going away.
It is also fitted nicely with a fully adjustable rear peep sight stamped "Pacific". I have read in a few places on this forum that this action will handle a full length magnum case. I would like to turn this into a magnum length perhaps .375 H&H. Any info would be greatly appreciated.
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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People have gone as big as 505 Gibbs with the 1917 Enfield. 375 H&H should be pretty straightforward. You can make it a simple working gun or make it a work of art. Look for Butch Lambert's 416 Rigby Enfield custom. Anyone who doesn't like that one needs to find a new hobby.
 
Posts: 6889 | Location: near Austin, Texas, USA | Registered: 15 December 2000Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by LongDistanceOperator:
People have gone as big as 505 Gibbs with the 1917 Enfield. 375 H&H should be pretty straightforward. You can make it a simple working gun or make it a work of art. Look for Butch Lambert's 416 Rigby Enfield custom. Anyone who doesn't like that one needs to find a new hobby.


Just looked up Butch Lambert's gun, Wow! what a piece of work.

Am I to understand the enfield action will take the magnum length without being opened up?
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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It will need some work to feed a bigger round. I have to confess...I'm not the person to ask about that. I don't have the knowledge you need. There are some great gunsmiths on this site, however. They may see this thread and answer your questions. If they don't see it soon, maybe post a new thread with a title about what is required to modify a 1917 for 375 H&H.
 
Posts: 6889 | Location: near Austin, Texas, USA | Registered: 15 December 2000Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by LongDistanceOperator:
It will need some work to feed a bigger round. I have to confess...I'm not the person to ask about that. I don't have the knowledge you need. There are some great gunsmiths on this site, however. They may see this thread and answer your questions. If they don't see it soon, maybe post a new thread with a title about what is required to modify a 1917 for 375 H&H.


Thanks, I understand. I expect to open rails etc. to help with feeding. I was only wondering about the actual length of the action. The action had little appeal to me until I saw what some folks have done with it.
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Yeah. I have a not quite finished custom in 338-378 KT. The action has been opened up enough to hold a full length 378 Weatherby and 338 Lapua. If you want, I can send pics comparing it to a (mostly) factory 1917, but that will be later tonight at best.
 
Posts: 6889 | Location: near Austin, Texas, USA | Registered: 15 December 2000Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by LongDistanceOperator:
Yeah. I have a not quite finished custom in 338-378 KT. The action has been opened up enough to hold a full length 378 Weatherby and 338 Lapua. If you want, I can send pics comparing it to a (mostly) factory 1917, but that will be later tonight at best.


Thanks for the offer but do not bother yourself. I am sure I can find it with a little research. I picked this gun up for little or nothing and am now surprised to find out I have a lot of options. Getting a little excited. I try to have a custom in the works at all times, takes a couple of years from beginning to end. I just got back my .264 Win Mag on a 98 BRNO action and am awaiting the stock work to be completed. I will take a little time to research out what I can do with the enfield. Open to any suggestions and thanks for all the input.
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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tim,

I have an Enfield that sounds very close to what you have, Pacific sight included. The only difference is mine is a Remington, originally made in 1918. I got mine for free.

I have tossed around the idea of making a budget .404 Jeffery out of mine. Dennis Olson is I'm told a good person to talk to. They can be made into some pretty Big bigbores.

Do check out Butch Lambert's Enfield. It's one of the prettiest customs I've ever seen.

http://forums.accuratereloadin...1019521/m/8291057671


Roger
___________________________
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Posts: 2505 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Cougarz:
tim,

I have an Enfield that sounds very close to what you have, Pacific sight included. The only difference is mine is a Remington, originally made in 1918. I got mine for free.

I have tossed around the idea of making a budget .404 Jeffery out of mine. Dennis Olson is I'm told a good person to talk to. They can be made into some pretty Big bigbores.

Do check out Butch Lambert's Enfield. It's one of the prettiest customs I've ever seen.

http://forums.accuratereloadin...1019521/m/8291057671


I have not been able to find anything about the Pacific sights.
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Tim: Pm coming.

George


"Gun Control is NOT about Guns'
"It's about Control!!"
Join the NRA today!"

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

George L. Dwight
 
Posts: 5258 | Location: Pueblo, CO | Registered: 31 January 2006Reply With Quote
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The only thing I've found on Pacific sights is what's for sale in eBay. I need the original side screw for mine. I like it and would like to leave it on with a little restoration work.


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2505 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Cougarz:
The only thing I've found on Pacific sights is what's for sale in eBay. I need the original side screw for mine. I like it and would like to leave it on with a little restoration work.


I agree. I will be keeping this site. It is well made and look good on the gun
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Decision has been made. I am turning this into a 9.3x62 bush gun. Keeping the peep sights, 20 inch barrel and synthetic stock. Thoughts?
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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Yes, any P14 or 17 is best made into a 375 length magnum; as it was originally designed for; the 276 Enfield. I have done several in 375. A brush gun, to me, should be short and light; the Enfield is not a small action.
Anything less is a waste of a good action and 9.3x62s can be made on any action.
I use P14 bolts as they are already the right size with no bolt face or extractor mods needed. New mag box of course.
OTOH, it is yours and you can do what you want with it of course.
 
Posts: 14173 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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A friend of mine had a Win 17 that was rebarrelled to a wildcat .375/404 Improved. I don't know what/if any alterations were done to the rails, but it worked flawlessly and was a real powerhouse.
 
Posts: 1421 | Location: WA St, USA | Registered: 28 August 2016Reply With Quote
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Nothing a ball end mill and a few minutes won't solve. It ain't rocket surgery.
 
Posts: 14173 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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As dpcd pointed out. the 17 is a heavier action than the 98. I am curious what the real difference in weight is when the wings are milled of etc. between the 98 and the 17. I would not imagine more than a few ounces?
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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I can answer that; the 1917 is 35 ounces, ears removed. 98 Mauser is 30.5 , so 5.5 ounces difference. No bottom metal.
But the length potential for the 375 is the important difference.
 
Posts: 14173 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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I was fortunate to acquire three Remington Model 30S which is virtually the same action. One is still 30-06, one is 400 H&H and I had the third re-bored to 9.3 x 62. It came with a Lyman hunting peep original to the rifle and I had that one re-bored to keep the gun looking period. That caliber is a very easy conversion. The 400 H&H turned out to be a great round but I'm still dealing with feeding issues (minor). All three are in re-stocking prison at the moment but I am very happy with that action.

Hogkiller has a matched pair a few serial numbers apart in 375 and 458 Lott that are stunning.

I bet you'll love yours when you get it back.


"Experience" is the only class you take where the exam comes before the lesson.
 
Posts: 11059 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: 22 September 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by tiggertate:
I was fortunate to acquire three Remington Model 30S which is virtually the same action. One is still 30-06, one is 400 H&H and I had the third re-bored to 9.3 x 62. It came with a Lyman hunting peep original to the rifle and I had that one re-bored to keep the gun looking period. That caliber is a very easy conversion. The 400 H&H turned out to be a great round but I'm still dealing with feeding issues (minor). All three are in re-stocking prison at the moment but I am very happy with that action.

Hogkiller has a matched pair a few serial numbers apart in 375 and 458 Lott that are stunning.

I bet you'll love yours when you get it back.



Where is hogkiller? I thought somebody said he passed away. Been several years since I have seen him.
 
Posts: 8860 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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I haven't spoken with him in a bout a year or longer. I know his vision was going from the diabetes; hopefully that is the only reason for his absence.


"Experience" is the only class you take where the exam comes before the lesson.
 
Posts: 11059 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: 22 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by tiggertate:
I haven't spoken with him in a bout a year or longer. I know his vision was going from the diabetes; hopefully that is the only reason for his absence.


Yeah,
I hope that he is doing OK.
 
Posts: 8860 | Location: Poetry, Texas | Registered: 28 November 2004Reply With Quote
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I have a Winchester 1917 I am working with now in 416/404 Jeffery.

Also have two Remington 30s Express actions that need to be made into something, or find a new home!

been thinking of doing a 30-378??
 
Posts: 1464 | Location: Southwestern Idaho, USA!!!! | Registered: 29 March 2012Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
I can answer that; the 1917 is 35 ounces, ears removed. 98 Mauser is 30.5 , so 5.5 ounces difference. No bottom metal.
But the length potential for the 375 is the important difference.


Thanks for this info. It is more of a weight difference than I would have thought.
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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I am curious if anyone on here has had a 1917 rebored to 35 Whelen? I hear the old Military barrels can be a problem when trying to do this.
 
Posts: 75 | Location: Maine | Registered: 04 March 2010Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by Chief Engineer:
I am curious if anyone on here has had a 1917 rebored to 35 Whelen? I hear the old Military barrels can be a problem when trying to do this.


I've never heard that?

It was pretty common long ago for people to rebore old .30-06's into .35 Whelens. I'm sure a truckload of military rifles were done up this way back then.


Roger
___________________________
I'm a trophy hunter - until something better comes along.
- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2505 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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I have read, but have no first hand knowledge of it, that the early barrels can have hard spots in them which turn up during reboring and cause problems. Those barrels were forged to upset the breech end, then machined. Remember, that was early in alloy steel making technology (nickel steel).
Probably rare.
 
Posts: 14173 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Originally posted by dpcd:
I have read, but have no first hand knowledge of it, that the early barrels can have hard spots in them which turn up during reboring and cause problems. Those barrels were forged to upset the breech end, then machined. Remember, that was early in alloy steel making technology (nickel steel).
Probably rare.


Classic re-boreing claims a 50/50 chance of a good turn out on old Military Barrels. The Bore on Mine isn't the best, so I might give it a try sometime.
 
Posts: 75 | Location: Maine | Registered: 04 March 2010Reply With Quote
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Having built several 375 H&H and 416 Rigby rifles on P-14 and Model 1917 Enfield actions I'll just say they are great for those long cartridges but, I much prefer 98 Mausers for 30-06 length cartridges. It's hard to find semi inleted stocks and scope bases for the Enfield action making the costs much higher for stock work.
 
Posts: 231 | Location: Central Oregon | Registered: 08 September 2006Reply With Quote
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I have one in .375 H+H +love it. It is considerably heavier than my Whitworth however.That being said;for any treks of distance I prefer a light rifle;recoil be damned;you will carry it more than you will shoot it.Of course you always carry your own rifle or as Selous said "opportunities will be missed."


Never mistake motion for action.
 
Posts: 15451 | Location: Austin, Texas | Registered: 11 March 2013Reply With Quote
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I just picked up a nice Remington with the ears already milled off. Might be a good candidate for something big.


What force or guile could not subdue,
Thro' many warlike ages,
Is wrought now by a coward few,
For hireling traitor's wages.
 
Posts: 245 | Location: Montana | Registered: 17 January 2018Reply With Quote
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My first .375 H&H was a converted Winchester built M17.

It was hardly recognisable by most folks as a M17.

Opened up to .375, 26" barrel, straightened the floorplate/magazine (4 + 1), duckpond in rear bridge filled, single staged trigger, cock on opening, speedlocked, restocked. Later it wore a 1 3/4 x 5 Tasco in Conetrol (?) rings, front sling swivel on barrel (not band).

It was about 9 1/2 lbs. Very accurate.

Should I do it again. I would straighten the bolt handle and put the safety on the bolt shroud...........just to tidy up the area of the stock around the safety. Loved the factory safety though.
 
Posts: 348 | Location: queensland, australia | Registered: 07 August 2007Reply With Quote
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From my personal experience as a customer sometimes re-boring is supposed to be a crap shoot. I have never had a failed job but I have sent in barrels that were risky. The first barrel I ever re-bored was a Sauer 200 hammer forged barrel I sent to Cliff LaBounty. He warned me that it was probably work hardened from the forging process like SAKO barrels and would likely be a failure due to chatter (270 to 338). It was toast in the bore and I had nothing to lose but $165.00 so I asked him to try. I got the barrel back bored and chambered in 338-05 Ackley with a note that it "cut like butter". Since then Dan Pedersen bored a Rem Model 30S from 308 to 9.3 with no issues. The Model 30 came out whole lot later that the M-1917 Enfield but that doesn't mean the barrels were new production. I also had a 19th century Marlin 38-40 bored to 44-40 and if metallurgy sucked in the early 1900s imagine what it was in the late 1800s. Only one anecdotal story, but I think the risks are much smaller that the facts. If I were in that business I would be extraordinarily careful to inform my clients of the risk too, but so does Walgreens when they give you a flu shoot.
 
Posts: 11059 | Location: Texas, USA | Registered: 22 September 2003Reply With Quote
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Ive built a number of big bores on the Win. rifles, both milsurp and the Factory model..My long throated .338, my 404 Jefferys, a 416 Rigby and 416 Rem...Its a great action, and I even really like that old ugly hammer safety on a DG rifle ts easy to find and manipulate..They need a lot of work, but so does a 98 Mauser..

you can buy a Douglas barrel for about a $160 bucks retail from Brownell..If I was going to spend some money on a nice .375 I would use a new barrel. However your rifle is a factory Win 1917 and its not a military barrel so rebore will work just fine..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 38324 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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There is no question about the suitability of the enfield action for such rounds as the .375 H&H. Properly done, they can be spectacular rifles...cock on opening, Timney trigger, sprucy looking bolt handle, straightened floorplate speedlock conversion (often required after cock on opening is done), new barrel, ears removed and nicely sculptured rear ring,magzine lengthened, feed rails altered,and the list goes on.

Put it n a nicely checkered European walnut stock and you'll have as very beautiful and functional dangerous gme rifle.....CRF too f you like.

That said, after all the work is done and PAID for......you'll have substantially more invested in it than if you purchased a new Winchester M-70 African.....or the Alaskan whichI prefer.

One more thing.....if the need arises, you'll get a much better resale value from the Winchester than from the beautiful Enfield...and the Winchester will weigh less too.


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Posts: 28849 | Location: western Nebraska | Registered: 27 May 2003Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by Chief Engineer:
I am curious if anyone on here has had a 1917 rebored to 35 Whelen? I hear the old Military barrels can be a problem when trying to do this.


I have a .35 Whelen on a model 98 action. Simply sent it to ER Shaw for rebarreling and bluing. One of my favorites.
 
Posts: 254 | Location: Maine, USA | Registered: 02 October 2005Reply With Quote
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unless you have a Win. factory Enfield (1917) I would opt for a new barrel, The Winchester comm. rifle is OK to rebore, but for the difference Id use a Douglas barrel, they are very reasonably priced at Brownells...If I was building a high dollar Enfield Id opt for a Lothar Walthar barrel..and I wouldn't waste that Win action on a smaller caliber Id go big, big, big like a 416 Rigby or 505 Gibbs or that kind of big..


Ray Atkinson
Atkinson Hunting Adventures
10 Ward Lane,
Filer, Idaho, 83328
208-731-4120

rayatkinsonhunting@gmail.com
 
Posts: 38324 | Location: Twin Falls, Idaho | Registered: 04 June 2000Reply With Quote
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