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US M1917 Rifle question
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I've got a Remington M1917 Enfield in .30-06 I'd like to fix up a little but before I do I need to ascertain a couple of things about it.

I am aware there were three major subdivisions of production of the M1917 in WWI; those built by Remington and marked as such on the receiver bridge and barrel; those built by Remington at the former Baldwin Locomotive Works at Eddystone, NY and likewise marked as such on the same locations; and some built by Winchester, apparently.

The one I have is marked "US Model of 1917, Remington" and the serial number on the receiver bridge. The marking is very neatly done, however, the finish of the metal bearing the marking is not a smoothly blued finish like the rest of the rifle but has a sort of parkerized, flat finish. The serial number matches that which is stamped into the underside of the rifle's buttstock, roughly an inch or so in front of the rear sling swivel. The barrel, which is blued, is marked in vertical order from the front sight back with an "R", the US Army Ordnance Corps "flaming onion," and the legend "5 18." So far so good. What mystifies me, though, is a legend on the right side of the barrel, about 1" before the barrel band/bayonet lug, reading "C.A.I. ST. ALB VT. P-17 30-06"

I'm wondering if this rifle has anything to do with Century Arms, which imported weapons into the US way back when. The word "imported" may be key, as this weapon has a VERY broad and well worn band of red paint on the bottom of the stock behind the barrel band/bayonet lug. It turns out M1917s sent to Canada or Great Britain as Lend Lease during WWII had this red paint applied to their stocks to mark them without question as accepting only .30-06 ammo, so they would not be fed .303 British by mistake.

BTW as previously stated the receiver is engraved with the "Remington" name; my info indicates Eddystone rifles were very clearly marked "Eddystone" on the receiver bridge, plus the barrels were given an "E" and manf. date where mine is. I ran the serial no. through a tracing site once and it came back as manufactured at Eddystone in 3/18. Is this rifle a lash-up of parts from various weapons? I've had it FOREVER, since the 1970s, never fired it. It needs an extractor. Is it worth the investment?
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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Go for it, extractors aren't expensive.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/g...1917/parts-list-1917

"imported" military guns are required to be ID'd /stamped as yours is. So yes it was "imported" back from where it was at one time. Yes, probably UK or Canada.
 
Posts: 77 | Location: South Pacific NW | Registered: 08 September 2020Reply With Quote
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Absolutely it's worth the very small investment of a new extractor. Get that gun shooting and have some fun. Big Grin

Serial numbers by the way aren't unique to the manufacturer, meaning Winchester, Remington and Eddystone all can and do have rifles with the same serial number. It's who built it that differentiates an individual rifle and when it was manufactured.


Roger
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*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2513 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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I appreciate both inputs. Cougerz, I've run the s/n through a tracing site and gotten both Remington and Eddystone "hits" on it, so that absolutely bears out what you're saying. This one's serial number on the receiver bridge - 389078 - is also, as reported, stamped heavily into the stock meaning the wood and metal both match and this is an unaltered original except for the bolt I put in (I have the original bolt in storage and have to find it). That seems to be a fairly low serial number as far as M1917s go. After checking into things a little bit more it dawned on me if the weapon went to the Brits/Canadians it would have been referred to by THEIR nomenclature upon receipt in the US, and what I've read indicates they called it a "P17," not an "M1917." So that little detail dovetails nicely with what craig48 had to say.

I'm taking it out of the stock for possible magnafluxing or dye testing, but a look at the exposed metal shows me it's in VERY good condition, no rusting or pitting anywhere in sight. Just a VERY dark wooden stock with that annoying red band on the front end. I'm going to be hitting that wood with a varnish remover or something similar along with some very fine, 0000 steel wool to dress the wood before I give it a little linseed oil as well. I want to sand off that red band as well. Any ideas on what I can use to strip the wood of accumulated gunk before a light sanding, then oiling?
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by craig48:
Go for it, extractors aren't expensive.

https://www.gunpartscorp.com/g...1917/parts-list-1917

"imported" military guns are required to be ID'd /stamped as yours is. So yes it was "imported" back from where it was at one time. Yes, probably UK or Canada.


Hey craig48, that outfit you mentioned is the one that sent me the current extractor w/no lip that slides over the case rim before the round is chambered. I've read this rifle MUST be loaded from the magazine as "snapping" the extractor lip over the case rim after a round is inserted in the chamber by hand could eventually break off the extractor's rim. I've watched this carefully using resized .30-06 brass - as the bolt strips the top round out of the mag that round eventually hits the feed ramp in the receiver and starts into the chamber; when that happens the forward end rises and the case rim on its head slides nicely beneath where the extractor claw should be. Only problem is when I chamber that case (without forcing, BTW), the bolt will not draw out the resized case. It does come out freely when the rifle's muzzle is elevated. So either the extractor is lacking its "claw" - or else the extractor does not work as intended unless the rifle is fired and somehow the case's rim engages with the extractor at that point. I've never heard of a situation like that, so this must be a defective receiver. Am I guessing right?
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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You definitely have a Remington Model 1917; not an Eddystone; it would be marked as such. And no P anything; that means Pattern, and the British called the original rifle, the P14. Our equipment is M, for model. (Except for the Navy which has Marks, etc.) Which is what those 3 factories were making before stopping and making the M1917 for the US. England got their SMLE production up to speed and didn't need any more P14s, and we could not produce enough 1903 Springfields, so the P14 design was modified to take the caliber 30. (30-06)
FY, the P14s were marked RE, ERA, and W, not the full company names.
They are excellent rifles.
And your extractor is broken. The CAI markings are import marks on it; for Century Arms International. or inc, something;
Forget those numbers are stamped in your stock; those are not original. Put there by who knows. Enfield stocks are not numbered.
Also do not listen to anyone who says convert it to cock on opening; it is not broken as designed.
389 thousand is not a low serial number; Remington only made 545K of them.
Defective Receiver??? Why do you think that?
Wonder why that action is so big for a 303 or a 30-06? It was intended and designed for the 276 Enfield, a very large magnum 7mm type of round; but WW1 hit and the British decided to stay with 303.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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As dpcd said, your extractor is broken. Or, somehow defective or the wrong one. The P14 and the US M1917 do not share the same extractor.
 
Posts: 77 | Location: South Pacific NW | Registered: 08 September 2020Reply With Quote
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On the left side of the stock about amidships of the receiver there may be a rectangular box with initials in it stamped into the wood. These would be the initials of the inspector. Does your rifle have this and if so what are the initials? I have one like yours stamped "EK". These stand for Elmer Keith. He later went on to some notoriety in the firearms industry.
 
Posts: 2900 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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That proof in a box is only for rebuilds, or at least a depot inspection. EK worked at Ogden Army Depot; sometimes you see the OGEK, and not always in a box. Other depots had their own proof marks.
Original rifles have only little eagle heads and various numbers.
Post a picture of your extractor and I will tell you what is wrong if anything.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by SSI01:
I appreciate both inputs. Cougerz, I've run the s/n through a tracing site and gotten both Remington and Eddystone "hits" on it, so that absolutely bears out what you're saying. This one's serial number on the receiver bridge - 389078 -


Looking up your serial number in my book "United States Rifle Model of 1917" by C.S. Ferris, it shows a production date from the Remington factory of June 1918. The receiver number is the serial number for the rifle.

It sounds like the rifle as is has some collectors value, in its original configuration especially with the the red paint. It shows where it traveled and who likely used it during the war. In your case it was a rifle to the British as dpcd mentioned. If I'm not mistaken the same red painted rifles were also given to the Danish government in Greenland during the war. These by the way are still in use by their arctic patrol better known as the Serius patrol to this day in preference to ANY other rifle they could be issued. No other rifle has met their standards for arctic conditions.

It's your rifle so do what you want with it but I wouldn't mess with an original as issued M1917.


Roger
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- Glen St Charles

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2513 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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I didn't see the red paint thing; if it is a red band or a red and white band, the British put that there to show it was not a .303. I have had M1s that way.
Look on the tip of the stock; it should have an R stamped there. If it has a W or an E, it is not original.
Your barrel date of 5-18 is original; barrel manufacture led rifle assembly by a couple of months.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Hello all!

I normally work mids and last night was the last one for the week. Usually it's not busy and mgmt doesn't care if I surf the web so I spent a fair amount of time looking up some more info on what was discussed. Much thanks for the details you have provided.

I've got some photos of the extractor as dpcd recommended and can provide. What format do they have to be in? Right now they are jpgs on the desktop.

I also took the rifle apart for inspection and cleaning. There is not SPECK ONE of rust on this weapon. The half of the barrel below the wood line was coated in black cosmoline which preserved the metal very well indeed. After cleaning the cosmoline off and oiling the rifle, I got a photo of the bottom of the chamber to include the indexing mark which is plainly visible on both the barrel and receiver. Perfect match. There are some other markings you may be able to discern. The rifle has a Remington bolt and a Remington extractor as well, have photos of both. I used a dummy .30-06 round to show how the extractor claw appears to be too short to reach over the rim of the cartridge (a bit fuzzy, sorry).

Do I need to convert the images to another format to add to my post? Or just type in their description and ".jpg' in the "URL" field?

PS for Cougarz - no problem, I'm not changing a THING on this rifle except to clean up the stock some, and replace the extractor if needed. It's a class act just like it is.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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Posts: 77 | Location: South Pacific NW | Registered: 08 September 2020Reply With Quote
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Without reading that. You have to get a picture hosting service.
Sign up for IMGUR; put your pictures there.
Click on Large Thumbnail, and copy BBC code, and paste here.
It's free.
Looks for the R on the stock tip.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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On the forward or rear tip?

Beneath (under) the butt plate, or can I see it without having to unscrew anything?
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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Folks I struggled for 1.5 hours last night trying to deal w/Photobucket, the instructions provided don't quite match because apparently Photobucket has changed its terminology on its site since that was written. I've got a bucket there, and an album w/the resized photos in it - but can't figure how to get beyond that. Tried the IMGUR site too but for some reason it's having trouble w/every user name I input, also the phone numbers I've tried to put in also refuse to take. Too bad I couldn't just email them to someone on the forum who could then post them. My only presence on the internet is via email and that's it, I'm afraid.
I'm DIW right now.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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Tip is the exposed wood at the front; the tip of anything would be the front end. Not under the buttplate.
PB costs $400 a year; forget them.
Imgur is very user friendly.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by SSI01:
Too bad I couldn't just email them to someone on the forum who could then post them. My only presence on the internet is via email and that's it, I'm afraid.
I'm DIW right now.


You have an incoming PM.


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

*we band of 45-70ers*
 
Posts: 2513 | Location: Washington (wetside) | Registered: 08 February 2005Reply With Quote
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Thanks for the H/U. I'm turning in to get my sleep before going in tonight, as soon as I'm back in my crib in the AM I'll check out the PM.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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quote:
I'm wondering if this rifle has anything to do with Century Arms, which imported weapons into the US way back when. The word "imported" may be key, as this weapon has a VERY broad and well worn band of red paint on the bottom of the stock behind the barrel band/bayonet lug. It turns out M1917s sent to Canada or Great Britain as Lend Lease during WWII had this red paint applied to their stocks to mark them without question as accepting only .30-06 ammo, so they would not be fed .303 British by mistake.


Yes. Correct. But they went only to the UK, along with the Lewis Gun in .300 US Gov't (as we Brits called the .30-06 cartridge at the time.

Issued to the Home Guard that were an organised militia in reality of those able bodied men too young to fight and awaiting call-up, those too old (WWI veterans) and those in occupation that were so important they could not be called up.

Try this link it will immediately download as a PDF a very interesting research paper: https://dspace.lib.cranfield.a...ke%20D%20M%20PhD.pdf

The British Merchant Navy (that's crews on merchant ships) were issued with he .303 Ross mostly.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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Obviously extractor claw broken off.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Indeed. I've owned this since the 1970s at least but never had a chance to get into it in detail until now, and needed others w/more experience w/it to look at the issue. Glad to see we concur! This was acquired from a well-known gun parts firm in the NE US who just sent one on request. This never should have been put in the mail to me, a gunsmith or experienced shooter would have picked it off in a second. OTOH, given the age of the weapon it's possible most gunsmiths today have never seen or heard of one of these.

Fun note: Recommended viewing for anyone owning an M1917 is the film called "The Lost Battalion," dating from 2001. The US troops in this film are armed only with the M1917. It is so far the first film I've seen that correctly notes the issuance of this rifle and its preponderance in US service in WWI. BTW they somehow got their hands on some working copies of the French Chauchat light machine gun as well.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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Now is as good a time as any to ask that question - this rifle should only be loaded via its magazine? That's what I've read in other spots. That process allows the extractor claw to ride smoothly over the rim of the live round while it is being "skimmed" from the magazine by the bolt face. Hand-placing a live round into the chamber on the other hand leaves the claw no option other than to be snapped over the rim of the case as it meets that rim as the bolt face comes into contact with the base of the round. Keep it up long enough and the claw will snap clean off.

As I never fired the rifle I wasn't aware of this fault until now. There is now a "new" (?) extractor coming from another parts store in the upper Great Midwest that should fit and make this thing serviceable again.

When it arrives I will install and give it a try on some dummy rounds to guarantee function, then report results.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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The is a device called a follower depressor which allows single loading, the rifle having no magazine cut off like the 03 does. Single loading was US and British tactical doctrine; German rifles are made for magazine feed only.
So yes, you can single load, as I have done many hundreds of times with 1917s. And 1914s, which are for the 303 but the bolt face and extractor are perfect for magnum cases as is.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Here is a couple of spare parts kit with an extractor. Also include the ejector that frequently breaks. I think they are Remington/Eddystone parts.

https://www.sarcoinc.com/p17-s...deal-set-of-5-parts/

https://www.sarcoinc.com/p17-critical-parts-kit/
 
Posts: 2900 | Location: SC,USA | Registered: 07 March 2002Reply With Quote
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Finally got the new extractor (new in more ways than one - it's a new-manufacture replacement for the old one w/the missing claw) in the mail from Jack First. It installed w/o problems and the bolt installed and cycles without hangups or problems in dry-fire mode w/an empty chamber.

The issue starts when I load one of the dummy .30-06 rounds. I can get the round roughly 1/2 of its length into the chamber before it jams up tight and won't go any farther. Extraction of the dummy round revealed some very slight "dinged" spots on the lower edge of the case shoulder. In addition the rim of the round is a little chewed by the extractor claw.

I'm wondering if the claw is a little "tight." I've watched the loading process from the magazine very slowly and noted the round leaves the magazine headed toward the chamber in a nose-up attitude but never loses that attitude as the bullet enters the chamber, which explains the tiny dents on the lower edge of the case shoulder. The shoulder dents line up with the top of the chamber face when I am inserting the round using the new bolt/extractor combo. BTW the rounds also insert perfectly smoothly when slid from the magazine using a fingertip on the top edge of the case head in place of the lower rim of the bolt.

I'm wondering if the claw of the extractor is a little bit 'thick' and is not letting the case rim ride up properly all the way up under the claw as the bolt closes. This could account for the pronounced nose-up attitude of the round which it never loses, also for the slight metal "chewing" on the case rim.

The alternative in my inexperienced mind is this rifle may need its feed ramp looked at, although I believe that's a far lesser possibility since the rounds chambered perfectly with the bolt with the broken extractor pushing them in. Seems if it had a bad ramp that would have shown up there, too, even with the bad extractor, which it did not. The factor that changed everything is the new extractor.

I ran a little test w/one of the dummy rounds and, after withdrawing the bolt completely, carefully slipped the round's rim under the extractor, which is TIGHT. After reinserting the round/bolt combo the round chambered without any problems, also extracted smoothly (the ejector also works quite well, too).

Do you think I may want to slip that extractor off the bolt, take a fine diamond file I have here to the lip of the claw that is directly opposite the bolt face, and take a tiny bit off to allow the case rim to ride smoothly under that lip of the claw?
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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I took an even closer look at that extractor as it made contact with the edge of the case rim. The edge of the claw is actually digging into the edge of the case rim, which accounts for the slight chewing of the brass I referred to earlier. With the way it is now the round jams in the action before it even chambers; if the extractor is supposed to snap over the case rim once it reaches the chamber I guess that doesn't matter, but without some sort of alteration there won't even be a round chambering. If the extractor is supposed to ride over the rim of the round as it's stripped from the magazine, then the edge of the claw does need to be thinned a little but not very much (I think).
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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quote:
Originally posted by dpcd:
Single loading was...British tactical doctrine; German rifles are made for magazine feed only.


No, no, no. This is a myth. British doctrine was that on the command LOAD the soldier was to load, fully, his magazine and to then as he fired off his rounds to keep it loaded (recharging from stripper clips on his own individual initiative and individual need) until the command UNLOAD was given.

I personally did enough military training with the No4 to know this to be correct and that it was also correct for the No1 aka the SMLE.

The magazine cut-off even before WW1 was specifically noted as not being to facilitate single loading and not to be used for that....this is in the British Army 1909 Musketry Regulations.

The cut-off was to enable the weapon to be loaded and then...by sliding the cut-off across...to close the bolt on an empty chamber. In pistol speak it'd be called Condition 3.

A carry over from the days of the original Lee-Metford that did not have any safety catch and so could not be safely carried with cartridge in the chamber as if you droped it and as it falls it hits the cocking piece it fires.

The same problem with the some Smith & Wesson revolvers that was solved in their case eventually with the a rising hammer block.

There are indeed follower depressors for the Pattern '14 (or a British 1/- aka one shilling coin was used) this was usually for arms inspection so that after the weapon had been inspected (by the soldier placing his right thumb in the bolt race way as the sergeant or officer looked down the barrel from the muzzle) the bolt could then be closed. As originally made and issued the Pattern '14 had a block on the rear of the magazine platform to prevent the bolt being closed if there were no cartridge in the magazine to be carried up into the empty chamber.

I don't know anything about US practice so can't make useful comment. But take it from a "Brit" that single loading the No4 or the No1 aka SMLE was not British Army doctrine.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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For those that don't believe this here it is quoted from the source.

https://www.historicalfirearms...s-fitted-with-safety

So why did the change come about and why?

The answer is that once charger loading became possible with the "Charger Loading Lee Enfield" single loading and keeping the magazine as a reserve was no longer necessary.

With the Lee Metford there was no ability to load with chargers so, yes, it made sense to single load as long as the soldier had distance between himself and the enemy.

As if he'd discharged all his magazine and then the enemy came onto him in a rush or charge he wouldn't have time to then reload it to full capacity.

But once the charger came in that need to keep a reserve was no longer needed. When did the change of doctrine come in? Supposedly about sometime after 1906 when the CLLE was introduced.
 
Posts: 6766 | Location: United Kingdom | Registered: 18 November 2007Reply With Quote
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SS; you bought a new extractor and not a GI one; now it needs tweaking. Easy to do, if you are me.
You can't have a bad feed ramp; your rifle made it this far as is.
Ok, it was US tactical doctrine, but if the cutoff on a #1 or 4 was not for single loading then it was a waste to put it on in the first place.
Especially when the extractor is made to snap over the rim easily.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Thanks; I'll scout around.
 
Posts: 48 | Location: SE USA | Registered: 09 August 2020Reply With Quote
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I'm saying that your new extractor can easily be shaped to work correctly.
 
Posts: 14311 | Location: USA | Registered: 02 August 2009Reply With Quote
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Six months ago.

What's the status by now??

George


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

LM: NRA, DAV, RMEF

George L. Dwight
 
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