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M1917 Enfield - Rifle

Discussion in 'Allied Light Weapons' started by warhistory, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. warhistory

    warhistory New Member

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    The M1917 Enfield, the "American Enfield", formally named "United States Rifle, cal .30, Model of 1917" was an American modification and production of the British .303 caliber P14 rifle developed and manufactured during the period 1917-1918.

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  2. worldwar

    worldwar New Member

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    This rifle was designed in 1917 and used till 1953. The M1917 is used as an ceremonial and drilling rifle, as with the M1903, M1 Garand, and M14 and by the danish Slædepatruljen Sirius
     
  3. Richard Pruitt

    Richard Pruitt New Member

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    The Philippines bought a bunch of these to arm the Philippine Army. The US Regulars (including the Philippine Scouts had been re-armed with Garands. The PA also received some 1903 Springfields.
     
  4. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    This rifle is a favorite of mine. The more I read about it the better I like it.

    It never had the great reputation in US service of the M1903 and many felt that it was too long, too heavy, and too awkward, but if I recall correctly more US troops in WWI carried Enfields than Springfields. The positioning of the rear sights was somewhat ahead of its time and once you got used to the kinky bolt handle the rifle could be fired quite fast--faster, I believe than other Mauser-type rifles. The action was very strong and the Enfield had a great reputation for accuracy. The British used a scoped version as their standard sniper weapon until the No. 4 (T) appeared, and Corporal Alvin York won his CMH with an Enfield, not a Springfield. It was very widely used in WWII, many thousands being transferred from the US Army to the Home Guard, the French, the Chinese, and the Dutch. The Chinese even had a special short version. Altogether one of the better forgotten weapons of the war.
     
  5. gtblackwell

    gtblackwell Member

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    My family had a '17 and an '03 when I was growing up. I am short, 5'-6" and not all that strong but liked to size and fit of the ' 03. I did not thing it was better just better for me. aesthetics, an important factor to me, even in firearms also favored the '03. The British term, cobby, in my view was a perfect fit for the '17. I felt it awkward, seemingly large in every dimension but it was undeniably strong. If I looked like Dwayne Johnson " The Rock" I would have been happy to carry a "17 or 2 or 3. :) It was certainly a tough reliable weapon. . Graceful it is not, a good weapon it was.
     
  6. Ken The Kanuck

    Ken The Kanuck Member

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    A P14 I was given by an old friend.

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  7. KodiakBeer

    KodiakBeer Member

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    This rifle was unappreciated by collectors, I think mainly because most people bought off on the myth of the Springfield being the dominant American rifle of WWI. All too many were sporterized, and for a time in the 50s and 60s they were rebored as various .30 caliber magnums, and thus ruined as collectors. The strong action and generous magazine lent itself to 'magnumization' and you'll still find a lot of them rusting in closets around small towns in Alaska, usually rebored to .308 Norma Magnum and now gathering dust because ammo is no longer available. All those wildcat .30 magnums disappeared and became uninteresting when the .300 Win. Mag came along.
     
  8. harolds

    harolds Member

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    I would have to agree that the sights on the '17 were the best iron sights on any military rifle until the Garand came along. Just my opinion, of course.
     
  9. OpanaPointer

    OpanaPointer I Point at Opana WW2|ORG Editor

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    I've read that we sent 500,000 "Enfield" rifles to the UK after Dunkirk. Was this that model we sent?
     
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  10. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    Indeed it was, I believe most went to the Home Guard when they reached Britain. The M1917 looked very much like the No. 3 /P14 so British M1917s got a band of red paint to indicate that they should be loaded with .30-06 ONLY and not the .303 used in the No.3/P14.
     
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  11. Terry D

    Terry D Active Member

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    I don't think it's your opinion alone. I read somewhere that at least some shooters preferred No. 3's/M1917s with iron sights to other rifles with scopes.
     
  12. harolds

    harolds Member

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    While these rifles were heavy, long and clunky, I don't remember having any trouble using one when I was young-say 20-25. I suspect that most other young men of military age could use them just as well. Getting back to the sights, they were easy to pick up and the front post just about covered a man's chest at 200yds giving the shooter a quick range estimate. The few that I shot at paper targets were at least as accurate as the Springfields I've shot. Having the rear sight back on the rear bridge of the receiver also lengthened the sight radius giving more precision. It wasn't until I started using the M-1 and M-14 that I found something I liked better.
     

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