U S Model Rifle Enfield

By James M. Triggs

The U. S. Rifle, Cal. .30, Model of 1917, is of basic Mauser turn-bolt type with dual front locking lugs, one-piece bolt, and staggered column box magazine. Developed during World War I, it was a modification of the British Pattern 1914 Service Rifle.

In 1913 British Ordnance developed an experimental Mauser-type bolt-action rifle chambered for a cal. .276 rimless cartridge loaded with a 165-gr. pointed bullet at 2800 feet per second (f.p.s.). The intent of these experiments was to develop a replacement for the cal. .303 Lee-Enfield Service rifle. Only a limited number of cal. .276 rifles had been manufactured on a toolroom basis prior to the start of World War I, at which time the British decided to alter the experimental rifle to handle the cal. .303 rimmed cartridge.

As manufacturing facilities for the new rifle, designated Pattern 1914, did not exist in England several U. S. firms accepted contracts in 1914 to manufacture it. These were Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven, Conn., Remington Arms-Union Metallic Cartridge Co., Ilion, N. Y., and Remington Arms Co. of Delaware. The latter firm operated the Eddystone Arsenal at Eddystone, Pa., which was owned by the Baldwin Locomotive Works. On Sept. 21, 1916, after a considerable number of rifles had been delivered, these contracts were canceled by the

Baldwin Locomotive Works Drawings

British government. This cancellation was largely due to the fact that British arsenals and factories had been able to achieve more than adequate production of SMLE rifles to satisfy troop requirements.

When the United States entered the war on Apr. 6, 1917, the supply of Model 1903 Springfield rifles on hand was relatively small and production facilities of Rock Island Arsenal and Springfield Armory were not adequate to turn out Model 1903 rifles in the large quantities necessary to equip the rapidly expanding American Army. There was not sufficient time for U. S. firms to tool up for production of the Model 1903 rifle and the idea of equipping U. S. troops with the cal. .303 Pattern 1914 rifle was not acceptable as it would have complicated ammunition supply. The alternative was to modify the Pattern 1914 rifle to handle the cal. .30-'06 cartridge. After considerable difficulty in standardizing the modified rifle, designated U. S. Rifle, Cal. .30, Model of 1917, initial deliveries were made by Winchester on Aug. 18, 1917, followed by Eddystone Arsenal on Sept. 10 and Remington about Oct. 28. Upon final termination of these contracts on Nov. 9, 1918, a total of 2,193,429 Model 1917 Enfield rifles had been produced. These figures reflect finished rifles only, and do not include spare parts.

After World War I, Model 1917 Enfield rifles were stored in war reserve and large numbers were subsequently sold to NRA members through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. During the early part of World War II large quantities of these rifles were first sold and then lend-leased to our Allies.

Receivers and bolts of the Model 1917 Enfield rifle were made of 3Vi% nickel steel by all 3 manufacturers. In modifying the cal. .303 Pattern 1914 rifle for the .30-'06 cartridge it was necessary to change the rifling specifications. The 5-groove, left twisf, Enfield rifling was retained, but bore diameter was reduced to .300" with groove depth of .005". Magazine capacity is 6 cartridges and the receiver has clip slots for reloading with a 5-round Model 1903 Springfield clip.

The aperture-type folding leaf rear sight is adjustable for elevation only, and is a superior battle sight to that of the Model 1903 Springfield. Windage adjustments in the Model 1917 are made by tapping the front sight to left or right in its dovetail. The cock-on-closing action of the Model 1917 rifle has been the subject of some criticism by Americans accustomed to the cock-on-opening Model 1903 Springfield and Mauser 98 rifles. Actually this feature is a very sound one for a military rifle, in which the chamber may become so hot that extraction becomes difficult due to sticking cases, and thus adds to the effort required to lift the bolt handle. Those who become proficient with cock-on-closing rifles are not aware of any handicap by virtue of this mode of bolt operation.

During World War II it was found necessary to produce additional barrels for the Model 1917 rifle and these were made by private firms. The High Standard Manufacturing Corp. produced 4-groove barrels and Johnson Automatics produced 2-groove barrels, both with right twist and to Model 1903 Springfield rifling specifications. After World War II a few NRA members who had purchased rifles through the DCM complained that the receiver rings of their rifles were cracked. The majority of these rifles were of Eddvstone manu-facture and had been rebarreled during the World War II period. In some instances the cracks were not clearly evident until the receiver had been polished and blued.

Faulty receivers were at one time exchanged gratis by the DCM but supply of this part is exhausted.

Disassembly Procedure

Remove bolt and field strip as shown in accompanying illustrations. Magazine assembly is stripped by pressing bullet end of cartridge or similar implement into hole at bottom rear of floorplate (47), at same time drawing floorplate to rear and removing along with magazine spring (49) and follower (50).

Barrel and receiver are removed from buttstock after sliding barrel bands (7 & 10) forward off stock and removing front and rear handguards and unscrewing front and rear guard screws (45 & 46). Pull trigger guard (41) and magazine (48) out from bottom of buttstock. Remaining parts (bolt stop assembly, safety-lock assembly, sear, trigger, floorplate catch assembly, sights, etc.) are all easily removed if necessary for replacement or repair. Reassembly is accomplished in reverse order.

How Disassemble The 303 British Rifle

out to the rear

Enfield Model 1917 Bolt Release

2 To disassemble bolt, open rifle bolt and engage safety. Close bolt, then elevate bolt as shown while at the same time inserting nickcl or other coin between end of cocking piece and bolt sleeve so that coin is trapped between these parts as shown

Enfield Reassembly BoltLee Enfield Safety Catch ScrewAmerican Enfield Pattern Front Base

Parts Legend

1. Receiver

2. Barrel

3. Front sight blade

4. Front sight carrier

5. Front sight spline

6. Front sight pin

7. Upper band

7A. Upper band screw

8. Stacking swivel

9. Stacking swivel screw

10. Lower band

11. Lower band swivel

12. Lower band swivel screw

13. Handguard ring

14. Rear sight assembly

15. Rear sight base spring

16. Rear sight base spring screw

17. Rear sight joint bolt

18. Rear sight joint bolt nut

19. Bolt stop

20. Ejector

21. Bolt stop screw

22. Bolt stop spring

23. Bolt stop spring rest

24. Bolt

25. Extractor collar

26. Extractor

27. Striker

28. Mainspring

29. Cocking piece

30. Sleeve

31. Safety-lock

32. Safety-lock holder

33. Safety-lock holder screw

34. Safety-lock plunger

35. Safety-lock plunger spring

36. Sear spring

37. Sear

38. Sear pin (Enters receiver from left side—

shown on right here for clarity)

39. Trigger pin

40. Trigger

41. Trigger guard

42. Floorplate catch

43. Floorplate catch spring

44. Floorplate catch pin

45. Front guard screw

46. Rear guard screw

47. Floorplate

48. Magazine

49. Magazine spring

50. Follower

Note: The following parts are omitted in the drawing: Buttstock, buttplate, buttplate screws (2), butt swivel, swivel screws (2), rear band pin, front and rear handguards, stock bolt and nut, front and rear guard screw bushings

5 Turn extractor (26) to cover gas escape holes in bolt and push forward on extractor until it is free of extractor collar (25). Reassemble bolt in reverse order g

Remove bolt and unscrew percussion assembly as shown

4 With striker point resting on wood surface, force sleeve (30) down. Remove coin which has been trapped between end of cocking piece and sleeve. Continue forcing sleeve down, compressing mainspring (28) until cocking piece lug clears lug slot in sleeve. Turn cocking piece Va turn right or left, disengaging it from striker, and draw cocking piece off to rear. Relieve mainspring pressure gradually and draw off sleeve

Winchester 1942

The U.S. Ml Carbine

The U.S. Carbine, Cal. .30 Ml was developed by Winchester Repeating Arms Co. of New Haven, Conn., and adopted for Service use in 1941. It is a semi-automatic, gas-operated, air-cooled, shoulder weapon fed by a detachable box magazine holding 15 rounds.

To meet requirements of airborne troops, a modification of the Ml Carbine designated M1A1 was standardized in May 1942. The M1A1 Carbine has a folding metal stock, but its barrel and action assembly is identical to that of the Ml version.

The M2 and M3 Carbines, standardized in September 1944 and August 1945 respectively, were fitted with a selector switch permitting either semi-or full-automatic fire. They were regularly issued with a 30-round capacity box magazine interchangeable with the


15-round magazine. The M2 and M3 Carbines, being capable of full-automatic fire, are classified as "machine guns" under the National Firearms Act. Under the Act, a $200 fee must be paid to the Federal Government before one can legally own, sell, or otherwise transfer a weapon so classified.

Prime contractors for production of U. S. Cal. .30 Carbines were: Winchester Repeating Arms Co.; Inland Division, General Motors Corp.; Rock-Ola Corp.; National Postal Meter Co.; International Business Machines Corp.; Underwood Elliott Fisher Co.; Saginaw Steering Gear Div., General Motors Corp.; Standard Products Corp.; and Quality Hardware & Machine Corp.

During the World War II period there were many modifications and improvements made to parts and accessories for the various models. These included bayonet attachments, grenade launchers, sights, and design changes in parts including the safety, barrel, hammer, and bolt.

Service ammunition manufactured for use in U. S. Cal. .30 Carbines included a grenade-launching cartridge, a tracer cartridge, and a ball cartridge with full-jacketed, semi-round-nosed, flat-based bullet with nominal weight of either 108 grs. or 111 grs., according to presence or absence of hollow cup in the base. The 108-gr. cup-based bullet was manufactured prior to Feb. 14, 1942. Average chamber pressure of the ball cartridge is 40,000 p.s.i. (pounds per square inch) with average muzzle velocity of 1970 f.p.s. (feet per second). Muzzle energy with 108-gr. bullet is 930 ft.-lbs. Muzzle energy with 111-gr. bullet is 956 ft.-lbs.

The cal. .30 Carbine is inadequate for hunting any but the smallest game. It is not adequate for deer or black bear. The game laws of many states specifically, or indirectly, prohibit use of the Carbine and its cartridge for the taking of certain game. Indirect prohibition applies where minimum energy ratings have been established for rifle cart-

Model 1917 Enfield Remington Bolt


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  • hector
    How to release clip of model 1917 eddystone?
    9 years ago
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    What type of steel in barrel of model of 1917 remington rifle?
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