Jump to content

US Model 1917 Attic find!


kilgarvan
 Share

Recommended Posts

One good way to remove rust without doing any damage to the metal is to make a scraper from an old silver coin (real silver) the silver is softer than the steel and will not damage the blued surface. You would be amazed at how well this works.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

El Bibliotecario

I'd like to see a photo of the rifle after its been cleaned.

 

For more than you ever wanted to know about refinishing US military stocks, see the CMP website.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the help and comments.....I've been thinking (as I'm afraid of ruining this)....of a "professional" cleaning.

 

El Bibliotecario....thanks for mentioning CMP.

 

Thoughts on sending this rifle to the CMP and having them perform the cleaning and making sure this is safe and ready to fire?

 

Additional thoughts on this rifle as used by US troops in the First World War. I'm trying to make sure this would be a good fit for some World War I living history presentations.....

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Would be fine for a WW1 impression.Keep us updated on your progress.

Not sure about sending to the CMP but there maybe someone on the discussion board there who can offer his services.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I like the way it looks as is, if it were mine I wouldnt do anything to it except maybe a light coat of oil

 

it's in original relic condition and would make a nice display, it's no longer a shooter, the rust is too deep to clean unless you want bare steel and a refinish?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Doyler....thanks for the endrosement for a WWI impression

 

Bolo....thanks for your thoughts on its relic condition

 

Longbranch....great advise on cleaning....

 

I'd really like to make this a "shooter" without taking away from originality....I'm torn here on what to do. If I keep it as is, or, have it cleaned into a shooter which may require a bit of the bad word..."restore".......I'm just toying with its impact on the value of this...Any thoughts on value 1. As is 2. Cleaned 3. "restored".....

 

Anybody with thoughs on sending to the CMP for work......

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Putting a value on this rifle is difficult, since I don't know if it has all of the original parts (very important!), I don't have the rifle in hand to see exactly how bad the rust/oxidation is, etc. But, here's a rough guide-

As Is: $200-300

Cleaned: $450-600

"Restored": Don't Even Bother

 

If you "restore" this rifle, you would be basically throwing your money away. As I said earlier, just clean this rifle up and brush away the years of neglect. This would not be a hard process, and I'm sure that rifle could be GREATLY improved in just 6-8 hours of effort. I have cleaned off rifles in much worse condition than this one, and most all of them have come out looking very respectable. The rifle you have is not "relic" condition as one member mentioned earlier. Not even close. If you want a shooter, clean out that barrel before you waste any time with anything else. You will want to see if the rust has affected the bore, caused significant pitting, etc. Even with some moderate pitting the rifle may still shoot fine, but the more shine the bore has, and the sharper the rifling grooves are, the better.

 

For extreme cases of rifle cleaning and preservation (and in some cases, outright restoration), you should check out what some people have done with the 19th century British rifles from the old Nepalese armory rifle cache imported and sold by International Military Antiques (IMA-USA). These rifles had been left rotting/rusting in storage likely for over a century, and many of these rifles have been cleaned and returned to shooting condition.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's probably a perfect "shooter." You don't have to worry about putting wear on one in excellent condition. Clean it up as you can and have fun with it.

 

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Do not listen to the people who say leave it in this condition. If left like this, the rust will only get worse and ruin the rifle irrecoverably. Remove the rust as gently as possible and oil the metal. For the wood, I have read that people have great results with oven cleaner.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

 

I'd really like to make this a "shooter" without taking away from originality....I'm torn here on what to do. If I keep it as is, or, have it cleaned into a shooter which may require a bit of the bad word..."restore".......I'm just toying with its impact on the value of this...Any thoughts on value 1. As is 2. Cleaned 3. "restored".....

 

Anybody with thoughs on sending to the CMP for work......

 

To me there is a differance in restore versus stabilizing the weapon or item.To me restoreing would be to strip it and clean to the point of rebluing etc.Like the people who restore helmets by doing a full repaint and recork as the original finnish is gone or way beyond any other option than to repaint.

 

I think you can stablze the rifle and still be a shooter.Often these old rifles will have dark bores and may clean up by shooting and cleaning.A buddy had a 17 that had came from a Legion.They had shot the old blanks in them for years,the bore was really dark.Over time he got it to look pretty good by shooting a few rounds through it,cleaning and shooting a few more.

 

Im sure what ever you do with it you will be pleased.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks again for all the comments!

 

I talked to CMP, they are able to get this to a shooter BUT wanted to replace the barrel, strip, and reblue / finish thus "restore". So, as many of you have stated this rifle can be stabilized and cleaned and still be a shooter. So....as this is not a relic and not beyond the only option of restore as Doyler mentioned regarding helmets cleaning. So no CMP and a cleaning it is. Now I just need to decide if I am going to try it or hire someone. I never doubted this could clean up nice based on all the comments. My concern was making this a shooter. Longbranch....took a quick look with my bore light. Rifling looks good and thanks for the idea to start working cleaning the bore first. Good idea to contact IMA as well.

 

Again...thank you all for the valuable advise. I will keep everyone posted on the progress.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Spent some time cleaning today....here are pics of the bore!! I'm excited to see nice rifling, no pitting I could see, and a bright shine when I put the light down. All good signs to bring this back to a shooter!!

 

Just used some hopes 9 inside...patches came dirty at first, then clean.

 

More pics later......

post-150849-0-02518300-1422131855.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Looks pretty decent.

 

I have had occasions where I have plugged the barrel and let Hopes set in the bore for a few days and then clean and repeat.the process.It worked pretty well.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That rifling looks nice. I'm sure you are more than capable of disassembling and cleaning this rifle yourself, and look forward to seeing how it looks when you are done!

 

For the wood, avoid using any cleaners or finish products (such as boiled linseed oil) until after you clean the stock. It may look just fine with a good wipe down with a rag. Oven cleaner is a pretty drastic step to take, and will certainly alter the way the stock looks. When necessary, I have had some luck with with a product called Kramer's Best Antique Improver, which I've used on a few gun stocks and some antique cabinetry (primarily on pre-1920 phonographs). This product is nice as it leaves the original finish intact, but helps to protect/conserve areas where the original finish may be damaged/missing. It's cleaning properties aren't the best, but I always prefer a "less is more" attitude when it comes to vintage firearms. Also, the finish on the stock of your 1917 doesn't look too dirty anyway, so it would probably work great in this instance.

 

Good luck!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I'm glad that Longbranch has commented here...he's provided excellent advice. I'd add that oven cleaner, while effective, is an even more powerful stripper than finish strippers I've used. I'd avoid it like the plague, because it will dry out the wood.

 

That's some pretty fancy bore photography; it looks very shootable.

 

Everything that this rifle needs is something you can do yourself, and no need to pay someone else to do it. You already see the benefits of doing it yourself with your work on the bore. The recommendation above about the CMP Forum was a solid one - all sorts of info on ways to clean and improve rifles there. Take your time, do some research and ask questions as they come up.

 

"Less is more." Enjoy it!

Steve

Link to comment
Share on other sites

When I did some work with the break free I was much more nervous not to mess things up. Just used it with a rag for now. A lot cleared up already. I was able to find "E" all over so this is definitely 100% Eddystone and found the barrel marked 7-18 with "E". So all original WW1 Eddystone it looks to me!

 

This pic of barrel looks worse than it is...but before the break free couldn't even see any marks.

post-150849-0-58058500-1422152295.jpg

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I haven't disassembled the rifle yet. Was being very careful and today was really just a test to see how much I could do and what it would look like. I'm thinking a nice brown patina is realistic. Not sure about bringing back to blue. Muzzle area is worst of the rust but I was able to get those marks to show.

 

Thanks again!

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...