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M1917 Enfield, Winchester, Blued, pristine.

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So, a beauty I picked up with a pristine French Berthier about ten years ago, been sitting in my safe since. Don't buy the story they say, but I love the story, you will to. Friend of friend says this old guy has rifles for sale, okay, meet at the corner store. Meet up and he has a French Berthier and M1917 Enfield. Metal on both a strange rusty brown color, thick , non greasy "gunk", stocks not as bad but same, I can not even look down the barrels they are barely showing light.....I said they look all rusty, he says no, just been sitting in a closet for over 40 years, we wipe a section off, and beautiful blued color underneath. I said if he lets me clean them up I will give him an offer....sure, but he only wants $500. I said let me take them home anyway and clean them up, win win for both of us, okay. The Berthier had so much dust and oil? mixture I could not read the markings! I shot CLP and Kroil on them and they cleaned up to pristine condition. We meet the next day....he says his grandmother was married to a retired high ranking officer who joined the Army in WW1, retired after 35 years, had a huge gun collection in the closet then died. They sat in the unopened closet untouched for 40 years until she died, then relatives met at the house and opened the closet picking out one rifle at a time.He picked these two and a pistol.

My question to Enfield collectors 1) This is not a parkerized finish , it appears to be blued. My other Enfield ( Reminton) is parkerized ( grayish)and has Arsenal rework stamps on the stock, so I have one to compare with. 2) There are no Arsenal rework stampings anywhere on the stock. 3) It has a Winchester receiver but a Remington stock, a few other mis matches but all parts are blued. 4) Winchester S/N dates to July 1918 production,  the barrel is marked 6-18. 5) Bore is close to as unused as I have ever seen. 

Please correct my thoughts: Seller said he was told all WW1 rifles were bring backs, not sure how many but he also had a Webley pistol that had cracked grips and I passed on it. I assume this one was a bring back as it has excellent blue finish, not the parkerizing that was done after the war when they refurbished millions of them. The Berthier is pristine as well. All thoughts from knowledgeable Enfield collectors appreciated. Note: the bayonet is a seperate purchase from a collector a few days ago.image.jpeg.8344b4101600b089a03e2ae3b6ba5c7e.jpegimage.jpeg.593dc0999d32dfb255bbf8b86efbd6e3.jpegimage.jpeg.9bf749c96f657b349fc78f214893936b.jpegimage.jpeg.2224ba788a54f9f0856cd9dc2df532a0.jpeg

 

 

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Another pic of the whole rifle, very hard to get pictured.It stands to my forehead, very nice looking with the bayonet.image.jpeg.2812c6a989cc669b4576dc371e4619a9.jpeg

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Very nice Winchester!

Not sure about the finish though - does not look like an original blue to me. Maybe it's because your image isn't close enough to see but the letters and numbers don't look as sharp as they should if it were original finish.

For comparison, here is a photo of the receiver area of my blued Winchester that dates to September 1918. The letters and numbers look much more sharp.

Kim

 

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Thorin6- great link. After reading the posts I believe it could not be a bring back. The condition is just to pristine, none to very little wood bruising or chipping,  very little blueing loss, and the bore is absolutely pristine (it was filled to the point of barely seeing light through it). The stock stamp markings also are crisp and sharp, all fasteners slots clean, sharp, and taking into account the excellent condition of the Berthier would tell me the collector bought long ago when quality pieces were available. K fields- Receiver markings are very sharp. My parkerized Remington not , as I understand when they went through rebuild they were sandblasted which burnished and rounded lettering edges, markings- very evident when examining with a 10x loupe. One thing I have not done and will not do is remove slotted mounting bolts for complete disassembly, I simply do not want to risk removing the blue from the slots or stripping them. The Remington I use for shooting, this ones home is sitting in a rifle sock in the safe.

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Hello

I believe your 1917 is a WW2 rebuild. I have a few that came covered in cosmoline and green paper.  They were purchased through the DCM in the 1960's. DCM was the precursor to the CMP. Just saying that the park and wood look identical to mine. At 500, you did quite well.  They just don't show up very often.  Not rare, but it is in very good condition.

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Also, take a close look at the wood. The finger rail and stock at the grip portion should be very crisp on the edges if it is a original, non arsenal rebuilt.  The sanding process dulls those edges. The stock is typically larger than the butt plate, a term used is "the wood is proud", meaning the stock was not heavily sanded. My research shows 1917's were overhauled and put into storage well prior to WW2 and those rifles do not have rebuild marks typically seen on Garands.

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7 hours ago, Dogface72 said:

Hello

I believe your 1917 is a WW2 rebuild. I have a few that came covered in cosmoline and green paper.  They were purchased through the DCM in the 1960's. DCM was the precursor to the CMP. Just saying that the park and wood look identical to mine. At 500, you did quite well.  They just don't show up very often.  Not rare, but it is in very good condition.

Could be. However, the finish is blued, not parkerized. I thought all the rebuilds were parkerized, my other one with a JA barrel ( WW2 rebuild) s parkerized and has the Arsenal rebuild markings on the stock. It happens to be my most accurate shooting US piece....and I paid 500 for both the Berthier and this 1917...$250 each. The Berthier is my favorite " wall hangar " display piece. With the bayonet, it stands almosr 6' tall. I purchased the bayonet seperate along with a few boxes of that strange looking French wartime dated ammo. image.jpeg.3ac98fdc1f648fb1cecba3c2c1486ad2.jpegimage.jpeg.ca062304078f3db7f3ddcc92a75636a6.jpegimage.jpeg.acdab5ec2d34bc448b4ccafac0338464.jpeg

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Maybe it’s just the pics, but I’m not seeing the bright polished blue a 1917 Winchester should have. 


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Would the " bright polished blue" be known as "rust blue"? I did not realize the different types of finishes, it appears there are 4! From a M1917 site .

"Records show that Eddystone began iron phosphate parkerizing in Sept. 1918, followed shortly after by Remington, and some say, Winchester. Though I have yet to see an original Winchester in black or grey park. The iron phosphate process was replaced by the manganese phosphate parkerizing about a month later.

The iron phosphate was very dark, almost black. The manganese phosphate was a lighter gray.

WWII era rebuilds had the greenish-gray parkerizing, and is easily distinguished from the two different late M1917 parkerizing finishes."

 

As stated, my WW2 JA barreled has the noticeable grayish finish park. Mine I would now assume is the iron phosphate as it is dark black, with 99 percent finish intact ( the sight ears have minor wear). I did not realize they made black parkerized finishes. Can anyone add to this?

 

 

 

 

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