Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

East of Here
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Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #1 by East of Here » November 7th, 2013, 1:00 am

Found this old gal for a song:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/1917D_zps793526be.jpg[/thumbnail]

It is an Eddystone Model 1917 chambered in 30-06. I think (pretty sure) it was originally a U.S issued rifle for WWI; then became a post WWI arsenal refurbished WWII lend-lease. I base that on the fact that the receiver has been sanitized and it is both re-serialized and import stamped. It is not proof-marked Canadian or British anywhere in "public view". Though, it has a butchered nosecap screw, so I have so far been unable to get underneath to read the stamps for the whole story.

East of Here
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Re: Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #2 by East of Here » November 7th, 2013, 1:07 am

The stock is in fantastic shape. However, it has been refinished, which hurts the collector value somewhat. But luckily, whoever did it didn't sand it down or stain it - they actually did it correctly by stripping it, then applying a plain boiled linseed oil finish. The original WWI "eagle head" cartouche is still crisp:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/1917HB_zps2a4283c8.jpg[/thumbnail]

And the Eddystone stock proof is still there also:

[thumbnail]http://i32.photobucket.com/albums/d22/JFK1969/new%20projects/1917I_zps7b673bc1.jpg[/thumbnail]

East of Here
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Re: Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #3 by East of Here » November 7th, 2013, 1:15 am

I need to get it to my 'smith and have him pull the screw out of the nosecap. Then, once the wood is removed, we will soak the action in kerosene or acetone and make sure it doesn't have any cracks. If the metal is good, then I will have him headspace it just to make sure I don't blow the damn thing into itty-bitty pieces the first time I take her to the range. Maiming ones self is kind of a downer, when done on an otherwise fine weekend.

Once I know it is safe, I will take it out and shoot it. I am curious to put this one up against the No.1 MkIII* and see which one is the better shooter and/or is more accurate. It will really be cool to fire up two original WWI trench veterans side-by-side at the same time.

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Re: Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #4 by John Thomas8 » November 7th, 2013, 1:23 am

Wonder how much of the advance in tactics that rifle saw.

East of Here
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Re: Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #5 by East of Here » November 7th, 2013, 1:45 am

John Thomas8 wrote:Wonder how much of the advance in tactics that rifle saw.


The stories would/could be amazing. I am currently reading a book on trench warfare during WWI, focused solely on the Ypres salient - from start to finish. Holy sh*t, Batman! - That whole nightmare is unbelievable. The rifle fire and artillery would be bad enough, but then mix in living in flooded trenches filled with sewage/dead people/dead animals/body parts, machine gun fire, relentless snipers, bayonet charges, poison gas and the occasional mass vaporization from massive underground tunnel mine charges...

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The Oracle
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Re: Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #6 by The Oracle » November 7th, 2013, 3:27 pm

Another wonderful find! I love walnut. They just don't make them like that anymore. :-bd

John Thomas8 wrote:Wonder how much of the advance in tactics that rifle saw.


Speakin of WW1... It still amazes me that the bayonets were still very long for that rifle. I suppose you had to reach way down into a trench to stick your enemy. Though; it was clear in the civil war that swinging you rifle with a long bayonet could easily result in stabbing yourself. Obviously; the single black powder load resulted in a lot of swinging butts of rifles. As the enemy over-ran positions. Hand to hand combat remained commonplace in those trench's. :eek:

I believe long bayonets lasted well into the 30's and 40's. When during WW2 they finally reduced their size to the current lengths.

Does your reading mention this horrible stuff? Or things like the trench knife? I missed one of these rarities at a little old country house auction a few years ago. Went to another auction then ran back... too late.

Image

East of Here
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Joined: March 28th, 2013, 7:24 pm

Re: Another WWI orphan - Sgt. York would be proud...

Post #7 by East of Here » November 7th, 2013, 11:59 pm

Yes, my reading does cover the hand to hand fighting. You know that the shit had hit the fan when Winchester started manufacturing shotguns with bayonets. It is hard to imagine a shitstorm bad enough to require adding bayonets to shotguns.

In any event, I am beginning to suspect that this rifle made its way from WWI to the Spanish Civil War. At least that is a possibility due to the strange markings present (and the lack of others such as broad arrows, etc.) combined with a sanitized receiver and an import stamp. It was undoubtedly a U.S. issued rifle in WWI that also saw subsequent action in a subsequent conflict (maybe WWII as well). I just can't say exactly WHICH conflict(s) yet - if ever. I need to get under the wood and see what kind of proofs and marks I can find under there. They may tell the real story...


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