Friday, December 19, 2008

U.S. Model of 1917 Enfield in American Rifleman

The January 2009 issue of American Rifleman had a neat surprise for the collector in me on the last page of the issue. The “I have this old gun . . . “ feature regularly covers interesting firearms of yesteryear, and this time around is a real gem. This month the rifle is the U.S. Model of 1917 Enfield.

Produced by three arsenals (Winchester, Remington, and Eddystone), it was put into high-volume production to supplement existing stocks of M1903 Springfield rifles (which numbered only about 600,000 when the U.S. entered the war in 1917). Over 2 million were produced over a two year period.

I own one Model 1917 rifle. Outside it’s a beautiful piece, but the barrel was a major disappointment when I received it. I’ve shot it a few times with medium loads, and the barrel has started to look a bit better. I believe most of the problem on this particular rifle is due to copper fouling. The accuracy seems reasonable even with the somewhat suspect barrel condition.

American Rifleman indicates that 50% to 75% pieces are generally fetching $350 to $600 at this point, with a Blue Book value for a 100% gun close to $2500. The Blue Book value seems a bit high, even for a pristine piece – but if it was a pristine Winchester I could almost believe it with the premium Winchester collectors are willing to pay.

Until next time!!!

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