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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I bought an Eddystone M1917 rifle, barrel dated 12/1918 seems to be all original and matching, and in good over all condition, with the full intention of using it for atique military mathces. After a thorough cleaning I discovered the barrel to be quite rusted and pitted. After shooting the rifle I then came to the understanding that this is a 5.5-6 MOA rifle, not quite good enough to satisfy my competitive desires.
So I've come to the conclusion that I want to have a new barrel installed. To be honest I really don't know a whole lot about these fine war hero's, so I thought I would see what some folks with more knowlege on the subject have to say about this path, before I screw up a classic beauty
 

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Send it to Chuck in Denver (Warpath) for a new criterion barrel. Or the CMP Custom Shop.
 
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The problem is that it's an Eddystone. Eddystone used excessive torque when installing their barrels, and you risk the very real possibility of cracking the receiver while trying to remove the old barrel if it doesn't come off without again having to apply excessive torque.

I don't know how much is too much, but when I bought a Criterion barrel for my Eddystone, my gunsmith (his expertise is vintage military rifles) was not able to remove my barrel. Rather than apply too much force, we decided not to do the barrel swap. Instead I did an electrolytic cleaning, and was able to restore about half of my barrel's accuracy.

It will still do well at a Vintage Military Match, of which I do three a month, but I win far more often with my Swedish and Swiss rifles in the bolt-action events.

That said, the M1917 is one of my favorite rifles, and I have one that has been well-customized as my main hunting rifle. It was a Winchester, so was easy to replace the barrel on, and it is now a full dresser with Fajen walnut, Leupold scope, and, of course, a chromed bolt.
 
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Somebody who knows what they're doing can put cuts on the barrel in certain places and relieve the stress before taking the barrel from the receiver. This will prevent cracking of the receiver at rebarreling and give you your shooter.
 

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There are ways to get pipes out of fittings....

You can heat up the receive ring before torquing.

If that doesn't work try freezing the whole action and then quickly heating up the receiver ring.

Of course soaking it in penetrating oil is recommended.

You can cut the barrel off as well and you can relieve tension with well placed cuts in the barrel.


The only time we were unable to get a pipe out of a fitting was with 2" cast pipe on a 100 + year
boiler system that used to be a steam system. 4 grown men couldn't get it to budge.
 

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If you are not familiar with the M1917 and M1903 you need to be aware that the barrel may have no part in consistency problems.

The '17 and 03' are a whole different game when it comes to proper stock AND handguard fit.

Poor handguard fit alone on these two models can play absolute hell with consistency on target: flyers, big groups, two groups, POI walking.....you name it.

Bearing surfaces in the stock are pretty conventional. However - you are dealing with century old wood so dimensional changes have occurred.

I did not work with the M1917 much. Had some experience with the M1903. The '03 was designed to have barrel bedding - that is there is a raised area in the tip of the barrel channel. This bump was designed to contact the bottom pf the barrel and exert from 5 to 15 lb upwards force on the barrel. This was key to consistency. I do not know if the M1917 had a similar arrangement.

Before you jump to rebarreling I suggest you remove the handguard entirely then torque the guard screws tight and shoot some groups. Compare these to group size with the handguard installed.

If it shows improvement you'll have to find a M1917 expert for advice on how to get the handguard properly fitted. With the '03 there are places it needs to be tight and places it needs to be loose. Probably the same on the '17.

If the handguard delete does not help, there may be things to do with the receiver bedding (talking wood to metal fit, not glass bedding).

The '03 has metal bushings around the guard screws. After the wood shrinks for 100 yrs the metal tube stands proud of the wood. When you torque the guard screws the tip of the metal bushing carries all the load and it slips under recoil. The '17 may be the same way - I just do not know.

There are quite a few knowledgeable M1903 folks around. Not so many M1917 experts.

Try stock and handguard fit before rebarreling. You might be surprised.
 

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For what it is worth I have a sporterized Eddystone with it's original barrel. It was a well done sporter with a scope and a bedded Fajen thumbhole stock. It was sporterized in the 60' or early 70's. It does have glass bedding and the tip of the stock has been bedded to apply upward pressure on the barrel. It is an amazing tack driver,even with m2 ball ammo.
 

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I have one #16018X that has a very ugly bore. Even has scratches/score marks 1 inch from the muzzle. Bore looks like, well like crap. I can get decent 1 - 11/2" groups shooting ROK M2 ball...
 

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Barrels are out there

New gi pop up from time to time. If this isn't a money making deal and you have to replace thre old one , bore out the old shank on the lathe then pick out the threads.

Honer
 

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You can buy the Criterion barrels directly from the CMP.
 

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Kroil to remove rust from the barrel?? What is can't even be close???
The intention was to suggest Kroil in assisting to remove the old barrel. I knew what I was trying to say, my typing just didn't get it across.
The 600 to 800 was the torque needed to overcome on the removal of a Mosin barrel so the M1917 should be less.
Totally agree on the replacement barrels from CMP. Never even considered trying to keep a rusty bore. My bad.
 

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I've read the trick is to use a thin parting or cut-off tool , and cut a groove in the barrel about .005-.010 forward of the receiver to relieve excess shoulder torque-up.

Since the CMP is now offering gunsmith services , why not just send it to them for barrel replacement?
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
So I guess I'm not going reduce the value of the rifle by sending it off for rebarreling I guess is more over what I was getting at. This isn't some highly collectable spiecimen? Will a new barrel help the value in any way?
 

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Value

Who knows what an original 1917 will be worth 15-20 years from now?
Although it's your gun and you can do what you want with it, it is a small piece of history.

I think we will all agree the value will go up on your rifle with or without a new barrel. I would think more so with a GI barrel versus a commercial barrel.

New, original 1917 barrels are out there, I'd keep looking, but that's just me.

Very few people look at their original GI issue rifles and think, Boy, I wished I had customized that years ago.

Just my 2 cents.

Honer
 

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There are WWII dated replacement barrels that will shoot very well. Standard Products made them and they are known for some great accuracy.

Good advice on having someone relief cut the barrel. Of all the bolt guns enfields are known to be a BEEOTCH to re-barrel if you don't
Send it to someone who knows these rifles.
 

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So I guess I'm not going reduce the value of the rifle by sending it off for rebarreling I guess is more over what I was getting at. This isn't some highly collectable spiecimen? Will a new barrel help the value in any way?
Matt I highly recommend you remove the handguard, tighten the action screws and shoot some groups with decent ammo before rebarreling.

It would be a major bummer to pay for a new barrel and find it it still scatters bullets all over the township.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Before I shot the rifle I did a complete tear down and thorough cleaning, reasembled and snugged everything up. As anything that was loose and could rattle did. I did notice before the outing that the hand guard at the end cap near the muzzle does touch the barrel slightly in one spot, and did wonder about that affecting accuracy. I will relieve that first chance I get. I will also work up some different loads to see if it likes something different. My first loads were 155gr SMK's pushed with 45gr of IMR 4895, pretty moderate load to start.
I'll keep playing with it a little, before I change parts, keep ya guys updated. Thanks for all the help.
 

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Matt I highly recommend you remove the handguard, tighten the action screws and shoot some groups with decent ammo before rebarreling.

It would be a major bummer to pay for a new barrel and find it it still scatters bullets all over the township.
Matt this is good advice. Try a 175 grain bullet with varget or 4895. I have some 1903's with "frosty" bore that shoot "lights out"!
 
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