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SGT YORKS WEAPON .....

4653 Views 28 Replies 16 Participants Last post by  neolithic hunter
Cant remember offhand where or when I was involved in this particualar discussion but the 'ole timers such as the 03 and 03A3 came up under discussion and someone (can't remember who offhand) stated that in the "movie" Sgt York which starred Gary Cooper it showed him using an 03 when in fact the "real" Sgt York used an entirely different weapon such as an Enfield perhaps or whatever it was ....

Can anyone out there verify this and make the truth be known here ... :?:

Six
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CPL York used the US Model of 1917 (M1917 Rifle). Was probably the Eddystone and highly doubtful it was the Winchester. Winchester M1917 rifles were rejected by AEF for lack of interchangeable repair parts just like the problems with their M1 Rifles in WW2 (later fixed). York was promoted sometime after this engagement.

In that era, thru the issue of the M14 most weapons had names as far as soldiers were concerned. I asked my father-in-law, a WW2 infantryman detailed to military police, if he recognized some weapons I had on the bench and his answers

M1903 "Springfield"
M1917 "Enfield"
M1 "Garand"
M1 Carbine "Carbine"
M1911 "Colt 45"

I've no clue where P17 came from, perhaps from the UK or Canada where these were sold or lend-leased early in WW2. But these weren't P-rifles there either as the P-nomenclature was abandoned in the 1920s.

Experts like General Hatcher consider the M1917 to be the finest bolt action rifle used in WW1.

My Eddystone M1917 has RA-P and 3-GMK markings of which I know nothing, other than they're post-issue marks.

-- Chuck
 

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I looked at two M1917 Eddystones yesterday at an Ohio gun show. Both wore the 3-GMK mark although it looked like 8-GMK on one.

My M1917 apears to have been arsenal parkerized sometime in its life, but also appears to have all Eddystone parts. Had it for years, long before they had anyone collecting them.

-- Chuck
 

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I converted my M1917 to " on opening" but changed it back during a quasi-military range sessions when we were trying to use various rifles as they would have been in combat. The SMLE's on closing was by far the fastest cycling bolt action around. I put the standard parts back and greatly improved my full magazine aimed fire times.

Another advantage appeared after the restoration to stock " on closing." Several M1903 shooters were having major problems with opening the bolt after their rifles got dirty and hot. One rifle almost took tools to open. Was all the same lot of ammo. When I tried some in the M1917 there were no problems -- all the physical force in turning the bolt is applied to primary extraction, none to trying to the rifle.

There's a bit of footage shown on TV all the time, usually regarding the adoption of the M1 Rifle. Note the rifleman's difficulty getting that '03 bolt open next time you see it.

-- Chuck
 
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