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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
1917 Custom Project

I am in the process of building my custom 1917 .308 Norma Mag. I was just thinking about posting a thread which showed the process and progression of my rifle. I was wondering if anyone wanted me to post a thread on this and if there is some interest.
 

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spitfire_er

That would be an interesting topic and I would like to see it. I have a U.S. 1917 Enfield that a previous owner sporterized and had it rechambered to a .300 Winchester magnum. The bolt face was altered to accommodate the bigger cartridge. The rifle shoots very well. All the best...
Gil
 

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Well, of course we'd like to see and hear about that. Living vicariously is part of what this forum is about, I would say. Pictures, man...we need PICTURES! ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 · (Edited)
I picked up a sporterized 1917 Enfield a while back and have been sitting on it till I get a few other projects finished up. I did some work on it before I tore it all apart so it was not as nice as the original state photo below. My goal here was to build a medium weight hunting rifle good for long range shooting. I decieded on the .308 Norma Mag. I have a Hart Stainless 1-10" twist 30 cal #4 contour barrel. I plan on putting a Timney trigger in and a Richards Microfit Thumb hole stock. I'll try and explain things as I go along and will try to finish this up in the next 3-6 Months.

I started out with the bolt. The second photo shows the original configuration. I straightened the bolt handle from the original dog leg style to a straightend handle. After I did this it was polished up to match the rest of the bolt. The bending was done with a heat sink in the bolt and heat stop paste all over the back end of the bolt. Then it was heated up and bent with a large closed end wrech which I found works really well without leaving too many marks.

One more thing, I am using a P14 bolt in a P17 action. The bolts are different, they have different bolt faces the P14 is a Magnum face, and has a differet angle on the front of the bolt lugs and has a little different extractor. I will post a few photos of that later when I do some more work on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Receiver Work

My next task was to contour the receiver a little. One good place to lighten up these actions is on the rear behind the bolt stop box where the spring rest is. I cut this out with a hack saw and matched the contour to another custom P-14 that I have. I decided later to use another action but here is both of the ones that I did. One is done so the bolt stop box ends near at the end of the box, and the one I will use on this project was done so the spring bends back to the shroud.

The later one was done with a hack saw again, but the spring groove was done with a file, and the curve was done with a angle grinder with a 120 grit grinding disc.

Here are a few pics.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
stripper clip removal

My next task was to remove the stripper clips to give the action a more factory look and not so much of a sporterized military action look. This once again was done with a hack saw. Most of this stuff could be done with a milling machine... but many of us do not have one or have access to one. It also give a guy a little excercise too.

Once I got the majority of this cut off with the saw it was brought down with a dremel grinder wheel and a few different metal files. Then I finished off with a little 320 to make it look decent for now.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 · (Edited)
A few more of the finished contour.

This is basically where I ended for now with the receiver. This was the first receiver I did before deciding to go with the other action. I did the same thing on the other action too, but here is a picture of the action that I will be using.

Also for reliability purposes, I put a champher on the inside of the rear bridge to keep the extractor from binding and not allowing the bolt to open. I will also put a champher on the top rear corner of the extractor for an extra measure.

Also for those that may be wondering I was lucky enough, well I made sure, to get actions that already had the oval filled in on the rear bridge. All Remington and a few Eddystone receivers did not have this "jig" hole, but if yours does. The way these things get filled is with a bolt head ground down to fit fairly close then it is silver solderd in place, then shapped off to the contour.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Barrel threading and chambering

Up to now most of the stuff that I have done has been a few months back. About two weeks ago we chucked up my Hart barrel on the lathe and got it ready to start on. Yesterday I got a chance to go out to Corky's. ( My fiances grandfather who has been a gunsmith for the past 40+ years, former benchrest shooter, and go to guy for Enfields.) I got started on getting it fit to my action.

Pic 1= The setup ready to go.
Pic 2= Show the first couple cuts I made for the outside thread diameter.
Pic 3= The shoulder and the root of the shank cut down to Inside diameter.
Pic 4= Threads partially cut.
Pic 5= The receiver fits
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 · (Edited)
Chambering

Today I was able to get out there and chamber it most of the way. I still need to cut the cone in the rear of the barrel to accept the enfield bolt, then finish chambering. After the cone is cut I will need to bring in the chamber about another 1/4". This is where the project is sitting as of now. I will be gone next weekend so I won't get back to this till two weeks from now, but I'll post more photos when I get them.

If you've made it this far, as always, I always welcome questions and comments. I may not know it all, but If I don't know someone else here may, or I will find out for you.

Here's one last photo I took part way through running the reamer in.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 · (Edited)
Safety weight loss

I had one more thing I guess for now. A little trick on the safety lever is shown here. I got this idea after looking at one of Corky's rifles. He has been building off the P17 action for years and has his own style which is hard to improve on in my opinion. The original lever has a lip on the outside edge, so with a couple minutes of work and an angle grinder with a 120 grit disc and the outside is now smooth and it weights a little less. Looks nice too.
 

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I am in the process of building my custom 1917 .308 Norma Mag. I was just thinking about posting a thread which showed the process and progression of my rifle. I was wondering if anyone wanted me to post a thread on this and if there is some interest.
Congrats on your 1917. What a lot of work. Looks like you did a nice job. I recently finished my 1917 Eddystone. It is now a custom 6MM Remington. Was my first and probably last shot at doing my own work, but it does shoot good. Again, a big congrats on your project. It is pretty special when you do it yourself.:)
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Congrats on your 1917. What a lot of work. Looks like you did a nice job. I recently finished my 1917 Eddystone. It is now a custom 6MM Remington. Was my first and probably last shot at doing my own work, but it does shoot good. Again, a big congrats on your project. It is pretty special when you do it yourself.:)
Thanks, as of right now it's more of a hobby than work for me. I would like to keep it that way too!
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Barrel cone and extractor cut

Alrighty!

I got out to Corky's today and worked on the ol' Enfield a little bit. While I was gone for the past couple weeks, Corky put the cone on the back of the barrel. I had to cut it back a little to allow for the bolt clearance, but I got it. I also set up the chamber and got it all finished. I ran the reamer in with the lathe till about the rear of the belt was almost covered. Took the barrel out fo the lathe, then finished it by hand. It took about 15 turns with the reamer by hand and I was there. The front of the lug on the P14 bolt was also dressed down to a P17 contour.

I also had to cut the extractor cut which was done with a hand grinder, and then a dremel, then finished with a hand file and a little buff.

I only took one picture not thinking of you guys, but next time I'm out I'll take pictures of all the stuff I just talked about. Here is a picture of the cone and the start of the extractor cut.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Got back on this a little. We got the bolt stop spring bent back around, and the barrel is fitted and ready to rock.

I also found a couple stock blanks for not very much. These are cottonwood and are only inletted a little so i'll try my shot at finishing a "rough" cut stock.

here are a few photos of what I have to work with. I'll most likely be using the lighter colored stock on this project.
 

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Spitfire,

Thanks for sharing all of these photos; I think it gives folks a real appreciation for what is involved with sporterizing an ex-military rifle. I can't say I've ever heard of cottonwood being used for a stock, but those are the ROUGHest blanks I've ever seen! :eek: You'll have to spend quite a bit of time on them, but I'm very curious to see how they turn out and will also be investigating the density of cottonwood...you've made me curious.
 

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I'm really anxious to see what you do with the floorplate. Are you going to cut it or will you make it a deep magazine. I did one back in the 60's when I was but a kid, 'bout 4' tall. Always regretted not knowing how to flatten out that magazine.
 
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