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coppertales

Question on 1914 Enfield

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coppertales

I picked up two 1914 Enfields the other day. One is stamped ERA, which is made by Eddystone. The other is stamped RE in a circle on the receiver ring. I think this is a Remington made rifle but I cannot find anything to show this is a Remington mark. The Eddystone was British proofed in 1917 and the RE was proofed in !916. The bores are nice and the barrel, receiver, bolt and rear sight numbers match. They do need some TLC though. I am looking forward to shooting these. They fit right into my collection too. Thanks....chris3

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TonyE

RE marked rifles were made at the original Remington plant which is the Remington -UMC company. ERA marked rifles are from Remington Arms Co (Eddystone). Winchester rifles were identified by the serial number beginning with "W"

Post the serial numbers and I will be able to tell you when they were made.

REgards

TonyE

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4thGordons

Chris,

Do the rifles have the volley sights etc or have these been removed as is usual? (WRS)

Does the Eddystone rifle have the "potbelly" stock or standard?

Also are the chambers/bolts marked with a * or not ?

enquiring minds want to know!

Chris

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coppertales

Thank you for the replies. The RE rifle serial number is 141112 and has a -16 below the GR proof mark. The ERA rifle serial number is 403150 and has -17 below the GR proof mark. There is only one other proof mark on either rifle but it is poorly struck, and I cannot make it out. I think these rifles came from India as the barrels have a green paint on them under the handguard. Several of my other rifles that I know came from India have that same paint. There is a * on the receiver, poorly struck on both rifles. The volley sights have been removed and a piece of wood inletted into the space where the dial was. I am not clear on the term potbelly on Enfields. The stocks look just like the stock on my US model 1917. The stock on the ERA is serial numbered to the receiver. The RE is not. The RE stock is broken and will need to be replaced. I have seen quite a few at the guns shows around here so finding one is no problem. The handguards and lower band are also missing. For the price I got these, I cannot complain. The bore on the ERA is perfect. The bore on the RE shows some wear so it has seen service somewhere. I have the ability to restore these rifles and look forward to shooting them....chris3

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4thGordons
Thank you for the replies. The RE rifle serial number is 141112 and has a -16 below the GR proof mark. The ERA rifle serial number is 403150 and has -17 below the GR proof mark. There is only one other proof mark on either rifle but it is poorly struck, and I cannot make it out. I think these rifles came from India as the barrels have a green paint on them under the handguard. Several of my other rifles that I know came from India have that same paint. There is a * on the receiver, poorly struck on both rifles. The volley sights have been removed and a piece of wood inletted into the space where the dial was. I am not clear on the term potbelly on Enfields. The stocks look just like the stock on my US model 1917. The stock on the ERA is serial numbered to the receiver. The RE is not. The RE stock is broken and will need to be replaced. I have seen quite a few at the guns shows around here so finding one is no problem. The handguards and lower band are also missing. For the price I got these, I cannot complain. The bore on the ERA is perfect. The bore on the RE shows some wear so it has seen service somewhere. I have the ability to restore these rifles and look forward to shooting them....chris3

The * on the receiver and bolt indicates that there is a slightly longer locking lug on the bolt (and of course therefore a slightly deeper recess in the receiver) This was almost universal - I have only ever seen one without the * and it was way beyond my limited means.

The removal of volley sights etc was done as part of an organised programme in early WWII, the rifles are referred to as WRS (Weedon Repair Standard) rifles. It is the most common form to find a P14 in. There may be a stamp on the underside of the butt in the form of a star and a letter indicating where the work was done. A large number of rifles were converted.

P14s were supplied to several places - some apparently did go to India - they were also supplied to Greece post WWII.

Some Eddystone stocks (What I called "pot-belly" sometimes referred to as "fatso" stocks) are significantly thicker than those made at Remingron and Winchester. In addition, THEY DO NOT HAVE FINGER GROOVES along the sides, there is some fairly substantial milling of the wood on the left side to allow the volley sight to be seen. The difference is most obvious if examining the rifle from underside. Sorry for the poor description. I'll post a picture later if I can get to mine.

Just a note: M1917 and Pattern 14 stocks are, despite the apparent similarity, different and they will not interchange without quite a bit of work. P'14 stocks have finger grooves of unequal length (Longer left, Shorter right) and they start farther back than do the grooves on M1917 stocks. Also M1917 stocks are never inletted for volley sights of course. These do not affect fit of course, just appearance. Fit problems originate with the size of the magazine well (the M1917 is slightly longer) and different inletting for the triggerguard.

Chris

post-14525-1255037372.jpg

Here is an Eddystone P14 in the ungrooved fatter stock. I'll try and photograph the other side to show milling. This is a WRS rifle also.

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coppertales

Thank you for the information on the stock differences. I pulled out my 1917 and compared the two. The finger groove on the p14 starts at the handguard ring where the 1917 finger groove starts about 1 1/2 inches more toward the muzzle and is longer. Maybe I will get lucky and find a potbelly stock. If not, I have the knowhow to inlet a P14 into a 1917 stock. I am in no rush to do this so I will just bide my time until the right parts come along. If only these old rifles could talk......chris

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4thGordons

You are welcome

Just another caution - especially if buying online. Quite a lot of the P14 stocks on sale in the US currently were taken from DP rifles (Drill Purpose) - on P14s demilling took the form of drilling a 1/2 inch hole through the chamber (Ironically this means that they are still firearms as the receiver is intact) - this means that there is also a semi-circular chunk missing from both the upper handguard and the main stock. It is obvious if you are looking for it but is the sort of thing you may not notice until it arrives and would then cause annoyance!

Good luck with the restoration!

Chris

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TonyE

As your RE rifle is marked with a 1916 date, it must have been made in the last few days of December 1916. According to British records, your rifle was accepted by British inspectors at the factory in week ending 13th January 1917. There was a small delay between manufacture and acceptance, but one cannot be precise about how long this was.

Similarly, the ERA was accepted in week ending 7th April 1917, when a total of 403,960 rifles had been accepted. Actual manufacture was probably in the preceeding couple of weeks.

Your rifle may have been one of 100,000 sent directly from the factory to India or one that was sent later from the UK, but unfortunately I have been unable to trace the exact date of the shipment to India, so cannot tell from the serial numbers.

Regards

TonyE

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coppertales

Again, thanks guys......It is off to the gun show tomorrow in search of parts. Next week I will hit the local gun parts dealer. I was unable to this week as I was blind in one eye and could not see out of the other, cataract surgery. Vision should be pretty good in a day or two.....chris

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coppertales

Project update......I have accumulated most of the parts I need and a line on the rest. My two P14s should be at the range throwing lead downrange in a couple weeks......Joy.......chris3

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Prussia

Calling all experts!

I have a P14 stamped with RE and the serial number 156055. I would be very grateful for any information on its date of manufacture, type etc (is it P14 or 17?).It still has the volley sight (which I presume is the graduated dial on the fore grip?) There is also a seperate flip up sight to the left of the main sight which I presume operates in conjunction with it?

Can anyone expain in layman's terms how these sights would work please?

Thanks

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4thGordons
Calling all experts!

I have a P14 stamped with RE and the serial number 156055. I would be very grateful for any information on its date of manufacture, type etc (is it P14 or 17?).It still has the volley sight (which I presume is the graduated dial on the fore grip?) There is also a seperate flip up sight to the left of the main sight which I presume operates in conjunction with it?

Can anyone expain in layman's terms how these sights would work please?

Thanks

What calibre is the weapon? This will tell you most reliably if it is a British Pattern 1914 (P14) or an American M1917.

The former is .303" the latter .30-06"

As a matter of pedantry although there is some suggestion that workers producing the rifles may have referred to them as p17s the official designation is US Model of 1917 (ie M1917). They are also often referred to as te US Enfield which is even more misleading really!

If it has the volley sight and it is the original stock then it is certainly a P14, as M1917s were not fitted with them. Furthermore is nice to have that on there as a large number were removed.

Diagrams of the operation of the volley sight can probably be found by searching this forum, however the basic idea is to allow one to sight on a very distant target (requirng high elevation of the rifle) whilst allowing the rifle to remain on your shoulder. So the rear peep is raised and the bead on the pointer at the front is depressed below the centre line of the rifle (using the range scale on the dial). This bead is then used for sighting on very distant targets through the peep at the left rear. If you pick up the rifle and try it you will see that when you sight on a very distant object using the normal sight it forces the butt lower and lower and evetually off your shouder - the volley sight avoids this.

I am away from my refs so cannot help with the serial number but I am sure TonyE may if/when he sees this.

Chris

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TonyE

Chris has given you a good idea of how to use the volley sights, so I will leave you to try them. By 1916 they were something of an anachronism, but despite the misgivings of some members of this forum, long range sights did work in places like Egypt and the Sudan where it was possible to open fire at very long ranges.

With respect to your serial number, it was accepted by British inspectors at the factory in week ending 20th January 1917, but was probably made a couple of weeks earlier.

By the end of that week 159,770 rifles had been accepted.

Regards

TonyE

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coppertales

Your rifle was made by Remington, RE. If you remove the rear handguard, there may be a date of mfg stamped next to the proof mark on the barrel chamber. The receiver serial number should be stamped there too. My RE rifle has 16 next to the proof mark and my Eddystone, ERA, has 17 next to the proof mark. The US model 1917 did not have a volley sight installed....chris3

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TonyE

I thought I had just told him the date it was made....

Regards

TonyE

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coppertales

You did. I am an old guy and easily distracted.......chris3

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4thGordons

Well never say never!....Having just said (above) that I have not seen many Winchester rifles, and fewer MkIs in original format....and those that I have seen are ridiculously expensive.... Look what I found! (and a BARGAIN to boot)

A MkI Winchester made Pattern 14 rifle, complete with volley sights and an interesting stock marking disk, on the Winchester marked stock. (for about 1/2 what normal WRS rifles go for :D ).

post-14525-1256401959.jpg

post-14525-1256401969.jpg

post-14525-1256401992.jpg

post-14525-1256402044.jpg

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4thGordons

post-14525-1256402149.jpg

W prefix serial

post-14525-1256402138.jpg

and a comparison of bolts showing the MkI* enlargement (left) in the lug.

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TonyE

That is a really nice find Chris, it should really be returned to its home here in the UK. I will offer to look after it for you!

I am not sure at what serial number production changed to the Mark I*, but your rifle was made in mid December 1916. (Assuming you have blanked out the final digit and it is not 8548)

The butt disk is interesting, especially as the guy who stamped it cannot spell! RAF Feltwell had two "L"s. It was built as a bomber base in East Anglia during the pre-war expansion program and is today a USAF base I believe.

Regards

TonyE

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4thGordons

Hi Tony,

Thanks. I was rather chuffed!

No way of telling for sure what the relationship between the stock, the marking disk and the action etc is of course - they could well have been assembled together recently. I assume the Feltwel (sic) stamp is WWII or 1930s vintage (presumably base guards) although I was not previously aware of the issue of P14s (or by then No3 Mk1?) to the airforce - athough it makes sense that they were (Skennerton has 677,000+ passing through the WRS program in the early days of WWII).

Thanks too for the production date - I have not yet disassmbled it fully to examine the stampings - the bore is great - one detraction is a rather significant split in the upper handguard. I could replace this easily enough but it might be difficult to get a decent colour match so I think I will leave it.

I have heard quite a bit about the fit/finish on the Winchester rifles being superior to the Eddystone or Remingtons - I have to say on examining this one - there may actually be something to that, although I have a the smallest possible comparative sample (ie one of each!)

I have nearly finished my 1918 M1903 restoration too ;)

Chris

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coppertales

Nice find. Where, might I ask, where did you find that rifle. I only lack the aiming arm, for lack of a better term, for the front volley sighton my RE rifle. Is there a spring under/over the aiming arm on the front sight? I may try to make one if I can get the dimensions.....chris3

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TonyE

Repros of the front volley sight arm are available. Not cheap but a lot easier than trying to make one!

Regards

TonyE

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4thGordons

Numrich (Gunparts) have a listing for the pointer but it is currently indicated as sold out.

I can take some detail pictures if needed.

I got the rifle from an auction (online listing)

Chris

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coppertales

Thanks, if it is not too much trouble. The last of my restoration parts are arriving today so I will be able to shoot both rifles this weekend. The RE rifle will not be complete Remington but is complete. I can pick at the non-Remington parts as I come across them....Of all the rifles I have in my collection, one that has been restored to it's former glory excites me the most.....chris3

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World War I Grandson

I understand that P-14 rifles with original volley sites can be found but are expensive. Does anyone know what the cost of a P-14 with volley sites would be?

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