1917 Eddystone - Safe to Fire?

ODcollectorODcollector Member Posts: 9 ✭✭
edited February 2015 in Ask the Experts
I have a US Model 1917 Eddystone s/n 931xxx from my Grandfather who was a Major in the Army for WW1. He received it as "defective" from a US Military Armory in 1917 and it was never fired (to my knowledge). As kids we fired crayons in it. It is in pretty good shape (?). I can see rifling all the way down the barrel. I did a "drop test" by standing the muzzle on the floor and dropping a bullet down the barrel from the breech. It easily dropped down 12 inches before sticking in the rifling.
Is this rifle safe to fire with normal loads?


  • MG1890MG1890 Member Posts: 4,649
    edited November -1
    The bullet can go 12" down the bore before it makes contact with the rifling?[:0]

    Best take that thing to a gunsmith... Whos the say that the chamber is OK....
  • T J McGillT J McGill Member Posts: 99 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    As long as you were using the right caliber round and it went that far down the tube! it needs help!
  • rufe-snowrufe-snow Member Posts: 18,230 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    Per it's history. I personally, would consider it a family heirloom.

    If it was considered defective 98 years ago. Don't push your luck with it. Stick to the crayons, not ball ammo.
  • Spider7115Spider7115 Member, Moderator Posts: 29,596 ******
    edited November -1
    I don't think anyone in their right mind would tell you it's safe to shoot without having it thoroughly checked out by a certified gunsmith and not some amateur working in his basement or any of us.
  • p3skykingp3skyking Member Posts: 25,750
    edited November -1
    Twelve inches of freebore is quite a bit. Sounds like a new barrel is in order and then you can shoot it with real ammo.
  • charliemeyer007charliemeyer007 Member Posts: 7,351 ✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    I think it needs inspected by someone knowledgeable. Then if it looked like it was ok other than excessive freebore I'd tie it to spare tire and fire a few rounds with a long lanyard. If it unlocks ok and everything seems good on re-inspection I would consider a new barrel. As a wall hanger it is worth something, in shattered pieces it will be worth a lot less.
  • babunbabun Member Posts: 11,497
    edited November -1
    I don't think anyone in their right mind would tell you it's safe to shoot without having it thoroughly checked out by a certified gunsmith and not some amateur working in his basement or any of us.

    Sorry about redoing your post, but I think it wasn't big enuff.

    NO ONE here can see your gun. For all I know about it, the bolt lugs
    are ready to shear off.
    Have it checked from butt to muzzle.
  • Don McManusDon McManus Member Posts: 21,507 ✭✭✭✭
    edited November -1
    If you dropped a U.S. Caliber 30 bullet down the barrel and it dropped 12" into the rifling, you have a big problem. If that barrel has never been fired, it may be a Brit .303, but a U.S. Model 1917 Eddystone should not have a .303 barrel. When you put an '06 round in the muzzle, how much projectile is left between the crown and the case?

    It could just be a horribly worn out barrel that was rejected for rebuild by the armorer. Doubtful this is the only problem, as in 1917 the reason Remington and Winchester were building the Model 1917 was that rifles were needed and Springfield could not keep up with demand with the 1903.

    Don't know if it would be worth shooting even if a smith gave it his blessing if the barrel is actually that worn.
    Freedom and a submissive populace cannot co-exist.

    Brad Steele
  • jonkjonk Member Posts: 10,121
    edited November -1
    If it's really a 17 and not a 14, I agree that something is messed up enough that it shouldn't be shot as is.

    Take it to a gunsmith. If the boogered barrel is really all that's wrong with it, it may be worth getting a new barrel. Keep the original for posterity.

    I've seen drill rifles come out of the CMP that had been written off and were still perfectly safe, for small reasons. I've also seen some that were totally unsafe.

    Now, just speaking hypothetically, if it really is just a really eroded shot out barrel, and the receiver and bolt are solid, it would be SAFE to shoot, but you're NOT going to hit anything.
  • ODcollectorODcollector Member Posts: 9 ✭✭
    edited November -1
    Thanks to everyone who responded so quickly. I had looked at "freebore" as well as .303 barrels being used and was puzzled why the 30-06 bullet dropped so far! I am now taking it to a well certified gun smith/gun shop in CT who will further check it and then test fire ..if it is safe to fire!
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