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Thread: 100 year old rifle question

  1. #41
    I've always been curious to know if anybody has seen an Eddystone P14 with an inspector's stamp for some part of John Charles Walsham Reith.

    John Reith, later Lord Reith of the BBC, was later the originator of the concept that broadcasting should be a public service, and yet largely outside government control. This website doesn't give a full idea of his vehemence. He was a Presbyterian fundamentalist, six and a half feet tall, and got the inspector's job at Eddystone by being shot through the cheek and shoulder by a German sniper on the brickstacks at Cuinchy, upon which he wrote a note telling his family that he was perfectly all right, walked half a mile to the dressing station with the stretcherbearers tagging along protesting, and broke hospital to see "The Birth of a Nation" three weeks later.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_R...st_Baron_Reith

    At Eddystone he dealt effectively with an inability to meet the standards of the British inspectors which was holding up deliveries He probably made both sides a few offers they couldn't refuse, but part of it was done by eliminating features of the specification which did no good to anybody. He certainly had an inspector's punch, as he used to give impressionable young American ladies cartridges stamped with it. I often wonder if he was quite right about what would impress them.

    I remember him on TV in retirement, in the 1950s, looking like John Brown of Kansas in one of his sterner moods, and saying that television was the most dangerous social force we know. I wondered at the time why they let him say that on TV. Probably he told them they had to.

  2. #42
    Boolit Master
    Eddie Southgate's Avatar
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    Never could see owning anything I wouldn't use . Clean it up and shoot it .
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  3. #43
    Boolit Master
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    Quote Originally Posted by fjruple View Post
    There is also a popular myth going around that the original M1917 used the same bore diameter as the earlier produced P14, that is not true!
    Many of the earlier production M1917 barrels were made using .30-40 Krag manufacturing tolerances rather than the Springfield .30-06 bore tolerances. This resulted in some slightly over sized bores which were not a problem when flat based bullets as found with the original WW1 .30-06 Ball and the later M2 Ball were used.

    I'd heard of M1917 bores that slugged at .311 which is the minimum commercial spec for the .303 but two thousandths smaller than the .313 minimum milspec bore for the .303.

    It was found that the narrow and deep grooved Enfield bore of the M1917 could remain accurate enough for combat use for 30,000 and up to 50,000 rounds in some cases, so long as ammo with single base powders were used. That was a far better bore life than any contemporary infantry rifle.

  4. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by Multigunner View Post
    Many of the earlier production M1917 barrels were made using .30-40 Krag manufacturing tolerances rather than the Springfield .30-06 bore tolerances. This resulted in some slightly over sized bores which were not a problem when flat based bullets as found with the original WW1 .30-06 Ball and the later M2 Ball were used.

    I'd heard of M1917 bores that slugged at .311 which is the minimum commercial spec for the .303 but two thousandths smaller than the .313 minimum milspec bore for the .303.

    It was found that the narrow and deep grooved Enfield bore of the M1917 could remain accurate enough for combat use for 30,000 and up to 50,000 rounds in some cases, so long as ammo with single base powders were used. That was a far better bore life than any contemporary infantry rifle.
    That fits what General Hatcher says about the M1917 bore. He rejects the frequent suggestion that the M1917 had a loose bore because they simply continued using the .303 P14 dimensions. The standard bore, which he illustrates, was .300 and the grooves .005in. deep. Were that all, it would be looser than the Springfield, but its five grooves and lands were equal in length, while the Springfield's grooves were much wider than the lands. This adds up to the cross-sectional area of the bore being slightly tighter for the M1917.

    The WW2 two-grooved barrel was of the same specification as the Springfield. Some were also rebarrelled with four grooves, chiefly by Hi-Standard, and I think it likely that the same applies.

    The M1917 bore does retain two things which the British design inherited from the Lee-Enfield. The rifling twist is left-handed. At extreme range there are two kinds of bullet drift, gyroscopic precession and the coriolis effect, caused by the rotation of the earth. The latter is in opposite directions in the northern and southern hemispheres. In the northern hemisphere right-hand twist makes them cumulative, while left-hand subtracts one from the other. It was thought rightly, that the next major war was nearly sure to happen in Europe, and it was just our luck to have the only long-range rifle war in history in South Africa.

    We all know as much about precession and coriolis drift as we need to, since it is just a matter of subtracting the infinitesimal from the very slight, and makes no difference at all to almost anyone. (With long-range artillery it is different.) But there is a little more point (although plenty have done without it) to the five grooves. I believe they rifled the barrels on the ordinary single-cutter Pratt and Whitney machine of the time, the one custom barrel-makers still covet. By having a land rather than two corners opposite the groove being cut, you reduce the chances of the tool chattering and cutting a rough surface.

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Abbreviations used in Reloading

BP Bronze Point IMR Improved Military Rifle PTD Pointed
BR Bench Rest M Magnum RN Round Nose
BT Boat Tail PL Power-Lokt SP Soft Point
C Compressed Charge PR Primer SPCL Soft Point "Core-Lokt"
HP Hollow Point PSPCL Pointed Soft Point "Core Lokt" C.O.L. Cartridge Overall Length
PSP Pointed Soft Point Spz Spitzer Point SBT Spitzer Boat Tail
LRN Lead Round Nose LWC Lead Wad Cutter LSWC Lead Semi Wad Cutter
GC Gas Check