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Thread: M1917/Enfield Front Sight Comparison

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
    Join Date
    Jan 2018

    M1917/Enfield Front Sight Comparison

    If you saw my earlier thread, I picked up an M1917 and it shot low ... really low! So I asked about front sights. Outpost75 provided some great information and he sent me a couple Enfield front sights to see if they would fit. In the meantime, I was able to pick up a couple M1917 front sights and here is the comparison.

    First, M1917 and the Enfield Front sights are interchangeable, I can install either in my front sight base. But that just says the dovetails are close enough to the same size it doesn't matter. The real issue is the height of the front blades and there are two measurements that decide that. One is the blade height above the base and two is the thickness of the base itself. In fact, the height of the blades are pretty close for each make and its the thickness of the base that decides the overall height. Here are the measurements I got. Understand that a couple of these appear to be brand new and the others have been installed. Add to that the manufacturing standards of the day and there are variances.

    M1917 Front Sights:

    Marked Blade Height Base Thickness
    .045 .146 .066
    .045 .142 .069
    .060 .142 .083
    .075 .147 .101

    Enfield Front Sight

    Marked Blade Height Base Thickness
    0 .137 .089
    .015 .136 .061
    .030 .141 .095

    You can draw your own conclusions from these measurements but I think its pretty clear you can't just cross an Enfield and M1917 front sight with the same size marking and expect the same results. Home the information provided helps someone out!

    As promised, I will be putting two of these in the PIF.

  2. #2
    Boolit Master madsenshooter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Upper Appalachia, SE Ohio
    I like that front sight! So much so I was going to turn one into a Garand front sight! But now my right eye has got bad enough that I can't see a front sight! Scope time!
    "If people let the government decide what foods they eat and what medicines they take, their bodies will soon be in as sorry a state as are the souls of those who live under tyranny."

    -Thomas Jefferson

  3. #3
    Boolit Buddy
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Northeast US
    Adjustments for Lee Enfield (SMLE Only) sights being fitted to Pattern 14 and M1917.
    Also fits the Pattern 14 and Model 1917 Rifles but the datum is 0.060" higher so a 0.045" becomes a 0.105" on these rifles.
    All Lee Enfield's utilized a dovetailed, blade type, front sight. (Note: SMLE and No4 front sights will not interchange because of different dovetail dimensions) There were nine different front sights available and were marked on top of their base with their sizes. They were: .090, .075, .060, .045, .030, .015, .0, -.015 and -.030.

    If used the following heights are achieved.

    -.030 = .030
    -.015 = .045
    .0 = .060
    .015 = .075
    .030 = .090
    .045 = .105
    .060 = .120
    .075 = .135
    .090 = .150

    Pattern 1914 and M1917 front blades are the same heights only the rear sight is different. If that does not work for you do what the Danes did to their m1917 and use a small roll pin filed down to the proper height.

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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