UNITED STATES RIFLE MODEL OF 1917
BRIEF OVERALL HISTORY
When the US entered WWI it was desperately short on 1903 rifle. Luckily several US companies were finishing up production of British Pattern 14 rifles for the British war effort. It was decided best to modify the P-14 design to fire the .30-06 cartridge from the .303 British. While the 1903 remained the primary service rifle of the US, production of the Model 1917 far outpaced the 1903 and it is estimated that 3/4 of the American Expeditionary Force had Model 1917's by the armistice.
MODEL, MANUFACTURER, AND SERIAL NUMBER
The model, manufacturer, and serial number are marked on top of the receiver. This one was made by Eddystone, which was a subsidiary of Remington located in Eddystone, PA. The serial number of 710XXX puts production of this rifle sometime in July of 1918.
Just behind the front site is the barrel manufacture's initial, ordnance bomb, and manufacture date. With a manufacturer mark of "E" indicating Eddystone and a manufacture date of 5-18, I think it is safe to assume this is the original barrel on this rifle.
There are 3 proof marks on the Model 1917. One is on the left side of the receiver, another on the top of the bolt handle, and the last is on the barrel under the hand guard. All are US Ordinance Bomb stamps and they differ slightly from the bomb stamp on the barrel.
There is no final acceptance mark on the 1917's, but many of the parts have acceptance marks. At the time this was a small eagle's head facing left with typically numbers, but sometimes letters were included. These individual marks were assigned to specific inspectors. The acceptance mark on the receiver is locate on the top of the left receiver rail. There are two acceptance marks on this receiver.
CANADIAN PROPERTY MARKS
In 1941, the US enacted what is known as the Lend-Lease Act which provided war supplies to our allies during WWII. Through this program, reserve Model 1917's were transferred to Canada. This rifle shows evidence of this with the Canadian property marks stamped on the receiver and stock. The mark is what is known as a British "broad arrow" inside a capital "C".
CANADIAN UNIT MARK?
These lend lease rifle were typically given to Home Guard units and did not leave Canada. My best guess with this "6thH" marking on the underside of the stock is that it is us a Canadian unit marking, possibly of a Home Guard unit. If you have any insight please send me a message!
At some time this rifle was imported back in to the US. The import mark on the right side of the barrel is stamped "CAI ST ALB VT 30-06". This indicates that it was imported by Century Arms while they were in St. Albans, VT. I found that the ATF did not require import marks until 1986 and that Century Arms moved from St. Albans in 2002, so it was imported some time in that period.