The Remington M1917 Enfield Rifle: A forgotten veteran?

Most US firearms collectors are well aware of the legendary Springfield 1903 and the M1 Garand. A firearm that actually served harder and saw more combat, the M1917, rarely gets the attention it deserves.

When the great empires of Europe let slip the dogs of war in World War I, no country found themselves ready for it and Great Britain, her small peacetime army expanded tenfold by the turn of the century, was no exception. The King’s purchasing agents looked to the industrial powerhouse of the United States for arms.In 1914, they went to Remington in New York and brought with them their plans, produced by Enfield, for a
wholly modern rifle. This rifle took all the lessons learned from captured Boer Mausers and the British Army’s own standard Short Magazine Lee-Enfield (SMLE). It was more accurate, stronger, and—some argue—more reliable. Dubbed the Pattern 1914 or simply P14, Remington started production of these .303 caliber rifles for Great Britain. By 1917, the company, along with their Eddystone (Baldwin Locomotive Works) subsidiary and Winchester had produced some 1.2-million of these bolt-action guns.

Then, the United States entered the Great War. Like other countries, she found herself unprepared. The standard US military rifle was the excellent M1903 Springfield rifle. However, there only existed enough in 1917 to arm about 10% of the envisioned Army that would be sent, “over there.” The Army turned to Remington…

Read the rest in my column at GUNS.com

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