View Full Version : BSA P17 Sporter

04-27-2014, 07:56 PM
Hey all. Just made a purchase for my dedicated hunting rig. Ive been humming and hawing about it for too long now. I wanted something with history, and a tested run of hunting. Something a little unique.

I put up a WTB ad and had over 15 offers overnight. One that really caught my eye was a BSA Sporter. The price seemed right, and has some nice extra's that you wouldn't normally see on something like this?

I dont know much about these rifles, any input would be appreciated.

30/06 P17 sporter with a Leupold vari x ii, 3x9? It's a control round feed, has a Timney trigger to replace the two stage military original and been bedded with Devcon steel.
Leupold scope was sent to Korth in 06 or 07 for recheck/refurbish

Pics are from the Ad, havnt got it in the mail yet.

" it has taken whitetail when I lived in Manitoba, Muleys in the Interior and dozens of Island deer that fed my family "




Anything in particular i need to be looking for on this rifle? whats an average price? Show us some pictures of yours? :) How about a BSA thread?

Before World War I developed, the British had as their main rifle, the Short Magazine Lee Enfield (SMLE). Compared to the German Mausers or U.S. 1903 Springfield, the SMLE's .303 rimmed cartridge, originally a black powder cartridge, was ill-suited for feeding in magazine or belt-fed weapons and the SMLE was less accurate than its competition at longer ranges. Hand in hand with development of an improved cartridge for the SMLE, a committee was formed to develop another rifle just in case. This development of a new rifle and cartridge began by copying many of the features of the Mauser system. This development included a front locking, dual lug bolt action with Mauser type claw extractor as well as a new, powerful rimless .276 Enfield cartridge. Ease of manufacture was also an important criterion. However, the onset of World War I came too quickly for the UK to put it into production before the new cartridge could be perfected.

As it entered World War I, the UK had an urgent need for rifles, and contracts for the new rifle were placed with arms companies in the United States. They decided to ask these companies to produce the new rifle design in the old .303 caliber for convenience of supply. The new rifle was termed the "Pattern 14". In the case of the P14 rifle, Winchester and Remington were selected. A third manufacturer, Eddystone Arsenal - a subsidiary of Remington - was tooled up at the Baldwin Locomotive Works in Eddystone, Pennsylvania. Thus, three variations of the P14 and M1917 exist, labeled "Winchester," "Remington" and "Eddystone".

World War I
When the U.S. entered the war, it had a similar need for rifles. The Springfield Armory had delivered approximately 843,000 M1903 rifles, but due to the difficulties in production, rather than re-tool the Pattern 14 factories to produce the standard U.S. rifle, the M1903 Springfield, it was realized that it would be much quicker to adapt the British design for the U.S. .30-06 cartridge, for which it was well-suited. Accordingly, Remington Arms Co. altered the design for caliber .30-06, under the close supervision of the U.S. Army Ordnance Department, which was formally adopted as the U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1917. In addition to Remington's production at Ilion, New York and Eddystone, Pennsylvania, Winchester produced the rifle at their New Haven, Connecticut plant, a combined total more than twice the 1903's production, and was the unofficial service rifle. Eddystone made 1,181,908 rifles - more than the production of Remington (545,541 rifles) and Winchester (465,980 rifles) combined.[2][3]

Design changes were few; the magazine, bolt face, chamber and rifling dimensions were altered to suit the .30-06 cartridge and the volley fire sights on the left side of the weapon were deleted. The markings were changed to reflect the model and caliber change. A 16.5-inch blade bayonet, the M1917 Bayonet was produced for use on the rifle. It would later be used on several other small arms like the Winchester M12 trench shotgun and early M1 Garands.

The new rifle was used alongside the M1903 Springfield rifle and quickly surpassed the Springfield design in numbers produced and units issued. By November 11, 1918 about 75% of the AEF in France were armed with M1917s.[4] Some American soldiers disliked the greater weight and more fragile ejector of the M1917 and favored the M1903 Springfield.[citation needed]

An M1917 Enfield rifle may have been used by Sergeant Alvin York on October 8, 1918, during the event that would see him awarded the Medal of Honor.[5] According to his diary, Sergeant York also used a .45 Colt automatic pistol on that day.[6][7] (The film Sergeant York starring Gary Cooper in the title role, had York using an M1903 Springfield and a German Luger pistol.)

After the armistice, the M1917 rifles were placed in storage for the most part, although Chemical Mortar units continued to be issued them. During the 1920s and 1930s a large number of M1917 rifles were released for civilian use through the NRA or were sold as surplus. Many were sporterized, sometimes including rechambering to more powerful magnum hunting cartridges, such as .300 H&H Magnum and .300 Winchester Magnum. It was so popular as a sporting weapon that Remington manufactured about 30,000 new rifles as the Model 30 from 1921 to 1940.

World War II
At the time of the American entry into World War II, the U.S. Army was still issuing the M1917 to Chemical Mortarmen. Perhaps due to M1 Garand shortages at the start of the war, the M1917 was also issued to artillerymen early in the war and both mortarmen and artillerymen carried the M1917 in North Africa. Lieutenant Colonel Charles E. Peterson (USAR, retired; 1920–2005), a Major in the 101st Airborne in the Normandy action, reported seeing some M1917 rifles issued to rear-echelon US troops in France during World War II. Other M1917 rifles were issued to the Philippine Commonwealth Army and Philippine Constabulary. After the fall of the Philippines, M1917 rifles were used by Japanese police forces as well as by U.S. and Filipino soldiers with the local guerrillas before the liberation of the Philippines.

Two British Local Defence Volunteers, later renamed Home Guard, receive instruction on the M1917 rifle in the summer of 1940.
Before and during World War II, stored rifles were reconditioned for use as reserve, training and Lend-Lease weapons; these rifles are identified by having refinished metal (sandblasted and Parkerized) and sometimes replacement wood (often birch). Many were bought by the United Kingdom through the British Purchasing Commission for use by the Home Guard; 615,000 arrived in Britain in the summer of 1940, followed by a further 119,000 in 1941.[8] These were prominently marked with a red paint stripe around the stock to avoid confusion with the earlier P14 that used the British .303 round. Others were supplied to the Nationalist Chinese forces, to indigenous forces in the China-Burma-India theatre, to Filipino soldiers under the Philippine Army and Constabulary units and the local guerrilla forces and to the Free French Army, which can occasionally be seen in wartime photographs. The M1917 was also issued to the Local Defence Force of the Irish Army during World War II, these were part-time soldiers akin to the British Home Guard. In an ironic reversal of names, in Irish service the M1917 was often referred to as the "Springfield"; presumably since an "Enfield" rifle was assumed to be the standard Irish MkIII Short Magazine Lee-Enfield, while "Springfield" was known to be an American military arsenal.

The M1917 was supplied to both Denmark and Norway after WWII as an interim weapon prior to the arrival of the M1 Garand.

Korean War and after
After World War II, the M1917 went out of front-line duty. The rifle continued to serve as a sniper rifle during the Korean War, and limited numbers saw service at the early stages of the Vietnam War. This rifle was also used, unofficially, in small Middle-East and African conflicts as a military-assistance program supplied rifle.

Use Today
The M1917 is used as an ceremonial and drilling rifle, as with the M1903, M1 Garand, and M14. For battle purpose, the Danish Slædepatruljen Sirius still use the M1917 as the service weapon due to high reliably of the bolt-action rifles in harsh conditions.

Design details
Both P14 and M1917 rifles are noted for several design features. The rifle was designed with a rear receiver aperture sight, protected by sturdy "ears," a design that proved to be faster and more accurate than the typical mid-barrel sight offered by Mauser, Enfield or the Buffington battle sight of the 1903 Springfield. Future American rifles, such as the 1903-A3 Springfield, M1 and M1 Carbine would all use such receiver sights. The M1917 sight was situated on an elongated receiver bridge, which added weight to the action, as well as lengthening the bolt. The M1917 action weighs 58 oz (1,644 g) versus 45 oz (1,276 g) for the 1903 Springfield.

The rifle maintains the British cock-on-closing feature, in which the bolt's mainspring is loaded and the rifle cocked as part of the return stroke of the bolt, which aided rapid fire, especially as the action heated up. Most bolt action designs after the Mauser 98 cocked as part of the opening stroke. The rifle has a characteristic "belly" due to a deeper magazine, allowing the rifle to hold six rounds of the US .30-06 cartridge in the magazine, and one in the chamber. In a manufacturing change from the Mauser 98 and the derivative Springfield, the bolt is not equipped with a third 'safety' lug. Instead, as on the earlier Model 1895 (Chilean) Mauser, the bolt handle recesses into a notch in the receiver, which serves as an emergency locking lug in the event of failure of the frontal locking lugs. This change saved machine time needed on the rifle bolt, cutting costs and improving production rates, and this alteration has since been adopted by many commercial bolt action rifle designs for the same reasons. The location of the safety on the right rear of the receiver has also been copied by most sporting bolt action rifles since, as it falls easily under the firer's thumb. One notable design flaw was the leaf spring that powered the ejector, which could break off and render the ejector inoperable. A combat expedient repair method was to slip a bit of rubber under the bolt stop spring.[9] A redesigned ejector, incorporating a small coil spring in place of the fragile leaf spring, was developed and can be fit to the M1917 to remedy this issue.

The M1917 was well-suited to the powerful, rimless .30-06 round which was closer in overall length and ballistics to the original high-velocity round for which the rifle had been designed than the rimmed, less powerful .303 round of the P14. The M1917's barrel retained the 5-groove left hand twist Enfield-type rifling of the P14, in contrast to the 4-groove right hand twist rifling of the M1903 Springfield and other US designed arms.The M1917 had a long 26-inch heavyweight barrel compared to the lighter 24-inch barrel of the M1903 Springfield. With the longer sighting plane, the M1917 proved generally more accurate at long distances than the M1903, at the expense of greater weight. The M1917 weighed 9 lb. 3 oz. (4.17 kg) empty, and a rifle with sling, oiler, and fixed bayonet weighed over 11 pounds. The M1917's long barrel and issued 16.5-inch blade bayonet proved too lengthy and cumbersome for trench fighting, while its weight and overall length made the rifle difficult to use for some smaller-statured soldiers.

Many M1917 Enfield rifles were refurbished during World War II with newly manufactured High Standard barrels with 4-groove rifling and Johnson Automatics barrels which had 2-groove rifling.[10]

While developed at the same arsenal, the M1917 is not a version of the .303 caliber rifle of c. 1890-1955, the Lee-Enfield (such as the SMLE version). Both were developed at the Royal Small Arms Factory at Enfield (arsenal) in the United Kingdom. Like the 1903 Springfield, the M1917 actually used the basic Mauser 98 rifle design coupled with a few modifications. Due to the use of rimmed cartridges in the P14, the magazine capacity for the smaller diameter 30-06 was 6 rounds, although stripper clips held only five cartridges.

The M1917 action proved very strong, and was used as the basis for a variety of commercial and gunsmith-made sporting rifles in standard and magnum calibers between the world wars and after. Later, Remington Arms redesigned the M1917, removing the "ears" and changing it to cock-on-open, to become the Remington Model 30 series of rifles in the interwar period. Some (approximately 3000) M1917 rifles were produced in 7 mm and sold to Honduras around 1930. Additional surplus rifles were bought by European arms distributors and converted to 8x57 Mauser, then sold for use in the civil war in Spain during the 1930s.

04-27-2014, 09:52 PM
One of the nicer P14/17 sporters I have seen, they tend to be accurate rifles.
I hope you get good service from it

04-27-2014, 11:11 PM
im also thinking about reloading. If anyone has data on their p17 id like to hear it.

04-27-2014, 11:29 PM
it’s favourite load was 57gr. IMR 4350 165 gr Hornady Interlock flat base

What do you guys think of this load?

04-28-2014, 03:19 PM
It must be loaded through the magazine and cannot just have a round put into the chamber, to do so will break the extractor, this is the same as the Mauser action. The bolt release is on the left side of the receiver and must be pulled out (lots of tension) while removing the bolt. The rifle must be unloaded with the bolt by ejecting the cartridges. :shoot2:

Rory McCanuck
04-28-2014, 09:42 PM
it’s favourite load was 57gr. IMR 4350 165 gr Hornady Interlock flat base

What do you guys think of this load?
A quick peek at my Hornady book says that that is a max load.
Working up to that might be a great way to get started reloading.
I just picked some IMR 4350 today myself, and a 30-06. Just going to use the 150s I have on hand though ;)
I'm having a look at a P14 tomorrow, in 7mm RemMag. I don't think it's pretty, but should be a shooter.
Fingers crossed.

04-28-2014, 11:24 PM
Yes he did recommend that i work myself up to that load. Im still looking for a good used reloading book. And i just ordered a Lee Loader today as well for it.

He told me that he had it sub-MOA at one time, younger, better eyes... lol. Fingers crossed as well!

Heres what IMR says.

165 GR. SIE SPBT IMR 4350 .308" 3.300" Start 56.0 2746 48,100 PSI MAx 60.0C 2934 57,600 PSI

04-29-2014, 10:23 AM
Interlocks are great bullets, 165 - 180gr bullets in a 30/06 is as good as it gets

04-29-2014, 03:07 PM

04-29-2014, 04:50 PM

















Rory McCanuck
04-29-2014, 04:57 PM
Gee, that looks pretty nice VSB.