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Eddystone 1917 .30-06 to .300 h&h

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yellowsevenpot

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#1
Hey all Newb Here,

I was given an unstocked m1917 i would like to turn into a project. I am thinking about converting it from .30-06 to another .30 caliber rifle, using the current barrel. I have heard that .300 h&h is a common conversion, but i dont have a lathe to open up the bolt face. Not sure how I could do it by hand.

My only experience in smithing is accurizing revolvers... so i know i have a lot to learn and am a long way from the work.

I am hoping someone around has some experience rechambering m1917's who could give me some insight.





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dulltool17

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#2
Do you have a vertical mill? It is possible to open up the bolt face with a boring head.
 

Silverbullet

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#3
I'd do some cking on that , the 300 Holland and Holland , produces some higher pressures then the 06. It may be fine using a new barrel but some of the old ones were to hard and they would actually blow apart from the more powerful caliber. The actions on some were recalled not sure if the headstone had the same problem .
I'd like to see it if it cks out ok for the build. I have several old war rifles and pistols. Always looking for others .
 

yellowsevenpot

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#4
Hey Silver,

As I understand it was fairly common to rechamber the m1917 to .300h&h in the 50's. I will certainly research this more, and the causes of kabooms in these before I move forward. I will get pictures up soon.

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drhall762

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#5
Don't bother to open up the bolt face. PITA when all you have to do is swap it for a Pattern 14 (.303 Brit) bolt body. You will have to headspace it anyway so go the easy rout. Sell your bolt body to someone who is looking.

I'm building a .585 HE on one right now and had no choice but to open the bolt face. The standard belted magnums will all work with the Pattern 14 bolt body. I built one in .300 Weatherby Magnum in just that way, swap the bolt body.
 

yellowsevenpot

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#6
Thank you for the info. I went looking around for a p14 bolt, and boy oh boy 100 bucks! I ll definetly keep looking. It certainly sounds like a great way to go but not sure if I am wanting to spend that much.

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drhall762

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#7
Thank you for the info. I went looking around for a p14 bolt, and boy oh boy 100 bucks! I ll definetly keep looking. It certainly sounds like a great way to go but not sure if I am wanting to spend that much.

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You only need the bolt body. All the rest of the bolt parts will fit. Springfield Sporters has them for $20.00
 

yellowsevenpot

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#8
Aw I see where you wrote body before. 20 bucks aint bad. Good looking out, and thanks again.

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thequietman

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#9
Just to make sure, isn't 300 H&H considerably longer than 30-06? Wouldn't it be too long to fit in the magazine?

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drhall762

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#10
Some work is required with the magazine box and the feed ramp but not as much as could be suspected. It's also pretty straight forward. The .300 H&H is about .260 inch longer than the .30-06 in OAL
 

thequietman

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#11
So does this mean that 98 Mauser in 8mm Mauser can be re-chambered into 375 H&H? I played with that idea for a bit but abandoned it due to cartridge dimensions.

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drhall762

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#12
The short answer is yes, with a lot of work. During the day, the 98 Mauser actions were converted for all sorts of cartridges. Having said that, there are lots of Mauser Magnum actions that pop up for about $500 NOS. These are an easier start as the bolt face and magazine box are already sized to the Magnum.

If you want something simple in a single shot stalking rifle, consider a Mosin Nagant and the .375 Flanged Magnum. Runs about 200fps slower than the standard .375H&H but that is nothing. I have one and it's great. Used standard H&H dies and bullets. I added a Timney trigger and had the bolt handle moved back behind the rear bridge. That was capped and welded allowing a one piece Leupold base. Pretty slick and shoots great.
 

drhall762

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#13
A few of the many big bore cartridges that standard length 98 Mausers are converted to include, .500 Jeffery, .495 A-Square, .550 Express, .416 Rigby and the .404 Jeffery to name a few. Remember, this was the "GO TO" action for many custom gun makers like Rigby. Even today the standard Mauser action is used by some big name custom maker such as Duane Wiebe.
 

drhall762

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#14
As a point of clarification, let's keep in mind the pressures we are talking about. The 8x57 Mauser cartridge has a CIP value of 3900, the .30-06 is 4020. The .300 H&H weighs in at 3723 and the .375 H&H at 4300. The .416 Rigby is 3250 with the .500 Jeffery at 3300 and the .505 Gibbs at a mere 2700. Over pressuring a well made and sound action is not an issue. If the CIP values in BARs throw you, multiply by 14.5038 to get PSI.

Now, move to the OP's Enfield action and build whatever will fit. They are almost indestructible with modern loaded ammunition. Quite probably the strongest of any of the military actions with the possible exception of the early Arisaka.
 

yellowsevenpot

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#15
Well still no pictures. I was delayed by NICS. Hopefully I can get some up soon.

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yellowsevenpot

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#16
Still no gun in hand but I did pick a stock. Hoping it is in workable condition... certainly added some new elements to this build.

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drhall762

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#19
Looks like you may be able to pull some figure out of the wood as well. Decent price for sure.
 

TRX

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#20
I got the hots to do a .300 with my P17, bought a P14 bolt and magazine box, and decided I'd prefer a different barrel while I was at it... and since the '06 barrel was perfect, I decided to use it up first. Still working on that... but I took to telling people it was an exotic wildcat called ".300 Whelen", made by necking down .35 Whelen brass to .30 caliber...
 

yellowsevenpot

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#21
Well I got it home. Some interesting home gun smithing has taken place in the past not sure exactly whst i am working... Hoping it is even safe to shoot. Can anyone give me some insight into some things... what mental do you think the repair on the trigger guard is? Also, i am not sure why someone welded the plate into the magazine?


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drhall762

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#22
Looking at the photos, with the exception of the dirt, grime and maybe a little rust, the only two things I see are the trigger guard and rear receiver bridge. The trigger guard appears to be brazed rather than welded. the straightening of the trigger guard is common but I have to admit this is the first one I have seen brazed. The second thing, though it may just be the photo, is the rear receiver bridge does not appear to have been ground (filed, etc.) level or even. While both of these are cosmetic, neither should make the rifle unsafe to shoot. The trigger guard is probably the easier fix but the bridge may be able to be straightened out as well.

The plate in the magazine box is a mystery to me as well. I have never seen that before however, I am sure the previous maker had a good reason or at least thought he did. My best guess would be that it was "needed" to correct a feeding issue.

As always, the rifle can be tested with a spare tire, live round and 25' of paracord from behind a protective barrier. Actually not a bad idea for all rifles that have been "worked on" by unknown person or persons.

By the way, I can see your photos on my phone but not on the actual post here. I have been having the same problem. Something to do with resizing before posting.
 

seasicksteve

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#23
If you decide to re chamber I would urge you to consider marking the new caliber very conspicuously. Consider that many assume the caliber of these surplus rifles and do not carefully inspect before firing. 30 years back I purchased a very nice 1903 a3 Smith Corona rifle. When I got the rifle home and disassembled to clean I noticed that it was stamped 308 Norma mag. This was under the handgaurd and it was by chance I noticed it. Could have been rather ugly if I would have fired a 30-06 cartridge in that chamber. Good luck
 

drhall762

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#24
I know the feeling. Bought a single shot P14 Enfield that was set up for 300 meter shooting I thought. .30 caliber was easy, thought .30-06, dropped a dummy in the chamber and it was swallowed. Got out the magnum headspace gauge and sure enough it is a belted magnum. Well, has to be a .300 WinMag right? Wrong. Took it to the range, strapped it to a shooting bench, chambered a .300 WinMag cartridge and got behind my truck. Pulled the cord and bang. Seemed to fire fine. Opened the bolt with no problem. Ejected the case and what was that. A very short neck with a nice "S" curve shoulder into the neck. .300 Weatherby Magnum. Shoots great. Did a little more research and back in the day these were set up for 1000 yard matches.

The moral of the story is, dummy rounds and headspace gauges don't necessarily tell you what caliber your rifle is chambered for especially with a belted magnum. When in doubt do a chamber cast and measure it!
 

wrmiller

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#25
Oooh... A 300 Weatherby! One of my favorite cartridges. Have fun with that! :)
 

drhall762

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#26
So far I have had a blast with it. No pun intended. Shoots well with whatever manufacture barrel it has. I get the impressing it was never shot as when I got it a 1917 Enfield bolt was in it and I swapped the bolt body for a P14. No need to open one up the face in these actions at lease for the more common belted magnums.
 

yellowsevenpot

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#27
Looks to still be in .30-06. The numbers from my cast are a bit larger than the specs I have for the .30-06. Shoulder is .444, neck is .345. Thoughts?


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drhall762

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#28
Yes. The diagram is of a cartridge. The cast is the chamber. The chamber is always larger than the cartridge. If you google for a chamber diagram you will see you numbers are probably good.​
 
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