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Rifleman Q & A: Mysterious Markings

Rifleman Q & A: Mysterious Markings

Q: Was there another manufacturer of the Model 1917 rifles besides those mentioned in Bruce Canfield’s “One Of The Great Decisions” story in the August 2018 issue of American Rifleman? I have one chambered in .303 British, and was excited to see who made it when the article came out. Mine is marked “RE,” but not “U.S.A.” Do I have something strange?

A: The reason the markings do not correspond with the images in the article you reference is because your rifle is a Pattern 1914 and not a Model 1917. As stated in the article, the .303-cal. Pattern 1914 was manufactured for the British government by the same three firms that subsequently produced the .30-’06 Sprg. Model 1917: Remington, Eddystone and Winchester. The receivers of the Pattern 1914 rifles were marked with just the initials of the manufacturer, whereas the Model 1917s were marked with the full name of the maker (with the exception of very early Winchesters, which were only marked “W”). The “RE” marking on your rifle indicates it was manufactured by Remington. Of course, since your rifle was made for the British government, it would not have been marked “U.S.”

--Bruce N. Canfield

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