View Full Version : 1917 shooting high?
older than dirt
1917 Win 30-06, perfect bore & 5 groves. Was at the range today & zeroed in at 50yds right at the POA. Moved out to 100yds & was shooting at least 1ft above POA. Is this normal with a 50yd zero for these rifles? I was shooting factory JSP 150gr & 180gr Win ammo & the results were the same. Also rear sight was on lowest elev. setting.
The battle sight ( ladder laying down) is zeroed at over 400yds. I can't find where it states what the lowest mark will give you with the ladder up, but I believe it is greater than 100 yds. Get a copy of "UNITED STATES RIFLE MODEL OF 1917", by C. S. Ferris if you don't already. For fun, try putting a bayonet on it and see how much it changes the POI.
I popped in a danish front sight with a taller pin than the original blade front sight. Now it hits closer to POA/POI at 100-200yds with my target loads. (lowest sight setting on ladder = 200yds).
Is your goal simply to find a front sight insert that will allow you to shoot to POA @100yds so as to make the gun more useable at "reasonable" distances? There's an outfit ( Springfield Sporters?) that sells a 5 pack of various height inserts. They're actually British SMLE inserts but they fit the P-14 and M1917 too. If I remember correctly the "blade" is the same height on every insert. What's differant is the thickness of the "pad" that the blade sits a upon.
Does your rifle still have the original Winchester front sight base and a W marked insert? The reason I ask is because during WWII rebuild of these rifles many had the original front sight base removed during the refinishing process. There was then no effort made to reinstall the original base/insert assembly, any assembly would do, regardless of manufacture. Then to make matters worse there was scant attention, if any, paid to sighting the gun in at the arsenal as they weren't intended to be front line weapons. The result is that many WWII rearsenaled rifles would shoot high or low. I have one of those, it shot incredibly low when I first got it it had a tall sight insert. I ended up using the lowest sight in the above mentioned 5 pack, even filed a bit off of the blade to make it usable @ 100yds. Worked fine @ 100yds after I did that.
Are you shooting with the leaf sight down or up?
The aperture you see with the leaf down is called the battle site and its Zeroed either at 400 or 450 yards (I have seen both distances referenced so am not sure which is true) .
If your shooting with the leaf site up, the bottom catch on the leaf is 200 yards, but I find that if you just put the slider ALL the way down below the last catch it pretty damn close to 100 yards.
Another possibility is if it shoots good for the first couple of shots and starts stringing upward you may have to adjust the stock fit, originally the very nose of the stock should give an upward force on the bottom of the barrel of 5-7 lbs.
I agree with Dan, bottoming the slide is usually very close to 100yd. However, things you should know, the Army trained soldiers to use 6 "O" clock hold (on the short range "A" target used at 200 and 300 yds) with a 10 inch black bulls eye. This means at 200 yards the rifle shot 5 inches high (center of the bull). The ammunition was different and so-on. Chances are, your rifle is pretty close to original settings, I believe they were checked at rebuild.
This can all be supported by FM 23-6, a quick easy way to get a copy is Google "M1917" click on the wikipedia site, scroll to the bottom, under the heading of External links is a digital copy of FM 23-6, definitely worth having.
Modern commercial ammunition is loaded a lot hotter than the ammunition the M1917 was designed to shoot and for which the sights were callibrated. Therefore it can be expected to shoot higher, Rem 150 Gr. PSPCL's shoot about 3"-4" higher at 100 yards than M2 ball from My M1903 and M1903A3 rifles. Military rifles tend to shoot higher anyway (there is a practical reason for this) especially with the battle sight on those old bolt guns.
The original cartridge for the 1917 was the 1906 cartridge, 150gr. (flat base) with an MV of 2,700fps. The M1 cartridge came along around the mid 20's and the M2 around 38. There's plenty of load data that would help troubleshoot the matter, personally I load em down, they don't kick so bad and they're very accurate.
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