View Full Version : Accurate Load For 1917
New guy here. I shoot local Vintage Long Range Match (300, 500, 600 and 800 yards). Most shoots Garands and 1903/A3. I'm kind of the only one that shoots the slower "cocks on closing" 1917 and the guys kind smile and grin when they see me shooting my archaic all original 1917 Eddy. Well they did no laugh the last match when I placed second to a guy shooting an 03-A3 with a globe front sight.
I would like to do better with a known accurate load for the 1917. Currently, I'm shooting 168 gr SMK, 50 gr RE-15, HXP brass and CCI primer. Would like to see some of your secret accurate recipe for 1917.
Believe it or not I have a 1917 with a 10x Leupold scope. It has Timney trigger and free floated barrel. Using SMK 168 with 4064 powder it shoots dime size groups at 200 yards. I would try some 4064 powder and see if your rifle likes it. On my Garands I tightened my groups by 25% by switching to 4064 powder from 4895.
Also try different lengths of OCL. Most of my rifles like around 5/1000 of the bullet off the lands. I also run a tool into the primer pocket to unify the pocket, deburr the flash hole, and check the loaded ammunition with a measuring devise that culls out of square bullets in the case. I like Redding dies and only neck size for my 1917.
Second Rick's adivce on the IMR 4064 and bullet seating/case prep. 4064 is great powder, a little faster than RL 15, although I've seen some great loads from RL 15 through an '03 or 1917 too. You might like to try some Sierra 175 gr. match bullets and see if your rifle likes them. They will certainly give better performance at 800 yards than the 168 gr. bullet. Best of luck with it.
i like 4064, found that i can bring the pressures down a bit with RL 19, doesnt smoke up the cases as much....and i have lots of it..got a deal at a yard sale once,,,picked up 50 pounds of RL19 from a widow for 25.00....and every thing else she had for reloading...her late husband loaded alot of the same stuff i do, so it worked out well.
I use Hornaday's 178 grn A-MAX with 47.0 grn of 4064. I don't know the benchrest accuracy of this load, but it went exactly where i put them in a CMP match back in January of 2011. If they missed, it was my fault.
PS I have yet to try the M2 ball HXP with this rifle, I'm planning to do so soon.....Some Enfields like it, others....not so much.
Haven't tried it yet but 46.5 gr. varget is what Hornady says on thier 168's and 175's. On another note, there are a few that claim the 1917 is faster to operate than the 1903's. Cocking on the open is an awkward motion, whereas cocking on the close utilizes the forward momentum and the more natural drop of the hand. Shoot it like you stole it, you're not going to hurt it and I'll bet you find you'll be faster.
I love my 1917s (2 Eddies, WRA & RA) and the cocking on close do not bother me. In fact like Randy mentioned, I'm one that prefer it over my 1903/03-A3 as the law of physics is at play (what's in motion tends to stay in motion). With the urging of a friend of mine, I shot my first silhouette match three weeks ago shooting against all sorts of vintage rifles (1903/03-A3, K31s, Mossins, K98s and all sorts of Mauser variants). Here I was the only soul with this Alvin York 1918 vintage Eddystone 1917. Most shooters kind of grin when they saw I was shooting this archaic rifle. Long story short I won the match. Call it beginners luck but I give credit to the long sight radius of the 1917 over other US rifles.
I feel my loads can be improved so would like to know what you all's secret recipe for 1917s. I've heard good things about 4064 so when my RE-15(very clean burning powder) runs out, I'll try 4064.
All loading caveats apply! For the Long Lines (800 yds), try a Sierra 190 gr MK on top of 54 gr. of Vihtavuori N560. It's a big load that works! For the short lines I'd shoot a Hornady 178 gr A-Max.
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