The U.S. M1917 Enfield in 30-06 (7.62x63mm) was a battlefield rifle
born of necessity at the outset of the 20th century, spawned from the British Enfield design.
Unsure of the battle worthiness of the Lee-Enfield SMLE (Rifle Short Magazine Lee Enfield)
in the years leading up to World War I, the Brits set about to produce a replacement rifle
more in keeping with the German Mauser. They produced the hard hitting P13 chambered for the
powerful .276 Enfield, but settled for an improved version of the .303 Enfield rifle. Thus,
the British Enfield P14 in .303 caliber was born.
Still, British factories were incapable of meeting wartime demand.
And the United States was summoned to help the British war effort.
The job of producing an American-made P14 in .303 was farmed out to several
contractors-Remington, Winchester and Eddystone, a subsidiary of Remington.
In 1917, the U.S. entered the war and had its own need for infantry rifles.
The Springfield Rifle Model 1903 was unable to be produced in sufficient quantities
to satisfy U.S. forces, so it was decided the Enfield rifle already in U.S. production
for British consumption, would be re-chambered in 30-06.
Thus, the U.S. M1917 Enfield Rifle was born.
From 1917-1918, in excess of two million Enfields were produced, some of which
found their way into the hands of U.S. servicemen deployed in Europe. By war's end,
the remaining Enfields were sold as surplus with some going to England at the outset
of World War II-issued to the Brits to serve in their Home Guard.
The P14 (.303) and the M1917 (30-06) proved to be dependable rifles-tough and durable.
As proof of their quality, sporterized Enfields make excellent hunting rifles.
The Enfield features a manual, rotating bolt action with Mauser-type bolt and staggered
box magazine capable of holding five rounds. It is loaded one round at a time or by using
stripper clips. The P14 and the M1917 have similar adjustable sights.
The M1917 comes with a detachable knife bayonet.
A glance at the rifle stock identifies the British-made P14 from the American version-the
British rifle has a brass disk on the right side of its wooden stock, used to denote regiment
designation; American-made Enfields have no brass disk on the stock.