M1917 Run and Gun (The ‘Merican Enfield)

    By popular request, in the episode of TFBTV we rounded up an M1917 rifle made by Winchester and took it to the run and gun course. These are Mauser derived rifles with wonderful sights that cock on close and are a true joy to shoot. But, how will it perform?

    Transcript …

    – [Voiceover] Hey guys it’s Alex C with TFBTV and for today’s run and gun we’re going to be using a M1917, sometimes called the American Infield.

    These are actually based on the British P14 rifle which was based on their P13 which was based on a Mauser so yeah it’s got some interesting parentage.

    These are very unique looking rifles especially for World War I and numerically they were actually the main rifle of the United States infantry.

    More of these were issued than Springfield rifles.

    This one, of course, was made by Winchester.

    Winchester made quite a few.

    The controls on these are excellent.

    If you’re a Mauser guy, you’ll feel right at home.

    The main difference from a 98 or something like that is their cock on close, but you will notice the bolt is, essentially, all Mauser.

    You can see that great big claw extractor and the big frontal locking lugs and everything like that.

    Not too hard to pin what it’s based on really.

    The safety is very nice, actuated by your thumb.

    The bolt handle placement is very good on this rifle.

    The British have really had that down since the SMLE.

    Very quick to make follow up shots with on the M1917 or the P14 rifles.

    These are, of course, chambered in 30-06 and they will hold six in the magazine.

    We are only going to use five to be able to compare it against other rifles we’ve done this with.

    The big selling point on these is they’re rear aperture sighted, which for World War I was actually very advanced, very unique.

    It wasn’t the only rifle that was rear aperture sighted, but that was a big deal back then.

    You had a big, long sight radius.

    And the front sight is a simple post.

    We’re going to fire a total of 25 shots on the course with four reloads.

    Five advancing, five kneeling, five advancing, five kneeling, and the last five advancing.

    Let’s see how the M1917 performs.

    – Alright so here we go with the M1917.

    These are really cool guns and I can’t wait to see how this goes.

    (gun fire and bullets hitting metal) Let’s go talk about that, I really like this gun.

    Alright I can tell you I genuinely enjoyed shooting this rifle.

    I forgot that they thump pretty hard despite weighing as much as they do.

    But, once I got in the zone and I really got used to it and everything, it was just phenomenal.

    I felt great.

    I’ll put the totals hits versus misses here.

    I feel like if I redid that I could get 25 out of 25, but with the run and gun course, we generally just do one run.

    And that’s what you get.

    We feel that’s kinda the best way to do this.

    So, once I kinda got into the zone and started doing the thumb and pointer on the bolt handle and the middle finger on the trigger, I really started going fast and felt more confident and it was just a really nice run.

    This is an amazing rifle, the M1917s are great.

    If I was in World War I I’d probably take one of these over anything else.

    – [Voiceover] So the M1917 is what happens when you take a Mauser action and add wonderful sights to it.

    This is really just an amazing rifle.

    It shot wonderfully.

    I’m very inspired to actually take this out now and shoot it a lot more and see what I can do at longer range and maybe some hand loads and stuff like that because I really didn’t know what to expect from this run.

    I’ve shot this a little bit, but never with haste or anything.

    I was reminded of how much I hate Springfield 1903 clips with the little inner clip that easily separates from the main body, but that’s inherent to the clips not necessarily the design of this specific rifle.

    This run was great, I had a lot of fun doing it.

    I’m reminded of how much I like the M1917s and P14 rifles at this time.

    I also like to thank Ventura Munitions for helping us out with the cost of ammo.

    Big thanks to everybody watching as well.

    See ya next time.

    Alex C.

    Alex is a Senior Writer for The Firearm Blog and Director of TFBTV.