P17 or M17

P17 Rifle

U.S. Model '17


Length: 3 ft. 10¼ ins.
Length with bayonet: 5 ft. 3 ins.
Weight: 9 lbs. 10 ozs.
Weight with bayonet: 10 lbs. 11 ozs.
Barrel: 2 ft 2 ins., 5 grooves, l/h twist
Calibre: .300" M1906 (30-06)
Operation: Bolt
Feed: magazine, 5 round integral box
Range of sights: 200 to 1,600 yds.
also battle sight set to 400 yds.

The P17 is the P14 but manufactured in the American .30-06 calibre.

As can be seen from the history of the P14, the Americans were manufacturing the P14 during WWI. When America joined WWI in 1917, they decided to carry on manufacturing the P14 (which 3 of their major arms companies were already producing) and just change the calibre from the British .303" to the American .30-06. This produced the M1917 (it is more commonly refered to as the P17).

We now have a British design, based on a German action, using an American calibre!

To complicate matters further the P14 and P17 look almost identical and it is only upon closer inspection that you can tell the difference. The P14 and P17 both saw service with the Home Guard.

The P17 was issued to the Home Guard in greater numbers than any other rifle. To avoid confusion between the P14 and P17, the P17 had a 2" wide red band pained on it (normally on the foregrip) to signify that it used .30-06 calibre ammunition. Quite often '300' was stenciled, in black or white, on the red band as well.

If the wrong ammunition was used in the wrong rifle, at the least it would jam and at the worst could cause death or serious injury.