Have old P17, want to build long range gun


New Member
Oct 3, 2001
Hello all. I found this great board a few weeks ago, and now is the time to start posting.

My dad gave me an old P17 rifle in 30-06 a few months ago. I have been doing some research on this gun and have been told that this is a great strong action to build a very large gun from.

I have recently been cleaning this thing as best I can, and I think that 20 years of no cleaning has taken its toll on the barrel. So I want to redo the entire gun.

Here is where I am hoping you can help me. What should I do to turn this fine action into a long-range elk gun? I already have a 7mm for deer, and so this will be long-range elk only. Whatever I build this into, I would like it to shoot a much heavier bullet than the 7mm.

First off is what caliber? I have been looking at the .338 RUM, but I know there are many out there that will have more knowledge with these large calibers. I am also thinking that I will work my way up to 500 yards, and then if things go well will start shooting further. Right now I think my max range is 400 yards, but I am still young and have lots of time.

Also, whom do you suggest as a gunsmith, and what would you have him do? I am thinking that when I get this done, I would like to stay under $1000, but if it takes more money, I can always wait and save up.

[ 10-22-2001: Message edited by: monyhunter ]
read your post on "huntchat" in regards to hunting with Matchking bullets.
You may want to rethink your position on this, or, maybe, ask on this forum, what most people shoot. It may surprise you!

C'ya, Jeep.
I think that I got a little carried away with my last response.
Sorry, but to most of us, 400 yds is a chip shot. And, at that range, the type of bullet really doesn't matter. As long as it's accurate.
Life begins at 601 yards.
And, I've seen Elvis at 1,000 feet (of 1320).

Welcome to the forum, and I hope that someone can help you.
C'ya, Jeep.
whats a P17 ..i know of a M17 that was made in 30-06 and a P14 made in 303 british. they both have the same action but parts are not interchangable.. the M17 in 30-06 being the stronger.clear this up and i might be able to help you.
You're thinking of the same rifle, however, P17 is the correct name, not M17. The full name is Pattern 17 Enfield. The P14 was first, built in .303 British, then when the US got into the war the P17 in 30-06 came into being. Very accurate, ugly as sin, and heavy as an anvil, still one of my personal favorites. Side note, that's the rifle Sgt. York used for his famous exploit (no matter what Hollywood thought)
Check out my post on Xtremeaccuracy.com. I have recently built a long range rifle based on the Enfield P14 and am working on one for the P17.

The P14 is easier and cheaper to work with since the bolt face will already accept the mag. case head and the extractor will "jump" over the rim for single feeding. You can modify to accept a mag but no guarantees that it will feed well. Probably not worth the cost.

For the P17, the difficulty is the Mauser style extractor. There are gunsmiths who claim that they can make the bolt into a push feed by modifying the extractor - not sure. The bolt face would have to be enlarged and the extractor modified. If in original form, the rear sight can be machined off to use conventional bases or a scope base can be made to bolt on the rear sight flat (what I have done on mine). The P17 is just a really big Mauser action so all gunsmithing tips and tricks apply.

You should not have to pay $1000 to get this work done. If you are not looking for match accuracy, most any aftermarket barrel will give sufficient accuracy out to 500 yds on Elk ($75 to 150). The install cost to chamber and thread around $150. If you do not want to make your own stock, Boyd gunstocks has several from $75 to 100 (unfinished and inletted). The scope mount is up to you and how much work you can do yourself. So looks like you can get a reasonable job done for around $400 to 500.

My P14 cost $455 Cdn (I built my own stock). Calibre is 300 Weatherby out of a 29" barrel. Effective range - as far as my Leica 800 can range.

Give me a shout if you want more info [email protected]

Good luck...

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