2 Replies Latest reply on Apr 8, 2020 3:29 PM by Jason Atkinson

    Seeking records on Winchester US Model 1917

    Stephanie Brown Newbie

      I have a Winchester US model 1917. I’m trying to find records on it. I have it was made May 1918 but nothing else to go on. The serial number is #295362. It has the flaming bomb on it and three eagle heads. I’m sure it was issued in WWll but is there anyway to find out what soldier it was issued to or to find out where it has been? I know a lot of records were lost at that time and I may never know.

        • Re: Seeking records on Winchester US Model 1917
          Jason Atkinson Pioneer

          Dear Ms. Brown,


          Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!


          Military records in our custody do not include the record of assignment and operational activity of individual pieces of equipment.  Under normal War Department and Department of the Army records management procedures, such documentation would be destroyed after initial administrative use.

          The Winchester Repeating Arms Company may have additional information about the manufacture and initial sale of the firearm, but is unlikely to have information about which soldier or unit was assigned the weapon after it entered military service.

          We hope this information is helpful.


          • Re: Seeking records on Winchester US Model 1917
            Lisa Sharik Adventurer

            Three companies made M1917 rifles, the Winchester company made the fewest with a total production of 465,980. According to the Springfield Research Service Serial Numbers book  Volumes 3 and 4: serial number 295360 was issued on 8/21/1918 to Company F, 124th Infantry Regiment, and serial number 295361 was issued on 8/26/1918 to Camp Wheeler, GA. So close to the actual serial number you needed!


            So it appears likely your weapon was issued in August 1918 to some Army unit and possibly saw service in WWI.


            It would be very difficult to trace it to an individual soldier. If you could get the unit information from the Springfield Research service ( they do provide information for a fee) assuming your serial number was in their files. Then you could try the unit records for that particular unit but most often there would not be a record to an individual  soldier, just " 70 rifles issued to Company A, 1st Infantry Regiment on such and such a date"



            Lisa Sharik

            Deputy Director

            Texas Military Forces Museum

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