6 Replies Latest reply on Mar 29, 2021 10:13 AM by Lisa Sharik Branched to a new discussion.

    Seeking records on Winchester US Model 1917

    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 Ranger

          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.

           

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

            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

            2 people found this helpful
              • Re: Seeking records on Winchester US Model 1917
                Eric Cowey Newbie

                Ms. Sharif,

                 

                Can you provide similar information for the Winchester 1917 I just got from my grandfather?  It’s serial number 71285 with a barrel stamp of 11-17.  Any information as to manufacturing date or issue location and/or date and what branch or company it was issued to would be greatly appreciated.

                 

                Thank you very much.

                 

                Eric Cowey

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

                    Mr. Cowey:

                    Unfortunately, I could not find your serial number in the books I have. The closest I could find was 71390 which was part of a large shipment of Winchesters sent to Camp Humphries on October 4, 1918, your weapon was not part of that shipment. The serial number is fairly low so it was likely issued during WWI.

                    You used to be able to contact the Springfield Research Service to ask them for a search of your serial number : SPRINGFIELD RESEARCH SERVICE but I don't know that they are active any more.

                     

                    Sorry I could not be of more help.

                     

                    Lisa Sharik

                    Deputy Director

                    Texas Military Forces Museum

                    1 person found this helpful
                  • Re: Seeking records on Winchester US Model 1917
                    Walt Roberts Newbie

                    Ms. Sharik,

                     

                    Do you have any records for Ser. #328408?

                    What resources are you using? Is there online access to these records?

                     

                    Respectfully,

                    Walt Roberts

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

                        Mr. Roberts:

                        My source is the Springfield Research Service(SRS) books "Serial Numbers of U.S. Martial Arms" volumes 1-4. These books were published by the SRS in the late 1990s. They are useful, but far from comprehensive list of serial numbers. Only a small percentage of serial numbers are listed.

                         

                        I assume you are also asking about a M1917? Also a Winchester?

                        Remington Eddystone made 1,181,908 M 1917 rifles

                        Remington Ilion made 545,541

                        Winchester made 465,980

                         

                        I could not find your specific serial number listed, the closest was 328473  ( a Winchester) which on August 15, 1918 was part of an "Interchange" test of May and June production models. ( A test of weapons to make sure all parts were interchangeable)

                         

                        Your weapon is not listed as being part of this test, but it does give us a date for its production in May-June of 1918 ( assuming you have a Winchester). So it is possible that it could have been issued and seen service in WWI but nothing I have available can confirm that possibility.

                         

                        Lisa Sharik

                        Deputy Director

                        Texas Military Forces Museum

                        1 person found this helpful