38% of all Rifles used by American combat troops were manufactured in Eddystone, Delaware County

U.S. Military Model 1917 Rifle
Cal.  .30-'06,  (M1906 ball:  150 grain bullet with 2700 fps muzzle velocity. Bolt action, 6-round internal box magazine, 5 rd. stripper clip loading
9 lbs,  46.3 in.,  26 in. barrel, 10.3  lbs with attached bayonet (1.1 lbs) and oil & thong case  (.2 Lbs) Sights:  Rear folding leaf battle sight aperture on folded leaf set for 450 yds aperture on  raised leaf graduated from 200-900 yds. in 100 yd. increments and 900-1600 yds.  in 50 yd. increments, no windage adjustment. Front  blade with protective ears. Barrel - five groove rifling , left hand twist, 1 in 10 rate of twist Manufactured by Eddystone, Winchester and Remington-UMC  from 1917-1919
MODEL 1917 RIFLE
U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, Model of 1917


In 1915, a massive rifle plant was built in Eddystone on land owned by Baldwin Locomotive.  Baldwin constructed the plant on provision its buildings would be absorbed by Baldwin after the war to expand an existing, adjacent  locomotive factory.  Production of the Pattern 14 rifle began in 1916.

With U.S.  entry into the war on April 8, 1917, the Pattern 14 rifle was altered to chamber the U.S. .30-'06. cartridge.  With three existing factories, the adopted conversion made possible  rapid wartime production to arm U.S. soldiers in World War I.   Designated the Model of 1917, this rifle saw wider use than the standard Model 1903 Springfield.  (The latter rifle continued in production at the government arsenals at Springfield MA and Rock Island IL. )
Rifle with accessories including bayonet and ammo

By end of the war on Nov 11, 1918,  74% of combat soldiers  in the Army Expeditionary Force were armed with a Model 1917 rifle.  Fifty-three percent of these M1917 rifles were made at Eddystone.
From August 1917- Nov 9, 1918 the Eddystone plant manufactured  1,181,908 rifles.  This constitutes  38% of all rifles used  by American combat troops.   (Total being  the M1903 rifles on hand at the beginning of the war added to the total combined wartime production of M1903 and M1917 rifles) .  

More  American soldiers in World War I were armed with an  Eddystone-made rifle than any other weapon.

Notes: The M1917 "Enfield"  was a development of the British Enfield Pattern 13 trial rifle chambered in an experimental .276 caliber rimless cartridge.  With  the outbreak of World War I in 1914, , the Pattern 13 was modified  to use the standard  rimmed .303 cal. cartridge and adopted as the Pattern 14.   The P.14 was produced solely in the U.S. under contract to Britain.

 The contracted manufacturers were Remington-United Metallic Cartridge Co. , Utica NY,  Winchester Repeating Arms Co., New Haven CT and  Remington Arms Co. of Delaware,  Eddystone PA.  Remington Arms of Delaware was  a Remington subsidiary specifically created  to produce the rifle in Eddystone.  In 1918,  this Remington subsidiary was absorbed by Midvale Steel & Ordnance Co. of Nicetown, Philadelphia PA. 


Rifle Stock Manufacture in Eddystone: Now and Then
by Kurt Sellers- Major, U.S. Army (Retired)

Sole surviving building of Eddystone Rifle Plant
The sole surviving  building of the Eddystone Rifle Plant is at 1500 Chester Pike, Eddystone PA.    It stands  on private property and can be viewed from the vicinity  of Simpson Ave and 9th St.  The building and its grounds are currently owned and operated by Aero Aggregates.  It is their production facility for recycling  glass into  foamed glass construction material.

Constructed by Baldwin Locomotive in 1915 and
Eddystone Rifle Plant Wood Working Facilities
Extract from 1917 fire insurance Map 83 of the Eddystone
Munitions Plants. Edited for clarity.
operational in 1916,  the building housed the wood working department.  It was here that rifle stocks were crafted for contracted British rifles and later, the American Model 1917 rifles.  Baldwin erected  the rifle factory under agreement they would assume control of the buildings after the war to expand their existing locomotive plant.  The rifle plant closed in January 1919, and the transfer was completed in the early 1920's.  The wood working facility was converted to a steam plant.

The surviving building is about 730 feet long and 86 feet wide.  It retains  its original steel frame and roof trusses.   Much of original roofing, brick interior walls and hollow terra cotta tile outer walls also remain. 

Nearby are remnants of the 1.4 miles of rail track that once transported materials within the rifle factory grounds. These lie parallel to Simpson Ave.

Click here for more information on the plant and the rifle