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fnscar
October 25, 2013, 04:49
Hi,

I recently bought 2 springfield 1903a1. They are not in a very good condition. So I decided to do some restoration work. Springfield parts can be found in Europe, but most of them are 1903A3 parts.

Here some questions:
Will the A3 stock fit the A1 model?
Are the rest of the parts interchangeable?
Was the A1 model blued or parkerized?

Thx

randy762ak
October 25, 2013, 11:00
Are they Remingtons Or Springfields ? what date on the barrels?

Most parts interchange -O3 A3 parts are mostly stampings... The stocks will interchange If it has the cut out for the sight base mounted on the barrel..

2barearms
October 25, 2013, 16:17
I'm not sure if you are referring to a 1903 or a 1903-A1.

The 03-A1 is a NM Rifle that was produced mostly during the Depression Era.
They had the C Stock (pistol grip) not the straight stock. The other features are
the Rear Sight will have the NM type ladder, it will have a polished bolt probably
numbered to the rifle. Probably has a star gauged barrel. The parts from a std
1903 would work. What is the receiver BN/Barrel date for the 2 of them.

Can you post some pics. I have all the Books on the Springfields and have been
the owner of many.

neminion
October 25, 2013, 21:10
Are you are referring to a standard 1903A1 or a USMC 1903A1 Scout Sniper?

One is hard to find, the other is like winning the power ball.

Retired Bum
October 25, 2013, 21:31
After WW One the US Army Ord Corps made some upgrades to the M1903 service rifle which resulted in the M1903A1.

1. The straight style "English" stock was replaced with the pistol gripped "C" stock.

2. The smooth steel butt plate was replaced with a checkered butt plate which would give a non slip surface when brought to the shoulder for firing.

3. The smooth faced trigger was replaced with a grooved trigger which was cross cut to prevent finger slippage if wet or muddy.

These were the main upgrades to the M1903 rifle. I have owned SA, RIA, and one Remington M1903A1's over the years. Currently I have the Rem 03A1 which was made toward the end of the production run in April/May 1942. The stock has a cartouche with the letter OGEK. During WW2 there was an Army Arms Depot at Odgen, Utah and Elmer Keith worked there as an arms inspector.

Contrary to popular belief only a small number of M1903 rifles had star gauged barrels. The National Match and the NRA Sporters did but these were not service grade weapons. The run of the mill issue didn't have the star gauged barrel because of the time and expense of inspecting the hundreds of thousands of barrels produced after WW One. And of course phony star gauge stampings have been used to increase the value of an ordinary M1903.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

enbloc8
October 26, 2013, 07:14
To answer your questions, in order:

1.) Yes, all M1903 stocks are interchangeable as parts. However, the stock is what "makes" an M1903A1. If it's not the pistol-grip "C" stock, it's just a plain M1903. And, M1903A3 stocks are not made to the same standards of fit and feel as earlier ones. (Reproductions of earlier M1903 and M1903A1 stocks are available in the US.)

2.) For the most part yes, although A3 parts are not made to the same standard of finish. (It was wartime and the 1903 was a second-line rifle by then, so it's not surprising.) One of the triggerguard screws is slightly longer for the 1903A3 than for the regular 1903, so it will bottom in its hole on a 1903 before pulling everything together, and this *will* affect accuracy.

3.) Serial numbers would be necessary to determine what you have. If it's a genuine M1903A1, then the finish would be smooth, fine-grained black parkerizing.

M1903A1s are rare because, while approved for production in the 1920s, per standard Ordnance rules the existing stock of parts on hand had to be used up before the new design could be implemented, and Ordnance had piles of brand-new spare stocks from World War I production to use up. When they were finally put into production in the late 1930s, they did not find favor with some units because they were different from what was "normal". And when full-scale production did begin it was right at the outset of World War II, and many of those rifles either went straight into service or were shipped overseas as military aid.

fnscar
October 26, 2013, 08:14
First of all thanks for all your replies.

In fact I have one complete Springfield 1903.
One Springfield where the Stock has been modified for a hunter.
One Rock Island where the stock is missing an the rear sight has been removed.

The problem is that I have only one bolt for the rifles.
They are all 1903's.

I will make pictures of the rifles with the serial numbers. Next week I will post them.

So all Springfield's were parkerized?
And what is the best book to buy to see all the details of the different models?

Retired Bum
October 26, 2013, 15:26
The original finish on the M1903 rifles produced by Springfield Armory and the Rock Island Arsenal was a polished blue. After WW One the phosphate finish aka "Parkerizing" was introduced and quite a few of the war time and earlier 03's were refinished with it. But not all the earlier rifles were refinished. An NRA member could buy a new 03 just before and after the war and these rifles were blued. All of the NRA Sporters were blued.

New production 03 and 03A1's were parkerized at Springfield Armory and at various arm depots around the country. I have seen and owned 03's that had the Parkerized finish which varied from a pale yellowish green to a dark grey. I read somewhere that as the phosphate solution in the tank got older the finish would get lighter.

Every Remington 03 I have seen had the phosphate finish. All Remington produced M1903A3's and A4's had the phosphate finish. Ditto for all the Smith-Corona's. BTW, Smith-Corona did not make the barrels for their A3's. They were produced by High Standard and stamped with the Ord Corps flaming bomb, the date, and the letters SC. Production of the 03A3's ended in Feb 1944. By then SA and Winchester were producing enough M1's to meet the demand for rifles.

M1903's and A3's were used to the end of the war. Non combat units had them through out the war. I worked with an WW2 vet who was an Army MP in Europe. His battalion carried 03A3's right up the end of the fighting. He told me that he served on two firing squads that executed the German SS troops who were wearing US uniforms during the Battle of the Bulge. He loaded his rifle with M2 Ball and nobody had blank cartridges.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

fnscar
October 26, 2013, 18:00
Thank you for the detailed explanation of the various 1903 models. This is very helpful. I dissasembled the complete 1903 that I own, and the barrel is blued. The rest of the rifle has no rust. But the finish is almost completely gone. Next week I will post pictures of the rifles.

The rifles were found here in Luxembourg. My goal is it to preserve the rifle, because they are a part of history.

Here are the serial numbers. Maybe someone can give me more details:

Springfield Armory 138502
Rock Island 29243

The third one is also a Springfield Armory. I still have to pick up from the gun store.

Survey Punk
October 27, 2013, 00:14
"The Springfield 1903 Rifles" Lt. Col William S. Brophy, USAR, Ret.
ISBN 0-8117-0872-1

JB

neminion
October 27, 2013, 01:37
Op - both the springfield and rock island are low serial number specimens that may have heat treatment issues. In the usa those serial numbers are considered unsafe by many for shooting.

Gazz
October 27, 2013, 07:48
Here is a link to a discussion on the low number Springfields and Rock Island made 1903's. There are also links within that page that will lead to more info on the rifles.

http://m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

fnscar
October 27, 2013, 11:15
Again thank you all for the help!

The RIA has the following number on the barrel: 10-13

What does this mean?

2barearms
October 27, 2013, 11:29
Again thank you all for the help!

The RIA has the following number on the barrel: 10-13

What does this mean?

Oct 1913 production date

2barearms
October 27, 2013, 12:18
Here is a link to a discussion on the low number Springfields and Rock Island made 1903's. There are also links within that page that will lead to more info on the rifles.

http://m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

"It also suggests that ammunition manufactured during World War I likely played a major role in receiver failures."


I was going to suggest this. It appears that the ammo was almost certainly
a part of the problem. The 30-03 Cartridge really was an extension of the
30-40 Krag. The change in 06 to the 30-06 Spitzer was still a new game to
some degree or other. It appears that rimless case production in the US was
not the best and given hatchers comments about the unsupported case head
being a problem the poor QC probably lead to the rifles failings at the time.

fnscar
October 27, 2013, 12:25
Oct 1913 production date

I looked up the serial number of the rifle. It says that the rifle was manufactured in 1906.
That means that the rifle was rebarreled in 1913?

Gazz
October 27, 2013, 12:35
I think a more accurate statement would be that the 30-06 is derived from the 30-03. The 30-06 case is essentially the same as the 30-03 case except the neck is shorter. Supposedly you can shoot 30-06 cartridges in rifles chambered in 30-03 safely. The 30-03 is nothing like the 30-40 Krag other than it is 30 caliber and used a heavy bullet, something like a 220 grain slug.

I believe it is Hatcher's Notebook that goes into low numbered 03 failures. If I recall, his conclusion (or maybe I read that elsewhere?) was that they were okay as long as there were no other issues like a bore obstruction, case rupture or other issue that was some how related to containing the pressure - the older receivers being brittle could not give with the unexpected problem and simply blew up.

Yes, rebarreled in 1913.

2barearms
October 27, 2013, 12:56
I think a more accurate statement would be that the 30-06 is derived from the 30-03. The 30-06 case is essentially the same as the 30-03 case except the neck is shorter. Supposedly you can shoot 30-06 cartridges in rifles chambered in 30-03 safely. The 30-03 is nothing like the 30-40 Krag other than it is 30 caliber and used a heavy bullet, something like a 220 grain slug.

I believe it is Hatcher's Notebook that goes into low numbered 03 failures. If I recall, his conclusion (or maybe I read that elsewhere?) was that they were okay as long as there were no other issues like a bore obstruction, case rupture or other issue that was some how related to containing the pressure - the older receivers being brittle could not give with the unexpected problem and simply blew up.

Yes, rebarreled in 1913.

Yes and yes. The Bullet was carried over to the '03 in one case and the Case
was modified and Bullet changed in the other. There were many problems with
ammo production along the way apparently. Not a surprise right, we've never seen 7.62 x 51 that didn't have issues.

Retired Bum
October 27, 2013, 15:33
The .30 USA aka United States Army aka the .30-40 Krag cartridge used a 220 grain FMJ flatbase bullet. The jacket was made of cupronickel. This round produced 2000 fps in the 30 inch Krag barrel and 1850 fps in the 22 inch Krag carbine barrel.

The .30 Model of 1903 cartridge used the same 220 grain bullet as the Krag. Muzzle velocity was rated at 2300 fps in the 24 inch barrel of the M1903 rifle. But it soon was discovered that this load was eroding the barrel of new 03 rifles in as little as 800 rounds. The powder was the culprit. It had a very high nitro content and the high burning powder temps were literally burning the rifling out of the barrel. Frankford Arsenal which loaded all of the US military small arms ammo at the time reduced the powder charge which lowered the velocity to 2000 fps and this quick fix ending the 800 round barrel burn outs.

In Germany a new type of technology called spark gap photography was developed. A small high speed object like a rifle bullet in flight could be photographed. The round nosed bullet used in the 8mm Mauser round was seen from the shock waves as being a very poor performer when it came to punching a hole in the atmosphere. So a new pointed lightweight bullet was developed. This bullet which weighted 154 grains and had a sharp point had a muzzle velocity of 2880 fps in the 29 inch barrel of the G98 rifle. Spark gap photos showed that the pointed bullet cut through the atmosphere much cleaner than the old 226 grain roundnosed bullet at 2100 fps. So this new bullet was adopted by the German military as the 7.92x57 JS round. The Germans made no attempt to conceal their new round and it was written up in the scientific and military journals at the time.

This new bullet type was quickly adopted by the ordnance technicans at Frankford Arsenal and the end result was the adoption of the .30 Model of 1906 Ball cartridge which developed 2700 fps in the 24 inch barrel of the Model 1903 rifle. Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal began producing the new barrels for this new round. A new rear sight was developed as the Model 1905 and most of the older 1903 rifles were rebarreled and fitted with the new rear sight.

During World War One every ammo company in the US produced the .30 Model of 1906 cartridge. The quality control over this production was spotty and as a result cartridge cases were produced that were out of spec and in some cases minus the flash hole. Quality control was improved in 1918 but a huge amount of .30 ammo had been made and shipped to the military training camps and overseas to France.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

fnscar
October 29, 2013, 16:50
Here are the pictures of the 2 rifles. Maybe someone can give me more info on them.
Thank you


<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563267084/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7415/10563267084_d949756c4e_b.jpg" width="379" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563225116/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7308/10563225116_1e72b1d584_b.jpg" width="447" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563479593/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3828/10563479593_eefbcf93d2_b.jpg" width="1024" height="377" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563230476/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3781/10563230476_6bc289523b_b.jpg" width="461" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563222285/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3770/10563222285_4703281bfb_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563224805/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3825/10563224805_6c851f5b93_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563240016/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/10563240016_10c6c76d39_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563243046/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2822/10563243046_8fd503a9fa_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563498133/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7328/10563498133_0a97193d3d_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>

ismith
October 29, 2013, 21:36
One close call in my serial number books, in Europe none the less. There are also a lot of USMC rifles in that range. A member of another forum has a list of Marine rifles used at Belleau Wood. I will see if its on his list.
138503 123137 US LEGATION COPENHAGEN

fnscar
October 30, 2013, 05:13
Well that's interesting.
Does anyone know what the barrel stamp on the last picture means?
As you see the condition of the rifle is not that bad. Some parts need replacement. The receiver an barrel have no rust on it.
Where can I buy an original stock for the rifle?

ismith
October 30, 2013, 18:14
Well that's interesting.
Does anyone know what the barrel stamp on the last picture means?
As you see the condition of the rifle is not that bad. Some parts need replacement. The receiver an barrel have no rust on it.
Where can I buy an original stock for the rifle?

C 91 is the steel lot and the P below is the firing proof. I have two 1903 grasping groove stocks in my gun room that are gathering dust.

fnscar
October 30, 2013, 19:10
Thank you for the info.
Are the stocks for sale?

ismith
October 30, 2013, 22:14
Here's a website with quite a bit of information on 1903s. http://m1903.com/

STGThndr
October 30, 2013, 23:29
Wow fnscar... that's the roughest finish Ive ever seen on any American or German ww2 rifle.. That Springfield looks like it could tell some real tales if it could talk!
Once had a really NICE Remington 03A3 in original condition that was a great rifle, not my most accurate mil-surp rifle but sure was a great shooter and all original ww2 that probably was kept in a case in someone's closet. Stupidly I traded it off after figuring out that my No.4 MKII Enfield was actually more accurate in my hands... the shit we do when we're young and in learning mode :)
Also had a NICELY sporterised 03 with gunsmith-fitted civilian walnut stock, bent bolt with scope, and DEEP blue. It had been heavily converted by someone who knew their trade back in the day- always wondered who had done the work on that, it was truly an artist's hand he had. Good shooters all and good lookers, too.
As usual The Retired One has an informative and interesting post to add to a good thread, NOT to diss the contributions of the rest of us!

ismith
October 30, 2013, 23:42
Here's an example of a nice 1903A1. This rifle was purchased by one of LTC Brophy's 1936 National Match teammates.
http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx32/madisonvalleywapiti/005-29.jpg (http://s739.photobucket.com/user/madisonvalleywapiti/media/005-29.jpg.html)
Here's a USMC issued rifle.
http://i739.photobucket.com/albums/xx32/madisonvalleywapiti/008-14.jpg (http://s739.photobucket.com/user/madisonvalleywapiti/media/008-14.jpg.html)

fnscar
October 31, 2013, 11:34
The rifles I got were found by people in houses, sheds,... etc. So they were never cleaned or lubricated.
It is very common in Europe that rifles are found from WWI or WWII.
The rifles were left behind in the war and were picked up by local people who put them in their closets etc...
Also a lot of firearms were converted to "hunting rifles", (modified stocks, sights, bolts...)
These rifles are very cheap. And very often quite easy to convert them to an original one.
The Springfields in the condition on the photos I posted only costed me 100.
When I add 400 of parts they are back in original condition. And most of all I preserved their history.
A Springfield in Europe costs 1500 to 2000. So that's not very cheap, and often it are kits that were put together.

Thank you all for all the information and pictures you posted!

TenTea
October 31, 2013, 12:55
"The Springfield 1903 Rifles" Lt. Col William S. Brophy, USAR, Ret.
ISBN 0-8117-0872-1

JB

This is the answer for all things 03.

fnscar
November 01, 2013, 07:00
I ordered the book on Amazon :bow:

enbloc8
November 02, 2013, 23:53
I would also strongly recommend "The '03 Era" by Clark Campbell. Lots of great information (text and line drawings) and it's in chronological order.

fnscar
November 03, 2013, 16:31
As soon as I restored the metal work, I will post some pictures. And of course when the project is finished.

ac7120
November 10, 2013, 14:51
You may want to check M1903.com also.

fnscar
November 10, 2013, 15:23
Thank you for the link.

fnscar
January 03, 2014, 11:29
First of all happy new year.

And finally the last one arrived :)

I tried to upload the fotos but it didn't work, here the details:
SN: 685151
Barrel Marking: SA 7-17
If you have any infos please share them.

Tailback
January 03, 2014, 14:40
If anyone is interested, I have a straight stock taken off my CMP Greek 1903A-3. The stock is in pretty good shape for a Greek, dings and 1 gouge if I recall. The upper handguard looks like either a NOS or repro from CMP. It's been dyed and finished with Tung Oil finish to closely match the stock. Pictures can be supplied to anyone interested. Price would be $35 plus shipping cost.

PASHOOTER
January 03, 2014, 23:32
If you can import gun parts email this company. A friend restored an SC 03A3. He called them about getting all SC made parts. They were very helpful in getting the parts he needed. https://www.gunpartscorp.com/

Or this site http://www.ssporters.com/

enbloc8
January 04, 2014, 11:23
First of all happy new year.

And finally the last one arrived :)

I tried to upload the fotos but it didn't work, here the details:
SN: 685151
Barrel Marking: SA 7-17
If you have any infos please share them.

I've been told that 1916-1917 Springfields are particularly rare, because many of them were what went over with the AEF troops and were lost or used up in combat.

fnscar
January 04, 2014, 11:45
I've been told that 1916-1917 Springfields are particularly rare, because many of them were what went over with the AEF troops and were lost or used up in combat.

Thank you for the information!

V guy
January 04, 2014, 11:46
A note on the original finish. 03's before WW1 had a kind of mottled finish that looks like a bad blue job. It is original.

The guns received a blackened finish from the oil in the heat treatment process. It is described in the Brophy book.

My original 1902 Krag rifle and an original 03 from 1911, both in excellent condition, each have the mottled type finish.

Later on the finish improved with different oil quenchs and different heat treatments; and later on, the parkerized finish/refinish.

The finish on your low serial number weapons looks like original finish and a lot of corrosion, too. Go slow and remove the rust sparingly and see what you have left to work with.

The CSP '03 gun forum has a lot of info available on correct bolts and such for the guns. Restoring them back ought to be a lot of fun. Most parts small are available.

fnscar
January 04, 2014, 11:52
Here the pics of the third 1903:
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/11733540606/" title="image by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2805/11733540606_a465070061_b.jpg" width="523" height="1024" alt="image"></a>

<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/11733040533/" title="image by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5503/11733040533_817fe807f0_b.jpg" width="1024" height="623" alt="image"></a>

fnscar
January 04, 2014, 12:00
Here all the pictures of the 3 rifles

Number1
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563267084/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7415/10563267084_d949756c4e_b.jpg" width="379" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563225116/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7308/10563225116_1e72b1d584_b.jpg" width="447" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563222285/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3770/10563222285_4703281bfb_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563224805/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3825/10563224805_6c851f5b93_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563240016/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5531/10563240016_10c6c76d39_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563243046/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2822/10563243046_8fd503a9fa_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563498133/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm8.staticflickr.com/7328/10563498133_0a97193d3d_b.jpg" width="768" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>


Number2
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563479593/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3828/10563479593_eefbcf93d2_b.jpg" width="1024" height="377" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/10563230476/" title="Springfield 1903 A1 by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm4.staticflickr.com/3781/10563230476_6bc289523b_b.jpg" width="461" height="1024" alt="Springfield 1903 A1"></a>


Number 3
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/11733040533/" title="image by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm6.staticflickr.com/5503/11733040533_817fe807f0_b.jpg" width="1024" height="623" alt="image"></a>
<a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/94955338@N05/11733540606/" title="image by fnscar1, on Flickr"><img src="http://farm3.staticflickr.com/2805/11733540606_a465070061_b.jpg" width="523" height="1024" alt="image"></a>

gew98
January 04, 2014, 13:15
The .30 USA aka United States Army aka the .30-40 Krag cartridge used a 220 grain FMJ flatbase bullet. The jacket was made of cupronickel. This round produced 2000 fps in the 30 inch Krag barrel and 1850 fps in the 22 inch Krag carbine barrel.

The .30 Model of 1903 cartridge used the same 220 grain bullet as the Krag. Muzzle velocity was rated at 2300 fps in the 24 inch barrel of the M1903 rifle. But it soon was discovered that this load was eroding the barrel of new 03 rifles in as little as 800 rounds. The powder was the culprit. It had a very high nitro content and the high burning powder temps were literally burning the rifling out of the barrel. Frankford Arsenal which loaded all of the US military small arms ammo at the time reduced the powder charge which lowered the velocity to 2000 fps and this quick fix ending the 800 round barrel burn outs.

In Germany a new type of technology called spark gap photography was developed. A small high speed object like a rifle bullet in flight could be photographed. The round nosed bullet used in the 8mm Mauser round was seen from the shock waves as being a very poor performer when it came to punching a hole in the atmosphere. So a new pointed lightweight bullet was developed. This bullet which weighted 154 grains and had a sharp point had a muzzle velocity of 2880 fps in the 29 inch barrel of the G98 rifle. Spark gap photos showed that the pointed bullet cut through the atmosphere much cleaner than the old 226 grain roundnosed bullet at 2100 fps. So this new bullet was adopted by the German military as the 7.92x57 JS round. The Germans made no attempt to conceal their new round and it was written up in the scientific and military journals at the time.

This new bullet type was quickly adopted by the ordnance technicans at Frankford Arsenal and the end result was the adoption of the .30 Model of 1906 Ball cartridge which developed 2700 fps in the 24 inch barrel of the Model 1903 rifle. Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal began producing the new barrels for this new round. A new rear sight was developed as the Model 1905 and most of the older 1903 rifles were rebarreled and fitted with the new rear sight.

During World War One every ammo company in the US produced the .30 Model of 1906 cartridge. The quality control over this production was spotty and as a result cartridge cases were produced that were out of spec and in some cases minus the flash hole. Quality control was improved in 1918 but a huge amount of .30 ammo had been made and shipped to the military training camps and overseas to France.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

You forgot to mention that the french Balle D bullet started all the pointy things flying in the air. When the french devised a two peice solid bronze boat tailed pointed bullet to update their round nosed flat based bullet in their 8mm lebel rifles the germans took note. The germans with the help of a defecting border guard copied the pointed bullet but decided not to go the expense of a heavier boat tailed copy...they did later on but that's another story of how and why.

Retired Bum
January 04, 2014, 19:09
I am going on memory here but as I recall the French and Germans would get in to what were called "machinegun duels" with each other during the Great War. The French used the Hotchkiss designed M1914 in 8x50 Lebel firing the Balle D 200 grain streamlined bullet to hose down areas behind the German trench line. Multiple guns were employed to cover the designated area and anything within that area would be hit by the plunging fire.

The Germans responded using their MG-08's firing the standard 7.92x57 JS round. Balle D gave the French the advantage in range and they could hit any German machinegun emplacement safely out of the MG-08's maximum range. Eventually the Germans came out with their 7.92x57 JSs heavy ball round. The bullet was a 198 grain streamlined bullet and it could range out to approx. 6500 meters if I am not mistaken. This round gave the Germans the advantage in the machinegun duels.

After the war the US Army Ord Corps developed a long range round for the M1917A1 water cooled Browning. This round was designated as .30 M1 Ball. It used a 173 gr FMJ boat tail bullet at a velocity of 2650 fps. It would range out to about 6500 yards as I recall. The older .30 Model 1906 round was replaced by .30 M1 Ball in order to have just one service cartridge that could be used in both the machine guns and rifles. The .30 M1 Ball round proved to be very accurate in the M1903 Springfield rifle and a match grade version of it was produced at Frankford Arsenal for National Match competition. This match round was later designated as the M72 .30 Match and was produced at Frankford and later at Lake City when the Frankford Arsenal was closed down about 1959. Carlos Hathcock used LC M72 Match in his Winchester Model 70 during his first tour of duty in Vietnam. He made kills out to 1000 yards with it.

When the 7.62 M80 Ball round replaced the .30M2 round a match load for it was developed at Lake City. Designated M118 Match. It used the same 173 gr FMJBT as the M72 did. Muzzle velocity was rated at 2550 fps in the 22 inch barrel of the M21 (a M14NM set up for sniping) rifle. US Army snipers used it with good effect out to about 800 yards.

Now we arm our combat troops with the little M4 5.56mm carbine. The days of the long range battle rifle have moved on since the Vietnam War. For better or worse I am not sure.

And so it goes.


The Retired One

gew98
January 04, 2014, 21:42
RB ; The french Balle D was approximately 225 gns. The germans reissued gobs of lebel rifles and Hotchkiss MG's that they captured. In doing so they at one point had to manufacture ammunition for those 8x50R small arms. The germans manufactured an 'ersatz' version of the french bullet as they could no reproduce it in solid bronze for obvious reasons. The german copy cat bullet was approximately 196 grains. As the war trudged on and the germans were continually on the short end of long range MG fire they did pursue use of their copy of the french bullet in their service caliber diameter. This all occured in very late 1917 and little to none was ever manufactured before november 1918. Any ww1 dated sS patrone is some rare stuff indeed.
Alot of MG units kept on hand belted 88 patronen for long range fire - there are some photos of even MG08/15's with belted 88 patronen in 1918 no less.
The germans learned/copied form the french on both counts , but waited a wee bit too long on the heavy boat tailed ball for combat use in the great war.

enbloc8
January 05, 2014, 10:34
I am going on memory here but as I recall the French and Germans would get in to what were called "machinegun duels" with each other during the Great War. The French used the Hotchkiss designed M1914 in 8x50 Lebel firing the Balle D 200 grain streamlined bullet to hose down areas behind the German trench line. Multiple guns were employed to cover the designated area and anything within that area would be hit by the plunging fire.

The Germans responded using their MG-08's firing the standard 7.92x57 JS round. Balle D gave the French the advantage in range and they could hit any German machinegun emplacement safely out of the MG-08's maximum range. Eventually the Germans came out with their 7.92x57 JSs heavy ball round. The bullet was a 198 grain streamlined bullet and it could range out to approx. 6500 meters if I am not mistaken. This round gave the Germans the advantage in the machinegun duels.

After the war the US Army Ord Corps developed a long range round for the M1917A1 water cooled Browning. This round was designated as .30 M1 Ball. It used a 173 gr FMJ boat tail bullet at a velocity of 2650 fps. It would range out to about 6500 yards as I recall. The older .30 Model 1906 round was replaced by .30 M1 Ball in order to have just one service cartridge that could be used in both the machine guns and rifles. The .30 M1 Ball round proved to be very accurate in the M1903 Springfield rifle and a match grade version of it was produced at Frankford Arsenal for National Match competition. This match round was later designated as the M72 .30 Match and was produced at Frankford and later at Lake City when the Frankford Arsenal was closed down about 1959. Carlos Hathcock used LC M72 Match in his Winchester Model 70 during his first tour of duty in Vietnam. He made kills out to 1000 yards with it.


There is some great coverage of that long range use of machine guns in the book "A Rifleman Went To War", by H. W. McBride.

If memory serves, the reason M1 ball was superseded by M2 ball (essentially an updated copy of the original M1906 ball) was that it was "outranging" the existing Army and National Guard firing ranges...also, the boat-tail bullet design required a harder-than-usual jacket to prevent the bullet "tipping" in the bore, which in turn caused the bores to wear out faster.

enbloc8
January 05, 2014, 11:09
I believe it is Hatcher's Notebook that goes into low numbered 03 failures. If I recall, his conclusion (or maybe I read that elsewhere?) was that they were okay as long as there were no other issues like a bore obstruction, case rupture or other issue that was some how related to containing the pressure - the older receivers being brittle could not give with the unexpected problem and simply blew up.

Hatcher's explanation of how the Marine Corps decided to deal with low number '03s in service is particularly interesting. Unlike the Army, which withdrew its low number rifles from service after WW1 and consigned them to "war reserve", the Marine Corps had to find a way to make their low numbered rifles work, since they could expect to be called on frequently as the enforcement arm of the State Department, and buying new rifles was not on the Navy's priority list.

Their response was to isolate the variables that led to rifle failure, and control them tightly. To that end, the Marine Corps modified their low-number rifles by drilling the "Hatcher Hole" (a larger gas venting hole) on the left side of the receiver ring, rebarreling them with new barrels (to ensure tight headspace), replacing the original casehardened bolts with new double-heat-treated bolts (to prevent bolt failure as well as ensure tight headspace), and issued them with the firm injunction that they were NOT to be used to fire rifle grenades. Anything that could induce a sharp shock to the receiver or bolt in normal service (or enable a cartridge case failure on firing) was thereby eliminated.

In addition, many of the receiver failures were traced to poor quality wartime ammunition made by National Brass & Copper Tube, which was notorious for case failures. This ammunition was subsequently withdrawn from supply and destroyed.

kmurphy
January 05, 2014, 22:39
Both of my 1903A1s, have "Hatcher Holes" and one of them has a Sledgely replacement barrel from 7-41.

Both were apparent USMC rebuilds. One is a low number, the other is not. Both Rock Islands. The one with the new replacement barrel is the low number rifle.

enbloc8
January 06, 2014, 00:01
Both of my 1903A1s, have "Hatcher Holes" and one of them has a Sledgely replacement barrel from 7-41.

Both were apparent USMC rebuilds. One is a low number, the other is not. Both Rock Islands. The one with the new replacement barrel is the low number rifle.

Didn't know high numbers got Hatcher Holes as well...though it certainly couldn't have hurt. Does the low number rifle appear to have a new bolt as well?

kmurphy
January 06, 2014, 22:54
The case hardened unit on the low number RI still.

http://i851.photobucket.com/albums/ab74/kevingmurph/M1903A1%20rifles/Rifle270478Rifle348413.jpg (http://s851.photobucket.com/user/kevingmurph/media/M1903A1%20rifles/Rifle270478Rifle348413.jpg.html)

shlomo
January 07, 2014, 12:13
The case hardened unit on the low number RI still.

http://i851.photobucket.com/albums/ab74/kevingmurph/M1903A1%20rifles/Rifle270478Rifle348413.jpg (http://s851.photobucket.com/user/kevingmurph/media/M1903A1%20rifles/Rifle270478Rifle348413.jpg.html)

Love those C-stocked Springfields. :love:

http://i40.tinypic.com/5u21jl.jpg

enbloc8
January 09, 2014, 14:50
Love those C-stocked Springfields. :love:

http://i40.tinypic.com/5u21jl.jpg

+ 1 million. :D
The original prewar C stocks are a thing of beauty.

randy762ak
January 09, 2014, 17:46
I picked up and looked at a C-stock at a gun show and wooo Its got National match Numbers On the bottom with a coarse checker butt plate Typical of a national Match rifle -- Got It for a Buck and a Half! Absolutely like new... This put me The mood to scrounge up the rest of the goodies I need to Clone a NM 1903,,,


I have the Bolt Polished Needing an electro pencil to put the SN# on it. The only other item I need is the star Stamp for the barrel -Yea I know Thats cheating BUT Its a 1 Moa rifle so the barrel is well in spec...

Result of my efforts- Photo does not show the polished bolt !
Its the bottom rifle -Top is a 03-A3 Match rifle clone and the Middle is a true 1937 NM

Kmurphy those are sweet rifles !!!:: :smile: :bow:

http://i134.photobucket.com/albums/q81/randy762ak/RIFLES/RIFLES026.jpg (http://s134.photobucket.com/user/randy762ak/media/RIFLES/RIFLES026.jpg.html)

shlomo
January 09, 2014, 18:01
I'm so jellis o' that NM '03, I could spit.