Maybe this is appropriate for Memorial Day Weekend


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critter
May 27, 2006, 06:32 PM
Couple of months ago, I found a 1903 Springfield at a gun show. Guy said it had been in grandmother's clauset for many years. It looked it! Full of dust bunnies! Also had some OLD cosmolene in it dried very hard.

I cleaned it up and found it to be made in 1918 with a 7-18 barrel. Bubba had butchered the stock no end, but had not bothered the metal. I bought it for $200 and JUST TODAY got the last pieces to put it back to 1918! Got a stock and the missing stock hardware, a new front sight blade, etc.

Looks like an old warrior with a bunch of tales to tell! I had a great uncle who was in WWI with one of those. I knew an old marine who was in the first bunch of troups to land on Guadalcanal with a Springfield-not sure if it was an '03 or an '03A3.

We owe all those old soldiers, as well as the recent ones, a great debt of gratitude AND we owe it to them to NOT give away or let die the freedoms they won for us!

May just have to go out and shoot that old war horse on Monday!

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oneshooter
May 27, 2006, 06:52 PM
I don't know anything that would be more appropreate!!!
+1

Oneshooter
Livin in Texas

hps1
May 27, 2006, 09:06 PM
[QUOTE][I cleaned it up and found it to be made in 1918 with a 7-18 barrel./QUOTE]

Critter:

Don't want to rain on your parade, but you should be aware of the following before shooting your rifle.

You might want to read chapter IX of "Hatcher's Notebook" and check the serial number of your rifle before shooting. In 1917 and 1918 several 03 receivers were involved in accidents caused by brittle steel. It was found that the single heat treatment in use prior to 1918 resulted in a hard/brittle steel which could shatter from a sharp blow.

Heat treatments were changed during 1918 at both Rock Island and Springfield arsenals and both switched to nickel steel receivers at a some date.

Many consider the low SN receivers to be unsafe to shoot. Gen. Hatcher lists the following SN's relative to changes in heat treatment/material:

Single Heat Treated Nickel Steel
Springfield Arsenal below 800,000 1,275,767

Rock Island Arsenal below 285,507 319,921

Those receivers above 800,000 (SA) and 285,507 (RIA) were double heat treated until the change to nickel steel was made.

A board at Springfield Arsenal studied the problem and their findings were:

1) Low numbered receivers are not suitable for service use in their present condition.

2) That means have not yet been determined for making such receivers suitable for service use.

3) That it is considerred impracticable, if not impossible, to re-heat treat these receivers in such a manner as to make them serviceable.

They made the recommendation that these receivers be withdrawn from service and scrapped.

Hatcher's Notebook has another chapter detailing many receiver failures and the cause of the accident according to army investigations.

Your 03 is a fine old rifle and it would be a shame to damage it after all the work you have put into it restoring it to original configuration. Hopefully your rifle is a high number.

Regards,
hps

critter
May 27, 2006, 10:10 PM
Thanks for the warning on the brittle receivers. I am aware of the problem and while mine is above the cutoff number by a safe margin, I still will not 'hot rod' it at all. I'll use quite moderate loads just in deference to its age. Too much history not to shoot a little though! Just gotta 'feel' it!

Dave Markowitz
May 27, 2006, 10:39 PM
This thread is worthless without pics! :D

Looking forward to the range report.

hps1
May 28, 2006, 12:49 AM
mine is above the cutoff number by a safe margin, I still will not 'hot rod' it at all. I'll use quite moderate loads just in deference to its age. Too much history not to shoot a little though! Just gotta 'feel' it!


That's great! Hated to mention the possibility, but better safe than sorry.

Have a ball shooting your piece of history.

Regards,
hps

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