1903 Santa Fe


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connor
March 18, 2009, 01:25 PM
I have a 1903A3 built on a Santa-Fe receiver. I understand these were manufactured post-war, as a private venture; no problem since I got this one as a shooter, not for collection purposes. My question concerns the receiver: in researching this, I have seen some opinions that the heat-treatment is faulty, and could possibly even cause catastrophic failure, while others claim the quality is quite good. (This has nothing to do with the original military receivers, only this post WWII manufacturer.) I can't seem to pin down a reliable source. I just want to verify (assuming gunsmith checks on the entire rifle give it a green light) that the rifle is safe to fire. I've been beating my head against the wall trying to find the correct answer for some time - Does anyone have any actual fact on this? Thanks.

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Jim K
March 18, 2009, 08:13 PM
There is no reliable source. Those receivers were made, I believe, by a couple of companies here and abroad. Quality varied, but I have never seen one fail, although someone once claimed they did so regularly. (His posts were rants, so I never fully accepted them.)

The shop where I worked sold a lot of them, and we never had any reports of problems. The worst I saw was a receiver that was warped; it was sent back and a good receiver returned.

Jim

connor
March 18, 2009, 09:24 PM
Thanks Jim - I appreciate your information. My son wants to shoot this rifle, (and I sure want to shoot it again) but I have been unwilling to let him, until I could get some more information. Like you, I guess, I pay more attention to reasoned thinking than to fear-mongering or rants.

SlamFire1
March 18, 2009, 11:24 PM
On the old www.jouster.com site, someone had a long post on the Sante Fe and Federal Ordnance 03 receivers.

They were very inconsistant in quality.

The receivers were bad enough that they company importing the things went out of business, and from the post, people were hurt and the owner committed suicide.

I had a Federal Ordnance A3 receiver. It was dead soft and the GI bolt lugs were peening in the receiver recesses. Headspace increased as the rifle was fired.

If yours is structurally fine, then you got a good one.

I believe these should be considered guilty until proven innocent.

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