Any advice is greatly appreciated.


July 26, 2009, 11:46 PM
I'm trying to figure out what kind of hardware I need for my 1903 Springfield. My grandfather gave it to me and he said that he took out the sling attachment where the bolt is currently missing. Whenever I shoot it the barrel turns cw just enough to screw up the next shot. Any ideas on what type of bolt I need? Diameter, length, and threads per inch if you know.

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July 26, 2009, 11:48 PM
wait..... your barrel turns?

July 26, 2009, 11:50 PM
Yup, I think the purpose of the sling was also to keep the band there tight down on the barrel so it wouldn't move.

jim in Anchorage
July 26, 2009, 11:55 PM
Stop shooting that gun now and take it to a gunsmith.

July 27, 2009, 09:36 AM
If the barrel is turning even the slightest amount, your rifle is UNSAFE to fire. Do as advised and get it to a gunsmith for repair.

July 27, 2009, 09:41 AM
Yup, I think the purpose of the sling was also to keep the band there tight down on the barrel so it wouldn't move. There is no bolt that holds the barrel. It should be held by the threads on the barrel where it is screwed into the receiver.

If the barrel moves at all, that means that it is not installed correctly, or something is broken (the receiver could be cracked). The rifle's headspace is also most likely affected.

I agree with the above posters. You need to stop shooting this rifle and have a gunsmith look at it.

July 27, 2009, 09:55 AM
Do Not Shoot your rifle until this issue and any potential problems are corrected.

The barrel fit on a 1903 is a crush fit. Anti seize should be used when assembling. You can tell if the timing is correct when the extractor cut lines up and the sights even. If the bbl is unscrewing you should use an action wrench to tighten (if you have one and know how to use one). You don't need to over torque just enough to make the bbl not turn out by hand or under normal use. If there is something wrong with the receiver or believe there could be you need inspect it. Last the head space need to be checked. If any of that is above your skill set and expertise....take your rifle to a gunsmith.

July 27, 2009, 10:02 AM
So is your barrel turning in the receiver or is the whole barrel receiver assembly shifting in the stock because the bolt holding the band is not there? If it is the first one then you should take it to a gunsmith and get it retimed and headspaced.

July 27, 2009, 10:33 AM
Looks like a decent old sporterizing job, did your Grandpa do it himself? If so that's quite a keeper - a family heirloom kind of thing.

Are you sure it's the barrel turning? You can tell by looking through the sight or just eyeballing the front sight. The blade should be straight up vertical when the receiver is also vertical.

You can wiggle a loose barrel back and forth a little, or maybe even screw it right off with that sling screw missing. But it's not the screw that holds the barrel tight.

As described above the barrel is torqued on, "crush fit" in a way. A new one never installed will still be some 20 degrees off vertical when snugged on and has to be tightened on with a special wrench with a long handle on the receiver while the barrel is held in a type of vise that won't mess it up while holding it tight. These are special tools just for the one purpose and if you don't have them then you probably can't do it yourself. If you try you'll likely mess up the finish on the rifle, at least.

Barrels on those sometimes shoot loose especially if they've been removed and installed a few times. What happens each time it's torqued on is that the machined shoulder that fits against the receiver gets squished (or crushed) down a very little bit. It only takes a few .001" thousandths of an inch to lose that 20 degrees of squishing that holds the barrel on tight. Threadlocking products shouldn't be needed or used.

The shoulder can be pushed back up by someone with a lathe if they make a bit of tooling that looks like a knurler but uses a hard bearing instead of a cutting wheel. That tool can be driven against the shoulder to move the steel just a little, enough to restore the barrel's squish.

I'll stop here but this is not the end of the project. If it sounds complicated or you think you might not be equipped to do these things give your rifle to the local gunsmith. He'll know what to do. You've got some very fine gunsmithers in your state.

July 27, 2009, 12:57 PM
There's a place that I'm gonna take it to later, do they normally charge to take a look at it? or only for parts and labor?

July 27, 2009, 02:03 PM
mostly they charge if you solicit them to do the labor. The quoting and quick inspection is free, so they can tell you what is probably wrong.

And for future reference, the next time a barrel is moving, stop immediately. You can damage the rifle along with your lead hand and/or face if it malfunctions.

July 27, 2009, 05:49 PM
I think he is referring to the band turning not the barrel. It's not a good picture but it looks like it could possibly be a factory built target rifle. In Brophy's book on page 227 or pretty close to that you see a number of variation of target rifles that were built for the NRA. If that is the case it may be a very valueble.

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