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New to Milsurps and rifles in general.

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by TheFlynn01, Feb 12, 2020.

?

Swiss K31 or Springfield 1903

Poll closed Mar 13, 2020.
  1. Swiss K31

    38.5%
  2. Springfield 1903

    61.5%
  1. Ignition Override

    Ignition Override Member

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    The exile: On Gunboards and various websites I've read where the 8**,*** (800,000 +), a very specific serial number was the last rifle which had the Old, unsafe type of steel metallurgy process.

    My impression is that any 1903 rifles After that serial number (-if I knew the exact number I would say so-) should be safe, as long as headspace is within limits.

    *The M1917 rifle ( all had aperture sights): reportedly a serious fraction of US troops in WW1 used the British rifle chambered for our ".30 cal US govt." cartridge.
    But when returning home, former US troops usually preferred the US-made 1903 rifle, having its Mauser-like appearance (and Mauser technology).
     
    Last edited: Feb 15, 2020
  2. vkeith

    vkeith Member

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    I picked up a K31 back when they were going for $90. I originally bought it just because it was a cheap milsurp rifle.

    I have grown to really appreciate the fine Swiss craftmanship that went into making them.

    They are accurate and have a great two-stage trigger and the straight pull bolt is smooth and somewhat unique.

    I also bought a case of GP11 ammo before prices increased and supplies dried up.

    Other ammo is still available but will cost around a dollar a round unless you reload.

    Even at the prices K31s fetch now, I think that they are a worthy addition to any collection.
     
    Slamfire likes this.
  3. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Lots of information and pictures on various Springfield models plus serial number, date of manufacture.
    http://www.vishooter.net/m1903.html and http://m1903.com/ The 1903.com has a controversial study that @Slamfire alluded to by a Dr. Lyons arguing essentially that all the bad receivers have been destroyed over time and the remaining low number receivers ought to be safe to shoot. There are some severe methodological problems with his research and failures have been documented by the shooter and gunsmith communities that are not in his survey.

    From Lyons, "The heat treating method was immediately changed to a double heat treatment, and pyrometers were used to determine the temperature of the heated receivers. The change in heat treating was instituted between serial number 750,00 and 800,000 at Springfield and by serial number 285,506 at Rock Island Arsenal. Rifles manufactured after these serial numbers are referred to as "high numbered" receivers and are commonly stated to be safe to shoot. "

    The only absolute way to determine if a low number Springfield is safe to shoot is destructive testing of the receiver which is kind of beside the point. As the problem is the interior of the receiver and not the case hardening, it cannot be determined whether or not the interior is too hard from the outside of the receiver. FWIW, post WWI, Army regulations required removing these 'low number' receivers and destroying them when the rifles were turned into for refurbishing. There is also a known problem with WWI war time barrels made by a subcontractor, Avis, that had burnt steel in the billets used to make barrels. For those reasons, a 1903a3, avoiding drill rifles which Slamfire posted above, is a safer choice.

    From what I remember, the steel used in the 1903a3 was the same as that used in the Garand which was AISI 8620. If you want the older style 1903 with open sights, look for a Remington 1903 https://www.americanrifleman.org/articles/2016/6/8/the-remington-m1903-rifles/ that was made just before they simplified the 1903a3 production and added aperture sights. Supposedly these were made with SAE 4140 which equaled the best of steels used in commercial arms at the time but there is some uncertainty there. The use of AISI 8620 steel instead of SAE 4140 was a wartime expedient because of the scarcity in certain strategic minerals during WWII.

    "AISI 8620 is an alloy carburizing steel when thermally treated develops a hard outer case with a soft ductile core. Carefully controlled proportions of chromium, nickel and molybdenum are responsible for the extensive use as a carburizing alloy steel, with valuable features including extreme surface hardenability and good internal strength. Has minimum distortion and growth characteristics. 8620 has good machinability and responds well to polishing." http://www.speedymetals.com/information/Material40.html

    On Swiss rifles, a poster by the name of Guisan was a font of knowledge on Swiss rifles in general on gunboards and a swiss rifle forum. Posts by him are still up five years later on gunboards if you search by who posted it. Some of his knowledge has been summarized by others since his death.
    http://www.swissrifles.com/ http://forums.thecmp.org/showthread.php?t=163637 and https://forums.gunboards.com/showthread.php?1089153-Guisan
     
    Slamfire and theotherwaldo like this.
  4. Dave DeLaurant

    Dave DeLaurant Member

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    FWIW, I also use Lee dies with most of my milsurp handloads, unless I happen across a good deal on 'another leading brand' set at a gunshow.

    Like just about all of my .308 milsurps, I routinely download my 7.5 Swiss handloads (150 gr bullet @ 1600-1900 fps using IMR 4198) so I can use Berry's cheap plated 30-30 bullets for informal range fun.
     
    Laphroaig and boom boom like this.
  5. lionking

    lionking Member

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    https://www.thehighroad.org/index.p...itary-surplus-rifle-10-shot-challenge.856980/

    two other contenders to consider that more than like have very good to excellent bores
    Finnish M39 Mosin , very accurate, lots of ammo choices
    Swedish Mauser very accurate, a few ammo choices

    also the Enfield M1917, but U.S,A surplus rifles tend to be pricey.

    Also Enfield N04 MK1 or 2

    The Swedish, Swiss and Finnish Mosin usually are in great shape as they didn't see heavy action. Other kinds that saw heavy government use can be hit and miss unless you spend a lot to get a more pristine one.
     
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  6. TheFlynn01

    TheFlynn01 Member

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    It will be all interesting. I want to try and get into reloading and I do feel myself leaning toward the K31. I feel a bit worried about the Springfield cost, numbers issue with the metal. I feel that I would, because of my inexperience, might get a poor choice one. Unless there is some way to insure I wont get a lemon.

    my brother also brought up another gun to me. The Ishapore 2A1, looks like a leeEnfield rifle in 7.62, made in India I guess? Anyone know anything about that?
     
  7. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    I'd say, if you can find one affordable, get it. It's been a long time since the negatives were debunked.

    Correct, Ishapore is india's arsenal. They made India's No1 Mk3 .303 before and after independence from Britain. The 2A and 2A1 were India's transition rifles when they didn't yet have enough semi-autos in 7.62NATO.

    IIRC, the 2A1's rear sight elevates to 800. (I don't know whether India was using English or metric in the 1960's... as opposed to the UK using English until up into the 1980's.)
     
    theotherwaldo likes this.
  8. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Moderator Staff Member

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    Make sure and get a later late 50's or 1960's ishapore. They used better steel in the receiver than older ones. You do not want a converted no 1 mk3 receiver as a shooter which some of the ishies were.
    Best done as a reloading proposition as I would not use commercial .308 in them long term. Easy to reload lighter though.
     
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  9. TheFlynn01

    TheFlynn01 Member

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    What kind of Greese is that? Does anyone actually do that still? I dont know why but I cant help but think it looks really cool.
     
  10. Reloadron
    • Contributing Member

    Reloadron Contributing Member

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    This old American Rifleman read on the 03A3 is a good read. My 03A3 is a Remington manufacture. Both the K31 and 03A3 are good choices and they are fine rifles. Unfortunately finding a good clean version of either takes a little doing these days. Taste in rifles is like taste in a fine motorcycle or truck, it's just a matter of personal taste. I have several AR flavor guns and I enjoy them including my match AR 10 but for me nothing beats the prone position at the 500 meter line and a tight group from a fine bolt action rifle. :)

    Obviously I can find more 30-06 Springfield brass easier then 7.5 X 55 Swiss but the latter can be found and loaded. The K31 arguably is one of the finest bolt guns ever built and straight pull bolts always intrigued me. :) Whatever your choice enjoy it and I am sure you will.

    Ron
     
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  11. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Has the consistency of a toilet bowl ring. Probably made of beeswax and oil.


    There are literally thousands of coated bullets going down range out of pistol barrels every day.

    250_45LC_RC__82802.1410291596.1280.1280__87171.1573938856.1280.1280.png

    I went through through the moly coat era, where rifle shooters coated their bullets with moly grease. That sort of fizzled, whatever performance improvements occurred were not in the 200% range, and it had its own problems. Not the least, the stuff got on your fingers, and you printed everything in the house with moly coat lube.
     
  12. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    Those Remington 03's are hard to find.

    This is mine,

    R3XdEoW.jpg

    9HOa5DJ.jpg

    BlD8w1Z.jpg

    smooth Remington bolts can be identified:

    e5eFV1g.jpg

    Vd7H9EG.jpg

    FL3P2pN.jpg


    The stock was not original, and I had to find the correct trigger guard and upper bands. I took the stock off and put on a Boyd pistol grip because I wanted to shoot the thing. finding an all original Remington 03 is even harder than finding an all military SA or RIA 03.
     
    Merle1 and boom boom like this.
  13. TheFlynn01

    TheFlynn01 Member

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    I just wanted to thank everyone who stopped in and gave me their info! I really appriciate it. I will mull it all over for a while, and with any luck, my next thread will have some pictures on what I decided to pick up! If anyone has any good last minute info, I would be happy to hear it!

    Thank you!
    Mike.
     
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