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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Have a '03 Springfield barreled action, requesting 'eval'. SN 1305104, Barrel date 12-28. Believe Nickel Steel action era. Entire B/A presenting as perhaps substantially worn original finish. Barrel exterior is not smooth, rather with fine circular striations likely from machine turning to diameter'. Is this era correct or...? Swept handle bolt shows typical well used blue wear. Action is dead smooth to cycle. "Hatcher hole" is present.

Whole B/A presents decently as "veteran" despite wear. How to reasonably estimate if "rearsenaled"? Not parkerized. What to look for without available stock indicators? Everything looking about 'normal '03 to this untrained eye. Can do photos if useful.
Seems likely this Springfield in company of many B/A milsurp wonders! "Cut downs without home". Such as accounting for stock & accoutrements, too expensive to restore. Yet too, the biggest boulder at tunnel's end. "Originality", not! Forever 'put-together.'. "Nowadays, something of "in-between" category! Comments, critique, advice re...???
More of mauser guy here, conditioned-viewing & accounting of these Springfields, as great, compact & quality "small ring" actions! :)
Best & Stay Safe!
John
 

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Ok, technically speaking the rifle was a rebuild when it was built. Any service rifle built after 1927 was actually a rebuild and a replacement for a low number receiver.

So in rebuild, usually the barrel was often scrapped, well if that worn barrel was attached to a low number receiver after 1927 in the Army, the receiver was scrapped too. So what your rifle technically is, is a low number went in for a rebuild and that was a new barreled action used as replacement.

The only new manufacture M1903's after 1927 were the ones build for sales, such as the National Match rifles.

Now your barreled action has went in for rebuild again after it was first produced. Even though everyone calls it the Hatcher hole, Hatcher had nothing to do with it. It was actually a Colonel named Borden who did the testing and got the additional gas escape hole approved by Ordnance. So I personally call it the Borden Hole to give credit to the correct man.

With that being said the Army did not start to drill the "Borden Hole" till after the spring of 1937 on all new manufacture NM rifles and rebuilds done at the Springfield Armory.

The Marines started to drill the Borden hole in the fall of 1938 on all rebuilds. Your rifle by serial number would be very unlikely to be Marine. In fact anything past a 1.03 million has very little chance to be Marine.

But your rifle started out as a rebuild technically and then went back in for a rebuild again post 1937 since it has the addition of the Borden hole.

Most M1903's went in for rebuild every four years or so. So I really wouldn't sweat it much. Almost all have been thru a rebuild unless they were a rifle made for commercial sales.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks to all of you re the kind information. Somewhat in order. Can yet do photos and will post ASAP re 'finish' question. The bolt: Top root marking "N" followed by either "S" or "3" or "5" or "8". Even with magnification, can't distinguish clearly. My guess as "S" (for nickel steel - ?) Bolt root underside "3". Tiny mark which appears possibly Rockwell hardness test? What would these markings reveal?
Thanks much cpl for the detailed information and putting a lot of info together for me. "Rebuild" certainly with differing definitions! :) Beyond common red flags such as historically the "low SN" rifles, I don't worry much per se. But I've been "conditioned" by such distinguished Forums such as this one, to understand some basic differences in these rifles as commonly presented. I do enjoy "connecting the dots" on any given rifle. Part of being a collector and interesting to distinguish even nuances! Earlier vs later bolt style for instance such. I generally prefer blued steel to parkerized and that the reason for my finish question.
Well, if I don't get busy with other things, I won't get those pix up today! :)
Again thanks to all very much!
Best & Stay Safe!
John
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Is there by chance a serial number etched on that bolt body?
Caught me at a good moment here! Re bolt markings. Quite close 360 body inspection moving extractor about; nothing! With magnifier & LED flashlight. No sign of a single digit or anything faintly suggesting! Is that good or bad??? :)
(Aside, sorry about redundant pix. Second instance in as many days! Unsure what I'm doing wrong!)

Best & thanks!
John
 
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