Gunboards Forums banner

1 - 4 of 4 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Greetings!

A friend of mine recently acquired an M1903 from his father. I don't know much about '03s, but I have Bruce Canfield's excellent book, "The '03 Springfield." After reading through it, I am left with a few questions about the rifle. First, here is a basic description:

The serial number is 1,423,937. It has a Type-S stock, with two bolts and finger grooves. The cartouche reads "AAJ" and the cut-off recess has an "E" in it. The "P" on the bottom is scripted. The barrel is a Springfield barrel and has a date of 11-32. The bayonet lug has an "H" on it. The bolt group parts are all stamped with an "R", as are the rear sight parts.

It seems to me that this is an M1903A1 that has had its Type-C stock replaced by the Augusta Arsenal, and its bolt group and rear sight group replaced as well. Does that sound correct? I'm also wondering, and I know I'm going beyond the limits of my knowledge about these rifles, why a rifle from the '30s would be rebuilt before WWII, and then again have parts replaced during or after WWII (the Remington parts). If it had been rebuilt after or during WWII, wouldn't they have changed it to an 03A3 configuration? My understanding is that few 03A1s were issued as service rifles, and that Augusta Type-S stocks were typically only put on between the wars. The stock is in mint condition (as is the entire rifle, with what appears to be its original finish), so I don't believe it was used in WWII, so why the Remington parts? Also, what does the "E" in the recess mean? I'm familiar with Eddystone marks on M1917s, but I don't know what it means on an '03.

I'm sure someone here who knows all about these rifles has simple answers for my n00b questions, so thanks in advance for your consideration!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,313 Posts
Your rifle may never have been in a C stock. Not a lot of the 1903's got the C stocks associated with A1's because of the fact that the 1903A1 was adopted at a time when production was low, and they had lots and lots of straight wood stock blanks to get rid of first (also explaining the later scant stock production). The C stock was more of a 'when we get around to it' thing for the most part.

An 11-32 barrel seems about right to be original on a 1.423 million rifle.

Remington bolt and rear sight. Common replacement parts.


My 03 is a 1.373 million and it was built in 1931, rebuilt at Ogden at a later time when it received a barrel made in October 1942 (after maybe coming back from Guadalcanal?), a 1903A3 stock, and it also has a Remington sight and some Remmy bolt parts.

The H on the bayonet lug indicates it was hardened, if I recall my Brophy correctly.

It sounds like Augusta rebuilt the rifle at some point during or after WWII (sometime after Remington started making them) and did not find it necessary to replace the barrel.

When this was done, the rifle was mixmastered, as armorers at the time were not in the least interested in collectibility.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
70 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
That makes sense. Thanks! So was it commonplace to not update rebuilt rifles to the A3 configuration? I thought I had read somewhere that when an 03 got rebuilt by an arsenal, it generally got the new rear sight, etc., and lost its tangent sight.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,313 Posts
The receivers are machined a lot differently, and without major, expensive, modifications (which they did not do), the 1903 receiver is unable to accept an A3 rear sight.

You probably COULD put a 1903 barrel with the rear sight base on a 1903A3 receiver, but there would be no point.

When rebuilding, 03's stayed 03's and A3's stayed A3's.
 
1 - 4 of 4 Posts
Top