Thanks. The reason I ask is my rifle was through a rebuild at some point, and the barrel is in bad condition so I"m looking to replace it. The date on it is 44, and I was hoping that by that time in the War that all Springfield barrels were interchangable.
So it looks like that if I want to replace the barrel, I need to find a 1903 to use, not a 1903A3?
You can fit a M1903A3 barrel on a M1903 receiver. However, the exact "fit" is different and it does require some minor gunsmithing. I do see High Standard and Springfield 1942 barrels for sale on a regular basis. They are a little more expensive than a M1903A3, but not excessively so.
Assuming you have a new 03A3 unfitted barrel it will most likely need to have the headspaced qualified as retrofit barrels were short chambered about .010" taking into consideration they were going on perhaps well used receivers. So yours may headspace just fine. If anything it should be too tight and I rather doubt it will be too loose.
I have seen them screwed on and shot. Later checked and found to not even start to close on a GO gage. Bolt was a little snug on closing and worked just fine with new unfired ammo. Bolts opened and extracted as normal. With previously fired ammo it won't size down enough with FL dies to close unless you trim off base of die on lathe. Brass life is extended for sure.
Yeah SARCO must have brought a truck load of them as I remember when they sold them by the case (10) for 100.00. No telling how many they have. It got them from DCM for .98 and then they started ripping us off and went to $1.02. I think I have two left with one still in cosmo. I remember shooting with a guy at Perry who shot 03 and he said he had a couple cases laid it. He was 70+ thirty five years ago.
yes you should be good to go. Ask him if he ever polished receiver area and found a cracked one.
If you care for the barrel and clean it often and very well you should get 15,000 rounds out of it. The secret is clean it while it is hot. Clean often while shooting. About every 15 shots while hot and you can just keep on shooting it.
If you reload try 55 gr. 4831 or MR3100 with 168s.
My personal opinion is I would ask him to headspace it so it snugs on a GO gage.