Went to Gun Show for Mags-Came Back With M1903A3

Went to Gun Show for Mags-Came Back With M1903A3

This is a discussion on Went to Gun Show for Mags-Came Back With M1903A3 within the General Firearm Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; Went down to a gun show in northern VA today in search of some PMags for my ARs, and I wandered by this little beauty. ...

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Went to Gun Show for Mags-Came Back With M1903A3

    Went down to a gun show in northern VA today in search of some PMags for my ARs, and I wandered by this little beauty. Then wandered by again, and again....next thing you know I'm forking over the cash. So now I have some PMags AND a Remington M1903A3 rifle. Definitely one of the better Saturdays I've had lately...

    Android 538.jpg
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    Great piece of history and you will find its fun to shoot. Went to the gun show in Raleigh today and bought a Glock, its just a single shot though.

    IMG_0714.JPG
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    When you have to shoot, shoot. Don't talk.
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    I hate it when that happens lol

    ....and nice glass MSgt
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    An investment you won't regret! Post back when you get some rounds through her!
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    VIP Member Array Hiram25's Avatar
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    Nice rifle!
    Hiram25
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    Senior Member Array Mattmann's Avatar
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    Super nice man. Range report would be nice soon

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    Sure you did..excuses, excuses. Great buy, enjoy!
    Why?? Because at the last second, the Police are minutes away.

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    Not real sure of the model/SNs but some early Springfields had issues with the heat treatment of the receivers and are unsafe to fire (receiver failures). Check into this and your before putting rounds thru it.
    Retired USAF E-8. Lighten up and enjoy life because:
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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Not real sure of the model/SNs but some early Springfields had issues with the heat treatment of the receivers and are unsafe to fire (receiver failures). Check into this and your before putting rounds thru it.
    Hmm I didn't know that...thanks for the tip! I'll check it out. Assuming that isn't a problem I'll probably be able to take it out next weekend...

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    Nice find.
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    Quote Originally Posted by OldVet View Post
    Not real sure of the model/SNs but some early Springfields had issues with the heat treatment of the receivers and are unsafe to fire (receiver failures). Check into this and your before putting rounds thru it.
    Here is what I could find.

    A Springfield Armory rifle below S/N 800000 and a Rock Island Arsenal rifle below S/N 285507 are classified as "low number" rifles which are generally considered unsafe for shooting.
    1903 Questions - CMP Forums

    Better article.

    Prior to 1918, there had been scattered reports of burst '03 receivers. A lengthy investigation into the incidents revealed that the forging of '03 receivers at both Springfield and Rock Island was being accomplished more as an art than a science. Those forging the billets of steel into receivers relied upon "eyeballing" the color of the billet prior to finishing. It turned out that under certain lighting conditions (cloudy days, etc.) there were definite differences depending on one's "eyeball", resulting in an occasional "brittle" receiver. Most were perfect, but a few of those that slipped by were suspect... unfortunately there was no metallurgical way of detecting the faulty receivers without destroying them and no way of correcting the brittle metal even if the receivers could have been identified. The metallurgical process was changed and the new receivers were said to be "double heat treated". The new process was begun at receiver serial number 800,001 at Springfield Armory (Feb.1918) and serial number 285,507 (May 1918) at Rock Island Arsenal. All receivers of these numbers or higher are known as "high numbered Springfields" and are considered to be above suspicion. Numbers below those listed are best fired with factory loads or better yet used as collector's items. General Julian Hatcher, then a young ordnance officer suggested drilling a hole in the left side of the receiver as a gas relief port to cut the incidence of burst receivers. While this was generally ignored by the Army, the Marine Corps took the suggestion to heart and many of the Marine Corps low numbered '03s of the era will be found with the so called "Hatcher Hole" in the left side of the receiver. After W.W.I, the Marines solved the "low number gun problem" by rebarreling them when sent back for refit, drilling the Hatcher Hole and reissuing them with instructions that they were not to be used for firing rifle grenades. The high numbered guns are extremely strong and never experienced any problems.
    http://www.snipercountry.com/article...fieldm1903.asp
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    Member Array CVarner's Avatar
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    Great gun

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    VIP Member Array peckman28's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by msgt/ret View Post
    Here is what I could find.



    1903 Questions - CMP Forums

    Better article.



    The Springfield M1903
    Thanks for the links! I looked into it a little myself and the Remington 03A3s were only made during the 1940s, and unless you have a prior drill rifle (which mine isn't) you shouldn't have any problems, according to all I could find. The seller told me he had shot it plenty and he did the go/no go gauge in front of me, which it passed. So, fingers crossed...

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    Quote Originally Posted by peckman28 View Post
    Thanks for the links! I looked into it a little myself and the Remington 03A3s were only made during the 1940s, and unless you have a prior drill rifle (which mine isn't) you shouldn't have any problems, according to all I could find. The seller told me he had shot it plenty and he did the go/no go gauge in front of me, which it passed. So, fingers crossed...
    Sounds like you're gonna have a lot of fun with that historic blaster. My Brother-in-law has one and it is very fun to shoot!

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    Well yeah! Looks like a dandy and appears to be very nice. Does it have 2 -groove barrel or a 4-groove barrel. What's the receiver serial number (X out the last three numerals if you like) and what is the barrel date? Love it when one of them turns up as a new acquisition.

    Love Model 1903 rifles of any kind and have a particular soft spot in my heart for the 1903-A3 variation. It's an accurate rifle and a tough ol' bird. The sights on one are quite usable and practical. The sights makes the 1903-A3 the very best usin' variation of the whole 1903 series in my view. My very first center fire rifle was a Smith & Corona Model 1903-A3. I shot the first two deer I ever took with it and used it pretty extensively for high-power rifle competition on the local level through the early 1980s. I still have it and it still shoots "like a house a-fire!"

    Don't worry a whit about the heat treatment of the receiver on any '03A3. They're made of first rate stuff. I have a copy of "Hatcher's Notebook" on the shelf. Julian Hatcher was an Army ordnance expert for many years and his masterwork is still full of interesting tidbits about all kinds of interesting shooting stuff.

    Both the Remington and the Smith-Corona 1903-A3 receivers were fabricated from a forging consisting of WD-8620 steel, a chromium-molybdenum steel said to possess excellent qualities both for machining and for strength and durability. There's nothing wrong, even nearly 70 years hence, with the strength of the good steel in an '03A3 receiver and bolt. They will handle any sane factory load and handload.

    I wouldn't feel ill-armed at all if the only rifle I had was a 1903-A3 and a supply of stripper clips. After all, it's chambered for the glorious .30-06. The rifle's controlled-feed feature is very slick in operation and the claw extractor is very positive. The Springfield stripper clips can reload five rounds quick as a wink. A fellow can maintain quite an effective volume of aimed fire with a 1903 of any sort when used with the stripper clips.

    The only other bolt action rifle I could get to feed off stripper clips as smoothly as the 1903 is a military 98 Mauser of some sort. I recently shot up a bunch of military .303 ammunition on original stripper clips. An Enfield is not nearly as smooth as a 1903 or 98 Mauser. At least I couldn't get the hang of it.


    I shoot a low-number single heat treat 1903 on a fairly regular basis from the bench rest at the rifle range and have used it in high-power competition as a lark on a couple of occasions and it is only around 40 numerals from on that Hatcher recorded has having failed in service. I figure the two receivers were definitely from the same batch. Hatcher discusses all failed low-numbered 1903 Springfield receivers, giving the circumstances surrounding each failure, recording the data over several years' time. Extenuating circumstances were present for the failures from such stupidity as soldiers attempting 8mm Mauser ammunition in the rifle, sticking gum in the muzzles, attempting to shoot out stuck cleaning patches and even stuck cleaning rods with cartridges, the practice of greasing one's bullets with heavy grease, and sub-par cartridge brass having soft case heads. Any of these gross abuses of a bolt action rifle could be counted on to damage most any bolt action rifle out there to some extent.

    Here's a rational link to the subject of low-numbered 1903 Springfield actions:
    Information On M1903 Receiver Failures

    Chipping away at a "torso-sized" rock with the '03A3 at 600 yards, measured with a range finder. To borrow a George Thorogood verse, the '03A3 is still "bad to the bone."
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