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Getting surplus arms ready for hunting
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 3:52 pm    Post subject: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

I spent some time at the range today getting two 1903 Springfield rifles ready for deer season. Both had been sporterized when I bought them years ago and have a scope mounted on them. One is a low number Springfield made in 1908 that appears to have spent a lot of time in the woods. Note that there are warnings against shooting low number 1903 Springfield rifles and doing so is a personal decision. The fact is, there were about one million low number Springfield rifles made before February 1918 at Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal. These rifles served in WWI and WWII and have been in use by hunters and shooters to the present day.

The other is a high number Springfield made in 1928 with a perfect barrel. Both rifles shot very well and are not fussy about what i feed them. Anyone else getting a surplus arm ready for big game season? All the best...
Gil

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slimjim
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 7:13 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Gil, the two old military rifles I have are an M1 Garand and 1868 Rem Rolling Block rebarrelled in .45-70. I've set the RB up with a 1960's Weaver 1.5x scope but having used it to hunt with yet. What scopes do you have on your Springfields? Why do you need two?

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Suzanne
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 16, 2013 9:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

I just love the old guns and I'm just getting interested in the transition era from black powder muzzle loaders to metal cartridge conversions. It's interesting to see how many ways they thought to come up with breech loading rifles and the various methods and ideas for breech blocks and design of cartridges. They utilized the original muzzle loader designs (because that's all they had to go by) and under the stress and need of superiority in war, came up with a faster loading rifle, an easier to carry ammo and more fire power than a single man had ever had. A lot of ingenuity over a lot of years. I don't want a reproduction of an oldie, I want the original oldie. It tells a story you can feel and taste.

I have a really nice Mauser that impressed me so much, I bought 2 actions and made 2 modern hunting rifles out of them. One is a .270 tack driver and the other is an 8mm Mauser tack driver. Really great and reliable rifles. My old Mauser won't shoot as accurately as my new 8mm will, but in a pinch if you need a good hunting rifle at 100yds I know it'll be within a 3-4inch grouping.

Recently I got ahold of a Rem. rolling block (needs a barrel) and a Springfield trap door. I'm in love all over again. The trap door was a love at first sight carbine that had been gone over. Barrel is original but freshly sanded, polished and blued. The stock is smooth undented, looks ready to go. I love it. It's exactly what I would have wanted to do to one if I found one to play with. There's little historic value or collector value in a gun that's been freshened like this and that's perfect for me.

The rolling block needs work, it's a charming old war horse that could be easily just hung up on the wall and admired, it has so much to say to you. I want to rebarrel it and restock it and make it mine. I just love the mechanism of the action and the simplicity. You can't beat old-world good looks and charm, they just had a way with it back then. I don't think I'll ever buy a new gun again, (don't quote me on that) they've turned to plastic, sharp edges and ergonomics, nothing to do to them but add a sight you can easily use and go shooting. It's never yours, it's like buying a car and never putting any personality to it (mag wheels, tinted windows, foam dice hanging from the rearview mirror, wide tires, pin stripping), it's never yours, it's preserved for resale value. Custom Nova gets restored to show-room new and gets better price. Why? So someone can make it their own some day.

Suz

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:14 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

slimjim,
I have a 3x-9x Bushnell Trophy on the newer Springfield and a 4X Bausch & Lomb on the elder one. I have two Springfields because I bought them cheap some years ago. You can never have too many surplus arms. All the best...
Gil

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:20 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Suz...you have summed things up perfectly mate...I love it. I too would prefer an old rifle with "character and a story to tell"...but they are all seen as valuable collectors pieces and priced accordingly.

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SingleShotLover
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:56 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Gil Martin wrote:
One is a low number Springfield made in 1908 that appears to have spent a lot of time in the woods. Note that there are warnings against shooting low number 1903 Springfield rifles and doing so is a personal decision. The fact is, there were about one million low number Springfield rifles made before February 1918 at Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal. These rifles served in WWI and WWII and have been in use by hunters and shooters to the present day.
Gil

Absolutely right. My sporterized 1903 was manufactured in 1917 by Rock Island Arsenal and is quite sound. However I do not subject it to stupid pressures; being quite happy with standard '06 pressure ranges. If a person wants a .300 magnum they should buy one, not be silly enough to overload even a modern rifle, let alone one of these old war-horses.

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Vince
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 7:45 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Sage words SSL

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 4:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Gil, Could you elaborate a little more on these low numbered 03's !!!

What is it about them that has prompted a warning ???

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English Mike
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PostPosted: Thu Oct 17, 2013 5:38 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

chambered221 wrote:
Gil, Could you elaborate a little more on these low numbered 03's !!!

What is it about them that has prompted a warning ???

The receivers were incorrectly heat treated:

Quote::
It was determined that the workers responsible for heat treating the receivers had used an "eyeball" method that relied on the color of the heated metal to determine if the steel had been heated to the correct temperature. Unfortunately, according to General Hatcher, the officer in charge of the investigation, "... it was quickly found that the ‘right heat’ as judged by the skillful eye of the old timers was up to 300 degrees hotter on a bright sunny day than it was on a dark cloudy one" (See Hatcher, Julian Hatcher’s Notebook , Third Edition, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1966, page 215). Heating to the higher temperatures led to crystallization of trace elements within the steel, making it too hard, and rather than deforming under high pressure, the receiver shattered, often permitting the bolt to exit the receiver, causing injury to the shooter. Between 1917 and 1929 three soldiers lost an eye to receiver failure, and six more had unspecified injuries consider serious. An additional 34 soldiers received minor injuries from receiver failures. There were no deaths reported from the failure of a Springfield receiver.

Read the rest here.
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chambered221
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PostPosted: Fri Oct 18, 2013 8:52 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Interesting..........thanks for the info !!!

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Elvis
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PostPosted: Sat Oct 19, 2013 1:22 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

sounds almost as bad as hangfire ammo!!!!!
but if you consider the amount of rounds fired through that type of rifle in that period of time...........

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Gil Martin
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 5:03 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

chambered221,
The link below covers the low number Springfield topic very well. Hope this provides some clarity. All the best...
Gil

m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

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MacD
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PostPosted: Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:01 am    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

Gil Martin wrote:
chambered221,
The link below covers the low number Springfield topic very well. Hope this provides some clarity. All the best...
Gil

m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

Very interesting read. Incident rates are seldom considered when people assess risk on a personal level.

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chambered221
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PostPosted: Wed Oct 23, 2013 3:58 pm    Post subject: Re: Getting surplus arms ready for hunting Reply with quote

My dad will definitely appreciate this info......... he's currently looking for one to use in a local military fun shoot !!!

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