Last week, I was in a gun shop and saw a very nice 1903 Springfield sporter with a WWII barrel and serial number 359XXX. It had a Redfield base and rings so I could not tell if it was a high number Rock island or a low number Springfield. It was evident that the rifle had been shot a great deal. We haggled a bit and I got the rifle cheap.
At home, I was able to determine it was a low number 1903 Springfield. What to do. I searched the web and came across volumes of information on low number Springfield rifles. The link below was the best article I have read to date. The total number of low number 1903 Springfield rifles made by Rock Island Arsenal and Springfield Armory was about one million rifles. It is interesting to note that the U.S Army did not recall low number Springfield rifles from active duty troops, but merely issued high number rifles to new recruits. When low number rifles were turned in for repair, they were then taken out of service and scrapped. The Marine Corp continued to use low number Springfields well into WWII when M1 Garand rifles were available and issued to troops.
Armed with this information, I took the rifle to the range and ran a number of reloads through it. The rifle did just fine. Al the best...