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Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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Joe Boleo
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Joined: Dec 25, 2006
Posts: 427
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 8:15 am    Post subject: Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter Reply with quote

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. Take care...
Joe


m1903.com/03rcvrfail/


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robfromaz1977
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Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 179
Location: Arizona's White Mountains

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 10:37 am    Post subject: Re: Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter Reply with quote

Just curious Joe, your post here on low numbered springfields looks identical to the one posted here awhile back by Gil Martin. Could you and Gil be one and the same?




www.huntingnut.com/ind...pringfield Confused
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Joe Boleo
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Joined: Dec 25, 2006
Posts: 427
Location: Pennsylvania

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:21 pm    Post subject: Re: Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter Reply with quote

robfromaz1977,
Sorry about that. I meant to copy Gil's post and comment on it and am not too computer literate. Please disregard my post. I will be more careful when attempting copying and pasting.

Gil,
I did not mean to hijeck you post. I merely wanted to say that I have a low number Springfield and shoot it with modest reloads. Take care...
Joe
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Gil Martin
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Joined: Jan 28, 2005
Posts: 1667
Location: Schnecksville, PA

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:37 pm    Post subject: Re: Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter Reply with quote

Joe,
No problem. I hate it when that happens. Glad you have and are shooting a low number Springfield. All the best...
Gil

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robfromaz1977
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Joined: Aug 03, 2005
Posts: 179
Location: Arizona's White Mountains

PostPosted: Sun Dec 21, 2008 1:43 pm    Post subject: Re: Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter Reply with quote

Oh that sounds like something I would do. My springfield isn't a low number but I love it anyway.
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fnuser
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Joined: Dec 23, 2008
Posts: 914
Location: S.W. Missouri, U.S.A.

PostPosted: Fri Jan 02, 2009 8:02 pm    Post subject: Re: Low number 1903 Springfield Sporter Reply with quote

I was compiling different articles from Precision Shooting magazine and my favorite's were by Michael Petrov, [Custom Gunmakers of the 20th Century] These always featured a sporter built on various actions mostly Springfields. When they bound these into a book I naturally bought one. p. 75 is very educational. I'll try to abbreviate it without leaving any facts out.It states that the first 800,000 Springfield's were case hardened. The first 269,000 were rechambered from 30-03 to 30-06 by setting back the barrel .200",and then RE-PROOFING, AFTER 700,000 production was stepped up and an unknown number were over hardened, but even these were proofed. Your seral# 3xx,xxx would seem to fall into the earlier case hardened lot Michael included his home address and ph# to call him if you had ever personally seen a failure. You don't see that very often today! mostly people quote the American Rifleman June 1947 where there is a penny-sized chunk blown out of the top of the receiver in a sedgley sporter built on a low # springfield, however later investigation revealed that chunk blew out of the middle where 4 holes had been drilled and tapped completely through the front ring for scope mounts and the cartridge fired was in excess of 100,000 pounds, What would you expect?

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