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1903 Springfield scope safety
Discussions related to Guns and Firearms

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SingleShotLover
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Joined: Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 970
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:13 am    Post subject: 1903 Springfield scope safety Reply with quote

As part of the re-stocking plan for Dad's old 1903 Springfield, I decided to finally do something about replacing that original safety lever with one more scope-friendly. There is a scarcity of replacement levers on the market so a little searching was in order. The most viable options were the LaPour, the Wisner and the Dayton Traister Mark II. I ruled out the LaPour simply because of the expense and ordered the Wisner which operates like a Winchester Model 70 safety. Upon receiving it, I was struck by the amount of machining and detail required. Not willing to butcher the rifle, I decided to try the Dayton Traister option instead. I also ordered a new bolt shroud to experiment on installing the Wisner at a later date when I have more confidence in the outcome.

The D/T lever operates as a vertical wing safety like the original lever, but only moves through a short arc on the right side of the bolt and only has two positions; Safe and Fire. I read several reviews that bemoaned the fact of difficulty in installation, but I honestly found it to be quite simple. I realize that each rifle may have fitting problems, but I installed this safety in just bout an hour.

Starting with making sure the rifle is empty, remove the bolt and completely disassemble. Make a 1/8" wide clearance cut in the right side of the bolt shroud extending down just far enough to allow full movement of the safety into the "fire" position as shown here:



I accomplished this using a diamond Dremel cutter and finished with a 1911 sight-staking file.

Next, lightly bevel the left side of the cocking engagement cut to allow the safety to cam the cocking piece back about 1/32" when engaged. This took only 3 passes of the file to accomplish.



The results are shown in both the "Fire"



and the "Safe" positions:



Not a tough job, and helps solve part of the scope height problem. When I decide to do the Wisner conversion I'll try to post more detailed instructions.

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Last edited by SingleShotLover on Fri Dec 26, 2014 5:57 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Elvis
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Joined: Jul 27, 2008
Posts: 7383
Location: south island New Zealand

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 12:34 pm    Post subject: Re: 1903 Springfield scope safety Reply with quote

looks great....having started out with a SMLE I still hunt with half open bolt and very seldom use a safety catch.

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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 13489
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Fri Dec 26, 2014 11:16 pm    Post subject: Re: 1903 Springfield scope safety Reply with quote

Good job SSS...it looks like you have approached this mod in a realistic and methodical way, which in my mind is the best way. As for fitting the Wisner part, I would suggest if the D/T is doing the job to your satisfaction, then I wouldn't fit the other...unless it offers significant advantages over the D/T part.

Elvis...I do the same with all my hunting centrefires mate as they all cock on closing. I always walk around with the bolt handle in the raised position, or in the case of the Mod 94 with the hammer on half cock.

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Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
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SingleShotLover
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Joined: Dec 26, 2007
Posts: 970
Location: Illinois

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:07 am    Post subject: Re: 1903 Springfield scope safety Reply with quote

Vince,
If I decide to use the Wisner, it will be when I run out of other projects, which may happen since this is the last of my rifles to re-stock (maybe a reason to start looking for another orphan rifle to adopt Scratch ). It's advantage is mostly cosmetic with a slight advantage to use. The Wisner operates exactly like a Winchester Model 70 safety - that is, in a horizontal manner rather than the D/T's vertical. Rather than risking irreparable damage to the original shroud, I purchased another shroud to experiment with. The Wisner requires much more milling as well as very precise drilling and tapping. I learned very early on, to my dismay, that speed makes for a sloppy job. I now try to think any project through and the minute I find myself trying to hurry, I walk away. That has saved me a lot of disasters as well as embarrassment.

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If you can't hit it with one, you probably can't with two either!

The biggest problem with a closed mind is that it never seems to come with a closed mouth.

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Vince
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Joined: May 25, 2005
Posts: 13489
Location: Brisbane AUSTRALIA

PostPosted: Sat Dec 27, 2014 8:45 am    Post subject: Re: 1903 Springfield scope safety Reply with quote

Fair call mate...every retired man, or lady Suz, needs a short list of projects to keep him occupied.

_________________
Cheers, Vince Cheers

Illegitimi non carborundum
(Never let the bastards grind you down)

Live simply. Love generously. Care deeply. Speak kindly. Leave the rest to God.

"Nulla Si Fa Senza Volonta."
(Without Commitment, Nothing Gets Done)
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