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Bob1911
July 2, 2007, 07:23 PM
Could someone please help with info on these guns, age, value and on the Springer is it safe to shoot?

1) Springfield 1903 .30-06. Looks like an aftermarket front sight and the gun is blued and has a cut down (sporter) stock. I recieved the gun as a wedding present from my wife (in 1977) and it was her grandfathers hunting rifle for many years. The ser# is 568xx & has Rock Island on it. It is in good mechanical condition and has had some touch up and stock refinishing work.

2) Remington 700 # 204xxx in 7mm mag. The barrel has a mark that looks kind of like a weird mis stamped "4" (but I don't think it is) then AY then a "6" in a circle.

Any help is appreciated.

Bob

P.S. Why are serial numbers truncated?

boltgun71
July 2, 2007, 07:59 PM
The AY code on your 700 is more than likely the barrel code for date of manufacture. The first letter is the month and second is the year. If I did my conversion right your rifle was made in March 1974. The model 700 didnt come out until 1964 I believe so the first Y in the series wouldn't make since for your rifle. For more info on how to use the codes check out this link http://www.rimfirecentral.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9555

Trapper L
July 3, 2007, 05:44 PM
Bob, the Springfield 03 is an early model according to the serial number. It has a nickel steel receiver with double heat treated Class C steel. There should be no issues with the strength of the receiver. If the barrel is military, it will have a stamp on the top end of barrel at the front sight showing the date. I don't show any Type T sporter Rock Islands in that era in my books. It most likely is a custom gun or a conversion which was popular many years ago when the 03s were available to the public for dirt cheap- like $29.00. Regardless, it is a near 100 year old weapon and most of the 03s are still dead accurate even with military pitted barrels. The value will depend on if it is a real Type T original, conversion, or a custom. I would suggest taking it a local gunshop and get their opinion. They are a piece of history that will not be duplicated.

Jim Watson
July 3, 2007, 11:49 PM
The Rock Island is a low number single heat treat action, being below SN 285,506. Some people do not consider them safe to fire, but obviously it worked for Grandpa.

I do not know what TrapperL is talking about.
Your rifle's action is Class C steel, case hardened "single heat treated". Later guns were Class C "double heat treated" and after that they went to nickel steel. Can't be all three at once.

I can find no mention of Rock Island making either arsenal sporters or Type T match rifles. You almost certainly have a sporterized surplus rifle. Dollar value is low unless superbly well done by a recognized shop.

Study the low number - high number phenomenon before you shoot it. Study it HARD before you handload for it. See a psycharitrist before you hot load for it.

Wildalaska
July 3, 2007, 11:58 PM
Study the low number - high number phenomenon before you shoot it. Study it HARD before you handload for it. See a psycharitrist before you hot load for it.

I go further. No low number single heat treated 1903 should be shot.

Period.

WildmakeitadisplayitsstillanicerifleAlaska

Bob1911
July 4, 2007, 12:55 PM
Grandpa used it for many years for hunting and I have shot it with surplus, factory and light and normal reloads. Never had any trouble. I do not load hot for anything and I have not shot this 03 in 25 years. I shoot mostly pistol.

Bob

James K
July 4, 2007, 02:17 PM
The "low number" story boils down to this: Some of those receivers were overheated in manufacture and became very brittle. While they will usually stand up to firing normal ammunition, some may break apart if subjected to abnormal conditions, such as the use of fast burning powder. The trouble is that, short of destructive testing, no one knows which ones are dangerous, so many of us err on the side of caution and recommend against firing any of them.

The choice is yours.

Jim

Bob1911
July 4, 2007, 08:57 PM
I thank you all for the responses.

Bob

Trapper L
July 4, 2007, 09:44 PM
Sorry Bob, I saw three Xs not two behind the serial number. Jim Watson would be correct that the action COULD be suspect. Rock Island per my books, started with the double heat treat at #319,921 with a manufacturing start date of 1 Aug, 1918. Yours would be a much earlier model. Rock Island started making the rifles in 4 May, 1904 and at the end of their initial contract stopped production temporarily 17 Nov, 1913 with #234,830. Yours fits in there somewhere. It would have been a full service rifle and has apparently been sporterized. I would suggest either using it as a wall hanger or having the action tested for hardness. While its been a reliable shooter it could be the next shot is the one to cause a catastrophic failure. It would pay to know for sure.

When I was sportizing the 03s, I always considered the serial number 800,000 as the lowest I would convert. Anything above that and you pretty much are guaranteed a good action. The 03 as such is a very strong and reliable weapon. Some of the guys were converting them to larger magnum cartridges and bolt thrust became an issue but as long as the original head dimension was kept it was the best of the times. Here's a 6.5x 06 I built a few years back on an 03 action. It's a dandy.
http://pic20.picturetrail.com/VOL1229/4157144/11822633/254441809.jpg