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P35
January 22, 2000, 10:47 AM
What can you all tell me about a rifle I just bought? It is a '03 Springfield, Marked Rock
Island Arsenal.The SN is 384513.The muzzle
is marked SA 2-42with the bomb. What can you all tell me about this old rifle. It's in great shape with a good bore. Thanks

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Harley Nolden
January 22, 2000, 11:05 AM
P35
This is what I have:

M 1903 Specifications:
Mfg: National Armory Springfield
Introduced: 1903
Ctge modified: 1906
BARREL: Inches
Bore: 0.30"
Ext. Muzzle Dia: 0.619"
Ext. Breech Dia: 1.14"
Chamber & Bore Length: 23.79"
Bbl. Length: 24.006"
Bullet Travel Bore: 21.697"
Chamber Dia. Rear: 0.4716"
Front: 0.442
Dia: Chmbr neck Front: 0.3405"
Rear: 0.3425"
Chamber Length: 1.793"
Chamber Shoulder: 0.16:
Neck of Chamber: 0.396"
Total Chamber Length: 2,3716"

RIFLING:
Grooves: 4
Twist: Right
Rate: 10.00"
Groove Width: 0.1767
Land Width: 0.0589"
Groove Depth: 0.0004"
Height Fnt Sight Fm Bore Axis: 1.05"
Sight Radius: 22.1254"

STOCK:

Length: 40.166"
Dist. bore axis to butt: 2.089"
Length of Pull: 12.74
Length of complete Weapon: 43.212"
Sngl Div. on Wind scale: 0.0267"

WEIGHTS:

Bbl: 2.79#
W/rear site base,
and fnt site: 3#
Butt Plate: 0.26#
Receiver: 0.98#
Bolt: 1#
Mag. 4 T-Guard: 0.44#
Mag. & Flr. plate: 0.17#
Bayonet: 1#
Stock: 1.58#
Hand Guard: 0.13#
Fnt,Rear bands & swivels: 0.25#
Rear Sight (No base) 0.20
Total Metal Parts: 7.30#
Oiler & thong Case: .19#
Total Wt w/Bayonet 9.69#
w/o Bayonet: 8.69#
Trigger Pull: 16-18#
Other Springfield Models:

U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30 M1903A1:

In December of 1929 the stock design was changed from the straight stock to a pistol grip stock. The fore-end was also modified by removing the finger grooves. The buttplate was checkered to give better support on the shoulder, and the trigger was modified with serrations to prevent slipping of the trigger finger.

U.S. Rifle Caliber .30 M1903A2:
The design of this rifle was not for firing from the shoulder but rather modified to attach to the cannon tube of a tank to be used for sub-caliber practice.

M 1903 Specifications:
Introduced: 1903
Replaced by Garand 1936
BARREL: Inches

Bore: 0.30"
Ext. Muzzle Dia: 0.619"
Ext. Breech Dia: 1.14"
Chamber & Bore Length: 23.79"
Bbl. Length: 24.006"
Bullet Travel Bore: 21.697"
Chamber Dia. Rear: 0.4716"
Front: 0.442
Dia: Chmbr neck Front: 0.3405"
Rear: 0.3425"
Chamber Length: 1.793"
Chamber Shoulder: 0.16:
Neck of Chamber: 0.396"
Total Chamber Length: 2,3716"

RIFLING:

Grooves: 4
Twist: Right
Rate: 10.00"
Groove Width: 0.1767
Land Width: 0.0589"
Groove Depth: 0.0004"
Height Fnt Sight Fm Bore Axis: 1.05"
Sight Radius: 22.1254"

STOCK:

Length: 40.166"
Dist. bore axis to butt: 2.089"
Length of Pull: 12.74
Length of complete Weapon: 43.212"
Sngl Div. on Wind scale: 0.0267"


WEIGHTS:

Bbl: 2.79#
W/rear site base,
and fnt site: 3#
Butt Plate: 0.26#
Receiver: 0.98#
Bolt: 1#
Mag. $ T-Guard: 0.44#
Mag. & Flr. plate: 0.17#
Bayonet: 1#
Stock: 1.58#
Hand Guard: 0.13#
Fnt,Rear bands & swivels: 0.25#
Rear Sight (No base) 0.20
Total Metal Parts: 7.30#
Oiler & thong Case: .19#
Total Wt w/Bayonet 9.69#
w/o Bayonet: 8.69#
Trigger Pull: 16-18#


Model 1901
Experimental Infantry Rifle
Mfg: National Armory
Springfield Mass
Year of Mfg: 1901
Quantity: 100
Caliber: .30 Rimless
Action: Turnbolt
Length: 49.25"
Weight: 9.47lb
Barrel Length: 30"
Groove: 4 RH concentric
Magazine: Box 5 rind
M-Velocity: 2,300fps
The bolt mechanism of this rifle was unique to the USA, though many war-surplus rifles were used elsewhere after 1945 and others were supplied through Military Aid programs into the 1960's.

Experience in the Spanish American War showed that Spanish Mausers were superior to the Krag Jorgenson. Convening a board of officers at Springfield, testing began on the 1901 rifle. Using the best attributes of the Mauser and the Jorgensen the 1901 experimental rifle was developed.

For reasons which seemed right at the time, the US Army had adopted the Krag-Jorgenson rifle in 1892, but within a very short period the Krag's limitations were known and the Ordnance Dept. had to begin looking into a replacement. After thinking what designs available at the time, together with some painful lessons from the Spanish-American war where the 7mm Mausers. The Ordnance Dept. decided that the Mauser system had the most to offer and entered into agreements with Mauser to build a modified Mauser rifle under license in the USA.

In its original design, the rifle was built around a blunt nosed bullet rimmed, known as the .30" M1900, based upon the Krag- Jorgenson rifle cartridge. This bullet was disposed of in a
short time when it became obvious that the Mauser magazine did not respond well to rimmed cartridges, and the rimless .30" M1903 still using a Krag bullet. After more trials the case was
lengthened from 60 to 63mm and a new blunt bullet was developed, the result being the .30" M1903 round and this became the first service issue cartridge. However Germany developed the pointed or "spitzer bullet and the M1903 round was rapidly converted, by developing a suitable pointed bullet, into the .230 M1906. This cartridge and the millions of rifles chambered for it came to be called the .30-06. This new cartridge was developed, some 150,000 M1903 rifles had been issued and all were called back and re-chambered for the new round.

1903A3:
Originally introduced in May of 1942 for use in WWII. It basically consisted of improvements to simplify mass production. It features an aperture sight and various small parts that were fabricated from stamping, this includes the trigger guard, floor plate and barrel band. It was mfg’d by Remington and Smith Corona.

HJN

James K
January 22, 2000, 11:20 PM
Rock Island stopped making '03s after WWI, so the 2-42 barrel date means the rifle was rebarrelled sometime in WWII. There may be a rebuild mark on the stock. The rifle is a "high number" double heat treated, so it is safe to shoot. I don't have the book handy or I could give you the date of manufacture, but it is fairly late.

It is not a collector piece, but should be a good shooter and a nice example, even with the new barrel.

I recommend having the headspace checked.

Jim

James K
January 22, 2000, 11:23 PM
Hi, Harley,

I am interested in the source of the info you have provided on this and other guns. There is a lot of info there and wonder if there is an electronic source you are using.

Jim

Harley Nolden
January 23, 2000, 06:56 AM
Jim:
This is not an electronic source.

HJN

[This message has been edited by Harley Nolden (edited January 23, 2000).]