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Old December 5, 2008, 05:34 AM   #5
darkgael
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Join Date: February 9, 2006
Location: Homes in Brooklyn, NY and in Pennsylvania.
Posts: 4,353
low #

"t appears to be a low numbered model? considered 'dangerous'? "
The receiver on your rifle was manufactured in 1908-09. The barrel was made in 1922. Check and see if there is any serial # on the bolt; some bolts were etched with serial #s.
About being dangerous - this of course is a very personal judgment. The book to read about the low-numbered "problem" is Hatcher's Notebook. Maj. Gen. Julian Hatcher investigated all the receiver failures of the low-numbered series. There were only 70 out of more than one million rifles. The ordnance report that was done and which recommended the replacement of the low numbered receivers was not done until the late 1920's, eighteen years and one war after the manufacture of the receiver on your rifle. Hatcher did his studies later than that. Hatcher found - and I have read all his reports - that most/all of the receiver failures could be traced to bad war production ammo or operator error.
The problem with the receivers was the heat treatment process. Early receivers underwent a single heat treatment. Unfortunately, some of the receivers were done improperly; they were "burned", rendering them brittle and prone to fail if shocked unduly. Most of the receivers were not burned and are safe.....but there's no way to tell which ones are which.
Pete
Also good reading is William S. Brophy's "The 1903 Springfield Rifles", the definitive study.
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