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Old June 12, 2014, 04:14 PM   #1
jismail
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Join Date: July 19, 2011
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M1903 barrel marking question

I have a SA 4-18 barrel on my 1918 m1903. I purchased the barrel to replace a worn out barrel that was on the reciever when I got it The barrel is marked with a P and a J66 on the lower portion, and SA on the muzzel with the ordance symbol and then the date below that. What it also has is a capital A centered below the date. Looks like below:

S A
@
4 - 18
A

Any ideas what that means?
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Old June 13, 2014, 05:50 AM   #2
Mike Irwin
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I THINK the SA means Springfield Armory.

4-18 is the manufacture date.

I THINK the A stands for the company that provided the barrel blanks. During the war Springfield farmed out barrel blank manufacture because Springfield couldn't make enough.

A MIGHT mean Avis.

The P on the barrel is a proof mark. It should be a block letter. Early ones were in script.

The J66 marking, I have no clue.
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Old June 13, 2014, 09:58 AM   #3
jismail
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yes, the SA is for springfield, and the J66 i heard is its steel lot but I cant verify that. I heard of the Avis thing before but I thought it was an AV that they used to mark the barrel. Can anyone confirm or deny?
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Old June 13, 2014, 10:25 AM   #4
Mike Irwin
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You know, I think you my be correct that AV was Avis...
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Old June 13, 2014, 05:44 PM   #5
James K
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Avis barrels were made during WWI and used as replacement barrels, but the ones I have seen had the letters "A V" instead of "S A" where the maker's initials appear. Some barrels had "A V" further down, with the "S A" in the normal place; those are supposed to be Avis barrels finished by Springfield and marked by them. I have not seen any barrels with just "A"; it might be a variation of "A V", but I don't know.

Jim
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Old June 13, 2014, 08:06 PM   #6
Jim Watson
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I found a chart of barrel dates, some showing an "A" but with no explanation.
All in 1917, 1918, and 1919, so the wartime outsourcing theory looks good.
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Old June 14, 2014, 12:28 PM   #7
Mike Irwin
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I was told that if the barrel has SA and letter codes under that, that means that a company supplied a barrel blank or billet to Springfield Armory, which did the finishing.

If there isn't an SA and just another set of letters, that means that the barrel was made by that company and supplied ready to go onto the rifle.

True or not I don't know.
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