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Old June 14, 2001, 12:37 AM   #1
Jordan
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Join Date: February 25, 1999
Location: crow pass trail head, Eagle River, AK
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U.S. Remington 03-?3 info?

I recently took posession of a sporterized military 30-06. I was told is was a "Springfield".

Having taken off the Buehler scope mount in search of more info I found "US REMINGTON O3-?3 3511000" The question mark is because a scope mount hole has taken out that character.

What info could any of you guys offer? What period is this from? Any interesting history? What's with the "on"/ "off" switch? It appears to change it from single shot to magazine fed. Why? What is the meaning of the bunches of numbers stamped all over the reciever (37, 26, 38, 52, 12)? What is the purpose of the knurled knob on the back of the bolt? Is it for manual cocking? Why might one do that? Is that "3511000" a serial number? Seems odd to have landed right on '1000... not 3511123 or somesuch.

If I were to want to put a peep sight back on this, what would be a good choice? The dove tails and tapped holes appear to be in place for that purpose.

Thank you very much in advance!
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Old June 14, 2001, 06:46 AM   #2
Harley Nolden
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Jordan:
from your description the rifle is a 1903A3 rifle. This model has the stamped mag/trigger guard. this was changed to increase production time during WWII.

I have the assem/disassem w/photos if you'd like to have them.

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 1901rifle. 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.
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Old June 17, 2001, 02:50 PM   #3
James K
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The rifle is the Model 1903A3, a WWII version of the Model 1903 modified to increase production. The various numbers and marks (on the stock, not the receiver) are inspector markings. The cutoff is, as you guessed, designed to allow the rifle to be fired single shot while holding the magazine in reserve for an emergency, which in the 1903 timeframe, usually meant a cavalry charge.

The knurled knob at the end of the bolt is intended to do two things. Its flared shape will deflect any escaping gas away from the shooters eye, and it also allows the bolt to be re-cocked on a misfire without opening the bolt and chancing a hangfire.

The original rear sight was a peep sight mounted on a dovetail on the rear receiver bridge. This dovetail was often ground down when a rifle was sporterized. Since the rifle has been drilled and tapped it has little collector value and seems like a good hunting rifle. Any competent gunsmith can mount a commercial peep sight if that is what you want. You could find and reinstall the original type sight if possible but it was a wartime expedient and is not a very good sight.

As to the serial number ending in three zeros, that happened every thousand rifles. It is not really unusual and adds no special value or interest.

Jim
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Old June 17, 2001, 11:28 PM   #4
Jordan
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Join Date: February 25, 1999
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Thank you, Jim, for your complete response!!

I've never been interested in "collectors" so it suits me fine that sporterizing has turned this rifle into a shooter... that's exactly what I intend to do with it. It appears to have been nicely done at least.

Thanks again!
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Old June 18, 2001, 05:30 PM   #5
James K
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Please permit one more comment. If the stock of that rifle has not been cut, save it, as the stocks are becoming hard to get. One of the new "plastic" stocks is better for hunting anyway. Of course if you decide to go "whole hog" the sky's the limit on both the work that can be done (and the prices charged).

Jim
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