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Old September 11, 2014, 02:05 PM   #1
dbuffington
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Springfield 1903?

Hi Folks!

In this week's exciting episode of "What Did I Buy?" we have a Springfield I picked up at an auction a few days ago. Here are some photos …













Military arms are definitely not my specialty, but it seems like this is a Springfield 1903 -- not A1, A2, A3, etc. -- made at the Springfield Armory around 1908.

It also appears that it was rebuilt, but I'm less sure about that. The "N122" mark doesn't correspond to the arsenal rebuild stamps I've seen.

Also, I'm not sure what the stamp near the front sight represents, but I'm guessing that "RA" over "2-44" means that a new barrel was installed at the Raritan Arsenal in February 1944.

Any corrections or additions would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Dave
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Old September 11, 2014, 02:56 PM   #2
F. Guffey
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I would think the rifle is a build, 'R' stamped parts, HO bolt and a 1944 Remington barrel. I have friends that build rifles similar to the one pictured, but they make a big attempt to build them period correct.

F. Guffey

http://forums.thecmp.org/archive/index.php/t-10953.html

http://www.vishooter.net/m1903.html

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Old September 11, 2014, 02:56 PM   #3
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Yep, Springfield 1903 rebuild during WWII with new barrel and parkerized finish. Original receiver is in the "suspect heat treatment" number range, enjoy as collectible and shoot at your own risk.
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Old September 11, 2014, 04:44 PM   #4
dbuffington
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Thanks! Any idea of what the "N122" might mean?
Dave
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Old September 11, 2014, 05:35 PM   #5
trigger643
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N122 is mostly likely a rack #.

The stock is not USGI.

This may have been a post war rebuild by a foreign country (a lot of these were reimported beginning in the 1960's - most recently a huge number came through the DCM from Greece). It may also be a put together from available parts by an enterprising individual.

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Old September 12, 2014, 03:27 PM   #6
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I suspect this is a Federal Ordnance parts rifle. Late 80’s, early 90’s, Federal Ordnance brought in thousands of M1903’s, parts, etc, from the Philippines. Based on the rust pits I see on your receiver, that is a characteristic of Fed Ord rifles. If you have more corrosion under the stock line, then it is definitely a Fed Ord import. I am of the opinion that US Arsenals would have tossed receivers with as much pitting as I saw on Fed Ord receivers. Fed Ord also reparked parts, they had Sedgley, RA, SA, new replacement barrels and they made complete rifles from parts.

Fed Ord used original stocks and had replacement stocks made. I bought one of their repro stocks, the walnut had more figuring than GI, they were nice looking stocks.

The action is a low number action, these actions, under 800,000 SA, are highly variable in quality, so much so, that a 1927 board recommended that all 1,000,000 low number M1903 receivers be scrapped. For monetary reasons, they were not. Instead low number rifles were kept in service till they wore out the barrel, or blew up in front of some unfortunate. If returned to an Army depot, the receiver was scrapped. The basic problem was the primitive production equipment on the factory floor of the Government Arsenals and a failure of Army management to acknowledge they had a problem. While the Germans installed pyrometers as early as 1906 in their Arsenals, Springfield Armory did not until 1918. Till then, forge shop workers were judging billet temperatures by eye, a most inexact system. This resulted in many receiver billets being burnt at the begining of the production line. Once steel is over heated, "burnt", it cannot be restored, and the resultant part is brittle. Based on contemporary reports, explaining why some bolts shed their lugs, the reported cause was “excessive case hardening”. This tells me process controls were out of whack from the front of the line to the back. It is my opinion that Springfield Armory was a ship that leaked from many seams. I am unaware of any non destructive test to sort “good” from “bad”. The Marines, per a poster elsewhere, hit their receivers twice with a heavy hammer. If the receiver shattered it was bad. If you do this, I recommend hitting the receiver on the ring, right rail, and receiver bridge. If it shatters, at least it did not shatter when firing.

Even if you have a “good” low number receiver, be aware it was made of low carbon steels that today, are so low grade and cheap that rail road ties, and rebar, are made of the material. With the exception that the same steels today would be much cleaner with less slag and impurities. This is simply a matter of the primitive process controls of the period, but it means that these receivers cannot survive out of tolerance loads that a modern alloy receiver would survive. I am unaware of anyone making such a safety critical part, as a receiver, from plain carbon steels.

Given that we don’t know the previous use history of your receiver, the quality of the materials, and whether it was overheated during manufacture, it is up to you whether you should shoot the thing. If you plan to use, reload with light to moderate loads and always wear shooting glasses. These actions vent gases straight towards the shooter, as gas handling features were an after thought in the action design.
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Old September 13, 2014, 12:02 PM   #7
dbuffington
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> Fed Ord used original stocks and had replacement stocks made ...

Which would explain the lack of rebuild stamps on the stock.

> If you plan to use, reload with light to moderate loads
> and always wear shooting glasses.

Understood and agreed. I do plan to shoot it ... just for the experience and to get some idea of the accuracy potential of the gun ... and I will use my own reloads, which are moderate-to-light and have been tested in other guns.

Thanks!
Dave
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Old September 14, 2014, 08:49 AM   #8
dbuffington
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>> If you plan to use, reload with light to moderate loads
>> and always wear shooting glasses.

> Understood and agreed. I do plan to shoot it ... just for the experience and to
> get some idea of the accuracy potential of the gun ... and I will use my own
> reloads, which are moderate-to-light and have been tested in other guns.

I took the 1903 to the range this morning and put a few rounds through it. They were the moderate loads mentioned above and there were no obvious issues. No loading oddities. No firing oddities. No extraction oddities. No case or primer oddities.

(Yes, I'm well aware and appreciative of the issues involved with these "low-numbered" receivers, and this info should be taken as a data point, nothing more.)

Indeed, the only odd thing was the perceived recoil. I've fired these loads in other guns, and given the weight of this gun, I was a little bit surprised by the recoil. I'm guessing its a stock design issue, and of course, the solid metal buttplate doesn't help much

Thanks to all!
Dave
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Old September 14, 2014, 12:01 PM   #9
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Without getting into the debate of the safety of firing a low number 1903 at all, let me point out that the rifle was built for the original 1906 load of a 150 grain spitzer bullet at 2700 fps.
That is a starting load with many current powders.
Lyman shows a 150 gr JSP + 48 gr IMR 4064 = 2695 fps at 36,000 CUP.
That is .30-40 Krag and .30-30 Win pressure.

Of course if you have a bad piece of brass and blow out the case head, 36000 will demolish the rifle and maybe you about as well as 50000 would have.

But unless that happens, you can have a mild load that will even shoot to the sights.
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Old September 14, 2014, 01:30 PM   #10
dbuffington
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> let me point out that the rifle was built for the original 1906 load
> of a 150 grain spitzer bullet at 2700 fps.

Understood. The load I used was a 150 grain Speer spitzer boattail over 54 grains of H414. That's slightly over Hodgdon's minimum load of 53 grains but well under the 60 grain maximum.

Thanks!
Dave
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Old September 15, 2014, 06:10 PM   #11
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Quote:
Without getting into the debate of the safety of firing a low number 1903 at all, let me point out that the rifle was built for the original 1906 load of a 150 grain spitzer bullet at 2700 fps.
I have duplicated the load using a 150 SMK 47.5 grains IMR 4895, LC cases, standard primers. Modern factory loads push a 150 closer to 2900 fps and are much hotter than my load.

If you look at original period data, military 30-06 ammunition was usually in the lower 40K psia range, especially once good progressive powders became available.
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Old September 16, 2014, 05:18 AM   #12
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03

Quote:
blew up in front of some unfortunate.
Most of the recorded failures of 1903 receivers - less than 100 iirc - took place during WWI and not during the period between the wars or the time of reissue.

You are certainly correct about there being no non-destructive test to determine safety. The problem with the Marine "hammer test" is that the assumption is that a bad receiver will break at two hits. Maybe it will take three and the two hits just serve to weaken the thing.
Pete
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Old September 16, 2014, 09:11 AM   #13
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Hatcher lists 137 "accidents" from 1917-1929.
Of these, 68 were "burst receivers" and 23 were "blow back."
The rest were burst barrels except for the one poor guy who had a hangfire let go as he opened the bolt and one with no details at all.

As Slamfire has pointed out, all these occurred on military ranges over 12 years. Failures before or after that time, in combat or after surplus disposal are not included.

P.O. Ackley was of the opinion that the bolts were worse than the receivers and a low number action with a nickel steel bolt was adequate... with good ammo.

Henry Stebbins showed a low number receiver that had worn out three barrels and said that if the front guard screw boss on the recoil lug was not chipped, it was probably not a brittle gun.

Dave LeGate at Rifle and Handloader magazine sacrificed some number of low number actions to the hammer and drop test. Most if not all failed.
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Old September 16, 2014, 09:37 AM   #14
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The whole single heat treatment episode was a shameful event, I don’t know just when the public was informed as to the dangers of the things, it was most certainly not until the early 1930’s, well after the Ordnance Department was forced to admit they had a problem in 1917.

Even though Hatcher does not give out “the number”, that is the estimated number of defective receivers in inventory, a number which any board would have had to give for their report to have any use to decision makers, there are some numbers which Hatcher provides which are very telling.

On page 222 of my Hatcher’s Notebook, it says: “In one of the experiments at Springfield Armory, 48 receivers were carefully re-heated, after which 16, or one-third, failed on high pressure test.”

The fact that two thirds of these receivers did not fail may give comfort to the fans of low number receivers. I don't consider that good odds. I hope if any fan boys have a low number burst in front of them, they will at least post the pictures and tell us what happened.

Quote:
Dave LeGate at Rifle and Handloader magazine sacrificed some number of low number actions to the hammer and drop test. Most if not all failed.

An interesting but unexpected event that happened in that article was the shattering of a double heat treat receiver. The author held a nylon faced hammer in one hand and held the receivers in the other. All the receivers he hit fractured. Including the double heat treat receiver. There are others who have been compiling post Hatcher’s Notebook receiver failures, and it is my memory that one poster said he had a list of 128 double heat treats that had blown. Both the single heat treat and double heat treat receivers were made of the same, inferior low grade steels, and again, I am not confident of the process controls at the Armories. I was told that the forge shop workers were paid piece rate, so it would be in their economic interest to heat the billets up, to speed up the stamping process.
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Old September 16, 2014, 02:39 PM   #15
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So why was I called a liar when I said that I broke one of those SHT receivers with a hammer? The loudest were the Lyons fans (no, not fans of the Detroit NFL team) who claimed their idol had proved that such never happened and if it did it couldn't happen again.

Jim
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Old September 16, 2014, 05:40 PM   #16
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Dr Lyon' analysis is deeply, if not fatally flawed.

Some Observations On The Failure Of U.S. Model 1903 Rifle Receivers
Joseph L. Lyon, M.D., M.P.H.

http://m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

Dr Lyon’s statistics are based on Hatcher’s Notebook which is not an all inclusive list of all 03 failures. Hatcher’s list starts 1917 and ends 1929. There are known failures after and known failures before.

I disagree with Dr Lyon’s risk percentages. His percentages are based on the total number of rifles built, not the rifles in use. There were about one million of these rifles built, but post WW1, there were never one million at service at any time. By the time you get to 1922 Congress authorized only 136,000 Officer’s and enlisted in the Regular Army. I could guess how many rifles were in service with an Army that small, and it sure would not be one million. Lets say, as a ridiculous example, that there were four rifles in use and the remaining one million in storage. Let also say that one of the four blew up. Dr Lyon’s analysis would give you the risk as one in a million. But for those rifles in use, it would be 25%.

Dr Lyon’s analysis also does not take into account the destruction of single heat treat receivers. As rifle came into depot, the Army scrapped these receivers. The population of these things liable to hurt someone just got smaller and smaller over time. Any risk calculation based on the total production is misleading because that is not the actual risk to the user. The user’s risk of harm is much higher. By what amount, I don’t know.


I am certain there are no databases extent which would allow the calculation of risk based on active duty rifles, but the Army had seen enough accidents and decided to take a course of action which would remove single heat treat receivers from the inventory.

Dr Lyon also says:


Quote:
No receiver failures were reported in the training period before the battles, and during the four major battles that occurred in the seven month period in 1942-43. While it's not possible to estimate the exact number of rifles involved, up to 7,000 would have been in use by the three rifle regiments of the 1st Marine Division, Based on the failure rates of 1917-1918 between one and two rifle receivers would have been expected to fail.
Dr Lyon could not find any failure reports and is making the conclusion that absence proves no receivers failures. I disagree with this. The absence of records indicate the absence of records. That does not mean that there were never were records; their probably were. It is a known fact that Army Safety Incident reports are not released to the public, only Safety Investigators or Law Enforcement have access. But regardless, there are buildings full of records that the US Army and Marine Corp have right now which Dr Lyon will never see. These records will be disposed of by the lowest cost method which will guarantee the least embarrassment later. A better question for Dr Lyon to answer is just how long he maintains patient records and just where is that searchable database of medical malpractice. Since I have not ever found the second, I guess those estimates that medical mistakes kill 400,000 Americans per year must be wrong, no one dies!

And this leads into the greatest misuse of Hatcher’s List that Dr Lyons commits: he lets the statistics do the talking. These accidents are with people and it is people being hurt. Perhaps the accidental death rate caused by Physicians is so high that they get so callous that pain and suffering are just a statistic to them, but to those who are hurt, the pain is real, the injury permanent, and sometimes the suffering is lifelong. Hatcher's list is a list of people who were hurt and we should not diminish their misfortune as being equivalent to a coin toss or a roll of the dice.
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Old September 16, 2014, 09:54 PM   #17
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Even if the Army did make reports in the between wars and WWII eras, it certainly made none after 1945. I have seen reports of receiver failure after that, but no one is keeping track - not the NRA or anyone else.

So Hatcher remains the sole source of any solid information and the only basis of any statistics.

Jim
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Old September 17, 2014, 06:21 AM   #18
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Question

Quote:
Hatcher’s list starts 1917 and ends 1929. There are known failures after and known failures before
Not arguing. Your knowledge of these things is much more comprehensive than mine. The question is about those known failures before and after Hatcher.
Where can I find that info? Where did you find it?

Years ago I was sold a low numbered 1903 by a gun shop. They never mentioned that there was any sort of advisory against firing and I certainly had not heard about that. It was my first centerfire rifle. I shot it for years.
Then, one day, a fellow at the range told me about the problem.
One of the things that I did was do a survey of production lots and recorded failures within those lots. The receiver in question had been made in 1905....a low number starting with 2......
There were no recorded failures of any receivers in that production lot.
Does that mean that the gun is safe? No, unfortunately.
It was noticeable that the rate of failure per lot increased as the date of production approached 1918.
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Old September 17, 2014, 12:42 PM   #19
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There was another component to some M1903 rifle failures. Some really sorry .30 caliber ammunition was manufactured during WWI. Some of that substandard ammunition was still in inventory when WWII began.

The worst WWI .30 caliber ammunition was made by National Copper and Brass: The problem was very soft cartridge cases. Two Springfield M1903 rifles blew up at the National Copper and Brass plant while testing their own .30 caliber ammo.

The stuff is headstamped NC18. i have a numerous rounds of NC 18 given to me by the US Army ammunition inspector who got that ammuniton condemned.

BTW: There were many problems with US made ammunition during WWI. Artillery in bore prematures were much too frequent. To counter the problem with substandard ammunition, the US Army devised what is today known as the QUASAS program.

Some M1898 Mausers also have very brittle receivers.
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Old September 17, 2014, 02:10 PM   #20
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The material and manufacturing processes used in the early Model 1903 were the same as those used in the [U.S.] Model 1898. There is some sort of idea that when the Army adopted a new rifle, Springfield Armory was cleaned out down to the walls, all the equipment and workers were replaced and everything started over from scratch. Not true. Not only did some parts lines and repair facilities continue unchanged, but even the production facilities were not uprooted.

All that was changed was the tooling, the jigs, fixtures, etc., and things like the marking stamps. The machines themselves for the most part were unchanged, the heat treatment and finishing processes were unchanged, most of the routing was unchanged. Workers required some retraining, but most were skilled and experienced, so that was not a "big deal". (Some had been at Springfield through the trapdoor era, maybe a few back to the musket time; they had all seen changes to the product. The M1903 was just one more change.)

So why didn't Krags "blow up"? Some did, and bolts were brittle. But the rimmed, low pressure cartridge, and generally less hectic production for both rifles and ammunition meant that the problem remained minor; to use an expression that the old workers would not have understood, it was "below the radar".

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Old September 17, 2014, 03:40 PM   #21
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Quote:
So why didn't Krags "blow up"? Some did, and bolts were brittle.
I have gone through every page of the American Rifleman magazine, from WW2 onward, and I recall one derogatory Dope Bag letter over the Krag metallurgy and heat treatment. It is my recollection that the author claimed the Krag bolts were “flame hardened” and generally he expressed a low opinion of the metallurgical quality. It must be understood that between the wars, Government Arsenals were just as underfunded as the rest of the military. The parsimony of Congress, combined with a “kick the can down the road” attitude of military leadership meant that the Arsenals went through boom and bust cycles, with the bust cycles lasting decades. During the lean years, equipment became outdated, Arsenals would always be behind technological advancements.

Colt Firearms had the same problem in the 70’s, 80’, 90’s, etc, as the company owners took profits out, but did not put funding back in. We all have seen this in Colt firearms of the period.

I am of the opinion that the single heat treat issue was finally raised in the late 20’s, and by Springfield Armory. I have no proof, but by the late 20’s I do not see a military need for more 03’s. There were 2.5 million M1917’s in storage, future production of a semi automatic replacement was years, if not decades off, and considering the ideas of “endless prosperity” and the “war to end all wars” attitudes of the times, I believe Springfield Armory was under the threat of a real shut down. An order for 1,000,000 new 03’s would have been just the ticket. As it was, we know an independent board was established, and it makes sense, because if this was started by SA, any investigation would have had to have been taken out of their hands, given that they would have had a financial benefit in the matter. So this is my pie in the sky conspiracy. Springfield Armory was perfectly placed, as they had all the data, to make a case that all low number rifles should be scrapped, and replaced with new rifles.

Hatcher would have us believe that unicorn sightings were more common than single heat treat receiver failures. I do not believe this, as this individuals testimony reveals that 03 blowups were far more common than Hatcher has lead us to believe.

From Arms and the Man, 1917 “In Defense of “the Short Gun”. By Captain James H. Keough
I can attest, by having experienced the misfortune of blowing both locking lugs from the bolt of my service rifle in the 900 yard state of the Leech Cup Match at Camp Perry in 1913, which fortunately did me no more harm than to record a goose egg for my first record shot at this distance, forcing me from the match and putting me out of the running for the Palma Team. The shock of the blow-back had no serious effect on my nervous system, as I was well hardened to the echo of the boiler shop (as the shed in which the International Meter Matchers were held was dubbed) by being a daily constant in the several matches. On this same day on which this accident occurred a team mate, Col Sergt Leary, of the Massachusetts Infantry, had a similar accident, but was slightly bruised about the face. The cause of these blow-ups was attributed to the bolts being too hard or burned in the case hardening process. Last year at the annual encampment of the 6th Massachusetts Infantry, at Martha’s Vineyard, a blow-black put a sergeant of one of the companies in the hospital for a week and nearly cost him the loss of one eye, and I know of another case nearby when two bad accidents occurred in one afternoon, the rifles being blown to pieces in both instances and one of the men having the side of his face torn away. These are the only cases that I recall as having happened in my locality or where I was at the time. Records of many others are well known, so that perhaps there is some cause for this alarm as to the safety of the (M1917) Enfield, which we all know*, is not as strong as the US Magazine rifle…
* Information had not reached the shooting community that the 1917 Enfield was a different action from the SMLE.

Very shortly after this article was published, B. Gen Fred Phillips wrote an editiorial stating the Offical Army position on this matter.

Arms and the Man, Brig Gen Fred H. Phillips Jr 1917

Blown Blots and Split Barrels
Recently there have been reported from rifle clubs several cases where the barrels of Army rifles have burst and where bolts have blown out.
To those who are not familiar with the circumstances attending these accidents-none of which fortunately have cost human life- the mishaps have suggested that possibly the Springfield rifle is an unsafe arm, and that practice with it may be attended by fatalities.

The truth of the matter is that the Springfield is quite as safe as any high powered rifle, and possibly a much more reliable gun than one could expect from a weapon the charge of which exerts 50,000 pounds per square inch pressure in the chamber. The reason why one hears more of “blow-ups’ in the Springfield is that more rifle club members use this arm than use any other one make of commercial weapon, and consequently, in point of number, although not necessarily in point of numbers, although not necessarily in point of percentage, the accidents from the military type rifle may appear greater.

Emphatically the Springfield is not an unsafe gun. As it comes from the arsenal, it can be used year in and year out and so far as the likelihood of accidents is concerned, be as good as ever-but provide that it is properly handled and properly cared for.

If one takes the trouble to inquire into the causes of accidents with the Springfield, it will more than likely result in the conclusion that 99 our of 100 mishaps such as blown bolts and split barrels result either from the use of hand-loads or special loads improperly or carelessly put together in the making, greased chambers, or both.

In short, there nothing the matter with the Springfield as long as it is used for the ammunition for which it was designed, except of course in the very small percentage of cases where a bolt has been over hardened or some similar mechanical defect has crept in during manufacture.
This official Army position came out after the receiver blow up’s at National Copper and Brass, which lead to a shut down of the Springfield Armory production lines. I consider this a coverup. The Army, in print, is deigning they have a rifle problem. Given that the B Gen who wrote this was a General in the pre War Regular Army, and not some Johnny come lately, he is an extremely powerful and well placed individual. After this the Army never again published an account of a blown up 03 unless the author claimed the blow up was due to his personnel negligence.


As for after Hatcher’s List, these images came from the Springfield Armory web collection. Just go to their web site and brose.

Blown up 1932

Receiver 323816




Receiver 570, 095 Blown up 1932



1931 Receiver 718, 233




Receiver 764, 040 blown 1931

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Old September 18, 2014, 11:32 AM   #22
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The split barrel (570095) is not a receiver failure; the pictures show the usual result of firing with an obstructed barrel. The barrel blew apart and split the receiver; the same thing would have happened with almost any receiver.

There were also reports of flaws in the barrel billets. At one point, SA drilled and chambered the rough billet (unthreaded) for a short proof cartridge and fired it as a preliminary test. That was intended to weed out most of the bad barrels before any significant amount of time or money had been spent on them. (I have seen some evidence that Mauser did the same, but the Mauser experts tell me that due to the superiority of German steel, no proof testing was done until the barreled action had been fully assembled.)

Barrels were also proved after completion but before they were installed. It is unclear whether that was done with replacement barrels, but one would see no reason to make an exception.

The note on those 2.5 million Model 1917's is interesting and worth a comment. When FDR ordered 1.1 million of them sent to England in June 1940, Army Ordnamce watched a large part of their war reserve sail off into the sunrise and panicked. With war almost certainly approaching, and M1 rifle production proceeding at the pace of an arthritic snail, they first cancelled the British order to Remington for a .303 version of the M1903, and then gave Remington a contract for the U.S. version. That ultimately led to the M1903A3, made by Remington and Smith-Corona, and to the M1903A4.

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Old September 18, 2014, 12:27 PM   #23
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Quote:
The split barrel (570095) is not a receiver failure; the pictures show the usual result of firing with an obstructed barrel. The barrel blew apart and split the receiver; the same thing would have happened with almost any receiver.
Others have made the same comment, that a bore obstruction is unfair and that any receiver would have blown.

I lost the link, and anyway all that is left on the Swedish site is a picture, but a Swedish site had a series of videos of blow up tests they conducted. The test consisted of driving a bullet down the barrel, putting the rifle in a fixture, and firing it!

What was remarkable was that none of the modern rifles they tested blew their receivers. The barrel on a M700 ruptured, and that was the only barrel that I remember bursting.

There are some conclusions that can be drawn from that experiment. Modern rifles have excellent breech protection. If the case head blows on a 03, or a small ring Mauser, and the receiver ring does not blow, then that is a remarkable occurrence, because a ruptured receiver is the norm. Also, modern materials provide a safety margin that is not found in the old plain carbon steels of the past.
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Old September 19, 2014, 10:56 AM   #24
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Hi, slamfire,

A split barrel like that was not the result of a receiver failure, it was the cause of it. What happened, as shown by the severe bend at mid-barrel, was that the obstruction caused the normal heat spike failure at that point. When the barrel softened and blew, it split. As the two pieces broke apart, the rear ends acted like two levers on the receiver ring, pulling the receiver ring apart. That force is great enough that few receiver rings will stand up to it, but it would be worse in a brittle or cast receiver.

Jim
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Old September 20, 2014, 10:37 AM   #25
thallub
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Join Date: November 20, 2007
Location: South Western OK
Posts: 2,109
The M1903 has a major design flaw; the coned breech. The rear of the cartridge case is unsupported for about 1/10 inch. A cartridge head separation in a coned breech rifle is often a catastrophic event. Couple the coned breech with a soft cartridge case and you have the recipe for a kaboom. The original M70 Winchester and the M1917 Enfield rifle also have coned breeches.

i'm a lefty. Many years ago i was on the privately owned weapons range at Ft. Sill. The guy sitting on on my left at the same bench had a cartridge case separation with his beautiful Model 70 in .270. The rifle and the scope were destroyed. Luckily the man was not seriously injured.

Last edited by thallub; September 20, 2014 at 11:52 AM.
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