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Old January 28, 2012, 10:24 AM   #1
jd3020
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1903 a3

I posted in the hide and they told me to post in here as well. Does any one know about these springfield 1903 a3 rifles. I have one being passed down from my father from his father (who is now passed away). the stock is broken still intact but broken and i have a guy that has given me a stock to replace it but its not the same. any information would help!!!!
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:36 AM   #2
kokopelli
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well...what are you looking for? How do fix the stock?

If there is any way to fix the stock- do it instead of swapping them.

Post some pics and I can help more...
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:40 AM   #3
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I have a 1903 A3 Myself, its a Superb Rifle, The recievers were stronger because they were made out of Nickle Steel, Some parts of the Rifle were made cheaper, like the stamped floor plate, trigger guard, barrel bands, and other small parts. Given a choice between the 1903 A3, and the 1903, I would prefer the 03a3.
During early World War two, there were not eneough of the M1 Garand Rifles to go around, so our government started production of the 1903 Springfield back up,but took some shortcuts, in their manufacture, and fitted them with appeture sights, which was what the troops that had trained on the M1 Garand were accustomed too.

You mentioned on the Art of the Rifle, that a friend gave you a replacement stock for your rifle but it was not the same, from your discripton it was a stock for a 1903, It will work, but your floor plate will probably not match up, Anyhow, You have a good friend there to bring you that, the other fellows on this forum, are alot more knowledgeable than me, and will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about the firearm you have in question. Good Luck.

Here is a not so good picture of my 1903 A3


Last edited by TX Hunter; January 28, 2012 at 10:46 AM.
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Old January 28, 2012, 10:58 AM   #4
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Here is the Wikipedia Link for the 1903 Springfield, it has alot of good information in it as well as pictures.
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/M1903_Springfield
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Old January 28, 2012, 11:24 AM   #5
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i will def. post some pics when i get off work today. after looking at the link that tx hunter sent im leaning towards that replacement stock being a 1903 not the a3. i have a 2 piece stock on this one or it looks 2 piece it could be 4 where the bands clamp it together.
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Old January 28, 2012, 11:48 AM   #6
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I posted this over in the other forum, JD. Hope it helps:

JD- there are several stocks for 1903 and 1903A3 rifles

Very roughly, there are four main types:

"straight" stock (sounds like the type you have)
"Finger groove" stock (such as your friend showed you)
"C" stock (has a pistol grip, was used on sniper models [1903A4] as well)
"Scant" stock- attempt to make a 'C' type stock from 'straight' stock blanks, has a slight pistol grip

Changing the stock may- or may not- harm value. What you need to consider is whether or not the stock you wish to use is USGI issue, or a commercial replacement, and whether or not the stock is appropriate for a 1903A3 or not.

The symbol that is confusing you, that you see on the Underwood carbine and the 1903A3 is the "flaming bomb" Ordnance symbol. It is not a maker's mark, it is a US Ordnance stamp. It is an extremely common marking on US martial arms of the era you are involved with on these rifles. In broad general terms it means the object had been accepted or approved for use in the military by the Ordnance Department. Other marks are preset that mean roughly the same thing on various rifles, etc.

For your stock, I don't know how to determine what the first and original stock type was on the rifle. Most likely it was a straight type or scant type. Perhaps somebody knows s/n ranges that had one type or the other but I do not.

One thing that can help determine authenticity or originality are the 'cartouches' that are on the stock. These are stampings applied by the US military to indicate that the rifle had been inspected and accepted. Look closely at the stock you have, and see if you can spot any initials stamped (not carved!) into the stock, perhaps surrounded by a stamped rectangle, and also look out for a 'cossed cannons' cartouche, which will seem to be a symbol like a capital O with an X over it, with the legs of the X extending past the edges of the O.

Here is an example of those types of cartouches on an M1 rifle stock. 1903A3 ones are similar (not my rifle, but I wish it was)


Also, there were 'rebuild' cartouches, denoting where a rifle had been rebuilt by the military. Usually, the original cartouches were sanded off before the rebuild one were made. On my M1 carbine, an example is the 'AA' stamp shown here:


There are several places to get 1903A3 stocks. This ad claims that they have unissued C stocks. This will mean they bear no cartouches:
http://northridgeinc.com/store/index.cfm?p=c156/i416

Likewise here are straight stocks from the same folks:
http://northridgeinc.com/store/index.cfm?p=c156/i416

lastly scant stocks, same people:
http://northridgeinc.com/store/index.cfm?p=c156/i416

These folks used to have great 1903 and 1903A3 stocks but they are all gone. However, they have misc. parts, and I feel they are good
www.thecollectorsource.com/page/1219295

The 1903A3 is the first rifle I ever fired - at age nine. My Dad still owns it, and it's a great rifle.
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Old January 28, 2012, 12:02 PM   #7
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I tried to look up serial number identification to see if my serial matched the year on the barrel. i had no such luck. alls i could find was that the serial numbers that were recorded were up to 4,999,999. this one is 5,004,440. that is the serial number if that helps with any thing on what should be on it.
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Old January 28, 2012, 12:08 PM   #8
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Are you sure that the serial number on the receiver for a 1903A3 is supposed to be duplicated on the barrel?

These are not hand-made hunting rifles, they are battle rifles churned out by mass production. before you feel disappointed on numbers that don't seem to match, get a good reference book on the rifle and see what the numbers mean. It's possible that the number on the barrel isn't even a serial number but a drawing number or other reference number, or that the number is an s/n but it means nothing when compared to the other s/ns. This book is considered very very good and can be had used for under 100 dollars.

http://www.amazon.com/Springfield-19.../dp/0811708721
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Old January 28, 2012, 12:52 PM   #9
jd3020
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the number on the barrel is 2-44 which means it was produced in feb of 1944 i was looking to see if the 5,000,000 range was right with that.
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:14 PM   #10
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ok here are some pictures of this jewel.DSCN0343.jpg

DSCN0344.jpg

DSCN0346.jpg
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:17 PM   #11
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DSCN0347.jpg

DSCN0348.jpg

DSCN0349.jpg
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:20 PM   #12
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DSCN0350.jpg

DSCN0351.jpg

DSCN0352.jpg
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:21 PM   #13
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sorry i didnt know how to get them to actually appear on the screen.
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:30 PM   #14
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HMM, It has the Sight Cover and Canvas Sling, I bet that rifle saw action in the Pacific. I would like to know how the stock got broke, Makes you wonder.
I bet some young Marine was holding onto that thing for dear life.
It could use a good cleaning and a new stock, but is a neat old rifle.
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:35 PM   #15
jd3020
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here is the stock i was given.

DSCN0334.jpg

DSCN0335.jpg

DSCN0336.jpg
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:38 PM   #16
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DSCN0337.jpg

DSCN0338.jpg

DSCN0341.jpg
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:39 PM   #17
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DSCN0342.jpg
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Old January 28, 2012, 02:47 PM   #18
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From the looks of your work bench, and tools, your a pretty handy feller, If you sand that stock and re stain it, I bet it will fit your rifle.
It will give you a neat project to work on.
It does look like a 1903 Stock. but I bet it will fit.
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Old January 28, 2012, 03:36 PM   #19
grumpa72
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You can go here - http://thecmp.org/Sales/relatedsales.htm - and buy a great stock. Fwiw, the 1903A3 is an absolute jewel to shoot. There might be some who can tell you if the stock is repairable but I know nothing about that. I do know that the CMP has some very nice products.
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:35 PM   #20
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I am sorry to report this, but it is my belief that National Ordnance is a foreign-made, commercial cast receiver, not a USGI receiver. I believe that this 1903A3 rifle is made from a commercial receiver with USGI parts. As such unfortunately it never saw service in WWII.

I don't like to be the bearer of bad news but neither would I think it right to withhold the info. I feel bad for posting this but I believe its for the best. I don't have much info on National Ordnance except that from what I read, they are OK rifles in many cases. But since it's commercial, possibly cast receiver, and it has a stock broken at the back of the receiver, I suggest having a gunsmith look at it before you fire
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Old January 28, 2012, 04:54 PM   #21
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03A3 Nat Ord

National Ordnance was made in el Monte CA in the 60's. They were made from GI parts on cast or some say rewld recievers. The only value is the parts and probably not worth repairing
Google tells the whole story
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Old January 28, 2012, 05:02 PM   #22
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Thanks Howard. I don't know where I got the 'foreign' part from. Maybe I was vaguely remembering the 'El Monte' part and figured it was Mexico. Jeez, if it was a re-weld, that's historic in its own right but not for the right reasons

JD- check this out:

http://ows-ammo.com/store/index.php?...8c0ecf21c5baec
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Old January 28, 2012, 06:58 PM   #23
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Chris B

I did not notice that this was a National Ordanance Rifle, How did I miss that ?
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Old January 28, 2012, 07:01 PM   #24
jd3020
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yes it does say national oridnace on the reciever. as far as shooting it i have shot it 2 or 3 times. i dont know a whole lot about it except my grandpa was in the korean war. he also has an m1 carbine from the 1944 year so i just figured he carried both the m1 and this one with him.
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Old January 28, 2012, 07:02 PM   #25
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sorry i may not of clarified what i meant the reciever isnt broke just the stock is broke right behind the reciever.
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