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Old April 14, 2017, 01:07 PM   #26
Jim Watson
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Yes.
Even today, G&H sells the side mount and prints instructions on proper installation. So it could have been installed by G&H or by a competent independent gunsmith.
http://secure.griffinhowe.com/mountsandpads.cfm
$400 for a 1" mount, $250 for them to install.
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Old April 14, 2017, 05:15 PM   #27
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Somebody asked about the butt plate.

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Old April 14, 2017, 06:14 PM   #28
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From Crossman's Book of The Springfield I learned that the receiver was made in 1935 (see page 34). 1935 was a year that Springfield only made 27,7259 receivers but not any complete rifles (see Brophy, page 425). No NRA Sporter rifles were made in 1935 but in 1938 twenty-nine were produced (see Brophy, page 427). However, your serial number is outside the block of serial #s shown by Brophy (1,406,315 to 1,408,446) for DCM sales of NRA Sporters (page 427). The other unusual feature is yours has a barrel band retaining spring, a feature not used in NRA Sporters but found on the much earlier International Match1921 "free rifles" which were heavy barrel target rifles (but your serial number puts it way past that era). Unlike your rifle, the "free rifles" had grasping grooves in the forearm (see Brophy 105-33).

The Circle P on the grip indicates the rifle was successfully proofed (See Canfield An Illustrated Guide to the '03 Springfield Service Rifle, page 33). The stamping on the stock below the magazine cutoff, SA/SPG in the rectangle indicates it was inspected by Springfield Armory's Stanley P. Gibbs (Canfield p 107). Unfortunately, Canfield's book neither covers the 1930s production of the rifle nor the sporter versions of the rifle.

That gas escape hole on the left hand side of the receiver is known as the Hatcher Hole, after (Gen.) Julian Hatcher. In event of a ruptured cartridge, gas could escape through this hole instead of back into the shooter's face.

I checked over Campbell's The '03 Era and found nothing on the '30s NRA sporters. He had plenty of information on the earlier sporters and target rifles.

Last, regarding the similar rifle, its serial # was 1,398,xxx and per the DCM paperwork it was picked up at the armory by the buyer, a colonel assigned to there. He paid $16.50 for it (because of the aforementioned defective/loose front sight).

Thank you for a most enjoyable thread. Like yourself I love research. Too bad there's no paperwork for your rifle.
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Old April 15, 2017, 11:57 AM   #29
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Gary, you've been amazing! Thank you for all your research.

This rifle still seems to have more questions than answers, but I also enjoy searching for them.

Rick
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Old April 15, 2017, 02:10 PM   #30
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You run into all sort of unusual configurations so nothing should be a surprise

I have my Step Dads fathers gun, a 1920s era 1903.

At one time it was tapped for the A5 scope, right spacing and all.
All on the front of the barrel.

In this case the throat is worn a fair amount (5 TE)

All you can do is guess someone had it for a target rifle and then when accuracy started to go, sold it.

My Step dads father was associated with building Army bases and it would seem the gun had been military or owned by an officer.
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Old April 15, 2017, 02:58 PM   #31
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After more research it appears this rifle was built in 1937. It falls into that period right after they resumed production in 1937. (see below)

1932‑1404026‑1425933
1933‑1425934‑1441811
1934‑1441812‑1491531
1935‑1491532‑1496022
1936‑PRODUCTION TEMPORARILY SUSPENDED
1937‑1496023‑1510387
1938‑1939‑1510388‑1532878

Additionally, I'm told it has this designation in the DCM:
1498077a1nm 033039dcm rifle sales 1922-42

So it was manufactured in 37, and sold in 39.

Does this have any significance?
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Old April 15, 2017, 04:32 PM   #32
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As are many, it's an interesting piece. They don't all fit in nice little boxes as someone I know recently pointed out.....they may have started out in life in a defined box but were changed down the road.

I think your rifle falls into that latter category. I believe from most of the characteristics that it started life as a National match rifle. The star gaged barrel, the butt plate, the numbers on the parts, CV, NS and the drawing numbers etc all point to that, the Lyman 48 included.
The stock is not NM or isn't now, nor is the side mount and scope. I believe the stock was or began life as a full C stock that was later cut down. Although there was a stock produced like yours with the front band spring, it was a grasping grove style. T
he front barrel band is not one I've seen from Springfield, I have seen this on modified rifles a couple times though.

According to Clark S Campbell, page 103 indicate there were 1,020 NM rifles made in fiscal 1937.

And finally, your info

"DCM:1498077a1nm 033039dcm rifle sales 1922-42"

Indicates it is a NM rifle and was sold in 1939 through the dcm. What happened to it after that is pure speculation, one or more could have done all or parts of the modifications to that rifle. At this point its a very cool rifle and does have value although as a collectable of what it began as, not so much.

Thanks for sharing it!
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Old April 15, 2017, 04:36 PM   #33
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Thank you sir!
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Old April 16, 2017, 01:25 PM   #34
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Yea, he is pretty darned good with that 1903 stuff.
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Old April 16, 2017, 04:59 PM   #35
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To take it one step further, here is an example of a NM a little earlier but representative of what your would have looked like when made.

https://www.joesalter.com/category/p...2-Vet-s-Estate

Note, your 1498077a1nm rifle translated means your serial number, the type designation and description; 1903A1 which stood for in a C stock and nm, was National Match. 1903A1 designated a 1903 in a full C stock vs an S or straight stock, the switch was about 1929.
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Old April 16, 2017, 05:11 PM   #36
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Supercub - that's a neat website. "If I were a rich man...."
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Old April 16, 2017, 09:15 PM   #37
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I went broke before the end of the first page.
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Old April 17, 2017, 12:48 PM   #38
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I'm not suggesting the subject rifle is anything else besides an NRA Sporter.

Other period Springfield conversions of the time offer ideas and inspirations.
I'm saying a gentleman with a nice NRA Sporter might look at the Griffin and Howe Sporter or a Sedgley Sporter, see ideas with merit,then execute what,at the time,were good faith upgrades.

Its possible that G+H mount was installed by G+H.

I'm not a collector. I understand any deviation from a box stock NRA Sporter might degrade the value to the collector market........

However, for the period,that is an elegantly UPGRADED NRA Sporter, IMO.

The G+H mount and Lyman Alaskan were top of the line. The work is well done. The provenance would be interesting!!
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Old April 17, 2017, 07:37 PM   #39
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A G&H mount could have been installed by any gunsmith; they weren't too common because they were expensive. Also, did anyone notice the "extra" hole at the front of the base. It looks like either there had been another mount on there or someone kept messing up and moving the holes. Maybe you can tell from a look inside, but I would remove the base and see what damage has been done and how many holes there are.

Jim
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Old April 17, 2017, 10:10 PM   #40
Jim Watson
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All I see is the typical 03 vent hole.

I sure would not yank off a G&H with its two pins driven in and polished flush.
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Old April 18, 2017, 06:12 AM   #41
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The hole is a gas vent.
James,I have seen the atrocities of a side mount like a Weaver "N" drilled and tapped by someone who grossly overestimated their skills and sobriety.
Yes,none of the holes in line,a few extra holes,a mix of screw sizes,up through 1/4-20,and ,of course,the brass round head stove bolt with a goobered slot.

It was nice to see this rifle was well done.
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Old April 18, 2017, 09:46 AM   #42
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If that buttplate is 12 LPI, then it is a national match buttplate.

Good catch James K. Regarding the receiver hole in front of the G&H scope base, I originally dismissed it as a Hatcher Hole and didn't give it any further thought. Upon rexamination of the image, you can see there is a distinct step almost beneath the outer surface of the receiver. Deeper down there is another step. I don't have an 03A3 in front of me, but that may not be a Hatcher Hole but a boo-boo hole. Anybody got an 03A3 at hand to check? I thought a Hatcher Hole should be a simple, flush hole and not a stepped affair.

I also concur with Jim Watson on his advice not to remove the G&H base.
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Old April 18, 2017, 12:26 PM   #43
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The "step" you see is from the receiver vent hole down to the bolt vent hole.

And what does an 03A3 have to do with a Sporter made on the 1903A1?
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Old April 18, 2017, 12:55 PM   #44
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What does it have to do with it? Hatcher Hole is a Hatcher Hole. Why should they change? I maintain that a drill bit (or straight mill bit) is easier to use rather than making it stepped..
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Old April 18, 2017, 01:24 PM   #45
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The hole in the receiver and the hole in the bolt were not drilled at the same time with the same drill. I think that the hole in the receiver is larger so as to reduce the requirement for finicky alignment of holes in two separate parts.
Further, the real "Hatcher Hole" was drilled long after manufacture to give you a chance if you blew a casehead in a brittle low number action.
My Mk I has the vent hole in the bolt, but not in the receiver. The original thinking seems to have been that the bolt lug raceway and magazine well were enough.
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Old April 18, 2017, 10:17 PM   #46
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Concur that the Hatcher Hole was not drilled with the bolt inside the receiver. I never said that in any post. What I am pointing out is that the hole is a bit strange in that it's stepped. I don't recall the Hatcher Hole being stepped at all and it could be the "gunsmith" messed up with the location of the G&H scope base hole.
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Old April 18, 2017, 11:18 PM   #47
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I don't see a step. I see a bright streak inside the vent hole that might be from a rough cut or the light on the side of the hole.
The hole is far too large to be a scope mount hole out of position.
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Old April 20, 2017, 01:22 AM   #48
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Gentlemen, I have copied, pasted and blown the picture up. My thoughts are this....it is a hole!

A little background on the Hatcher hole to begin with:

Canfield's "An Illustrated Guide to the '03 Springfield Service Rifle" on page 108, it states - "The Hatcher Hole - In July 1935, the U.S. Army Ordnance Department mandated that an additional gas escape hole be added to the left side of the receiver in order to increase the margin of safety in the event of a cartridge case failure. Around this time, the bolt was also altered by enlarging the gas escape hole. This modification was incorporated in new production rifles shortly afterward and will be found on rifles made from 1936 until the end of production.
The U.S. Marine Corps followed a short time later and added the hole to the '03 receivers in inventory. The extra hole was added to many earlier receivers during arsenal overhaul. Any '03 receiver manufactured prior to 1935 with the additional gas escape hole on the left side of the receiver has been modified from its original factory configuration. This modification is known among some collectors today as the HATCHER HOLE, in recognition of Gen. Julian S. Hatcher, an early proponent of the feature. "

Although this rifle was made in 1937, I'm not certain of when the receiver actually made. Many parts and pieces were made and stored while production slowed to a crawl during that time.

That said, from what I can tell, it's a Hatcher hole, perhaps a little crude (unless you've seen some of the marine jobs) but none the less, it's a hatcher hole.
I will say though that I have seen mounts that did incorporate the hatcher hole in mainly T-3 Weaver side mounts. Those and some that used a T-4 and modified it a bit. They threaded the hatcher hole and stuck a screw in it. Here's a T-3 https://www.worthpoint.com/worthoped...pe-4-119104373
I only mention this as one could possibly say what your seeing is threading. I doubt it though. You can see the gas escape hole in the bolt.

These were actually a good system in that you didn't have to line up with the bore and were easier to load with the extra space on the right side. I had a Rem 03 sporter with a T-3 and a Weaver 330, shot great!
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Old April 20, 2017, 01:17 PM   #49
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My NM made into a hunting rifle

Many years ago got lucky and picked up a 1903 NM that had been restocked making up a sporter. The number was 127XXXX. It was necessary to undo some Bubba Custom Shop work. The work getting the cosmoline from the wood continues. The bolt matches etc. with Star Gauge. A recent book on custom sporters made a comment that may have had to do with our rifles. During the depression custom makers survived by making basic sporters that were unmarked. No gunsmiths name. Those are difficult to trace. Those old NM were astoundingly accurate. No joke. I'd say your rifle, like mine, has an interesting history remaining an unfolding mystery. Don't think Bubba installed the side mount. No Hatcher Hole

Last edited by J.G. Terry; April 20, 2017 at 03:15 PM.
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