1903 question

Discussion in 'Curio & Relic Discussion' started by jp1985, Jan 16, 2018.

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  1. jp1985

    jp1985
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    I have a 1903 and i need to know how do i see if its an a3 model. I think its a3.
    Its a RIA .30-06 with a serial number of 243 thousands.
     
  2. MountainBear

    MountainBear
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    If it’s a Rock Island rifle, it isn’t an A3. Rock Island Armory never made the A3 model. Only Remington and Smith Corona made the A3 model.

    At that serial number, it’s a low number 1903 rifle, which puts its shootabity in question. Rock Island changed their heat treating around 284k. Receivers below this can be brittle and prone to catastrophic failure when things like case rupture happen.

    Also, if the manufacturer wasn’t clue enough, you simply need to look for the location of the rear sight. If the rear bridge of the receiver has a square bridge with a dovetail perpendicular to the bore, it is an A3 (or A4, to be thorough). This is for the A3 rear sight. The 1903 rifle has a smooth contoured rear rear, as the rear sight was barrel mounted. Remington is the only manufacturer who made both 1903 and 03a3 (and a4) rifles.
     
    Last edited: Jan 16, 2018
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  3. Mark W.

    Mark W.
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    If you read Hatchers write up on the 1903 receivers the problem was actually very tiny some 29 rifles If I remember correctly. And of those many can be contributed to either incorrect ammo or as in the case with the ones that had a problem at the National Matches they had lube on the bullets and cases that caused an over pressure condition.

    That said always use caution first. But and this is only my take on the situation. If a rifle has been in use for the last 100 years (the heat treating was changed in the spring of 1918) and the rifle is still in good condition its hard to imagine it is not a serviceable rifle as long as nothing is done to cause a problem.

    I have a Springfield 1903 that at serial number 79K falls in between the use of Pyrometers (the first step to improving the heat treating) and the change to a double heat profile. I have never worried about shooting it with M2 level pressure ammo. As the rifle was a hunting rifle for some 60 years before I bought it.

    YMMV
     
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  4. Mikej

    Mikej
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    Being on this site is like going to "Firearm School".

    Allotta smart and cool people here! :s0151:
     
  5. Certaindeaf

    Certaindeaf
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    I believe it is understood that Hatcher did a lot of "blaming"/covering up of rifles getting blown up.. to not include cold-welding of the "tin-can" National Match ammunition creating a bore obstruction and blowing the rifles up.
     
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  6. thorborg

    thorborg
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    Here is my obviously out of context type 3 1903:
    IMGP0862.JPG
    So I guess that's not the 1903 your asking about.:cool:
     
  7. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki
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    It's my understanding that only a VERY few 03's were affected by the heat treat issue, and most if not all of those have been found! When you think about what is supposed to be happening when these fail, it's not the receiver per say, it's the sudden swelling of the breach during the pressure spike of firing that causes the receiver to crack or worse. This is also the reason the Ammo manufactures agreed to down load civilian ammo to WAY under what the case can actually take! The improved Mauser design SHOULD make the 03 even stronger, especially in the Ring area, so I question some of the validity of these claims! Did it happen the way every one says, I don't know. Would I take a chance with an original untouched rifle, NO, but a well used Sporty, Heck yea! J.M.O.
     
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  8. MountainBear

    MountainBear
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    The problem with the catastrophic failures is that the gun could shoot well for a century with normal ammo, and then have one case failure and that specific pressure spike could rupture the receiver in a violent manner.

    The army worried so little about this happening that they rearsenaled a good amount of low number receivers with new barrels and parts during WWII.

    At the end of the day, this information is two-fold. One, on an original gun, it is important because any rifle with a low number receiver is not allowed in a CMP sanctioned match. Two, it is informative. People should know that the chance exists, however remote, that their gun could have a catastrophic failures. It’s possible I would and have shot low number guns, but you can be damn sure I make sure I have quality eye and ear protection if I do.
     
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  9. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki
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    True!:)
     
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  10. johnny bob

    johnny bob
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    Rock Island Armory serial numbers: RIA 1913 217802-234830 / RIA 1914,1915,1916 production temporarily suspended / RIA 1917 234831-257061 / introduction of improved heat treatment at 285507 / introduction of nickel steel at 319921 / 1918 257062-326935. Information from MARS TM-157 United States Martial & Collectors Arms 20 Apr 1971 pg 56
     
  11. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w
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    yep just ask @AndyinEverson about that. gosh i still feel bad for the guy!!!
     
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  12. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson
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    Yeah...mine wasn't a low number 03...it was a 03A3..that was shot with faulty re-loads.
    Long story...but no one was injured ....just a fine rifle wrecked.
    The worst part for me is so far...no replacement or recompense for my rifle....:oops:
    Andy
     
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  13. v0lcom13sn0w

    v0lcom13sn0w
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    like i said, i still feel bad for you!!!
     
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  14. MountainBear

    MountainBear
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    I do remember that rifle. Andy and I were working on a trade for it when it died. Like, Andy, I’m just glad no one was hurt. I can find more Springfield’s, but there is only one @AndyinEverson

    Sad that the shooter hasn’t made it right yet. I’d like to think if my negligence blew up someone else’s gun, I would have the honor to make it right.
     
  15. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki
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    @AndyinEverson, I didn't know you had suffered a loss! SAD, I sure hope it wasn't the one you so proudly share with us here!:eek:
    What happened? I had not heard!:(
     
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  16. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson
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    I am sure you would MountainBear...
    While not a 03 there is a nicely sporterized 1917 for sale in the classifields , its even local for me , that would would work well for a .30-06 rifle for hunting and such...the things you see when you have no money to spend....sigh.
    Andy
     
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  17. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson
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    Ura-Ki...
    Yep it was that cherry one I posted pictures of .
    Long story short....
    My friend , his friend and I went shooting...buddies friend brought ammo...he shot said ammo...wrecked my rifle... ammo turned out to be faulty re-loads...no one was seriously injured...buddies friend said he would replace the rifle / dollar amount...hasn't happened yet...not holding my breath....
    Andy
     
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  18. Ura-Ki

    Ura-Ki
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    :eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek::eek:
    Oh, Man, I'm sorry brother, THAT SUCKS! Glad no one was injured!
    If I run across a nice one, Will be sure to set it aside for you!
     
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  19. MountainBear

    MountainBear
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    I’m working on your sporter .30-06, Andy. Have plans for one that I think is going to be right up your alley...
     
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  20. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson
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    Oh man...THANKS!....I feel kinda naked without a .30-06 around the house...
    And no one wants to see a naked Andy...:eek::D
    Andy
     
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