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Old 12-20-2012, 01:22 AM   #1
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My wife and I went to a gunshow Sunday and came home with an 03A3 my wife pointed out. I've had what I thought was a Bubbaed 03 springield sitting in the back of my safe so I got it out to compare. The action is quite similar but the bolt handle resembles the handle on a 1917 Eddystone. Is this typical on a regular 1903 Springfield or was there a model made for commercial distribution? Can someone expound on the differance? BTW the wife wanted me to buy the 03A3 so she paid half. Makes me wonder what she has up her sleeve!

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Old 12-20-2012, 01:29 AM   #2
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They swapped out bolts during refurbishments.
Check the barrel for a date in or around 1942.

This is a good website: http://m1903.com/

Caution if the serial number is below 800,000

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Old 12-20-2012, 03:17 AM   #3
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Picture`s.............
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:44 PM   #4
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The Springfield 1903/A3 with high serial numbers ONLY are AWESOME!! Check them out!!!

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Old 12-20-2012, 10:25 PM   #5
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The "low number" serial numbered 1903A3s are metallurgicaly inferior and DANGEROUS! Research your Springfield 1903A3s VERY VERY CAREFULLY!!

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Old 12-20-2012, 10:39 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by mountainskytop View Post
The "low number" serial numbered 1903A3s are metallurgicaly inferior and DANGEROUS! Research your Springfield 1903A3s VERY VERY CAREFULLY!!
Its only low number M1903's that are "unsafe"... All the A3's are good.
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Old 12-20-2012, 10:41 PM   #7
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What are the "low numbered" serial numbers that apt to the dangerous category??

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Old 12-21-2012, 12:10 AM   #8
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What are the "low numbered" serial numbers that apt to the dangerous category??
I might be wrong, but I think its those under 800,000 (1918/1919?)
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:22 AM   #9
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I might be wrong, but I think its those under 800,000 (1918/1919?)
Yep, those under 800,000 (like mine) are unsafe to shoot.
The story is that Springfield had a couple of oldtimers that used to judge tempering by color. Only later did Springfield figure out that outside temperature, cloud cover, and sunshine affect the color and the temper would vary from soft to brittle. They adopted another method to check temper around the 800,000 serial number.

Although some of the below 800,000 were employed for battle, the general rule of thumb is to stay away. Even if they were rebarreled in WWII.
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Old 12-21-2012, 12:48 AM   #10
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From the US Civilian Marksmanship Program-

WARNING ON “LOW-NUMBER” SPRINGFIELDS

M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000 and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

In view of the safety risk the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).

CMP DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE WITH A ”LOW NUMBER” RECEIVER. Such rifles should be regarded as collector’s items, not “shooters”.

CMP ALSO DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, REGARDLESS OF SERIAL NUMBER, WITH A SINGLE HEAT-TREATed “LOW NUMBER” BOLT. SUCH BOLTS, WHILE HISTORICALLY CORRECT FOR DISPLAY WITH A RIFLE OF WWI OR EARLIER VINTAGE, MAY BE DANGEROUS TO USE FOR SHOOTING.

THE UNITED STATES ARMY GENERALLY DID NOT SERIALIZE BOLTS. DO NOT RELY ON ANY SERIAL NUMBER APPEARING ON A BOLT TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH BOLT IS “HIGH NUMBER” OR “LOW NUMBER”.

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