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  1. #31
    Member pickax's Avatar
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    At first I ID'd it as A3 due to the tapered cut safety lug. Your question made me check JB's site again. It looks like the earlier Rem '03s also had that feature as well, so I may be wrong.
    Check this sites pics with bolt in hand, and see what you think.
    http://www.vishooter.net/m1903.html

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  4. #32
    Senior Member cplstevennorton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pickax View Post
    Maybe a Ord. base swap before turn in for Garands and later stateside RAP rebuild?
    Would be nice to think it was dragged across Guadalcanal....
    The Marines were dumping 1903's to anyone who would take them as soon as 1943. And they were basically dumping them till the start of Korea, when it was suspended, and then in 1954, they ordered them all to be dumped except for 500 for historical purposes. So they were giving them to anyone who would take them. So they ended up going everywhere.

    On your Canal comment, if the rifle was in the Marines pre 1942, it has a decent chance it was on the Canal.

    See pre 1942, all the counts on the Marine 1903's leading up to the war were always between 50,000 and 60,000 rifles. No two counts were the same, but the rifles always fluctuated in those numbers.

    On Guadalcanal, the Marines did a count of weapons and they counted a fuzz over 24,000 M1903's. So if you think about it, they say they are in the mid 50,000 range for the total number of Marine M1903's, so it appears almost nearly half of all the Marine 1903s went to the Canal.

    Now the only caveat to this, starting about mid 1942, the Marines acquired a large number of M1903's off the Navy. They state they are in terrible condition and needed rebuilt, and therefore did not go overseas but remained stateside. But the number was massive. There are two conflicting numbers in the docs. One counts 35,000 and the other is 50,000. I think this is why you see so many Marine rebuilds that look like they were rebuilt during WWII. I think a lot of these were Navy rifles sent to the Marines in 1942.

    But if you have a Marine rifle that you can document to the Marines pre 1942, it sure seems like it has a decent chance it was on the Canal.

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  7. #33
    Contributing Member boomer656's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by pickax View Post
    At first I ID'd it as A3 due to the tapered cut safety lug. Your question made me check JB's site again. It looks like the earlier Rem '03s also had that feature as well, so I may be wrong.
    Check this sites pics with bolt in hand, and see what you think.
    http://www.vishooter.net/m1903.html
    You're right. In that pic you can see that both safety lug and the lug on the extractor on the A3 bolt are a bit taller than the earlier version. The profile on mine matches the A3. Great eye!

  8. #34
    Senior Member cplstevennorton's Avatar
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    Oh one thing to add, I always thought before I started to research in the archives, that once a rifle went to the Marines, it never left. But this is actually not the case.

    Rifles were transferred back and forth between the branches all the time. And there were a lot of oddities. The Army rebuilt rifles for the Marines at times, the Marines rebuilt rifles for the Navy at times.

    You could honestly have a rifle that served in the Army, Navy, and Marines all at different times in it's history. It's very possible, and probably likely.

    I've seen a lot of rifles that have nearly every Marine trait, but have a Army rebuild cartouche. You just have to wonder why? Were they turned over to the Army post 1943? Or just stocks were swapped at some point, or what?

    It would be neat to know the history of each rifle, wouldn't it?

  9. #35
    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplstevennorton View Post
    It would be neat to know the history of each rifle, wouldn't it?
    Amen!!

  10. #36
    Contributing Member boomer656's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplstevennorton View Post
    ..... It would be neat to know the history of each rifle, wouldn't it?
    Apologies in advance for me 'waxing philosophic'. Honestly, I have a tough time giving a short answer to that question. Would I like to know? Yes, but ....

    If I knew for certain, I could have a great rifle that would hang on a wall and never (probably ) be used - or it might be nothing special, just a nice piece to shoot. Not knowing its history for certain, I essentially get both and everything in between.

    More important than that, I suspect that the majority of folks on this site (and others like it) find a tremendous amount of satisfaction in trying to figure out what the history of a piece likely was. The process of trying to solve the puzzle is much more enjoyable than knowing the solution.

    Again, my apologies for me rambling late at night. I'll blame it on a few fingers of good bourbon.

  11. #37
    Member pickax's Avatar
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    Heck yes I agree sleuthing them out is great fun. All these war horses and even the nice match rifles were made to shoot. It would be a shame not to in most cases.
    Good bourbon and a room full of old rifles are a good pairing. You owe us a range report when you melt out!

  12. #38
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    Nearly all aircraft produced for the U.S. Army Air Corps/Air Force had so-called "Plane Cards" which listed how the aircraft was used - what unit, when it was scrapped, etc. These are still mostly available as a research tool. It would sure be nice if they still had "Rifle Cards", wouldn't it??
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

    --George Orwell

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  14. #39
    Member pickax's Avatar
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    Plane cards are new to me Rick, should of picked up more of your last selection for 'camp reading'.
    I like this site, every one came together to give Boomer as good as it gets for his ID.
    I thought you would kick in to correct me along the way, but you let me stumble through it.


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