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Thread: Two Questions: Model 1903 Designation and Butt Plate Type for RIA 1903

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    Contributing Member USMA79's Avatar
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    Two Questions: Model 1903 Designation and Butt Plate Type for RIA 1903

    Good afternoon. I have two questions for which I've tried to find existing threads, but wasn't successful.

    The "aught 3" was designated the "United Statesicon rifle, caliber .30, Model 1903." By the time the Garand was adopted in 1936, the designation "U.S. rifle, caliber .30, M1" was used. I have seen some Army references which identify the Model 1903 as the "M1903," rather than spelling out the word Model; when was this shorthand adopted?

    My second question relates to butt plates. I have a Model 1903 rifle which was manufactured at Rock Island Arsenal. The barrel is stamped 8-17 and I believe the receiver was manufactured in 1918 based on the serial number (258055). The butt plate is checkered; is this "correct" for the rifle? Or would the original butt plate have been smooth?

    Thank you.
    USMA 79

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    Contributing Member boomer656's Avatar
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    According to CS Ferris (Rock Island Rifle Model 1903), RIA provided smooth butt plates until 1910 when they began checking them. Checking continued until early in WW1 when butt plates were again made smooth. I suspect there was not a 'clean' change over date and either may have been delivered with your rifle --- so it could well be the butt plate that was original to your rifle.
    Last edited by boomer656; 05-17-2018 at 04:26 PM. Reason: Add book title

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    Contributing Member BEAR's Avatar
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    TM 9-1270 dated 19 May 1942 refers to them as the M1903. An assumption would be that the "M" was adopted sometime after 1936.
    Another interesting tidbit is the Remington M1903A3 is stamped on the receiver as the simply MODEL 03A3.

    BEAR
    Last edited by BEAR; 05-17-2018 at 09:35 PM.

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    I would say the serial number is more like late 1917 and a match to the barrel (or vice-versa).
    People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men stand ready to do violence on their behalf.

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    Exclamation Holy Hell RTL

    Quote Originally Posted by Rick the Librarianicon View Post
    I would say the serial number is more like late 1917 and a match to the barrel (or vice-versa).
    Thought you were dead. Not sure how I'm feeling now.

    You and yours stay safe & well. l

    Rob257
    Last edited by Mike Haas; 05-20-2018 at 11:02 PM.

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    Contributing Member USMA79's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Thank you all for the information.

    USMA79

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Haas View Post
    Thought you were dead. Not sure how I'm feeling now.

    You and yours stay safe & well. l

    Rob257
    I'm doing fine ... just haven't been real active on the forums, of late.

    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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