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  1. #11
    Senior Member Snowman1510's Avatar
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    This is my 1913 dated Springfield Armory M1903.
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  3. #12
    Member MoMallard's Avatar
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    UPDATE: How to cry in one disassembly

    Well. I've spent all my tears and can now post. First out of the stock showed a full sight collar vs. split so I knew immediately. It was a put together. Not a horrible one, but damn sure not as issued. So, my evaluation: period 1908 stock that had been routed to accept the later full sight collar. You can still see the original relief cut for the early sight collar in the wood. You can see the two holes underneath the front band indicating that it was shortened. Rear sight looks like a Springfield vs. Rock Island, but maybe the gurus can confirm. Other than that, and the disparity in serial vs. barrel, it's not bad. At least for the price I paid for it. Not a real true period correct Rock Island, but still pretty nice. Will be a welcome addition as a representative example regardless.
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  6. #13
    Contributing Member CINDERS's Avatar
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    Still a tidy looking rifle though.

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    I can't recall when RI added the stock bolt and I had sold off all my books recently but I'm thinking the stock bolt might have been approved about 1908-09 or so. Not sure, anymore. Maybe some one can help with the answer, Ray

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Ray, I think you are correct on the stock bolt, the groove was added to the handguard before the clips around the same time. The early handguard (flat top) is about impossible
    to find but repros are available for around $75 sometimes. Any decent Rock Island cartouche from the pre WW1 period on a stock is quite valuable

  9. #16
    Really Senior Member rayg's Avatar
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    Just looked up in the book and it states that rifles that were cleaned and repaired at "Springfield" armory since Oct 1907, had the split sight bases replaced with the solid one. And that would also account for your SA rear sight. The split one would warp and would be difficult to replace. So not so bad, your rifle just went to Springfield for either cleaning or repair. The book doesn't state when RI went to the solid sleeve but it's possible that if Springfield had them, maybe RI also initially installed them in the later 1908 serial number rifles like yours. So I would say it's still a period 07 rifle. Ray

    Last edited by rayg; 06-11-2018 at 11:33 PM.

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    The rifle may have been one of those paired and/or overhauled early on. Springfield started replacing and repairing almost from the get-go. Pre-WWI overhauled M1903s are uncommon.

    One of the most interesting (to me) M1903s I have is Springfield #313439. While the receiver dates to about 1907, the barrel was replaced with a 1915 SA; the stock was replaced by a rebuilt Rod Bayonet and a single stock bolt added. It has a "script" inspection stamp from the RB days and was overstruck by a JSA stamp. An S30 bolt, which may be original to 1907. I'm assuming this rifle was overhauled in the 1915-1916 period. Note that the formerly high wall stock was modified to the later standard.

    I know we get all excited over "original" rifles, but some of the rebuilds are interesting, too.









    Last edited by Rick the Librarian; 06-16-2018 at 10:26 AM.
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  12. #18
    Member MoMallard's Avatar
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    Thanks Rick. You are correct. We often forego the significance of the rebuild as part of the story of the 1903. We kinda get the notion of a haphazard slap together rifle that has lost it's pedigree and forget that in many instances it's harder to find a representative example of a "by the book" early rebuild, with the primary example being the early conversions. That's an interesting and beautiful example you have there. I don't think I'm privy to those sub inspection stamps in the cutoff recess, especially the triangle. Is that a part of the initial inspection or something to do with the rebuild?

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    Thread Starter

    Sight collar correct?

    I finally managed to find my Ferris/Beardicon production alterations book and noted on p.26 that the split sight base was discontinued in October 1907. So, since the barrel is 10-08 dated, then I'm assuming that it was correctly assembled with a solid sight base. On the same page, the rear stock bolt was authorized on February 20, 1908. So the CN 1908 inspected stock with a single cross bolt is highly possible. But, the stock itself was originally cut/manufactured on the stock lathe for the pre-1906 cartridge due to the plugged front band screw hole (no rod bayonet insert) with S stamp and originally routed for the split rear sight base. The receiver date is 1907. What the heck is going on here? Did it come out of Rock Island as it sits? Did it get an early rebuild? I'm solidly confused now.

  15. #20
    Really Senior Member rayg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MoMallard View Post
    I finally managed to find my Ferris/Beardicon production alterations book and noted on p.26 that the split sight base was discontinued in October 1907. So, since the barrel is 10-08 dated, then I'm assuming that it was correctly assembled with a solid sight base.
    The rear sight was made by Springfield, so doubt the rear sight and the solid base were originally assembled by RA. Most likely it went through Springfield for some reason and the split base was replaced with the solid base with the SA rear sight at that time.
    Of course you could say the rear sight base was originally put on by RI and the rear sight put on later by SA. But that would be just a stretch. It usually takes months or even longer for up graded parts to get added to a current production rifle. So most likely an 1907 off the line RA rifle would still come off the line with a split base. Wish I could tell you you something different. It's just my opinion anyway. Ray
    Last edited by rayg; 06-16-2018 at 08:55 PM.

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