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  1. #11
    Senior Member boomer656's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCS View Post
    Some years ago, I also found a early Rock Island, not as early as your sn 8485, but from around early 1907. My serial number is 64145 and barrel is RIA 3-07. Rear sight is also open bottom but never relocated. My rear sight leaf is without the rib on top and the slide is square on the left side which is a very early variation. My stock also has the single bolt and cartouche is very faint too. Handguard also has the groove like yours but without the clips. .....
    Do you still have it? And more importantly, have you shot it. I think this one will become the first of my display (only) queens.


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  3. #12
    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Early Rock Island 1903 rifles

    I have not fired my Rock Island s/n 64145 although the bore is really nice, I do shoot two other four digit Rock Island rebuilds, both having early SA pre WW1 barrels and early parts. I used an auxiliary chamber adopter to fire 32 ACP and 32 S&W short, now I can also shoot 32 S&W Long. These sub caliber inserts work out nice in your indoor pistol range or basement range. Interesting that the 30M1 carbine is not a good choice because of the velocity and bullet weight ! I noticed that I posted my four digit SA by mistake

    My favorite early 1903 is a Springfield s/n 160963 with a SA 2-07 dated barrel and a "no bolt" stock with the CCV cartouche and inletted just like your Rock Island stock.
    Last edited by RCS; 11-07-2018 at 04:30 PM.

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    Really Senior Member m1903rifle's Avatar
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    Due to the non professional installation of the front sight base and the rear sight base, I think it is a good possibility that your rifle is a restoration.

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    Senior Member boomer656's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1903rifle View Post
    Due to the non professional installation of the front sight base and the rear sight base, I think it is a good possibility that your rifle is a restoration.
    Can you elaborate?

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    front sight ba

    Here are some photos of the front sight studs or bases.

    left is ram rod bayonet 1903 front sight base

    middle is the 1903/05 front sight stud as found on sn 8485

    right is the late 1903 stud used until the 1903A3

    note the location of the stud pin

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    Senior Member boomer656's Avatar
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    RCS, Thanks for posting those photo's. That's a very impressive collection you have at your fingertips. Makes a great reference! By comparison, I only have one other 1903. It's another RIA made just after the heat treatment changes. (I did own a sporter when I was in high school that's long gone - remember the days when a high school kid could buy a rifle?). Anyway, I did pull my later 03 out to do those comparisons, but having the uninstalled parts to look at is even better.




    The photo's I shared of the front and rear sights (& bases) were intentionally taken to show the specifics that were unique to the ramrod bayonet barrels that were shortened for the 30-06 cartridge. As you know, those things (that I am aware of) are the front sight base pin location, the exposed slot/keyway at the rear of the front sight base, and the no longer used transverse groove visible through bottom of the rear sight base. Since those differences are expected, I figure there must be something else visible in the photo's to have a determination made they were installed by a non-professional. Since I posted this thread so I could learn things, I'd like to know what those things are. Thus my earlier question for elaboration. When you're looking at these photos, do you see anything that raises a flag?

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    Senior Member boomer656's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by RCS View Post
    ... I used an auxiliary chamber adopter to fire 32 ACP and 32 S&W short, now I can also shoot 32 S&W Long. These sub caliber inserts work out nice in your indoor pistol range or basement range.....
    Those sound pretty cool but, sadly, I don't have access to an indoor pistol range.

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    Really Senior Member m1903rifle's Avatar
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    Unless I am seeing things, the transverse pins for the rear sight fixed base and the front sight base are visible. They would not have left the arsenal that way. Also, I am wondering if the spline on the barrel for the front sight base is present.

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    Senior Member boomer656's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m1903rifle View Post
    Unless I am seeing things, the transverse pins for the rear sight fixed base and the front sight base are visible. They would not have left the arsenal that way. Also, I am wondering if the spline on the barrel for the front sight base is present.
    Thanks for clearing that up for me. You're eyes aren't deceiving you, the pins are visible. The spline does seem to be present. I won't be taking the sight off to verify, but there is something solid filling the slot about the expected depth of .2" in.
    Last edited by boomer656; 11-08-2018 at 08:29 PM.

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    Really Senior Member rayg's Avatar
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    Nice one RCS, if your rifle bbl and #64145 receiver are original to each other it is then according to the serial number, one of the first rifles as originally assembled off the line in the beginning of 1907. Apparently the arsenal got the approval to begin producing new rifles off the line in 1907 and those are made with all new and the correct dated parts. Prior to 1907, RI rifles are found as being assembled from misc earlier and later made parts were the bbl will not match the serial number date.

    I have one like yours having the serial number #87241 originally produced off the line with the correct matching bbl date of 6-07. Ray
    Last edited by rayg; 11-09-2018 at 03:27 PM.

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