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Thread: Rock Island 1903, possible NM rifle?

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  1. #11
    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    SA received left over receivers from RIA post 2020. In 1919 SA still manufactured 1903 rifles themselves. It would not make sense for them to assemble a RIA receiver with an Avis barrel. Whoever told you this is wrong. I fully agree that you will never find an original NM rifle with an AV marked barrel. Except for 1919 ALL NM rifles were made exclusively by SA. And SA NEVER used any other production barrel, except for their own, for the National Matches. The RIA NM rifles from 1919 all have had RIA barrels.

    Hopefully jvbeard will join this topic, he can tell you much better than I can.
    Last edited by Promo; 01-13-2020 at 05:39 AM.

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    Springfield NM rifle with Rock Island barrel

    Back in 2004, I sent information to John Beardicon about my Springfield 1903 serial number 1373022 with a SA 7-29 star gaged barrel. Mr Beard replied that the barrel heat lot code C 128 identifies this barrel as a blank fabricated at Rock island Arsenal in WW1 and shipped to Springfield in 1926. It became a NM barrel and was stamped SA 7-29 and star gaged marked. Mr beard also stated that this rifle was used in the 1931 National Matches and was retained in military service and not sold


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  5. #13
    Advisory Panel John Beard's Avatar
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    I concur with RCS. The barrel in his National Match rifle was made using a blank sent from Rock Island Arsenal in 1926.

    J.B.

    ---------- Post added at 08:28 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:21 PM ----------

    Quote Originally Posted by damienslc View Post
    ... the early NM rifles did have AV barrels despite what somebody posted earlier.
    The source of your information is misinformed. NM rifles were not fitted with AV barrels. Some post-WWI NM rifles, however, were fitted with barrels made using leftover AV steel blanks.

    J.B.
    Last edited by John Beard; 01-16-2020 at 10:30 PM.

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    Were the post WWI NM rifles which were fitted with barrels made using leftover AV steel blanks then also marked AV on the barrels, or with whoever used the steel blanks (SA)?

    Edit: might be for not being native US, but how exactly can I imagine a "steel blank" for a 1903 barrel to be like? Already rifled, already chambered, already milled down to correct outline shape, already threaded, already marked in any way? And would this be different for the AV and the RIA blanks?
    Last edited by Promo; 01-17-2020 at 03:52 AM.

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    Advisory Panel John Beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Promo View Post
    Were the post WWI NM rifles which were fitted with barrels made using leftover AV steel blanks then also marked AV on the barrels, or with whoever used the steel blanks (SA)?

    Edit: might be for not being native US, but how exactly can I imagine a "steel blank" for a 1903 barrel to be like? Already rifled, already chambered, already milled down to correct outline shape, already threaded, already marked in any way? And would this be different for the AV and the RIA blanks?
    When WWI ended, Avis had a large quantity of leftover steel barrel blanks. The barrel blanks were government property and were shipped to Springfield Armory. The barrel blanks were in the shape of a barrel, but were slightly larger in diameter and had not been drilled and were not marked. Springfield Armory machined the barrel blanks to size and shape, drilled and rifled the bore, and marked the barrels "S.A./Shell and Flame/date". Springfield Armory also marked an "AV" steel lot code on the side of the barrel underneath the wood. Many of the barrels were fitted to 1921, 1922, and 1923 National Match rifles.

    Does that help?

    J.B.

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    Member damienslc's Avatar
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    Any comments on the pics?

    ---------- Post added at 08:42 PM ---------- Previous post was at 08:36 PM ----------

    "It should be inted out that some AVIS barrels were used on NM M1903's" from Hatcher's Notebook

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    Advisory Panel John Beard's Avatar
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    Other than a receiver in the NM serial range, I see no evidence that you have a Rock Island National Match rifle. The serial number is not listed in SRS as a National Match rifle and the serial number alone is not sufficient to establish National Match heritage.

    Your rifle is a collection of mixed parts. The receiver was drilled and tapped by a gunsmith for installation of a sporting telescope and the bolt was polished and the handle turned down to clear the scope. The safety lock was also ground off by the gunsmith to clear the telescope and the stock was notched for the bolt handle by the gunsmith. The stock is from a pre-1917 rifle and the rear sight is from an earlier rifle. The lower band is from an M1917 rifle. The Avis barrel was installed during an arsenal overhaul or perhaps by the gunsmith.

    The reference in Hatcher is to the Avis barrel blanks as described in my previous posting. Hatcher had some unflattering things to say about Avis barrels.

    J.B.

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    Member damienslc's Avatar
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    So, It's probably likely that this isn't a NM rifle so I'll give up on that theory. I did see a "J" and "E" stamping which, when I looked it up, indicated it was assembled by Springfield. I believe it is stamped on the underside of the barrel near the receiver. The stock itself only has two circled "P"s behind the trigger guard which I guess means it's been rebuilt.

    Also, the underside of the bolt is stamped "NS" beneath the safety lug, and there is a strange stamping on the underside of the bolt handle where it joins the bolt. Looks like a b0 and what might have been a circle below or above it.

    I double checked on the stock, and it's a type 4 post 1917. Pre-1917 stocks didnt have the second recoil bolt, this one does. Probably a bad picture on my part.
    Last edited by damienslc; 01-21-2020 at 01:28 PM.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by damienslc View Post
    I double checked on the stock, and it's a type 4 post 1917. Pre-1917 stocks didnt have the second recoil bolt, this one does. Probably a bad picture on my part.
    Post number 9 shows two bolts. First pic...
    Regards, Jim

  13. #20
    Member damienslc's Avatar
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    Same bolt, just really bad camera. Also, a correction, the "J E" Stamping looks more like 7 E and it's on the bottom of the receiver.

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