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Thread: Why U.S. Govt Still Making 03/A3's in 1944?

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    Contributing Member Hammer's Avatar
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    Why U.S. Govt Still Making 03/A3's in 1944?

    By 1944 with millions of M1icon Garands and millions of M1 Carbines having been made and still in massive Wartime Production, why were Remington 03A3s still be produced so late in the War? Who were they intended to be issued to?

    Here's my only 03/A3. Its a sweet firing warrior that kicks like a Mule every time I shoot it :-)

    Attachment 120604Attachment 120605Attachment 120606Attachment 120607

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    Legacy Member RCS's Avatar
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    easy answer, rear units like MP and truck drivers on the Red Ball Express plus alot of other others did not require the M1icon rifle.

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    Contributing Member BEAR's Avatar
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    They were made late in the war so the could be loaned to Greece and then cause massive confusion in the collector community when they were returned and sold by the CMPicon.

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    Contributing Member Hammer's Avatar
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    Were 03A3's cheaper to make? Was it because it would have cost the Govt more to build new Machinery for making more Garands than using the already older existing machinery from making 03's???

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    Quote Originally Posted by RCS View Post
    easy answer, rear units like MP and truck drivers on the Red Ball Express plus alot of other others did not require the M1icon rifle.
    This. My father was a mechanic/truck driver and said they put one in each truck.


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    Because the manufacturers already were tooled up from WW1 to make that action. It was very easy to put it right back into production. Made sense to the government to keep producing them as a war material.

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    Contributing Member Hammer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by mmppres View Post
    Because the manufacturers already were tooled up from WW1 to make that action. It was very easy to put it right back into production. Made sense to the government to keep producing them as a war material.
    Does anyone know how many 03A3s were made during World War II?

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    firstflabn
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hammer View Post
    By 1944 with millions of M1icon Garands and millions of M1 Carbines having been made and still in massive Wartime Production, why were Remington 03A3s still be produced so late in the War? Who were they intended to be issued to?
    You had the glimmer of a couple of good questions there, but kinda spoiled it by leaping to a conclusion. It took two PhD historians who had served during the war 1700 pages in the Army's official logistics history to explain how the system worked.

    How did you determine that 'millions and millions' of carbines and Garands produced by 1944 should have been enough?

    To have a chance of drawing an accurate conclusion, you would need to know at a bare minimum: the total force size, how equipment was assigned, reserve requirements, loss rates, and reporting methods. On top of all that, some knowledge of lead times for production and distribution would be helpful.

    As often attributed to Yogi Berra, "Predictions are hard; especially about the future." Logistics planning is dependent on predictions about the future, so Yogi would have been right at home.

    I won't attempt to give you a lesson in the basics of WWII logistics, you'll have to do that yourself, but I'll give you some data from a 1944 OD planning document. A monthly report showing current stock status along with projected near term procurement and demand levels was created in mid-44. It was a way to help planners avoid overproducing one item while the need for others went unfilled. Classic Econ 101: efficient use of resources in the face of scarcity. Doesn't matter if their projections turned out to be right - it was their best guess at the moment using available info. These calculations were used to determine production quantities - for thousands of major items.

    The earliest of these reports I have for the '03A3 (including '03 and 03A1) is dated 31 Aug 44. In the section titled 'Total Supply Less Total Demand' for the following month (in other words, 'how many over or under projected need do we have right now?) it shows 18,821 (enough, but just barely). I don't know what the status was six months earlier when '03A3 production was ended, but looks like they made a pretty accurate prediction. BTW, that same month showed carbine status as -196,300, a rather large deficit, unlike what you suggested.

    As an example of how uncertainty is part of war, this Aug 44 report projects zero future need for this item for international aid (going out two years). A month later, the status report showed 200,000 would be required for international aid. So, in one month, requirements had increased from zero to 200,000. Are you beginning to see how much fun it was to be a planner in WWII and why reserve stocks were kept?

    My guess is this sudden increase might relate to a decision to significantly expand the Chinese army, but it's just a guess based solely on timing. As our advance across the Pacific went faster than expected - plus giving up on building a large Chinese army as a logistical impossibility, this requirement for international aid soon dropped by about 75%.

    One last point: this is an OD report. It tracks quantities in OD custody - in depots, not yet requisitioned by using units. Once shipped, OD was out of the picture (except for receiving returned items for repair and storage - at which point it would reappear in OD bean counts).

    So, after all that, the answer to one of your questions is: the calculations factoring current stock, projected production, and projected issue demand shows your assumptions were wrong on 1944 supply status.

    Your other question about how equipment is assigned is an important one, but I'm out of play time for today, but the anecdotes presented so far are misleading at best. Google 'WWII T/O&E' and report back with what your learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by firstflabn View Post
    You had the glimmer of a couple of good questions there, but kinda spoiled it by leaping to a conclusion. It took two PhD historians who had served during the war 1700 pages in the Army's official logistics history to explain how the system worked.

    How did you determine that 'millions and millions' of carbines and Garands produced by 1944 should have been enough?

    To have a chance of drawing an accurate conclusion, you would need to know at a bare minimum: the total force size, how equipment was assigned, reserve requirements, loss rates, and reporting methods. On top of all that, some knowledge of lead times for production and distribution would be helpful.

    As often attributed to Yogi Berra, "Predictions are hard; especially about the future." Logistics planning is dependent on predictions about the future, so Yogi would have been right at home.

    I won't attempt to give you a lesson in the basics of WWII logistics, you'll have to do that yourself, but I'll give you some data from a 1944 OD planning document. A monthly report showing current stock status along with projected near term procurement and demand levels was created in mid-44. It was a way to help planners avoid overproducing one item while the need for others went unfilled. Classic Econ 101: efficient use of resources in the face of scarcity. Doesn't matter if their projections turned out to be right - it was their best guess at the moment using available info. These calculations were used to determine production quantities - for thousands of major items.

    The earliest of these reports I have for the '03A3 (including '03 and 03A1) is dated 31 Aug 44. In the section titled 'Total Supply Less Total Demand' for the following month (in other words, 'how many over or under projected need do we have right now?) it shows 18,821 (enough, but just barely). I don't know what the status was six months earlier when '03A3 production was ended, but looks like they made a pretty accurate prediction. BTW, that same month showed carbine status as -196,300, a rather large deficit, unlike what you suggested.

    As an example of how uncertainty is part of war, this Aug 44 report projects zero future need for this item for international aid (going out two years). A month later, the status report showed 200,000 would be required for international aid. So, in one month, requirements had increased from zero to 200,000. Are you beginning to see how much fun it was to be a planner in WWII and why reserve stocks were kept?

    My guess is this sudden increase might relate to a decision to significantly expand the Chinese army, but it's just a guess based solely on timing. As our advance across the Pacific went faster than expected - plus giving up on building a large Chinese army as a logistical impossibility, this requirement for international aid soon dropped by about 75%.

    One last point: this is an OD report. It tracks quantities in OD custody - in depots, not yet requisitioned by using units. Once shipped, OD was out of the picture (except for receiving returned items for repair and storage - at which point it would reappear in OD bean counts).

    So, after all that, the answer to one of your questions is: the calculations factoring current stock, projected production, and projected issue demand shows your assumptions were wrong on 1944 supply status.

    Your other question about how equipment is assigned is an important one, but I'm out of play time for today, but the anecdotes presented so far are misleading at best. Google 'WWII T/O&E' and report back with what your learn.
    Wow, thank you!
    your detailed information makes me glad I didn’t have to read the two PhD Historians 1700 page Army official history report on this topic. Looks like I lucked out with just an executive summary :-)

    I’m just a simple 37 year combat infantry Marine and what I think you are saying is that the War Planners in 1944 didn’t think they had enough rifles produced for the numbers they potentially may need before the war ended.

    I would still like to know if there’s any data or information on how many 03A3s were made during World War II? It seems everybody tracks and knows quite a bit about Garands and M1icon Carbines but not much information on the 03A3s, at least what I can find.

    Also, you mentioned a report dated 31 August 1944 and then you mention that the 03A3 production had ended six months prior to that. The barrel on my Remington is dated August 44. Did you mean the 03A3 receivers had stopped being produced six months prior?
    Last edited by Hammer; 10-11-2021 at 08:30 PM.

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    Legacy Member Durango56's Avatar
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    There's an article in American Rifleman that says Remington made 707,629 and Smith-Corona made 234,580 03A3 in WWII

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