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

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  1. #31
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    Rick the Librarian's Avatar
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    I agree - production wasn't like a water spigot, where you can just shut it off.
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    A Collector's View - The SMLE Short Magazine Lee Enfield 1903-1989. It is 300 8.5x11 inch pages with 1,000+ photo’s, most in color, and each book is serial-numbered.  Covering the SMLE from 1903 to the end of production in India in 1989 it looks at how each model differs and manufacturer differences from a collecting point of view along with the major accessories that could be attached to the rifle. For the record this is not a moneymaker, I hope just to break even, eventually, at $80/book plus shipping.  In the USA shipping is $5.00 for media mail.  I will accept PayPal, Zelle, MO and good old checks (and cash if you want to stop by for a tour!).  CLICK BANNER to send me a PM for International pricing and shipping. Manufacturer of various vintage rifle scopes for the 1903 such as our M73G4 (reproduction of the Weaver 330C) and Malcolm 8X Gen II (Unertl reproduction). Several of our scopes are used in the CMP Vintage Sniper competition on top of 1903 rifles. Brian Dick ... BDL Ltd. - Specializing in British and Commonwealth weapons Chuck in Denver ... Buy-Sell-Trade .. Guns, Cars Motorcycles Your source for the finest in High Power Competition Gear. Here at T-bones Shipwrighting we specialise in vintage service rifle: re-barrelling, bedding, repairs, modifications and accurizing. We also provide importation services for firearms, parts and weapons, for both private or commercial businesses.
     

  3. #32
    Legacy Member old tanker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rick the Librarianicon View Post
    About March, 1943. It isn't a M1903A4, is it?
    Yes, it is an M1903A4. It was redone by Anniston Army Depot if the cartouche on the stock is to be believed. The M82 telescope was on it when I bought it from an Army Captain on Fort Knox in 1975. The VCI paper tube was still in the bore.

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    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
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    Incorrect. The Springfield Armory had already repurposed or scrapped all tooling. Springfield did not resume production because all available capacity was dedicated to M1icon Garand ramp-up and production. Rock Island tooling and some qty of finished and WIP goods were taken out of government storage and transferred to Remington Arms. This was done to take advantage of the much shorter time-to-production made essential by the downward spiraling turn of global events that made US involvement in what would become he second World War imminent! Smith Corona was contracted to tool up with the help of RA.

    One factor many dont think about is that RA and SC were private sector companies and their production and cancellation thereof was based upon contract terms. The government procurement office (GAO) and the War Production Board (WPB) had to balance order cancellation to the effect on businesses and employment. Lastly the production cost and lead time to manufacture M1903A3s was less than that for the Garand.

    By 1944 there were indeed hundreds of thousands if not millions of M1 Carbines and M1 Garands produced (despite the incorrect posted herein that referenced production of less than 200000 (my guess it referred to Carbines, and by 1944 that number could ONLY apply to just one of the 9 volume Carbine manufacturers), yet existing production capacity of Garands (intended as front line battle rifles) and Carbines (initially intended only as a replacement of the 1911 and Thompson M1 for rear area use) was still not enough to meet demand for both new issue and replacement of arms lost, captured, or destroyed in the theatres of war. Lastly, in 1944 the war in Europe was still far from over and the inevitable invasion of Japanicon was looming. The number of Garands and Carbines envisioned to be needed was still daunting. Domestic, rear area, occupation, and POW rifle demand were served well by the 1903 while demand as the Garand and Carbine were prioritized for battle troops.
    Last edited by 1903Collector; 11-02-2021 at 01:56 PM.

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    Contributing Member ssgross's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 1903Collector View Post
    Incorrect. Springfield had already repurposed or scrapped all tooling.
    Also incorrect, at least in current form as a blanket statement. They did retain some tooling, and did continue to make replacement parts for the 1903...As evidence, I have a Springfield replacement barrel on my Remington 1903, barrel is stamped 5-42.

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    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
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    Total Remington production was 1,056,276 rifles, which included about 345,000 M1903 and M1903 (modified), about 711,276 M1903A3, and just 26,653 M1903A4 (short of the 28,365 ordered). Reference http://www.remingtonsociety.org.
    Smith-Corona’s production contract was cancelled on Feb. 19, 1944, by which time the firm had manufactured 234,580 M1903A3s.
    The two best collector's reference books (in my opinion) by J.C. Harrison, and Poyer, provide monthly production numbers info for SA, RIA, RA & SC 1903, 1903A1, M1903, M1903 (modified), M1903A3 and M1903A4 (RA only) rifles.

  10. #36
    Legacy Member 1903Collector's Avatar
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    Were we not talking about RIFLE production and not replacement or lateral support components? Actual rifle production capability and capacity is specifically related to receiver casting/forging and machining, Therein is the nature of the key and limiting tooling (molds, fixtures, gigs, and in some cases custom presses and machinery) and indeed the manufacturing processes (call it "recipe" for those with no mechanical technologies manufacturing knowledge).

    Production of 1903 rifles for WWII had nothing to do with any degree of capability, let alone readiness of the previous manufacturers...which were government armories, not private sector manufacturers. SA and a number of second tier (sub-contract) suppliers continued or were ramped up to make replacement barrels and parts for '03s and A3s and even for new production as needed by SC and RA.

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    Springfield continued to make at least some parts for the M1903 until almost the end of 1944.
    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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    "The crazy part is how many items made for the war are still in government stores. logged into government books an rolls. Been told by vets that to this day machine guns from that time are still being used. Not sure if in combat or just for training."

    during my 2006 tour to iraq we were using 1954 dated 50cal ammo out of our ww2 M2s

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    As we all know, good firearms never grow old, they wear out or are destroyed. Their dates of manufacture indicate respect.

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    Have been told by a few different armours that there are still items on the government rolls going back centuries. Probably pay off the government dept if they were put out to sell to collectors

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