This book takes the reader through pages and loads of photos of accurizing the classic M, MA3 and A4 battle rifles from A-Z. This book helps the reader to purchase, clean, restore, tune, modify and compete with this wonderful piece of living history - all at home. This book unlocks the gunsmithing secrets and special techniques of how to get the most out of this rifle. This book is for the average shooter who wishes to hunt with something classical or surplus, for the sportsman who wishes to compete in historical military service rifle competition, for the collector and enthusiast who simply wants to enjoy the nostalgia and wants to put the modern 'tacticool' shooters to shame!

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It was officially adopted as a United States military bolt-action rifle on June 19, , and saw service in World War I. It was officially replaced as the standard infantry rifle by the faster-firing semi-automatic eight-round M1 Garand starting in It remains popular as a civilian firearm, historical collector's piece, a competitive shooting rifle, and as a military drill rifle. During the war with Spain , the M Mauser used by the Spanish Army gained a deadly reputation, particularly from the Battle of San Juan Hill where Spanish regulars significantly delayed the advance of 15, U.

The Spanish soldiers inflicted 1, U. Likewise, earlier in the day, a Spanish force of regulars armed with the same Mauser rifle under Spanish General Vara Del Rey held off General Henry Ware Lawton 's Second Division of 6, American soldiers and an Independent Brigade of 1, men for ten hours in the nearby town of El Caney , keeping that division from assisting in the attack on the San Juan Heights.

Army board of investigation was commissioned as a direct result of both battles. They recommended replacement of the Krag. The M not only replaced the various versions of the U. While the Krag had been issued in both a long rifle and carbine , the Springfield was issued only as a short inch barrel rifle in keeping with current trends in Switzerland and Great Britain to eliminate the need for both long rifles and carbines.

The two main problems usually cited with the Krag were its slow-to-load magazine and its inability to handle higher chamber pressures for high-velocity rounds. The United States Army attempted to introduce a higher-velocity cartridge in for the existing Krags, but its single locking lug on the bolt could not withstand the extra chamber pressure.

Though a stripper-clip or charger loading modification to the Krag was designed, it was clear to Army authorities that a new rifle was required. After the U. In , the bolt action. Army during the s, though the rifle was not formally adopted. The Navy adopted the Model , and later different style Lee Model a 6mm straight pull bolt , which saw service in the Boxer Rebellion.

In Army service, both the and 6mm Lee were used in the Spanish—American War, along with the. The Lee rifle's detachable box magazine was invented by James Paris Lee , and would be very influential on later rifle designs.

Other advancements had made it clear that the Army needed a replacement. In , the U. The Krag officially entered U. A prototype rifle was produced in ; it was very similar to Rifle No.

Army rifle trials of This design was rejected, and a new design combining features of the Krag rifle and the Spanish Mauser was developed. Springfield began work on creating a rifle that could handle higher loads around the turn of the 20th century. Taking a cue from the Mauser Gewehr 98 , a large safety lug was added to the side of the bolt behind the extractor, which would engage the receiver bridge and prevent the bolt moving rearwards. The bolt handle was also bent downwards, to make operation of the bolt faster.

The Springfield Model almost entered production. Springfield was sure enough that the Springfield Model prototype would be accepted that they began making some parts, but it was not accepted and further changes were asked for.

Following then-current trends in service rifles, the barrel was shortened to 24" after it was discovered that a longer barrel offered no appreciable ballistic advantage, and the shorter barrel was lighter and easier to handle. This "short rifle" also eliminated the need of a shorter carbine for mounted troops or cavalry. This new design was accepted, type classified and officially adopted as the United States Rifle, Caliber.

The M became commonly known among its users as the "ought-three" in reference to the year '03 of first production. The War Department had exhaustively studied and dissected several examples of the Spanish Mauser Model rifle captured during the Spanish—American War, and applied some features of the U. Krag rifle to a bolt and magazine system derived from the Mauser Model 93, to produce the new U.

Springfield Rifle, the Model Despite Springfield Armory's use of a two-piece firing pin and other slight design alterations, the was, in fact, a Mauser design, and after that company brought suit, the U. By January over 80, of these rifles had been produced at the federally owned Springfield Armory. However, President Theodore Roosevelt objected to the design of the sliding rod-type bayonet used as being too flimsy for combat.

In a letter to the Secretary of War, he said:. I must say that I think that ramrod bayonet is about as poor an invention as I ever saw. As you observed, it broke short off as soon as hit with even moderate violence. It would have no moral effect and mighty little physical effect. All the rifles to that point consequently had to be re-tooled for a blade-type bayonet , called the M The sights were also an area of concern, so the new improved Model sight was also added.

The retooling was almost complete when it was decided another change would be made. It was to incorporate improvements discovered during experimentation in the interim, most notably the use of pointed ammunition, first adopted by the French in the s and later other countries.

The round itself was based on the. The new American cartridge was designated "Cartridge, Ball, Caliber. The M cartridge is better known as the. The rifle's sights were again re-tooled to compensate for the speed and trajectory of the new cartridge.

Annecdotal evidence at the time indicates that some of the rifles were fitted with Maxim silencers, which would make them the first U. Military Suppressed Rifles. By the time of U. Pre-war production utilized questionable metallurgy.

Some receivers constructed of single-heat-treated case-hardened steel were improperly subjected to excessive temperatures during the forging process. The carbon could be "burnt" out of the steel producing a brittle receiver. Although several cases of serious injury from receiver failure were documented, the U. Army never reported any fatalities. Many failures were attributed to use of incorrect cartridges, such as the 7. Pyrometers were installed in December to accurately measure temperatures during the forging process.

The change was made at approximately serial number , for rifles made at Springfield Armory and at serial number , at Rock Island Arsenal. Lower serial numbers are known as "low-number" M rifles. Higher serial numbers are said to be "double-heat-treated. Toward the end of the war, Springfield turned out the Model Mark I.

The Mark I has a cut on the left hand side of the receiver meant to act as an ejection port for the Pedersen Device , a modified sear and cutoff to operate the Pedersen Device; a specialized insert that replaced the bolt and allowed the user to fire.

The stock was also slightly cut down on the left side to clear the ejection port. In all other respects, the Mark I is identical to the Temperature control during forging was improved prior to Mark I production. The receiver alloy was toughened by addition of nickel after Mark I production. In , after experiencing the effect of long-range German 7.

Army adopted the heavy grain boat-tail bullet for its. Costa Rica troops were equipped with Springfields during the Coto War and some rifles were captured by the opposing Panamanians. In service, the Springfield was generally prized for its reliability and accuracy, though some problems remained.

The precision rear aperture sight was located too far from the eye for efficient use, and the narrow, unprotected front sight was both difficult to see in poor light and easily damaged. The U. Marine Corps issued the Springfield with a sight hood to protect the front sight, along with a thicker front blade. Remington began production of the M in September , at serial number 3,,, using old tooling from the Rock Island Arsenal which had been in storage since The very early rifles are almost indistinguishable from made Rock Island rifles.

As the already worn tooling began to wear beyond use Remington began seeking Army approval for a continuously increasing number of changes and simplifications to both speed up manufacture and improve performance. The milled parts on the Remington M were gradually replaced with stamped parts until, at about serial number 3,,, the Army and Remington recognized that a new model name was appropriate. Other features of the M, such as high-grade walnut stocks with finger grooves, were replaced with less expensive but serviceable substitutes.

Most milled parts made by Remington were marked with an "R". M production was discontinued in favor of the MA3. The most noticeable visual difference in the MA3 was the replacement of the barrel-mounted rear sight with a smaller, simpler aperture rear sight mounted on the rear of the receiver; it was primarily adopted in order to speed familiarization by soldiers already trained on the M1 Garand, which had a similar sighting system.

However, the leaf spring providing tension to the elevation adjustment on the new aperture sight tended to weaken with continued use over time, causing the rifle to lose its preset range elevation setting. Except for occasions when time permitting during manufacture, on early to mid production rifles, and also only on certain parts. The underside of the bolt handle root, will also be marked with a inspectors inspection number, and a punch marking from the hardness testing. This "X" markings is often misidentified as the "H" marking, that is found on field replacement bolts produced by Hadley Tool co.

The "H" marking is easily identified by its use of a cursive bubble script. Which appears to be a X at a glance, but is easily distinguishable from the Smith Corona "X", when compared to one another.

Due to the Smith Corona "X" being a simple two-line X, often referred to as the "crossed twigs" Front sight bases are also found to be occasionally marked with a "G" on the side between the two pin holes used for mounting the base to the barrel, and to affix the sight blade. The shroud is also identified by a scalloped cut on top, but this does not absolutely identify the shroud as a Smith Corona part.

One must remember the machines and plans were obtained by other manufacturers after Smith Corona and ended WW2 production. This was to be done to manufacture replacement parts at the end of and post WW2. As such, these manufacturers used the designs as completed by Smith Corona.

As expected shrouds and other parts will look nearly identical to Smith Corona original parts, but bear other markings. The only "S" marking, that might be found, is found on the extractor.


M1903 Springfield

Gun Collections Online. Quick M Facts:. First year of Production: Overall Length:


FM 23-10 Basic Field Manual: U.S. Rifle, Caliber .30, M1903 1943



M1903 Springfield


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