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1903 Springfield

Discussion in 'Rifle & Shotgun Discussion' started by rusty1444, Jun 12, 2009.

  1. rusty1444

    rusty1444 Sharpshooter Member

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    I ended up with a WW1 1903 Springfield. Someone took the bolt out (I assume so it couldn't be fired) and they lost it. How do you replace that? Arnt there a lot of little parts that are associated with the bolt. I have seen some surplus bolts pretty reasonable but its just that and nothing else) Its one of the earlier ones 1919, so I hear your not supposed to shoot it. So I guess I wont be, but it would be nice to halfway restore it as a collectible... any ideas?
     
  2. T.R.

    T.R. Sharpshooter Member

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    1903 bolts used to be plentiful, but I don't see them around much anymore. If/when you find one, be sure to have a gunsmith check the headspace, serial number and manufacturer, as well as the overall condition of the rifle. If he gives his blessing, go ahead and shoot it.
     
  3. T.R.

    T.R. Sharpshooter Member

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    I just noticed you are in Tulsa. The Wannamacher (sp?) show might be a good place to look for a bolt. I believe the next one is in Oct or Nov. And yes, you will need a complete, bolt assembly. It consists of the bolt, cocking piece, safety, striker rod, firing pin collar, firing pin and extractor. Did I leave anything out? Somebody help me out here! Good luck!
     
  4. cowadle

    cowadle Sharpshooter Member

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    if the serial number is above 800,000 it is safe to shoot. check out the CMP websight at thecmp.org there you will find all of the info on your 1903. there is also an early bolt and a late bolt you need the late one. can be found on ebay and gunshows. should not be an expensive fix but you need to check the headspace after you install the bolt. i would suggest buying one of the new in the wrapper surplus replacement bolts or bolt body and working up from there.
     
  5. cowadle

    cowadle Sharpshooter Member

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    To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000, and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

    here ya go. this is from the CMP copy and paste
     
  6. Kid Glock

    Kid Glock Sharpshooter Member

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    Bolts can be had and iirc are mostly interchangeable. Headspace needs checked though. I'd have to do some checking but does it have a manufacturer's name and is it marked 03 or 03A1, etc? Does it have tangent or aperture rear sight?
    The ser.# will also determine a lot. I'm assuming you're referring to the 1919 date stamped on the barrel near the front sight.
     
  7. Kid Glock

    Kid Glock Sharpshooter Member

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    cowadle has some good info
     
  8. milsurpman

    milsurpman Sharpshooter Member

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    Actually there were damn few cases of the receiver failing and they were reported from war torn Europe at the time. As mentioned already, have a gunsmith check out the head space once you find a new bolt. 1903s are excellent rifles.
     
  9. CAR-AR-M16

    CAR-AR-M16 Sharpshooter Member

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    If you buy the book Hatchers Notebook, written by MG Julian Hatcher who was an Ordnance officer during WWI and WWII, there are detailed accounts of all of the 1903 rifle failures. Most occured in the 1920's.

    As for bolt parts, check with Gun Parts Corporation. They have an exploded view and a list of the parts at this link: http://www.e-gunparts.com/productschem.asp?chrMasterModel=2070zSPRINGFIELD 1903
     
  10. cowadle

    cowadle Sharpshooter Member

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    I have swap bolts between several rifles before with no change in headspace. i would still have it checked though!!! the only change i have ever experienced was with an old very old 1903 with an 801,000 serial. on this gun the headspace was in spec but on the long side. i swap it out with one from an arsenal rebuild 03a3 and wala the headspace was perfect. so the bolt on the 03 was worn but not beyond spec. this is why i say get an arsenal new replacement bolt and your headspace will most likely be ok. BUT YOU STILL NEED TO CHECK IT!!

    one personal note i would not be afraid of a low number as long as i did not exceed M2 Ball spec ammo. WWII was fought with low number rifles with new bolts no problems reported.
     

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