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  1. #1

    Default 1903 Springfield

    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. #2
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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    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.

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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    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!

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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    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.

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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    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. #6

    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    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. #7

    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    cowadle has some good info

  8. #8
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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    Quote Originally Posted by cowadle View Post
    if the serial number is above 800,000 it is safe to shoot.
    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. #9

    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    Quote Originally Posted by milsurpman View Post
    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.
    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/productsch...NGFIELD%201903
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  10. #10
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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    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.

  11. #11

    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    thanks for the responses.



    Its in the 400,000 serial number range. Says Sprinfield 1903 on receiver. Which puts it right at 1911. (I found the serial numbers with dates on line)Thats the date on the Sprinfield barrel too. But I still would like it to be complete if it doesnt cost an arm and a leg. Did the bolts have serial numbers I read somwhere they didnt. With this info which kind of bolt would I need. I did read there are two dif kinds. There are surplus original bolts alot of places on the net , they are parked but I guess that would be no big deaL Its all the little pieces(and putting them together). Think CMP would sell me one? Ill bet they have a few laying around.

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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    No the CMP wont sell you a bolt. but the forum members on the cmp forum are full of wisdom and they would be a good source for a complete bolt. you need the bolt with the slightly swept back handle. it should be blued. <I THINK> i might be wrong here. is it a two groove bbl? http://www.odcmp.org/new_forum/ no serial serial numbers on the bolt. I have seen complete bolts on ebay for 60 dollars and less.

  13. #13

    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    It is true that 1911’s will give you GAS (Gun Acquisition Syndrome).

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    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    if you wish you can put it back together correct for the period and maybe increase its value a little as a collector rifle not a shooter. if this is what you wish to do you will have to get the bolt that is blued and does not have the swept back handle. it still would have no serial numbers and would have a proof mark of the manufacturer. you can find on line with a little research many resources of information on what manufacturer would have used what bolt for the time. with a little effort you might be able to with little cost restore it to a correct status and increase its value as a collector grade rifle. the finish and condition of the rifle do matter and so does the stock and all of the rest of the hardware. it can be a fun and learning time putting one of these back together and many find it very rewarding. the guys on the cmp are a valuable resource .

  15. #15

    Default Re: 1903 Springfield

    sportsmansguide.com may have what your looking for. They advertise a Springfield 1903 bolt assembly for $39.97.

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