Rifle I.D.???


Jun 22, 2014
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North Jersey Woods ( NJW)
Well, when I started hunting many years ago, this was my first deer rifle. Shot a few deer in NYS and Maine with it. Then I got into the buying rifles thing and trying all kinds, from levers, pumps and semi autos. My daughter and son used it for moose up in Maine also.

Then about 2 years ago I read an article that said the low serial # rifles could be unsafe to shoot due to overheating of the receivers during manufacturing. I guess a handful of the receivers cracked and some shattering after being fired. Now I have been shooting this rifle for 40 years, probably have put 200 rounds thru it, so I think this one is OK. Made me kind of uneasy though because I let the kids use it. 😳

I had taken the scope off of it, but I put it back on and shot it today, with safety glasses and goggles over them.😃 Got it putting them right in there with Corelokts. I love the rifle and it's two stage trigger. Looking forward to getting it back out into the woods this fall.

Who can I.D. the rifle. Make and model?:unsure:



Well-known member
Apr 10, 2004
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Is yours a low serial number?


Active member
Oct 20, 2010
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Just wanted to resurrect this thread briefly. I have several '03's and love their style, and smooth bolt action. One of the things often overlooked with the war time Springfields that is a common mistake today is using modern loads that aren't designed for them. One of the common loads is the 180 gr. rounds. The CMP (Civilian Marksmanship Program) puts out pretty useful information on these beautiful rifles and they did a blurb on both the defective bolts, and acceptable loads for these Springfield's. As to the loads:

"The CMP advises to not use .30/06 ammunition in M1 Garands, 1903s, and 1903A3s that is loaded beyond 50,000 CUP and has a bullet weight more than 172-174gr. These rifles are at least 70 years old and were not designed for max loads and super heavy bullets."

For anyone who doesn't know was a CUP is {raises hand).....it's a Copper Unit of Pressure, or, a measurement used in the ammunition industry to determine the chamber pressure created by a cartridge load. I've used the CMP for years and had bought several of the spam can of 150 gr. ammo and they used to be a steal, and plentiful. No more unfortunately, but that aside, I wanted to point this piece out to anyone who may have been using modern ammo over that 172-174 threshold on these war time beauties.

As to the the question on single heat treated brittle bolts, some helpful intel, again from CMP.

"M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

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.

In view of the safety risk, the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes)."

Apologizies in advance if any of this is redundant material

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