Thursday, March 31, 2016

First new gun in new home.

Or rather, last gun from old home, as the UPS truck that brought it came while we were loading the trailer to come here.

I got this on that day:

I'd negotiated it's purchase just a few days prior, with a requirement that it had to arrive before I left. It just made it. Really all I had time to do was look it over briefly and then re-pack it for the trip down here. And it came back out of the box for the first time today.

It's a 1903 Springfield, this one manufactured at the Rock Island Arsenal in Illinois.
The serial number puts it's production date as being early 1913, which coincides perfectly with it's December, 1912-dated barrel.

Yep. A virtually un-messed-with original pre-WW1 rifle. I was pleased.

Of course it had a few indications of having gone around the block a time or two. For instance, the stock, while appearing correct for the rifle, bears a slight "FJA" cartouche, indicating that it was inspected during the reign of Frank J Atwood (1941-1944).
That suggests that the stock was probably on a World War Two-produced 1903A3 first. Likewise, the rifle came with a stamped trigger guard that was used on 1903A3 rifles.
Well the stock was no big deal, but that stamped trigger guard had been irking me since I saw it during my two-minute inspection the day it arrived. Fortunately I had a period-correct milled trigger guard assembly handy, so now it looks like it should again.

And of course it still has that really slick rear sight that helped countless soldiers and marines really dial these puppies in in two world wars and several "Banana Wars" in between.
Not sure when I'll be able to get it out to a range, but if it shoots half as good as it looks, I'll have no complaints whatsoever. (And yes, I know that it's a "low number" rifle and some people don't consider them safe to shoot. The Marine Corps kept them all despite that claim and shot them without any qualms and this one's lasted this long so I figure that it'll be just fine with USGI ammo.) It's not going to be a regular shooter but it will get shot. Meantime, it's residing in one of the gun safes until I can get some new display racks set up in the new gun room.

17 comments:

  1. "The serial number puts it's production date as being early 1913, which coincides perfectly with it's December, 2012-dated barrel."

    Is that a typo in the second date or am I misunderstanding something? (Lord knows I have enough typos in my posts that I can't afford to nit pick)

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    1. Nope. Back then, there was typically a 2-3 month gap between the time a barrel was manufactured (and date stamped) and then actually installed on a receiver and built into a rifle.

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    2. Whoops. I see what I did. Nice catch.

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  2. You scouted out any of the local rifle ranges yet? Honey Island is still under water. Nick's is nice, 100 yds, but a bit of a ride. There's Eymard's it's longer ride but 800? yds I think.

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    Replies
    1. I have not. 800 yards? I think I love that place and I haven't even been there yet!

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  3. Gun room. I am envious of those two words right there! Maby one of these days I will be able to have a gun room. Or at the very least have enough guns to fill one.

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  4. Very nice looking rifle!

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  5. Even the "stamps" on the receiver are works of art. They put a lot of love and care into those firearms.

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  6. Hey Murphy;

    I Love those "unmolested" battle rifles...they are rare especially because soo many were "sporterized". Very good haul:)

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  7. https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B3vgQuY3vA0FMlVOcmE3NS1Lbkk/view?ths=true

    If you don't already know how to use the ladder sights.

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  8. http://ray-vin.com/gunsight/03mike.htm and the micrometer for sight refinements.

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  9. Dang man. Where I'm at the local county historical society is forming a WW1 exhibit. I've let them borrow my 1917 Remington Enfield but they need lots more. Would love to see a 12 gauge Winchester 'trench gun' in such an exhibit, especially with a 17 inch bayonet.

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  10. That's a nice one!

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  11. Yeah,I remember that.....thought I'd split a gut laughing....he couldn't resist just one more last minute purchase. But I will admit, it was a good one....nice looker.

    Bruce

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  12. Wow Just color me green with envy

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