Springfield rifle serial number dating
The change in heat treating was instituted between serial number 750,00 and 800,000 at Springfield and by serial number 285,506 at Rock Island Arsenal.
Rifles manufactured after these serial numbers are referred to as "high numbered" receivers and are commonly stated to be safe to shoot.
Of the remaining 57 receivers 33 were manufactured by Springfield Armory and 24 by Rock Island.
Heating to the higher temperatures led to crystallization of trace elements within the steel, making it too hard, and rather than deforming under high pressure, the receiver shattered, often permitting the bolt to exit the receiver, causing injury to the shooter.Between 19 three soldiers lost an eye to receiver failure, and six more had unspecified injuries consider serious.An additional 34 soldiers received minor injuries from receiver failures.I recommend that we instruct our Ordnance establishments to no longer issue rifles with these questionable receivers, that such rifles be set aside and considered as a war reserve and the question of the ultimate replacement of the receivers be deferred.When rifles are turned in from the troops for repair the receivers having these low numbers should be scrapped." Hofs decision meant that low numbered receivers would not be issued, but that those already issued would remain in service. Marine Corp, because of an even more limited budget than the Army, did not follow this recommendation and never retired any of its low numbered receivers until they were replaced with the M1 rifle about 1942. In 1942-44 the United States also equipped the Free French Army of Charles De Gaulle with low numbered Springfields.
Purpose of this Paper I collect and shoot the Model 1903 Springfield.