The 03 Springfeild Low Serial Number Controversy
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Thread: The 03 Springfeild Low Serial Number Controversy

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    Default The 03 Springfeild Low Serial Number Controversy

    Hey guys, I'm sure this has been beaten to death here and everywhere in the gun community, BUT.... recently I have been studying the 93 and the 95 Mauser designs. The reason I'm referring to the Mausers to the 03 is this.... I read Hatchers notebook on 03 and seen that cartridge case failure, which wasn't an issue until the .30Gov't came to be, was the reason for receiver failure (on the 03). As Hatcher said, a relief hole was bored to prevent a ruptured case from causing any future failure on the receivers part. But the Army decided to double heat treat to prevent any further complications from any field conditions that would contribute to receiver failures.

    Going back to the 93 and the 95 Mausers.....

    The bolt on the 93 has a gas relief hole next to one of the forward locking lugs... I read this in this book by Wayne Zwoll and Frank DeHass. If you would like to read up, here's the link..
    https://books.google.com/books?id=tu...escape&f=false

    I have a 93 action 1916 Spanish Mauser and it has a receiver thumb cutout that also serves as gas escape for this design.. for some 93 and 95's... (and as we all know the 98's) as per this article.

    So what confuses me is why did the Mauser Brothers do away with the relief hole on the 93 bolt and the thumb cutout/gas reliefs on bolts.. and on some of the 95's? They both were chambered 7mm Mauser. I have a 95 Chilean short rifle in 7mm and a 93/1916 Spanish in 7mm. The 95 doesn't have gas reliefs at all but the 93 does... go figure. Paul and Wilhelm.. where were their heads???

    I guess the bottom squared bolt was deemed unnecessary for proper feeding so they went with round bolt faces.
    Going back to the original intent of this thread... the 93/95 Mauser strength with safety features added and taken away, shows that excessive pressure was the culprit to the early 03 failure, not necessarily receiver strength.

    I hope I made some sense of this. Thanks.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated...

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    The low s/n issue...the individual arguments about it are over controversial points, granted, but the fact is that we cannot tell for sure, short of destructive testing

    But it seems to me you have a Mauser question, not a Springfield question, and the question regards the dynamic between the the Mauser designs and why they are not considered 'brittle receiver' rifles.

    I am not sure I follow your point about the low s/n 03s being an issue due to over-pressure however. Your statements about other rifles are fine, but how does that prove the cause of the low s/n 03 failures? Your argument doesn't remove the brittleness of those 03 receivers as being a possibility, it rather adds a second possibility.

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    Chris,
    unfortunately I'm being misunderstood.

    I did a comparison of both rifles... all military rifles go through proof testing and relieving pressure in the event of a ruptured case and or field conditions, barrel obstructions, etc....

    Saying that it's apparent that pressure has to do with a lot of receiver failure and precautions were adhered to and some weren't.

    That's what I was driving at.

    If an intact cartridge casing was found with destroyed receivers then you can blame the "brittle receivers". Failure went beyond any proof testing. All the design effort that was introduced and proven, should have also went in the cartridge case. No?

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    I can't speak to cartridge design or effort. Do we have access to numbers of broken receivers that were "high number" Springfields? Logically if we can point to high s/n receivers bursting then we have a thread to follow.

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    Naturally double heat treatment supposedly solved the problem... but if they would have indulged a bit deeper, not double heat treatment would have done away with Army politics.

    I can't speak to cartridge design or effort


    Either could Springfield.. until it was too late. But brass had to be addressed regardless.
    Last edited by milboltnut; 02-12-2017 at 09:02 AM.

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    Cartridge case failures mostly with early M1 ammo exposed the receiver issue. Comparison with Mauser actions just muddy the waters, so to speak.
    Suggested reading is Julian Hatchers Notebook, which covers the subject in depth.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milboltnut View Post
    I have a 93 action 1916 Spanish Mauser and it has a receiver thumb cutout that also serves as gas escape for this design.. for some 93 and 95's... (and as we all know the 98's) as per this article.

    So what confuses me is why did the Mauser Brothers do away with the relief hole on the 93 bolt and the thumb cutout/gas reliefs on bolts.. and on some of the 95's?
    The receiver thumb cut and relief hole were added to the M1893 and M1916 rifles by Spain.

    Waffenfabrik Mauser never put a receiver thumb cut or relief hole on M1893 or M1895 rifles.
    Every post I make is made with a request for corrections. I'm here to learn.

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    can you refer me to your source?

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    Quote Originally Posted by milboltnut View Post
    can you refer me to your source?
    Just general knowledge gained from discussions on Gunboards (especially with John Wall), and the reference books & rifles in my collection.

    Waffenfabrik Mauser / M1893/38 / Turkish / long rifle
    Ludwig Loewe / M1893 / Spanish / long rifle / Spanish American War
    Ludwig Loewe / M1893 / Spanish / long rifle / Navy
    Ludwig Loewe / M1893 / Spanish / long rifle / Loewe crest
    Ludwig Loewe / M1894 / Brazilian / long rifle
    Ludwig Loewe / M1895 / Chilean / long rifle / Navy crest
    Ludwig Loewe / M1895 / Chilean / short rifle
    Ludwig Loewe / M1895 / Chilean / carbine
    Deutsche Waffen und Munitionsfabriken / M1893 / ZAR - Chilean / long rifle
    Fabrique Nationale / M1893 / Spanish / long rifle
    Fabrique Nationale / M1893 (Uruguayan M1895) / Uruguayan / long rifle
    Carl Gustafs Stads Gevarsfaktori / M1896 / Swedish / long rifle
    Carl Gustafs Stads Gevarsfaktori / M1894/14 / Swedish / carbine
    Oviedo Arsenal / M1893 / Spanish / long rifle
    Oviedo Arsenal / M1895 / Spanish / carbine
    Oviedo Arsenal / M1916 first pattern / Spanish / short rifle
    Industrias de Guerre de Cataluna / M1916 second pattern / Spanish / short rifle / Cataluna 1937 crest
    Industrias de Guerre de Cataluna / M1916 second pattern / Spanish / short rifle / Subsecretaria 1938 crest
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Swedish M1896  1.JPG   Swedish M1894-14 1.JPG   Turk M1903-38 1.JPG   Spanish Loewe M1893  1.JPG   Spanish Navy M1893 1.JPG   Brazilian M1894 1.JPG  

    Chilean Navy M1895 LR 1.JPG   Chilean M1895 SR  II 1.JPG   Chilean M1895 Carbine 1.JPG   ZAR Chilean M1893 1.JPG   Spanish FN1893 long rifle 1.JPG   Uruguayan M1895 FN1893 Long Rifle 1.JPG  

    Last edited by geladen; 02-12-2017 at 04:15 PM.
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    I see that Gunboards jumbled the photo sequence but all the photos are labeled.
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Spanish M1893 1.JPG   Spanish M1895 Carbine 1.JPG   Spanish M1916 First Pattern 1.JPG   SCW Cataluna M1916 1.JPG   Spanish Republican M1916 SR 2nd Pattern 1.JPG   Spanish M1893 Loewe Crest 1.JPG  

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    good enough for me...you're my go to guy from now on. Thanks bro.

    Back to the OP... something I found in Hatchers notebook.. about cartridge casings....

    the presses had been speeded up in an effort to gain more production per day; evidently if the cases were drawn too fast the metal was worked and hardened more than was good for it and became brittle. When the presses were returned to their former slower pace the trouble then disappeared. Micro-photographs were made brass crystal were smaller there than on the other side indication harder brass there, head was thicker on that side too.
    Last edited by milboltnut; 02-12-2017 at 04:12 PM.

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    It may also be that the Spanish modifications to the original M1893 receiver design were inspired by cartridge trouble. It would be interesting to learn when the Spanish started making their own 7X57 ammo.
    Every post I make is made with a request for corrections. I'm here to learn.

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    Quote Originally Posted by geladen View Post
    It may also be that the Spanish modifications to the original M1893 receiver design were inspired by cartridge trouble. It would be interesting to learn when the Spanish started making their own 7X57 ammo.
    modifications to the original M1893
    politics?? LOL unless they experienced field conditions that needed improvements.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milboltnut View Post
    politics?? LOL unless they experienced field conditions that needed improvements.
    What I meant was I am guessing that Oviedo did not contemplate any changes until after they had some receiver blow-ups - and they didn't have any blow-ups until after they started making their own (defective?) ammo. The users of DWM ammo did not seem to have any problems.
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    ok... so you're saying they did have blow ups? Correct? I tried to google some info but no go.

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    The 03 problem was they over heated the steel during production,and burned the carbon out of the steel...which leaves you with iron.Iron has no stretch in it so it shatters instead.Mauser worried more about gas safety in later rifles AFTER Paul Mauser lost an eye while test shooting a self loader he was working on.Correction to my earlier post, Mauser lost his eye in 1901, after the design of the 98.
    Last edited by irishsteve; 02-12-2017 at 08:59 PM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by milboltnut View Post
    ok... so you're saying they did have blow ups? Correct? I tried to google some info but no go.
    No, I said that I was "guessing" that (1) the reason for making modifications was blow-ups and (2) they did not have blow-ups until they started making their own ammo.

    The Spanish did not make modifications to the design for no reason. Figure out what would be the most likely reason for them to do that? When the Chileans, and Sweeds, and everyone else made no modifications?

    Mauser did not make nor retrofit modifications. Instead, they made a new model, the M1898.
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    makes sense it would be thier ammo

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    Thought it was picked up 8 mm on the battle fields causing ruptures.....

    Note( I've seen a 98 fire arms international FI 98 action fail when a relative shot a forced in place 300 savage through 270 barrel...loosening barrel, shearing both locking lugs, busting stock, binding all parts into useless ness. Bolt only held in place by saftey lug)
    "A low powered destruction of all the safety things in place"!

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    Quote Originally Posted by DK PHILLIPS View Post
    Thought it was picked up 8 mm on the battle fields causing ruptures.....

    Note( I've seen a 98 fire arms international FI 98 action fail when a relative shot a forced in place 300 savage through 270 barrel...loosening barrel, shearing both locking lugs, busting stock, binding all parts into useless ness. Bolt only held in place by saftey lug)
    "A low powered destruction of all the safety things in place"!
    Given that the Spanish started modifying their M1893 and M1916 rifles around 1920-1925 or so, exactly what battlefields would they be picking up 8mm ammo on?
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    I read the same thing... in Hatchers notebook.. any over pressurization would cause blow ups. Maybe not at a shooting range but in field conditions at war yes. It kinda boggled me that a ruptured case wouldn't do it.


    So 478,579 03' bolt and receiver survived a barrel full of Cosmo. what? from the notebook.
    Last edited by milboltnut; 02-12-2017 at 08:10 PM.

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    My thinking during ww1 1903's...running out of ammo grabbed what was found?

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    Um I'm sure they were told not to.


    something I recently read in the note book about barrel fouling that they thought they eliminated with mobil lubricant...


    Shooters got careless and applied it to liberally to the point in got into the chamber, preventing the case to make contact against the chamber walls, allowing the entire thrust against the bolt head busting off the locking lugs...increased breech pressure from 51K to 59K....


    1920 National match ammo increased pressure with lube to 71K..

    So you see, I believe from this commentary... it is possible for a ruptured case to destroy a receiver.. contrary to popular belief.
    Last edited by milboltnut; 02-13-2017 at 07:11 AM.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DK PHILLIPS View Post
    My thinking during ww1 1903's...running out of ammo grabbed what was found?
    To be even more vague, IIRC, somewhere I read that that either the Germans (WWI) or Japs (WWII) over loaded rounds and seeded them back to "abandoned" field stock piles to be used when liberated and sporadically blew the firearm with peripheral damage to the user.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DK PHILLIPS View Post
    My thinking during ww1 1903's...running out of ammo grabbed what was found?
    Yes and no ...

    Yes, they were short of ammunition manufacturers at the start of our entry into WWI. The problem was the fact that new manufacturers were drummed up, many of them lacking experience with manufacture of military ammunition. Much of the WWI ammo was poor-quality stuff.

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    i had 45 cal 1913...250 rounds all fired except 3...and one of those fired second chance.
    very accurate out to 20 yards.
    smelled like old school shotgun powder

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    I don't wish to limit discussion, but we do have a "sticky" devoted to this subject. It seems we are largely traveling the same ground trod before many of us were born.

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    I feel that this discussion has become circular in its logic. If over-pressure can be a cause of receiver failure, that does not prove that the heat-treat cannot also be a cause of receiver failure.

    Over-pressure does not replace heat-treat as 'the cause', given that logic. In other words, no matter what over-pressure conditions can be present and regardless of damage caused by that over-pressure, this does not prove anything about low s/n Springfield 03 receivers except that over-pressure could damage them; it does not prove that the heat-treat is not a cause for concern on low s/n Springfield 1903 rifles.

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    I'm going to lock this thread - you can comment further on the LN M1903 "sticky" at the top of the forum.

    RtL2

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