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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Very pretty.
Is the barrel blocked or is it able to be fired?
Not blocked but receiver is below 800,000 so I'm on the fence about shooting it. The barrel is dated 1944 so it went through at least one barrel without blowing up.
 

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Nice rifle . JR
 

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This might help:

The heat treating method was immediately changed to a double heat treatment, and pyrometers were used to determine the temperature of the heated receivers. 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.
That is not to say that Rock Island Arsenal receivers under 285,506, and Springfield Armory receivers under 800,000 are all unsafe and that none are not in use by hunters and shooters. All available low numbered receivers were used through both World Wars, and there were virtually no mishaps after 1929 which includes the World War II years. The actual mishaps that occurred prior to 1929 were few and documented. It is believed that many of these were due to case head failure in weak walled brass cases made prior to World War I.

That is not to say that there isn't a 'low numbered time bomb' floating around out there, but it could be that all of the weak receivers were identified and destroyed. Regardless, I will shoot my '03s, including my one low numbered 1905 receiver with a 1942 barrel, with my Wiley-X safety glasses firmly on my head.
 

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The lettering on the sling looks like it might be A F G. Possibly with an & between the A F.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
This might help:



That is not to say that Rock Island Arsenal receivers under 285,506, and Springfield Armory receivers under 800,000 are all unsafe and that none are not in use by hunters and shooters. All available low numbered receivers were used through both World Wars, and there were virtually no mishaps after 1929 which includes the World War II years. The actual mishaps that occurred prior to 1929 were few and documented. It is believed that many of these were due to case head failure in weak walled brass cases made prior to World War I.

That is not to say that there isn't a 'low numbered time bomb' floating around out there, but it could be that all of the weak receivers were identified and destroyed. Regardless, I will shoot my '03s, including my one low numbered 1905 receiver with a 1942 barrel, with my Wiley-X safety glasses firmly on my head.
If one wanted to be on the extra safe side, what available ammunition would afford the lowest chamber pressures?
 

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^^^ Federal American Eagle is made to very safe but effective pressures and they are of course made to modern SAAMI standards that might not have existed in the early 20th century. I have some old 1918 military ball that I will never shoot for it's historical value -- and the fact that it was made during a period of questionable ammunition safety standards.
 
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Own a low number 1903 Springfield made about 1915, but barrel is 1920. Acquired it about 4 years ago and it'd been well used by previous owner(s). As its barrel, sights and action was untouched and only its stock butchered, (did have a broken extractor collar), restored the rifle to its military condition with a Boyd 1903 stock and G.I. metal parts for the stock. Usually shoot the rifle in our private ranges monthly surplus rifle competition. Could shoot a darn nice condition 1903A03 Smith Corona in the surplus competition, but prefer the rear sight of the 1903.

As to what available factory ammunition would afford the lowest chamber pressures? Think Remington may sell reduced recoil 30-06 ammo.

As for me, LOL, standard 30-06 loads in any of my Springfield military rifles are not pleasant for me to shoot from benchrest. But for safety reasons due to my 1903 Springfield being a low number, shoot only my reduced reloads in it. Prefer shooting my IMR Trail Boss powder reloads. Use about 19 grs of it with 125 or 135 gr jacketed bullets. Velocity is between 1400 - 1500 fps with them and accurate enough for me to use in the surplus rifle 100 yd competitions at my range. Loaned a few of my trail boss loads to a fellow competitor to try in his 1903A03 after one of our competitions. Guy hunts in Africa and definitely has some high recoiling rifles and he admits regular 30-06 ammo kicks him pretty hard in his 1903A03. My 30-06 trail boss loads, hit about 8" lower on his 100 yd target than where his 30-06 reloads would have hit, but grouped pretty good for him.
 

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I've got a low number and shoot it often. I shoot commercial ammo mainly but I also got a good bunch of m2 ball from my grandpa.
There were less than 100 failures of the low number guns and, as SightNSqueeze said, these were these were mostly caused by poor quality ammunition. A lot of them were also destroyed in tests to see if the receivers could be saved or used.
Low number rifles were used throughout WW2 in the Pacific theater by the Marines and not one was reported to have failed. Those rifles seen some of the nastiest fighting of the war.
When the rifles were made they gauged the proper heat treatment by sight and not by thermometers. The problem is when there is more or less light in the room the color of the metal will look different thus some got a bit crispy. The majority are fine but enough to be noticed were not.
Mine has a 1917 Springfield receiver. The gun was completely rebuilt in Sept. of 1944 long after the gun was needed or even still relevant. It has all the proofs and such so as far as I am concerned, my gun is good to go.

But if you have a low number gun and shoot low loads through it then who am I to say otherwise. It is your gun after all.

A lot of the concern over these low number guns was blown out of proportion to basically a mythical status.
 
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