1903 Springfield below 800K SN: Safe to fire?
I'm 80 years old and I finally got my C&R license to start buying a few of the weapons I've admired through the years. I don't just want to own, I also want to fire.
I've read that 03 Springfields made in the Springfield Armory w/ SNs under 800,000--and SNs below 285,000 if made at Rock Island--had improperly heat-treated receivers and are unsafe to fire.
How serious an issue is this? Is this something I really need to be concerned with? Do you worry about it when firing yours below these SNs?
Sol (With a little typing help from my son, but I'm getting better at it!)
USMC 1944 - 1946
Re: 1903 Springfield below 800K SN: Safe to fire?
The low serial numbers you mention were carburized using a "pack hardening" method that was acceptable in that time. The issue that came about was the carbon content in the steel allowed for a "through hardening" that caused the steel to become brittle.
The steel wasn't like glass, it required repeated firings to work harden itself. It was then that the steel came apart.
Receivers were "caught" at the 800K mark, annealed, and re-heat treated, then drawn back. These are good to go.
As far as firing the low numbered receivers, how lucky do you feel?
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