1903 Springfield below 800K SN: Safe to fire?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by szissman, Nov 28, 2008.

  1. szissman

    szissman New Member

    Nov 28, 2008
    Santa Clara, CA

    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
  2. Mark

    Mark New Member

    Jul 1, 2006
    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?
Similar Threads
Forum Title Date
Curio & Relics Forum 1903 Springfield Mk 1 Jul 28, 2010
Curio & Relics Forum 1903 Springfield Mk 1 Jul 28, 2010
Curio & Relics Forum Springfield M1903-A3 Receivers Aug 9, 2007
Curio & Relics Forum Looking for my Dad's Springfield 1903 Mar 20, 2003
Curio & Relics Forum 1903 Springfield Mar 4, 2003