1903 Springfield Mk 1

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by junebug, Jul 28, 2010.

  1. junebug

    junebug New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2010
    Messages:
    3
    Location:
    Winston Salem, N. C.
    I purchased my Mk1 and I need some info concerning same. The S# is
    1,078,881 and the SA barrel has a 12/18 which most likely is a match.
    The stock I feel is a Mk 1 stock with the right cut for the extraction of
    the shells. The big question is there is a R A-P on the left side of the grip.
    I can not remember these letters and what they represent. The bolt is
    Remington with the small "r" on most of the parts and on top and bottom
    of the handle is the number 42 stamped. Can some one tell me what the 42
    stands for? The inspection mark of the "P" is under the grip as normal. I
    have been told that when they rejected the Peterson device they grab
    the first bolt that they had that made the fit whether it was Springfield,
    or Remington. Any help would be appreciated. I hope the RA-P happens
    to go with the Springfield rifle and it does not mean it is a Remington stock!!
    Thanks1 junebug
  2. deadin

    deadin Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    May 16, 2006
    Messages:
    1,080
    RA is the mark the Raritan Arsenal put on rebuilds. The P probably is an inspectors mark.

    Raritan rebuilt M1903's during and just after WW2, so your rifle may or may not have all original parts. The mark merely means it went through the arsenal. If there was nothing wrong with it, they probably didn't actually "rebuild" anything. Just marked it and sent it on it's way.
  3. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2009
    Messages:
    6,397
    Raritan was a major storage depot and shipment point for weapons of all kinds being shipped to the ETO. Later, it was a shipping point for rifles being sold through the DCM to civilian NRA members. Under the rules in effect at that time, every surplus military rifle sold to anyone had to be inspected and proof tested; the RA-P mark indicates that that was done. The confusion comes in because that mark was also used on rebuilt rifles after inspection and proof testing. Many thousand brand new M1903A3 rifles were shipped from Raritan to NRA members in the 1950's and 1960's. They had never been needed and had never been issued, but many folks assume they are rebuilds because they have the RA-P marking.

    There is some dispute about the actual meaning of the mark. I had long been told and believed it stood for Raritan Arsenal - Proved. But some evidence indicates the P stands for Peterson, an arsenal inspector.

    Jim
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