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Mriflenut 06-26-2020 02:03 PM

Rock Island barrel dates
Help me to understand RIA 1903 barrel dates. Looking on Vishooters web page I can't see a pattern where barrel dates are consistent with receiver dates. For example I have serial number 269606 which is a January 1918 receiver with a 12 of 18 barrel. Was this receiver set aside once the DHT started in May of 18 then finished after the war was won. I would have thought with the war going on they would have built rifles as quickly as possible. I know there are several other possibilities to how this barrel was mated to this receiver but am interested in how Rock Island was operating during this time period.
Thanks for any insight. Troy

Rick the Librarian 06-26-2020 04:00 PM

John Beard would be able to give you more and better information, but as I understand it, Rock Island produced "parts sets" for much of World War II - that is why you have so many 265,000-285,000 RIAs, technically, 1917 production, with 1918 barrels. Plus the fuss about the case-hardened receivers, as well.

John Beard 06-26-2020 04:23 PM

Your rifle may very well have its original barrel. Most Rock Island production during 1918 was turned into Ordnance Stores as unassembled spare parts. Although they were making more than 500 receivers per day, they were authorized to assemble only 50 complete rifles per day, gradually increasing to about 150 complete rifles per day. When the spare receivers were eventually assembled to complete rifles, barrel dates were thoroughly mixed.

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