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Nates4Christ 10-07-2019 11:08 AM

CMP 1903 Purchase 4Oct2019
I bought this at the South Store this Friday. I bought it because I wanted a DAL or JFC stock to go with my March of 1918 Springfield I have. Thanks to J.B.'s help I have learned that the DAL is actually a later SA DAL from 1927, which goes with the 1927 re-barrel. So that is cool. I was also informed that the stock is 1910 vintage and then updated in 1927. So it's got a prewar, stock, WWI reciever, preWWII barrel and markings. All with nice readings on barrel condition. I started to get real excited when I saw the electro pencil thinking it could be a Marine rebuild. But thanks to J.B. it sounds like it's not a Marine rebuild.

cplnorton 10-07-2019 03:01 PM

This one is really sort of hard to say what it is, and it's possible it might have served in a couple branches. The other variable in this, when did it acquire that stock? It's had a lot of opportunities for that stock to have been changed before it hit the CMP, or even could have had the CMP change the stock.

But on this one, I could argue this several different ways.

Say for instance if I was going to argue this as Marine.

1) Right before WWII the Marines were begging the Army and Navy for any old stocks they had. They had been trying to buy new grasping groove stocks off the Army, but the Army had told them the only ones they had were the C stocks. Which the Marines basically seemed to despise. So the Marines asked the Army and Navy to find any broken stocks they had, even with up to two places broken, and ship those stocks to the Marines. The Marines then fixed these stocks and used them on their service rifles. Lots of old stocks with many different styles of cartouches came into the Marine Corps at this time. The Marines did not seem to sand off the old cartouches, only fix the broken spots and use them.

2) The Marines ordered a substantial amount of barrels in 1927 and 1928. In 1927 I know they ordered 10,000. In 1928, I think they ordered the same 10,000 but I didn't go back and look. These barrel dates would not show vise marks on them, as that trait is later. As is the same with the Hatcher hole. The Hatcher hole was late 1938 or later. So if the Marines installed that 1927 barrel, it would not show a Hatcher hole or vise marks. Basically it wouldn't show any evidence of a Marine install. But this is correct for that era Marine rebuild.

3) Even though there were a few instances where Army units requested to number their bolts, everytime Army Ordnance told them no. Army Ordnance seemed very dead set against numbering bolts on standard service rifles. On the other Hand, post late 1938 the Marines numbered their bolts. In fact they even had a Marine who traveled around the country and numbered bolts on rifles that were located at Reserve centers. He took with him a portable Etcher. These rifles wouldn't show any other traits that most people would recognize as Marine, unless they went in on a Survey for a full rebuild. So you could have a Marine rifle, that the only recognizable trait was a numbered bolt. As is the case of this rifle.

3) Around the date of this serial number is when both the Marines and Navy ordered a lot of M1903's. So I wouldn't rule out the possibility it could have went to either branch in a shipment. There are some random serials here and there around this in this SRS. Also I have found new serials at the Archives and have some around this serial. Also the Navy shipped 35,000 and possibility up to 50,000 of their M1903's to the Marine Corps in 1942. So even if it went to the Navy at the end of WWI, it still might have went to the Marines in 1942. Also the Navy at times did use Army and Marine rebuild depots for work. So you could have a Navy rifle, with Army rebuild cartouches.

4) The bolt appears to be a B2? Is that a B2 on the handle? You see a lot of B2 bolts in Marine Rebuilds from WWII. So if it is a B2, I would certainly classify a B2 bolt that is numbered as a good sign of USMC.

Like I said, on this one I think I could argue it several different ways. But I do think someone other than the Army numbered that bolt. I don't think the Army did that. Not on a standard service rifle at least.

The cartouche on the stock could match the barrel date, but that might be a coincidence. Who knows when that stock was put on that rifle.

Just another thing to look for, does it have a sight blade that is numbered? Like for instance look on the sight blade is there a .40 or something like that?

I don't think there is enough to say anything for certain, but like I said I think someone other than the Army numbered that bolt.

mrhunt14 10-07-2019 03:52 PM

I thought an electro penciled bolt body was generally found to be a USMC trait. Did JB explain why it was not a USMC rebuild? I picked up a Remington M1903 modified from the SS this past weekend and has a matching electro penciled bolt just like yours.

John Beard 10-07-2019 07:41 PM


Originally Posted by mrhunt14 (Post 1874828)
I thought an electro penciled bolt body was generally found to be a USMC trait. Did JB explain why it was not a USMC rebuild? I picked up a Remington M1903 modified from the SS this past weekend and has a matching electro penciled bolt just like yours.

The USMC did not have a monopoly on serializing bolts. The serialized bolt could have been done by anybody, including the VFW/American Legion Post that the CMP got the rifle from.


mrhunt14 10-07-2019 07:58 PM

Thank you for the clarity. I did not know that!

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