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Old 11-12-2019, 11:18 AM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Van Wert, Ohio
Posts: 2,072

I really haven't seen anything that made me think the 12/41 were exclusive to the Marines, but you don't see many 12/41's at all. I don't remember a barrel order by the Marines at that time though. I've seen the 9/40 and I think everyone of those I've seen so far I've thought were a USMC rifle at one time.

Now I should add the caveat, I'm writing all the below off the top of my head, so please understand I didn't double check exact dates or quantities.

Usually you don't see the early 1942 barrels being USMC as they really didn't do a big rebuild program at that time.

See the Navy shipped the Marines a substantial amount of used M1903's in the early part of 1942. They came in spread out shipments to the boot camps. The Navy shipped at least 35,000. There is a potential of up to 50,000 would have shipped by the time it was all done in late 1942, but I cannot confirm the 50,000 number but it is mentioned as very possible.

But these rifles weren't in the best shape, so you see the Marines start to gear up for a mass rebuild program on the M1903's.

I think it was about late July 1942 when you see them say they are going to start on another mass rebuild program on the M1903's. I think they wanted to order about 13,000 barrel assemblies for this rebuild program so you see them split that number between Sedgley and then the Army for the remainder.

That is why for the 1942 Sedgley barrels, you only see them 4/42 and up, and why generally for the Army 1942 SA barrels, you mostly see the 5/42 and up being used on Marine rifles.

So it just sort of came down to when the orders were placed.

I was trying to think if I have ever seen a 1/42 or 2/42 on a USMC rifle and if I have, it doesn't register with me. Could it be possible? Yes, it could be a earlier dated barrel made it's way into one of those summer shipments, but M1903 parts were in very high demand in 1942 by pretty much all branches. Even the Navy was having Augusta Arsenal conduct a massive rebuild of M1903s in 1942. So parts were mostly being shipped as soon as they were completed to somewhere.

Now even though this rifle lacks the vise marks, it's still possible the Marines changed it. The Marines changed barrels in field depots and also at San Francisco. So barrels were changed at other locations other than Philly. I have seen barrels over the years changed during WWII that don't have the vise marks that I do think are Marine, it's just not as common as the ones who do have them.
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