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  #1  
Old 06-10-2018, 11:57 AM
Logdog Logdog is offline
 
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Default USMC 1903 indicators

While at the Parris Island museum last week I saw a 1903 in the display with a heavy punch mark to the lower left of the serial number, other did not have this punch mark. Is it significant for USMC issue? The rifle did not have a numbered bolt or stippled buttplate from what I could see.
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Old 06-10-2018, 03:18 PM
pickax pickax is offline
 
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I found out from Cpl. Norton this punch mark indicates a Marine rebuild from the Philadelphia depot in the late thirties. Later WWII Marine rifles will have characteristics you mentioned.
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Old 06-10-2018, 06:55 PM
Kaliman Kaliman is offline
 
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Also remember that random things can be donated to museums and have no actual provenance.
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Old 06-10-2018, 07:15 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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The Punch mark was only applied for a short period of time. Probably only 1938, possibly 1939. They were conducting rockwell hardness tests on the receviers, but stopped by 1939. If the receiver did pass the rockwell hardness test, a heavy punch mark was placed in front of the serial to signify it passed.

The weird thing is though you see a few M1917's with them and even some 03A3's. The Marines got rid of all M1917's by about 1920, and their is no evidence the Marines ever got any 03A3's, in fact they state during WWII all M1903's they received were used and off the Navy in 1942.

So someone else at one time did use a indicator like that, and for an unkown reason.

But like this one below. It was a hit to a Jan 1938 document going in for rebuild.


Last edited by cplnorton; 06-10-2018 at 07:36 PM.
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Old 06-13-2018, 09:56 AM
lennnorment lennnorment is offline
 
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I have several 1903s with a punch mark on the ledge just below the serial number (but none with a punch beside the serial number). Did other rebuild depots punch mark in that location?
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Old 06-13-2018, 10:23 AM
Kaliman Kaliman is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lennnorment View Post
I have several 1903s with a punch mark on the ledge just below the serial number (but none with a punch beside the serial number). Did other rebuild depots punch mark in that location?
Not talking about punch Mark locations in particular, but with a punch mark there's always the consideration of the sum of the evidence when determining USMC likely provenance.
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  #7  
Old 06-13-2018, 10:36 AM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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The punch mark below the serial on the ridge was applied to show it was proof fired. I'm sure we have the docs discussing this as a practice.

But this was not applied by the Marines. I know SA did it for a while. I'm sure other Arnories did it as well.
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Old 06-13-2018, 11:56 AM
lennnorment lennnorment is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kaliman View Post
Not talking about punch Mark locations in particular, but with a punch mark there's always the consideration of the sum of the evidence when determining USMC likely provenance.
I was not suggesting these were USMC rifles. I was wondering about that location for a punch mark having any significance as some have them while others did not.
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