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  #21  
Old 04-24-2021, 05:49 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Calfed View Post
Were all Remington 1903 and 1903-A3 and all SC 1903-A3 receivers made with NS or some other even better alloy?
I have to admit, I remember seeing documents where Remington would submit to ordnance changes in the quality of steel as the war was causing issues of getting certain types. So I remember seeing them submit different names of steel they planned on using to see if Ordnance would approve it.

I remember a lot of different names of steel and to be honest it was greek to me. It wasn't as simple as NS. I remember that. I remember mentions of alloy and carbon steel and different ratings of each. But off the top of my head I don't remember them. It is way outside my wheelhouse of study to know what all those technical names meant. I know it did change some over the course of production because they had shortages of certain types they couldn't get.

Now I do remember this. Remington had some type of magnetic tester that would test the carbon and alloy steel, and somehow this magnetic tester would make it easier to pick the right combinations of steel before heat treatment. How it worked, I have no clue. But I just remember reading somehow this magnetic tester made sure that heat treatment was nearly perfect on the 03A3.

I have never seen any report of any malfunction or safety issue with the 03A3 and in fact everything Ordnance ever said about them was basically positive. It was well respected by everyone at Ordnance.

Ordnance was especially impressed on how they sped up production on the 03A3 by simplifying the design of the M1903 to 03A3, and sped up production by nearly 50% by going to a two groove barrel.

They really liked that rifle.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ceresco View Post
The only significant safety issues I ever personally experienced with firearms have been due to cartridge case failures. These were probably primarily manufacturing defects, possibly enhanced by headspace and brass deterioration. Good Shooting. ....
This is literally 99% of what I see stated by Ordnance about any of the failures on the M1903. I see this over and over in the Ordnance docs.

That is why I preach about checking headspace and making sure you have good quality ammo.

You nailed it...

Last edited by Big_Red; 05-20-2021 at 01:44 AM. Reason: Combine consecutive posts
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  #22  
Old 04-29-2021, 11:54 PM
dave tengdin dave tengdin is offline
 
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Didn't a lot of the causes of the failures start with the bolts that were poorly heat treated? Once those started to fail, that added stress to the receivers, and those in turn failed. When they were overhauled, even the LN's got the updated swept bolts with proper heat treatment. I presume the earlier straight bolts were in turn destroyed?

Being a guy that owns a metalworking furnace, couldn't I heat treat my LN receivers myself with the 2nd treatment? If so, what was the recipe? I can certainly strip, and de-barrel them and do it. Carbon pack them or pretty much anything.

The other confusing issue to me is the the earlier `03 receivers used the SAME heat treatment and steel alloy as the Krag, and I've not heard of catastrophes with those, so I'm confused.

Last edited by dave tengdin; 04-30-2021 at 12:04 AM.
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  #23  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:01 AM
JimF JimF is online now
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave tengdin View Post
. . . . .The other confusing issue to me is the the earlier `03 receivers used the SAME heat treatment and steel alloy as the Krag, and I've not heard of catastrophes with those, so I'm confused.
You’ve hit upon the reason I have no issue with shooting my low number ‘03.

I make my own ammo and keep the charges/pressures down at “Krag ammo” levels. I’ve experienced no problems.
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  #24  
Old 04-30-2021, 10:29 AM
John Beard John Beard is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave tengdin View Post
Didn't a lot of the causes of the failures start with the bolts that were poorly heat treated? Once those started to fail, that added stress to the receivers, and those in turn failed. When they were overhauled, even the LN's got the updated swept bolts with proper heat treatment. I presume the earlier straight bolts were in turn destroyed?

Being a guy that owns a metalworking furnace, couldn't I heat treat my LN receivers myself with the 2nd treatment? If so, what was the recipe? I can certainly strip, and de-barrel them and do it. Carbon pack them or pretty much anything.

The other confusing issue to me is the the earlier `03 receivers used the SAME heat treatment and steel alloy as the Krag, and I've not heard of catastrophes with those, so I'm confused.
The source of your information is in error. Casehardened low number bolts were never considered unsafe and were never withdrawn from service unless damaged or worn.

According to research done by trained metallurgists at Springfield Armory and Watervliet Arsenal, most casehardened receivers are amply strong and not unusually brittle. The weakened brittle ones were "burnt" and were not recoverable with respected to re-heat treating. Having read and studied the documents and reports at great length, I very highly discourage any attempt to re-heat treat one.

And you are correct with respect to the Krag and low number receivers. Withdrawing low number receivers from service was mostly a political decision, and I'll leave it at that.

J.B.

Last edited by John Beard; 04-30-2021 at 10:35 AM.
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  #25  
Old 04-30-2021, 10:47 AM
Calif-Steve Calif-Steve is online now
 
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The design of the Krag and the M1903 was very different. Both used the same carbon steel but very different cartridges. John Beard can explain in-depth how and why the Krag never failed. He is a true expert.
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  #26  
Old 04-30-2021, 12:53 PM
dave tengdin dave tengdin is offline
 
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Aren't Krag pressures around 40,000 psi, and the `06 pressure around 50,000?

The `03 uses the Mauser bolt, with 2 forward locking lugs and a 3rd at the rear for safety The Krag uses only 1
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  #27  
Old 04-30-2021, 01:45 PM
pickax pickax is offline
 
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Yes, Krag pressure is lower, But also headspaces off the case rim.
Unlike the rimless '03 with an un supported base.
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  #28  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:37 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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There is sort of a contradiction in the re-heat treatment of receivers in the Army and Marine docs.

I saw them try three or four different occasions over the years to re-heat treat them. But the results of the tests from one to another were usually a contradiction.

For the most part the ones done by Army Ordnance seemed to show that it made no difference or in fact made them more brittle.

But the ones by the Marines done at the Dupont company actually showed they improved the strength of the receiver.

Personally I think the contradiction had a lot of variables, and I think also there are some political overtones in the docs. The reports are always very in-depth but personally I think some of the tests were skewed to produce the outcome that they preferred.

With that being said, I don't think there is any reason you need to re-heat treat one. Army Ordnance and the Marines both declared low numbers were entirely safe as long as they headspaced and you were shooting standard M2 Ammo that is about 42,000 PSI.

I wouldn't worry about it honestly. I would check your headspace and then make sure your ammo is good to go before I ever worried about a high or low number receiver.

How John says that the low number controversy had a very heavy political overtone. I completely agree with that statement. There was a huge amount of politics in the decision to scrap the low number receivers in rebuild.

Last edited by cplnorton; 04-30-2021 at 07:50 PM.
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  #29  
Old 04-30-2021, 07:46 PM
cplnorton cplnorton is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dave tengdin View Post
Aren't Krag pressures around 40,000 psi, and the `06 pressure around 50,000?
06 pressures listed in 1938 by the Marines

M1 46,000 to 48,000

M2 42,000 to 44,000

Armor Piercing

old type 52,000
new type 48,000 to 50,000

Rifles were proof fired initially at 60,000 and later increased to 68,000 to 70,000
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  #30  
Old 04-30-2021, 11:06 PM
Fenris_Bane Fenris_Bane is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cplnorton View Post
06 pressures listed in 1938 by the Marines

M1 46,000 to 48,000

M2 42,000 to 44,000

Armor Piercing

old type 52,000
new type 48,000 to 50,000

Rifles were proof fired initially at 60,000 and later increased to 68,000 to 70,000
The failures caused by the testing done in the 1920 was well above the proof charge of 60,000 (120% of the maximum normal pressure) let alone above the normal service charge.

"During the 1920's officials within the Ordnance Department investigated the problem more thoroughly, including destructive testing of receivers. Three rifles with low serial numbers were fired with cartridges that produced known levels of pressure starting at 70,000 pounds per square inch. One receiver failed at 80,000 pounds and the other two at 100,000 pounds. All of these receivers withstood pressures well above that experienced with military ammunition, yet none failed until pressure was raised between 50% to 100% above normal operating pressure." (Hatcher’s Notebook pp. 227-229).

Hatcher states that four of the receiver failures (1917-1918) were due to accidentally firing an 8 mm Mauser round in the Springfield rifle. This causes pressures in excess of the 75,000 pounds per square inch proof pressure use to test the receivers.

The higher pressures for the 8mm Mauser shot from a 30-06 is because you are squeezing a .323" dia. bullet through a barrel designed for a .308" bullet.

This raises the question of how many receiver fail shooting the wrong ammunition in addition to the question about the quality of US ammunition.

Last edited by Fenris_Bane; 04-30-2021 at 11:09 PM.
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