Harding a Springfield 03 action

dickerwdl

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May 5, 2010
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I have a Springfield 03 action 100 000 serial number. I have heard that it can be retempered to bring the Rockwell hardness up to exceptable tolerances. My question is, does anyone know of an outfit that can do this and has an FFL? I could use a new action, but because of the customized action; if this could be done, it would be much easier. This is a 270 Gibbs and has shot a lot of rounds, but I think we have been **** lucky to have not had this thing disassemble and with the new powders; I think we’re looking for disaster. Any help would be appreciated.
 

cohunt

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there are places that do this for knife makers and other machined metal--but doesn't heat treating an item bring up issues with possible tolerance issues? sometimes when metal is heat treated it's dimensions will change--I would be worried that it might not all go back together correctly with the correct tolerances--I think some of the machining process is done after the heat treat are they not? plus it being on a firearm it brings up liability issues that many would not want to touch. Also, I'm not sure there is a fix, as the article below states that they were over heat treated thus crystallizing the metal, not sure if its possible to fix that.

here is an article on risk analysis of springfield receiver failures you might want to read :http://m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

you could call one of these companies and ask their opinion PacMet or Blanchard's
 
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greenejc

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I have a Springfield 03 action 100 000 serial number. I have heard that it can be retempered to bring the Rockwell hardness up to exceptable tolerances. My question is, does anyone know of an outfit that can do this and has an FFL? I could use a new action, but because of the customized action; if this could be done, it would be much easier. This is a 270 Gibbs and has shot a lot of rounds, but I think we have been ---- lucky to have not had this thing disassemble and with the new powders; I think we’re looking for disaster. Any help would be appreciated.
You could send it to one of the custom gun makers and have them test it for hardness and temper. They might be able to re-harden it, but the cost would be pretty high. Bula armory might be able to do it, too. But I'd just get a metallurgist from one of the state colleges to test it and if it tests good, use it. A good mechanical engineering department should be able to test hardness easily and accurately. You might check with Fulton Armory or the CMP, also. They'll do a technical inspection of the firearm and determine if it is safe to use. I just looked at the Fulton Armory site. They charge 75 dollars plus shipping, The CMP site also works on M1903 rifles. Their phone number is as follows: 256-835-8455,and their gunshop's website is: [email protected].
 

cohunt

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as far as i know, there is no way to test for hardness without ruining it (no forms of ndt testing)

here is the note from cmp:
M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000 and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

In view of the safety risk the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).

CMP DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE WITH A ”LOW NUMBER” RECEIVER. SUCH RIFLES SHOULD BE REGARDED AS COLLECTOR’S ITEMS, NOT “SHOOTERS”.
CMP ALSO DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, REGARDLESS OF SERIAL NUMBER, WITH A SINGLE HEAT-TREATED “LOW NUMBER” BOLT. SUCH BOLTS, WHILE HISTORICALLY CORRECT FOR DISPLAY WITH A RIFLE OF WWI OR EARLIER VINTAGE, MAY BE DANGEROUS TO USE FOR SHOOTING.
THE UNITED STATES ARMY GENERALLY DID NOT SERIALIZE BOLTS. DO NOT RELY ON ANY SERIAL NUMBER APPEARING ON A BOLT TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH BOLT IS “HIGH NUMBER” OR “LOW NUMBER”.
 
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