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#551 rayg

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 10:42 AM

Again, it's the finding of some of the small or interesting items that makes this military  collecting interesting. For example, I picked this RI stock out of a batch of a misc US and foreign stocks for sale at a show. There were a number of 1903 stocks in the batch and I spotted this single bolt one among them. Single bolt stocks are almost impossible to find on the loose much less an un-modified one with out the 1910 upgrades.
Paid $150 for it which I thought was a very reasonable price and it will be a nice replacement for an early rifle having an in-correct two bolt stock. There is a faint cartouche on the wrist and you can just about make out a 19 and a 3 of the date. The un-readable number after the 19, has to be a "1" (1903). 
Odd though that the stock didn't get the 1910 upgrades yet being still high wood on the left side and not cut down, and the butt compartment has not been cut for the wooden parts container. Maybe Rock Island didn't get them until later. The rifle may have been stored or issued some were where it didn't get the aternations. 
Just wondering what the AW stamp might stand for, any opinions?  I can't quite tell what the stamped out letters were on the one below the AW. But it looks like the same AW dies were used to stamp it out. Tried to make out the stamp under those AW stamps but it almost seems like they were AW also. Maybe the first AW was in the wrong spot and it was  re-stamped above Ray.
 
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Edited by rayg, 19 March 2014 - 10:56 AM.


#552 rayg

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Posted 19 March 2014 - 11:57 AM

The more I think about it and look closer at the date. The last number could be a partial "8" not a "3". And the number in front of it from what you can see, could be an "0".  A 1908 cartouche would make more sense as it wouldn't have the 1910 alterations yet. That's even better.

Ray

 

 

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Edited by rayg, 19 March 2014 - 12:07 PM.


#553 rayg

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:09 PM

Well here we go again, I seem to be partial to these older 1903 Springfield's as I just picked up another one.

This time it's another early Rock Island one. Rock Island hadn't completed any rod bayonet rifles before the rod bayonet system was eliminated, only Springfield had done so.  Rock Island had stored all the parts for those rifles that were already made awaiting the final decision which was to replace the RB with a blade bayonet and the caliber switch to 30-06. 

This is one of those rifles assembled after that decision was made using those stored parts using a new 30-06, barrel in 1907.

These early rifles that are still in unmodified condition as assembled by the arsenal from the RB parts are fairly rare.

The stock is still in high wood and with no reinforcement bolts. And it has the split, not solid,  rear sight base and the early rear sight with the platinum line on the ladder.  

The stock appears to have been "boned" as the date in the cartouche box is unreadable but the box is visible. Ray

 

 

Attached Images

  • 1903 Rock Island2-9.JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-3.JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-2.jpg
  • 1903 Rock Island2-5.JPG


#554 rayg

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:17 PM

It was missing the middle bbl band when I got it, but it has since been replaced, Ray

 

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  • 1903 Rock Island2-6.JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-7.JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-8.JPG


#555 RustyCanteen

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Posted 08 May 2014 - 02:37 PM

 

Just wondering what the AW stamp might stand for, any opinions?  I can't quite tell what the stamped out letters were on the one below the AW. But it looks like the same AW dies were used to stamp it out. Tried to make out the stamp under those AW stamps but it almost seems like they were AW also. Maybe the first AW was in the wrong spot and it was  re-stamped above Ray.

 

BAWL indicates maintenance/rework at Benicia arsenal in California. A lot of the early rifles bearing the BAWL appear to be marked with the POD marking of the Philippine Ordnance depot during the 'Philippine Insurrection' of the early 20th century.



#556 rayg

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Posted 11 May 2014 - 04:05 AM

The stock is stamped only "AW" not "BAWL".  Would that be the same as it does seem way too large to be an arsenal stamp on a stock? Ray


Edited by rayg, 11 May 2014 - 04:07 AM.


#557 rayg

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 11:34 AM

The middle barrel band and the front sight are now on the RIA 03 and I took some better photos of it as some of the earlier ones were not taken in good light. Ray 

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  • 1903 Rock Island2-14.JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-21..JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-15.JPG


#558 rayg

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 11:43 AM

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  • 1903 Rock Island2-17.JPG

Edited by rayg, 16 May 2014 - 11:45 AM.


#559 rayg

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Posted 16 May 2014 - 02:12 PM

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  • 1903 Rock Island2-19.JPG


#560 RustyCanteen

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Posted 18 May 2014 - 05:10 PM

The stock is stamped only "AW" not "BAWL".  Would that be the same as it does seem way too large to be an arsenal stamp on a stock? Ray

 

Hi Ray,

 

Sorry for the late reply. I don't know of any "AW" stamping on an M1903, so I think it was probably supposed to be BAWL. Do you have a photo of the "AW"?  It seems that a lot of pre-1910 rifles went through Benicia since it was the major depot for supplies being shipped to the Philippines. Given the age of the stock, it would be right for the era.

 

RC



#561 rayg

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 05:53 AM

I can't quite tell what the stamped out letters were on the one below the AW. But it looks like the same AW dies were used to stamp it out. Tried to make out the stamp under those AW stamps but it almost seems like they were AW also. Maybe the first AW was in the wrong spot and it was re-stamped above Ray.

 

 

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#562 RustyCanteen

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Posted 19 May 2014 - 07:47 AM

Ok, I misunderstood (a photo is truly worth a thousand words!) and thought the "AW" was stamped on the wrist area. Those are rack numbers. I don't know the meaning of yours, but again I have seen these same two-letter rack prefix on early M1903 stocks. They are probably of Navy origin. I have a theory on these, but it's basically a guess and right now I'd like to see more examples before offering my theory. I do think these markings date to service in the 1910s-1920s.

 

That is a really nice stock though.

 

Regards,

RC



#563 rayg

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Posted 20 May 2014 - 05:39 AM

RC, you should post your theory. Perhaps if you do, others might be able to provide additional info that could help you confirm your theory. Ray



#564 rayg

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Posted 25 May 2014 - 04:15 AM

A little more information about the Rock Island rifle I just acquired, and as they say, you live and learn, I was finally able to get at my book on the "Springfield Model 1903 Service Rifle" by John Beard and C.S. Ferris and which John had autographed for me and I looked up the serial number of the Rock Island rifle I just got. And I see, that according to the book, the rifle I have is not one of the rifles that was built up from stored parts that were awaiting the final rifle approval, and were finally assembled after the approval but were assembled regardless of period of manufacture. According to the book, my rifle is one of the first  standard production ones built post January 1907 using entirely newly manufactured parts. The barrels of the rifles built after that date reliably indicate the approx. date of manufacture of the receiver and rifle, un-like the parts rifles which have no consistency. Here's a sampling from the book of these first year standard made rifles. You will note that the receiver serial number and the barrel date of mine falls within the sampling on the list.
I think that makes my rifle one of the earliest Rock Island rifles to come off the assembly line as an original production built rifle. It being made in the first months, of the first year of standard 1903 manufacture at Rock Island Arsenal. I think that's kind of neat. Ray

 

 

 

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  • 1903 Rock Island2-22..JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-15.JPG
  • 1903 Rock Island2-23.JPG


#565 rayg

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:12 AM

Well you do live and learn, as an example I had this 1873 Springfield carbine for many years and knew it was a decent unmodified early serial number dated circa 1874-75 carbine. But recently I ran across some copies of magazine articles I had saved years ago about the guns used in the Little Big Horn battle by Custer's troops. I must not have read them to closely but when finally did the other day,I found my carbine Serial #35616 is very desirable historical weapon due to the possibility that it is a Custer carbine with potential association with the battle of Little Big Horn because the serial number falls within the known serial number range of carbines issued to the 7th Cav. before the ill-fated Yellowstone Expedition.. Ordinance records indicate the 7th Cav. received 1873 carbines in the serial number ranges of 17400-18400, and 21000-21600, and 32700-36400 and the 42200 range. According to those records, carbines that fall within the 32700-36400 group were issued to Companies C, D, I, and K of the 7th Cav. The carbine is still in its correct period configuration with all the desirable early model features. It has the correct rear sight, correct early hammer, three notch cock, stacking swivel and no proof marks on barrel which is correct. The long wrist stock appears to have been lightly sanded years ago but the oval ESA cartouche on the left side and a P on the wrist are still lightly visible. There is no butt trap in the stock. The metal has also been cleaned many years ago and has a light patina looking finish now. All the metal stampings are still deep and clear.. The bore is about VG.. It is extremely rare to find an early 73 carbine that is still in its un-modified condition much less one within the Custer issue range. Overall in VG condition.
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#566 rayg

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:16 AM

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#567 rayg

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 06:19 AM

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#568 RustyCanteen

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Posted 24 July 2014 - 07:24 AM

That is an exceptionally nice early carbine. Dick Hosmer maintains a carbine database I believe.

#569 rayg

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 04:48 AM

A little more fun research info relating to Custer carbines. According to one of the articles, (Man At Arms, 1995, #4), in 1879 an Ordnance Department directive ordered all carbines numbered under 50,000 in the hands of troops or at posts be sent to the National Armory for replacement or retrofit. As it appears, according to the article, Springfield Armory converted it's stock making machine to make the longer comb stocks from Dec 1876-March 1876, that retrofitting would probably include stock replacement to reduce the potential of stock breakage occurring with the long wristed stocks. Because there were a number of upgrades during the years following the LBH incident, any carbine, such as this one, having no upgrades may not have been under government control at that time and if so, were was it?
There is no original finish remaining on most of the metal on the carbine as it had been cleaned off many years ago however all the stampings are still deep and clear and the metal has a light patina looking finish now. Even though there is no way to tell what condition the carbine was before being cleaned it does not appear that it suffered the type of abuse it would have with long term Indian use but many carbines were recaptured through Cavalry actions shortly after LBH and they could still be in decent condt.

It is very difficult to prove that a carbine was at the LBH battle, much less even issued to the 7th Cav without absolute documentation either pre LBH, during, or post LBH. For example, here are some other fairly close numbers from mine listed in the Springfield Research books I have that for some reason their serial numbers had been recorded on some document for some reason,(returned for repairs, upgraded, replaced part, etc.), and all were listed to different units. The problem is that all the recordings are post LBH which doesn't tell you if it was there then. Only if a carbine's serial number was recorded/listed prior to the battle would it provide documentation it was at least issued to the 7th Cav. before then. As an example here are some serial numbers close to mine.

35548, 7th Cav listed 1-3-80
35818, 5th Cav listed 4-29-79
35487, 7th Cav listed 08-77
35624, 2nd Cav listed 10-12-78
35677, 3rd Cav listed 4-29-79

The carbines were shipped in crates of 20 and contained mixed serial numbers and not in any sequence. The serial number before it and after it could be in a crate shipped to another unit.

#570 Garandomatic

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Posted 28 July 2014 - 11:13 AM

Years ago I saw a documentary where they used GPS at the LBH battlefield to catalog artifacts including bullets and casings found after a fire or something cleared it off. They positively linked several probable firearms to the battlefield that way by examining the firing pin indentations and rifling marks on fired rounds. I wonder if there was any possibility of having the same done with yours?



#571 rayg

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Posted 30 July 2014 - 03:53 AM

I saw that documentary also but look at the number of carbines that fall within the possible Custer serial number ranges of 17400-18400, and 21000-21600, and 32700-36400 and the 42200 range. That's a lot of carbines.
I'm sure that only if a carbine exhibited some other evidence to suspect it may be have been used in the battle, like apparent hard Indian use, found in the area etc. would it be a candidate for further testing. Ray

Edited by rayg, 30 July 2014 - 04:11 AM.


#572 rayg

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:34 AM

I went to a small show over the weekend that was geared to mostly CW collectables with some post CW items allowed and I found this nice late 1898 Krag there.   
 
It's a pretty late rifle being made in early-mid 1902, but it's in nice condition and has an great cartouche and an excellent  bore. Now I already have a 99% condt., earlier 1896 Krag already, posted here earlier, and I didn't need another Krag as once again I'm trying to get rid of duplicates and certainly not wanting to add another one. But as usual, I just can't pass up a good deal, and this one was priced right and way below the going prices for Krag's. Probably because it is so late. Regardless as It would make a great shooter. Ray

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#573 rayg

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 08:37 AM

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Edited by rayg, 23 September 2014 - 09:02 AM.


#574 rayg

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:03 AM

PS I'm in the process of looking toward selling off a lot of my collection starting with all of my CW uniforms and items. I'm getting to the point I need to down size. I have 5 CW manikins complete with uniforms and equipment
that I will be selling as a group of all five at once not piece meal. There are also flags, saddles, etc. to sell later. I'll be looking for and/or contacting any folks who would be interested in buying them all of them as a group. Hate to do it, but I had them long enough and I'm starting to get to the point in age where I have to dispose of some of the collection. This will give a collector an opportunity to get a complete CW display all at once. Ray.

Edited by rayg, 23 September 2014 - 09:29 AM.


#575 sgtpeter

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Posted 23 September 2014 - 09:56 PM

Great collection and displays! Certainly something to aspire to!

 

Peter




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