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Old 08-23-2018, 03:49 PM   #1
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1903 Remington ??

I have a question about a Rem 1903....Receiver made in either July or Aug
1942. The barrel is marked SA 7-42. How did a 1942 SA barrel find it's way
onto a Rem 1942 receiver? Seems very strange to me. Any info would be
great.
Denny
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:34 PM   #2
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leadhead2,

Fyi, the VAST majority of 1903A1 rifles have been depot rebuilt at least one & often several times. - I suspect that during one of those rebuilds that a NOS 1942 SA barrel got "pulled off the shelf" & used in the rebuilding project.

It is also POSSIBLE, though much less likely, that Remington ran out of barrels in WWII & used some "on the shelf" SA barrels. = Model 1903 rifles were still being built in 1942 because the USA & her allies were critically short of rifles & anything shootable MIGHT be used for some "war related purpose". - There are indications that some few 1898 Krag rifles/carbines were "removed from storage" & issued to State defense forces & were used by contract guards at defense plants.
(A lot of research might tell you if that is possible or not.)
Note: Krag rifles/carbines are NOT the only "long obsolete" weapons that were "reissued" for various purposes.
Similarly, in one case, the NC NAVAL MILITIA was issued some pre-WWI era water-cooled, heavy MG, which were then mounted on commercial/civilian-owned fishing boats for Coastal Anti-Submarine Patrol.
In another case, the TEXAS COASTAL PATROL mounted pre-WWI machineguns & an obsolete anti-tank gun on the CITY OF GOLIAD, which was previously a private yacht.

I saw a US Rifle Model of 1917 (the so-called "American Enfield") at the SA Gun Show in 2015 that had markings that indicated that it had been rebuilt at FIVE different depots & then "lend-leased" to the UK in 1940. - As it was at an "attractive price", I started to buy it as a "curiosity".

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 08-23-2018 at 04:45 PM. Reason: addenda
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Old 08-23-2018, 04:44 PM   #3
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Thanks SW....That thought crossed my mind about them running out of Rem
barrels, but the same month and year kind of thru me off.
Denny
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:23 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stand watie View Post
I saw a US Rifle Model of 1917 (the so-called "American Enfield") at the SA Gun Show in 2015 that had markings that indicated that it had been rebuilt at FIVE different depots & then "lend-leased" to the UK in 1940. - As it was at an "attractive price", I started to buy it as a "curiosity".

yours, sw
Considering the Brits threw all the civilian guns we loaned them got thrown in the sea so no mere civilian would get them back I'm surprised the 1917 made it home.
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Old 08-23-2018, 05:34 PM   #5
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csmkersh,

NOT all lend-lease rifles were thrown into the sea, as until recently I had a Model 1917 that was rebuilt at SAAD in the 1930s & also had British acceptance stamps, as well as faded signs of the "red painted band", that indicated to the UK's Home Guard that the rifle was in .30-06 caliber.
(Supposedly a PA ARNG officer brought that one home in his luggage.)

yours, sw
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Old 08-25-2018, 02:35 PM   #6
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What does a proof mark P in a square mean?
Denny
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:10 PM   #7
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The "P" in a square signified that the rifle had been rebuilt.
A "P" in a circle is a proof mark applied to new weapons.

As far as I know, the only American arms the British dumped in the sea were the civilian arms they begged us to loan them in 1940.

Famously, the Brits posted ads in American gun and sporting magazines, especially the American Rifleman, begging for American civilians to loan them any kind of firearms, spotting scopes, binoculars and other gear.

They gave the word of the British government that once they were no longer needed they would be returned to their owners.

As soon as the war started winding down and they no longer needed the equipment they put it on barges, towed them out into the North Sea and dumped it all.

The British were required to either return or destroy all the Lend-Lease weapons and equipment.
The American lend-Lease weapons were either retained and eventually given to British allies all over the world or in the case of no longer serviceable weapons they were destroyed, but I think they were scrapped and recycled as steel for rebuilding England.

Britain was required to pay for much of the Lend-Lease property and as I recall, the final payment was made in December 2006.
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:27 PM   #8
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To All,

As some friends here know, I've been trying to gather up enough 1st person accounts, private letters, local newspaper "clips" & personal memoirs of State Defense Force veterans of the WWII era, to do a monograph on those "private or 'more or less private in nature' actions" of civilians & State/local militias in support of the war effort.
(What I am finding are interesting "bits & pieces" but not yet enough for even a "magazine article" on that subject.)

I have discovered evidence that the following States (at least) armed private or State-leased vessels to patrol the East Coast, Gulf Coast & the Chesapeake Bay against German submarines, landing of spies/saboteurs & possible commando raids: CT, LA, MD, NJ, NY, RI, TX & VA.

NOTE: I was told in 2005, by 3 "eyewitnesses" (who claimed to be present at the time), that a group of local "fisherfolk & townsmen" near Kitty Hawk, on the Outer Banks of NC captured a man, who they believed was a German saboteur or spy & after "questioning him", hanged him in front of a local school.
(One of the eyewitnesses stated that when the Military Police arrived to take custody of the German the following day, that the MPs "weren't happy". - I suspect that "weren't happy" is a World-class understatement.)

In some cases, the individual States and/or the federal government provided at least the following sorts of weapons to the State & local Defense Forces: Rifles, shotguns of all sorts, light automatic rifles, SMG, water & air cooled heavy MG, a few circa-WWI antitank guns & (very likely) at least one "one-pounder" S-A War-era Gatling Gun that was "reportedly used" aboard a commercial fishboat (The EMILY JEANNE) from NC.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 08-25-2018 at 04:44 PM. Reason: add/grammar
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Old 08-25-2018, 04:41 PM   #9
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dfariswheel,

Fyi, my grandfather (who was a confirmed Anglophile) gave his entire gun collection to be loaned to the UK's Home Guard in late 1939 & was "faithfully promised" by the US Army's "official representative" that he would get his firearms back at the end of hostilities. = You can imagine how much that the "faithfully promised" was worth in the post-war era!!!

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 08-26-2018 at 05:44 PM. Reason: ommitted word
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Old 08-26-2018, 02:08 PM   #10
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One of the very few that made it back to it's owner was a man who sent his Match rifle that he'd won a number of trophy's with.

He mounted a brass plate on the stock with his name and address, what it had been used for and a request to send it home.
The story was published in the American Rifleman some years ago.

A good number of people have stated over the years that the Brits better not get in a jam and ask for arms from us again.
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Old 08-26-2018, 05:43 PM   #11
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dfariswheel,

100% UNDERSTANDABLE, don't you think??
(My grandfather "loaned the Home Guard" a matched pair of NICE Parker DB, with the understanding that they would be taken care of & would come back to TX, after the World war.)

I've always wondered if his Parkers ended up in some British toff's collection.


Fwiw, I'm reliably told that the members of the Home Guard took excellent care of the firearms that had been loaned to them. = To the individual Home Guardsman, it was a matter of HONOR to care for other people's property.
(Mr. Thomas Pickens, who had been a doughboy in WWI France, from Commerce, TX, received a formal letter of apology from a Brigadier of the HG for the loss, due to an accident during a HG "field training mission" of a lever-action rifle in .300 Savage caliber. - The commanding officer offered to pay Mr. Pickens for the firearm.)

It's was the ANTI-GUN British government that was to blame for the firearms being dumped into the North Sea. = Sadly, the government bureaucrats were ABSENT HONOR or even common decency.

yours, sw

Last edited by stand watie; 08-26-2018 at 05:57 PM. Reason: clarity
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Old 08-26-2018, 06:01 PM   #12
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leadhead,

Inasmuch as your rifle evidently has the "P in a square", my first guess is likely correct. = Rebuilt at least once, with the barrel likely being changed out for a '42 SA.

Do you find other stampings on the metal or furniture??

yours, sw
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:06 AM   #13
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Leadhead2: Your rifle is most likely an "1903-Modified". Here's the story:

At the beginning of the war the U.S. couldn't produce Garands fast enough. The Springfield was still a viable battle rifle (as good or better than any of the belligerent nations was using), and the Marines stormed Guadalcanal in 1942 using Springfields.

In order to maximize the output of battle rifles, Remington was given a contract to build Springfields using the tooling Rock Island Arsenal had used in the first World War. Remington made some small modifications to simplify production, the most visible of which is the elimination of the lightening cuts on either side of the receiver. (If you look at an original '03 you'll see that there are longitudinal concave cuts in the "cheeks" of the receiver; your's probably doesn't have those cuts.)

At any rate, your rifle is a very desirable variation. It's production was sandwiched in between the originals, which were mostly made in the first two decades of the century, and the '03A3's, which were highly modified with two-groove barrels and a Garand-like rear sight which was moved to the rear of the receiver. As a matter of fact, you might check your barrel. Since it's a Springfield, it may be of the later two-groove variety.

My '03 Modified still has the original Remington barrel, stamped 5-42, with four grooves. I inherited it from my grandfather, who had sporterized it with a Monte Carlo stock. If your rifle still has the original stock I'd be interested to know which one it is. I have restored mine with a "C" stock, which I was able to determine may be correct, but since your rifle was made within months of mine, I'd sure love to know which stock was on it when it left the factory.
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:27 AM   #14
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capt. This was a Greek return rifle from the CMP. I doubt very much
it had the original stock... I found a very faint SA in a box on the left
side of the stock by the bolt release. It was a finger groove stock that
was beat to hell, and I just replaced it with another one. The barrel
is a four groove but it doesn't have the lightning cuts on the receiver.
This stock I replaced it with is a springfield stock as it has a small
s stamped in the cutout for the bolt release. It also has a box with an
E S.A.A. which I understand is from the San Antone Arsenal. This is
the stock with the P in a square box. I want to thank you for all the info
you gave me. There sure is a lot to learn about these 03's isn't there?
I don't know if we'll ever know every thing there is to know.
Thanks again,
Denny
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Old 08-27-2018, 09:31 AM   #15
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Thanks for that info. I suspect that my rifle had a finger groove stock also when my grandfather acquired it, but it's lost forever so I'll never know.
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Old 08-27-2018, 12:51 PM   #16
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leadhead2,

YES, S.A.A was the older marking. SAAD was San Antonio Army Depot.

Btw, the old Arsenal & Depot are now the HQ of HEB Grocery Stores, Inc.

yours, sw
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Old 08-27-2018, 02:54 PM   #17
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Thanks sw.....The info just keeps coming.
Denny
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Old 08-27-2018, 06:12 PM   #18
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The old SAAD commander's house is still there at 29.418381, -98.496263. The depot itself was on South Main Street a block further South. As stan watie said, it's now HEB grocery's headquarters.
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