Question regarding WWII Rifle - RimfireCentral.com Forums

Go Back   RimfireCentral.com Forums > >

Notices

Join Team RFC to remove these ads.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
  #1  
Old 03-16-2019, 05:21 PM
beachguy43's Avatar
beachguy43
National Guard

Join Date: 
Apr 2009
Location: 
South Texas Brush Country
Posts: 
176
TPC Rating: 
100% (1)
Question regarding WWII Rifle



Log in to see fewer ads
Not a rimfire question but a question directed to the RFC Community. I have found a lot of collective wisdom and knowledge on this board and have also noted that there are a lot of members of my generation, the generation following the "Greatest Generation" being, we the children, nieces and nephews of WWII veterans. I have just come into possession of a Remington 03-A3 in unaltered condition. According to the serial number it was manufactured in June or July of 1943. (BTW, the summer of my birth) This rifle belonged to an uncle who was a veteran of several Pacific campaigns. He was in some of the worst of it but absolutely never talked about it and I knew not to ask. What information I have is based on just a snippet here and there that my father knew combined with my later researching of after battle reports and documents where he and/or his military unit were mentioned. I grew up in the presence of this rifle, which in the 40's and 50's my uncle used for hunting in its unaltered form.

Now to my question which I have researched to the end of the Internet without a drawing a firm conclusion. Family legend has it that this rifle had been his weapon (or one of them since his MOS was as a heavy machine gunner) and that he had brought this rifle home from the War. Ninety-five percent of what I have read says this is not possible. However, I have read a couple of accounts to the effect that late in the War when enough Garands were finally available and they were being issued to soldiers equipped with the 03's soldiers were told to do whatever they wanted with the 03's.

My non-conclusion is colored a bit by stories told by my father who was in a different branch of the service but told of the enormous stockpiles of equipment of all sorts that he was involved with destroying or hauling out to sea and dumping overboard. I can imagine a superior telling an enlisted man to do whatever he wanted with such a rifle.

I have quite a bit more I could say but I have written way too much. I need to be clear that I am not talking about "liberated" battlefield pieces. Guess I never did ask a question but I would appreciate any thoughts, opinions or similar experiences.

Last edited by beachguy43; 03-17-2019 at 07:32 AM.
Reply With Quote
  #2  
Old 03-16-2019, 07:37 PM
HectorFuego's Avatar
HectorFuego
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Jan 2007
Location: 
Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 
2,000
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I think it's highly unlikely, but you never know. You might try asking that question in the Surplusrifleforum.com

They have some pretty knowledgeable guys there - some of whom are real historians.

I have a G.I. configuration 03A3 that I got from CMP. Great rifle, and the action is smooth as glass. Either way it goes, you have an excellent rifle and an equally excellent story. Don't ever be tempted to alter it in any way. lt's much more valuable the way it is.

Hector
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-16-2019, 07:59 PM
GladesGuy's Avatar
GladesGuy is online now
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Mar 2013
Location: 
So. Fla.
Posts: 
2,969
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I collect surplus military weapons and have never heard of a US soldier being allowed to keep his US issued weapon. Captured weapons is another story. You could get commanding officer permission to bring back hand guns and rifles and many such weapons today come with this documentation which, as you can imagine, makes the weapon much more valuable. In addition many US soldiers snuck back captured weapons without permission. Hence the famous "duffel cut" on some Mausers and Arisakas where the GI had to cut the stock to get it to fit in his duffel bag when returning to the states. It's always possible that some exception was made to allow a heroic soldier or a commander to keep a side weapon, but I have never heard of such a case. The best source to confirm what the rules were and the possibility that a soldier was allowed to keep a weapon might be the folks at the CMP or a call to the NRA or Springfield Armory Museums
Reply With Quote
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
  #4  
Old 03-16-2019, 08:27 PM
David Valdina is online now
US Marines Veteran NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Aug 2004
Location: 
Barefoot Bay, Florida and Cape Cod, Massachusetts
Posts: 
2,878
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
It is very possible.

I had a friend many years ago who served in Europe in WWII. He brought back a rifle taken apart and packed with his stuff. Never had a problem. If anyone else knew about it, nothing was said. Some areas had very little time or energy to worry about accountability. In the Pacific, the Army's M-1 rifles were appropriated by the Marines who had Springfields and wanted more firepower.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-16-2019, 10:22 PM
Vee3

Join Date: 
Jun 2005
Posts: 
1,615
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by GladesGuy View Post
In addition many US soldiers snuck back captured weapons without permission. Hence the famous "duffel cut" on some Mausers and Arisakas where the GI had to cut the stock to get it to fit in his duffel bag when returning to the states.
There are several accounts from WWII GIs that indicate the rifles' stocks were actually cut down to fit in the standard box size that was allowed to be sent home from overseas; relatively few being packed in duffel bags.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-16-2019, 10:58 PM
mushka
US Army Veteran Law Enforcement Officer NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Jul 2011
Location: 
Yuma, Az.
Posts: 
1,111
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I have seen a few rifles in my life that were actually used in frontal areas of combat situations. None were actually mistreated but had evidence of scrapes, bumps, gouges, and some metal was abraided or nicked by something during strenuous use. Something to look for in a battle rifle. These were wood and steel rifles not the present day issue. Might be something to look at.
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-16-2019, 11:30 PM
shootrj2003
US Marines Veteran NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Jul 2006
Location: 
Pine Bush N.Y.now Huguenot N.Y.
Posts: 
1,156
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I have heard the story many times of bring backs both enemy and U.S. Property.,I grew up in the military,and while it would never be admitted officially,the sheer amount of arms piled up after cleaning a battlefield would throw accountability out the window for enough time to grab a rifle ,most were appropriated by rear echelon troops who had the time and place to stash something,battlefield troops might have time to look and trade for a better weapon like trading an 03a3 for an M1 or maybe for a less beat rifle than they had but they had no room to stash a extra rifle,extra ammo maybe not a rifle,as far as enemy weapons ,my father told me of being free to pick from piles of German stuff and finding a spot to shoot for fun,he stated about shooting hundreds of rounds out into the River.he was Signal Corps so not constantly front line troops,he did photography and observer work. I knew a friend whos father was a Green Beret,and he showed me weapons brought back from Vietnam-Nam ,and there was much more accountability in that war,interestingly one was a German Mauser,with the stock wrapped with wire and soldered which I later came to know was done to bolster it up for shooting rifle grenades,I have seen SMLE 's done similarity for the same purpose.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-16-2019, 11:52 PM
smatda

Join Date: 
Dec 2009
Location: 
Bristol, VA
Posts: 
121
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Reminds me of the scene from "We Were Soliders" where Col. Moore asks Sgt. Plumley "Maybe you ought to get yourself an M-16" and Sgt. Plumley replies "If it gets to the point I need one, there will plenty of them lying on the ground."

Sad but true.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-17-2019, 11:39 AM
grg's Avatar
grg
US Army Disabled American Veteran

Join Date: 
Aug 2014
Location: 
SE Iowa
Posts: 
2,843
TPC Rating: 
100% (6)
In more modern times we had a guy sneak several AK's back as well as some anti-aircraft rounds. It is not worth it, he did not keep his mouth shut and was caught deservedly so. He did it by hiding them up in the frame rails of some equipment. Once they took him away I lost track of what happened as I left for another duty station.
__________________
Glenn
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-17-2019, 01:44 PM
Oldeyes
US Army Veteran NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Feb 2004
Location: 
Ohio
Posts: 
511
TPC Rating: 
100% (2)
A close friend volunteered for a combat photographer slot in Vietnam circa late '69. He got that combat photographer slot as his duty assignment. When we got together in country in mid '70 to catch up and share our experiences I asked him what type of a firearm he carried with him into combat situations. I was surprised when he said, "None." He went on to point out that within the first 5 seconds of a fire fight there were always weapons aplenty to choose from. At the time that was a quite sobering revelation for me.
Reply With Quote
  #11  
Old 03-17-2019, 02:19 PM
Erno86

Join Date: 
Oct 2018
Posts: 
281
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Check the serial number... for some receivers were made too brittle and are unshootable for firing.

After WWII...my uncle bought one for $5.00, but he had to send it back to Rock Island Arsenal too have the receiver replaced.

https://www.m1903.com/03rcvrfail/

Last edited by Erno86; 03-17-2019 at 02:24 PM.
Reply With Quote
  #12  
Old 03-17-2019, 02:34 PM
GladesGuy's Avatar
GladesGuy is online now
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Mar 2013
Location: 
So. Fla.
Posts: 
2,969
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by grg View Post
In more modern times we had a guy sneak several AK's back as well as some anti-aircraft rounds. It is not worth it, he did not keep his mouth shut and was caught deservedly so. He did it by hiding them up in the frame rails of some equipment. Once they took him away I lost track of what happened as I left for another duty station.
Exactly why there are many bring back enemy pistols and rifles and not so many US issued arms brought back from combat. Get caught with an enemy's pistol or rifle without proper authorization and you'd get a slap on the wrist and/or confiscation, while a US issued firearm would get you a dishonorable discharge and/or a stretch in Leavenworth
Reply With Quote
  #13  
Old 03-17-2019, 02:46 PM
JTJ's Avatar
JTJ is online now
US Air Force Veteran NRA Member - Click Here To Join! GOA Member

Join Date: 
Oct 2012
Location: 
Arizona
Posts: 
1,284
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
My brother was in a gun shop and found the 1911 he carried in Korea so who knows.
Reply With Quote
  #14  
Old 03-17-2019, 04:08 PM
HectorFuego's Avatar
HectorFuego
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Jan 2007
Location: 
Lee's Summit, MO
Posts: 
2,000
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Erno86 View Post
Check the serial number... for some receivers were made too brittle and are unshootable for firing.

After WWII...my uncle bought one for $5.00, but he had to send it back to Rock Island Arsenal too have the receiver replaced.

https://www.m1903.com/03rcvrfail/
The OP's rifle is an 03A3. All those receivers were double heat treated and are safe to shoot.

Hector
Reply With Quote
  #15  
Old 03-18-2019, 12:59 PM
zingbee
NRA Member - Click Here To Join!

Join Date: 
Nov 2011
Location: 
The Golden Triangle, Florida
Posts: 
353
TPC Rating: 
0% (0)
I have my Dad's 03-A3 that he bought through his DAV chapter. According to him, they were supposed to be used for ceremonies and such.

Here is a very informative site on all things '03.
http://www.vishooter.net/m1903.html

The serial number on the receiver is the date it was manufactured and put in a parts bin, assembled at a later date. Barrel date and receiver number may vary considerably.

By-the-way, mine is a Remington. All parts are stamped with an "R".

Here's a good source of parts: http://www.e-sarcoinc.com/springfield.aspx

Last edited by zingbee; 03-18-2019 at 01:22 PM.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On


Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
25 Yard Limited, Light Rifle and Unlimited Iron Sight Match for June, 2017. AJK 547 Benchrest 50 yd. Iron Sight Matches with NRA A-23/5 target 2 06-03-2017 02:11 PM
Henry .22lr Pump Action Rifle malneyugnfl Henry 8 05-20-2017 04:39 PM
25 Yard Limited, Light Rifle and Unlimited Iron Sight Match for May, 2017. AJK 547 Benchrest 50 yd. Iron Sight Matches with NRA A-23/5 target 2 04-29-2017 05:47 PM
Monthly Postal Matches, Prizes & Annual Championship League! NetCompetitor Local Matches / Ranges / Clubs / Gun Shows 4 02-16-2017 06:10 PM
25 Yard Limited, Light Rifle and Unlimited Iron Sight Matches for October 2016. AJK 547 Benchrest 50 yd. Iron Sight Matches with NRA A-23/5 target 2 10-04-2016 10:47 AM



All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:21 PM.

Privacy Policy

DMCA Notice

Powered by vBulletin
Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.
Search Engine Optimisation provided by DragonByte SEO (Lite) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Security provided by vBSecurity v2.2.2 (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
vBulletin Optimisation provided by vB Optimise (Pro) - vBulletin Mods & Addons Copyright © 2019 DragonByte Technologies Ltd.
Copyright ©2000-2018 RimfireCentral.com
x