Dating springfield armory model 1903a1
I recommend that we instruct our Ordnance establishments to no longer issue rifles with these questionable receivers, that such rifles be set aside and considered as a war reserve and the question of the ultimate replacement of the receivers be deferred.
When rifles are turned in from the troops for repair the receivers having these low numbers should be scrapped." Hofs decision meant that low numbered receivers would not be issued, but that those already issued would remain in service. Marine Corp, because of an even more limited budget than the Army, did not follow this recommendation and never retired any of its low numbered receivers until they were replaced with the M1 rifle about 1942. In 1942-44 the United States also equipped the Free French Army of Charles De Gaulle with low numbered Springfields.
A second problem that Hatcher found was the hardness of the brass cartridge cases, and the design of the Springfield chamber-bolt interface.
Whenever I heard emphatic statements about the safety of something such as a low numbered Springfield receiver my training and natural inclination are to get the numbers and put them into perspective with other risks we face on a daily basis. I have attempted to put the risk of Springfield receiver failures into prospective using simple statistics, thus permitting the interested reader to make his own decision about the safety of the Springfield rifle receiver. Despite the intense demand for rifles caused by our entry into the war, production at both Springfield Armory and Rock Island Arsenal was halted in early 1918, and an investigation launched to determine the cause of the problem. As such I have a considerable amount of training in statistics. Model 1903 rifle, commonly called the Springfield, was used by the U. Between July and December 1917 eleven rifle receivers shattered, causing one severe and 10 minor injuries to the soldiers using the rifle. My training is in medicine and medical research and I specialize in epidemiology, a discipline that looks at why bad things (epidemics) happen to people. When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917 there was a marked increase in the use of this rifle for training.On February 7, 1928 after considering all the factors the Chief of Field Service, U. Army,, General Samuel Hof, made the following policy for the United States Army: "Our ammunition is getting worse and accidents may be somewhat more frequent.On the other hand, some of these early rifles have been in use for many years and undoubtedly some of them have worn out several barrels.
There had been 58 reported receiver failures when the board made its decision.