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Thread: Repairing 1903 Springfield duddle cut stock

  1. #1
    Boolit Bub
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    Repairing 1903 Springfield duddle cut stock

    After WW2 my best friends grandfather kept a 1903 Springfield. Fast forward 60 years, my friend gave it to me. The stock was duffle cut but the fore end is long gone. The remaining stock is very nice. Does anyone know of a way source a fore end with out cutting up another stock?

  2. #2
    Boolit Master

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    A photo would be helpful.

    I do not know of a source that specifically makes 1903 Springfield fore end replacement pieces, but suggest that you try S&S Firearms in N.Y. as they have handled those parts for Krag rifles. If they don't have a piece for your 1903's fore end perhaps they can connect you to their source for the Krag pieces and you might find help or further direction there.

    Before I knew that the Krag pieces were available I made a couple from suitably sized and grained pieces of walnut, and it really wasn't that difficult. Any stockmaker should be able to do it for you, or with a little experience you could do it yourself.

    This is where the photo would be nice, because how successful you will be in restoring the stock to an appearance of originality will depend on exactly where it was cut. The usual procedure would be to connect the new piece to the remaining piece where the middle barrel band is located (the one with the sling swivel on it). If the stock was cut farther toward the muzzle that is favorable for a good outcome, as it can be cut back a bit more to that point so that the joint is concealed by the band. But if it was cut off behind the band there will be no good way of completely concealing the repair.

    Although prices have gone up and parts aren't as easy to get as they once were, 1903 stocks really haven't become rare. You might be ahead of the game in the long run to just find, buy, and replace the entire stock. From the viewpoints of being a collector's item, authenticity, and/or utility you might want to consider that a diligent search might turn up an entire stock with all the proper markings, etc., for that particular rifle as it had many brothers, restoring it to the way it originally was. Again, the military was and probably remains a great mixer of parts and never was too careful to maintain all of the parts original to any given individual rifle on that rifle, so a "mix master" is also authentic. Lastly, if your purpose in restoring the rifle is to hang it on the wall or take it to the range, it really doesn't matter which complete stock is on the rifle.

    Your decision to make.

  3. #3
    Boolit Master WILCO's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by eric123 View Post
    After WW2 my best friends grandfather kept a 1903 Springfield. Fast forward 60 years, my friend gave it to me.
    Is it a high or low serial number?
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  5. #5
    Boolit Master
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    I wonder how many "pappy kept his rifle from WWII" stories are out there? The likelihood of that old man having purloined an '03 and smuggled it home in a duffle bag is pretty slim. More likely that he bought it through the NRA/DCM shortly after the war, or bought it at a hardware store. U.S. martial arms were not considered to be "war trophies" like Mausers, Arisakas, etc. were, and hence were illegal for GI's to bring home. Guys that were caught doing it were harshly dealt with and as a result it was done hardly at all. More than a few were stolen outright out of supply huts and armories stateside, but that's another topic. (I know of a .45, an M2 .22, and two Garands that fall into that category.)

    I seriously doubt this Springfield was a true "duffle cut". More likely represents a crude Bubba sporterizing job from back in the day.
    Last edited by gnoahhh; 07-23-2017 at 10:50 PM.

  6. #6
    Boolit Bub
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    Quote Originally Posted by gnoahhh View Post
    I wonder how many "pappy kept his rifle from WWII" stories are out there? The likelihood of that old man having purloined an '03 and smuggled it home in a duffle bag is pretty slim. More likely that he bought it through the NRA/DCM shortly after the war, or bought it at a hardware store. U.S. martial arms were not considered to be "war trophies" like Mausers, Arisakas, etc. were, and hence were illegal for GI's to bring home. Guys that were caught doing it were harshly dealt with and as a result it was done hardly at all. More than a few were stolen outright out of supply huts and armories stateside, but that's another topic. (I know of a .45 and two Garands that fall into that category.)

    I seriously doubt this Springfield was a true "duffle cut". More likely represents a crude Bubba sporterizing job from back in the day.
    I'm pretty sure your scenario is the more accurate one. The floor plate does have an NRA stamp...

  7. #7
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    NRA Sporter

    If it was an original NRA sporter, then they used a sporting type stock.

    It is similar to this M2 at the bottom of the photo.
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    Keep your powder dry,

    Scharf

  8. #8
    Boolit Master
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    Whoa!!! Pics are in order now- of the serial number, floor plate, and the rest of the rifle in general. NRA Sales Rifles were pre-WWI, and of standard M1903 military configuration. (Not to be confused with M1903 NRA Sporters from the 20's and 30's as suggested in the above post.) If the NRA bottom metal jives with the serial number you have a gem that's worth restoring. Don't, however, have the metal refinished if it still has the original Armory finish no matter how bad it may look.

    Simple version: NRA Sales rifles weren't cherry picked for accuracy/quality in any way, but note the quality of finish on the pre-WWI rifles was of a higher standard than wartime and inter-war period rifles. They were stamped as such when sold directly to NRA members pre-WWI so as to identify them as not having been purloined from the gov't. Back then the only way to buy an '03 directly from the gov't was through the NRA, and they weren't cheap so not a helluva lot of them were sold. That practice was stopped as we neared entry into the war when it was realized that we didn't have nearly enough rifles in stores to equip a large army should the need arise.

    Due to when they were built, all NRA Sales Rifles were "low number" guns. Reference all the arguments pro/con about shooting it. (Were it mine I would shoot it with low pressure cast loads, but that's me and NOT an endorsement for general use of LN Springfields.)
    Last edited by gnoahhh; 07-23-2017 at 10:57 PM.

  9. #9
    eric123, try this company, Dupage Trading Co. LLC, they have for ends cut off behind the barrel bands @ 2 for $40.

  10. #10
    Boolit Bub
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    Here she is...Apologies for poor camera work. I suspect it's a plain Jane '03. Serial number is 580K range...

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  11. #11
    Boolit Master lefty o's Avatar
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    yup, someone cut that.

  12. #12
    Boolit Bub
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    This rifle will be used for low pressure CB loads, yes I know about low SHT '03's.

    I appreciate all the replies and help...

  13. #13
    Boolit Master
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    Original stocks like your are going to be very hard to come by and I don't know of anyone making the finger groove after market replicas of it. The last time I looked on their site, Boyd's did not make that stock. I carried a rifle very similar to that our rifle in original configuration during basic training at Great Lakes in the summer of 1959. It had the straight stock, figure grooves in the forearm and the high hump top handguard. It handled like a dream during rifle drills. We never fired them, only drilled with them. We actually shot .22lr on the rifle range. I was going thru basic training between my junior and senior years of high school. I joined the Navy Reserve in the fall of 1958. I wore a hole in a brand new pair of shoes that summer pounding that concrete in the upper 90's summer heat. Good memories though.

  14. #14
    Boolit Master
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    Yep, everything jibes- stamp, barrel, serial number. Definitely worth stretching the stock on. That gun was someone's pride and joy 100 years ago. Just think, it never got subjected to the mud of the Western Front, the sands of North Africa, or the goop of Guadalcanal- it never saw service. Love it!

  15. #15
    Boolit Master
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    Not just the stock but the hanguard also.

    A friend had one similar, 1905 MFC, had a gunsmith piece in a forend from an 03A3 and modded a 1917 handguard to have it come together fairly well.

    It wasn't a forged copy by any means but it was a very good looking rifle when done.

  16. #16
    Boolit Master pietro's Avatar
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    For just shooting & hunting, I like it fine, as-is.


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    Experience is a wonderful thing - It lets you recognize a mistake, when you make it again.

  17. #17
    Boolit Master
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    I have an original 1912 or 1918 stock w cartouches..sitting in the closet...i'll buy the gun or you can buy the stock...

  18. #18
    Boolit Master
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    BTW ..NRA stamped guns bring a premium no mater what the condition.

  19. #19
    Boolit Master

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    There was a post on the board years ago about someone who spliced wood into a chopped fore end.
    Looked pretty good for what it was.

    There was a Krag that was spliced under the front band that looked great. On another board. Possibly one of the Krag boards.

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