Author Topic: 1903 Springfield caliber conversion?  (Read 742 times)

Offline Cooter Brown

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1903 Springfield caliber conversion?
« on: December 05, 2012, 05:02:53 AM »
Anyone know of a good source of info for Ackley Improved caliber conversion on the 1903? I've got a buddy that's looking to convert to .280 or 30-06 Ackley Improved. I'm a pistol guy, so I'm not much help.

Specifically he is wondering if any modification to the feed mechanism would be necessary.
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: 1903 Springfield caliber conversion?
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2012, 05:25:45 AM »
What is the serial number range?  The 1903 made by Springfield can be dangerous to use and/or convert.  Specifically, anything below the 800,000 serial number.  Other manufacturer's have different serial number ranges for the 1903 (made by many companies for different conflicts and countries).  The issue is with the heat treat (or lack of, or double, etc).
Nate
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Offline soupbone

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Re: 1903 Springfield caliber conversion?
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2012, 06:00:45 PM »
Just my humble opinion - the 1903 Springfield Rifle is now a collector's item, and ought not to be converted. Its original chambering is a useful hunting and defensive cartridge, so why convert? Flippydidit is absolutely correct about the heat treat - the early rifles cannot safely stand higher pressures; some, after 100+ years, may no longer be safe to shoot.

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Offline Cooter Brown

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Re: 1903 Springfield caliber conversion?
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2012, 06:17:50 PM »
Note that it's a buddy, not me.

He ended up finding a copy of "Hatcher's Notebook" on tngun.com
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Offline flippydidit

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Re: 1903 Springfield caliber conversion?
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2012, 11:40:58 PM »
From what I can tell "Hatcher's Notebook" was written in 1947 (original publishing date).  For some of the same reasons that I wouldn't utilize reloading data from 1947, I would shy away from antiquated gunsmithing information.  It obviously has revisions to the book (up to 2008 that I found), which means that more current information has probably been added, but the point I would make is that he can BUY a NEW gun with that caliber, cheaper that doing a conversion.  It's that simple.  The labor and parts costs will easily exceed buying a new gun in that caliber, or buying a new gun and paying for the conversion.  That's in addition to having a rifle that can actually handle the pressure of a wildcat cartridge chambering.

From the late forties until about the early eighties, it was cost-effective to "sporterize" rifles.  That's why it was popular.  Military surplus rifles were cheap and plentiful.  Economical sporting rifles were not.  The trend was to convert many different rifles to "sporting" applications.  Chambers were converted to "sporting" calibers and wildcat cartridges were tinkered with.  The times, they have a-changed my friend.  We now have very economical "sporting rifles" in a broad offering of calibers.  With enough looking around, your friend can find something already set up for what he wants.  It will most likely already have all the things he'll want done with it (e.g. not having a 5-6lb. trigger pull).  It will likely be lighter, stronger, and have better ergonomics as well.  Most importantly, it will be safer.

Hope this helps!
Nate
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