Springfield Model 1903 Striker

Professor Mawla

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Good evening ,

For academic purposes , I would like all of you gentlemen to provide me with some insight on a particular subject . A student of mine recently gave me several books authored by renowned arms writer , the late Jack O Connor . Reading the books , I realized that the gentleman is rather disdainful towards the Springfield Model 1903 action .

The gentleman claimed that the two piece striker of the Springfield Model 1903 action was prone to breaking . I personally find this to be quite difficult to believe , because I ( have ) frequently hunt(ed) Himalayan ibex with a sporterized Springfield Model 1903 in .30-06 Springfield quite a few times over the years . That rifle belongs to my outfitter and it has been seeing use , for upwards of four decades .
Yet , I have never incurred any problems related to the two piece striker .

I have personally dialogued with several of our experienced fellow forum members , about this subject . Their views seem to be mixed . Some debunk the claims of the two piece striker being prone to breaking , as mere hearsay . However , other gentlemen find the claims to be feasible . This is why I have brought this discussion to the public part of our forum , for additional opinions .

Has any member of these forums , ever actually had the striker of a Springfield Model 1903 break ?

With very best wishes ,

Anayeth
 
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WebleyGreene455

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Professor, I took the liberty of asking this question in the Vintage Shooting section of a forum I frequent. If I get any replies, I'll repost them here.

~~W.G.455
 

Professor Mawla

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i have owned springfield o3-o3a3,s since the late 50,s and have never had any problems with any parts breaking in years of use.
@leslie hetrick
This reinforces my own beliefs , as well . That said , I do find increased insurance in the one piece striker of an Enfield Model 1917 action ( such as my custom .458 Winchester Magnum ) .
 

Trail Rated

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I had an issue with my Springfield delivering light primer strikes, which I’ve described elsewhere on this site. It was due to a gunked up firing pin spring & bolt body rather than the two piece striker, but the odd striker did make the cleanup job a little more complicated.
 

Rick Cox

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I've had a 1903 Springfield for 50 years. I've put thousands of rounds through it with no issues with the 'striker'.
 

USMA84DAB

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While under the instruction of Art Alphin as a cadet in the class "History of Military Technology", he did not hold a favorable opinion of the adulterated Mauser striker system. I also share his disdain for the Army ordnance corps' ability to screw up every weapon they field. Remember, these are the morons that ordered Garand to remove the BAR box magazine and replace it with the 8 round en bloc. Wouldn't want those Soldiers to waste ammunition, now! One of the few things we changed on the Springfield in stealing the design from Mauser was the firing pin.

Apparently it is adequate for peacetime/hunting use as indicated by you lads. Perhaps the ingress of trench mud, etc., is where it's limits rest?
 

sestoppelman

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Owned many '03's of various iterations over the years, have 4 right now. While of course I don't give them the same treatment a GI in battle might, I have never had any issue with an '03 other than rear sight wander on an 03A1 during a match one time. My score suffered badly.
 

Alaska Luke

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Sorry for the thread drift but is USMA84DAB saying that Mr Garand intended his M1 rifle to use a BAR mag? That would have been awesome for the GIs in WWII especially if they'd gone with a lighter caliber (which i believe was also an idea).

Back to the Springfield, you'd think some GIs would have complained if it was an issue.
 

WebleyGreene455

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As I said, I asked on another forum. Have had two responses so far:

"In 30+ years of owning and shooting '03/'03a3 rifles I have never had a fp (actually striker iirc)failure, nor do I know of anybody that has."


&

"Never heard of such.

It was a weak point I guess, probably an attempt to avoid Mauser patent infringement (which they got busted for and paid Germany $1/rifle until 1917), but in my two, plus seventy year old guns, both with either over or close to 1000 round round counts just by me, I had no problem.

It's probably not a good design for conscripts but it worked pretty good for US.

I don't know if that particular aspect has anything to do in particular the slow lock time the '03 is accused of but other than "too much engineering" I don't know of any particular '03 criticism."


I'll be happy to share any other answers or edits I receive.

~~W.G.455
 

fourfive8

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I think the other forum response is correct in that the two piece firing pin was supposed to circumvent the Mauser design patent rights... which it didn't. I know that the 03-03A3 lock time is slower than many simply because of the shorter spring and the increased inertial mass caused by the second part of the pin. I've had three and never a problem with the striker/pin or spring. Any pin can break, especially if over-hardened.

The only "failure" I've ever witnessed of the striker/pin in one is hardly the primary fault of the design but the lower piece may have acted like a plunger and impeded the strike force of the pin. I watched a friend do a "click- da !$& it" one time while hunting. Apparently there was just a little too much lube in the bolt barrel and the pin strike was a tad sluggish. I'm sure the bulky 2nd, lower piece of the pin exacerbated the lube issue. A regular one piece pin likely would have not been affected by the lube enough to prevent firing the primer. But still, I have no idea why that lube was put in the bolt barrel to begin with. Bolt barrels, springs and pins need to be cleaned with solvent, dried. Then at most a dry lube or a minimal film of evaporative type lube applied.
 

sestoppelman

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While under the instruction of Art Alphin as a cadet in the class "History of Military Technology", he did not hold a favorable opinion of the adulterated Mauser striker system. I also share his disdain for the Army ordnance corps' ability to screw up every weapon they field. Remember, these are the morons that ordered Garand to remove the BAR box magazine and replace it with the 8 round en bloc. Wouldn't want those Soldiers to waste ammunition, now! One of the few things we changed on the Springfield in stealing the design from Mauser was the firing pin.

Apparently it is adequate for peacetime/hunting use as indicated by you lads. Perhaps the ingress of trench mud, etc., is where it's limits rest?
Think you have your facts a little off here. The Garand was not designed to run on BAR mags by John C. at any point, though in 1944 there was some experimentation taking place to modify it to do that, but it was not developed and none were ever fielded. It was originally supposed to run a .276 caliber round, but that was dropped in favor of the .30-06.
It is and always was meant to shoot from an en bloc clip.
 

WebleyGreene455

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Think you have your facts a little off here. The Garand was not designed to run on BAR mags by John C. at any point, though in 1944 there was some experimentation taking place to modify it to do that, but it was not developed and none were ever fielded. It was originally supposed to run a .276 caliber round, but that was dropped in favor of the .30-06.
It is and always was meant to shoot from an en bloc clip.
"Another variant that never saw duty was the T20E2. It was an experimental gas-operated, selective fire rifle with a slightly longer receiver than the M1 and modified to accept 20-round Browning Automatic Rifle (BAR) magazines. The rifle was machined and tapped on the left side of the receiver for a scope mount, and included the same hardware for mounting a grenade launcher as the M1. The bolt had a hold open device on the rear receiver bridge, as well as a fire selector similar to the M14. Full automatic fire was achieved by a connector assembly which was actuated by the operating rod handle. This, in turn, actuated a sear release or trip which, with the trigger held to the rear, disengaged the sear from the hammer lugs immediately after the bolt was locked. In automatic firing, the cyclic rate of fire was 700 rpm. When the connector assembly was disengaged, the rifle could only be fired semi-automatically and functioned in a manner similar to the M1 rifle. The T20 had an overall length of 48 1/4", a barrel length of 24", and weighed 9.61 lbs. without accessories and 12.5 lbs. with bipod and empty magazine. It was designated as limited procurement in May, 1945. Due to the cessation of hostilities with Japan, the number for manufacture was reduced to 100. The project was terminated in March 1948."

^ Borrowed from Wikipedia. I wonder if they made any considerations to revive the project during the Korean War.
 

Wyatt Smith

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IMO the military should have gone with the Johnson rifle, over the garand.
Regarding the Springfield, why would a two piece striker be more prone to breaking. (I’m not trying to be smart, just truly curious)
I can see it over complicating things and slowing lock time.
 

WebleyGreene455

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Frank Green of Bartlein Barrels replied:

"I'll 2nd the 30+ years of shooting them with no issues!

Think of this as well....if it where truly a problem....for some 7.62Nato accuracy barrels and 9mm accuracy barrels they are still using 1903 actions. They are switching more and more to Remmy threaded actions but we still make a couple of batches every year set up for the 1903. If it was such a huge problem they would've done away with using the 03 action years ago.

Just made some 9mm ones like 2 months ago and made some 7.62's back around spring time."
 
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Good evening ,

For academic purposes , I would like all of you gentlemen to provide me with some insight on a particular subject . A student of mine recently gave me several books authored by renowned arms writer , the late Jack O Connor . Reading the books , I realized that the gentleman is rather disdainful towards the Springfield Model 1903 action .

The gentleman claimed that the two piece striker of the Springfield Model 1903 action was prone to breaking . I personally find this to be quite difficult to believe , because I ( have ) frequently hunt(ed) Himalayan ibex with a sporterized Springfield Model 1903 in .30-06 Springfield quite a few times over the years . That rifle belongs to my outfitter and it has been seeing use , for upwards of four decades .
Yet , I have never incurred any problems related to the two piece striker .

I have personally dialogued with several of our experienced fellow forum members , about this subject . Their views seem to be mixed . Some debunk the claims of the two piece striker being prone to breaking , as mere hearsay . However , other gentlemen find the claims to be feasible . This is why I have brought this discussion to the public part of our forum , for additional opinions .

Has any member of these forums , ever actually had the striker of a Springfield Model 1903 break ?

With very best wishes ,

Anayeth
@Professor Malwa
After talking to my gunsmith in all the years he has been a Smith he has never had to replace one but he did say like anything mechanical there's a chance it could happen tho extremely unlikely. He advises correct matainance and if a problem is detected rectify it before hand.
Bob
 

leslie hetrick

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with heavy grease in the bolt body, i could see a problem with light primer hits and in very cold weather no hits at all. but the same thing could be said for any rifle action. as far as the garand with e-block, it was the best inf battle semi-auto rifle issued in ww-2. my late uncle who served in the south pacific related to me that several other men and he surprized about 20 japanese soldiers at very close range and killed them in less that a minute with only two GI,s wounded. the johnson was slow to load with 5 rould stripper clips from the side.
 

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If springfield 1903 (even in sporterised version) is actually the same rifle that was service rifle in ww1, and sniper rifle in ww2 for US Army, which is basicaly a clone of mauser m98, for which the license was paid... and proven to be one of most effective army service weapons in ww1, then for me it is hard to belieive that there are some hidden issues with striker. (?)
Just my theoretical approach. We will see what others will say.
 
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If springfield 1903 (even in sporterised version) is actually the same rifle that was service rifle in ww1, and sniper rifle in ww2 for US Army, which is basicaly a clone of mauser m98, for which the license was paid... and proven to be one of most effective army service weapons in ww1, then for me it is hard to belieive that there are some hidden issues with striker. (?)
Just my theoretical approach. We will see what others will say.
@Mark Hunter
Some of the early Springfield rifles low number ones did have a problem with heat treatments but this was remedied. I think it was the Rock Island ones that had the problems.
If the Springfield was so good why did a lot of GIs want the M17 Enfield to become the standard weapon. The reason the M17 wasn't adopted was NIH. Not invented here.
Bob
 

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