1903 Springfield Rifle query on design

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LineDoggie
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle query on design

Post by LineDoggie » 31 Aug 2021 16:53

paulrward wrote:
26 Aug 2021 05:22
Hello All ;

Mr. LineDoggie stated
Sounds like a Sea story, when M40's/M24's were issue and M14/M21's available. No one
I ever served with or talked to has mentioned using a M1903A1 Sniper rig during DS/DS
I will handle this one item at a time:

1. " When M40's/M24's were issue...."

This was apparently NOT done officially, it was done by a Battalion commander and his staff, and
was done at the last minute prior to deployment. In other words, they didn't have time to get
' standard issue ' - they made some phone calls, some guys looked through warehouses, and they
took what they could find. Which was, apparently, VietNam War stored Winchester M70s with
Unertl and other scopes, and Korean War vintage M1903A1s with Unertls and possibly M84s ( or
even possibly Lyman Alaskans ! )

The fact that the M1903s were still on their original full length stocks indicates that they were
probably Korean War weapons that had been cosmolined and stored. And, as for
..an ancient Unertl when far better optics were in inventory..
To get better optics on them, you would have had to

1. have to requisition the optics from Supply,
2. have to get them ordered from the Vendor,
3. have them shipped in, along with the mounts compatible with Winchester M70s and
Springfield M1903s,
4. have them fitted by armorers, who may or may not be familiar with this sort of
precision work
5. issue them to the relevant men

All of the above requires a Shitload of Paperwork, and a lot of Time, and if one Dimwitted Doggie up
the Line decided to sit on the requisition, because Sniper Rifles weren't on your T.O.& E., you were
screwed. The Battalion Commander was apparently smarter than that, going outside the normal
chain of command to get something done. And, he and his staff, and his men, made do with what
they had. VietNam War and Korean War vintage castoffs that no one would miss if they turned
up missing in next year's inventory......





the Marine who spoke to us mentioned a figure of about two dozen weapons - which means,
one rifle per squad, or three rifles per platoon, or nine rifles per company, or 27 rifles in the
entire battalion - and it was confined to ONE battalion. According to many sources, there were
over 90,000 U.S. Marines deployed in the Gulf in Desert Storm.

I am certain, Mr. LineDoggie. that you have had a chance to speak to every one of them.....
I am certain you didnt talk to them all either. it's a very poor defense of your claim


paulrward wrote:
26 Aug 2021 05:22
Just for an interesting Factoid : The first Winchester M70s sent to VietNam were taken from...
AHH, so your claim is since I didnt personally talk to every single Marine in Desert Storm/Desert Shield it did happen?

Vietnam was as far away from DS/DS as WW1 to WW2 things change, regs change, bringing your privately owned gun to war has changed


Logically (I might as well introduce logic into this thread)

Why would you bring rifles at least 49 years old of questionable accuracy and unsupported by the US Logistical trains to a war?

Lets use the M2HB .50 for an example

It may have been produced by AC Delco in 1942, at SOME point over the decades it has gone back into Direct support (or higher) for gauging and replacing worn out parts, refinishing, etc.

Break a 50 year old M1903 Extractor and there is no S4 going to be able to source new ones from the US government. Same for Scopes and Mounts, etc.

Imagine the higher CoC reaction if they find out some maniac Bn Cdr allowed his joes to bring their own non issue weapons on a ship to a combat zone and use them?

Any Issue .30 US ammo is going to be at least 20 years old and of dubious storage conditions. Your not going to be able to order it from the ASP's as it's not carried so using civilian ammo is the only route. Use anything other than JAG approved ammo and you done for war crimes so Hollow Point or Soft Point is out of the question. Civilian FMJ isnt widely produced in the 80's, 90's.

These privately purchased rifles had been gauged by Armorers or had new barrel's fitted when again? Just because a rifle was accurate when last used on New Georgia in 1943 doesnt mean the muzzle isnt damaged or rifling worn from the corrosive ammo on issue in WW2 and cleaning standards then, and meets acceptability standards in 1991.


''Interesting factoids''-

How is it not one of these rifles has NEVER been photographed during the war? especially given the Joes penchant for posing with their weapons, any weapons?

How is it not once has the use of these rifles been documented by any reliable* source considering the legions of writers and books, oral histories on the war?

Afterall You would think Some Marine claiming to use a WW1 era M1903 in combat in 1991 would be greeted by gun writers and history authors with glee. Nope we have some random dude at a gun shop/show selling magic beans

And in the 30 YEARS since the war not one image in use, not one man comes forward to VFW mag or Forgotton weapons, or any of the myriad sites and makes this claim


*I've once had a man with a commando dagger tattoo with USMC Airborne written on his forearm tell me he was in the 5th Special Forces group of the 1st Marine division in Iraq in 1989. He was perplexed when I started to laugh like a Hyena as his sea story must have impressed those who didnt know.
"There are two kinds of people who are staying on this beach: those who are dead and those who are going to die. Now let’s get the hell out of here".
Col. George Taylor, 16th Infantry Regiment, Omaha Beach

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Dwight Pruitt
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle query on design

Post by Dwight Pruitt » 01 Sep 2021 07:07

paulrward wrote:
09 Aug 2021 02:28
Having twice been at a shooting range when an M1917 'Enfield' exploded in the
face of it's user, I have been very leery of the American Enfield for many years.
The few documented catastrophic failures of of the M1917 have been traced to early Eddystone receiver rings cracking when arsenal reworked with barrels made by Johnson Automatics Inc. during WWII. Coincidentally, the only milsurp failure I've witnessed was of a M1941 Johnson Rifle.

Duncan_M
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle query on design

Post by Duncan_M » 23 Sep 2021 20:47

paulrward wrote:
26 Aug 2021 05:22
This was apparently NOT done officially, it was done by a Battalion commander and his staff, and
was done at the last minute prior to deployment. In other words, they didn't have time to get
' standard issue ' )
Every Marine infantry battalion had a scout sniper platoon with M40 sniper rifles since the late 70s. That includes Reserves too. There is no chance a deployed infantry battalion in the Gulf War arrived but didn't have actual sniper rifles. That's like saying they didn't bring mortars or machine guns.

And where did they plan on getting ammo from? .30 Cal, rifle ammo, aka .30-06, hasn't been in common supply chain since the 1960s. By the early 1990s for the conventional US Marines it would have been impossible to get that ammo. USMC Scout Snipers didn't use it, USMC competition shooters didn't use it, nobody used it.

And can you realize how much specialized training a squad level designated marksman would need to operate that sort of rifle? They were a pain in the ass for trained snipers, way way more difficult to operate than the M40A1 the SS were using in the STA platoon. Plus, giving an old, very obsolete sniper rifle to a private isn't a good idea (in terms of the rifle squad's fireteam, the TL carried an M16A2 with M203, the next ranking guy used the M249 SAW, the next was his A-gunner, and the riflemen in the team only had an M16A2, so that is who gets tapped as the DM, which is the chief flaw of the concept).
Which was, apparently, VietNam War stored Winchester M70s with
Unertl and other scopes, and Korean War vintage M1903A1s with Unertls and possibly M84s ( or
even possibly Lyman Alaskans !
There are no warehouses on Marine bases in 1990 that were full of Vietnam or before era sniper rifles and basic issue items.
Just for an interesting Factoid : The first Winchester M70s sent to VietNam were taken from
Camp Pendleton - Now, why would Camp Pendleton have M70 Sniper Rifles with Unertl Scopes
in the mid 1960s, when there were ZERO Snipers in the Marine Corps ?
Because that was what the USMC competition shooters were using for NRA matches. They literally took the exact rifle, scope, ammo setup used on the flat ranges of the Wimbledon Cup at Camp Perry and used it in Korea first and then again in Vietnam until standardizing on the original M40 in the late 60s. So the Marines weren't used M70 in .30-06 with Unertl scopes in 1990 for competition, they were using trued Remington 700 firing 300 winmag. The old shit would be either DX (trash), sold to civilians or in museums.
The answer is, a bunch of Marine Officers at Pendleton like to hunt Mule Deer, which were
abundant on the grounds of the Base. So, they arranged with the Special Services to order a lot
of Winchester M70s, which had been purchased with government funds for use as Marksmanship
and competition rifles at the National Matches, and had them sent to Pendleton. ( This stuff
doesn't get looked at much if your C.O. is in on the deal ) They had them fitted with Unertls
that had been sitting in their Micarta Cans since Korea. And off they went to kill Bambi, his
Mother, his Father, and a bunch of his cousins. They had been using them during the 1950s,
and when USMC Captain Edward Land Jr. began his Sniper Course in VietNam, they scrounged
up about a dozen of these rifles, and got them sent to S E Asia. In some cases, they were
re scoped with scopes, rings, and mounts obtained from the base PX on Guam.
Bull barreled match .30-06 M70s aren't the sort of rifle used in California to hunt mule deer. 8x or 12x two foot long target scopes with no internal adjustments, that recoiled inside the tube, and weren't sealed for weather, of a type designed in the 1930s, were definitely not the type used in deer hunting.
scopes, rings, and mounts obtained from the base PX on Guam
It was Okinawa actually, which was the home of the 3rd Marine Division, which was the closest major Marine base outside Vietnam.


Sounds like you got told a sea story. An entertaining one, but not true.

Carl Schwamberger
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Re: 1903 Springfield Rifle query on design

Post by Carl Schwamberger » 24 Sep 2021 17:25

And can you realize how much specialized training a squad level designated marksman would need to operate that sort of rifle? They were a pain in the ass for trained snipers, way way more difficult to operate than the M40A1 the SS were using in the STA platoon. Plus, giving an old, very obsolete sniper rifle to a private isn't a good idea (in terms of the rifle squad's fireteam, the TL carried an M16A2 with M203, the next ranking guy used the M249 SAW, the next was his A-gunner, and the riflemen in the team only had an M16A2, so that is who gets tapped as the DM, which is the chief flaw of the concept).
We were trained to hit man sized targets @ 500 meters in the basic annual rifle qualification. With Iron sights. While one can niggle over actual combat conditions performance if you needed someone dinged with single rifle shots there was someone in the fire team who could do it @ 200, 300, 400, 500, 0r 85 meters. We were never pedantic enough to eschew handing one of the A2 to the better shot in the team. So, scrounging up 'sniper' rifles for a designated marksman in a FT or squad as is implied above was a bit unnecessary.

The iron sight on the A2 went to 750 meters. On a CAX circa 1988 we were ordered to put suppressive fires on a enemy position I map spotted at 800-850 meters. For funzies we ceased use of the SAW & M60 & the dozen or so riflemen remaining spent fifteen minutes shredding the head and shoulder cardboard silloutte targets. Fun stuff, tho not as much fun as testing the penetrative power of various rifle caliber weapons vs helmets, flak jackets, sandbags and lumber.
Sounds like you got told a sea story. An entertaining one, but not true.
I prefer to make a entertaining story around the truth, but if any wants to hear sea stories...

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