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Discussion Starter #21
Frank Black said: "About two years ago now, I came into an unusual RIA 1903: # 49643.

It has a S.A. barrel dated 7-15, with flaming bomb.

As for stamps, there are the usual ones, such as a sideways 'U' stamped on the rear metal band. On the underside of the barrel, there's a 'P ' stamp, and then on the 'flat' of the bayo lug there's an 'H' stamp. There is an 'S' stamped on the 'snout' of the forend wood (or 'nose'-piece) under the barrel."

I am looking at Joe Poyer's book, The Model 1903 Springfield Rifle and It's Variations. Mr. Poyer credits C.S. Farris and John Beard for conducting extensive research on rod bayonet and altered 1903 Springfield Rifles.

The chart on pages 93 & 94 indicates the "S' stamp you describe may identify the stock as being made by RIA. On a Type 3A stock the "S" is 0.18" in height. A 3B stock would be the same as a 3A stock and have the stock cross bolt you show in the photo.

The second stock bolt shown in your picture, below the Hatcher hole and forward of the magazine well, could have been added by Springfield Armory.

The "Z" could be an initial of the person who tested the rifle with a proof cartridge.

Notice I used the word "could", because even the authors of the books on the 1903 Springfields were not certain.
Thanks for the feedback.

However there's no 'Z' stamp on the stock. I think you meant 'N' stamp.

Here's a pic of an 'N' stamp, in almost the identical location, on another RIA 1903 that's not mine.
 

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It is my understanding, that RIA did not produce any .30-03 ramrod type M1903's. I have been told that all of their early production was parts for the entire rifle, but no assembly was done until after the change to the new bayonet.
Here, copied and pasted, from a website mentioned in an earlier post, is info on the early rod bayonet production, which pretty much confirms my statement here.

On January 11, 1905, one week after Teddy Roosevelt's letter to the Secretary of War, production on the "Rod Bayonet" Model 1903 Springfield was halted. Only 74,000 rifles had been made at Springfield at that point, and while 1600 sets of parts had been completed at Rock Island Arsenal but probably no rifles assembled.
 

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Discussion Starter #25
I am currently reading Canfield's book on the '03. and I read where both SA and RIA stocks had the 'S' stamped on the end of the stock...
That's the confusing part, and it's why I hesitate to jump automatically to the conclusion that mine is wearing a Springfield stock solely because of the 'S' stamp.

Could be it was originally an RIA stock that S.A. armorers 'upgraded' when they rebarreled it with the 1915 S.A barrel (whenever that was).
 

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Yes the S on the fore end is confusing. Ferris, in the second edition RIA book theorizes the S is the result of 1906 upgrades shortening and plugging the stock, and the S stands for shortened. It was used by both SA (sporadically) and RIA (continually) after that time frame until WWI.
The difference is the height of the S. RIA being 1/4" ,and SA being 1/8".
RIA also retained the script proof P throughout production, while SA only used it on very early stocks, then switched to non serifed P , so that is a tell as well.
The N stamps are sub stock inspector marks.
Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #27
Yes the S on the fore end is confusing. Ferris, in the second edition RIA book theorizes the S is the result of 1906 upgrades shortening and plugging the stock, and the S stands for shortened. It was used by both SA (sporadically) and RIA (continually) after that time frame until WWI.
The difference is the height of the S. RIA being 1/4" ,and SA being 1/8".
RIA also retained the script proof P throughout production, while SA only used it on very early stocks, then switched to non serifed P , so that is a tell as well.
The N stamps are sub stock inspector marks.
Hope this helps.
Thank you. Yes it does help.

Didn't know the different measurements on the 'S' stamp. I thought I had measured it once, but I'll get my calipers out and post the result back here.

The 'N' stamps, in conjunction with the rather prominent circled/serifed 'P', is what had me convinced that the stock is an early RIA, possibly a rod bayonet stock, that was later modified. So the 'S' stamp, if it means 'shortened,' makes sense.

As well, the 5-digit RIA serial number on the receiver goes right back to that period.
 
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