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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I know that the Marines carried the Springfield 03 at Guadalcanal, but I am not sure which one. I assume it was the 03A3 but I'm not sure.

I recently bought the Time/Life series "Apocalypse, WW11". It has some footage of what is suppose to be Guadalcanal but the Marines have M-1s and air cooled machine guns. They didn't get those until after that fight.
 

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M1903

I would dissagree with that. I think the 03A3s had not made to the pacific yet (in 1942) I would pick a WWI era M1903, possibly with a low number reciever (or a Remmington '03 as the best bet. (Marines used whatever was avalible)
 

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I disagree as well. As I recall, Guadalcanal was invaded 8/42. The only 03s that would have been in the pipeline then would be late 03A1s, many rebarreled with '42 barrels. I've always considered these guns to be the most legit WW2 03s. By the time the 03A3 was in production, the Garand had been perfected and was standard issue. I doubt that very many 03A3s made it past our coastline. But I could be wrong.
 

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Marines still use whatever is available. Ha Ha. I'm sure much hasn't changed in the four years I've been out.MC1
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Today I was looking through a bunch of WW11 books in the library and in the Reader's Digest Book it showed some Marines on Guadalcanal and one was definitely a 03A1. It is strange how few pictures there are of that battle that show the rifles. Later battles are shown with Marines with M-1s but there just must not have been that many photographers on the canal.
 

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I was told by an old timer that back when the marines were using the '03, the japs started getting used to waiting to hear 5 rounds fired before popping their head up or charging. Then when the M1 started getting issued, it threw them off a little... they'd hear 5 rounds and pop up, and then it would be BANG BANG BANG ping! One dead tojo.
 

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I'm quite sure the model was the 1903 straight grip or 1903A1 which had the C stock. After the Army got there which was after the first battles they were equiped with the M1 garands which the Marines liberated from them in several ways. They were not allowed to leave the Island with them though. Only Marine issued gear was allowed on the liberty ship back to Australia.
 

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Thats why I was always very interested in the Remington 1903 as I had heard there were a lot of them on Guadacanal in the
1st Marine Division.
 

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I'm quite sure the model was the 1903 straight grip or 1903A1 which had the C stock. After the Army got there which was after the first battles they were equiped with the M1 garands which the Marines liberated from them in several ways. They were not allowed to leave the Island with them though. Only Marine issued gear was allowed on the liberty ship back to Australia.
I agree it was the 1903 or C stock 1903A1, it was early in the war an thats all they had until they could get the Garands. I can't imagine all the full on attacks an all you had was a bolt action.
 

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I believe the 03's were rifles of choice in the earlier Pacific Campaigns.

This is a CMP 1918 Springfield '03A1 with a 1942 Springfield Barrel.
I cleaned it up some and refinished the stock/handguard, since it was a Greek Return that I got several years ago from the CMP.
They are still very accurate rifles. But the steel buttplate's a little rough on the shoulder after a while and the 30.06 CMP ammo kicks like a mule.
I tracked this one's serial number within 2 digits to a Marine Unit in the Pacific.
If only it could speak.
 

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That's a sweet sweet rifle. Totally legit perfect example of an early WW2 03. You prob couldn't find better. I'm way jealous.
 

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the pacific theater was equipped with M1903s and M1917s because a lot of it was already there , also the production of the M1rifle was lagging well behind needs and the european theater was getting preference in the supply chain ,

early rifles by springfield and rock island would have been likely , the M1903A1 "C"stock was ordered dec 1929 so its likely that some WWI era rifles with 29-35 bbls with some new made as well would be there , but these were mostly for match rifles , and M1903 production at springfield was suspended in 35 for retooling to the M1rifles , production all but stopped in 38 , so new production actually only began in late 41 with remington re-using the earlier rock island tooling that had been taken down ,

more likely to see older rifles from stores rebarreled from 39 ,40 , 41 as well as 03A1s produced from stocks of parts in that period of time with the WWII version of the A1 stock in theater in 42 ,

maybe some remington M1903mods as they started production in late 41/early42 , and some of the newly accepted scant stocked M1903s as they were in production ,

but the M1903A3s were transitional in 42 being approved in may and remington receiving authorization in june , and the first small delivery of less than 2000 in december , its not likely these were there in mid-late 42 ,

only diferance between the early M1903s and the remington M1303modified is the stock without grasping grooves ,




there were a lot of M1917s there and going there from stores in this time period

 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you everyone for adding to this thread. I sure am glad I asked. I have learned a lot.
 

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My Rem '03 # 3259xxx was made 11/42 with with a 10/ 42 barrel. But has a SA scant stock, no grooves, with "Angel" carved into the stock. All other parts are Rem.
 

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1917's?

I would be grateful for any cited source stating that the M1917 found its way into shooting combat in WWII. I am a big fan of the rifle, but have heard that it never did make it back into the line.

There was a discussion in 'Guns' magazine about 1903's on Guadalcanal. Venturino, whom I do not consider the best source, was very positive that no 1903A3's made it into that battle.

Best!
 

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This is an interesting thread. I appreciate all you folks who manage to keep a mental (or otherwise) index of this type of information. I surely cant, but since my Grandfather was Marine who fought in Guadalcanal, I always find this interesting since he is no longer around for me to ask...
 

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The Battle of Guadalcanal was fought starting in Aug 7, 1942. Marines fought it with the M1903 Springfields they already had and even some Gas Trap Garands.

There was not time to equip and train Marines with the M1903A3 even if they had them. There is little to no evidence of Marines using M1903A3's at all in the war with the exception of the M1903A4. The Marines had to keep their M1903's until Garand production caught up and there were enough in the European theatre.

Oh, the Marines ordered a huge order of Gas Port Garands in August or September of 1941 - well over $ 100,000 worth of them. This order was delayed to ensure American forces had enough for the African campaign, after we entered the war.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Gus, thanks for the input. I had already come to that conclusion, but it is always great to have you confirm what I had figured out from what others have posted here and finding pictures of Marines during the Guadalcanal campaign.

Did they have any 03A1s?
 

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I would be grateful for any cited source stating that the M1917 found its way into shooting combat in WWII. I am a big fan of the rifle, but have heard that it never did make it back into the line.

There was a discussion in 'Guns' magazine about 1903's on Guadalcanal. Venturino, whom I do not consider the best source, was very positive that no 1903A3's made it into that battle.

Best!
i saw a group photo a few years back of some guys in italy that had 03's and 1 or 2 p17s in it,anybody else remember that? i think they may have been an eng unit pressed into service,if my memory is right
 
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