Rifleman Q&A: Legitimate Markings?

by
posted on December 28, 2021
Legitimate Markings

Q: I have a question about the markings on my U.S. Rifle Model 1903A4, namely the “MODEL 03-AX4” designation found on the receiver. It appears the second “3” of the original “03-A3” stamp was X-ed out and a “4” was added. Is this a legitimate marking made by a government armory or is it bogus?


A: This modification has been reported from time to time. It was not done at the Remington factory, but the details behind it are not known for certain. The most likely explanation is that it was done by armorers in a unit in order to make the marking on the rifle match the nomenclature of the official TO&E (Table of Organization and Equipment). Original M1903A4 rifles have the standard “Model 03-A3” markings applied to each side of the receiver ring so as to make them visible with the scope mount in place. Since there is no reasonable way to fake a 1903A4 receiver, the rationale behind this marking modification doesn’t seem to make sense, but it happened on some occasions. Supposedly, this altered marking has been observed on rifles that were still in government service, thus were not bogus markings. Altering such markings today would seem rather unlikely as the resulting rifles are no more valuable than those with standard markings.

The serial number and “M73B1” markings were etched on the side of commercial-production Weaver 330C telescopes that were procured by the government before the standard M73B1 scopes went into production. The “RA,” “Ordnance wheel” and “FJA” stamps on the stock are the original Remington factory markings, and “FJA” is Col. Frank J. Atwood, head of the Ordnance District in which the Remington factory was located. The “BA” and “JPL” stamps applied over the original markings indicate that the rifle was overhauled at the Benicia Arsenal (California) in the post-World War II period (“BA” for Benicia Arsenal and “JPL” for the inspector’s initials).

Latest

Winchester Model 60A
Winchester Model 60A

Favorite Firearms: A Winchester Model 60A Named “Li’l Ole Bess”

My favorite firearm has been in my family for four generations. It’s a Winchester Model 60A single-shot, bolt-action, .22-cal. rimfire chambered for the Short, Long and Long Rifle cartridges.

Review: Winchester Model 70 Long Range MB

It is not uncommon for useful technical improvements in one arena to be adopted by and integrated into another. Materials and manufacturing processes originally devised for the aerospace industry are now commonly used to manufacture firearms.

Editor’s Choice: Ruger Wrangler Birdshead

Sturm, Ruger & Co. is expanding its handy and affordable Wrangler single-action .22 Long Rifle revolver line with a more compact version featuring a gracefully curved bird’s head grip and shortened barrel.

New for 2022: Marlin Model 1895 Trapper

Marlin added to its classic lever-action rifle line with the launch of the Model 1895 Trapper, chambered in .45-70 Gov't.

Beretta Offers Discount For Military, Law Enforcement And First Responders

Beretta USA is offering a 15-percent discount on its website to those who serve in the military, law enforcement and as first responders.

The Armed Citizen® May 16, 2022

Read today's "The Armed Citizen" entry for real stories of law-abiding citizens, past and present, who used their firearms to save lives.

Interests



Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.