Rifleman Q&A: M1903 Arsenal Repairs?

posted on March 25, 2022
M1903 bolt-action springfield rifle right side wood metal steel gun

Q. Upon cleaning up a Rock Island Model 1903 rifle recently acquired from the CMP, I discovered a repaired handguard. A long crack in the guard was repaired by lacing it together with wood strips inlet into the handguard. Was this stock work cheaper than replacing the handguard?

wood gun rifle parts stock repair CMP M1903 bolt-action

A. The repair on the handguard on your CMP ’03 rifle indicates that it was returned from Greece and then sold via the Civilian Marksmanship Program. There were all manner of modifications and repairs done on these rifle while they were under Greek control. I do not recall seeing this style of handguard repair on any of the CMP or U.S.-issue ’03 rifles, but it was almost certainly done due to a shortage of replacement handguards in Greece. The typical U.S. military procedure for a broken handguard would have been replacement of the component and not the sort of repair evidenced on the handguard in question.

—Bruce N. Canfield

This “Questions & Answers” was featured in the June 2005 issue of American Rifleman. At time of publication, "Questions & Answers" was compiled by Staff, Ballistics Editor William C. Davis, Jr., and Contributing Editors: David Andrews, Hugh C. Birnbaum, Bruce N. Canfield, O. Reid Coffield, Charles Q. Cutshaw, Charles M. Fagg, Angus Laidlaw, Evan P. Marshall, Charles E. Petty, Robert B. Pomeranz, O.D., Jon R. Sundra, Jim Supica, A.W.F. Taylerson, John M. Taylor and John W. Treakle.

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