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.

To subscribe to the magazine, visit the NRA membership page here and select American Rifleman as your member magazine.


Memorial Day Sagi
Memorial Day Sagi

The Price Of Memorial Day

The military and firearm industries, more than any others, understand freedom is not free. Some paid the ultimate price while serving in this great republic’s armed forces and their willingness to go in harm’s way to protect our freedom is honored each year on Memorial Day.

The Armed Citizen® May 29, 2023

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

Selby & The Superposed: A World-Class Shotgun Afield

A protégé of one of the world’s most famous professional hunters recounts his mentor’s generous gift of an over-under shotgun—one representing yet another seminal design from the greatest firearm genius in history.

Demand For Firearm Training Fuels Range Expansions

All those new gun owners since COVID-19 are not shying away from training. It’s a trend reflected in nearly every industry survey to date, and those observations are now verified by the heavy investments being made by training facilities.

Product Preview: Obsidian Arms Complete AR-15 Armorer’s Punch Set

Designed with input from professional armorers and made in the United States, Obsidian Arms’ 12-piece punch set for AR-style rifles and pistols is also accompanied by a lifetime warranty.

Training America’s First Aerial Gunners

America was born as a nation of riflemen, and that foundation of marksmanship carried over to the fledgling pilots and aerial gunners training in America. One of the biggest problems that the Air Service faced, particularly in 1917, was an embarrassing lack of machine guns.


Get the best of American Rifleman delivered to your inbox.