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View Full Version : REQ: Springfield '03 with BAR magazine



Pook2
04-08-2010, 10:24 AM
I just finished reading The Thin Red Line and in it Jones makes a reference to Marines who would spot weld BAR magazines to their Springfield rifles. I tried googling for pictures but couldn't come up with any and I was wondering if anyone here might have any info on this. Thank you.

lightcav
04-08-2010, 01:29 PM
Thats crazy. My grandpa told me they had rifles like that but I didn't believe him. He was in the 1st Marine Division at Guadalcanal. He became a welder after the war.

lightcav
04-08-2010, 01:38 PM
check this out I found a magazine for sale on the internet

117678

Here is the description from the vendor:

http://www.hayesotoupalik.com/U.S.%20Arms%20Related%20Items.htm

WW1 1903 Springfield 20 Round Extension Magazine
WW1 1903 Springfield 20 Round Extension magazine in original carton. Complete with long follower spring with follower and cover for magazine. Excellent Condition. Classic and rare 1903 Springfield accessory for giving extended fire power to the 03 Air Service rifle and/or the 1903 rifle in the Trench. Will display like a million dollar bill on your 1903 Rifle. $1100.00

lightcav
04-08-2010, 01:41 PM
Here is a picture:
117679

Here is the website the info is on:

http://www.repligun.com/AirService03/AS-M1903.html

Description:

"The "Air Service"'03 was developed during the First World War. The rifle was a standard Springfield M1903 with a specially made shortened stock and handguard, a modified rear sight, and a non-detachable 25-round extension magazine.

While there are other theories, the probable purpose for the rifle was as auxiliary armament for pilots forced down behind enemy lines. Since a pilot wouldn't be wearing a cartridge belt, the 25-round magazine provided a reasonable amount of ammunition "self-contained" in the rifle and ready for immediate use. Such a rifle would have been much more effective than the typical sidearms carried by aviators.

Ordnance Department documents refer to the rifles as being " ... *****ped for Air Service," and 910 were manufactured by Springfield Armory in early- to mid- 1918. Serial numbers were in the 856,000 to 862,000 range.

Most of the "Air Service" rifles were sent to France late in the war, but none are believed to have been issued before the Armistice.

After the conclusion of World War I, virtually all of the rifles were either destroyed or converted to standard service rifle configuration.

Surviving original examples are extremely rare and valuable.




BRUCE N. CANFIELD
American Rifleman - March 2004 - Pg. 43

lightcav
04-08-2010, 01:45 PM
another pic from the internets

117680

and website:

http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=398365

117681
http://www.militaryphotos.net/forums/images/misc/pencildotpng

lightcav
04-08-2010, 01:51 PM
Still haven't found pics of modified M903 with BAR magazines. But it sounds more believable.

big_les
04-08-2010, 04:47 PM
Both the WW1 vintage Lee Enfield and Mauser had hicap mags developed and issued for them, albeit on a small scale. I'd be surprised if the US was any different. On the other hand, converting BAR mags may not be how it was done.

deagle
04-08-2010, 08:55 PM
so they made a bolt action BAR from a full-auto one ? isn't that a downgrade ?

Arnie100
04-08-2010, 08:57 PM
It was probably to give them extra rounds.

LineDoggie
04-08-2010, 09:33 PM
I just finished reading The Thin Red Line and in it Jones makes a reference to Marines who would spot weld BAR magazines to their Springfield rifles. I tried googling for pictures but couldn't come up with any and I was wondering if anyone here might have any info on this. Thank you.

I think Jones mistook the Air Service magazine extension. A BAR Follower wouldnt work in an '03 and the Mag Well for an '03 is too narrow to fit a BAR mag. Any such modification would need extensive cutting and welding of the Trigger Guard, Magazine, and modifying the buttstock, follower, springs, etc.

It's like the removing the Blishlock myth with the Thompson made it fire faster

bikewrench
04-10-2010, 02:47 AM
I asked about this some time ago and we couldn't find much either.
Linedoggie I like your theory, I can picture some China Marine dragging around one of these for a few years.