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 The Rifle Rack
 old surplus rifles and modern day soft point ammo
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agent00
Junior Member

Austria
169 Posts

Posted - September 09 2019 :  04:16:20 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I am interested in getting into the Topic of Shooting with old Surplus Rifles. I am interested in getting either a springfield model 1903 or the Enfield m1917 in 30-06 springfield.

For some reasons getting Surplus FMJ or new factor FMJ ammo is quite tricky here in Austria. Getting some soft Point ammunition would be much easier.

But I wonder if would be save to use modern day soft Point ammo with These old war hourses that were made for the 30-06 150 grain ball cartridge?

I was not thinking of using some primium Hunting ammo. It would be a waste because this stuff is expensive. No, I was rather thinking of using some plain 150 grain soft Point Standards loads.

What do you guys think about that. Our would you rather say that I absolutely should not use anything else than ball ammo in such a rifle?

Would be pleased Hearing some of your thoughs.

Thanks for your help in Advance.

gw
Advanced Member

4784 Posts

Posted - September 09 2019 :  5:08:11 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I've never had an issue using sporting ammo in either, over here both actions were used to make "custom" sporters.

The Remington model 30 was a commercial version of the 1917, chammbered in many modern sporting cartridges

The only consideration I would have is:

WARNING ON “LOW-NUMBER” SPRINGFIELDS

M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000 and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

In view of the safety risk the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).

CMP DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE WITH A ”LOW NUMBER” RECEIVER. SUCH RIFLES SHOULD BE REGARDED AS COLLECTOR’S ITEMS, NOT “SHOOTERS”.

CMP ALSO DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, REGARDLESS OF SERIAL NUMBER, WITH A SINGLE HEAT-TREATED “LOW NUMBER” BOLT. SUCH BOLTS, WHILE HISTORICALLY CORRECT FOR DISPLAY WITH A RIFLE OF WWI OR EARLIER VINTAGE, MAY BE DANGEROUS TO USE FOR SHOOTING.

THE UNITED STATES ARMY GENERALLY DID NOT SERIALIZE BOLTS. DO NOT RELY ON ANY SERIAL NUMBER APPEARING ON A BOLT TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH BOLT IS “HIGH NUMBER” OR “LOW NUMBER”.

"Those who hammer their guns into plows will plow for those who do not..."

Edited by - gw on September 09 2019 5:09:18 PM
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ACP230
Advanced Member

1076 Posts

Posted - September 10 2019 :  11:57:29 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I hunted deer for a few years with a cut down 1917 Enfield.
Used commercial 150 grain soft points, often Remington Core-Lokt loads.
No problems at all.

"Never part with your weapons when you are in the field. You never know when, on some lengthy plain, you may suddenly need your spear." Old Norse saying.
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Jim Higginbotham
Moderator

USA
9819 Posts

Posted - September 11 2019 :  08:32:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
You should have no problem with either of those unless it is a "low numbered Springfield"; under 800,00 for those made at Springfield Arsenal and 285,000 for Rock Island Arsenal.

The same is not true of M1 Garands. Most modern ammo uses slower burning powder which raises the port pressure and beats up the op rod.

I think the 1917s never had any problems with heat treatment and should all be good to go.

Jim H.

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