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Old August 29th, 2019, 09:41 PM #1
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Springfield and Rock Island Rifle Production April 1917

Hey Guys,
Haven't realty posted much in a while.
Thought you might like to see these numbers. Exactly how many rifles Springfield and Rock Island were producing per day just 10 days after the declaration of war was declared.
We always hear how unprepared the United States was for war. Sometimes raw numbers can help illustrate the severity.
Enjoy your weekend!

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Old August 30th, 2019, 07:14 AM #2
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Yes but the armories had been cranking out Enfield rifles for the British and started making Model 1917 rifles on the same pattern (in 30.06) to arm more Americans with those than the 1903.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 07:41 AM #3
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P14 production was by private contractors, not the government armories.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 07:57 AM #4
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Quote:
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Yes but the armories had been cranking out Enfield rifles for the British and started making Model 1917 rifles on the same pattern (in 30.06) to arm more Americans with those than the 1903.
The British were never happy with the interchangeability of those rifles and were primarily relegated to emergency use. Their inspectors were crawling all over the production plants with a fine tooth comb pointing out deficiencies in manufacturing problems as well as contract issues.
The first 10,000 Winchesters that were manufactured before an official contract agreement was reached were designated not suitable for use overseas by our own people. They (WIN) did the same thing with M-1 production as well now that I think about it.

None the less, the early RI and Springfield rifles were completely interchangeable from the onset and works of art that could be manufactured to an incredible number in a rapid time frame.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 09:59 AM #5
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Quote:
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The British were never happy with the interchangeability of those rifles and were primarily relegated to emergency use. Their inspectors were crawling all over the production plants with a fine tooth comb pointing out deficiencies in manufacturing problems as well as contract issues.
The first 10,000 Winchesters that were manufactured before an official contract agreement was reached were designated not suitable for use overseas by our own people. They (WIN) did the same thing with M-1 production as well now that I think about it.

None the less, the early RI and Springfield rifles were completely interchangeable from the onset and works of art that could be manufactured to an incredible number in a rapid time frame.
What is really interesting about the M1917 production is it was not as seamless as everyone things. There were LOTS of reports of failures. Extractors and barrels being the principle part reported failing the most, from what I have seen.

Going from .303 rimmed to a rimless .30-06 apparently caused A LOT of issues.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 01:37 PM #6
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You would have thought the English would have gone with the 3006 originally because the rimmed 303 was pretty much obsolete when the no3 rifle came to fruition. The brits played around trying to get rimmed cartridges to feed with out issue until and up to WWII with the WRS* marked rifles.
I think they really underestimated the industrial might of the US even with the ammo problems that plagued the 03's initially. To my knowledge the only major flaw regarding 03 production outside of the Low# controversy is that some of the rod bayonet bottom metal made its way through allowing the rifle to discharge with a forward movement of the trigger. And seamy barrels that affected both the m17 and 03.
Thanks SEP for taking the time to post up what you discover in the way of historical documents. I know that the work you and others are doing is very important and always goes appreciated for those who are interested in vintage rifles.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 04:40 PM #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doco Overboard View Post
You would have thought the English would have gone with the 3006 originally because the rimmed 303 was pretty much obsolete when the no3 rifle came to fruition. The brits played around trying to get rimmed cartridges to feed with out issue until and up to WWII with the WRS* marked rifles.
I think they really underestimated the industrial might of the US even with the ammo problems that plagued the 03's initially. To my knowledge the only major flaw regarding 03 production outside of the Low# controversy is that some of the rod bayonet bottom metal made its way through allowing the rifle to discharge with a forward movement of the trigger. And seamy barrels that affected both the m17 and 03.
Thanks SEP for taking the time to post up what you discover in the way of historical documents. I know that the work you and others are doing is very important and always goes appreciated for those who are interested in vintage rifles.
You bring up excellent points on all accounts.

Funny you mention that, at the start of the war (I may have mentioned this and if I have apologies for repeating myself), Maj General Leonard Wood (previously TR's C/O during SpanAm) wrote a strongly worded letter criticizing the rechambering of the M1917. His argument was Supply depots, parts depots and established ammunition trains to the front in .303 are already there to be utilized by the US Military. Very forward thinking if you think about it, almost like a NATO round almost 40 years prior that concept. Ahead of his time if you ask me. Crozier quickly put an end to that in a very harsh reply.

But to my knowledge there were not many Pattern14s which suffered extractor or barrel failures that the M1917 did. I'm not terribly familiar with them either.

Crozier did say they weren't adopting the .303 because of feeding issues they experienced prior (I'm assuming on the Krag).

But it is obvious the US had plans to recall all M1903s from the AEF and use them stateside for training and equip all troops in the AEF with the M1917, from a logistics standpoint makes perfect sense. The USMC got 60k WRA M1917 manufactured after Jan 1, 1918. So had the war lasted longer, we might have seen more widespread standardization: 1 service arm, 1 automatic rifle (BAR), and one heavy machine gun (1917).
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Old August 30th, 2019, 04:55 PM #8
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The Brits had tested a different caliber smaller than .303 and at least had some intention of a changeover but WWI began and made it a moot point...they already had large stocks of .303 rifles and ammunition and had rifle and ammunition factories all over the world. A changeover would have created chaos logistically and very expensive. It as echoed later when the US Army wanted to changeover to the .276 M1 Garand but huge stocks of .30-06 already inventoried plus keeping the .30-06 for machine guns was simply a non-starter logistically and financially...especially during the Depression.
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Old August 30th, 2019, 07:31 PM #9
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Very interesting
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