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Sixth Army Group -> General Quarters

#1: Question for the USMC experts Author: B.C.RiesLocation: Brawley CA. PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 8:23 pm
I was watching 'The Pacific' on the first two episodes all of the Marines on Guadalcanal have 1903A3 Springfields. Is this correct or should they have 1903A1's. Since the 1903A3 was designed in 1942.
I can't imagine that the US Marines who have been constantly complaining about having to fight with old equipment since the dawn of time would actually have a weapon that was designed in 1942 by the middle of 1942 thousands of miles away from the US.

#2:  Author: Panzercommander HOH PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:10 pm
Do they really? I thought they were all M-1903s. I'll have to go back and check that for sure!

My understanding is that the Marines should all have M-1903s with the straight stocks left over from WWI.

I'll look into this and report back as I've got six or seven Marines from Guadalcanal who's issued weapon hangs in the balance!


#3:  Author: pzrwestLocation: Cardiff Ontario Canada PostPosted: Sun Nov 21, 2010 9:11 pm
The movie may not have had correct items. Hollywood always makes mistakes, Have never seen a movie yet that didn't have mistakes. Some very noticeable some not so noticeable. The common person wouldn't know the difference between model versions of a weapon or a uniform, etc. Even documentaries het things wrong.... late war footage in early war time periods, wrong pattern helmets. Movie makers don't take into concideration people who study history and militaria, they aim at the common joe blow on the street

#4:  Author: chung814 PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 1:33 am
What I can say with all my books on hand, USMC should use M1903 early model(include M1903, M1903A1) in Guadalcanal, at least for the first several months in Guadalcanal.

And according to one of my Springfield book,
"The Model 1903 Springfield Rifle and its variations", by Joe Poyer, North Cape Publications, Inc. ISBN #1-882391-30-6,

Page 63 says, The M1903A3 stock was authorized on June 8, 1942 and the first stock deliveries were made to the assembly line on August 3, 1942. ... The first 1,909 M1903A3 rifles were delivered in December 1942.

And by the end of 1942, meanwhile the M1903A3's went to the war, The hard battled USMC 1st Division was pulled out from Guadalcanal and went to Australia, Army divisions and 2nd USMC Division stayed instead.

The info above just conformed that the old photos of USMC in Guadalcanal, especially those in action photos, shown Pre-M1903A3 characterisics-Rear sight above the barrel, shorter upper handguard.

I don't know why The mini-series don't provide M1903/M1903A1-like rifle, while the team made a non-functional LVT-1 in the lagoon, the making of non-functional M1903/M1903A1 shouldn't be budget issue. At least don't give us such a visual impression that all M1903A3 used in Guadalcanal.

Maybe the team don't know a lot about M1903 family...

#5:  Author: B.C.RiesLocation: Brawley CA. PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:28 am
Thanks Chung814, I suspected that was the case, Now you've comfirmed my suspicions and taught me some extra facts.

It seems that this rifle would be the best choice for a Guadalcanal Marine.



#6:  Author: chung814 PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 7:51 am
You are welcome, B.C.Ries.

Although I don't know what brend your M1903 is(I do have one on hand, maybe SOTW or colswold?),
This one is definately ideal for a USMC rifleman in Guadalcanal. Some of the photos I saw in the book, especially the USMC ones, shown that those M1903s have the characteristcs of late WW1 or early 1920/30 product, with long horizontal grooves on the forestock, and a thinner neck after the trigger guard.

The M1903/M1903A1 of that era were more neatly manufactured than later build ones, not mentioned the mass produced M1903A3s.

#7:  Author: Panzercommander HOH PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 8:34 am
Nice Springfield BC!

Would you mind telling us what manufacturer it is from?


#8:  Author: B.C.RiesLocation: Brawley CA. PostPosted: Mon Nov 22, 2010 9:24 am
The Springfield is a Cotswald. I got it from a dollar bin a WOH several years ago. I lowered the safety which was way to high, filled in the scope mounting holes, added some detail to the ladder sight, sanded down some of the woodgrain and repainted it.
Elite Brigade always has these in stock and the price is reasonable.

#9:  Author: LeatherneckLocation: Houston, Texas PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:22 pm
Seems this has been resolved, but for what it's worth, I agree with Chung.

Not sure why they would have used 1903A3s in The Pacific. In NROTC in college, we used to drill with de-milled straight stock 1903s. Can't believe they would be that hard to come by.

#10:  Author: KlabyLocation: Wisconsin PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:56 pm
The A3 was never issued to any Marine unit. The A3 was a stop gap do to shortages of the Garand. Mostly issued to training commands and NG troops. Marines carried the 03A1 into battle on the canal. The 03 Springfield holds a special place with Marines of that era....most hated giving them up for the Garand and some senior NCOs did not give up the trusted 03. So the series was right in that the 1st MARDIV did not have Garands, 03 was the TO weapon but the A3 was not!

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