Civilian Marksmanship Program issues advisory on ‘sporterized’ rifle ammunition

Frischkorns Rifle
Old military surplus Springfield and Garand rifles – like this “sporterized” 1903 Springfield – should not use bullets weighing more than 174 grains, the Civilian Marksmanship Program warns. (Photo courtesy of Jeff Frischkorn)

Since the end of World War I when troops returned from the Great War with a substantial respect for the Springfield rifles many of the Dough-boys used, the “03” was fast to become a favorite base for the making of sporting hunting rifles.

The same became true for the 03’s manufacturing-simplified 03-A3, maybe an even better rifle that often demanded little more than swapping out the original military stock for a factory walnut stock in a sporting configuration.

These became known as “sporterized” rifles, like my altered 03 – which is somewhere around 114 to 115 years old.

And when World War II and Korean War veterans returned from their respective conflicts, the troops waxed enthusiastically about the M1 Garand rifle, often said to be the benchmark for semi-automatic military rifles.

These rifles – as was the case with the 03 and 03A3 Springfields – soon became widely available in huge numbers as surplus arms. These rifles went on to achieve fame in the deer woods – and in especially the case of the Garand – a platform for a whole genre of named target games such as the Garand Matches.

However, the Civilian Marksmanship Program – with a shooting complex at Camp Perry in Port Clinton, Ohio – has issued an advisory on the use of certain kinds of ammunition with all of these rifles.

The CMP advises to not use .30/06 ammunition in M1 Garands, 1903s, and 1903A3s that are loaded beyond 50,000 so-called copper unit of pressure or CUP, and has a bullet weight more than 172 to174 grains.

Hodgdon powder defines CUP as “…a measurement used in the ammunition industry to determine the chamber pressure created by a cartridge load.”

Thus, says the CMP, these named rifles are at least 70 years old “and were not designed for max loads and super heavy bullets.”

“Always wear hearing and eye protection when firing an M1 Garand, 1903 and/or 1903A3 rifle,” the CMP also says.

“This warning is an update/addition to the Ammunition section in the Read (First section of the) manual enclosed with each rifle shipment (M1 Garand manual-page 6 and M1903 manual-page 10),” the CMP says as well.

Categories: Bloggers on Hunting, Firearms, Ohio – Jeffrey Frischkorn

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