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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I read an article years ago about the Marines on the islands during WW2 brazing BAR mags onto the trigger guards of their 03A3's to give them a little more firepower.
Has anyone actually ever seen one of these? Did they work? And what all was involved?
I would love to recreate one of these,find an nasty trigger guard so I could swapp it out with my good one. I was digging through some stuff the other day and found a couple not so nice BAR mags that would be perfect,but I don't know where to start,I have looked online but all I can find are the aftermarket 5 round detachable mags,which doesn't make any sense,if you are going to have a detachable mag it should be big enough to matter!
Any suggestions or pictures would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.
 

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I believe Brophy's book on the 03 talks about and has pics showing a factory approach to what you are describing, but I have not heard about the Corps experiment on the o3. I am curious about it. I just wonder if they were not 03;s instead of 03A3's though, since they were already in theater

Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I read about it in one of my WW2 history magazines and haven't been able to find the article again,if I could do it without messing with the gun itself I'd like to do it as a historical replica.
 

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I do know that there was an actual WW1 Trench Extension magazine for the M1903 Springfield or Rock Island Arsenal ‘03 Rifle. You just had to remove the floor plate and snap in place. I know a guy who has one and wants $700 for it, it is not mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I saw references to that during my search,supposedly it was designed for aircraft or ballon usage. The article I read said they brazed BAR mags onto the floorplate,I'll have to dig through my magazine collection and see if I can find it.
 

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I played with a customers rifle and a BAR mag and it won't be an easy fit. Lots of fiddling and screwing with things to get it to fit. It can't just be brazed to the bottom of the trigger guard either...there is more to it if you want it to function. So my guess is that if they had 20rd mags out in the field they were something left over from WWI or in between. I can't see them doing the kind of work necessary to make it work out there in the wilds. Its possible but I can't see it being probable......
I have seen some of the WWI mags that replace the floorplate on the 03 and I can see those being used. Might be why there aren't any around now.



Frank
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks belt fed for the link.
I'm more interested in the historical aspect then just added capacity. I love the look of field improvised modifications,kind of like the shortened M-1 carbines from Vietnam.
 

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BeltFed GURU
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BWA HA HA HA HA hahahahah Rory !! Sadly mine is Bubba`ed a post HT problem Rem with the Howe & Howe scope mount base issued (shaking head) top scope mount was installed and it went through a hurricane with no bolt and sat for months before it was recovered ,bore pitted all to He LL . It only cost me a bolt but it can never be recovered to original issue condition 😭😭😭 . But it still shoots .......
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I finally found the artical with the story about marines on Guadalcanal brazing BAR mags onto the floor plates, the only proof was a painting done by a field reporter, and a story submitted by an on the scene reporter which describe the gun that have BAR mags brazed to the floor plate, of course no pictures other then the painting, which could well be artist inseption, supposedly there is an origianl gun in the Marine corp museam, but I have been able to find it yet. Some day I will and I will receate on of these guns.
 

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I've never seen one in real life, but I've seen a picture. IIRC it was an army squad in the European Theater, I believe Italy. It was neither a '03 nor an A3, but rather an A4. I would guess it had the heaver A4 trigger guard, but I couldn't tell if the BAR mag was inserted up to the bolt and welded or just welded to the bottom and used the internal mag up to the bolt. I would think the latter would feed better, but the former would be stronger.
Chris
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
I was digging through some of my gun stuff the other day and came across my BAR mags and remembered this post,so I went online and did some more digging and in one thread on another forum someone gave the date of the issue of the magazine that I read the article in, so out into my old magazine pile, after an hour I finally found it a reread the article, apparently there was an American journalist on the island who specifically mentioned the fact that the soldier modified their Springfield like this for greater firepower, the other reference was a painting done which shows the same thing, they also mention the fact that it was also used in an Italian landing.
They did say that there was an actual modified gun in the Marine Corp museum but I have looked and was unable to find a picture from them.
I still want to make one of these!
 
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