1903 and 1903A3 Production and Serial No table.

Production and Serial Numbers Table
M1903 “Modified” and M1903A3

Remington Arms Company – World War II
(1) (2) (3) (4) (5)
Month Actual Accredited Inspection & Approval Calculated
& Factory Factory Invoice Final End-month
To Ordnance2
Ordnance Apprl.3
Serial Numbers.4
    October 101 0 0 3,000,100
    November 1,892 0 0 3,001,992
    December 7,031 891 1,273 3,009,023
    January 11,048 16,445 16,063 3,020,071
    February 15,158 11,981 11,981 3,035,229
    March 19,240 21,889 21,889 3,054,469
    April 24,189 25,982 25,982 3,078,658
    May 30,479 28,691 29,470 3,109,137
    June 30,351 32,941 32,162 3,139,488
    July 31,485 31,137 29,991 3,170,973
    August 31,049 28,981 30,127 3,202,022
    September 26,020 25,072 22,170 3,228,042
    October 30,615 34,284 37,160 3,258,657
    November 37,181 37,178 37,204 3,295,838
    December 43,379 43,200 43,200 3,339,2175
     January 48,024 44,418 44,618 3,388,572
     February 49,704 51,886 51,774 3,458,758
     March 59,065 58,477 3,520,614
     April 50,287 50,287 3,573,277
     May 35,980 35,982 3,710,958
     June 66,640 58,962 3,780,746
     July 42,094 49,770 3,824,829
     August 60,565 58,265 3,888,272
     September 64,080 66,523 3,955,409
     October 65,253 65,610 4,023,778
     November 62,141 61,774 4,088,927
     December 56,251 56,415 4,147,8876
37,822 38,025 4,187,457
20,560 20,560 4,209,XXX6




Grand Total: Incomplete: 1,055,7147 1,055,7147  
* Table Assumptions and Notes:
(Based in part on documents obtained by Clark Campbell from the Ilion, NY Remington Plant Manager files, circa 1955)
1. Actual assembled rifles in the Remington warehouse inventory awaiting Ordnance inspection as shown on the Planning Supervisor’s “Accounting Summary” dated March 9, 1943. No such comparable statistics are known to exist beyond February 1943. Since these were final assembled and tested rifles made ready for Ordnance Dept. inspection, they represent the earliest and most accurate base-data for approximate calculation of actual “end-of-month” production Serial Numbers (SNs) from the start of production through February, 1943.
2. Remington’s rifle production based on Ordnance Dept. inspection report data used for monthly invoicing for services rendered under contract. In absence of actual factory production records predating “final inspection” via note #1 above, the “factory invoice” record becomes the next most reliable statistical basis for approximating “end-of-month” SNs.
3. Final approved rifle production based on Ordnance Dept., Small Arms Branch, Industrial Division record summary dated March 10, 1944. This report reconciles in finality all rifle inspection approval issues that may have remained after close of each monthly billing period. It is considered the U.S. Government’s official production record.
4. Serial numbering began with SN 3,000,000 and numerically remained continuous to end of production except as shown below. All “end-of-month” SNs are calculated approximations only. Also, it is noted that final rifle assembly followed receiver serialization by an approximate average of 2 weeks. The factory shop-assembly process resulted in final rifle production in no particular SN order or sequence, therefore rifles with higher SNs than the number of rifles produced may exist for any given month.
  A. SN calculations reflect the reality “gaps” as well as “duplicates” within the serial numbering process. By definition, a SN gap is either a dropped or unaccounted for SN (“lost”); or a serially stamped, but defective receiver never used in making a fully assembled rifle, e.g. a “scrapped” receiver. These gaps in the SN sequence have resulted in more SNs assigned than rifles made. The total number of gaps is statistically estimated to be 33,487 based on known or observed SN data and purposely distributed proportionately for simplicity purposes each month for all rifles produced from January 1943 to the end of production. A SN duplicate merely represents more than one rifle with the same SN.
  B. For purposes of this Table, all M1903 “Modified” and M1903A3 receivers serially stamped before January 10, 1943 were believed to be assembled into and counted as complete rifles with little problem with SN gaps or duplicates, even though an “A” prefix system was supposedly in place to stamp a reclaimed “reject” receiver in order to avoid a duplicate SN. However, lack of extant evidence of “A” prefixed receivers to date assumes that marginally few actually materialized. This is more than likely explained by an extraordinary control system installed by Remington to rigorously monitor SN stamping both within the production plant, as well as a check-off at the terminal-shipping warehouse to assure only one completely assembled rifle per SN assigned.
  C. After January 10, 1943, Remington was directed to cease monitoring SN disorders since the Ordnance Department was no longer concerned about this problem. Thereafter, all internal accounting controls were removed, and both gaps and duplicates occurred without any corrective measures taken. Eventually, the Ordnance Dept. recognized the folly of the foregoing, and on August 11, 1943 reinstated serial number control. This included a prefixing program for duplicate SNs, but using a “Z” prefix, and then requiring the stamping machine be set up to assure use of any given SN only one time. This new procedure didn’t affect the continued occurrence of gaps due to receiver “rejects”, but provided better assurance of fewer “Z” prefixes resulting from duplicate SNs.
  D. A total of 120,000 SNs were reassigned from M1903 “Modified” and M1903A3 SN allocation as follows:

  • February 1943: As a result of War Department Production Order S-1066 dated January 18, 1943, SN block 3,407,088 and 3,427,087 (20,000 total) was reserved exclusively for the M1903A4 production.
  • May 1943: On February 25, 1942, the L.C. Smith-Corona Co. was given an order to produce 100,000 M1903 (_M1903A3) rifles. The SN block assigned was from 3,608,000 to 3,707,999.
  • October 1943: By memo of September 11, 1943, the SN block between 4,000,000 and 4,015,000 was assigned to the M1903A4 program exclusively. However at the pace of M1903A3 production at the time, SN 4,000,000 was overrun in October 1943 and it was too late to stop it. Since very high M1903A3 SNs in this range have been observed (for example: 4,014,348), it is presumed that ALL 15,000 numbers were used for the M1903A3 program (per Clark Campbell letter of 3/27/00). Due to this overrun “snafu” into the M1903A4 program, it was requested on October 19,1943 after about 3000 M1903A4s were “Z” prefixed as duplicate SNs, that a new block of numbers be assigned the M1903A4 program. The request was granted.
5. M1903A3 production phasing out the M1903 “Modified” began in December 1942 with the first 1909 rifles included in the factory invoice to the Ordnance Dept. The last of the M1903 “Modified” rifles was completed the following March 1943.
6. This so-called last SN is an approximated end-number only. It is based on a Rochester Ordnance District Memo to Remington dated February 17, 1944 listing SN 4208782 as a rejected rifle failing to meet the parts inter-change test requirements. This rifle was inspected just 11 days prior to termination of all M1903A3 contract production. Additionally, a memo dated August 26, 1944 shipped 6 test rifles less stock & magazine assemblies back to Ilion as part of program closure that listed SN 4209138 and 4209316.
7. This total Remington production includes 348,085 M1903 “Modified” rifles.
WRH/Revision date: 6/15/13