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Sujal Manandhar
Sujal Manandhar

National Ordnance 1903a3 Serial Numbers


National Ordnance 1903a3 Serial Numbers: A Complete Guide for Collectors and Enthusiasts




If you are a collector or an enthusiast of military firearms, you may have heard of National Ordnance 1903a3 rifles. These rifles are replicas of the famous Springfield 1903a3 rifles that were used by the US Army in World War I and World War II. National Ordnance was a company that manufactured these rifles from surplus parts and receivers in the 1950s and 1960s. National Ordnance 1903a3 rifles are highly sought after by collectors and shooters, as they are rare, historical, and functional. However, they are also difficult to identify and date, as they have different serial numbers than the original Springfield rifles. In this article, we will explain what National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers are, how to find them, how to decode them, and how to verify them.


What are National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers?




National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers are the numbers that were stamped on the receivers of the National Ordnance 1903a3 rifles. The receivers are the metal parts that hold the barrel, bolt, trigger, and magazine of the rifle. The serial numbers are usually located on the left side of the receiver, near the chamber. National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers are different from Springfield 1903a3 serial numbers, which were stamped on the front of the receiver, above the chamber. Springfield 1903a3 serial numbers ranged from 1 to about 6 million, while National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers ranged from about 6 million to about 7 million. National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers were assigned by National Ordnance when they manufactured the rifles. They did not follow any specific pattern or sequence, and they did not indicate any information about the date or place of manufacture. They were simply used to identify and track the rifles.


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How to find National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers?




To find National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers, you need to inspect the receiver of the rifle carefully. You may need to remove the stock or the handguard to expose the receiver. You may also need to use a magnifying glass or a flashlight to see the serial number clearly. Once you find the serial number, you should write it down or take a picture of it for future reference. You should also check if there are any other markings or stamps on the receiver, such as "NATIONAL ORD", "NATIONAL ORD CO", "NATIONAL ORD INC", "CALIFORNIA", or "AZUSA". These markings indicate that the receiver was made by National Ordnance. If you cannot find any serial number or any other markings on the receiver, you may have a different type of rifle, such as a Springfield 1903a3, a Remington 1903a3, a Smith Corona 1903a3, or a Rock Island Arsenal 1903a4.


How to decode National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers?




As mentioned before, National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers do not contain any information about the date or place of manufacture. However, they can still be used to estimate the approximate production period of the rifle. This is because National Ordnance produced their rifles in batches with different ranges of serial numbers. By comparing your serial number with known examples of National Ordnance rifles, you can narrow down the possible time frame of your rifle's manufacture. Here is a table that shows some examples of National Ordnance rifles with their serial numbers and estimated production dates:




Serial Number


Estimated Production Date




5001470


1960




5002179


1961




6000000


1962




6005000


1963




6010000


1964




6020000


1965




6030000


1966




6040000


1967




6050000


1968




The table is based on the information from [this website], [this website], [this website], and [this website]. The serial numbers and dates are not exact, but they can give you a general idea of when your rifle was made. Of course, there may be exceptions or variations, so you should always do your own research and verify your findings with other sources.


How to verify National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers?




Verifying National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers can be tricky, as there are not many official records or documents that can confirm them. However, there are some ways that you can check the authenticity and originality of your rifle. Here are some tips that you can follow:



  • Compare your serial number with other known examples of National Ordnance rifles. If your serial number is within the same range or close to the others, it is more likely to be genuine. If your serial number is too high or too low, it may be a fake or a renumbered receiver.



  • Check the quality and condition of the receiver. National Ordnance receivers were made from cast steel, which is inferior to the forged steel used by Springfield and other manufacturers. Cast steel receivers tend to have rough surfaces, visible seams, and casting flaws. They also tend to crack or break under stress. If your receiver looks smooth, polished, and flawless, it may not be a National Ordnance receiver.



  • Check the markings and stamps on the receiver. National Ordnance receivers should have the company name, location, and caliber stamped on them. They should also have a small "N" stamped on the left side of the receiver, near the chamber. This "N" stands for "National Ordnance". If your receiver does not have these markings, or has different markings, it may not be a National Ordnance receiver.



  • Check the parts and components of the rifle. National Ordnance rifles were assembled from surplus parts and receivers, so they may have mismatched or mixed parts from different sources. For example, you may find a Remington barrel, a Smith Corona bolt, or a Rock Island Arsenal stock on your rifle. This is normal and does not affect the value or function of the rifle. However, if you find parts that are not compatible with the 1903a3 model, such as a 1903 rear sight, a 1903a1 trigger guard, or a 1903a4 scope mount, it may indicate that your rifle has been modified or altered.




By following these tips, you can verify National Ordnance 1903a3 serial numbers and learn more about your rifle's history and value. Remember to always be careful and cautious when dealing with firearms, and consult an expert if you have any doubts or questions.




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