Archival Research Group

Archival Research Group We are a professional research company that specializes in small arms and historical military research that pulls and collects documentation from NARA.

Ever wonder why during World War I the "P" Proof Mark wasn't stamped on US Mosins or American Enfields? Apparently, ther...
05/03/2020

Ever wonder why during World War I the "P" Proof Mark wasn't stamped on US Mosins or American Enfields?

Apparently, there was some objection from the Ordnance Department about using it on commercially supplied rifles.

It turns out that an employee from Remington was the one who suggested using the "Ordnance Echelon" (or flaming bomb as it's more commonly known) in its place serving a dual purpose.

Photography credit goes to Jonathon Krisko one of our subscribers and supporters. He submitted his work to help compliment the documents. We are very grateful for the his help.

From the files we recently added to our library....Major Libbey: "I would repeat my former suggestion to you of a machin...
04/25/2020

From the files we recently added to our library....

Major Libbey: "I would repeat my former suggestion to you of a machine gun to fire .45 caliber automatic ammunition"

Colonel Thompson: "Hold my beer" (probably)

(Photograph of the Thompson SMG was submitted from one of our subscribers for this post who wishes to remain anonymous.)

04/24/2020

Greetings, we just finished uploading over 1250 documents to our online library. We digitized these right before the National Archives closed to the public.

(samples and teasers to follow shortly)

The good news is that we still have some reserves that we are preparing to release in the near future. These files should hopefully get us through the next several months. After the last government shutdown we had to put a fail-safe in place.

To view the new documents, they are filed in our Chief of Ordnance section under the following series: "Development and Testing of Rifles and Component Parts, 1925-1943" The new file titles are as follows:

*German Anti-Tank Rifle Pz B. 39 Ordnance Program No. 5826

*1903 Rifle - Folder No. 2 1927-1940

*1917 Rifle

*Miscellaneous Rifles 1933-1939

*Also Contains Notes on Thompson, Pedersen and Browning

*Test Reports U.S. Semi-Automatic Rifle Cal. .30 M1 1936

*Semi Automatic Rifles 1941

*Semi-Automatic Rifles 1925-1940

There is a lot of good information concerning 1903 heat treatment testing, Garand trials and the Johnson Automatic rifle. You may have already read about these tests and trials, but these are copies of the actual files.

Also within the Chief of Ordnance section, in our "General Correspondence 1915-1930" subject, we have added the following two volumes to our Small Arms - Krag and Cadet Rifles series:

*Volume 1 - March 30, 1916 Thru May 29, 1917

*Volume 5 - May 15, 1918 Thru May 24, 1919

These series have a lot of interesting data, concerning the use of Krags, Russian Rifles and Ross Rifles during the first world war.

The Archives may be closed (temporarily) but we still have a lot of work ahead of us.

Remembering 103 years ago today!April 5thOrdnance Department orders 206 M1911 pistols from Colt.April 6thWar is Declared...
04/07/2020

Remembering 103 years ago today!

April 5th
Ordnance Department orders 206 M1911 pistols from Colt.

April 6th
War is Declared by the United States

Also on April 6th
"We should've ordered a lot more..."
General William Crozier (probably)

We hope you are staying safe in these difficult times. But, if you are stuck at home, we have plenty of reading material...
04/02/2020

We hope you are staying safe in these difficult times.

But, if you are stuck at home, we have plenty of reading material to keep you occupied.

Here is a letter from the Office of the Chief of Ordnance replying to the Commandant of the Marine Corps. The question was raised over low number rifles in the USMC that were not suitable for the VB Grenade launcher. The Marines were inquiring as to the feasibility of reheat treating low number 1903s for this purpose. This was the Ordnance Department’s reply.

It should be noted that the reheat treatment test referred to in this letter is in our archives under:
Chief of Ordnance --> Industrial Service Branch --> Testing of Development and Testing of Rifles and Component Parts, 1925-1943.

If you are interested in expanding on this letter, so you can compare records from different offices to get a clearer picture of the problem being discussed, it was found in our USMC Quartermaster files.

The National Archives may be shut down for the time being, but what we have digitized is still available.

Have a wonderful and safe evening!

It's been too long for an update from us. For that we apologize.But today is an anniversary for the 1911. We shouldn't f...
03/30/2020

It's been too long for an update from us. For that we apologize.

But today is an anniversary for the 1911. We shouldn't forget that.

More to follow.

Over the next several days we will be uploading several hundred documents to our library. Here are some pictures from a ...
02/24/2020

Over the next several days we will be uploading several hundred documents to our library. Here are some pictures from a report that jumped out.

(Full report will be available online)

The "Mole Cooling Device" which was submitted for testing in 1940. The inventor stated the purpose of the device was to draw cool air into the barrel (by way of a one-way check valve) after firing a round. This would keep the interior of the barrel cool and prolong its useful life.

It failed shortly into testing (see below). Conclusions were that the device:

Does not affect velocity,

Does not affect accuracy at 100 yards

Does not cool the barrel

It weakens the barrel dangerously.

Are we the only ones without an engineering background that aren't surprised that a hole in the barrel at the chamber will cause it to rupture?

Please see additional pictures below (our comments section).

On June 28, 1940 an act of Congress suspended the sale of ordnance material to the general public by the Director of Civ...
01/17/2020

On June 28, 1940 an act of Congress suspended the sale of ordnance material to the general public by the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM), which was also the predecessor to the Civilian Marksmanship Program (CMP). This included rifles, rifle parts and ammunition.

This was for obvious reasons but is stated in the first letter.

At the National Archives, there was an extremely large folder dedicated to this issue, particularly to answering angry letters from NRA members that were not happy about this suspension of sales. There were several hundred of these letters with replies by Army officers addressing their concerns.

Imagine for a second you're an Ordnance officer, aware of this crisis in Europe and Asia. Due to the Depression the United States is not prepared to enter a world war.

On top of addressing the growing crisis, you're tasked with writing replies to angry NRA members.

Enjoy your evening!

01/15/2020

We just uploaded several hundred "United States Rifle" and "Krag/Cadet Rifle" documents to our library from the Chief of Ordnance, General Correspondence 1915-1930. But these files are specific to the 1917-1918 time frame.

We have also uploaded a Model of 1917 Rifle serial number database. A M1911 database is next on our list to upload here very shortly.

Yesterday we began digitizing Automatic Pistol and Revolver documents during this same time frame. Those will be uploaded starting next month. We already have noticed some groundbreaking documents in the files we digitized.

More to follow! We'll start throwing out some "teasers" very shortly as we begin to process them.

To bring it the new year!Someone has hit the ARG lottery. Since we updated our M1903 serial number database, someone has...
01/03/2020

To bring it the new year!

Someone has hit the ARG lottery. Since we updated our M1903 serial number database, someone has come back with a "match."

One of our supporters found out that one of their rifles was salvaged from the USS California from when she was being raised from Pearl Harbor due to damage sustained during the attacks on December 7, 1941.

The owner purchased a copy of the correspondence and certifying letter. Now hopefully that rifle's exciting story will not be lost to time. The owner provided pictures and agreed to allow us to share them as long as we respect his privacy, although the owner may share this elsewhere on his own terms. The owner was very excited.

Too long we hear the old saying: "Buy the rifle not the story"

Here are Archival Research Group, we're looking to challenge that.

We're finishing up a M1917 Rifle serial number list and plan to upload that in the next week. We will be working on M1911 serial numbers starting next week. (Manually entering these do take time.) We can't wait to see what else turns up.

Christmas Eve 100 Years Ago TodayMerry Christmas Eve from Archival Research Group!This is the time of the year that mean...
12/25/2019

Christmas Eve 100 Years Ago Today

Merry Christmas Eve from Archival Research Group!

This is the time of the year that means time with friends and family, but if you're hosting Christmas in your home it could mean increased stress to get your home clean and meals ready for a crowd.

If you find yourself stressed and that nothing is going right for tomorrow, just remember this.....

No matter how many things are going wrong in your Christmas preparations.

You're not filling out a report on how your soldiers managed to get eye injuries in a safe environment at a firing range.

Merry Christmas from Archival Research Group!

We love it when we digitize files from the National Archives and the correspondence discusses an item and the item in qu...
12/21/2019

We love it when we digitize files from the National Archives and the correspondence discusses an item and the item in question, surfaces in a museum or private collection. The connection for us is exciting. This wasn't pre-planned or discussed. Just a happy coincidence.

Rock Island Arsenal Museum posted about their first produced Model 1903 serial number 1 and it came up on our newsfeed.

We thought the number looked familiar.

To see photographs of the rifle in question. Go visit their newsfeed. It's quite a gorgeous example of a Model 1903.

Have a wonderful evening!

Here is the first order of 1911s with prices of pistols, spare magazines and the parts the Chief of Ordnance placed in 1...
12/13/2019

Here is the first order of 1911s with prices of pistols, spare magazines and the parts the Chief of Ordnance placed in 1911 one month after the official adoption of Colt's automatic pistol to replace the double action revolver as the primary sidearm of the US Military.

How times have changed in prices...

We are in the process of uploading 1390 documents covering this era. Adding to our previous set of documents on the same topic.

We will have over 1800 documents covering the transition to and adoption of the M1911 from the double action revolver spanning August 10, 1910 to June 10, 1913. And our library will just grow from there. All these records come straight from the National Archives and no available unless you travel to the facility itself.

These files are available from your home computer.

The catch is, you have to like to read.

Will be added to our page under Chief of Ordnance, General Correspondence 1910-1915.

12/11/2019

Updated M1903 serial number database is up.

Updated M1911 serial number database is being finished up and prepared to be uploaded to our website.

1500 documents covering the adoption of the M1911 are being uploaded tonight.

More to follow.

We've been quiet lately. But we have several new announcements coming over the next several days.To start, in memory of ...
12/08/2019

We've been quiet lately. But we have several new announcements coming over the next several days.

To start, in memory of Pearl Harbor.

A Springfield M1903 rifle that was reported salvaged from the USS California in early 1942 and transferred to Coastal Artillery Battery Number 2 (West Loch).

She likely sat out the rest of the war but was present for the attack on Pearl Harbor on "a date that will live in infamy."

A very significant day that should never be forgotten.

We're finishing up our next edition to the Model 1911 adoption. This letter is right before the final tests of automatic...
11/16/2019

We're finishing up our next edition to the Model 1911 adoption.

This letter is right before the final tests of automatic pistols which will decide which design will be adopted by the United States.

From our recently digitized Quartermaster reports.Our favorite rejection we've found: "Hey idiots, we make firearms not ...
10/29/2019

From our recently digitized Quartermaster reports.

Our favorite rejection we've found: "Hey idiots, we make firearms not scopes."

You never know what you'll find hidden in these records until you start looking.

10/23/2019

Our USMC Quartermaster records section is now completely digitized and available to view on our website's library.

It spans January 1, 1927 to December 31, 1942.

Unfortunately the Archives do not have any Quartermaster records for the Marine Corps past 1942.

We'll have some samples posted here shortly.

We have also catalogued all small arms serial numbers from these files and will be uploaded to our website shortly.

Have a wonderful evening.

Happy Birthday Garand CollectorsWe found this earlier this year and were saving it for today.From our Chief of Ordnance ...
10/10/2019

Happy Birthday Garand Collectors

We found this earlier this year and were saving it for today.

From our Chief of Ordnance Small Arms files, the Ordnance Committee recommended that: "the weapon known as the U.S. Semiautomatic Rifle, Caliber .30 M1 be classified as standard."

We're currently uploading 1,200 documents to help close out our USMC Quartermaster files from the 1930s.Here we have a r...
10/10/2019

We're currently uploading 1,200 documents to help close out our USMC Quartermaster files from the 1930s.

Here we have a report of a Model 1903 Rifle failure.

We are not trying to spark a debate as to whether a low number serialized receivers are safe or unsafe.

But if you read the specifics of this particular report, it should show that these issues are more complex rather than a simple heat treatment of the receiver.

For your review, see the attached report from the USMC Quartermaster Records.

Follow us on Facebook and if you like reading this plus a lot more consider subscribing. To review our tens of thousands of documents in our library which grows each month.

We apologize for the scans of the cartridge cases found in the NARA folder, our scanner software did not particularly agree with them.

Have a wonderful week!

ARG

10/04/2019

Institute of Military Technology one of the premier military arms museums and one of our supporters have just launched their page.

Give them a like!

You wont be disappointed with what they will be posting.

We're about to upload a new set of USMC Quartermaster Reports. About 700 documents in this set. They should be available...
09/26/2019

We're about to upload a new set of USMC Quartermaster Reports. About 700 documents in this set. They should be available sometime next week as we finish processing them.

This was found among these files.

The "Competitive Test with .30 Caliber Rifles" is already in our library. Which includes how the M1 Garand, Model 1903 and Johnson Automatic Rifle compared against each other.

If you like what you see on our page and would like to read a lot more, consider subscribing.

Enjoy your week!

Alright we've been working on this project for months now. So we're doing a test run to see how our subscribers like the...
09/23/2019

Alright we've been working on this project for months now. So we're doing a test run to see how our subscribers like the new system.

We took one of our new lists and added it to this searchable database software.

If it's successful, we will updating and adding to it regularly.

The Test Run will be for M1903s only (just to start). If successful we'll be adding M1911s, M1917s, Krags and other small arm numbers we come across.

This will likely replace the embedded PDFs we tried in the past.

To test it out.
1) Login to your account at www.ArchivalResearchGroup.com
2) Go to our library page and select "Small Arms Database"
3) Enter the serial number you wish to check and will render a result if we have a "match."

To test it here are some entries we have

878773 7/17/1931 USMC Guantanamo Bay, Cuba

1013514 7/30/1931 USMC Parris Island

(Please note for whatever reason, the software we're using changed the dates from mm/dd/yyyy to dd/mm/yyyy)

Have a wonderful evening!

Surplus Model 1917 Rifles sold to the Philippine Government. These funds were directed to help fund the production of th...
09/14/2019

Surplus Model 1917 Rifles sold to the Philippine Government. These funds were directed to help fund the production of the M1 Garand.

Major General Tschappat was Chief of Ordnance from 1934-1938. A very crucial time for US small arms production at Springfield Armory. Right in the middle of the adoption of the M1 Garand.

It should be noted that, adjusting for inflation, $452,000 is equal to roughly $8.2 million today.

This was taken from our semi-automatic rifle files which focuses specifically on the M1 Garand.

Follow us on Facebook, and if you really have a thirst for knowledge and information, consider subscribing. You'll have access to everything we uncover digitized in our library.

We're getting very close to releasing a new searchable database for our website.  The last one was very cumbersome, so w...
09/11/2019

We're getting very close to releasing a new searchable database for our website. The last one was very cumbersome, so we had to abandon that model.

We just manually transcribed roughly 1600 Model 1903 serial numbers found in a treasure trove of USMC correspondence. Waiting for the right platform for release.

If this works we will be adding more databases on other first half 20th century small arms as well.

Just think, maybe your rifle could have a document linking it to the archives like this. In this case, "Red flag laws" before they were "cool."

Local Sheriff: "We think this is government property, confiscate it now, ask questions later."

Sound familiar? History does have a tendency to repeat itself.

(obviously if you have our service and purchase a copy for your Curio or Relic, it will NOT be redacted. This is just a sample copy.)

From our World War I Chief of Ordnance files.This clearly illustrates how unprepared the United States was to enter a wo...
08/30/2019

From our World War I Chief of Ordnance files.

This clearly illustrates how unprepared the United States was to enter a world war.

Just 10 days after war was declared. Rock Island Arsenal was only producing 25 rifles a day. And estimated to produce an addition 375 at the end of the year.

We plan to have the rest of these files digitized through the end of 1918 very shortly. Then we will add other small arms such as pistols and revolvers to our online library through the first World War.

This is an interesting discovery. Taken from part of an early 1918 report at Springfield Armory. Regarding the reporting...
07/28/2019

This is an interesting discovery. Taken from part of an early 1918 report at Springfield Armory. Regarding the reporting of some Model 1903 failures during firing.

What is interesting is that the investigation states the cause of the failures, is faulty ammunition. It causes a sudden spike in pressure that exploits the weaknesses of these receivers.

The solution, correct the problem with flaws in the manufacture of M1903 receivers. Correction in the ammunition is not recommended or even addressed.

Disclaimer: This warrants further research. Please be aware this does not make low number receivers safe if the ammunition is of high quality than that of what was being produced during the Great War.

There are other variables to consider, such as the politics at Springfield Armory and within the Ordnance Department. As well as the state of war.

Either way, enjoy your weekend!

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Comments

Is there a database for the 1903A3's?
Nice page