Why is there a cocking knob on the m1903 rifle? - 1911Forum
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  #1  
Old 12-15-2019, 07:32 AM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is online now
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Why is there a cocking knob on the m1903 rifle?

Aside from taking tension off the firing pin spring for storage (something I could do by dry firing), I can't find a practical use for this device. Similar guns, like the Mauser 98, don't even have such a device. Does anyone know why this feature exists on this gun? Thanks.
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  #2  
Old 12-15-2019, 07:43 AM
crazy charlie crazy charlie is offline
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If the round didn't fire during normal operation you can cock it manually and (hopefully) give it a second chance to fire without working the bolt.
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Old 12-15-2019, 07:55 AM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by crazy charlie View Post
If the round didn't fire during normal operation you can cock it manually and (hopefully) give it a second chance to fire without working the bolt.
I don't see how that would be any faster than just raising and lowering the bolt without opening it, but that's a possible answer.
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  #4  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:17 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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Even though its called by many as the cocking knob, I always thought (and I may be wrong) that it was more of an uncocking knob. That is, it is used to gently lower the firing pin for storage with out having to dry fire the weapon and possibly break an important item like the firing pin.
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Old 12-15-2019, 10:23 AM
jjfitch jjfitch is online now
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It offers a visual indication that the firearm is cocked?

It followed the manual of arms of other similar firearms?

Did I win?

Smiles,
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Last edited by jjfitch; 12-15-2019 at 01:54 PM.
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  #6  
Old 12-15-2019, 10:33 AM
FNHipowerluv FNHipowerluv is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jjfitch View Post
It offer a visual indication that the firearm is cocked?

It followed the manual of arms of other similar firearms?

Did I win?

Smiles,
You wouldn't need a knurled knob to figure that out. You can see the rear of the firing pin sticking out on most bolt actions when cocked.

So far, a decocking device sounds like the most realistic answer.
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  #7  
Old 12-15-2019, 12:07 PM
mkk41 mkk41 is offline
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I do remember reading that it was indeed for re-cocking on a misfire. A holdover from the 1894 Krag. Ammo was not 100% reliable in those days , especially in damp climates before they sealed the primers.
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Last edited by mkk41; 12-15-2019 at 12:12 PM.
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  #8  
Old 12-15-2019, 08:46 PM
dfariswheel dfariswheel is offline
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It was for re-cocking in case of a miss-fire.
In those days the US military had some ideas that sound really strange today.
Like most bolt action rifles the 1903 could be un-cocked by lifting the bolt handle, holding the trigger back, and lowering the handle.

You wouldn't want to re-cock by lifting the bolt handle and have a hang-fire go off with the bolt unlocked.
The smokeless ammo was still pretty new in the early 1900's and reliability was suspect.

Teddy Roosevelt had some major input into the new 1903 Rifle and it might have been one of his ideas.
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  #9  
Old 12-15-2019, 09:18 PM
Striker2237 Striker2237 is online now
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That's really good info, I had no idea you could do that with one. I'll have to play around with mine to see this un-cocking feature in action
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Old 01-26-2020, 11:05 PM
Capt. Methane Capt. Methane is offline
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Interesting, this is a great discussion!
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  #11  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:21 AM
M-Peltier M-Peltier is offline
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I just finished reading the entire 1903 field manual FM23-10. No where in it did it refer to the cocking piece to be used on a misfire. The only reference to the cocking piece was in relation to disassembly of the bolt. The bolt must be cocked and on safe to remove. By direction of the manual this can be accomplished by lifting and lowering the bolt or by the cocking piece. Once removed it is also used in the sequence of bolt disassembly, and re assembly.

I believe the original intent was as outlined in the field manual. It may have gone on to be relied upon in the event of a misfire, as ill advised as that may have been.

It would not be the only time the military developed a feature for one purpose and erroneously used it for something else. The M16 forward assist comes to mind.
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  #12  
Old 01-27-2020, 10:44 AM
bmcgilvray bmcgilvray is offline
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I've read that the cocking piece also serves to deflect any escaping gases from the shooter's eyes in the event that a leaking or pierced primer released gases to travel through the bolt, something that was apparently more common in the early days with both Krag Jorgensen and Model 1903 Springfield.

I'm keen on the Model 1903 Springfield, admire its design, and love using it. I like the cocking piece. It might be primitive as a gas deflector but the feature is handy if one wants to uncock the rifle or needed to give a primer another "thwack."

Last edited by bmcgilvray; 01-27-2020 at 10:50 AM.
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