Between 19 three soldiers lost an eye to receiver failure, and six more had unspecified injuries consider serious.An additional 34 soldiers received minor injuries from receiver failures.The Army was small enough that new troops could easily be issued high numbered rifles, but low numbered rifles already issued would remain in service. The desperate need for rifles caused by World War II, saw many of the low number receiver rifles taken from war reserves and issued to U. The Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) Program provided surplus military rifles to qualified civilians before and after the Second World War.During the 1960's the DCM offered to replace low numbered Springfield receivers with high numbered receivers. Rate of Receiver Failures Between 19 there were 68 burst receivers.
Rifles manufactured after these serial numbers are referred to as "high numbered" receivers and are commonly stated to be safe to shoot.
(Low numbered receiver are those with serial numbers below 800,000 made at Springfield Armory, and below 286,506 made at Rock Island Arsenal.) Some have stated emphatically no rifle with a low numbered receiver should ever be fired under any circumstance because of the risk of serious injury or death, but that high numbered receivers are perfectly safe.
Since I purchased my first Springfield in 1992, a chrome plated beauty made in 1930 and obviously used, but not abused, by a color guard, I've heard of the low numbered Springfield receivers and the terrible danger they pose to a shooter.
Of the 68 no serial number were available for 11 receivers, four of those that failed in 1917.
Two of the 68 were made at Springfield Armory and had serial numbers in the 950,000 range.
It was determined that the workers responsible for heat treating the receivers had used an "eyeball" method that relied on the color of the heated metal to determine if the steel had been heated to the correct temperature.