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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.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.it was quickly found that the right heat as judged by the skillful eye of the old timers was up to 300 degrees hotter on a bright sunny day than it was on a dark cloudy one" (See Hatcher, Julian Hatchers Notebook , Third Edition, Stackpole Books, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, 1966, page 215).Heating to the higher temperatures led to crystallization of trace elements within the steel, making it too hard, and rather than deforming under high pressure, the receiver shattered, often permitting the bolt to exit the receiver, causing injury to the shooter.There were no deaths reported from the failure of a Springfield receiver.The heat treating method was immediately changed to a double heat treatment, and pyrometers were used to determine the temperature of the heated receivers.
He states: "One thing made evident by these tests is the fact that the weakest feature of the modern military actions is the cartridge case itself.
The change in heat treating was instituted between serial number 750,00 and 800,000 at Springfield and by serial number 285,506 at Rock Island Arsenal.