Various .30-06 chargers

I got a dirt cheap bag of these at a show. I grabbed it because I saw the 1st charger which looked OLD to me. When I examined the rest at home, I realized that someone was trying to reconstitute the time progression of .30-06 charger development. So I arranged them into what I figured to be the development stages, from left to right.
The one on the left is a dummy charger, it has sloped ends for easier re-insertion of dummies and no tabs to hold ammo inside.
The rest I improvized based upon brass vs steel usage and presence of cut-outs for end tabs.
So, did I get it right? All but the middle had blanks (which I removed for photos) except the 1st one had 3 dummies.

I went through this a few months back, and I learned two things, (well, I learned more than two, but I see, to have forgotten the rest).

  1. The tabs usually broke off, at least on one end, when the cartridges were “stripped” of the chargers, or later when the chargers were reused.
  2. Later in production they left the tabs off because the spring was strong enough to hole the rounds in.

In fact, I pulled out a bag with a couple dozen chargers last night, and just started looking through them… I suspect many are not U.S.

U.S. clips for the M1903 rifle always had the tabs on the end of the spring, with the exception of the version for dummies, a specimen of which I’ve never seen. Jack

Here it Vlad’s bottom photo cropped & lightened.
upper is his dummy & the other (lower photo here) the right which has the tab.
I can’t say for sure but this doesn’t appear to have had a tab?
dummy? clip
right side example

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A question I am having on my mind for longer: what about steel clips, are they common?

EOD - I believe the steel clips of the various versions of the M1903 Springfield are fairly common. I just looked in a box of stripper clips I kept for shooting with my Springfields, and found I had 9 of them. I probably had a lot more, but when I gave up shooting my favorite 03, which is not totally in its original form have been built into a center-fire match rifle in the 1930s, I gave away about 3/4 of my stripper clips to friends, both steel and brass. I only kept about two dozen, which is plenty.

I never paid any attention to markings before, but I see that a little over half of my steel clips are marked with a circled “T” and the others have no markings, at least that I can discern.

John M.

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John, tank you for your insight.

Question for the Cognoscenti?
Were 1903 clips (body) Roller formed in onecontinuous strip, then sectioned, or where they punched andfolded up like Mannlicher chargers?
I have seen a “draw set” ( Spanish 1893 clip) where the clip body is continuously folded from brass strip, then punched for the spring tabs. The springs were also punched continuously to final form before separation ( Machinery Loewe, Berlin).

Doc AV

John: Your clips marked with the circled T are likely Spanish. The '03 Springfield was developed from, in the main, the Spanish 1893 Mauser, and their clips are frequently interchangeable with the U.S. clip. Jack


But would the Spanish have exactly copied the American '03 Springfield clip, including the little tabs at each end of the clip? I have shot a lot of military rifles, and own a number, but the Springfield Clip seems to be a fairly unique design, with the little tabs at each end, etc. I don’t recall seeing any other like it. I can think of a lot of countries that might have wanted to make their own clips for those Springfields used in those countries, but I don’t picture Spain being among them. I fully admit I am no expert on rifle chargers, however.

I don’t know if you will be able to see the marking on the steel clip or not. I have shown both sides of brass and steel clips. The trademark on the back of one (left side of picture), now looks to me more like a letter C with an odd mark, like an upside-down “T” hanging from the top curve. It does not look like the circle ever closed on the stamp itself.
Hard to tell though. If you view the clips with the other ends down, it would almost have to be an incomplete circle with a T inside, but with the horizontal stroke of the “T” at the center of the circle, and the vertical portion of it touching the bottom of the circle.

Hope it shows up on the scan. My scanner is not good enough for this kind of work, and I “photo-shopped” it the best I know how.

John Moss

I had an inquiry about the steel T circle clips a while ago and was told they were US WW2 make.
Can’t find the thread now.

Again, I don’t think the mark is a circle-T. I had to put white-out in this to make the marking visible on my scanner, the first time I have ever had to use the stuff to get a stamping picture. I also looked at the mark with a 10X Jeweler’s Loop, the best magnifying glass I have. and it actually looks like a “C” with a vertical line hanging from the top of the loop of the “C” and ending in a horizontal line crossing the cent of the “C”. It looks a little like a closed circle in my poor photo, but the little thin vertical line at the left is just white out that didn’t come off when I wiped away the excess. One of the reasons I don’t like white out. It can change the actual look of the marking you are trying to accent.

John Moss

John: No, that’s not the clip I had in mind. I have a M1893 clip of Spanish manufacture marked with a T in a circle. The clip you show is certainly an Ashworth-type '03 clip, marked with what could be seen as a rather stylized T in a semicircle. My Spanish clip will work with at least some '03s and '17s. I think the Spanish clip has the DWM number of Ladestreifen nr.2. Jack

John, the manufacturer is J. L. Clark Manufacturing Company, Rockford, Illinois. You can find more information in this previous discussion: US M1903 Clip Maker



Fede - thank you. So, the basic “circle” is actually, the letter “C”. Its interesting that he uses that particular monogram. My initials are JLM, and years ago, I designed my own monogram incorporating the three initials “JLM” into one “letter”, which of course, I can’t reproduce here, and would only interest me anyway. Gracias, amigo.


Internet is full of JLM monograms and logos, there is even a tee shirt with JLM for sale.

When I first began looking for clips and chargers eBay had been around for a few years and despite payment for overseas purchases still being a bit fraught, 30-06 chargers were freely available in bulk and once in a while someone was willing to sort through their stock looking for the unusual … they really were that common.

That supply dried up fairly quickly and I started seeing people in the US on forums asking if alternatives like the Swedish 6,5 or South American 7mm chargers could be used instead for loading their '03 Springfields … I wonder where all the originals went.

Here’s a paper I did a while ago for another collector, I suspect I also posted it here at the time so I hope I can be forgiven for showing it again;

US chargers for 30-06.1.pdf (899.0 KB)
US Chargers for 30-06.2.pdf (608.1 KB)

It’s the full rivet counters look with variations of spring, body shape and tooling holes shewn but it’s not complete by any means as there are many that I know of but don’t yet have.




Excellent work, thank you for sharing it here on the forum.


+1, great reference assembly Peter! Thanks!

+2 Thank you Peter.