Why does the 1958 government receipt for my 03A3 say it's "unserviceable?"


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The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 05:59 PM
About seven or eight years ago, I bought a nearly pristine looking Remington 03A3 for about $600. Recently, I noticed some old looking paper inside the cleaning kit compartment. Pulled it out, and it's a government document from 1958 detailing the sale of this rifle, including serial number, to a specific civilian, giving his name and home address. Looks like total cost to Mr. Ray Anderson of Long Island, NY, back in 1958, was $19.50

Here's the thing, though. In boiler plate print it states that the rifle is unserviceable, yet when I bought it, I had my 'smith check it out, and he said it was in great shape, to specs in every way. I've been shooting it with great success for the last seven or eight years too, never having any problem at all. Is this just standard language the government uses when it decommissions service weapons for civilian sale?

I had the document laminated today. Here's a picture.

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Old Fuff
February 22, 2006, 06:12 PM
Not too worry.... :uhoh:

When the government wanted to dump some rifles they didn't need they were declared to be "unservicable," and sold (often to NRA members) for very low prices. What made them unserviceable is that they weren't inspected to determine they were servicable or not, although most were either new or rebuilt to new condition before being put into storage. :evil:

Now, thanks to the Democrats and president Lyndon Johnson these guns are destroyed rather then sold.

Your tax dollars at work... :cuss:

Ohen Cepel
February 22, 2006, 06:19 PM
it's not an early brittle receiver is it?

KriegHund
February 22, 2006, 06:25 PM
Those were pretty rare. I think the serial numbers only go up to 130,000 on em. or was it 300,000?
Rock Island stampings, IIRC. Rock River...rock something?

molonlabe
February 22, 2006, 06:38 PM
Low number receivers (improperly cast) affected the 1903 under 800,000 I think. The O3's were not affected.

CodeSlinger
February 22, 2006, 06:41 PM
it's not an early brittle receiver is it?

Nah, the brittle receiver issue was resolved in 1918 (Serial #800,001 for Springfields and #285,507 for Rock Islands, the only two factories at the time).

The 03A3 started production in 1942, so they were all properly heat treated.

ETA molonlabe beat me to the punch ;)

The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 06:44 PM
There were no problems with the steel on the A3s. That was an early 03 problem.

Is it unusual for an old military rifle to have this documentation with it? Do you think it increases its resale value?

The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 06:47 PM
I guess the reason he stuffed the document in the stock compartment was because of the threatening language contained in it regarding confiscating the rifle if he did not have it with the rifle. :uhoh:

Jim Watson
February 22, 2006, 06:51 PM
At one time DCM sales rifles were inspected, graded, and priced accordingly. The last lot they sold back in the early 1960s and the guns from CMP now are not checked out and are listed as unserviceable as a CYA per Fuff.

As one guy said, "Of course it's unserviceable, it's not loaded."

At one time you could only buy one DCM gun per model per customer lifetime and the paperwork added a bit to their value. Nowadays, they are selling in quantity, the speculators are highgrading them, especially Garands, and reselling for substantial profit. I doubt a recent CMP package is worth much. Now. Maybe one day.

Jim K
February 22, 2006, 06:58 PM
I think they dropped that limitation about the same time they stopped inspecting and proof firing all the guns and just declared them all "unserviceable". Fuff and Jim Watson are correct; the wording on the receipt has NOTHING to do with serial numbers or heat treatment. The rifles were all M1903A3's and the government wanted to get rid of them and reclaim the storage space.

Jim

The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 06:59 PM
I just did a Google search for Raymond F. Anderson, of New York, and found his current address and phone number. Think I should call him? :D

KriegHund
February 22, 2006, 07:02 PM
Sure, it could be an interesting talk for the both of you, to see how he enjoyed his old rifle and how you are enjoying it.

Or he could freak out... But hopefully the first choice.

The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 07:05 PM
Sure, it could be an interesting talk for the both of you, to see how he enjoyed his old rifle and how you are enjoying it.

Or he could freak out... But hopefully the first choice.What if his wife sold it behind his back 30 years ago, and told him it was stolen. The guy will try to sue me for it.

Jim Watson
February 22, 2006, 07:08 PM
The rifles were all M1903A3's and the government wanted to get rid of them and reclaim the storage space.
Jim

That part is not right, they are sold out of A3s but have some high number 03s left for sale at $400. When they first started the current sales program, they had some low number 03s. There was some controversy about that and I read here that they went to grinding off firing pin tips.

from the CMP site:

U.S. MODEL 1903 & 1903A3

The CMP has recently acquired from the Army what is being reported as the last remaining significant quantity in the world. We are pleased to offer these rifles for sale exclusively to members of CMP affiliated organizations. This may very well be the last opportunity to purchase this piece of history. The CMP offers the following options:

M1903 SPRINGFIELD RIFLES:
These rifles are not new from manufacturer and some have seen considerable use. All appear to have been rebuilt at one time or another. Many appear to not have been fired since being rebuilt. Rifles are coated in grease or cosmoline and will require a thorough cleaning after purchase. CMP has inspected each rifle for completeness and headspace. Shipping and Handling $22.95 per rifle.

ITEM # RIFLE PRICE
R030SHS High Serial Numbered Springfield w/ S Stock $400.00
R030SMS Mark 1 Springfield w/ S Stock $400.00
R030REMS Remington w/ S Stock $400.00

M1903A3 RIFLES:
These rifles are not new from manufacturer and some have seen considerable use. All appear to have been rebuilt at one time or another. Many appear to not have been fired since being rebuilt. Rifles are coated in grease or cosmoline and will require a thorough cleaning after purchase. CMP has inspected each rifle for completeness and headspace. Shipping and Handling $22.95 per rifle.

ITEM #
RIFLE PRICE
R031REMS Remington w/ S Stock SOLD OUT

NOTE: All M1903 and M1903A3 rifles will have either an S or scant stock. 'C' stocks are NOT available.

The Real Hawkeye
February 22, 2006, 07:27 PM
I just dropped a hand-written note in the mailbox addressed to Ray Anderson. I just told him the low down, and asked him to fill me in on the rifle's story. Should be interesting to see if he replies, and if so, what he has to say. Depending on his age when he first acquired it, he could be a pretty old guy, if he's even still with us. I'm guessing he is still with us, based on the fact that I could get his current phone number and address via Google. I will keep you informed.

KriegHund
February 22, 2006, 07:36 PM
Please do.

SwampWolf
February 22, 2006, 10:39 PM
That "document" is sort of like the tags you used to find on mattresses; that is, nobody really knows the true purpose of them. The one associated with your rifle has no bearing on its condition or projected service life.

Flyboy73
February 22, 2006, 10:58 PM
Its kinda like finding a tag under the butt of a K31. I have heard of people getting hold of the swiss it was issued to.


Brion

KriegHund
February 22, 2006, 11:35 PM
The commen held belief that tearing off the tag from a matress or furniture item will land you in jail is a myth.

The tag cannot be removed by a company trying to sell it but the owner can remove it.

Just read the tag, it states so right there.

The Real Hawkeye
February 23, 2006, 08:22 AM
The commen held belief that tearing off the tag from a matress or furniture item will land you in jail is a myth.

The tag cannot be removed by a company trying to sell it but the owner can remove it.

Just read the tag, it states so right there.Yes, I know. I've known that since I was a kid, but it is funny to joke about it. When I was a kid, my siblings and I would get laughs boldly tearing those things off, and then joking about the Feds busting down the door and hauling us off to Federal Prison.

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