1903A3 Unissued, refurbished or BOTH?


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little joe
December 28, 2009, 04:48 PM
Greetings,

How can I tell if my new rifle is unissued, refurbished or both? It looks virtually NEW. Park on bolt face, bolt, bolt lugs, receiver race ways are perfect, not one mark on them.

Metal: Green Park ( except as noted ) condition 100%
Metal: Blue ( rear sight and extractor ) condition 100%
(markings) "R" on forward barrel band, both forward sling rings, rear sight, bolt handle, extractor and bolt release. "RA", 4-43, flaming bomb and "P"on barrel.
Wood: Perfect. 100%
(markings) FJA, OG, SSAA, GSAA, "P", VERY FAINT numbers forward of magazine well and cartouche.
Bore: perfect.
Sight hood: Capital "S" with horizontal line through it.

I would not want to shoot this rifle if some how it was as issued from the Remington factory. I got and read several 1903 Springfield books and did a lot of online research, BUT can not tell whether the rifle is UNISSUED and just passed through OGDON or was just a beautiful REFURBISH or BOTH !?

Thanks Joe

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HoosierQ
December 28, 2009, 04:57 PM
On the picture of the front site it looks like that finish is over some pitting. I suspect that is refurbished. Rather nicely, but refurbished.

The wood is nice.

Given you inquiries, I suspect you'd like to leave it alone. Refurbished or not, that is a very nice rifle as is.

Remember the saying: "Sporterizing a milsurp rifle is the best way to spend $500 turning a $700 rifle into a $200 rifle"...or something to that effect.

Tim the student
December 28, 2009, 04:58 PM
I would have a hard time believing it is unissued - the odds are just too great. It is very nice looking though.

How does it shoot?

little joe
December 28, 2009, 05:23 PM
Just got it several days ago. Internals and stock full of Cosmo. So, it will be awhile before I get to shoot it, if I do. I'm thinking of the "hot tub of water" on the BBQ for the metal and oven for the wood. Still deciding which might be the best way to clean her up, without messing anything up....

Your probably right about being unissued. I am also skeptical! I just could not find any mention of how ORIGINAL the various arsenals tried to keep OR make the various weapons that passed through their facilities. Did the arsenals repark them "Green" like the factory ? Did the arsenals have spare SC and Remington parts to make the rifles that passed through "MATCH". Did they care? I just could not glean that sort of info from my research.

As for the look of "pitting" by or under the front sight hood, I think you see dry cosmoline. I will say the bolt handle looks cast and and unfinished. And that to me looks like prior pitting, but I just don't have other bolt knobs of that vintage to reference as far as finishing.

I'm just trying to get a general "consensus" of the status of this rifle. I don't know much, but I know this is a very nice rifle and I am curious as well. If I get the feeling its just a very nice "Refurb" I'll clean her up and shoot it.

Thanks again Joe

SlamFire1
December 28, 2009, 05:54 PM
OG stands for Ogden Arsenal. If the entire rifle went through Ogden Arsenal, then it was rebuilt.

I think the bands were blue, and the rear sight, from the factory for Remington rifles.

I am not an expert on this.

Hey your rifle looks good and if you don't want it I know people who would.

This M1917 went through Ogden Arsenal, the inspector was Elmer Keith himself. :D


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Rifles%20various/DSCN9066P17sideviewwithOGEK.jpg
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v479/SlamFire/Rifles%20various/BestP17OGEKStamp.jpg

little joe
December 28, 2009, 06:00 PM
Hey Slam Fire,

Elmer Keith....now that is cool. I had no idea he even worked as an inspector. Great history.

You may be right about the bands and sight being blue from the factory.

May have to "add" a 1917 to my little arsenal.....LOL

As I look over the bolt, it all looks pretty rough and unfinished. Unlike the earlier models.

SlamFire1
December 28, 2009, 06:09 PM
As I look over the bolt, it all looks pretty rough and unfinished. Unlike the earlier models

Any A3 bolt looks like it was chewed out of barstock by angry beavers. Same thing for the receiver race ways.

The best WWII bolts were made by Springfield Armory, they are pretty slick. I have snatched all the "BF" bolts I could find. I have been told that BF is in fact early WWII SA, and the BF bolts are as slick as the prewar.

Just lube the thing, tighten the stock bolts, and go out and shoot it.

Almond27
December 28, 2009, 07:15 PM
Nice rifle I also find it hard to believe it being unissued. Clean it Shoot it its American History.

USSR
December 28, 2009, 10:07 PM
Your 03-A3 has gone thru a rebuild at Ogden Arsenal. Both Remington and Smith-Corona subcontracted out the manufacturing of the small parts, which when they were originally installed were blued. The only parts that were originally parkerized were the receiver, barrel, front sight base, front band, and safety. You have a very nice rifle that looks like it was unissued after being rebuilt.

Don

little joe
December 29, 2009, 12:06 AM
Thanks guys.....I got it.

Arsenal rebuild, great condition. I'll clean and shoot. Can't wait.

A great New Year to all......Joe

Orlando
December 29, 2009, 07:37 PM
Arsenal rebuild and may have not been shot since the rebuild.
Nice looking rifle

Ohio Gun Guy
December 29, 2009, 08:06 PM
Still very valuable!!!!

Orlando
December 29, 2009, 08:12 PM
I bought a Remington in the exact same condition about a year ago for $650.00. It came with original 1917 leather sling and nickle oiler in the buttstock
They are nice shooters and great to find the that condition

CZguy
December 29, 2009, 09:46 PM
Did the arsenals repark them "Green" like the factory

Green parkerizing is the holy grail of parkerizing. It is achieved by storing a rifle in cosmoline for decades.

I have a nice 03A3 that wasn't shot since rebuild. (Until I got it.)

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/badgerone/03A3II.jpg

little joe
December 29, 2009, 11:37 PM
Great feed back guys. I love this site ( and marlinowners...and uzitalk ). Hours of interesting entertainment, information and learning...!

Walked into a local gun shop I had not been in for a year or so and there it was. Couple of questions, a quick look over and out came the card. Unbelievable serendipity.

Consignor was friends with an "Old Navy Frog Man (pre SEAL)" that gave the 1903 to him just prior to his passing. He was not a shooter and needed the money more, so on the " for sale " rack it went.

I walked in, and by pure chance was the very first perason to actually ask to see the rifle. Occasionally, lucky **** like that happens to me. Not often !

Can't tell you I paid a crazy low price for it because I didn't.

Gots to clean and shoot it.

As a side note...that same day I went into a second gun shop and they had a Smith-Corona 1903 and a Remington 1903a3 that were very nearly as nice and they were asking $1500 each. I was shocked by those prices, but it also shows how behind the times I have become with gun pricing. Glad I found my 1903 before that.

Joe

little joe
December 29, 2009, 11:42 PM
Hey CZguy...

Man, that is a beautiful 1903. Literally a piece of art. The bolt is perfect. My bolt looks like unfinished pot metal, NOT complaining, just saying.

Eventually I would like mine to look like yours or close to it.

You a pilot..?

Joe

CZguy
December 30, 2009, 12:36 AM
Man, that is a beautiful 1903. Literally a piece of art. The bolt is perfect. My bolt looks like unfinished pot metal, NOT complaining, just saying.

Eventually I would like mine to look like yours or close to it.

You a pilot..?

Yes.

I got that 03A3 from the CMP years ago when they still had them.

This year they sent me this Springfield Armory Service Grade. (CMP is our friend)

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/badgerone/M1I.jpg

It's a good shooter too.

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/badgerone/HRATarget.jpg

Tim the student
December 30, 2009, 12:46 AM
CZguy,

How far was that group shot at? It definitely shoots well it looks like, unless that group was at 20 meters:neener:

Lots of beautiful rifles in this thread guys.

CZguy
December 30, 2009, 05:25 AM
Tim the student,

It's the internet so.............1000 yards. :D

It was fifty yards. It was the first time that I fired that rifle, and I wanted to fine tune the sights before I moved it out to 100 yards. It was ready to go right from the CMP.

Orlando
December 30, 2009, 06:29 AM
little joe
You arent behind the times. That shop was just asking double what they were worth

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 07:18 AM
Here is a 1917 inspected at Ogden by the Great Elmer Keith :D

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/pix112560640.jpg

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 07:19 AM
CZ I never get tired of lookin at the wood on that Garand

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 07:23 AM
Does make me want to find out where you live, camp on your porch and beg til ya sell it to me..:evil:

Tim the student
December 30, 2009, 08:44 AM
CZguy, thats an impressive group in my book.

CZguy
December 30, 2009, 10:03 AM
Then I better throw in a carbine to round things out.

http://i267.photobucket.com/albums/ii299/badgerone/M1CarbineII.jpg

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 11:26 AM
Ok now you are pissin me off :D What make is the Carbine?

CZguy
December 30, 2009, 11:43 AM
It's a Underwood dated in 1943.

I'll say it again.............CMP is our friend. ;)

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 12:40 PM
I agree..I just got a peach of a WRA a couple months ago. I will have to post some snaps of that one.

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 12:42 PM
Just got a SG SA a couple days ago for a CMP Club affiliate raffle that was the Black Greek Re-Park. Although not overly crazy bout the Greek jobs it has a bore like a mirror and a great USGI Stock that came out fantastic with a little work.

CZguy
December 30, 2009, 01:50 PM
Just got a SG SA a couple days ago for a CMP Club affiliate raffle that was the Black Greek Re-Park. Although not overly crazy bout the Greek jobs it has a bore like a mirror and a great USGI Stock that came out fantastic with a little work.


I'm getting used to the black re-parking, but...............we need photos.

skidooman603
December 30, 2009, 02:25 PM
Time to get on the camera again. The collection grows faster than photography time allows

stoney1666
December 31, 2009, 12:29 PM
I looked at the 03 I got about 25 years ago and it has SSAA inside a box on the left side below the safety, on the side of the butt stock is OG inside a box and another OG without a box, on the bottom of the pistol grip is a P inside a circle and another P inside a box. The rifle appears unfired. 4-43 on the muzzle end, 2 groove barrel, green park on the receiver. So is it a refunished rifle?

It there a trick to posting pix?

little joe
December 31, 2009, 01:04 PM
Hi Stoney1666,

This is not an "I know what it is , but can you guys figure it out" fun post.

If that is what you are asking ? I really do not know some of this stuff.

The SSAA ?? marks are very light and that is what "I think" it shows.

Appears to be two stamps there and they are different letters and the OG is also double stamped ? Maybe it went through twice....:)

I'm thinking my rifle is simply "Refurbished" and double stamped a lot...!

Thanks for looking and the imput....

Joe

scottsw1
December 31, 2009, 03:36 PM
Nice rifle, it has to be a rebuild, but who cares because they almost all are.

Sport45
December 31, 2009, 09:38 PM
CZGuy,

My eyes may be deceiving me, but I believe you need another round in that clip. (Or at least turn the side with 4 up for the picture. ;))

And you're right. CMP is our friend.

lencac
January 1, 2010, 03:29 AM
That is a sweet 03 :eek: I like it!!!! Two things come to mind that make me belive it's a redo. It has a winter trigger guard and it has a 1903, not a 1903A3 cocking piece (it is radius under cut just in front of the knurled cocking knob. 1903A3's did not have that under cut)
But either way that is spectacular........... I'm jealous :scrutiny:

little joe
January 1, 2010, 09:09 AM
Thanks Lencac,

Got it all apart and ready to clean. Wood will be oven heated and wiped.

Still thinking about metal. Probably very hot water and soap or Hoppe's.

With all the help here, I'm sure its a rebuild. Good for me as I want a shooter, not a safe queen.

FuzzyBunny
January 1, 2010, 09:38 AM
If it were me I would not fire a perfect rifle like that.
It would go into storage as those in that condition will just get more rare!
I would not even clean the cosmo off it but thats just me. I know I'll catch heat for not telling you all guns are suppose to be shot. I also feel there are exceptions.

I'm guilty of having 30+ year old, new in box rifles with all the paperwork. I know if I go fire just one shot it will show and lower the value. I also have alot of ammo in those calibres just in case you know :)

BTW love the other posters Elmer Keith stamp!

stoney1666
January 1, 2010, 11:21 AM
here are the pix

little joe
January 2, 2010, 01:17 AM
Very Nice rifle Stoney......

skidooman603
January 2, 2010, 04:32 AM
Thumbs up Stoney....Well here is one of mine




http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/1903A3026.jpg


http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/1903A3021.jpg

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/1903A3021.jpg

skidooman603
January 2, 2010, 04:36 AM
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/MilitaryRifles014-1.jpg

A better pic of 1917

skidooman603
January 2, 2010, 04:38 AM
http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/MilitaryRifles008.jpg

Three Amigos
Bottom one un-issued since rebuild

CZguy
January 2, 2010, 05:36 AM
Excellent photos skidooman603, thanks.

Is the 1917 in post #42 the one that was inspected by Elmer Kieth.

skidooman603
January 2, 2010, 05:58 AM
Outdoor ones OK indoor pathetic. Yep that is Elmer

More Elmer

http://i301.photobucket.com/albums/nn48/gunnerlad/pix112560406.jpg

stoney1666
January 2, 2010, 01:09 PM
so my ? is, is it a re-build and what do the stamps mean? I have never shot it.

USSR
January 2, 2010, 05:35 PM
so my ? is, is it a re-build and what do the stamps mean? I have never shot it.

Yes, it is a rebuild. The "OG" indicates a rebuild at Ogden Armory. Not sure of the "SS AA", but the "AA" may indicate a rebuild at Augusta Arsenal.

Don

little joe
January 4, 2010, 10:39 AM
Thanks for all of the thoughtful insight and great photos of great rifles ( Wow...Skidooman and Stoney beautiful rifles).

I think I am going to just stick my 1903 in the back of the safe (cosmo and all ), forget about it and find another one that is nice, been fired and ready to shoot.

Probably silly, as my 20 year younger wife will end up with it and then when she is 85-90 (fifty years from now) she'll seek to sell my modest collection and someone will tell her " it's all greasy and not really worth that much....but, I'll give you $150 or so for it". Course I won't care cause I'll be taking a dirt nap....LOL. We're just weapons care takers after all.....Heck, will we even be able to own firearms 50 years from now? :what:

PS I'll get some photos of the new one up when I get it and revive this thread.

Thanks again, Happy New Year and every one to follow...... Joe

skidooman603
January 4, 2010, 10:43 AM
I think you may want to revisit it in 10 years and take your young bride on a nice little vacation for what it will be worth then. Happy New year to you! Thanks for posting

GunsAmerica Fan
January 4, 2010, 10:44 AM
Congrats on a great rifle! It's great to see people get excite about 03 springfields. They are such a huge part of our firearms history.

dogngun
January 4, 2010, 10:45 AM
They look good enough that I'm thinking of selling several handguns to buy one just to have it.


mark

little joe
January 4, 2010, 01:47 PM
I'll check SARCO out....Thanks Mark.

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