Springfield 1903A3


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vsm440
January 3, 2012, 10:07 PM
I just picked up a 1903A3 made by Remington from an old timer in my neighborhood. He bought it brand new, he told me it was stilled packed in cosmoline when he bought it and he has never fired it. The rifle looks brand new not a mark on it and comes with the original bayonet.

Left side of Stock: Between trigger guard and safety RA stamp and "FJA" stamp in a rectangle.

Behind tigger guard: Large "P" stamped in circle.

Reciever: Marked US Remington Model 03-A3 SSN 3870xxx

On the exposed part of the barrel between the front sight and the end of the stock: RA (Remington Arms) Flaming Bomb ordinance mark and 6-43 (June 1943).

I bought it to use it, but everyone is telling me not to fire it and that it is very valuable.

What are your thoughts?

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Robert
January 3, 2012, 10:17 PM
but everyone is telling me not to fire it and that it is very valuable.

Eh not so much unless it is some very rare model like an original sniper variant with scope. Shoot it. That's what it was made for.

Jim K
January 3, 2012, 10:22 PM
As WWII approached, the Army knew they would need millions of rifles, and production of the M1 rifle was disappointing. So they contracted with Remington to use the old Rock Island Arsenal machinery to manufacture the Model 1903. As the war came on and progressed, Remington made suggestions that would allow the rifles to be built more quickly and at less expense; the result was the M1903A3, which Smith-Corona was also given a contract to produce.

But, by the time production of that rifle was in full swing, the problems plaguing M1 rifle production had been solved and there were more than enough of those first line rifles to equip the armed forces. So the later batches of M1903A3 rifles went directly from factory to depot, to be later given to foreign allies through military assistance programs or sold to members of the National Rifle Association through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. Those rifles had never been issued and were brand new.

Because they are in near perfect condition, many folks today think they were rebuilt; they were not.

It sounds like you have one of those rifles, but the bayonet was not sold with them, so it was packaged later.

Value, in like new condition, can run as much as $1200+; the bayonet could add at least $150, depending on make and type, more with scabbard.

Jim

Robert
January 3, 2012, 10:51 PM
Even with it being that much, I'd still shoot it. I am stubborn like that ;)

morcey2
January 3, 2012, 11:31 PM
Buy the rifle not the story. If it didn't come to you packed in cosmoline, it most likely had a few rounds through it. If I had it, I would shoot it. The only guns I buy that don't get shot are the few that look really cool, but aren't safe to shoot (1871 Mauser with a weird looking bore).

Matt

hso
January 4, 2012, 12:05 AM
To a collector it is a valuable item to treasure.

You could easily find a buyer that would trade a shooter and some cash to you. That way you'd have two happy people instead of just one.

dprice3844444
January 4, 2012, 12:20 AM
my birthday is coming up in june yanno

ApacheCoTodd
January 4, 2012, 12:24 PM
The never been fired only matters in the case of re-selling it - (I know... Duh!) and a great way to get past that is to shoot it there-by knocking the unfired value out of the equation and additionally, once you've shot it - the re selling equation will be moot as well since you'll no doubt want to keep it forever.

Now, if you're concerned about a family heirloom or your wife selling it off after your demise, that's another kettle of geese.

threoh8
January 4, 2012, 01:23 PM
A rifle that hasn't been fired is like a toy that hasn't been played with or a book that was never read.

Hacker15E
January 4, 2012, 03:14 PM
So the later batches of M1903A3 rifles went directly from factory to depot, to be later given to foreign allies through military assistance programs or sold to members of the National Rifle Association through the Director of Civilian Marksmanship. Those rifles had never been issued and were brand new.

Because they are in near perfect condition, many folks today think they were rebuilt; they were not.

It sounds like you have one of those rifles, but the bayonet was not sold with them, so it was packaged later.

I don't agree -- with the FJA cartouche, it's a certainty that it is a rearsenal (or at least the stock is!).

Jim K
January 5, 2012, 09:24 PM
Two errors in the above. New WWII rifles were not packed in cosmoline when shipped from the factory; they were lightly oiled, wrapped in oiled paper, and put in fitted wood cases. Rifles were sometimes issued to troops right out of the factory cases and no one was going to call timeout in a war so they could get off the cosmoline.

The rifles packed in cosmoline were those preserved as war reserve, some after WWI, more after WWII.

Second goof: FJA, Col. Frank J. Atwood, was the Chief of the Rochester Ordnance District. Those initials are sometimes called "inspection marks" but obviously Col. Atwood didn't inspect every weapon and vehicle made in that huge district. His initials did mean that an army representative had checked the rifle and approved it for acceptance. So "FJA" was on Remington-Rand and Ithaca M1911A1 pistols, Remington rifles and shotguns, Ithaca shotguns, jeeps, trucks, and who-knows what all.

The FJA mark does NOT mean the rifle was rebuilt or rearsenaled.

Jim

awgrizzly
January 7, 2012, 04:15 AM
Point 1:Whether brand new or slightly fired, the rifle is worth more than a well shot shooter.
Point 2:People don't *have* to shoot every gun made.
Some folks really appreciate collector guns. So if you own a prize gun and can't keep a gun without shooting it, go to a collector and trade it for something well shot. The world's big enough and there's enough guns for both shooters and collectors. So if you insist on taking collector grade guns and shooting half the value out of them you are either very selfish or a sadist. >=o|

vsm440
January 9, 2012, 08:56 PM
Thanks everyone for your input, I think I am going to keep the rifle as a collector gun and go out and buy another one that I can shoot.

Dr.Rob
January 10, 2012, 03:18 AM
I have one made about 3 months before yours and someone offered me a grand for it. namely because I had the original military stock with all those marks you mentioned, plus a couple more. I sold off the sporter stock that came with it, never did like it much. Kept the rifle in military trim and added a leather military sling for grins.

Mix-master 1903's show up all the time for less than half that price.

bbuddtec
January 10, 2012, 08:33 AM
I would use it ceremoniously :)

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