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Springfield '03 - rifle of my dreams?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by monotonous_iterancy, Apr 6, 2013.

  1. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    Today I was seriously considering going down to my lgs to buy something he's had for years. An unissued, unfired, still packed in cosmoline M44 Mosin Nagant for $250. I want something that will appreciate in value, and has a monstrous blast, complete with a fireball that doubles as a flame thrower. I wanted my neighbors from all around to think I was shooting a cannon on the weekends, and to that end, I needed the Mosin, the gun of choice for bears when teeth just aren't enough.

    So I drove down there, fully expecting them to have it on the rack as they always have, yet to my dismay, the Mosin was gone. So was the M38, the M91/59. So I ask, hoping to learn something that might assuage my horror,

    "Do you have any Mausers?"

    Nope. They were gone too, the two Yugos, the 98/22, the vz-24, and the Spanish .308. All gone. Every surplus gun had been bought.

    The old guy behind the counter told me something that has been playing back in my head all day,

    "We've had guns here for 30 years, and they're gone. That's why if you want something, you've got to get it now. By the time you're old, they'll be worth 2, 3, maybe 4 times what you paid for them."

    I thanked him and walked out, angry at myself for letting it slip away. But I still had plenty of excess want and regret, so I drove 20 minutes to the next gun store I knew of. They had 4 battered Type 53s all priced at $189. There was also a 6.5 Carcano at $365. I mulled over my options.

    Long story short, I asked to see a Springfield 1903. It was made in 1943 by Remington, and came with a sling and reproduction bayonet. $895.

    When I held that gun, the wellsprings of patriotism rose within me. Forget about those poorly made commie guns, forget about the Mausers, the Carcanos and all that. This gun could have stormed Guadalcanal, it was quality, solid, and made in America for Americans. It would make a nice companion piece for the M1 Garand I'm getting.

    So if you all will, talk me out of this gun, or tell me I'm getting a bad deal.
  2. TCB in TN

    TCB in TN Well-Known Member

    Its a lot of money, but I love my 03. It was my grandfathers. 1st center fire rifle I ever shot. I killed my first deer with it, I made a lot of great memories with that gun. It is my favorite, period. Don't look for me to talk you out of it.
  3. 50 Shooter

    50 Shooter member

    I just got one for coughfreecough and taking it out tomorrow, it was made in '22. Can't wait to send some 30-06 down range. For a rifle that's almost 100 years old its in great condition, rifling looks good so I hope it shoots as good as it looks.

    Sorry but I'm not good a talking people out of buying something so cool.
  4. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    While $895 seems a little high I haven't seen the rifle. Many years ago I got a Remington for my dad a WW II veteran who as a young Marne trained with the 03A3. It was a DCM rifle with all the original papers. When my dad passed away back n '99 I got the rifle as he wanted me to have it. To me, the time shared with my dad and that rifle have made it priceless.

    I am seeing good condition 03A3 rifles going between $800 and $1,000 give or take.

    The lesson here is if you snooze you lose. If you want this 03A3 then pay the piper and enjoy your new to you gun.

    I make it a habit not to talk people into or out of guns. Your call on it. As to worth? I don't know your finances either or what financial responsibilities you have? For me if the rifle was minty with correct stock and cartouche I would likely buy it. Then too, I am obviously not you. Your call....

  5. leadcounsel

    leadcounsel member

    It's on the high side for price, but a fair value. If it's original and in good condition, buy it. You can't lose money on it because it will retain it's value.

    I snapped up two beautiful 1903s in fantastic shape in 2011 and 2012, for about $475 and $400 each. I just lucked into them at a gun show and off a classified ad.
  6. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    Well, I currently have a very small income, but no financial responsibilities. So most of this will be paid for with money I've saved over the course of about a year. I didn't look at the rifling though, I wish I would have actually looked at the internals. All I know is that it said "Remington 1944" or something.

    I'm sure it would increase the over-all value and coolness of my collection, but there's always this pull I feel between modern semi-autos and old bolt or older surplus semis. I don't have a proper battle rifle, as in an AR or AK type rifle.

    Sure they're "tacti-cool", and I should probably get one eventually, but I'll still be able to buy an AR when I'm 30. These older guns will probably be a much rarer sight by then.
  7. Reloadron

    Reloadron Well-Known Member

    Well while I can't tell you what to or what not to buy I'll share this much with you.

    I turned the 30 you mention well over 30 years ago. I know well what a budget is as well as feeding and clothing children. Over all the years sine I was 13 and scrimped and saved for my first rifle things have changed. Life has been good, the children are out in their own lives with children of their own, the house is paid for and we are very financially stable. Your day will also come along. Now, when I see something I like, I generally just buy it.

    You won't go wrong with an O3A3 that is for sure. I paid $300 for the one I mentioned earlier. My wife sees all the guns as investments and when I check out for the big range she can live well.

    My guns bring me countless hours of enjoyment on the range as I would hope this O3A3 will bring you. Hard to nail a price on enjoyment but I figure a week in Disney World was money well spent and that is all that matters.

    Read into all this babbling, buy the gun and enjoy it. :)

    All in due time there will be more.

  8. GBExpat

    GBExpat Well-Known Member

    Sure ... until you consider that the Marines first went ashore on Guadalcanal in Aug'42 ... and they weren't carrying any 03A3s, only 03s. ;)

    I really like the 03A3s and for that reason have been lucky to have acquired a few over the years.

    Sorry but since the advent of the most recent firearms market craziness I am not familiar with current pricing ... but a few years ago good-condition Remingtons were going for, IIRC, $600-$700 ... so $895 might not be a bad price today.
  9. ali9cg8

    ali9cg8 Active Member

    I inherited mine from my grandfather who bought it in the late 50' s for hunting but never shot it. It was army surplus, but never used. Spent two glorious weeks covered in cosmoline, replacing springs, and loving every minute. I learned how to shoot it by watching Rick Crawford (fellow leftie-great shooter) Camp Perry matches.

    I would never want to pick favorites but I love that rifle.
    Congratulations on your find, sounds like you won the gun lottery! Enjoy.
  10. Steel Horse Rider

    Steel Horse Rider Well-Known Member

    I was in my favorite gun store today and the smith brought out a pre 1930 Springfield '03 that may be unfired. It is as new as any rifle I have ever seen and has a silver presentation nameplate on the side of the stock with a soldiers name, unit, and a date of 1930. It is from a local collector of '03's who has decided to start selling off his collection. It is not on the rack yet and is probably going to be priced around $1500. I raised my hand to be the first buyer when he was ready. This one will probably be the only gun I have ever bought that I probably won't shoot. I already have a Smith Corona 03A3 for shooting purposes.
  11. Baba Louie

    Baba Louie Well-Known Member

    If history is any indicator, it will never be cheaper to buy...

    Talk you out of buying?!?!? Not me. Save, give blood, eat ramen, do whatcha gotta. He who hesitates... and all that.

    Are they really asking that much for 03's nowadays? :eek:

    Wow. I've been out of the loop for awhile I guess.
  12. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    ^ That's part of what I'm asking. Are 1903a3 Springfields really worth that much, or are they over-pricing?
  13. wrench

    wrench Well-Known Member

    $895 might be a fine price, might be a little high, hard to say without seeing the rifle.
    My 1903a3s are all great shooters, and, is there any better looking rifle?????

    Attached Files:

  14. NeuseRvrRat

    NeuseRvrRat Well-Known Member

    an American copy of a German design, eh?
  15. Roadkill

    Roadkill Well-Known Member

    Too high - I got this one from a member here a few months ago for $500, be patient - should find a good one in the $500-$700 range.


    1917 Springfield. 1940s RIA, 1944 Remington

  16. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    So $895 is overpriced even for one in good condition with an accessory or two?
  17. highpower

    highpower Well-Known Member

    I think that it may be a bit high, but then again, everything has gone up over the last few months. I would think that if it is in really good condition and is indeed an original rifle, it may very well worth around $700 (or maybe a bit more) OTD, including the accessories. The reproduction bayonet is not worth all that much and the only other things that it would have been issued with is a sling and a buttstock oiler.

    The operative words here are original condition. They were never manufactured with a scant stock and if it has one it is not original. There are certain parts that have certain finishes (blued or parkerized) and if they are not right it is also a clue that it has been reworked. Also there should be some cartouches on the left side of the stock and inspectors stamps in front of the triggerguard along with a single 'P' in a circle behind the triggerguard. It is getting to be really hard to find one that hasn't been through some kind of a rebuild or restoration. If you want, I can post some pictures of what the stamps and various parts should look like.

    I have a few Springfields, both '03's and 03-A3's and IMO the A3 has better sights than the earlier model and makes a better shooter.
  18. dvdcrr

    dvdcrr member

    I never liked 03's. Too much wood and metal pieces hanging off the barrel. I'd get a second Garand or a bunch of ammo and enblocs
  19. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    So I take it you don't much care for old bolt-actions?
  20. monotonous_iterancy

    monotonous_iterancy Well-Known Member

    I would appreciate that very much.

    I too like the sights. From the Mausers I've handled briefly, the sights on them are small and awkward. I like the peep sights on the Springfield. It almost seems like it's an upgraded Mauser firing a more common round.

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