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1903A3 Unissued, refurbished or BOTH?

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by little joe, Dec 28, 2009.

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  1. little joe

    little joe Member

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    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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    Last edited: Dec 29, 2009
  2. HoosierQ

    HoosierQ Member

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    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.
     
  3. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    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?
     
  4. little joe

    little joe Member

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    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
     
    Last edited: Dec 28, 2009
  5. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    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


    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  6. little joe

    little joe Member

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    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.
     
  7. Slamfire

    Slamfire Member

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    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.
     
  8. Almond27

    Almond27 Member

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    Nice rifle I also find it hard to believe it being unissued. Clean it Shoot it its American History.
     
  9. USSR

    USSR Member

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    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
     
  10. little joe

    little joe Member

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    Thanks guys.....I got it.

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

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

    Orlando Member

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    Arsenal rebuild and may have not been shot since the rebuild.
    Nice looking rifle
     
  12. Ohio Gun Guy

    Ohio Gun Guy Member

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    Still very valuable!!!!
     
  13. Orlando

    Orlando Member

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    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
     
  14. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    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.)

    [​IMG]
     
  15. little joe

    little joe Member

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    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
     
  16. little joe

    little joe Member

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    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
     
  17. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    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)

    [​IMG]

    It's a good shooter too.

    [​IMG]
     
  18. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    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.
     
  19. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    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.
     
  20. Orlando

    Orlando Member

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    little joe
    You arent behind the times. That shop was just asking double what they were worth
     
  21. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

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    Here is a 1917 inspected at Ogden by the Great Elmer Keith :D

    [​IMG]
     
  22. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

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    CZ I never get tired of lookin at the wood on that Garand
     
  23. skidooman603

    skidooman603 Member

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    Does make me want to find out where you live, camp on your porch and beg til ya sell it to me..:evil:
     
  24. Tim the student

    Tim the student Member

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    CZguy, thats an impressive group in my book.
     
  25. CZguy

    CZguy Member

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    Then I better throw in a carbine to round things out.

    [​IMG]
     
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