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Old June 16th, 2019, 08:07 PM #1
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1903 thoughts and history?

Posted this in just got it now but here is a more focused thread. Beyond a 1903 with a late barrel trying to figure out what I bought.

This one is the mystery high serial Springfield 1903 with a 42 flaming bomb replacement barrel. Nickel Steel polished bolt with F mark underneath. No star gauge but polished bolt. I am under no illusion that this is a NM and my best guess is someone made a very nice rearsenaled gun into a NM clone. Like new bore and crown.







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Old June 16th, 2019, 08:47 PM #2
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Looks like a nice rifle. I can see 03a3 stock with pins, an A3 striker and trigger and maybe a SC bolt shroud. Also looks like a Remington handguard with a nicely polished bolt. Maybe if you look at the F mark it may actually read something else.
Something else that's interesting is, and I quite cant tell underneath the bolt handle, has it been relieved to give a little extra clearance for the bolt handle. Round and very well done with a machine tool? I have a RI stock like that and my understanding is that it is a Marine Corps trait however I don't know if it would have been done on a straight stock with pins because they came along later.

Smoke eater will know for sure. Another thing is the sight collar is not all beat up where it meets the sight base. Sometimes they get buggered up a little where the wind gauge points reads but yours still has a nice radius. If the rear sight rotates smoothly without a lot of slack your good to go.
Stock appears to have been sanded but has very nice grain for sure.

You'll have some fun with it at the range, bet it shoots great. Looks to be carefully assembled.
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Old June 16th, 2019, 08:48 PM #3
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A genuine national match 1903 would have a star gauged barrel and the polished bolt would have the rifle's serial number electro-penciled on it. Someone over the years took an arsenal rebuild rifle and put a polished bolt in it...maybe to dress it up or to make a match clone of sorts. It may well be a really fine shooter...most 1903s are.
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Old June 16th, 2019, 10:08 PM #4
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I can't see too much from the pictures but what I can see (without repeating what others have already pointed out) is a pre-1919 rear sight leaf (notice the volley notch at the top of the sight), also I see it has straight leg 7's which is a Rock Island rear sight leaf, (Springfield had a slight curve to the base leg of the 7s). The inspector cartouche is a Frank Krack rebuild stamp.

The bolt was likely done by an collector or gunsmith post service use. National Match polished bolts were polished first with a crocus cloth or finely abrasive grit polishing paper which would leave microscopic scratches lengthwise on the bolt body before polishing it with a buffing wheel or some other like tool. A bolt that has a bright polish like a mirror shine doesn't have that same finish (even though they're both polished, I can show you what I mean if you are curious).

Would you mind posting the SN or barrel month? Might be able to find out more about it from documented rifles close to it. Does the bolt have a small or enlarged gas escape hole on the body. Could you post a picture of the handguard? I can't tell if it's a Remington or high hump with that angle.

The rifle looks like a great shooter and with that bolt I'd imagine it cycles as smooth as butter. Be a lot of fun to shoot.
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Old June 16th, 2019, 10:14 PM #5
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Thanks guys Ill grab some more photos. I don't have a huge amount into it and it basically "came with the Mauser". No star barrel regrettably. Like you I am thinking this is someone's carefully built personal rifle, haven't headspaced it but given what I am seeing I expect an exceptional shooter.

History is a few parties but decades ago, thinking someone built them a great paper shooting gun and this could be my "shooter" as my other 03s which I have sourced from some of you are my collectors.
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Old June 17th, 2019, 05:28 AM #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doco Overboard View Post
.... I can see 03a3 stock with pins,...
Any thoughts on the durability of the pinned stock? My SC has one, and I've always worried a bit about the possibility of it splitting.
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Old June 17th, 2019, 06:21 AM #7
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Originally Posted by Threeband View Post
Any thoughts on the durability of the pinned stock? My SC has one, and I've always worried a bit about the possibility of it splitting.
Should be fine, I wouldn't worry about them at all for regular use.
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Old June 17th, 2019, 08:29 AM #8
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Early 03A3 rifles were pinned but changed to bolts for increased durability for military use. There's little to nothing to worry about for any use unless you plan on doing a lot of bayonet fighting or shooting rifle grenades.
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Old June 17th, 2019, 03:15 PM #9
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I am coming back to my original conclusion that this is someone's build. Albeit apparently very deliberate and quality. Ill be curious how it does at the range after I verify the headspace. Its certainly a "pretty" rifle and the wood is really nice though definitely sanded and carefully finished.

Serial number is in the 15256XX range, which I think puts it around 1939 per https://gun-data.com/springfield_model_1903.html Barrel is 4-42



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