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Old February 10, 2013, 07:11 PM   #1
bigbird34
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Gentlemen a little help on this rifle.

One of my gun buddies picked this up in a gunshow here in Vt,Real nice rifle,but we don't know much about it ....we are thinking o3A3??? But we just don't know,any help would be appreciated ! Thanks BB








Star Gauged





FEREN ???

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Old February 10, 2013, 09:45 PM   #2
James K
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That serial number looks like 1,2xx,xxx; if so, it is a Model 1903, not an '03A3. It is a very well done sporter, with what looks like high quality work overall and excellent stock work.

Again, if that is the serial number, it might be double heat treated or nickel steel (over 1275768). (Either would be fine; rifles with serial numbers under 800,000 are avoided for shooting due to problems with the heat treatment.)

Looks like a fine "hunting" rifle. I put "hunting" in quote marks because most folks who own "hunting" rifles like that never take them out for actual hunting; they might get wet or damaged!

Jim
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Old February 10, 2013, 10:04 PM   #3
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Wow got me stumped but I'm far from an expert. That definitely looks like a modified Springfield action and very nicely done at that.

The only thing I could find on the FEREN barrel marking was in a add for a custom Mauser but I must admit I've never heard of them.

I'm intrigued and interested to see what the guys here on TFL come up with.
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Old February 10, 2013, 11:03 PM   #4
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I ran a quick check on the name, which I assume is the gunsmith who did the work, but found nothing. Based on the general style of the work and the fact that a Springfield was the base, I expect that the work was done long before the internet so the shop would have had no web site or internet references. Since the gun turned up in VT, some inquires around gun shops in the area might turn up something. (Don't bother to ask anyone whose hair isn't gray and step slow.)

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Old February 10, 2013, 11:36 PM   #5
tahunua001
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it is a heavily modified springfield.
1. the decocking lever in the back has been completlely removed.
2. it's been drilled and tapped for a two piece weaver mount.
3. the bolt handle and body are both custom make, suggests that it is no longer in it's original 30-06
4. the stock is a very nice sporterized stock with a lot of expensive checkering.
the front sight post is also not original to the rifle which in addition to the word FEREN leads me to believe that this was a rebarrel as part of a caliber conversion.


essentially you have a very well made hunting rifle built off of a 1903 springfield action, it no longer shares much in common with it's military use brethren and is beyond restoring to original condition but it should be a great shooter, probably not worth more than $500.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:51 AM   #6
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I hope Mr Feren crosspinned or welded the cocking piece to the striker rod when he cut the knob off. Or did it start out that way? They did a few National Match 1903s with headless strikers.

The receiver is drilled and tapped for a peep sight. This might not be its first incarnation as a sporter. Or target rifle.

Look closely at the 6 o'clock position on the muzzle crown.
Looks like a somewhat worn star gauge stamp to me.
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:02 AM   #7
bigbird34
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1903 National Match Rifle

We believe this rifle to be a 1903 National Match Rifle,it is indeed in 30-06,and was drilled and tapped for peep sights,and is star gauged....but we need to some how verify that it is,what we think it is ...My friend has an eye for peculiar rifles and spotted the star on the end of the barrel,so he bought the gun ! The front forearm inlaid wood ,would be a difficult piece of work,and the stock and steel are wonderful....this gun won't see the forest,but it allows me to learn more about firearms....thanks BB
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:21 AM   #8
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s/n

127601x.....Thank-you, BB
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Old February 11, 2013, 09:33 AM   #9
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I don't have the references, don't know if there ARE references to pin down the identity of a NM or Sporter.

The problem is, even if you did, it has been so sporterized as to almost eliminate any such history and destroy its collector interest and value. There is no visible part or surface that Mr Feren did not alter. As a gunzine writer said some years ago, nobody is paying serious money for a nine pound .30-06.
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Old February 11, 2013, 12:53 PM   #10
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your serial number dates to 1927, it would have been one of the last 1903s made before the A1 standard was finalized. beyond that I have not the slightest clue as to how to determine whether it was a national match.

one thing I would like to mention is that even if it was for the army marksmanship team, the removed decocker peice should still have been parkerized with the rest of the gun. everything on your gun has been blued, not parked and the removed decocker is white, leaving me to believe that this little modification was done by Feren, not by USOD.
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Old February 11, 2013, 03:11 PM   #11
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I can't tell from the picture if that is a genuine star gauge marking or not, but it really doesn't matter. It doesn't even matter if the barrel is original to the receiver, or if the gun was originally a National Match.

Today, now, it is simply a sporting rifle built on a heavily modified M1903 action. Period. Value is probably around $500-600, a lot less than if the guy who took it to a gunsmith had left it alone.

Jim
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Old February 13, 2013, 09:32 PM   #12
4V50 Gary
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Heavily sporterized Springfield. The magazine cut off switch was the first clue.
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Old February 14, 2013, 06:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
Value is probably around $500-600, a lot less than if the guy who took it to a gunsmith had left it alone.
Back when this was done those guns were a dime a dozen and nobody gave a rats butt about a military rifle. What they did want was a hunting rifle and it was cheaper to build one off an old military rifle than to buy a new one. No need in griping about it now.
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Old February 14, 2013, 07:09 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hawg Haggen View Post
Back when this was done those guns were a dime a dozen and nobody gave a rats butt about a military rifle. What they did want was a hunting rifle and it was cheaper to build one off an old military rifle than to buy a new one. No need in griping about it now.
I was thinking the same thing. There were guys who made a fair living custom building sporting rifles out of cheap military surplus rifles.

It's much like the guys that built dirt track cars out of classic muscle cars and destroyed them. At the time it was just an old used car.

I guess if everyone thought about the historical significance and preservation of current items there would be a ton of everything and values would be much lower.

I can't help but consider the very real history of the skilled gunsmiths that did custom jobs like this one. It is a beautifully done customizing from what the pictures show.

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Old February 14, 2013, 11:09 PM   #15
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1927 date it would have been some sort of match gun. Only way to tell is the SN and some recorded numbers from the DOD. My guess is a standard DCM match gun.
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Old February 14, 2013, 11:10 PM   #16
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Heck, Hawg, don't tell me about it, I did it. Not, I admit, as well as whoever did that rifle, but most guys didn't want (and didn't want to pay for) that level of work. But yep, I sawed the ears off Model 1917 Enfields, drilled and tapped Mausers and Springfields (03A3's are harder than heck), hacked up a bunch of Spanish and Swedish Mausers. Rebarrelled, crowned, replaced sights, turned down bolts, etc., etc.

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Old February 17, 2013, 06:12 PM   #17
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Cherish the rifle for what it is.
The sporting rifles built on the 03 and 03A3 actions are just as much a part of the rifle's history as the remaining milspec rifles.

At one point Townsend Whelen even went so far as to inquire of Mauserwerke on building copies of the 1903 actions specifically for use in building sporting or Target Rifles. I've seen images of some of the Mauser drawings from that project, which unfortunately did not come to fruition.

This looks to be a fine example, and looks great. I don't doubt that it will make an excellent hunting rifle.
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Old February 17, 2013, 11:49 PM   #18
4V50 Gary
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That's no DCM sporterized rifle.

Checkered bolt knob.
Cocking knob removed.
Cheekpiece stock.

Perhaps even an aftermarket trigger?
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