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Old May 6, 2012, 07:19 AM   #1
troopcom
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Remington 1903a3

I saw a nice Remington 1903a3 the other day in a Local Gun Shop. The serial number was in the 3 million range and the barrel had RA-43 on the end of it. It also had another symbol either above or below the RA-43. The rifle looked like it was in great shape. The bore could use a good cleaning, but until I run a cleaning rod down it and inspect it I don't want to make an offer. From the outside looks really good for its age.(and I'm real picky) The rifling goes all the way to the muzzle, but it has a light color of green in the grooves. A man I was talking to the other day said that $600.00 was too much because it was a Greek rebuild, and he wouldn't pay a dime over $400.00. What do you guys think is a fair price? Has anyone heard of a Greek rebuild and are they good 1903's?
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Old May 6, 2012, 07:30 AM   #2
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There were a substantial number of Greek '03A3 returns to this country several years ago. Does this rifle have import marking? If it originated from CMP it well not have import marks, CMP is exempt from marking imports.

The prices of '03A3's keeps going up and up, $600 for a nice looking rifle with all R marked parts does not sound out of line. Three or four years ago it would have been a high price, but not today.

The green in the bore is cooper and should clean up with some #9 or other bore cleaner.

The CMP forum is a great source for M1903 info.
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Old May 7, 2012, 07:48 AM   #3
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I will have to check today and see if it is import marked. I don't remember looking to see if it was.
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Old May 7, 2012, 12:22 PM   #4
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The Army contracted for M1903's in 1940 because they were afraid the production of M1 rifles would not be sufficient. But when M1 production proved enough to meet requirements, the late production M1903A3 rifles were never issued, going from the factory directly to storage. When many of those rifles were sold through DCM in later years, some people assumed that since they looked brand new they had to have been rebuilt. In fact they looked brand new because they were brand new.

In fact, not many M1903/A3 rifles were rebuilt. In the post-war period they were obsolete and the Army simply sold them off rather than waste the time and money in rebuilding them. So if you see an M1903A3 in great shape, don't make the assumption that it was rebuilt; it may never have been issued or fired outside the factory or depot.

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Old May 7, 2012, 12:51 PM   #5
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Greek returns - are you sure?? There were a mess of Garands returned - they where in great shape.

Never heard of Greek 03a3's.
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Old May 7, 2012, 01:29 PM   #6
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Well, now you have!

03A3s were also sent to Greece, and were also returned. They have not been available recently. Use a search engine and you'll turn up more info on '1903A3 Greek Returns' than I could type all day
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Old May 7, 2012, 09:51 PM   #7
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I should have noted that the U.S. also sent thousands of M1903 and M1903A3 rifles to foreign nations as part of the military assistance program (MAP). Some were heavily used, others were stored away, depending on the recipient nation's needs. The treatment they received depended not only on use but on the country which had them. I don't know about Greece, but bluntly put, some countries took no care of them at all.

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Old May 8, 2012, 09:22 AM   #8
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The M1903A3 was standardized May 21, 1942, the contract was awarded two weeks later. Remington continued M1903Modified production until March1943. Remington made 707,629 M1903A3 rifles. The contract was cancelled Feb 28, 1944.

The large number of M1903A3's saw service in both theaters of war2. I have my uncles photo's of 101st airborne troops in gliders on D day, many are carrying the M1903A3. There are many books in print that discuss the use of the 03A3 during the war and the misconception that it was not.



At the end of the war a large number of these were sent to ordnance facilities for inspection and overhaul prior to long term storage. Some of these were new but they may have received the ordnance stamp with no work done to the rifle.
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Old June 3, 2012, 11:41 AM   #9
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Update on the 1903a3. It was not import marked, but it did have some rust pitting about halfway up the bore that would not clean up. The gunshop owner let me run a cleaning rod down it to see if it was pitted. I told him before I shelled out almost 600 bones that I needed to clean it up a bit and check the bore. Well it was not as pristine as I wanted it to pay the asking price for it. The gunshop owner told me that it was a war bring back and the soldier's son never cleaned it. I just can't stand it to see such a work of art that has been left to the rust demons!!!


Quote:
If you don't clean your rifle you're wrong!!!
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:08 PM   #10
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I don't think I would let a bit of barrel pitting kill the sale. It is a 70 y/o rifle!

Offer him 500, and walk out (for another week) if he won't take $550. I don't think 600 is a bad price.

And thank you Chris, for the education.
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:11 PM   #11
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I may have let a good deal go then, I just put a Savage 6.5x284 predator hunter on layaway with some of the money and bought a Savage 110 .243 with the other
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Old June 3, 2012, 12:42 PM   #12
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I'm in the process of getting a 1903A3 back to snuff and it's not going as well as I hoped. I bought a 1903A4 receiver, barrel and bolt and S style stock for $150 and figured it was a good deal. after ordering a rear sight to convert it back to a A3 and all the little small parts like floor plate and sights and carving a relief in the stock for the bent bolt it's coming to about $400 for a bubba'd gun with little collectors value. a little rust is fine, I have a heavily pitted savage enfield number 4 that is by far the best shooter in my milsurp collection. rust adds character in some cases and in most cases does little to cause safety issues.
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Old June 3, 2012, 02:19 PM   #13
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Tahuna, check your PMs
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Old June 4, 2012, 08:44 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by troopcom
The gunshop owner told me that it was a war bring back
BRING BACK... slowly I turn, step by step...Niagara Falls!

GI bring backs were captured enemy weapons, like Mausers, Arisaka's, Luger,s, stuff like that.

GI's did not keep their issued rifles or bring back other usgi equipment. The only way would be to steal the rifle.

The gun shop owner is a bold faced liar.
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Old June 4, 2012, 09:35 AM   #15
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Quote:
GI's did not keep their issued rifles or bring back other usgi equipment. The only way would be to steal the rifle.

The gun shop owner is a bold faced liar.
My father in law, a US Marine who served in the early part of Pacific Theater campaign during WW2, kept his service 1903A3 that he carried. He was a life-long Quaker who took up arms and he was known to never lie, cheat or steal. I would hate to think he stole it.
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Old June 4, 2012, 01:39 PM   #16
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Quote:
I'm in the process of getting a 1903A3 back to snuff and it's not going as well as I hoped. I bought a 1903A4 receiver, barrel and bolt and S style stock for $150 and figured it was a good deal. after ordering a rear sight to convert it back to a A3
Why in the world would you downconvert an A4 to A3?
There are so many fakes out there, along with reproductions built out of drill rifles, that a remiled A4 on a legitimate receiver would be of considerable value.
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Old June 4, 2012, 03:45 PM   #17
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Quote:
Why in the world would you downconvert an A4 to A3?
There are so many fakes out there, along with reproductions built out of drill rifles, that a remiled A4 on a legitimate receiver would be of considerable value.
because for the time being making a bubbas A3 was a cheaper venture. it's not hard to take the rear sight post off and replace with a redfield mount and C stock if I ever decide to go that way. right now however I am just looking for a springfield that is politically correct to fire since I'm apparently considered reckless when I shoot my 502XXX serial springfield.
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