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Old January 14, 2013, 04:15 PM   #1
Bay Area Arms
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Need Help To Determine Value of A 1903A3

Gun View.JPG

Barrel Markings.jpg

Receiver Top View.jpg

Remington 1903A3

I have the opportunity to buy a pristine Remington 1903A3 and need assistance in determining what I should pay. When I say pristine, the rifle was still in the box that is was shipped in from the NRA back in February of 1962 along with the shipping papers. This is my first time posting photos, hope it worked.

I have plenty of pictures however, it is only allowing me to upload the three that are attached.
The marking are as follows:
Barrel: RA, bomb symbol and 8-43
Left side of stock: RA FJA
Bottom of stock below receiver: square with 97, circle with 27, circle with 32and a triangle with 59
Stock: P with a circle around it.

Serial # 3,937,XXX




Last edited by Bay Area Arms; January 14, 2013 at 04:28 PM. Reason: Photos did not post
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Old January 14, 2013, 04:54 PM   #2
tahunua001
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well the box and any papers that it came with are probably worthless as these were all sold as military surplus at any store you could possibly imagine at that period anyway. no different from most however the serial dates to august of 1943 which is interesting because it's the first rifle I've seen that the rifle and barrels dates are the same, usually there is a couple months plus or minus as the barrels or receivers usually sat around for a while waiting to be assembled. you weren't lieing about mint condition though, that is probably one of the most perfect 1903A3s I've seen. I would put it's value at just below $1000, probably around the $900 range.
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Old January 14, 2013, 08:28 PM   #3
10-96
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Man, that is a nice one.
In that condition they've been in the neighborhood of $1000-$1200 down here in the Tx Panhandle area. And, they seem to have been going up steadily on some of the collectors sites over the past 8 to 10 months as well.
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Old January 14, 2013, 10:42 PM   #4
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You can look on on the auction sites to get an idea.

http://www.gunbroker.com/Curios-Relics/BI.aspx

http://www.gunauction.com/

http://www.joesalter.com/

These are ones I have used. And browse around here:

http://www.surplusrifleforum.com/ Extremely knowledgable, more than me.

If you take it apart look at all the little bits for an R to see if it is all matching(more value). At Surplus Rifle you would be able to find out what and where to look for all the proof marks and how to clean it up. I would keep all the papers and box together, thats called provenance and may add value at some future date, to a collector. $$ ? 650 - 800

Is it whispering to you?
How bad do you want it?
And welcome to the forum

Last edited by moose fat; January 15, 2013 at 04:03 AM. Reason: duh moment
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Old January 14, 2013, 10:53 PM   #5
brinker
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1903 Springfield

Hello: Your photo's came out just fine! It's the first straight bolt and not a sway back that I have seen. It looks like it was a Re barrel in 08-1943 with RA Army and the Depot stamp with the stamp point in the middle. It may be one that was single action heat treat. and the bolt may have been in the same catagory, of single heat treat. Springfield was the lead manufacturer of the 1903 and some other companys also made them, mostly due to high demand. I shot my 1903 just last week, and my serial number is in the 600,xxx mid range. I would say a piece like you own would be worth in the 1,500 USD range many purist collectors would consider it as a drill rifle.I might be worth more if it had the long range rear flip sight installed. The drill rifles get beat up and are not really cared for properly. Burial units fire blanks and very seldom clean the action or the barrel, You have a very unique 1903 there.
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Old January 14, 2013, 11:09 PM   #6
tahunua001
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Brinker I don't mean to start seeing who can mark the side of the outhouse higher but you really need to start researching before you post. all remington 1903s were made using the double heat treatment process, there are no non safe to fire remingtons. the serial number dates to 1943 manufacture, the single heat treatment process was completely phased out in 1918. this is not a drill rifle, drill rifles are demilled and made so that they can not fire and are usually decorated with chrome, not sealed in cosmoline to preserve the parkerized finish.

also Springfield never made the 1903A3, the only companies that did were smith corona and Remington. the rear sights are correct for a 1903A3. the long range rear flip sight was only found on 1903s, 1903 mark 1s and 1903A1, it was phased out with the introduction of the 1903A3 as the longer sight radius of the aperture sight increased accuracy, sight picture and was easier to acquire, also volleys were a long extinct mode of combat by the beginning of WWII.
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Last edited by tahunua001; January 14, 2013 at 11:18 PM.
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Old January 15, 2013, 02:31 AM   #7
Baba Louie
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Nice run o the mill war mfg period (Sept 43 for that serial #) but pristine looking A3. Furniture looks to be blue not park'd. Buttplate blue? Triggerguard? Park'g has that wonderful "original" green patina to it. Hmmmm.

Value to pay for it? Hmmmm.

Did you get a good look down the bore? With a good light? 2 or 4 groove? Hmmmmm

Isn't there an "asking" price or are you bidding or buying from a friend or family member or do you have to come up with an initial offer? (Not really germaine or any of my business, actually just nosy and stalling, see hagglin below)

With box and DCM(?) papers, if furniture is all blue, proper R stamps and was never refurbed post war (if so it has a tad bit more value for some collectors than a refurb will hold)... Hmmmm

Sling is used and set up right, so someone knew something about it once upon a time. If newly issued would typically be a web M1 variety. Hmmmm

Todays crazy market, if it were mine to sell, I'd take the sling off and put it in the box and I'd be "asking" $1500ish and let someone who knew more than me about such things talk me down to maybe $1200ish, "if" it had never been refurbed. If it did go thru the refurb process, I'd be asking $1000ish and let them with more smarts than moi, talk me down to maybe $800ish. But they'd have to be doing some sweet talking to get the price down.

So, conversely, if I were buying and got to haggle , (hagglin' is expected, almost required in some circles and I dropped off a lot of clues for you to use should you get to be so lucky as to get into a good hagglin' purchase... rare indeed today) I'd come with some Benjamins to show, a few for backup stashed somewhere else, but start throwing numbers out around $760-800 (pre frenzy kinda number) and see where the hagglin' (AKA negotiations) went from there. Assume refurbed, shot out/replaced barrel, an old war horse relic of a rifle looking good sure but unloved and needing a new home, a good days worth of getting that "junk" off it... let "them" sell you on it's good points (it has several) even if it's not a MkI or an A4 you have your heart set on... etc.

IF... big "if" here... If it is fresh from factory, never issued or shot in wartime, (hey they exist) never refurbed, never shot post war, all original... will you shoot it or keep it as is? You don't need to answer that, but it is something to ponder. (Chances of it being truly pristine are slim and none and slim's walking out the door as I type)

brinker, if you're shooting a 600,XXX SA 1903, you're a braver man than I am.

ETA, by the way Bay Area, welcome to TFL. Hope you stick around and chat for a spell.
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Old January 15, 2013, 10:01 AM   #8
Jim Watson
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I had a coworker who paid $10.00 (plus shipping) for one like that... in 1962. DCM had previously graded their surplus rifles and priced them accordingly, up to $25.00 for a pristine one like that. But as stocks ran low they just lumped them all together and sold them for $10.00, luck of the draw as to what condition you got.

They are worth more, now.

Quote:
well the box and any papers that it came with are probably worthless
I STRONGLY disagree, provenance from DCM/NRA will considerably enhance its value and interest. Mine came from Newberry's dime store for $36.00 and I doubt that its sales ticket would do much for it.

Quote:
but you really need to start researching before you post. all remington 1903s were made using the double heat treatment process,
We all ought to do our research. Springfield did double heat treatment from 1918 to 1927, then went to nickel steel with a single step heat treatment. They did not stay in production of 1903s for very long but still some thousands of rifles.
Rock Island was a lot quicker on the draw changing to nickel steel after only a short run of double heat treatment in 1918. But they did not stay in production after WW I, their tooling eventually went to Remington to get them started making military rifles just prior to WWII.

When Remington started making 1903s they used a manganese steel (nickel was a strategic material in greater need for other products.) Although it was heated and slow cooled to anneal after forging, it was only heat treated with quench once. Around the time they went from 1903s to 1903A3, the alloy was changed to a chrome molybdenium alloy with carburizing in a single step.
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Old January 15, 2013, 12:34 PM   #9
tahunua001
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Jim, thanks for the education, I stand corrected. I wasn't aware that the metallurgy changed so much during production. however when some members are making claims that a 1903A3 would be worth more money with the flip up ladder sights kindof raises a flag somewhere.

I admit now, that I was wrong about the heat treatment however I stand by the rest of my post.
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Old January 15, 2013, 01:08 PM   #10
Jim Watson
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True, anybody messing with USGI rifles ought to know the difference between a 1903 with "ladder" sight and a 1903A3 with receiver sight. I don't know if theoretical considerations of sight radius entered into the change. More like the newer autos, M1 rifle and carbine, had receiver sights and the secondary standard bolt action ought to aim the same way. But that is just speculation on my part.

The 1903 afficianado ought to know that Remington made the 1903 for a while before the A3 was designed. There was even a 1903 Modified still with ladder sight but some cost cutting measures made before the A3.
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Old January 16, 2013, 10:53 AM   #11
James K
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I am pretty sure that an M1903A3 with a M1905 sight would raise interest, as it would be a fake. All M1903A3's had the receiver peep sight; that was one of the changes that made it an A3.

Jim
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Old January 17, 2013, 12:56 PM   #12
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While I normally agree on solid research, sometimes you come across an item (guns in our case) that you know has some value.

I did that with a Luger recently, bought it before solid research and its proven to be far more valuable than what I bought if for.

The best place to get the gun assessed is the CMP forum. John Beard and Rick the Librarian are two of the top people there but others will chime in and pick out the details.

The group will look at a gun, discuss it and usually ultimately concur on its authenticity. There is spirited discussion at times.

Value wise that's a terribly tough one. Most of the experts are lagging behind what the guns are going at in auctions. Ultimately a fake will bite someone. You want to be sure its not you.

A guy on the Lugger forum bought into one of the fakes and lost 20k. So this is not costly territory (and my Luger purchase was not even close to up there) Gun will always have a value of $600 or better as a shooter so the difference may be only a few hundred dollars loss at worst.

Contrary to the following, the box and papers can have value, I have an A3 with provenance and its worth more than an A3 without it. Often that adds significantly to the value and its authenticity. By itself, no, but combined the two and the connection confirm each other.

Quote:
well the box and any papers that it came with are probably worthless as these were all sold as military surplus at any store you could possibly imagine at that period anyway.
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Old January 17, 2013, 01:48 PM   #13
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Looking at the limited pictures, I would have questions about the bolt body. It appears to be a straight handle smooth body, (no machine cuts around the safety lug). Some early Remington 1903's had a semi smooth bolt body, but not a straight handle and too early for a 03A3.
The rest of the bolt parts appear correct but with the limited info and pictures it's hard to tell. I would look at the root area on the underside of the bolt handle and see what if anything is stamped there.
The back side of the safety switch, the cut off switch, the firing pin AND the bolt root should have an R stamped on them. The trigger guard would have an R stamped on the back side of the magazine box. Sling swivels would have R stampd on the swivel flat and the rear sling swivel on the base. The bayonet lug would be stamped with an R, and possibly the front sight band.

There are original as issued, re-arsenaled, corrected, and who knows examples out there. The box and paperwork are a plus as they confirm part of the history and eliminate many of the undocumented stories that run rampent.

Kurt
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Old January 22, 2013, 07:53 PM   #14
brinker
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Gee Boys: I think I hit a nerve, I bought my 1903 in 1970 in Hawaii, Payed 30 bucks I think, It was a long time ago, and I have shot it just about every year. USMC I've changed the stock and replaced the Bolt. I fired 140 Grain 30/06 and now I fire 150 grain. Haggerity has a 140 grain, but the cost is to high for me.( Got that 001.) I really wish you would read what I wrote and not do that line thing that so many boys and girls do. Not all Drills are Crome accented. Trust me I have been there. and maybe I do take a chance in shooting my 1903 SPRINGFIELD. And as far as that goes, Go into any Gun shop, and IF THEY HAVE A 1903 SPRINGFIELD, and that is a BIG IF. See what they want for it.If your selling your 1903 see what they will give you. It's a big difference. The man has a nice piece that is all I was saying, so KMA boys KMA Shoot safe and shoot clean Sunny
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Old January 23, 2013, 10:07 AM   #15
Baba Louie
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Quote:
The man has a nice piece that is all I was saying, so KMA boys KMA Shoot safe and shoot clean Sunny
I agree it is a nice rifle he wants to buy. He just wanted to know a value for dickerin I guess. KMA = keep military arms?

You have a great day too brinker.
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Old January 23, 2013, 06:26 PM   #16
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I am betting there asking more for it than all of us stated. I roamed Gun Broker last nite the prices ranged from 500 to 7.900. Some were sportatized, I roamed all the photos and not one piece that was for sale looked as nice. Most of them were beat up, If ya can haggle it (buy it). If I can save my dollars I plan on ordering a 1903 from MIL TECH. this year. I want a shooter and I don't really care about original, But they make a beautiful product, I will still fire my Honolulu special, man it sure shoots sweet. Keep Military Arms YA I like that, I have to admit, not really, Be Safe and fire clean Sunny
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Old January 23, 2013, 07:40 PM   #17
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most of the $1,000 and up rifles are either snipers, national match or reproduction snipers... with the exception of some lunatic that thinks that he's going to get $7000 for a sporterized rifle. notice that most of the higher priced rifles have zero bids, that is a sign that they are priced beyond their value, sometimes with gunbroker you have to look a little deeper than the listed prices.
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Old January 24, 2013, 07:47 AM   #18
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That rifle looks pretty good to me............unless there is something weird that's not showing up in the pictures, its worth every bit of $1000, maybe more in some locations.

If I was selling it, (which I wouldn't) I wouldn't take less then a grand, but I'd probabley ask for $1500.
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Old January 25, 2013, 11:00 PM   #19
brinker
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the price of a 1903

Ya 001 I did notice that too: that sportized 7.000 and up rig some special Gunsmith built it and somebody owned it. West point or something. I fell asleep while I was reading it. I've always had a soft spot for 1903 Springfields, Goes way back for me. I've seen many at gun shows, and it seems lately the prices, are a bit on the elevated side. I know one thing I would not part with mine, and I really don't think I could replace it, with what I would get for it. It was rough when I bought it, and over the years I've seen quite a few 1903's I've never read a book on them, I just notice and look and say (never seen that before) . when I could afford it, I improved it. Unfortunately I could not do a thing about that serial number. It's kinda like riding a Motorcycle, If ya ride alot some body is going to hit ya. I was at the range, Years ago We were all shooting 1903's and as usual mine was the lowest serial number, There was 2 positions vacant to my left I was on the end, I thought it was my body odor!. I think Forest said it all (Stupid is as Stupid does.) Becareful and shoot clean Sunny
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Old January 26, 2013, 07:38 AM   #20
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i have a springfield 03 barreled action with the serial number 1416481 and a barrel date S.A. 3-38,the bad part is that it has been sporterized, D&T,bolt handle replaced and a new safety added, boy i wish it was left alone in original condition. eastbank.
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Old January 26, 2013, 11:42 AM   #21
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Not familiar with the term D&T?
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Old January 26, 2013, 06:11 PM   #22
Baba Louie
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D&T = drilled and tapped (for scope base)
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Old January 31, 2013, 11:36 AM   #23
brinker
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1903 Springfield

Well boy's and girls I did it, Mil Tech got my order, I wanted a rebarrel on my Honolulu special, but due to you know what they just didn't want that old liaibility., can't blame them with all the bad press. Personally, just my opinion now: so you'all don't get excited, I feel it was all about ballistics, and how the weapon was cared for that caused the problems. Millions were built, sent to all kinds of country's and used in all types of weather conditions. I will retire my original, when I take delivery of my MIL-TECH. Be careful and shoot clean Sunny
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Old January 31, 2013, 03:41 PM   #24
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Look on the front of the barrel on the bottom below the sights. If it has a star stamped on it. Then it is a 4 grove barrel with a faster twist rate. The rear peep sight in it makes it much easier to pick up the sights.

Oh and if it is a star stamped barrel add 200 to 400 dollars to the value of the rifle. Star barrels are rare but not unheard of.
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Old February 1, 2013, 04:00 AM   #25
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You aint going to find a star barrel on a 1943 Rem. Its a DCM sold gun that sat in storage from 1943 till 1962 or so and is worth about 1200 to 1500. would be worth more but the stock has had the cutter groves sanded out of it.
I would check that bolt though as it looks like it may have got swapped when they where boxnig them up in 1962 as it should not be blued. that will knock about 600-800 of the value.
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