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Old February 28, 2013, 04:32 PM   #1
corky52
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RIA 1903

Hello, I'm starting to look for a 1903 or 1903A3. A local shop has a Rock Island Arsenal 1903 for sale. The serial number is 1169XX. The Barrel is stamped
RIA 1 09. I looked at the bore and it is bright and appears to have good rifling The asking price is $875. TO all the 03 experts here, would this be a good candidate for me? I want to be able to shoot it along side my Garand.

TIA for any advice. Photos attached. These are from the shops website.

Charlie










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Old February 28, 2013, 04:42 PM   #2
tahunua001
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this is a very nice collectors piece, $875 is a bit pricey but not at all unreasonable. the receiver serial number dates to 1907 so the barrel is a rebarrel and sadly is not a post war refit so it does hurt value a little but not by much.


your main problem is that this rifle is considered unsafe to fire, the heat treatment process of the earlier springfields are crude at best, very primitive even by world standards at the time of manufacture. these problems gave rise to a number of guns that exploded during firing from having too brittle of steel. the politically correct answer is to say that these rifles are not safe as there is no way of testing to be sure without risking damage to the rifle. this is a good gun to sit on display in a collection but not an ideal candidate for a gun you intend to shoot.


FWIW, I have a low serial number springfield that I shoot and have not had it fail yet but again... that's just me. your experience may vary.
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Old February 28, 2013, 05:04 PM   #3
corky52
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Thanks tahunua001 for the quick reply. I thought about the serial number when I looked at it. I did not know what the serial number ranges were. I'm not looking for a wall hanger, especially at that price. Ha, ha. It's a handsome rifle, but not for me, I guess. I'll keep looking.

Thanks

Charlie
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:03 PM   #4
tahunua001
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general rule of thumb is anything after 800,000 with springfield receivers and 285,500 with rock island receivers.

in my own limited experience the 1903A3s are more accurate and the aperture sights are much nicer to shoot. I would hold out for one of those if you can.
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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:07 PM   #5
Jim Watson
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The Type C stock is a much later replacement, as well.
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:15 PM   #6
corky52
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Yeah, I'm thinking that the 03A3 would be better, as well. I'm used to the Garand sight and the apeture sight would not make me use a different sight picture. Thanks for the info on the SN ranges. I'll keep hunting. I'm in no rush.

Thanks

Charlie
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Old February 28, 2013, 06:19 PM   #7
tahunua001
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awe man, how the heck did i miss that? thanks Jim...

don't mention it corky, you'll find that aside from me there are a lot of very knowledgeable members here.
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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
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Old March 1, 2013, 10:57 AM   #8
madcratebuilder
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That's a $500 rifle in my AO, it's just a collection of parts.

If you want a shooter then a re-arsenaled 03A3 would better serve your needs. A matched Rem well be cheaper than a matched Smith-Corona. Both shoot the same. I have good results with HXP Garand ammo. I have found some M2 ball match grade that shoots well.


Top is a RIA assembed by SA with a 1928 SA barrel, RIA NS bolt, RIA stock.

Bottom is a S-C in Rem wood.

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Old March 1, 2013, 01:41 PM   #9
corky52
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Thanks, nice rifles. I do think an 03A3 is the answer.

I just need to be patient
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