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Old September 15, 2013, 09:09 PM   #1
PolishPower
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Rock Island Arsenal 1903..I think??

Fellow Gun Lovers,
As you can tell, I'm very new to the forum. I'm seeking your knowledge as I am in short supply. I recently got out of the Marine Corps, and received a 30-06 rifle from my Uncle, himself an Army Ranger and Vietnam veteran. I took it home to clean it and started to check out some of the stampings on the rifle. I instantly started researching online, but have hit a dead end. Near the end of the barrel it's stamped RIA with the bursting bomb. Underneath is the numbers 10-18. From what I've read, that's the daye of manufacture, 1 month before the end of WWI. Further down the barrel is C115, which I can't find anywhere. The weapons marked US Rock Island Arsenal and 384994. It's in a stock marked Fajen, and has a Weaver V8 scope. I'm wondering if anyone can give me some more historical info, can I fire it, info on the stock and scope, possible value, etc..I really appreciate any and all info, thank you guys
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Old September 15, 2013, 09:58 PM   #2
Jim Watson
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You have a nickel steel RIA 1903.
It is, if in good condition, safe to fire with regular .30-06 ammunition.

It has been completely sporterized as was very common with military surplus rifles for many years, and has no collector interest. Resale value is a few hundred dollars.
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Old September 15, 2013, 11:17 PM   #3
PolishPower
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Jim,
I appreciate your help. I'm definitely excited to fire this weapon.
Thank you,
Steve
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Old September 16, 2013, 02:46 PM   #4
PetahW
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.

With the selling price of unaltered originals near $1K, a nicely-done sporter is easily worth $400 bareback (w/o scope) - even in a Fajen stock.


.
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Old September 16, 2013, 11:58 PM   #5
James K
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Is there a mark on the muzzle crown of the barrel that looks like a sort of sunburst?

Jim
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Old September 17, 2013, 12:27 AM   #6
Jim Watson
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And come with a long yellow card with numbers on it?

Did RIA do that at all?
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Old September 17, 2013, 12:48 AM   #7
PolishPower
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Yes its like a bursting bomb..theres no front sight post at all, not even a mark where one could have been removed. The weapon is beautiful, action is so smooth.
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Old September 17, 2013, 01:35 AM   #8
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It might look like a bomb but maybe more like a tiny ring with spikes, not like the better known "flaming bomb" mark. If it is there, it would indicate a star gauged barrel. The reason I asked was that I was wondering about that number part way up the barrel, which could have been a star gauge number. But I don't think RIA ever did star gauging, and would not have done it in wartime.

(A star gauge was an instrument made to take precise measurements of the inside of barrels, especially those destined for national match and other target rifles. Those barrels that had been measured and met a high standard were marked with a number and a "star" mark on the muzzle.)

Jim
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Old September 17, 2013, 09:47 AM   #9
Jim Watson
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If it does not have a front sight or an obvious place where one was mounted, then the barrel has been cut off enough to remove the step in the barrel and the alignment grooves. Part of the sporterizing process. The star gauge stamp, if present, would be long gone.

I guess it could have been tapered on a lathe enough to remove the front sight cuts, but cutting off an inch would have been much simpler.
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Old September 17, 2013, 06:04 PM   #10
James K
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I very much doubt the barrel was ever star-gauged; the mention of a number on the barrel brought that to mind. I should learn not to let my typing get ahead of my thinking.

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