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Old September 30, 2013, 06:03 PM   #1
Doug S
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Help with a 1903 Springfield (making an offer)

I had lunch with an old friend that I hadn't seen in 20+ years yesterday. During the course of the conversation he mentioned that he still had the 1903 Springfield that I had sold him when we were teens. He couldn’t remember what I had sold it to him for, but I’m sure at the time the sum was insignificant because the guns weren’t worth anything at the time. He is not a collector and has just kept it in storage. He said that he’d be willing to sell it back to me, and said to make him an offer that I thought was fair. I know these are going for a “pretty penny” today. I don’t want to pay collector/dealer prices. Can anyone suggest a fair price to offer that would be fair to him without my paying a premium? I have no recollection of serial number range at this point. It does have a bayonet with it. Thanks for any info.
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Old September 30, 2013, 07:19 PM   #2
jonnyc
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Low market would be about $500, especially since we know nothing about condition.
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Old September 30, 2013, 09:00 PM   #3
Doug S
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Thanks johnnyc I appreciate the feedback.
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Old September 30, 2013, 09:53 PM   #4
rdmallory
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Prices range from $350 (drill rifle) to 2K depending on condition, markings, all original, barrel gauge, etc.

CMP was getting $599 for mix masters with shout out barrels last year.

Doug
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Old September 30, 2013, 10:08 PM   #5
Doug S
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Thanks for the additional info. I do appreciate it. He be coming for another visit in December. I plan to have him bring the rifle and make him an offer at that time.
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." Col. Jeff Cooper, from The Art of the Rifle
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Old September 30, 2013, 11:01 PM   #6
tahunua001
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doug, there is a lot of information that we do not have that makes an accurate appraisal impossible.

sportizing automatically cuts the value in half.

low serial automatically cuts the value by $100-$150. not to mention is are very controversial on whether they are safe to shoot or not.

configuration matters. there is a difference in the value of a 1903, 1903 MK1, 1903A1, 1903A3 and 1903a4. a 1903MK1 can go for $100 more than a standard 1903.

parts matching. all parts matching can mean the difference of $150.

maker, some makes are less common than others and would be slightly more valuable such as a rock island or remington made 1903A1.

a less common model with all parts matching that has not been sporterized and is not part of the questionable serial range in great condition is worth close to $1000.

a low serial springfield made 1903 with poor metal finish, a stock that's been cut down, has a remington bolt, RIA barrel, and a reciever that's been drilled and tapped is worth less than $250 is is very questionable about the safety of firing it.
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Old September 30, 2013, 11:05 PM   #7
Doug S
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Wow-tahunua001- thanks very much for the detailed info. I obviously have some research to do. I'm looking forward to getting my hands on the rifle and I'll check out all of the things you list. I don't want to try to do it long distance - so I'm going to wait until he comes in for the next visit. In the meantime I'll try to educate myself so I know what I'm looking at when I see it. Your summary helps a lot. Thanks again.
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Old October 1, 2013, 01:21 PM   #8
jonnyc
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Do you recall anything about it from your previous ownership?
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Old October 1, 2013, 03:31 PM   #9
Doug S
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No I honestly don't...other than it was original...meaning full stock and non-sporterized. I'm surprised that I don't remember more as I've always been into history. I really think at the time - being a young teen hunter - I just wasn't into the old military bolt actions. They weren't nearly as collectible as now. You could pick them up cheap (I'm talking 70's-80's). But a lot of kids in my rural area hunted with old milsurps. That's what they were to us...old rifles that we used to hunt with until we could get a "real" deer gun like a 30-30 levergun or a Remington 700 or something of the sort.
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." Col. Jeff Cooper, from The Art of the Rifle
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Old October 3, 2013, 04:49 PM   #10
kilimanjaro
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Presuming it's in nice condition and with bayonet, a fair 'friend' price is around $500 to $650. Christmas money for him, should work.
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Old October 6, 2013, 04:42 PM   #11
Doug S
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Hi All - I've been neglecting the forums a a bit so just getting back to this thread. I do appreciate all of the feedback. I had spoken to my friend after receiving the initial feedback and I made him an offer of $400. He has agreed to seel it to me for that price. He likes it but has no use for it and says that he'd like to see it come back to me and become an addition to my man cave decor. Very generous of him. He is coming for a visit in Nov or Dec and we will do the deal then. Again thanks for all of the feedback.
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." Col. Jeff Cooper, from The Art of the Rifle
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Old November 3, 2013, 09:38 AM   #12
brinker
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1903 Springfield

CMP has been out of service grade for years, in the 1903: If this 1903 is a Marine example it can be worth a little more< I've owned and fired a mid low number serial number USMC for 40+ years,average 10 to 20 rounds a year,bought it in 1972 from the Hawaii territorial Guard, for 36 bucks, I only wish I had bought 10 of them. but storage was a problem, I was on active duty, I only fire 150 grain thru it, and the barrel still looks new,I think 4 land. I felt it was rebuilt at the Marine, facility on Hawaii. The only thing I have done is replace the wood and I bought a bolt from CMP when they had them. I really prize mine,it's a great shooter, I never knew about, or was appraised of the danger of low serial single heat treat years until the .Comm machine was created. and this has caused alot of bad press, on the subject. I for one don't buy it, and I know many other owners that feel the same way, I inspect mine under magnification, and so far so good, I also inspect my Rem 700 the same way. and I keep them clean! inspected and greased and lubed, I also inspect the rounds I use. Good luck and shoot clean! Sunny
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Old November 3, 2013, 12:25 PM   #13
tahunua001
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brinker, although your input is appreciated it is mostly irrelevant. CMP availability and parts are not really central to the discussion nor is the debate over low serial VS high serial. the OP is asking what a fair offer to make on one is and many here have responded with things to look out for and what hurts value(whether a myth or not, low serial does hurt monetary value) and I have never heard of springfields belonging to specific units increasing the value of a rifle(not that such specific service can be verified to begin with)
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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 November 3, 2013, 12:52 PM   #14
chris in va
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He's an old friend. Be generous. Offer more than he expects and he'll probably come down from that offer.
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Old November 4, 2013, 11:09 PM   #15
Doug S
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I'm hoping to get together with him sometime this month, and buying the rifle and bayonet for $400. Looking forward to posting some pictures when I do. I do appreciate all of the feedback here. Thanks, everyone.
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." Col. Jeff Cooper, from The Art of the Rifle
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Old February 18, 2014, 04:08 PM   #16
Doug S
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For those who posted here, and may have missed it, here is my update...http://thefiringline.com/forums/showthread.php?t=541933
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"The rifle itself has no moral stature, since it has no will of its own. Naturally, it may be used by evil men for evil purposes, but there are more good men than evil, and while the latter cannot be persuaded to the path of righteousness by propaganda, they can certainly be corrected by good men with rifles." Col. Jeff Cooper, from The Art of the Rifle
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