View Full Version : 1903 Sporter Origin

May 22, 2019, 05:48 AM
I picked up an old 1903 sporter the other day, and while cleaning it I realized there was no serial number, and as I started to look I realized there no marks anywhere which surprised me for it being an old military gun. The only markings it has an E on the bottom of the barrel and on the receiver below the stock line it has a two stamps 12 in a circle and 52 in a square. Only other info is the sight is a Lyman peep sight and the recoil pad is a pachmayr white line. I’ll try to post some photos later.

May 22, 2019, 07:25 AM
Is there a stamped marking on the end of the barrel, behind the sight?
What is on the receiver....any indication that the serial number was removed?
There were copies of "1903s" manufactured by other companies over the years - Golden State Arms was one. Those guns had less distinct serial #s but they did have them

May 23, 2019, 12:32 AM
Sounds like a Golden State Arms rifle. They are cast, not forged, and have a fair reputation as far as a shooter. All Springfield 1903s I have ever seen were marked, and I have never heard of one that wasn't (not saying they're not out there, just never heard of any).

Jim Watson
May 23, 2019, 08:54 AM
Just googling around, a Golden State might be a Remington but the National Ordnance and Santa Fe 1903s were cast.

Did you "pick it up" from a dealer? If so, what did he put on record instead of a serial number?

F. Guffey
May 23, 2019, 10:51 AM
One of the most accurate rifles I own is a Remington 03; it was made available by all the dealers at a gun show. they were giving the seller a bad time, as time past the rifle got cheaper and cheaper.

Anyhow, I purchased the rifle with two boxes of 30/06 Remington ammo. there was nothing about the rifle that was Santa Fe but the stamp on the barrel. That was the day I took a seller to the bank with me to get the money. He was not used to going to the bank with a pick up full on guns, he left me.

No markings: I have a picture of 6 03 receivers without names and numbers, one of the receivers has the 30/04 slot through the rear receiver ring. And then? A number of receives show up at the Tulsa Gun show.

At the same show dealers were talking about a presentation Mauser; they were excited. By the end of the day I made it to the back table where the rifle was located. By that time the dealer had his mind made up he had the find of the century. And I asked: "Is there a chance I could see the rifle", he dug it out.

First question: What were you asking at the beginning of the day? He said he was asking $150 dollars, Next question: Did you have any offers? He said yes but the man making the offer claimed it was a SPECIAL rifle and worth more, much more. I told him he should have taken the first offer, Everyone got carried away with the stamp, the stamp on the receiver was a large circle with the American spread eagle in the center. The eagle in the center of the circle was the stamp of National Arms.

And then there was National Arms: I understand there are many that snicker and make snarky comments about National Arms/Santa FE. They were not on the mailing list, and there were many that were on the mailing list that did not know and or understand what they were looking at.

F. Guffey

Jim Watson
May 23, 2019, 11:57 AM
I have a picture of 6 03 receivers without names and numbers, one of the receivers has the 30/04 slot through the rear receiver ring.

Please post the picture.
What is a ".30/04 slot"?

F. Guffey
May 24, 2019, 09:02 AM
Please post the picture.

The picture and receivers belong to a friend that I consider a resource type on anything military. He is excellent on anything period correct, problem about being period correct had to do with how well 'it' works when finished.

For example: There are go-gages, no go-gages and field reject length gages. One day he finished a Rock Island 03 that was period correct for 1911; problem, the chamber was longer than a go-gage length chamber but shorter than a no go-gage chamber. The man has close to 25 30/06 chamber-gages, his collection includes the go-gage that measured off of the case body/shoulder juncture.

We have wasted a lot of time discussing grinding the back of the lugs etc. but for those that are listening he did not need a longer chamber and increasing the length of the chamber does not make the distance from the datum/shoulder to the bolt face shorter. Between us we have 135 06 and 03A3 bolts. I explained to him before we started we did not have a bolt that would decrease the length of the chamber by .0025".

What made my job Tuff/difficult when helping him? He was seeking help on the Internet.

Back to the 6 receivers; I have received some demerits for copyright infringements. Meaning I do not have permission to post the picture. I called him a few days ago to inform him a friend died, no problem but he did not know him. We had another friend die 'a while back', it seems when our age is added to the age of the 'old friend' and the total is divided by 2 the average comes out to be 80+.

30/40: There was the 30/06, before that there was the 30/03, before that was the 30/40 Us Gov. The rifle had a one lug bolt, it has been claimed a one lug bolt was all that was necessary. I believe the rifle would have had a two lug bolt if Springfield could have designed a rifle with a two lugged bolt.

F. Guffey

Jim Watson
May 24, 2019, 09:38 AM
I know what a .30-40 Krag Jorgensen is, but did not think of "30/04" in connection.
I also know what a 1900 Springfield is, along with the .30-01 cartridge.
I have come to believe that we would have been better off to just pay Mauser for a license and buy or build .30x2 1/4" (7.62x57) rifles. Probably with a deal for the latest version, starting out with 1895s and moving on to 1898s.

Too bad about the copyright thing, I am sure it keeps you from showing us many interesting things like blank actions, standards and gauges.

F. Guffey
May 24, 2019, 09:59 AM
Too bad about the copyright thing, I am sure it keeps you from showing us many interesting things like blank actions, standards and gauges.

thank you, I was on another forum that when a shooter, reloader, collector/bench rester ask a question about chamber casting. I had my doubts if any member on the forum had ever case a chamber but as always with difficult questions the thread went south in a hurry with the insults etc. I ask the new member to contact me off line if he was interested in help. I also apologized for the forums bad behavior because they insulted him also.

the man was very talented and shot some very fine rifles, all he needed was a little help. And now he is as good as anyone when it comes to casting the chamber and he realized he would have never gotten there with the help of a forum. And it was not long after that event the forum pulled the plug.

And I thought the forum could have used the talents of the new member. He called back on other matters, we worked through them, he never thought it could be that easy.

I also contacted 308w out on Long Island, he decided he did not have time.

F. Guffey

F. Guffey
May 28, 2019, 02:46 PM
I am sure it keeps you from showing us many interesting things like blank actions, standards and gauges.

Standards and gages: Forgive, I thought I explained that one. I said I took a picture of my gages and had a problem with the picture, it weighed 700 pounds.

F. Guffey