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Old February 10, 2020, 11:43 PM   #1
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How to evaluate a Springfield 1903 A3

Can someone share a good website to describe what to look for when considering buying one of these rifles? I'm going to look at one owned by a friend who knows nothing about them either. I've heard that you can match serial numbers on parts but don't know that to be a fact. I want to know what I'm buying value-wise.

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Old February 11, 2020, 12:13 AM   #2
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Old February 11, 2020, 04:36 PM   #3
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Be aware of 03-A3 rifles with receivers marked National Ordinance .
These are not military surplus rifles . National Ordinance manufactured new receivers after the war and purchased surplus barrels , stocks and all the other parts to assemble rifles ... they look like military surplus rifles but were in fact assembled after WWII on newly manufactured receivers with military surplus parts.
The receivers may have been investment cast , Ruger took advantage of this new process , the rifles do not command the prices a true military made arm does .
I have one and have shot it extensively over the last 50 years with no problems... mine is well made with minimum tolerances . For a shooter it is excellent rifle .
Just be aware of the National Ordinance rifles out there.
To learn more do a search on the term National Ordinance 1903-A3 Springfield rifle .
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Old February 11, 2020, 05:12 PM   #4
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I have a Remington 03-A3 made in 04-44 and its a neat rifle.
Some are 2 groove barrels and some are 4 groove, but they all tend to shoot OK as long as they still have bright bores.
Mine likes 47.5 gr of IMR 4064 and a 168gr SMK. It shoots 1.5" at 100 which is great for me
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Old February 13, 2020, 02:23 PM   #5
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That'd be National Ordnance, not Ordinance. An ordinance is a law.
The National Ordnance story is here.
Their 1903A3 is discussed, at length, here. Including one post(#9) that says, vehemently, never fire one.
Matching serial numbers on parts doesn't really tell you much. Those parts can be worn out on a rifle that was made over 70 year ago.
Evaluating a milsurp isn't any different than evaluating any other used rifle. Overall condition, barrel and rifling, etc.
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Old February 14, 2020, 11:02 AM   #6
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Warpath Vintage in Denver Co.
The fellas name is Chuck, mpst knowledgeable person when it comes to these particular rifles.
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Old February 14, 2020, 06:53 PM   #7
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Barrel date should be stamped near the front sight. Alot of 03-A3s have mint/near mint barrels since they were not extensively used by front line troops. They should test with very little muzzle wear on a MW gauge. There were also a lot of surplus 03-A3 barrels after the war.

Check the stock to make sure it hasn't been cut down/sporterized.

The alleged issues with the M1903 with "low number" and "high number" receivers is a non-issue with 03-A3 since they all should have received proper heat treatment.

There were a few manufacturers and some bring slightly more money than others.
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