1903A3: Too good to be true?

Discussion in 'Curio & Relics Forum' started by w1spurgeon, Oct 24, 2009.

  1. w1spurgeon

    w1spurgeon Member

    Dec 30, 2007
    Chattanooga, TN
    I recently purchased a Remington 1903A3 and boy, did my jaw drop when I opened the package. The gun looks brand new. There is no evidence that it has ever been fired; the action, finish and the bore are all perfect. The stock has all the right cartouch in all the right places and they look perfect, again, no wear. I've heard people talk about "unissued" A3s, but this is first I've seen that looks that good.

    After reflecting over several weeks I'm beginning to believe this might be too good to be true. Opinions?
  2. johnlives4christ

    johnlives4christ Former Guest

    Apr 28, 2008
    it could be the rare one, but more likely it is arsenal refinished and just looks new, probably has a new barrel, and a new stock, and a new finish. but i hope it is the rare one for you. that would be pretty cool. the question is, how does she shoot?

  3. woolleyworm

    woolleyworm Well-Known Member

    Feb 23, 2009
    SW Fort Worth
    I would have to vote for arsenal job too, but my question is this. How much cosmoline did you have to remove from it? How about the serial numbers and any other info as to where you bought it and what was it advertised as?

    Either way, sounds like you've got a great looking and should be a great shooting 03.
  4. cadamson

    cadamson New Member

    Oct 20, 2009
    You have any pics?
  5. wpage

    wpage Active Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    Does sound interesting. Tell more about it...
  6. ski9393

    ski9393 New Member

    Jul 29, 2009
    Unissued or not, it's bound to be pretty cool.
  7. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    w1 - we are still waiting for those pictures. You know how we are, we can't operate without Visual Aids!
  8. wingspar

    wingspar Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Does it have the letters RBLT with a date stamped on the barrel?

    My father bought one for me when I was 15 in about 1960. It came looking brand new, but has RBLT. 25.8.45 stamped on the barrel. I just finished looking up the serial number, and it was manufactured in Feb 1943.

  9. wpage

    wpage Active Member

    Aug 25, 2009
    Bet it came from DCM...
  10. wingspar

    wingspar Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Had a hard time finding this thread again. Finally got around taking a couple of pics. The first one shows the whole gun, and what mine looks like today, and the second photo is in my studio. I never finished the stock, and never removed that OD Green finish from the metal parts.



    I no longer have the original stock. No idea what happened to it over the years.
  11. zkovach

    zkovach Well-Known Member

    Oct 7, 2009
    i would like to know where and how much. was it a gun show or online resource?
  12. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

    Sep 7, 2007
    Athens, Georgia
    I prefer an original military rifle, but that is a good looking stock and a great job of customizing.
  13. wingspar

    wingspar Member

    Sep 19, 2009
    Thanks. I put that stock on sometime in the late 1960's, and never finished it. It is just bare wood. It did take a lot of work channeling out the part for the barrel. (Can’t think of what it’s called right now) Couldn’t hit the side of a barn after I put the stock on the gun. Fortunately, a guy I was working with at the time told me what was wrong. He said the barrel can’t touch the stock. It has to be free floating, and said I needed to be able to slide a cigarette paper between the barrel and the stock. Man, it took a lot more work to accomplish that, but once I was able to slide a cigarette paper under the barrel, she shot straight again, and I could hit what I was aiming at.

    I wonder if it would be worth more today with or without the original military stock?
  14. Jim K

    Jim K New Member

    Dec 6, 2009
    Many of the M1903A3 rifles sold through DCM in the 1950's were brand new, unfired except for proof testing. The maunfacture of M1903 and M1903A3 rifles in the WWII era was an emergency measure instituted when M1 rifle (Garand) production proved disappointing in the early years. By the time the last of the M1903A3 rifles were made, there were enough M1's for service needs and the bolt rifles were stored against a future need, like the invasion of Japan.

    They were not needed and thousands were given or sold to foreign countries, with many thousands sold to NRA members through the old DCM program. Those guns were NOT rebuilt; they really are (or were) brand new. Army regulations at the time required that any rifles sold to civilians be proof tested, and that was done, the stocks stamped accordingly with the same mark as rebuilt guns, adding to the confusion.

    But those who say there were no new rifles and that a new look means a rebuilt gun are wrong, and a person lucky enough to acquire one of those unissued rifles should not accept the "rebuilt" idea without question.

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