pre-WWI Springfield 1903

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by DanC_1968, Feb 23, 2007.

  1. DanC_1968

    DanC_1968 New Member

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    [​IMG][/IMG][​IMG][/IMG][​IMG][/IMG][​IMG][/IMG]I have a Springfield 1903 I'm interested in knowing the ballpark value of, and have some questions about it.

    The serial #(630XXX) indicates the receiver was made in late 1916, but the barrel is stamped 10-17. Is it possible the receiver was not fitted with a barrel for a year, or was the barrel most likely replaced. Cartouches on the left side of stock are RA, FJA in box, and cross cannons. I've been told the "RA" indicates the stock was reworked or replaced during WWII or later at Raritan Arsenal, and that the "FJA" indicates it was inspected by a Col. Attwood. It also has a single "P" in circle behind the triggerguard, and 4 stampings ahead of the floorplate--"22" and "28" in circles, "w" in square, and "o" in triangle. The rifle has gray/green parkerization, which I'm told was not used before WWI, and was most likely refinished the same time the stock was replaced or reworked.

    Also, when my bolt is pulled rearward to max and the magazine cutoff switch is on "on" position, the bolt will close without the need for me to depress the follower. The rear corner of the follower is rounded and shiny. Are 1903's supposed to operate this way, or does it sound like someone has rounded the edge to make it so.

    The parkerizing is 90-95% overall, and the wood is nice, but has dents and dings. The receiver has also been drilled and tapped for a peep sight. I appreciate any info you might have on its value, or if you can verify or correct any of the info I've already been given.
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2007
  2. Xracer

    Xracer *TFF Admin Staff Mediator*

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    Minn-eeee-sota, ya, sure, you bet!
    My personal involvement with '03s is mostly limited to marching and close-order drill with one while in Navy Boot Camp.....so most of my info comes from the Standard Catalog of Military Firearms.

    It wouldn't surprise me if a late 1916 receiver wasn't barreled until 10/17.....we weren't in WWI yet, and in peacetime, the Springfield Armory ran at a pretty leisurely pace (my Dad worked there in the mid-30's on the development of the M1 Rifle).

    Your rifle appears to be a very nice example of the Model 1903 Rifle (1910-1917).

    However, it appears as though the bolt may not be an original, but a replacement. According to the SCOMF, the bolt should be straight, not bent back.

    And, of course, the serial # being below 800,000, the heat treatment of the receiver is suspect, so the rifle probably shouldn't be shot.

    According to the SCOMF, the value is:

    Exc. - $3,500
    V.G. - $2,750
    Good - $1,000

    The tapped holes in the receiver will probably lower the value some, but I don't know how much.

    As for your other questions, I'll have to let somebody with more 1903 knowledge answer them.
  3. DanC_1968

    DanC_1968 New Member

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    Thanks for the info, xracer. Nearly everyone I've talked to agrees with you on not shooting an '03 with a low receiver. I do have a book called "Bolt Action Rifles", by Frank DeHaas, which stated that they could safely be shot if pressures were kept under 50,000. Apparently all Springfields were proof-tested with a cartridge called a "blue pill", which generated 70,000 and later 75,000 pounds. Still, I will probably not shoot it.
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