Springfield 1903

Discussion in 'The Ask the Pros & What's It Worth? Forum' started by awrandall@comcast.ne, Nov 9, 2006.

  1. awrandall@comcast.ne

    awrandall@comcast.ne New Member

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    Springfield 1903 PICS

    The rifle is in great shape with no visible rust and only some minor pitting on the bolt handle. The bluing is about 99%.

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    Last edited: Nov 9, 2006
  2. awrandall@comcast.ne

    awrandall@comcast.ne New Member

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    Can anyone help me out with this? Thanks.
  3. DWARREN123

    DWARREN123 New Member

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    I can't help on worth but it is a fine looking rifle.
  4. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Unfortunately, a sporterized military rifle is worth much less than if left in the original condition. This may be a satisfactory hunting weapon, but the blue job is somewhat amateurish, being too heavily buffed and over polished. At a gun show this rifle would bring only about $150 to $175..
  5. southernshooter

    southernshooter New Member

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    Like Wonder said it ain't worth much sporterized, but it is a good looking rifle
  6. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    "This may be a satisfactory hunting weapon, but the blue job is somewhat amateurish, being too heavily buffed and over polished."

    Amateurish? Whomever did this gun wanted a nice hunting gun with a deep blue job like you might find on a Browning. Does that make the blue job amateurish? I'd be proud to have this fine looking gun in my gun safe! While its value may be decreased to the collector you might find a buyer who is impressed by the gun for what it is: a nicely done hunting 1903 sporter. There is nothing wrong with that unless you are a collector. Unfortunately collectors establish the value (pump it up) on any ex-military guns and as such its value is no more than any other hunting gun except in this case the gun is nicely finished and doesn't look like it was dragged through the mountains on a rope like so many used hunting rifles I have seen at gun shows.

    I'd say set the price on the high end of the used hunter rifles at gun shows and wait for that individual that the gun impresses. He WILL come along if it really looks as good as it does in the pictures. Forget what the collectors say but treat it as a hunting tool that is beautiful.

    LDBennett
  7. Mark

    Mark New Member

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    It's not the blueing, it's the polishing that hurts the value.

    I don't often agree with LD, but in this case, I'd have to think we would consider the sum of the parts.
    IMO, depending on bore condition, and whether there is 2 groove or 4 groove rifling, I guess I'd put the value up to the $250 to $300 range.

    It is a late model 03, with correct heat treat. The stock appears serviceable, it has a machined trigger guard, and the vintage Lyman is cool. There is quite a bit of work to be done to undo the polishing, but it's an 03 Springfield, which is the base for a classic rifle.
    It's someones first project, and it's not too bad.
    Mark
  8. LDBennett

    LDBennett Well-Known Member

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    Mark:

    What in the world is wrong with highly polished blued guns, assuming the markings and edges have not been removed? How is high polish a negative thing? Brownings used to be done that way all the time by the factory. Are Brownings less desirable because they are highly polished? I'll admnit that a hunting gun should not be reflective but how many "hunting guns" get used for hunting? Beauty in guns is one of the main reason for me even having guns and I think there are others that feel the same way. I think it not necessary to "repair" a gun because it is highly polished.

    LDBennett
  9. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    When you begin spending $250 and more for a used hunting rifle, there are plenty of nice factory examples available at most gun shows. You can even say there is an overabundance of them, and it's a buyer's market. These used Remingtons, Winchesters, Savages, etc. are smooth working, accurate, set up for scopes, and all in all are highly suited for the hunter's needs. Who would want to pay the same kind of money for a questionable old military clunker?
  10. armedandsafe

    armedandsafe Guest

    Them's fightin' words, lad. :D

    Pops
  11. wonderwhippet

    wonderwhippet Active Member

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    Seriously, the heyday of the sporterized military rifle was during the years immediately following WWII. Commercial rifles had been off the market for four or five years and were unobtainable, so a quick cure was to slap a commercial stock on any military rifle that was in serviceable condition. There were all kinds of books printed on how to accomplish this, from shortening barrels to getting rid of the hated parkerized finish and slapping on a quick coat of blue. The vast majority of this work was done by Bubba types in the shed or garage, and the quality of their work was quite poor, sometimes even dangerous. That being said, there were a number of skilled gunsmiths performing outstanding conversions on Springfields and captured Mausers, Arisakas, and Carcanos, the Mausers and Springfields being the best and most coveted. This work was done by Pachmayer, Weatherby, Birmingham Arms, Stoeger, and a number of other firms of great repute. Their conversions were second to none, some with set triggers, jeweled and polished parts, even high class engraving. These rifles will always be in demand and will bring high prices from shooters and collectors, but the slapstick Bubba jobs will never be worth much.
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