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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all, hope I got this in the right subsection.

Here's my situation. I have in my possession, a Santa Fe M1903a3 Springfield rifle that was given to me by a family member. While researching these rifles, I learned that they are made with GI parts on a cast commercial receiver that is questionable in construction to some. Enough so that I would not want to risk shooting it myself just to chance anything. Basically, I had it in mind to have a gunsmith replace the Santa Fe receiver with a Remington military stripped receiver.

My question about all this is: will replacing the receiver on this rifle lower any value it currently has (which I assume to be around $150)?

I will attach pictures if they are needed, but I must forewarn that I have trouble getting them to a smaller size.

The two groove barrel is marked "RA (over) 3-44," so I thought that I'd try to get a Remington receiver.

I must also note that I have seen this particular rifle fired, but I don't feel safe doing so myself. If it is not worth getting a military receiver installed, I will leave it as a display. I wish to turn this into an accurate shooter so long as the value is not sacrificed as a result.

Thank you for your input!
 

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I remember the Santa Fe and Federal Ordnance rifles, and their questionable safety reputation. My primary concern installing that barrel on a USGI receiver would be what changes may've been made - particularly as regards headspace, in order for it to function on one of Santa Fe's receivers - which were notoriously out of spec. You may end up right on the money, and then again you may not. If you already have access to a USGI M1903A3 receiver, and are able to remove the barrel from the Santa Fe rifle, a test fit and headspace check by a qualified gunsmith will tell you whether the project's worth proceeding with. For what it's worth, if it were mine I'd probably give it a try.
 

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p.s. to previous: Members better qualified than I should address the value aspect, but again, if it were mine and I had the opportunity to safely fit a Remington barrel on a Remington M1903A3 receiver in the right date range (3-44), and all the other parts were period correct, I'd probably go for it. As to the value of the finished project, once again, I'll defer to members far more qualified than I.
 

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I wonder if Santa Fe messed with the barrels at all during installation.

I have identified a gunsmith that can do this work, I just think I'd better be sure that I don't harm the rifle's value in the process before I buy a receiver. I notice one website seems to be selling refurbished stripped receivers.

If things go well and the project is a go, I will have the gunsmith replace the front sight post retaining pin because Santa Fe did a terrible job, leaving it mushroomed outside and halfway in...
 

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Only way you're going to know for sure about barrel specs is by removing it and installing it on a USGI receiver. That said, you'd mentioned a guesstimate value of $150 on the rifle in its current configuration. Well, from your photo the stock and most of the parts, excluding the barrel for a moment, appear to be in good shape - though the metal bits and pieces are probably reblued. Just for the heck of it, hop on the web and price a 1903 or 03A3 stock, buttplate, bands, triggerguard, bayonet lug, screws and so forth. My guess is that these parts alone are worth more than $150. Would I replace various bits and pieces like the sight pin if it were mine. Of course - Santa Fe and Fed Ord were rather heavy handed in their assembly methods. If I were lucky and the present barrel headspaced per spec on a USGI receiver, I'd also have the entire rifle reparkerized. Check out prices on complete all correct US M1903A3s - I'll guarantee you they're more than $150. After it's all over and done with, barrel removal (and maybe even replacement), USGI receiver, reparkerizing etc., would you at least have broken even? I expect so, likely with several $$ to spare, but others more qualified than I will chime in on that. Best of luck with your project. Just a last thought, should you assemble an all correct M1903A3, I'd tone down the gloss on the stock and refinish the wood per GI spec.
 
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