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Custodial Engineer at Third Monkey Outfitters
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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I've done some google-fu but I guess maybe I'm hunting for a needle in a haystack. All I found was mfg date of 1937, which the general census seems to be it's quite ok to fire, not old enough to be wary of with full loads. Aaaaaand, that is about it.

It seems to be in excellent condition, smoooooth bold movement and really nice trigger. Much better than I expected. Rear sight is a Williams. Only marking on it are on receiver as seen in pic. Was my Uncle's but that's about all I know. ha

Was hoping to find some other similar stocks so I could come up with an overall value for insurance purposes, but.... anyone out there have something similar? Story behind yours? Value?
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I know there is a series of Ser#...that it was determined they, the receiver, had not been heat treated properly and it was advised that they not be fired using any load. Govt sold them as surplus anyway.

I'll see if I can dig out the book I had that indicated the serial numbers in question and make a copy of the page.

Beautiful gun by the way


this is the excerpt I have....

....The Purpouse of this is assist those who are considering aquiring a 1903 service rifle, to aid in identifying the so called "low numbered recievers" which are considered unsafe to fire.

The Magic numbers here are any rifle below 800,000 for Springfield Armory and 286,506 for Rock Island Armory. The reason these rifles are considered unsafe to fire is due to improper heat treatment when they were manufactured.The ammunition of the time was thought to be a contributing factor as well. The method of determining the proper heat treatment was less than scientific in that the men who were doing the heat treatment used the color of the steel to judge whether the correct temprature had been reached, When these rifles failed they shattered often causing injury to the shooter. Rifles manufactured after 800,000 and 286,506 recieved a double heat treatment and tempratures were measured with insturments rather than "by eye". Many of these original rifles were not withdrawn from service and are still on the market today.

1903/A3/A4 rifles manufactured by Remington and 1903A3 rifles manufactured by Smith Corona are not affected and are considered safe to fire as long as they are inspected by a competent gunsmith as they should still be checked for proper headspace, bolt setback etc.

If an individual is considering buying a low numbered Springfield or Rock Island 1903 do so knowing that it is not a shooter and IT SHOULD NOT BE FIRED! but rather as a piece of military history.The actual change in heat treatment occured somewhere between 750,000 and 800,000 for Springfield, but the exact serial number is not known so it is possible to have a Springfield below 800,000 that is safe to fire but there is still no way of knowing if a given rifle with a serial number between that range recieved the proper heat treatment, so you are taking a chance on firing one. The actual rate of failure is very low compared to the number of rifles produced but it ain't worth losing an eye over! I know of people who own and fire low numbered rifles, but in my opinion it's just not worth the risk.
 

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The stock's probably an old custom job so finding one similar would be a challenge. Also as to value it has some value as a target shooting rifle with the addition of the target sight put on it but it wouldn't be worth as much as it would've been if it was left alone in full military configuration. Normally sporterizing a rifle will decrease its value anywhere from 50% to in some cases 75% (that depends on the rifle itself). Yours looks really nice from what I can see so if you had the desire to just leave it as is then value wouldn't be the highest concern seeing as it's an heirloom. Now if you're planning on restoring it then you have to make sure that the front sight is correct and the barrel hasn't been shortened before you dish out the cash buying a military stock with all the bits and screws.
 

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Correct, over 800K SA good to go. No collector value really. As it is, worth about $400 to $450 unless you find someone who just loves the custom stock. Not worth restoring in my opinion since it is drilled for the rear sight. Enjoy her as a shooter / hunting rifle.
 

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Custodial Engineer at Third Monkey Outfitters
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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks guys, not sure if I will ever shoot again but good to know I can. Not gonna change a thing, I'll just list it at 500. They won't blink an eye if it ever came to that, given what others cost

Thanks again
 

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Waffennarr
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Looks like a good shooter, safe as others have posted; I guess I'd just pass it on as a family heirloom. Many many 1903 and 1903A3 rifles were sporterized back in the day, and as such there might be some family history involved that is more valuable than a "correct" military rifle. If it has a good barrel and groups well, you have a good target / hunting rifle. But I agree with the receiver drilled collectors wouldn't be interested, even if you went to the trouble of buying the correct military furniture for it. Enjoy it as-is.
 
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