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WTS OR 1903 low SN 232xxx. Smith Corona Rebuild with J. Unertl 15x Scope. Price drop.

Discussion in 'Rifle Classifieds' started by 1stklass, Nov 27, 2014.

  1. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    springfield resize 2.jpg springfield resize 4.jpg springfield resize 5.jpg springfield resize 6.jpg Springfield resize1.jpg springfield resize 2.jpg springfield resize 4.jpg springfield resize 5.jpg springfield resize 6.jpg Springfield resize1.jpg I am not an expert on 1903a1's and this is my first of 2 acquired recently. I will try to give as accurate a description as possible and the little bit of possible history that i have learned.
    First, Serial Numbers.
    Receiver is marked U.S Springfield Armory 232975 which places the rifle right in the beginning of the first year (1906) it was chambered in 30-06. Previous chambering was in .303.

    Barrel is marked S C over the flaming bomb and under that is 1-44. From what i have gathered these barrels are rare also, 1-44 and 2-44 being the last Smith Corona barrels for 1903s made. The 1 and 2 stand for January and February.

    There is a poorly marked X on top of the bolt handle on the flat horizontal surface, just down from that is a clearly marked 1 which makes these Smith Corona parts also.

    The bayonette band is marked R as is the rear band. On the Sling attachment on the buttstock is marked RP. These are Remington parts.
    In the 1940's these rifles that had seen duty in WW1 were sent in to be scrapped for their metal or to be refurbished into serviceable weapons. Most low SN rifles were scrapped as they had not received the double heat treating. Very few Low SN rifles were reworked and put back into service. Even fewer were refurbished by Smith Corona. From what i have found there was a mention of a Colonel named Atwood associated with an armory that rebuilt these rifles. It is the only armory i can find that had both Remington and Smith Corona parts in their inventory. I am unable to tell if the stock is Smith Corona also because of someone before me refinishing the stock and removing all stamp marks from the stock. The top part of the stock over the barrel appears to have a clear coat over the stain while the bottom portion of the stock appears to be stained or oiled only. Stock is in great condition and overall so is the rifle. The Bore is 4 lands and grooves and appears sharp and appears to not have been shot much. There is a mixture of a grey/greenish parkerizing on some parts, chrome bolt handle, and other blued parts. This is a consistent description of rifles that were reworked in 1944. Of the rifles that were rebuilt during the 1940's ones refurbished in 1944 were the least likely to see service as the war ended shortly after with the nuclear bombs dropped on Japan.

    The scope is a J. Unertl 15x 2 inch Target scope SN 48891 I dont know enough about them and the internet is pulling up pics of the Target, the Ultra, and the Ultra Varmint with all 3 pictures for each name. Price seems to be the same for all of them. This scope has the adjustable free floating rings and the recoil spring mounted behind the front ring works correctly. The scope actually moves inside of the rings which seems weird but long range shooters on forums i have seen swear by them. There is very little information on serial numbers. The little bit i have found based off of first hand buyers with original receipts would place this scope possibly in the 60's or earlier.
    For those of you unfamiliar with J Unertl scopes, these were the preferred scope of Carlos Hathcock, probably the most famous Marine sniper ever to live, with 93 confirmed kills during his service. His longest shot was using a J Unertl 8x scope mounted on top of a browning M2 at 2286 meters in 1967. For 35 years this shot held the world record until a Canadian sniper broke it in 2002.

    I am not an expert on 1903a1's but i prefer to not be completely ignorant about any gun i sell. I have no idea as to value. The scope, when one comes up for sale are selling for a little over a grand. The rifles I have seen anywhere from 150.00 to 12,000.00. I know its all about the history and SN's of the rifle. I can only stab a guess at value as i am currently seeing asking prices on Gunbroker and other sites in the 1800 to 2500 range for what i can only guess is the closest comparables for just the rifle.

    I am not a historic rifle person and most of my firearms are modern... But this rifle has grown on me and now that i have written ya'll a book on the damn rifle it almost feels like i am giving away my favorite girlfriend. Oh wait, selling her. That makes it better. ;)

    I am asking 2100.00 OBO for the package. Both the rifle and the scope. Please feel free to school me if my price is off. It seems fair and well under what the same type of package is going for on other sites. REMEMBER it is OBO.

    I will post pics first thing in the morning, My kids i believe stole my USB cord to the camera and i dont want to wake them up to find it. When you see the pics i dont think you will be dissapointed!
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2014
  2. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    Well it said i can only ad 5 pics then it somehow doubled them LOL.
     
  3. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    I have also received a private message letting me know that drilled and tapped 03s lose a lot of value. Feel free if you want to comment on here on this thread, like i said i dont know alot about these rifles and i wont take feedback negatively even if it cuts the value of what i am asking. Plus i am sure we will all learn something. I dont know how much the Smith Corona parts make up for the devaluation of the drilling and tapping but lets knock the asking price down to 1600.00 OBO with most of that being the scope.
     
  4. nwbob

    nwbob Oregon Member

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    you have spend some time and effort in your research , but you have missed , i can not see or tell what the rear sight is .but to be a smith corona there would be a groove for a rear peep, but the serial number would be in the millions, if your number is correct than it starting with the letter S it would be a springfield and not safe to shoot by half a million. rebarreled and mismatch drill and tapped has little value the scope has some 4 to 6 hundred
     
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  5. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    I am not positive. But i believe the rear peep that MAY have been on this rifle is on the other 1903 i have. I received them both from the same person. That rifle is i think 1.3 mil or 1.8 mil serial. It is a very accurate rifle. 1 inch approx with iron sights at 100 yards. I figured i can always come down on the price. And i will keep dropping it. I have never sold a gun on Gunbroker but i put it up on there too and figured i would let the market dictate what the price is since i dont know enough about it. I have only found 2 of the scopes that sold in the last year, both went for just barely over 1000.00. It would have helped a ton if somebody hadnt done such a beautiful job sanding out all the stamp markings on the wood during refinishing :mad:
    Pretty dang sure it is NOT a USMC rebuild as it does not have the left side extra Hatcher hole. The only parts i know are Smith Corona are the barrel and the bolt. I do suspect the stock would have proven to be also but i cant be sure of that.
    I was also told it is a 1903 model and not an A1. I'm up for offers on this rifle cause it just isnt my type of gun. Again anyone that has any info on this whether it devalues it or not please post it cause there is such a massive amount of info and different models we can all learn something!!! even if i end up with 600 or 800 for it. Knowledge sometimes (always)is as important to me as money.
     
  6. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    As I see this rifle.

    Its a Pre WWI low serial number model 1903 most likely produced in 1906 based on the number given.


    It has a WWII era barrel and bolt (smith cornoa did not make a barrel until Oct 1942). The other parts marked RP or R are also WWII era parts Remington started in Sept 1941

    The receiver which never had a peep sight has been drilled for a scope mount and possibly other sights. M1903 rifles had a ladder type sight mounted on the breach end of the barrel.

    No Hatcher hole really means nothing. My Feb 1918 M1903 doesn't have one. And I know it was armoried at least once. Some have it some don't.

    The stock is most likely a replacement put on sometime between the war years. A M1903 made in 1906 would have had a gooved S type stock. And through and just after the war that stock would have been replaced with similar.

    There is one other possibility. You have a target rifle put together from Springfield/Smith Corona/Remington/? by someone from a collection of parts not seeing any stampings on the stock would even lean towards a aftermarket or purchased surplus stock not connected to any other part of the rifle. Its value is as a Sporterized decent condition Springfield. Take the scope off and they sell for about $350-500 (for something very very nice) .

    So you absolutely have a rebuilt rifle with almost no collector value. Past its parts.


    I know SQUAT about the scope but I would sure love to own it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 28, 2014
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  7. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Mark! That makes sense! The stock at some time had markings. In two spots under correct angle of lighting i can see the remaining hairline thin marks. But no way to tie it to the other parts even with half the markings gone. The assumption HAS to be that it is a purchased surplus. The Scope is absolutely GORGEOUS. It has steel screw in caps for both ends. It definitely is not my type of rifle, with that said if i wasnt trying to come up with some money for an opportunity i have for my business i definitely would keep it. Even as someones put together target rifle imo it was done very nicely!
     
  8. 1stklass

    1stklass salem oregon Well-Known Member

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    So i guess i made a Mistake. This is a 1903, not a 1903a1. Changed title to reflect that and after several great feedbacks including Mark W's. Lets drop the price to 1200 OBO.