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Got this old m1903 sporterized, anyone know what it might be worth/good for?

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by robosimono, Feb 18, 2011.

  1. robosimono

    robosimono Stevenson, WA Member

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    This old springfield m1903 has serial number 1254000. Apparently it was made in the 20's, i think. Its been tapped for scope mounts, got some weavers on there now. I was wondering what it might be worth. its got some patina/corrosion from sitting in my closet for the last few years. i've shot it and gotten it to be as accurate of 10 inch groups at 300 yards, and I am not a good distance shooter at all. Any advice on what ammo i should shoot out of this? its got a 20inch barrel, and apparently was previously longer. any thoughts? :thumbup:

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  2. BillM

    BillM Amity OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well---it's a sporterized 03. Pretty plain example, and a bit rough, but it IS a 03! Good project rifle if you ever want to try your hand at a little gunsmithing. Value? If you find someone that's just nuts about 03's you MIGHT push toward $200. $100-$150 is probably a realistic retail, and if you take it to a shop to sell don't be offended if they offer you $50.
     
  3. chainsaw

    chainsaw East side of Or. Active Member

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    The '03 was designed to shoot 150 gr bullets at,I think,2700 or 2900 fps.2750 stands out in my head for some reason.
    Get it reblued or parked and take no less than $300.Assuming the bore is in very good condition.That stock has got to add some value to it.
     
  4. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    If you had that thing walking around a gunshow, you'd be hard-pressed to get $150 out of it, as is. I'd probably offer $100 as that's what the action would be worth to me. With that rifle, I'd replace both the barrel and the stock if it were in my shop (but that's just me, I have to tinker, hazards of gunsmithing). With a repark, you'd probably get right at $150. The barrel detracts from the value (mainly due to the length, assuming bore is good), as does the drilling and tapping (as its hard to determine if it was done right, i.e. straight), and at least for me, the stock wouldn't add value.

    I think as stated above, this would be a great start for a first-class sporter rifle. Some work would obviously need to be done by a pro, but a lot you could do yourself. Not much to lose. Have fun!
     
  5. robosimono

    robosimono Stevenson, WA Member

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    yeah i didn't think it was worth that much. Probably worth holding onto and getting blued. Maybe worth more to use as a cheap deer/elk/bear gun. pretty heavy to lug around the hillsides.
     
  6. kenjo

    kenjo Washougal Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    It is similar to my dad's old 03 Springfield. His is in better condition, though, and is a good shooter; 22 inch barrel and Herters stock my dad made from a blank. I wouldn't sell it--it will go to one of my grandsons if he decides to hunt. It's a good rifle, and has the same Weaver K4 scope its had on it since the late 60s. The bolt has been modified to have more clearance with the scope, and it has a swing-out magazine for easier unloading.
     
  7. One-Eyed Ross

    One-Eyed Ross Winlock, WA Well-Known Member

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    As others have said, any real value has long since disappeared with the drilling/tapping. The receiver would have been worth something other than that....too bad. The 03 and 03A3 are my dream rifles, and one day, after selling the kids off for medical experiments.....
     
  8. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    that would be a pretty good hunting rifle. I would keep it and clean it up if it were me. One thing you can do if you want it to look good, but for not a lot of dough, is to go and get it media blasted and get some Oxpho-blue from brownells. I have done a couple guns that way, and they come out looking parked. Doesn't offer any corrosion protection, but it does look nice and its pretty dang cheap. A 20" barrel is a little short for an 06, but still work able. I prefer 22-24 just to get that little bit more velocity, but 20" is also really handy. Especially when busting through the brush for black tails. One thing to consider is to get a timney trigger installed. It can really make a difference in accuracy over the factory trigger. Plus now they are adjustable so if you want to hunt with it you can set it higher than if you are just going to punch paper. With good hand loads or decent factory ammo (core lokt seems to be a favorite, I have had really good results with the cheap federal soft points) you should be able to get close to 1" at 100yds if the barrel is in good shape and you do your part. The trigger definitely helps if its the 12lbs of nasty that seems to be on every 03A3 I have messed with.
     
  9. robosimono

    robosimono Stevenson, WA Member

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    Yeah the trigger pull is heavy. You know who i could take it to for media blasting? What do you recommend i blast it with? I heard that i could go the cheap route and find some instructions for blueing/corrosion protection. I've also heard you can make quite the mess and ruin the kitchen. I am confident in my chemicals handling ability/temp treating i worked in machine shops and chemicals plants. I could probably do it myself, but whats the max you'd pay to have it blued? also, i just remembered theres a difference between cold bluing and hot bluing... Does cold bluing offer corrosion protection? and is that what you mean with oxpho-blue?
     
  10. robosimono

    robosimono Stevenson, WA Member

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    I have looked for barrels for this but can't usually determine which one will work. whats the most you would pay for a barrel? also, this wood stock has a glass bed, if i bought a new barrel obviously the glass bedding wouldn't do it any good. Could you spoon feed me this, I'm dumb on this. You know of a good cheap place to get a barrel and matching stock? I am unfamiliar with how new barrels fit stocks. I'd like to go synthetic, since i figure it would be cheap, but i really don't know how to find a stock I could drop this setup in with a new barrel. Thanks for your help.
     
  11. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    Hmmm. 10" groups at 300 yards and admittedly not a good long distance shooter? That's not bad if you are shooting open sights, but since your's is missing the front sight, I'm assuming you are shooting with a scope. Not so good then. Since most folks can't shoot as good as their rifles are capable of anyway (me included...there's always room for improvement), might I recommend improving your shooting style before spending money on alterations that will probably not results in significant accuracy gains? Once your shooting form becomes better, you'll be able to more accurately judge the performance of your rifle and what work it may or may not need. I've seen too many otherwise competent handloaders with mega-dollar rifles and scopes chase their bullets all over the target because their form is horrible, while I stand there smoking them with my stock surplus rifles and surplus ammo. Some things to ask yourself: Are you maintaining a proper cheekweld? Is the rifle firmly planted into your shoulder pocket? Are you anticipating recoil? Are you s q u e e z i n g the trigger? Are you accounting for parallax and head position when sighting through the scope? There are lots and lots of details to consider when attempting to shoot accurately. You might actually already have a rifle that shoots very, very well.

    Keith
     
  12. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I just bought the same thing serial #779,XXX only mine the barreled action is still in Military condition (no holes original sights etc.) my stock was cut right at the second band, and reshaped just enough to remove the proof marks. I paid $125.00 for it and a Box of Remington 180 gr Corelocks. From a private party. So you can use that as a bench mark on value. Since mine can be with a stock and two pieces of metal returned to a collectors piece.

    And yes guys I know all about the early serial number warnings. This one falls inbetween the use of Pyrometers and the new type heat treating. It has also been a sporter since right after WWII and the receiver was good enough for the armory during WWII to replace the barrel. So I have no problem shooting it with carefully loaded M2 ball type loads or the 130 gr HP's I'll use in it when I hunt with it.
     
  13. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    I would probably take the action to a gunsmith. Have him install a new Shilen barrel or something along those lines. It would probably cost $250 to have a decent barrel installed. You can find short chambered barrels lying around in catalogs such as Brownells and the like, but would probably end up with a barrel blank and have the 'smith thread, chamber, and install it. I would then either have your current stock re-bed to the new barrel, or find a new stock and have it opened up for the new barrel contour. That's where I would go. At the same time I would probably have him check the alignment of the holes on the receiver itself, just to be sure...

    Either way, good luck. Assuming the holes are in good alignment, its a great starting place for a nice rifle...
     
  14. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    bluing really doesn't do much for the corrosion. Since the gun really doesn't have much value on the collectors market, you could think about parkerizing it (probably be around $200 or so depending) or you could just go cheap and gun coat it. As for blasting it, I don't know where you would take it other than maybe see if you could find a local metal shop or something. But there are places that specialize in media blasting. Worst case, find someone with a decent air compressor and just get a harbor freight cheapo gravity fed blaster (like $40 or less) and a bag of sand or walnut media. If you have an oven big enough you could get some dura-bake which I have been told holds up pretty good. Or if you have a small spray gun or air brush kit, you could get set up to moly coat. Do a little research. Most of that stuff isn't terribly difficult to do. Its just a matter of how much you want to spend. On the cheap you just get a jar of oxpho blue from brownells and sand blast the barrel and receiver, then just rub the stuff on and the gun goes from raw to black in 1 to 2 applications. You just have to keep the oil on it when you are done and occasionally reapply the oxpho-blue. But the dura bake is a bit better and will give you some corrosion resistance, and it comes in an aerosol can if you need. So many ways that you could go on this. Just depends on what your budget is and what you want out of the finish.
     
  15. skywag

    skywag On the Columbia River Active Member

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    I'd leave it alone. Give it a good cleaning and a cheap scope and go shooting.

    At one time it was someone's pride and joy.
     
  16. ruSSrt

    ruSSrt WA Member

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    so what have you decided to do with it?
     
  17. robosimono

    robosimono Stevenson, WA Member

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    Its sitting in my closet again.
     
  18. ruSSrt

    ruSSrt WA Member

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    how is action? has it been tempered with? except those holes for scope?
    I'm kin dof interested in it but i wont be able to give you much for it.
     
  19. marty8587

    marty8587 NE Portland Active Member

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    I have a 03A3 That has a Monte carlo stock other than that it's all there. True it is heavy, but what agreat shooter! Ideally I would like to put an original stock back on it, but these days they are kinda hard to come by.
     
  20. xm193

    xm193 seatac Active Member

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    that my son is a great shooter don't worry about what other people say, good mosins are bringing 300 this rifle if has a good barrel is as good as any hunting rifle that would bring twice that much