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ROCK ISLAND ARSENAL 03

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by swanky, May 4, 2016.

  1. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    I HAVE A RIA 03 SN 300357 LONG SLIDE 48 REAR SIGHT,LYMAN RAMP FRONT . BARREL STAMPED M.T. HARVEY ,AND MARKED C109, MATCH GROVED TRIGGER, SPORT STYLE STOCK, ALL IN ABOUT 90% CONDITION. WAS MY FATHERS GUN, HE HAD IT BEFORE I WAS BORN IN 1946. ANY INFO WOULD BE APPRECIATED
     
  2. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Post up a few photos of it. It will help allot
     
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  3. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, let me start by saying that I'd love to see a picture or two, as I have a soft spot for sporterized military bolt guns.

    As for the gun, the name is not familiar. A quick Google search didn't turn up anything, neither did a quick look in Michael Petrov's book (he was the recognized expert on post war sporters before he passed a few years ago).

    It is built on a high number Rock Island receiver. A long slide Lyman 48 is a good high quality component, which would indicate a quality build, although most the high end sporters I'm familiar with didn't use the Lyman front sight. Some other things to look at would be the buttplate, the grip cap, the sling swivels, the checkering, and the general stock shape. They may indicate a separate stock market, as was common in some shops. One smith did the metal work, another stocked the gun.
     
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  4. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    WP_20160505_009.jpg WP_20160505_001.jpg PART_1460129076331_KIMG0060.jpg WP_20160505_005.jpg PART_1460128964393_KIMG0048.jpg
     
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  5. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    sorry not good with pics, gun is the same since I can remember , is very accurate with 150 gn hard ball

    PART_1460129025195_KIMG0053.jpg
     
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  6. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    WP_20160505_009.jpg WP_20160505_004.jpg WP_20160505_001.jpg WP_20160505_001.jpg PART_1460128964393_KIMG0048.jpg
     
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  7. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Well, first off, it's beautiful. It's a pretty distinguishable style. The front band looks like it's off an NRA spotter or custom made at least. Honestly, I can't tell if it's a remodeled stock or completely custom. Beautiful cheek piece dates it pretty well. The crossbolt reinforcement makes me think military stock, but there's a lot of wood for that. Either way, unique and nicely made.

    Like I said, high number rock island, in nice shape. The barrel profile wasn't turned down, as the locating spline grooves for the rear sight collar are still present. The bluing looks like it had been redone at some point. Either way, it's beautiful.

    In terms of value, it's likely worth more to you than it will ever be on the open market. Most of the value probably comes from the long slide Lyman 48 sight. It's a fairly rare bird. I would probably value it around $600 plus. Either way, it's a beautiful rifle. Unique, but not a style stock I am overly familiar with.

    If I were you, I would probably replace the recoil pad with a new red pad. You can use either a pachmyr decelerator or a silvers red pad. It would make it look a little better and make it way more comfortable to shoot.
     
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  8. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    Well thank you very much for taking the time to look into my question. I might just replace the pad , it is the only thing that distracts from the gun, I agree. The history of it always escaped me , due to the fact my Father died in 1958 and at that time I was only 12 ,so didn't really get into guns or ever got to asking him about it. And I have searched for the name on the barrel H.T. Harvey but to no avail. Again I thank you for the info. Mike Swank
     
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  9. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    You're welcome Mike. The silvers pads are nice, but I've never fit one. I have fit the red pachmayr pads and they look nice as well. I attached a photo from the Krag rifle I'm currently working on. The pad is solid, not vented, but still looks nice.

    If you CAREFULLY remove the action from the stock, there may be a signature in the I letting somewhere or possibly under the recoil pad (if it's original). There is an excellent group of collectors at the doublegunshop forums. They have a single barrel sporting rifle section that is frequented by a lot of collectors smarter than me. That would be my next step if I were you. Hope that all helps. Hold on to that gun for dear life. You can never replace family heirlooms.

    It's not letting me load the photo, but I will later.
     
  10. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    THANKS MIKE
     
  11. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Here's a small chunk of my military sporters. The one on the far left is about 20k guns later than yours. Both red pads are pachmayr. They work well. If you keep them oiled or rubbed with vasoline, the color is a bit more vibrant.

    image.jpeg image.jpeg

    The Krag on the right had a front sight just like yours. The rear is an older Lyman Model 34. Still working on it (as evidenced by no trigger).
     
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  12. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    AH...They don't make them like that any more. I have a small gun repair shop I opened when I retired. Mostly small repairs, firing pins, extractors, mounting scopes, and I work on doubles. Nothing big, no major machine work. But I do get to see the new stuff, wow , like the new
    savage Axis, all plastic DONT WANT ONE. BOY YOU HAVE NICE STUFF. Love the Krag. I am getting close to 70, and still wonder , What happened to the good days of Winchester , Springfield, Marlin ? ALL GONE. My little shop is just down the road from HART guns, have known Wally and Bobby Hart for years. Funny , I called Lyman to see if I could get a new blade for that front sight....wont tell you what they said to me , made me feel old !! Thanks for sending the pics, really nice rifles !!!! Mike







































































    k
     
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  13. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    There are several realities that are influencing the decline in that style. First, the demand simply isn't there. Generations before mine (I'm 36) grew up knowing nothing but blued rifles with walnut stocks. They shot them growing up, shot them in the military. It was what they were exposed to, so it's what companies made.
    The shift from rural to urban centers of population means kids are less exposed to guns early in life. Beyond making kids less likely to value the 2nd Amendment, it also makes it likely that their exposure to guns will be video games, police, and the military (if they go that route). Not much blued steel and walnut.
    There is more science than art compared to older guns. Solid walnut used to be the best medium to rest the action in. Beyond looking nice, it performed the job well. And bluing was the best at keeping corrosion at bay (actually, parkerizing was better, but I suppose there was a small nod to aesthetics). Times have changed. Synthetic stocks, including fiberglass, Kevlar, and molded plastic, are cheaper to manufacture and are more environmentally stable for the casual gun owner. Likewise, new coatings, such as cerakote are more effective at keeping rust away.
    Some of the artists have sadly died off, many without an apprentice who picked up their talent. Seems like every week we see another old time gunsmith/gun builder dying off. A few weeks ago, it was Al Beisen. The newer generation are less interested in the art and more in the science, and they focus their considerable talents accordingly.
    There is also a lack of suitable wood. I think these days, most of the best blanks go to custom gun makers. The trees these days are grown faster and have less density and wider growth rings. We don't have the original growth forests any more to harvest from. There is still some great wood, but it's harder to find.

    Hopefully there are enough young gunsmiths coming up that appreciate wood and steel. I hope that the old guns are appreciated enough to be kept safe and be kept in circulation. And I hope new gunmakers come along to replace the Lindens, Beisens, Neidners, etc.
     
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  14. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    Very well put, I agree completely. There were two very good gunsmiths near her, B Conlin and
    Richards, both long gone. I humped an M1 then M14 ( which I loved) and then M 16 that didn't quite seem like a rifle at first, but that was uncle Sam. Something about the feel and look of wood on a rifle. Well, think I'll go up to the den and wipe the 03 down.
     
  15. MountainBear

    MountainBear Sweet Home, OR Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, I might go wipe down the 1903, the 1903, the 1903, the 1903, the 03a3, the 03a3, the 1917 Enfield, the 1898 Krag, or one of the dozen plus Mausers. I have a sickness.
     
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  16. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    I can't really add anything here that hasn't already been covered.
    I can say that you have a beautiful rifle Swanky.
    And that I agree you might want to replace the butt pad , I like the Pachmayr "Old English" style in brown or red.
    Andy
     
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  17. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    THE BEST KIND and there is dam few of us left !!!!
     
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  18. swanky

    swanky Nescopeck , Pa. New Member

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    Thanks Andy, glad I found this site, cause it seems like its filled with Real people, and God there is not many left . mike
     
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  19. AndyinEverson

    AndyinEverson Everson, Wa. Well-Known Member

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    You are welcome Mike.
    I have found this forum to be very enjoyable . Met some good folks here.
    Unlike some other forums you can like a blued and wood stocked firearm and not get chased off by the black and plastic crowd. ( I'm not bashing black and plastic , I just prefer wood and steel )
    Heck they even like my muzzleloaders here ! LOL

    If you get a chance you might want to look at The Rifle in America 2nd edition by Phil Sharpe.
    He talks a lot about sporters and custom gun makers of the 30's - 50's.
    I could not find the maker of your rifle mentioned , but Sharpe is always great reading anyway.
    Andy
     
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  20. Velzey

    Velzey Estacada, Oregon Gunsmith Gunsmith Bronze Vendor Bronze Supporter

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    Boy that stock sure has the lines of a Fajen, but as MountainBear says It may be reworked by a talented gunsmith. I do have a Fajen and a Bishop stock that have a crossbolt, I think they were added by a gunsmith out in Verbort. That Redfield sight is a great thing! Talk about rare to see these days.
    I be it shoots great also! Looks like you need to replace that recoil pad, I happen to have some that would look great on there! Under the recoil pad allot of times it was stamped Fajen or Bishop or other info.
    I elctro pencil my info on the underside of the receiver on the flat near the receiver lug on rifles that I build. 50 years from now someone may want to know who built these great rifles! :) I spent a good couple hours looking for Harvey listed in old Gun Digests and other books...No mention of him.
    Is the grip cap blank?

    Here is a page out of my 1950 or so Fajen catalog.

    Mike does it look like the cheek piece was added to your stock?

    Fajen.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 7, 2016
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