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Springfield 1903 Question

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by aforslund, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. aforslund

    aforslund Missoula New Member

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    Hi

    I have a Remington made 1903 #32716xx that was "Sporterized" in the 50's. As in the receiver was tapped for peep sights. Right now it has a Williams rear sight and a Lyman 17 on the front and sits in a nice wallnut hunting stock.

    What are your thoughts on bringing it back to GI state? I've heard mixed opinions. Some say "No" because the receiver was tapped for a rear sight. Others say "Yes" because so many of them were no one cares about that anymore.

    What do you think?

    Thanks
     
  2. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    If you plan on keeping it, make it how you want. If you are looking for resale value you will never get your money back out of it.
     
    salmonriverjohn likes this.
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Nwcid is correct. In order for a M1903 or M1903-A3 to have ANY collectable value it has to be unmolested. No extra holes, no missing parts, no filed off thing (stripper clip slot) nothing.

    And keep in mind that a proper stock can run upwards of $250.00 just by itself.

    As an example I took a sporterized but UNMOLESTED M1903 Springfield made in Feb 1918 (right in between the introduction of pyrometers to the heat treat process and the completely revamped heat treating that came in at about serial number 800K) I had to replace the missing lower band, lower band swivel, upper band bayonet mount, upper swivel, stock swivel, Stock reinforcing bolts. At a cost of about $150.00 for the proper age parts.

    I then bought a Boyds S type stock (with the finger grooves) and spent about two weeks reworking the stock to match the technical drawings of the original stock. This cost me amout $125.00 + $45.00 for a proper handguard (which needed a lot of rework to get it as close as possible to the correct shape) Only S type stock I can find available now is from the CMP and runs $164.00 w/hand guard

    All total in restoring the rifle (with an aftermarket stock) cost me about $320.00.

    Had I bought a proper good condition circa 1918 S type stock and hand guard I would have had to spend in the neighborhood of $350.00

    As my rifle is its worth about $600-650.00

    If I had spent the money for a proper stock it would fetch $900-1000.00 as a put together correct WWI era rifle.

    As a Sporter still with its original front and rear sights no way conventional way to mount a scope with a cut down C type WWII era stock roughly reshaped to a sporter it was worth about $250.00.

    I paid $125.00 and got two boxes of Remington 180 gr ammo. looking like this:
    M1903-A1firstphotos001w.jpg

    After $320.00 and a couple weeks of work it looks like this:

    M1903finishedsideview1-1.jpg

    More photos of my 1918 low serial number Springfield Model 1903

    http://s65.photobucket.com/user/UJ78/library/M1903?sort=3&page=1

    If you are missing all the metal including the rear sight, front sight, butt plate You can add

    Rear Sight assembly $90-100.00
    Front sight and collar $25-27.00
    Butt Plate $35-36.00

    This of course assumes the end of the barrel hasn't been cut off and the Front Sight Base Spline groove is still in place.
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2014
  4. trainsktg

    trainsktg Portland OR Well-Known Member

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    I'll echo what was already said...drilled holes means that there is no collectible value whatsoever remaining, even if you otherwise completely restore it. Enjoy it for what it is, restore it as a fun project, modify it further. Whatever you ultimately decide to do though it will never be more than a parts gun.

    Keith
     
  5. Backfire

    Backfire Tualatin, OR Active Member

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    I have a Springfield 1903 (action only, unmodified), #1314xxx, and I've given it considerable thought. Yes, I could restore it; however, I intend to provide it with a target-weight barrel chambered in (what else?) the .30-06 cartridge and a wood laminate stock. I've got a Timney trigger for it, as well as a Williams receiver sight. Any rifle in my possession has to be a "shooter" and I appreciated the Springfield 1903. It's time to prepare it for the range.
     
  6. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I would not spend the effort or money to restore it because, as has already been mentioned, it's been "molested" and wont ever be worth what an untouched example would bring.
    However, since someone beat you to the "messing up party" feel free to do something cool with it. The 03 action is a good one. You can get a great trigger and have many stock options. It could be a solid foundation to build a custom rifle on. I'd not change the chambering since I'm an '06 fan, but you can do anything you like.
     
  7. aforslund

    aforslund Missoula New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback.

    Orygun--I haven't seen very many stocks for it outside of GI style or classic hunting styles. Are there some more modern precision rifle type stocks out there?

    Backfire--How do you like the Timney trigger? It has a Two-Stage trigger now which I think is the original. And, looks so simple that a nice polish seems to be all you would need to smooth it out.

    I was interested in taking it back to original to match my M1 and M1 Carbine. Have the "set" so to speak. But, maybe I should just keep her as is and save the money for an original.

    Any other thoughts?
     
  8. Nwcid

    Nwcid Yakima and N of Spokane Well-Known Member

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    Find one that is very close to original that will make you happy. They can still be had for under $500 and would be a great representation without killing your budget.
     
  9. erudne

    erudne The Pie Matrix PPL Say Sleeping W/Your Rifle Is A bad Thing? Bronze Supporter

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    Over the decades I have done both to Sprngflds
    Personally, I would keep it as it is, perhaps glass bed the rifle to increase accuracy (they are very accurate as issued, I used to shoot sub MOA w/2 groove 1903A3s). A 30-06 will drop a moose at 200 yards, make an excellent mid-range DMR, so keep it and pass it down the generations as the excellent example of US firearm tech that it is
     
  10. orygun

    orygun West Linn Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I'm pretty much a "classic" style of stock guy. As far as what you might call modern, I'm clueless.
    But a good stock, bedded like mentioned by another poster, would fit the bill as far as I'm concerned. These old Springfields can be great shooters.
     
  11. Backfire

    Backfire Tualatin, OR Active Member

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    Aforslund,
    I'm very pleased with the Timney trigger! I should qualify my response to admit that I was pleased with the original two-stage trigger and I'm well accustomed to two-stage triggers, but the Timney triggers I've installed on my M98 variants have been a pleasure to work with, and I've decided to rebuild the 1903 as a target rifle. As for rifle stocks, I'm exploring a wood laminate stock from Royal Arms Gunstocks, Great Falls, Montana. Best of luck on you project!
    Ed
     
  12. aforslund

    aforslund Missoula New Member

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    Thanks for all the feedback.

    I just ordered a new stock to replace the one Pop's had on there for the last 60+ years. The stock is cracked right behind the action which was what started me down the rabbit hole. Just stuck with a classic walnut one from Boyd's it will look nice and keep shooting straight.
     
  13. Backfire

    Backfire Tualatin, OR Active Member

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    Aforslund,
    I think you made the right decision. Yes, there's something to be said for a classic or restored rifle but, for the money you'd have to spend to carefully restore it to "as issued" condition, you've got a solid foundation for a rifle with which you can hunt and target-shoot without concern of impacting its resale value. Its intrinsic value as a shooter will probably serve you superbly.
    Best wishes,
    Ed
     
  14. The Cheese

    The Cheese somewhere special Member

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    I have had 2 timneys in the 1903's I have had over the years, and they are well worth the money. I am selling one of the Timney triggers off now so that I can get the one with the Rem700 style safety so that it will be easier to use the safety with the scope that I have. Well worth the $$ IMO. Instal can be a bit of a pain. as you have to mill out the trigger slot a about 0.030" or so per side and take a little off the front of the slot to clear. Minor inletting might need to be done as well. I just helped a friend mill his stock and trigger guard for one. Not to hard when you have a mill in your garage, but it can be easily accomplished with a dremel and a steady hand as well. If you would be interested in the trigger I have for sale shoot me a PM.