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Springfield 1903 value

Discussion in 'Rifle Discussion' started by Arne K, Dec 28, 2011.

  1. Arne K

    Arne K NW Oregon Active Member

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    My stepdad needs to drum up some cash and has a 1903 Springfield barreled action he wants me to sell for him. I don't have it in my possession yet but he has told me what he knows about it. The serial number dates it as a 1918 manufacture. It is supposedly unfired with cosmoline on it and some light rusting without pitting. My question is this, does it have any collector value as it is or just the value of an old hunting rifle without a stock. Would I be better off getting an inexpensive sporter stock for it, an original military configured stock, or just selling it without any stock at all. I know that value on these (and any gun) is highly variable due to a lot of factors so I'm just trying to get an idea of which direction to go to help him get it sold for the best price he can within the next couple of weeks.
     
  2. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    serial number and does it have any holes drilled in the top of the receiver?

    1918 is also where the break between the early serial numbers (should only be shot with low power ammo due to the remote possibility of poor heat treatment of the receiever. if it has a serial number below 800,000 and has any holes drilled in the top of the reciever for a scope mount. Your looking at very little value. No holes original sights no stock or other metal maybe $300.00

    Clear well lit photos with some close ups would really help.
     
  3. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    No 1903 Springfield is unfired It might have been packed in Cosmoline after WWI or WWII but its been used
     
  4. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    the cost of putting it back to original (around 300)hurts it's value, the cost of sporterizing it makes it more feasable to buy a current commercial rifle.
     
  5. Arne K

    Arne K NW Oregon Active Member

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    Serial #825xxx, no holes drilled, original sights. It was shipped from the Ordnance Depot Tacoma.
     
  6. SAR1846

    SAR1846 Oregon Member

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    Depending on the barrel condition, and what exactly else is included, it should be worth ~$300 for the barreled recvr, then +/- for the bolt, trigger, sights, etc.

    Check out Culvers Shooting Page, for more info on Springfields...
     
  7. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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  8. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Yea you have a spring 1918 rifle right after the new heat treating process was started so a good shooter. If the finish is in good shape the sights are complete and as said no holes in the receiver (except for one on the side to allow excess pressure to excape) then as Sar1846 says the bare Barreled action is worth around $300.00 but I would think to reach that it should have the proper bolt. The other metal would be a plus.

    I am in the process of returning #779XXX to military condition its a Feb 1918 rifle. Its all complete except for missing the metal past the middle band and the handguard. Having had its original stock cut down to sporterize it somewhat.

    My rifle falls between the introduction of Pyrometers to control the heat treating and the New process. Since mine spent decades as a hunting rifle. Shooting stuff like Remington Corlok 180gr loads I have no worries about shooting it with the military M2 grade loads I make up for my M1 Garand.

    A nice origianl "S" style stock with the Finger grooves can run you upwards of $250-300.00 add $40.00 for a proper handguard.

    All the metal Buttplate and screws, Trigger guard and trapdoor, all three bands/bayonet mount, and a set of swivels can set you back another $100+ bucks.

    The end result for a put together in military condition is most likely less then $700.00 unless you get lucky and find all the correct parts (add to the cost for this)

    So if what you want is quick money the best option is to sell what you have in the condition you have it in and be done with it.
     
  9. Arne K

    Arne K NW Oregon Active Member

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    Thanks Mark, that's exactly the information I needed.
     
  10. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    You can find tons of 03 and 03A3 parts on evil bay. Evil bay just relaxed the listing rules and now you can sell barrels, bolts, triggers, mags(under 10 rounds) and other fire control parts.
     
  11. coop44

    coop44 Tacoma ,WA Well-Known Member

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    Proof that they are hurting, let them hurt, they have treated the gun community like crap.
     
  12. Arne K

    Arne K NW Oregon Active Member

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    It's now posted with photos in the rifle classifieds.
     
  13. mauser54

    mauser54 Spokane, Wa. Area Member

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    Here's another one for you guru's concerning the 1903. I just recently got in a trade a M1903 Rock Island Asenal with a 4 digit serial number #4182. In excellent condition, and the receiver has not been drilled and tapped. Except someone in the past tried to sporterize the original military stock and did and pretty crappy job of it. They also took the original rear ladder off the rear sight. The reciever and barrel has been parkerized. The barrel is in excellent conditon, but behind the front sight on the barrel it has the letters SA then the flaming bomb, and a date of 2 - 42. So I am thinking that at the start of WW2 this particular rifle was pulled out of mothballs and rebarreled with the new SA marked barrel. I have now replaced the rear sight with an original sight that was suppose to be on it. And I am now in the process of buying an original military stock for it in good condition. I do realize that with the later date barrel on it, that wil have an effect on the value compared to the original dated RIA barrel it originally came with. Like I said I am in the process of restoring this gem back to original. Any idea what the value would be with the very low 4 digit serial nimber?
     
  14. Mark W.

    Mark W. Silverton, OR Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Well first off its rather silly to tack a question about your rifle to the bottom of an old thread about someone elses rifle.

    Your serial number shows to be from either 1903 or 1904 (which had you done a simple Google search for Springfield serial numbers you would have found out.

    That early of a rifle was originally a 30-03 caliber. So now that you have a much later 30-06 barrel on it it has no as issued value no matter what you add to or replace. UNLESS you replace the barrel with an age proper one chambered in 30-03.

    So the best you can hope for is a good looking example of a rebuilt 1903. As to value maybe as much as $600-650.00 if sold on an auction site.

    Also YOU SHOULD NOT SHOOT THIS RIFLE. The low serial number puts is well into the week receiver numbers by 14-15 years. NO ROCK ISLAND RECEIVER MADE BEFORE SERIAL NUMBER

    this is a cut and paste from the CMP web site

    WARNING ON “LOW-NUMBER” SPRINGFIELDS

    M1903 rifles made before February 1918 utilized receivers and bolts which were single heat-treated by a method that rendered some of them brittle and liable to fracture when fired, exposing the shooter to a risk of serious injury. It proved impossible to determine, without destructive testing, which receivers and bolts were so affected and therefore potentially dangerous.

    To solve this problem, the Ordnance Department commenced double heat treatment of receivers and bolts. This was commenced at Springfield Armory at approximately serial number 800,000 and at Rock Island Arsenal at exactly serial number 285,507. All Springfields made after this change are commonly called “high number” rifles. Those Springfields made before this change are commonly called “low-number” rifles.

    In view of the safety risk the Ordnance Department withdrew from active service all “low-number” Springfields. During WWII, however, the urgent need for rifles resulted in the rebuilding and reissuing of many “low-number” as well as “high-number” Springfields. The bolts from such rifles were often mixed during rebuilding, and did not necessarily remain with the original receiver.

    Generally speaking, “low number” bolts can be distinguished from “high-number” bolts by the angle at which the bolt handle is bent down. All “low number” bolts have the bolt handle bent straight down, perpendicular to the axis of the bolt body. High number bolts have “swept-back” (or slightly rearward curved) bolt handles.

    A few straight-bent bolts are of the double heat-treat type, but these are not easily identified, and until positively proved otherwise ANY straight-bent bolt should be assumed to be “low number”. All original swept-back bolts are definitely “high number”. In addition, any bolt marked “N.S.” (for nickel steel) can be safely regarded as “high number” if obtained directly from CMP (beware of re-marked fakes).

    CMP DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE WITH A ”LOW NUMBER” RECEIVER. Such rifles should be regarded as collector’s items, not “shooters”.

    CMP ALSO DOES NOT RECOMMEND FIRING ANY SPRINGFIELD RIFLE, REGARDLESS OF SERIAL NUMBER, WITH A SINGLE HEAT-TREATed “LOW NUMBER” BOLT. SUCH BOLTS, WHILE HISTORICALLY CORRECT FOR DISPLAY WITH A RIFLE OF WWI OR EARLIER VINTAGE, MAY BE DANGEROUS TO USE FOR SHOOTING.

    THE UNITED STATES ARMY GENERALLY DID NOT SERIALIZE BOLTS. DO NOT RELY ON ANY SERIAL NUMBER APPEARING ON A BOLT TO DETERMINE WHETHER SUCH BOLT IS “HIGH NUMBER” OR “LOW NUMBER”.
     
  15. mauser54

    mauser54 Spokane, Wa. Area Member

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    Well.I am sorry, But I never meant to take over someone else's thread and no ill intenton was meant also. That being said, I had virtually no knowledge of the 1903 springfield rifles so I just thought that since this thread was concerning the value of a 1903, I would throw my question out there also concerning my rifle. I apologize.
    As for the information you provided me concerning my 1903. Thankyou. Although I must say it's very dissapointing and depressing. So now I have to make a decision whether I want to continue to restore this rifle, and the value of it not justifying the cost to do so.
    Anyway thankyou again.
     
  16. madcratebuilder

    madcratebuilder Ardenwald, OR Well-Known Member

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    The early .30-45's or 30.03 does have collector interest. It's a should not fire rifle.

    These two sites well give you more info.

    CMP Forums
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