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Rifle question of a different sort

timctimc Senior MemberPosts: 6,684 Senior Member
Ok guys, got a question for you. I have a 1903 springfield rifle made by remington in 12-41; this rifle was given to me several years ago by my dad who I lost last year. My dad never fired the gun and when he gave it to me he never made any request that I not fire it he just knew I would really appreciate it. As I get older I get to thinking why am I not enjoying the gun other than just looking at it? True it will loose value if I shoot it but since I never plan to sell it then what is the difference? I will never know if my heirs will keep it or sell it off and since my daughter is my only heir right now and doesn't make a lot of money I think most will be sold off.

So what's your opinion, should I shoot it and enjoy the rifle or keep it as a safet queen and just admire it?
1903rifle.jpg
timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
AKA: Former Founding Member
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Replies

  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    Was it for sure unfired when he got it?
    I'm just here for snark.
  • rapier5316rapier5316 Member Posts: 312 Member
    That rifle needs to be shot. Not abused, but shot, shot often and by someone that knows how.
    "The power of the United States has peaked, oppression follows." Robert Prector, Socionomics.net
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Except for the proofing at the factory yes unfired. He bought it through the military after WWII for $25 and just stuck it in the back of the safe.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • shotgunshooter3shotgunshooter3 Senior Member Posts: 5,970 Senior Member
    I am probably going to be the odd man out here, but so be it. Were it me, and I had an all original, unfired M1903 like that, I would NOT fire it even if I had no intention of ever selling it. To me a rifle like that is history frozen in time, and since they are so rare, I personally would keep it that way. You can still get a shooter M1903 for about $500 if you want to get a 1903 to shoot. Hell, when you get back to Texas you can shoot mine ;-)
    - I am a rifleman with a poorly chosen screen name. -
    "Slow is smooth, smooth is fast, and speed is the economy of motion" - Scott Jedlinski
  • breamfisherbreamfisher Senior Member Posts: 13,877 Senior Member
    I'll side with Shotgun. I'd be very hesitant of shooting it.

    That's not to say I wouldn't fire a firearm my Dad or grandfather used. I do it, joyfully, but if it's never been shot...

    If anything, I'd get it appraised so my daughter could get the highest value when it's sold off, if you're thinking that will happen.
    I'm just here for snark.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I am probably going to be the odd man out here, but so be it. Were it me, and I had an all original, unfired M1903 like that, I would NOT fire it even if I had no intention of ever selling it. To me a rifle like that is history frozen in time, and since they are so rare, I personally would keep it that way. You can still get a shooter M1903 for about $500 if you want to get a 1903 to shoot. Hell, when you get back to Texas you can shoot mine ;-)

    Thanks for the offer! As a matter of fact in Texas right now but leaving for Croatia before the shoot you guys have planned.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    As much as I like to shoot my old rifles, I will also side with shotgunshooter3 and breamfisher on this one, it is so rare.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    I'll side with Shotgun. I'd be very hesitant of shooting it.

    That's not to say I wouldn't fire a firearm my Dad or grandfather used. I do it, joyfully, but if it's never been shot...

    If anything, I'd get it appraised so my daughter could get the highest value when it's sold off, if you're thinking that will happen.

    So far I have held off but every now and then I get the urge to just take her out for a spin. I have had the gun for about 10 years now and the temptation has grown stronger since I lost my dad, I don't know somehow I guess I am thiking I would feel closer to him especially since it was his birthday this month.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • beartrackerbeartracker Senior Member Posts: 3,116 Senior Member
    Hey, hard thing to miss a dad especially as much as you loved him and as close as you two must have been. Sorry for your loss and how it impacts you from time to time. Your dad did not fire it so let that be how you will decide to be closer to him by doing what he did. Just a thought.
  • sakodudesakodude Senior Member Posts: 4,551 Senior Member
    It deserves some lovin:love: but it was born to be fired, it's mission in life unfullfilled to date.
    I personally am not a believer in collecting unfired guns. My Python Elite was claimed to be unfired when I got it. Did not stop me from running a box of 38's through it. I have no intention of abusing it but I will darn sure shoot it from time to time.

    Sako

    Amazing rifle BTW
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Hey, hard thing to miss a dad especially as much as you loved him and as close as you two must have been. Sorry for your loss and how it impacts you from time to time. Your dad did not fire it so let that be how you will decide to be closer to him by doing what he did. Just a thought.

    Very wise words there! :worthy:
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    cpj wrote: »
    Thats a tough one. On one hand, it will be worth more when your daughter sells it. But then again, its a neat old rifle that was made to be shot. But, you have plenty of other rifles that are shooters.
    I know, just send it to me! See, I'm a genius!


    words to ponder, and yes you are truly a genius.
    You know what they say; Friends like you....:jester:
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Shoot it and enjoy it. Chances are it was shot before your dad got it. This rifle also has been refurbished by an arsenal at some point too. And one more thing, a 30-06 is probably one of the easiest cartridges on barrels and will go for many years before it's shot out, if ever. I don't think a couple hundred rounds a year will hurt it.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    snake284 wrote: »
    Shoot it and enjoy it. Chances are it was shot before your dad got it. This rifle also has been refurbished by an arsenal at some point too. And one more thing, a 30-06 is probably one of the easiest cartridges on barrels and will go for many years before it's shot out, if ever. I don't think a couple hundred rounds a year will hurt it.

    re-read above my friend, Never issued, never fired except for factory proofing and most definitely not refinished. My dad owned this rifle since 1945.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • BPsniperBPsniper Banned Posts: 1,961 Senior Member
    Leave it unfired. There is absolutely NO reason to shoot that gun. Your father was able to hold off. So can you.
  • JayhawkerJayhawker Moderator Posts: 18,118 Senior Member
    Beautiful old warhorse...looks to be arsenal perfect or very near so...as far as being unfired...do you have a provenance of some sort that it was never issued during it's time in the hands of the military?

    Anyway...There is no way that rifle would be in my possession without be fired, regularly as a matter of fact...But that's just me...
    Sharps Model 1874 - "The rifle that made the west safe for Winchester"
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,327 Senior Member
    Safe-Queen that puppy! Preferably in a gun sock to keep your other toys from banging it up.

    As we get farther removed from the events that made those weapons famous, fewer and fewer pristine examples will be in existence. If you want to shoot bolt action military rifles, there are PLENTY of them out there with a lot of miles on them that you can get your freak on with. That weapon will be worth LOADS if you leave it as is, and even if your heirs don't appreciate it for what it is, you'll do them a favor by allowing them to get maximum value from somebody who DOES.

    As Indiana Jones' rival said in Raiders of the Lost Ark: "We are merely passing through history. This IS history."
    WWJMBD?

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Jayhawker wrote: »
    Beautiful old warhorse...looks to be arsenal perfect or very near so...as far as being unfired...do you have a provenance of some sort that it was never issued during it's time in the hands of the military?

    Somewhere I have a publication on the history of the rifle that my dad gave me when I got the rifle. Mine was out of a batch that was made by Remington that bought the tooling from Springfield started production in October 1941 in anticpation of a contract with England; in March of 1942 they made a change to stamped parts on the trigger housing and a few other parts to save money since the previous models were all milled. The rifles never were shipped and were held in storage when WWII broke out and ear marked for civil defense. The guns were never issued and my dad bought it through a buy military program but I am not exactly sure what it was. I just remember he said it cost hims $25 but that was a lot back then.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    timc wrote: »
    re-read above my friend, Never issued, never fired except for factory proofing and most definitely not refinished. My dad owned this rifle since 1945.

    Oops! I just read your initial thread. I didn't see it was never shot other than proofing. Yeah I don't know if i'd be in a hurry to shoot this one. You might leave it in the back of the safe. And it's an 03, not an 03-A3. That's a little more rare than an 03-A3 for that time period.
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
  • ilove22silove22s Senior Member Posts: 1,507 Senior Member
    chances are it was shot. So do yourself a big favor and shoot it.

    dont look back and thank Dad for every shot!
    The ears never lie.

    - Don Burt
  • rapier5316rapier5316 Member Posts: 312 Member
    If you need a tax deduction, I'm sure the Nimitz WWII Museum in Freidricksburg, Tx. could find a place in one of the dioramas for it.
    "The power of the United States has peaked, oppression follows." Robert Prector, Socionomics.net
  • HondoHondo Member Posts: 320 Member
    A good friend of mine lives by the mantra...."if the firing pin ain't broken I shoot it." I don't feel the same way. If it is unfired then leave it so.
  • VarmintmistVarmintmist Senior Member Posts: 7,958 Senior Member
    run the serno here http://oldguns.net/sn_php/mildateslookup.php?file=us_m1903rem.dat If it doesnt match the bbl date, shoot it.

    Remington started production of 03's late, Sept 41, on old RIA tooling and only ran them until the 1903A3. They introduced stamped parts because of the age and wear on equipment plus cost to build and repair new.

    If it is original, it wasnt made for anyone but us as a secondary or stockpile rifle. Yours looks like a light gray parkerize, not gray green, so you might be original.

    As it is I would be torn. Even original, it isnt a hot collector like a correct high number SA with a scant finger groove stock or a Smith Corona 03A3. Its nice, but you won't retire if you sell it. I don't think you will lose any value if you run some of the Hornady Amax that they are making to M2 spec through it. Except you will find out why people love then and spend money shooting.
    It's boring, and your lack of creativity knows no bounds.
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    run the serno here http://oldguns.net/sn_php/mildateslookup.php?file=us_m1903rem.dat If it doesnt match the bbl date, shoot it.

    Remington started production of 03's late, Sept 41, on old RIA tooling and only ran them until the 1903A3. They introduced stamped parts because of the age and wear on equipment plus cost to build and repair new.

    If it is original, it wasnt made for anyone but us as a secondary or stockpile rifle. Yours looks like a light gray parkerize, not gray green, so you might be original.

    As it is I would be torn. Even original, it isnt a hot collector like a correct high number SA with a scant finger groove stock or a Smith Corona 03A3. Its nice, but you won't retire if you sell it. I don't think you will lose any value if you run some of the Hornady Amax that they are making to M2 spec through it. Except you will find out why people love then and spend money shooting.

    I ran the S/N and it does come back 1941 so all is matching but I figured it had to be from what my dad told me about it.
    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    The rifle is Yours now
    Your father told you it's history and left it to you to do as you see fit.
    Sounds like you want to fire it
    Me I'd shoot it
    The value would only decrease slightly and if it does get sold after your gone all the better that you enjoyed it
  • timctimc Senior Member Posts: 6,684 Senior Member
    Weatherby wrote: »
    The rifle is Yours now
    Your father told you it's history and left it to you to do as you see fit.
    Sounds like you want to fire it
    Me I'd shoot it
    The value would only decrease slightly and if it does get sold after your gone all the better that you enjoyed it

    This is pretty much what I have been thinking. He wanted me to enjoy it and never said don't shoot it.
    Here is what Bloue Book says about it.


    remington1903value-1.png
















    timc - formerly known as timc on the last G&A forum and timc on the G&A forum before that and the G&A forum before that.....
    AKA: Former Founding Member
  • WeatherbyWeatherby Senior Member Posts: 4,953 Senior Member
    You can shoot that the rest of your days and easily keep it 98%+++++ enjoy
  • MileHighShooterMileHighShooter Senior Member Posts: 4,975 Senior Member
    rapier5316 wrote: »
    If you need a tax deduction, I'm sure the Nimitz WWII Museum in Freidricksburg, Tx. could find a place in one of the dioramas for it.

    TIMC, I like rapier's suggestion. If you really feel your daughter would just sell it for a quick buck, she is probably not going to seek out top dollar for it or anything. Maybe you can will it to the Museum? Enjoy it until its time to "move on" and then have it sent there. I think thats much better then ending up on some pawn shops shelf were it'll be mismarked, sold and possibly hacked into a sporter.
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    What markings are on the stock?
    Are all parts marked with an R or circled R?
    Stamped or milled magazine floorplate & trigger guard?

    That stock (type 7B) looks a bit too blond and way glossy to me. And most early rifles had finger groove stocks (type 7A).

    It was also not uncommon for these early Remington rifles to have mixed finish (blue and parkerized) parts. As was stated earlier , the Remington rifles were made on the old Rock Island Arsenal tooling , and some left over RIA parts were used on the early rifles. Serial number will tell if it was born as a 1903 or 1903 (modified).

    A few sessions at the range ain't gonna hurt anything as long as yer not swatting rocks with the thing afterwards.
  • snake284snake284 Senior Member Posts: 22,429 Senior Member
    Tim, after reading all the posts and especially Weatherby's here, I think I agree with him. I don't think shooting it some (Not excessive of course) will lower its value appreciably. Man that thing is worth some coins though, so guard it with your life. Beautiful rifle. I love both 03s and 03-A3s. But a regular original 03 is my favorite, even though I don't have one yet. And at those prices I'm not holding my breath to get one. But since you are lucky enough to have had a dad with the common sense to know what he had, you came out big on this one and I known you will do what is right by it. I think if you shoot it 200-400 times a year you won't hurt a thing.
    Bye the way bro, did I mention that you SUCK?!!! :rotflmao:
    Daddy, what's an enabler?
    Son that's somebody with nothing to do with his time but keep me in trouble with mom.
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