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1903 Springfield questions

roadkingroadking Senior MemberPosts: 3,056 Senior Member
Afternoon all. Spent the last hour or so searching here, auction site, blind searching.
to reference a 1903 Springfield Armory 30-06 I had received from my late
FIL and just rediscovered. He was an enthusiest of milsurps...I'm more of an everyday type and not as up on them. I'm sure these have been covered, so sorry in advance.
Serial # 939xxx, so I know it was past the improper heat treating.

My questions;
1)Date of manufacture? (I know there is a site for this, just my google-
foo is off today)
2) Stock is "missing" the fore wood by most pics I have come across -
sporter or just missing wood? The barrel band is tight.
3) Redfield peep sight...not original, right?
4) rear of the trigger guard on the stock is stamped "77"...means what? I'll look up
the cartouches when I remember the sight...they are very light, so hard to
5) Front blade site reads "LYMAN"...original?

Thanks in advance, always good info here.

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  • Martin-AMartin-A Member Posts: 111 Member
    I have two 03-A3 rifles so I don't know if the older 03 is the same but on both of mine the month & year of manufacture is on the barrel just behind the muzzle.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,501 Senior Member
    It was made in 1918. I've attached a lick to a sight for military ser#'s.
    Obviously "sporterized" but that's what they did back then!!
    A lot of those were refurbed during WWII. If the barrel is not cut off there will be a flaming pee pot and a year, like 1942, under the front sight.
  • roadkingroadking Senior Member Posts: 3,056 Senior Member
    Thanks Martin and Al. Sitting with a light on the site I can see the edge of a 4 on the left and the edge of an 8 on the right...4-18 from what isn't hidded, making your date spot on. Thanks. Also signifies an uncut barrel...good or bad news? Bore is bright and detailed, and I know FIL used it at the range occassionaly...he wasn't a great shot, but shot for the pleasure. He never complained about the results.
    Hows about the sights? many pics I've looked at today show a similar front site, but none that I've seen had peeps...
    Support your local Scouts!
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,501 Senior Member
    Both look like replacement sights, since they say Lyman. Original sight looks like this:Springfield_1903_857068_4_.JPG
    and the rear sight was a barrel sleeve:Springfield_008.JPG in front of the front ring.
    Looks like a great hunter/shooter!!
  • roadkingroadking Senior Member Posts: 3,056 Senior Member
    Kinda figure they were replacements. The ones you pictured remind me of those on my Enfields.
    The front sight on the 03 is about 1.25 inches long.
    As to your last line...thats the plan!
    Hope to throw a few rounds soon...when hunting season is over and the weather breaks. I shoot, but don't hunt; my youngins want to learn 'tho. Nothing against hunting/eating game...just not fond of the gutting.
    Thanks again.

    Support your local Scouts!
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    Back when that rifle was 'sporterized' , an arsenal-reconditioned 1903 Springfield probably cost $10-15. A new-in-wrap , unissued 1903A3 probably cost $25 from the DCM. Another $20 for those sights and ya had a nice rifle for $35 where as a new Winchester was probably closer to $100.

    Who would have ever thought a stock USGI 1903 would fetch so much these days?
  • roadkingroadking Senior Member Posts: 3,056 Senior Member
    Don't plan on selling it mkk, passing it on to my son...a gift from his late grand-pa.
    Curiosity has me wondering...value is what one is willing to pay and I've looked at dozens today ranging from $235 to 6000...I know cartouches, history, etc. play a big part...I'm guessing it's about a $300 to $400 shooter. Am I correct?
    Again, not selling, just like the knowledge. The only marking on the stock, besides the "77" stamp is "RA-R" in a rectangle on the left side of the action. Haven't looked it up recently, but recall that it was not that uncommon on many of his stocks and works in progress.
    Heard stories of guy when I was younger of a guy coming into the bar to sell his "deer" rifle, which was just, I assume, mine, but cut down for about 50 to 70 dollars...nice profit margin.

    Support your local Scouts!
  • BigslugBigslug Senior Member Posts: 9,326 Senior Member
    I'd say you're about right with the $300 shooter value estimate. Nice rifle, for a rifle's sake, but more valuable to you for family history's sake than to anyone else. The difficulty with such a thing is that - unless they want to be shooting those iron sights - you'd have to price enough below what a modern rifle drilled and tapped for optics to make it tempting. The receiver's drilled for the peep sight and the front sight is soldered on - both of which pretty much kill any prospect of a restoration.

    But, owning a .30-06 with a good set of sights is NEVER a bad thing. I believe your rear sight is missing the screw-in aperture - easy enough to find. I'd have that as my heavy cast-bullet brush gun any day!

    "Nothing is safe from stupid." - Zee
  • 5280 shooter II5280 shooter II Senior Member Posts: 3,923 Senior Member
    It's been SLIGHTY sporterized........take a look at the warhorse thread to see the dress-up option.
    God show's mercy on drunks and dumb animals.........two outa three ain't a bad score!
  • mkk41mkk41 Banned Posts: 1,932 Senior Member
    RA/R or RA/P in a box is a post war overhaul stamp from Raritan Arsenal.
  • Big Al1Big Al1 Senior Member Posts: 8,501 Senior Member
    After looking closer at the picrues. it appears that the original sight collar is in place, just the sight was removed.
  • 1965Jeff1965Jeff Senior Member Posts: 1,648 Senior Member
    All I know is I want one. No- two, one to shoot one to drool over.
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