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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Im looking at a 1903 riffle at a local gun shop the seller wants 750 for it. I am having trouble figuring out if it is a 1903 or 1903a3. It has the 1903 gun sight and it also has the pistol grip. However it has a serial number that falls into the 1903-a3 range from what I have read on line.

I can pm the serial number. The estimated production date is July of 1942
 

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Im looking at a 1903 riffle at a local gun shop the seller wants 750 for it. I am having trouble figuring out if it is a 1903 or 1903a3. It has the 1903 gun sight and it also has the pistol grip. However it has a serial number that falls into the 1903-a3 range from what I have read on line.

I can pm the serial number. The estimated production date is July of 1942
If the rear site is on the rear receiver bridge it's an 03A3. If the rear site is a few inches in front of the forward receiver bridge then it's an 03. Don't go by the stock because they are interchangable. What name is on the receiver bridge? the model should be stamped underneath it. For $750 it should be at least 90% correct (NOT a parts gun)!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
If the rear site is on the rear receiver bridge it's an 03A3. If the rear site is a few inches in front of the forward receiver bridge then it's an 03. Don't go by the stock because they are interchangable. What name is on the receiver bridge? the model should be stamped underneath it. For $750 it should be at least 90% correct (NOT a parts gun)!!
First off thank you for your reply it is greatly appreciated. I am a novice at this and did not check the bridge which I now know is a stupid mistake. the sight is forward of the receiver bridge and it is a ladder sight. I will am going to take a ride up with my old man on Monday as he is picking up a Marlin 45/70 guide gun so I will take a really good look at it then. What should I look for?
 

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look for serial numbers on the parts, take a small light and shine it down the bore look at how deep the grooves are (deeper the grooves the better condition or less used) check the bore make sure there is no pitting or damage, check for rust (some minor surface rust is expected) look at the bluing 90% and up should have deep bluing if you can see spots that look like plain steel or light blue steel then it probably is a pretty used gun, check for cracks in the stock, gouges in the wood and metal, check and see if there is any packing grease on it (if its dried and caked on the gun probably hasn't had a good oiling) work the bolt slowly and feel for any hangups or grinding, ask the clerk if you can take the bolt out to look at the internals and if you can dry fire it (pull the trigger slowly and feel for any abnormalities) check the magazine spring for tension

most clerks don't have a problem if you finger f*ck a gun like this unless they are trying to peddle garbage.
 

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The finish on 03's is almost always parkerized with a few very early rifles. If you want just a shooter i would check the bore first. Don't be turned off if it's not perfect. I have a 03 with original 1918 barrel with a lot miles on it and it shoots great. Look around the wrist of the stock for cracks (pretty common). Look for foreign ownership marks (like Greek or Korean), if you find any that would lower the value a bit. If the dealer is cool with it, take a few pics and post them and i could give you a better idea of what it's worth. There are always dozens on gunbroker in that price range. Either way you go the Springfield 1903 is one awsome rifle. when i get a chance i will post some pics of mine.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
It was definitely a 1903. Some parts were replaced and I would say it was about 60/70 percent. He would not budge on the price so I left it on the rack. We did buy the marlin 45/70 guide gun though.
 
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