1903A4 restoration project
hello all, new member here. I posted this over at the appraise or fake forum but decided it might be just as good to pose the question here as well. I'm fairly new to the milsurp crowd and have only just recently started doing my homework on 1903s(bought my fist in april).
I have spent much of my summer restoring a Remington 1903A4 I found in a friends basement. it is mostly done but is has a straight stock without grasping grooves so I'm waiting on a C stock to replace it with before I start posting pics. I had originally planned on putting irons on it and just using it as my plinker since I have a pre-800xxx springfield that I don't want to abuse too badly but when I put it on paper and had 3 holes touching typed groups I decided to go as close to military as possible without resorting to the horrible repro scopes.
the serial dates to march of 44 and the bolt is all remington and appears to be correct as well. the bayonet lug and the sling swivels are from numrich and the redfield mount, rings and scope are all current production. the barrel is stamped "RA" with the ordnance dept flaming bomb and is dated 8-44 but was apparently from an A3 because there is an unparkerized patch near the muzzle.
having dumped way more into this rifle than I was originally planning I have decided it might be best to just sell it as soon as it's finished. going off pictures of the stock and known condition of the rest I would put it around service grade.
how much do you guys think I could get out of it?
07-06-2012 07:20 PM
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When it come to appraisals people really need to see the rifle. Specially when dealing with someone new to the field, there are so many details that effect the value. In most cases you won't get anyone to do it without seeing it and it is well worth it for you too. I recently had a guys asking me about value on his A3 and "would stop by when he got a chance". He got tired of me dragging my feet about giving him a value, so he finally brought it by. There was a detail that he'd missed,,, it had a pristine 6 groove Smith Corona barrel on it. The barrel alone was worth more than he paid for the rifle.
On the restoration project, I did the same thing with an A4, before I was done I'd wished I'd just bought one off Gun Broker or somewhere like that, total pain in the a**. Individual pieces are bringing a premuim and are sometimes not even found for months. I think I waited four months to find a bolt for sale (a correct one) and I'd tried all of the top names in the game. If you total up the prices that the parts are going for, chances are you'll run across the whole thing for a bit less. Also, be cautious of the "parts companies" they've been flooded with reproduction parts and will most definitely send them to you, even when you specify that you don't want any.
If you go to the CMP auction site and select "BROWSE", "COMPLETETED AUCTIONS" on pages 2 and 3 you will see about a dozen A4 stripped receivers or stripped barreled receivers that have sold in the last month or so. That should give you some idea what your piece is worth.
Restoring one of these to military condition is an expensive proposition unless one happens to be sitting on a cache of the correct parts.
your rifle will be easier to sell, if you remove the non A4 parts, and sell it as a barreled action, and then sell the other parts ..
or have the rifle done right, with correct parts and get much more money for it.
remove the stock, base, stock metal. scope ect..
latest A4,s should have a 9-43 or 12-43 barrel.
Last edited by chuckindenver; 07-09-2012 at 10:10 AM.
VIshooters 1903 listings have A4s in production from February of 43 through June on 44
latest A4,s should have a 9-43 or 12-43 barrel.
without your serial number..its hard to give you a correct barrel date, the fact that yours has an A3 barrel installed now, makes it a moot point.
dont see any original A4,s wth a 8-44 barrel attached.
as i said.. the latest A4,s should have a 9-43 or 12-43...1-44 is ok..but not as common, any other barrel is likey a replacement.
RA4 Z4000110 RA 9-43
RA4 Z4000492 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z40005xx RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4000537 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4000746 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z40009xx RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4001666 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4001715 RA 6-43 4g Scant (RA, Boxed FJA, Ord Crest), Scope (330 M-8), A3 FS removed (email 1/06)
RA4 Z4001751 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4001779 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4002025 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4002051 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z40020xx RA 12-43
RA4 Z4002074 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4002236 RA 11-43 2g
RA4 Z40023xx RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4002519 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4002627 RA 9-43 (CSP 4/06)
RA4 Z4002660 RA 9-43 2g
RA4 Z4002862 RA 6-44 2g
RA4 4992264 RA 5-44 2g keystone C stock (msg 3/10)
RA4 4992500 RA 12-43 2g
RA4 499277x RA 12-43 2g
RA4 4992956 RA 12-43 2g, RA FJA on scant, Weaver 330c external adjustment knobs
RA4 4993xxx RA 12-43
RA4 4993033 RA 12-43 Drill Rifle (CMP 3/05)
RA4 4993281 RA 12-43
RA4 4993400 RA 12-43 2g
RA4 4993648 RA 1-44
RA4 4993700 RA
RA4 4993818 RA 12-43, 2g, 2EJ
RA4 4993994 RA 12-43
RA4 4994158 RA 12-43
RA4 4994241 RA 12-43 2g, RA FJA on scant (CSP 4/06)
RA4 4994269 RA 12-43
RA4 4994282 RA 12-43 USMC San Diego
RA4 4994326 RA 1-44 2g
RA4 4994549 RA 1-44 2g
RA4 4994797 RA 3-44
RA4 4995565 RA 12-43 2g
RA4 4995769 RA 1-44 2g
RA4 4996076 RA 12-43 (CSP 1/06)
RA4 4996127 RA 11-43 2g
RA4 4996300 RA 1-44
RA4 4996409 RA 2g
RA4 4996584 RA 1-44 (GB 4/06)
RA4 4996882 RA 1-44 2g
RA4 4997245 RA 12-43 2g, Scant Stock (CSP 12/05)
RA4 499725x RA 12-43 2g
RA4 4997623 RA 12-43 2g
RA4 4997662 RA 12-43
RA4 4997684 RA 1-44
RA4 49977xx RA 1-44
RA4 4997819 RA 1-44
RA4 4998234 RA 1-44
RA4 4998235 RA 12-43
RA4 4998403 RA 1-44 2g
Last edited by chuckindenver; 07-09-2012 at 11:28 AM.
Originally Posted by Tahunua001
1903A4 production was not continuous, in one case they made around 2,900 and quit for a while. A request would come in for more and they would make another run. If you post your serial number, anyone here can tell you what barrel is (originally) correct for it, also, some of the members can run an SRS check and see if there was anything specific to the rifle. Correct barrels are not always the same month that the action was stamped.
There were two orders for M1903A4's. The first (Dec 21) was for 20,000 rifles and the second June 20, 1943) was for 8,365. A third order (July 1943) for an additional 24,558 was issued but cancelled on Nov 25, 1943 due to the overall cancellation of bolt action rifle production and the difficulty obtaining telescopic sights. No production was initiated on the third order as the 1st and 2nd orders were still in the works.
Originally Posted by Randy A
The serial number range assigned on Jan 18 1943 for the first order was 3,407,088 to 3,427,087.
The serial number range assigned on Jun 20, 1943 for the second order was 4,000,001 to 4,015,000.
Shortly after production on the second order commenced it was determined that 03-A3 production had inadvertently run into the s/n range assigned to the second order of A4's. About 2900 A4 receivers had s/n's already used on A3's. A decision was made to mark the serial numbers of the 2900~ with a leading "Z" consistent with plant practices for dealing with duplicate numbers.
Ordnance then assigned a new serial number range commencing with 4,992,001 and running 5,784,000 to be used for the balance of A4 and A3 production. Only a few thousand more A4's made use of these numbers.
The principal factors affecting A4 deliveries were the deliveries of telescopic sights and lens caps. Weaver had initially contracted for 2,000 per month which were to be supplemented and eventually replaced by the Lyman Alaskan starting in mid 1943.
When using sites like Vi Shooters it is important to note there are two lists of serial numbers:
One list is a serialization chart which reflects original manufacture (i.e. the serial number range vs rifle shipments by month + an allowance for scrap)
The second list reflect actual rifles that existed at the time they were added to the list. This type of list is useful to a point as a check on the serialization chart but will also contain exceptions such as rebuilds, and civilian replacements etc.
Actual rifle A4 rifle assembly at Remington was pretty much wrapped up by February 1944. Scope deliveries continued to delay the final shipments through June of 1944.
One final note. Some of the older reference books and even some websites have significant errors or are at least incomplete concerning A4 production and the serial numbers.
Stay with Vi Shooter or the Remington Society of America for good data on line. Clark Campbell's "The '03 Springfield Era" (2003) as a reference book probably has the best production data of fthe books i have seen.
Hope this helps.
Last edited by JGaynor; 07-13-2012 at 12:53 PM.
likley the reason you will find consistant dates on A4,s once they started to air gauge a group of barrels, they would do it in large numbers.. i belive thats why you find one date with in 3 mos build of rifles..
they would take a lot of barrels. gauge them, mark them set them asside for the sniper rifles.