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Thread: Early Rock Island Find

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  1. #1
    Member MoMallard's Avatar
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    Early Rock Island Find

    Traveling for work and wandered into a small local gun show yesterday. Wasn't expecting much, but holy batman. I almost fell over reaching for my wallet when I saw this. VERY reasonably priced. Also has an early Rock Island sling. Bore is frosted. Pardon the bad, cell phone in a hotel pics.

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    Last edited by MoMallard; 06-04-2018 at 01:07 AM.

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    Really Senior Member rayg's Avatar
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    Great find, Can't quite see the serial number, how about more photos of the rifle, Ray

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    Contributing Member Promo's Avatar
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    Is the trigger guard NRA marked?

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Love to see some better pics when you have a chance. That's a neat rifle...
    Regards, Jim

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Jealous!

    That's the type of 1903 I'd rather have in my collection than the recent Auction Gambling find (not that I'm looking that gift horse in the mouth).
    A nice early example that fought "Over There" in "The Big One" is a pretty awesome thing. I'd probably convert it to 22 for quiet and safe shooting.
    I'm drawn to Rock Island's too..not sure why, they're just neat to me.

    Anyway, I agree with Jim. I would love to see some more pictures!

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcathey View Post
    I'd probably convert it to 22
    Yes or perhaps a .30 cal insert, like a .30 carbine insert I once saw...
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member rayg's Avatar
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    That's a nice early 1903 RI rifle. The serial number places it as off the line about 8-07. I have one serial #87241, with the bbl date, 6-07. That is original correct also. These are very scarce early 1903's still having original dated parts as they are one of the earliest standard production Rock Island rifles manufactured with all new and correct period made components in the very first months of regular RI 1903 production in 1907. It’s not one of the put together rifles using mixed Rod bayonet or 30-03 parts. Rock Island arsenal waited until the Army finalized changes in the rifle from the rod bayonet, to the knife bayonet, and then from .30-03 to .30-06. After final model approval, any parts that were already made the arsenal assembled into complete rifles and issued them out. All these assembled rifles will have mixed period receiver and dated parts. By about 1907 most of those misc early parts had been used up by RI and rifles made after that were made mostly with newly made parts with fairly close matching receiver, parts and barrel dates. See C.S. Ferris & J. Beardicon, pg 25. The rifles should have all the correct early 1907 dated components and a high wood stock with no stock reinforcement bolts, a split rear sight base cut out, and a no sight groove hand guard, also the small rear sight wheel and the Platinum sight line on the rear sight leaf slider. The stock should have a “CN” 1908 cartouche and an “S” stamp on the stock tip and a proof “P”. Very scarce to find early original manufactured R.I. 1903 rifles that have not been assembled from stored parts and especially one that was made in the very first months of normal production.
    Image, Ray
    Last edited by rayg; 06-06-2018 at 05:57 PM.

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    Really Senior Member RCS's Avatar
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    early Rock Island 1903

    Always nice to find the pre WW1 examples, I have RIA 64145 with a excellent bore RIA 3-07 dated barrel and the early square sided slide like on Rays Rock Island.

    A few years ago I did restore some nice ( 3576 & 3670) Rock Island receivers from the CMPicon auction, not worth much but nice looking. Finding pre WW1 Rock Island barrels is very difficult but I was able to find early SA barrels in decent condition for restoration.

    Best sub caliber insert that I have used is the 32 ACP or 32 S&W Long, both are accurate.

    A total burned-out bore is best with a quality 22 rim fire insert and M2 bolt with headspace
    adjustment screw, very accurate

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    Member MoMallard's Avatar
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    Thread Starter
    Quote Originally Posted by rayg View Post
    The rifles should have all the correct early 1907 dated components and a high wood stock with no stock reinforcement bolts, a split rear sight base cut out, and a no sight groove hand guard, also the small rear sight wheel and the Platinum sight line on the rear sight leaf slider. The stock should have a “CN” 1908 cartouche and an “S” stamp on the stock tip and a proof “P”. Very scarce to find early original manufactured R.I. 1903 rifles that have not been assembled from stored parts and especially one that was made in the very first months of normal production
    Ray: I'm still traveling and will get some more pics up when I get back to the house. It's a one bolt CN 1908 stock with 10-08bbl. What's your take on the receiver date vs. barrel date discrepancy? The sling is also a TCC inspected Rock Island that appears to have either a 1910 or 1916 date depending.

    ---------- Post added at 09:38 PM ---------- Previous post was at 09:37 PM ----------

    Browning Auto: Still traveling. Will post more pics when I get home.

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