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Thread: Remington M1903/A3 Cal .30/06 Unissued still in Depot box and Cosmoline

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  1. #11
    Really Senior Member cplstevennorton's Avatar
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    I will never say I'm not wrong. But I thought I might expand on why I believe this is an Armory packaging and why the rifle could easily be a rebuild, even if it was unissued.

    I the past month I have pulled about 20,000 pages of docs from the National Archives and I'm going back two more full weeks before Summer ends. So I'm finding a considerable amount of new info that has even surprised me.

    But I'm seeing a trend in the 03A3 docs, and this is why I think we see such a substantial amount of these rifles that are fresh from rebuild. Even though many of these rifles were never used.

    When these rifles were first stored, they were not stored correctly. Probably because of the huge amount of surplus they had at the end of the war, they didn't take the time to store them properly and they had major issues when they started to unpack them the first time for inspection. Many were in horrible shape from storage and had to have a full rebuild to make them serviceable again.

    I can't tell you how bad it sounds from these docs on how some of rifles were stored. There are even counts of rifles storage in "outside" warehouses, because they simply didn't have enough room for all the stuff leftover from the war to be stored inside. Which you can only imagine what that stuff looked like when it was opened.

    This lead to a lot of studies on how to properly put these rifles into long term storage and I have documentation that details the one area they wrapped with a protective paper (I think that was the term they used) was the buttplate. For some reason they detail that was one area that rusted bad, so they wrapped it. Which is what the rifle in this auction has. But it made it sound like after the rifles were put through a rebuild, they would "Can" them and wrap that buttplate.

    I know which folder that document is in, but there are over 5,000 pages in that one folder alone. What frustrates me is I just read that document about 2 days ago, because I'm processing all these docs as we speak looking for cool new info, but I didnt notate the location of it. I'm sure I will run into it again looking for something else and and I will come back and post it. But it was a document form the 1950's just detailing how Armories should properly store rifles in the "canning" process after rebuild.

    Again I will never say I couldn't be wrong. But from the docs, it looks like a considerable amount of 03A3's that probably were never issued, were rebuilt just because of poor storage, then prepped again for long term storage like this in the 50's.

    I would not buy this without seeing really good pics. I think even from the crappy pics, it sort of looks the blued parts might be parked but it's hard to tell.

    I think Pics of the rifle to see if it still has the blued parts and also of the stock to look for rebuild cartouches would tell us a lot on this rifle. His pics are horrible and almost to the place it makes me wonder if he isn't trying to hide this rifle is a rebuild because he gets so close to the buttplate wrap, but doesn't even show a pic of the top of the action.

    But this is just one doc detailing the issues they were having when they pulled 03A3's out of storage. I have mentions of other arsenals having this exact same problem on the 03A3 and this was an ongoing problem for many years. It looks like this happened to a substantial amount of 03A3's in storage by the docs, because I see huge numbers of counts all the way into 1958 detailing the same as this document below. I just had this one handy.

    Again I will never say I can't be wrong. But this rifle to me could easily fit this scenario described in this document below.


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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by AFJon View Post
    Probably easier to just buy new cosmolineicon.

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    Advisory Panel John Beard's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cplstevennorton View Post
    I will never say I'm not wrong. But I thought I might expand on why I believe this is an Armory packaging and why the rifle could easily be a rebuild, even if it was unissued.
    I fully concur that the wrap is armory packaging. And I fully acknowledge that the rifle could have been overhauled. But not likely.

    J.B.

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    Contributing Member Tom in N.J.'s Avatar
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    My DCM M1icon Rifle came in a box like that with wooden end protectors, no plastic, no grease. My DCM M1903A3 came in a heavy cardboard carton, no wooden inserts, no plastic wrap, no grease or cosmolineicon, a RA-P marked, like new rifle shipped from Letterkenny.

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    Contributing Member rcathey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Beardicon View Post
    I fully concur that the wrap is armory packaging. And I fully acknowledge that the rifle could have been overhauled. But not likely.
    Just for the sake of furthering discussion...
    On May 6th, 1952, 5,680 rifles had been passed through the MIS line.
    Of those 5,680, 100% needed complete teardown and refinishing to get them in a serviceable condition.

    With this documentation available, I'd have to say something more like, "I acknowledge the rifle could have been overhauled. In fact, it is more likely than not that it was."

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    Advisory Panel Brian Dick's Avatar
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    I've seen many 1903A3 rifles that were obviously excellent condition rifles that had been through rebuild at various arsenals and no longer had the mixed blue and Parkerized parts. I have a Remington, sn. 3793916 with a barrel date of 6-43. It was returned from Greek stores and purchased by me from the CMPicon in the early 2000's. It's not seen much use and even the woodwork has minimal handling marks from movement and storage. It still sports it's original inspector's marks and has a RIA/EB inspector's stamp on the left side of the butt above the butt swivel. It seems to fit right into what Steve is uncovering. Does anyone know when these rifles were taken from storage and supplied to the Greeks? I'm thinking maybe as late as the early to mid 1960's but I'm only guessing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sunray View Post
    $1250.00 seems kind of light if the thing is real. Too good to be true usually is.
    It says the guy has been a seller since 2007, but only has 1 completed sale.
    "IF" being the operative word!
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    Really Senior Member cplstevennorton's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brian Dickicon View Post
    I've seen many 1903A3 rifles that were obviously excellent condition rifles that had been through rebuild at various arsenals and no longer had the mixed blue and Parkerized parts. I have a Remington, sn. 3793916 with a barrel date of 6-43. It was returned from Greek stores and purchased by me from the CMPicon in the early 2000's. It's not seen much use and even the woodwork has minimal handling marks from movement and storage. It still sports it's original inspector's marks and has a RIA/EB inspector's stamp on the left side of the butt above the butt swivel. It seems to fit right into what Steve is uncovering. Does anyone know when these rifles were taken from storage and supplied to the Greeks? I'm thinking maybe as late as the early to mid 1960's but I'm only guessing.
    I know on the Garands they sent them over to the Greeks I believe in 1963 and 1970. On the M1903's I don't know.

    But I literally today was processing some docs and saw this. Thought it might of interest to you. What pops up later is anyone's guess.

    I've sort of replaced hunting rifles, to hunting docs. It's sort of a archaeological dig so to speak. I'm also finding a lot of our accepted thoughts on this stuff, either online or in books, is just wrong.

    Which makes me want to dig more! lol

    Now I should state the Army viewed the 03A3 and the 03 as two completely different weapon platforms. So for instance the 1903 was declared obsolete in 1947. They even were selling those prior to 1942 in the lend lease. Along with the m1917's.

    A lot of these MAP, DCM sales, and all that on the 03 and 03A3, I have so many docs on them, it would take months to read them all. So it's going to take me a while to get thru this stuff, I just saw this one today and though of your comment. I would bet a considerable amount of money though, that I have the docs now. I just need to find them.




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    Contributing Member usabaker's Avatar
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    Awesome information and scans. Thank you!
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    That's fantastic Steve. It does come together like a big jig saw puzzle. Good luck in your studies and thanks for sharing.


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