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Thread: What do I have here, 1903

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  1. #1
    Really Senior Member GUTS's Avatar
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    What do I have here, 1903

    I bought this for $500 because I can't control myself. When I bought it there was a leather wrap around the barrel where the sight collar would have been. It went all the way to the forearm tip and the barrel channel has been dug out to let it fit. I tore the leather off and I see white metal where the collar should have been. In the SRS list it is surrounded by NM rifles, there aren't anything but NM's in that serial range. It almost looks like one of the 1921 "Free" rifles. The barrel is star gauged, it gauges 1, and it has the Lyman 48S rear sight but I don't know how it came to be. The stock has had a plastic pistol grip cap added and it doesn't look like any of the NM, heavy barreled target or style t target stocks but it sure looks military, especially the shape of the comb. Is this just somebodies put together copy of a target rifle? I can't figure it out. I took some lacquer thinner to the butt end of the stock and melted off some of the spooge and oiled it. It looks like a nice stock except for the barrel channel excavation.
























    It's odd that there are no inspector stamps, usualy there is a bunch.

    Last edited by GUTS; 02-26-2020 at 03:17 PM.

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    Really Senior Member GUTS's Avatar
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    Here it is all cleaned up. It looks like there was a front band at one time, there is a hole all the way through. I think it cleaned up nice. I just rubbed gun oil on the stock for now. Is this stock from an M22? There is no relief cut for the bolt handle.






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    Really Senior Member Herschel's Avatar
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    I would say the serial number being in the NM serial number group is strong circumstantial evidence it was built as a
    NM. The stock is certainly a slimmed down 1922 stock. I say slimmed down because the butt is smaller and the commercial butt
    plate is smaller than the original 1922 butt plate. More evidence of it being an 1922 stock is he filled hole near the front of the
    fore end. The hole was for the pin that went through and kept the 1922 barrel band from sliding forward. The 1922 stock lacked
    the reinforcement crossbolts and the morticed out place for the cutoff switch. The Lyman 48S
    rear sight had the windage scale behind the aperture. The windage scale being in front of the aperture is a feature
    of the Lyman 48C. I am not certain but I believe the elevation clicks on the sight are quarter minute. That would indicate
    the sight is later than the rifle. The barrel channel in the 1922 stock would have been too large for the 1903 NM barrel as the
    1922 and 1922M1 barrels were slightly thicker. This would have left a gap around the barrel that was filled by the leather
    wrap. I would say someone wanted a nice sporting rifle so they took a 1903 NM, a 1922 stock, a commercial Lyman 48C
    and Neidner type butt plate and made a very close replica of the 1903 NRA Sporter that went into production about 1923.

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    Really Senior Member GUTS's Avatar
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    The sight scale goes to 125 yds, I think at least the scale is right for the match rifles. What would have gone where the original sight collar is missing and the barrel is in the white? The bore is like a mirror an the muzzle gauges 1.

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    Advisory Panel browningautorifle's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GUTS View Post
    What would have gone where the original sight collar is missing and the barrel is in the white?
    I would think this rifle or at least the barrel came from an original service rifle. In picture #21 from the top you can see the front sight and enough of the barrel to see the mark left by the front band of a standard rifle...I expect this was originally in full service dress...?

    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member cplstevennorton's Avatar
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    I would think that 4976 on the barrel is the star guage record number. Usually there is a letter above it, but I can't tell if there is one there or not.

    I'm trying to remember if the muzzle of the 1921's were star marked. I don't think they were. I think they were marked starting in 1922. At least that is going off memory. I didn't go back and pull the document on the order to do so.

    The muzzle stamp on this one looks off to me, like I've seen this a lot. The early star gauged barrels weren't marked at the muzzle and someone has added it to make the rifle more correct to what they think it should be.

    Are the rails of the receiver polished? Pull the bolt out and take a pic of the receiver rails. The rails and follower should be polished.

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    Really Senior Member GUTS's Avatar
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    The star gauge mark was first used on the 1921 match rifles. The numbers didn't always have a letter included. I'm sure this is a star gauged barrel. The muzzle being worn make the stamp look fuzzy.

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    So...you don't think this barrel came off something else? No comment on the front barrel band shadow on the barrel? No one? Can also be seen in pic #4.
    Regards, Jim

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    Really Senior Member GUTS's Avatar
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    I think the barrel is original to the rifle. The serial# and the barrel date and the star gauge number that the book shows had no accompanying letter from serial# range 1220000 to about 1250000. There was a number of different styles of match rifles and I still think this used to be one. There were a few with full stocks(maybe that is why the band wear is on the barrel)and standard rear sights along with the Lyman sight. There was some .30 cal. rifles built on M1922 stocks. I'm sure you guys all have this book but here is a the section I am using to try to figure out what this is.

    https://books.google.com/books?id=vb...0rifle&f=false

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    Really Senior Member Cosine26's Avatar
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    Your rear sight, a Lyman 48, does not go to 125 yards. With a 24" barrel the "125" is the number of MOA that the sight moves and I do not believe that the entire 125 is usable.
    FWIW

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