This is Going to Be Harder Than I Thought

Defender3

Online Training Member
Mar 8, 2010
203
121
43
NoVA
#1
FOUND ONE!

Trying to locate a donor '03 to be built into a Vintage Sniper might take a bit longer than I anticipated. I started to go through all the auction and military sales sights only to be less than impressed with the offerings. Being a longtime Garand guy, I'm used to humped up stuff and it looks like you '03 guys have not been spared. Some of the descriptions are comical, and some are just outright lies. A nice looking rifle with clear wear patterns but the stock has no stampings, dents or dings and the rifle is being offered as original. Poor pictures or pictures designed to hide the problems, or only 3-4 pictures with a description that the "pictures do the talking" on this rifle. Oh, and the prices, have people lost their minds? $1500 parts guns, $2500+ rifles that are "questionable," and overpriced Greek returns. Alright rant off/
 
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Defender3

Online Training Member
Mar 8, 2010
203
121
43
NoVA
#3
I'm always annoyed by how everything is a "real" Marine Sniper.

I've seen so many fakes that have a story attached of, "a Marine (enter rank) brought this home."

I do know a guy who has a really good clone. He wanted 2500 for it the last time I talked to him. It has a lot of money in rare parts, the pre war C stock, NS bolt, for example.
I'd be interested in starting a discussion on the clone.

I bought a Lend Lease Garand out of Texas years ago when no-one was really collecting them. It came with a letter from the family of the Colonel who carried it in WWII while in Patton's Army. It's not worth it trying to educate at that point due to the emotional attachment. I simply buy the rifle, not the story.
 
Likes: Dan M
Oct 9, 2007
46
8
8
Moore, OK
#4
I'd be interested in starting a discussion on the clone.

I bought a Lend Lease Garand out of Texas years ago when no-one was really collecting them. It came with a letter from the family of the Colonel who carried it in WWII while in Patton's Army. It's not worth it trying to educate at that point due to the emotional attachment. I simply buy the rifle, not the story.
But the story, and the letter, give you provenance should you sell it.
 

Defender3

Online Training Member
Mar 8, 2010
203
121
43
NoVA
#5
But the story, and the letter, give you provenance should you sell it.
Yes, but in this case, it was a false story. True, the Colonel served with Patton during WWII, but there was no chance he carried that particular Lend Lease rifle, or any Lend Lease for that matter. He may have bought one from Klein's and told everyone it was just like the one he carried, but given the LL program, he did not carry that rifle during the war. Thus the family's emotional attachment that I learned long ago not to question, it creates too much of a disturbance in the force. :)
 
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Likes: Dan M

Dan M

Sergeant
Dec 14, 2013
186
4
18
South Central PA
#6
Finding nice original M1903s can be challenging. They are humped...not to the extent of the Kar98k but the old maxim Caveat Emptor applies. There is a lot of ignorance regarding originality...some rifles are deliberately misrepresented, others are from lack of knowledge of the sellers.

I feel your pain... the bulk of my 1903 collection are original WW1 rifles and they are now extremely rare to find in original condition...i branched off to Remington 1903s and original WW2 M1 rifles when WW1 1903s were unavailable. Prices have steadily risen...i remember walking out of a gunshow about 35 years ago with a 1929 dated SA M1903 with honest wear and a like new Remington 1903 for $400 (for both rifles).

As you have stated, buy the rifle not the story. Maintain your standards, bide your time and you will find the appropriate specimen. It took me a decade to find a Rem M1917 in original, pristine condition. Everything can still be found, for a price and a significant investment in time searching. I have gotten several difficult to find original specimens by word of mouth from other collectors.
 
Likes: Defender3

Defender3

Online Training Member
Mar 8, 2010
203
121
43
NoVA
#7
Thanks for all the replies and suggestions. I was able to purchase a USMC clone from a member here!
 
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Dec 12, 2017
57
22
8
#11
As the owner of a Pattern 14 Enfield, a US Model of 1917, a Smith Corona 03A3, a 1903A1, and an unissued/test fired only Remington 03A3, I feel your pain :)

I've shot the Pattern 14 in the national foreign service rifle match and the Smith Corona in the national Springfield match. Not willing to butcher anything to make a sniper variant.
 
Likes: Defender3

sandwarrior

Gunny Sergeant
Apr 21, 2007
4,619
388
83
in yooperland
#14
I picked up my first 03A3 for lest than $15. Sold it a few years later.
I now have three Remingtons two 03A3s and one 03.
I was going to have one of the 03A3s drilled and tapped to make a ‘sniper’.
Two smiths told me the receiver was too hard to do so!🙁
Actually, it is doable. I've got one. They are very hard. The carburizing process they used did that. It's what also makes the WWII 1903/1903A3 so slick feeling when you cycle the bolt. I'm not sure you saw it when we used to shoot out there in Sandpoint, but mine was converted to 30-338. I bought it down at Pony Express. I walked in, and saw it for $225. I said would they take $200. Joe said, "Sold!".
 
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