What do I have here? Warning to Collectors

jakhamr81

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IMG-4131.JPG
I have another addition to my 03 collection. What baffles me is that the markings and serial number are positioned to that of an A4 and are reduced in size compared to a standard A3. However, the research I've found indicates that all of the "Z" prefix A4's should be in the 4,001,083 - 4,002,980 range. This one is 4,124,411. Whatever this was I'm pretty confident it was rebuilt at some point. The fella I picked it up from said he got it from his father-in-law's collection and couldn't provide any details.

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The barrel appears to have had the front sight on at some point. As you can see it was not parkerized underneath and has rusted. I assume this must have been an A3 barrel.

IMG-4124.JPG
The barrel also has a heart stamp near the chamber.

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The bolt has been blued and appears to just be a modified A3 bolt.


IMG-4130.JPG IMG-4129.JPG
The stock is beautiful and doesn't appear to have seen any serious service but has all the proper markings.

IMG-4119.JPG IMG-4120.JPG
The scope appears to be a legit M82.
 
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Dan M

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Not exactly sure what is up with that rifle....the S/N has a lot of displaced metal around the digits....as to the barrel, any rifle that failed targeting as a sniper rifle was completed as a standard 03A3 service rifle with iron sights.
 

kuparj

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Looks like the receiver and scope have been re-engraved to replicate a A4 receiver and M-82 scope. Stock has also been remarked with the wrong inspection cartouche(s). Serial number is out of range for a "Z" prefixed 03A4
 
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jakhamr81

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Dang, your right. That's the wrong "J". I agree this one is not in the "Z" range for an A4. The seller sold it to me as a "scoped A3 and never tried to pass it off as an A4. I was curious as to how the serial number ended up on the side. The top of the receiver is clean and the same thickness as my other 03a3 but he engraving looks pretty sloppy.

The stock has a great feel to it though. I'll see how it shoots this week. If it doesn't shoot decent I'll see what I can trade it for the next time the gun show comes to town.
 

MK20

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I would guess that it is a build done by a non mil entity based on a couple of things.
Bolt is blued and does not look like the military finish. It looks very much like a commercial type blue.
displaced metal around stampings is not normal for mil guns
barrel bands are blued and not parked
shows evidence of having front sight installed, left for a while, and then removed.
Scope base screws are buggered, and most folks who have an A4 aren't going to be that incompetent with removing and reinstalling their scope bases.
SN out of range
 

Dan M

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The stock is definitely humped... Ordnance escutcheon and Atwood stamp are fake. I first looked and the photos on my iPhone... on the desktop monitor you can see where the top of the receiver has grind marks.
 

sandwarrior

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I would guess that it is a build done by a non mil entity based on a couple of things.
Bolt is blued and does not look like the military finish. It looks very much like a commercial type blue.
displaced metal around stampings is not normal for mil guns
barrel bands are blued and not parked
shows evidence of having front sight installed, left for a while, and then removed.
Scope base screws are buggered, and most folks who have an A4 aren't going to be that incompetent with removing and reinstalling their scope bases.
SN out of range
Glad you guys all spotted that. I thought the position of the lettering was off(?), And, the numbers looked funny, but couldn't push it through my brain what exactly was wrong.
 

MK20

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I live near you and I think that you should take it to the Mica range and see how it shoots. I would bet it does ok. At least some of the parts are worth something. Whoever built it had at least some rudimentary skill and it will probably be a great rifle for the price.
 

sandwarrior

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I live near you and I think that you should take it to the Mica range and see how it shoots. I would bet it does ok. At least some of the parts are worth something. Whoever built it had at least some rudimentary skill and it will probably be a great rifle for the price.
You shoot at Mica? Did they ever open that back up to 1k? I used to love going there.:)
 

MK20

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Cross the state line into tyranny (WA). Take the appleway exit off 90 and go south on barker rd. It is down south there. Google maps Spokane Valley Rifle and Pistol Club. It is almost exactly 45 mins from CDA center. 5 bucks a time or 75 bucks a year.
 

sandwarrior

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Cross the state line into tyranny (WA). Take the appleway exit off 90 and go south on barker rd. It is down south there. Google maps Spokane Valley Rifle and Pistol Club. It is almost exactly 45 mins from CDA center. 5 bucks a time or 75 bucks a year.
Don't forget the turnoff is right after the big brickyard. And DO watch for trains.

If you miss the name of the road, it is Hwy 27. The Palouse highway.
 

jakhamr81

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Looks like it may have been sanded down and restamped. On closer inspection I can even see the original "S".
IMG-4138.JPG

The receiver is also two thousandths thinner than my 1903A3.

IMG-4133.JPG IMG-4134.JPG

I don't care if someone refinishes, rebarrels, or rebuilds a gun. But when they go to great lengths to counterfeit it really pisses me off. I contacted the seller and of course he's being a prick about it. I paid with a money order so I'll see about filing a fraud claim with postal inspector.
 

navynambu

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Wow, what a mess.

Receiver looks like it may have been badly pitted and perhaps later filled and ground down where it was originally lettered and numbered, perhaps.

Letter/numbers look maybe strange to me, I'd like a closer look. It sort of looks like all the letters and numbers are engraved or redone? Do you think Bubba engraved a new serial number on it?
 

Dan M

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In the image with the pen point directed to the letter S, you can see the vestiges of the letter N above the pen from the original Remington 03A3 markings that were ground off. Also, the T and O in Remington looks off.

ETA- the E in Remington is cockeyed... handstamped. A real 03A4 is marked as follows.
 

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D_TROS

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As mentioned obvious fake.

can post pic of bolt cutout on stock looking into cut? and top view of bolt?
imagine both fake.

DT
 

kuparj

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I believe defacing or altering a serial number on a firearm is frowned upon by the BATF. Irregardless if the seller did or did not do this, you might want to remind him of this fact. I think you will get your funds back. Enough said.
 

MK20

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If you look at the price, someone else is getting taken for a ride now. If anyone has a gunbroker acct I would recommend flagging this listing or whatever it is that you can do on gunbroker.
 

Dan M

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Besides contacting the seller there isn’t much else one can do on this...the seller knows this is a turd and discribed the rifle in nebulous terms. One must do their homework and conduct due dilligence research before parting with cash. Someone is about to be burned on this one...and will probably not be fortunate enough to get out from underneath it and come out whole from a financial standpoint.

Dealer is shady... too bad the buyer can’t flag sellers on a NFE list within Gunbroker.

ETA- I suppose that the buyer could submit a fraud claim through Gunbroker, but they would need to be aware that they are buying a counterfeit 03–A4. Dealer will probably claim they didn’t know.
 
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Hetzer

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The old saying is "buy the gun; not the story". He's got a pretty vague and hopeful description to go along with that rifle.
 
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lonegunman762x51

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You have a FAKE AS FUCK, 1903-A4. It was fake on Jouster.com and fake as hell on ODCMP.com and it is probably fake on ar15.com and a few other places,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,still fake as shit.
 

DaleGribble82

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Nothing I hate more than a fucking lying ass POS fraud. Would love to pummel that mother fuckers head into the god damn ground until I burned his face off with magma beneath the earth’s crust. I hate liars more than anything on the face of the Earth.
 

Maxduty

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The seller sold it to me as a "scoped A3 and never tried to pass it off as an A4.
I contacted the seller and of course he's being a prick about it. I paid with a money order so I'll see about filing a fraud claim with postal inspector.
He's got a pretty vague and hopeful description to go along with that rifle.
You have a FAKE AS FUCK, 1903-A4. It was fake on Jouster.com and fake as hell on ODCMP.com and it is probably fake on ar15.com and a few other places,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,,still fake as shit.
I'm lost here. You bought an A3. You said the seller never tried to pass it off as a 4, but then get mad you didn't score a deal on a gun that hopefully he knew nothing about that was possibly worth way more than you paid? Then the wagon train circles and everyone yells fake A4 and you tell him him sold you a fake (that was never advertised as being anything other than what it was), but seem surprised he didn't want to give you the money back. Is this about the gist of it? What part of the story am I missing?

caveat emptor.
 

Dan M

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You are missing the part about the 26 USC 5861 (g) and 18 USC 922(k) violation.

ETA- This turd of a rifle has been floating around for years after a cursory search of Culver’s Shooting Page and the CMP Forum... the seller knows it is fake and it keeps coming back. He knowingly sold a rifle with an altered serial number.
 
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Hetzer

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I'm lost here. You bought an A3. You said the seller never tried to pass it off as a 4, but then get mad you didn't score a deal on a gun that hopefully he knew nothing about that was possibly worth way more than you paid? Then the wagon train circles and everyone yells fake A4 and you tell him him sold you a fake (that was never advertised as being anything other than what it was), but seem surprised he didn't want to give you the money back. Is this about the gist of it? What part of the story am I missing?

caveat emptor.


I don't have a wagon, just an opinion.
 
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sirhrmechanic

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Not long before the auction ended, I sent a link to this thread to the seller. I said that I was not a participant in the thread, but as a Gold Gunbroker member who has been on GB about since it was founded... I was letting him know that the thread existed. And that some of the folks here really know their stuff.

His response was a one-word "Thanks." Which can be interpreted in a number of ways.

If he is honorable, he let the buyer know. If not... I have the e-mail trail that shows that he was made aware of these concerns before the auction ended.

We have no idea if the seller let the buyer know what was going on. We have no idea if the sale was completed. We have no idea if the seller 'did the right thing.' Which he may well have done if he was an honorable GB member, which we all try to be!

At this stage, we know pretty much that the gun has issues. And we know that it 'may' have sold on GB this weekend... but the seller (having been informed) may be a good guy and let the buyer know... or cancel the sale. And we don't know. I don't think we can impugn him yet.

So I'll let it go at that for now. But before the auction ended... the seller WAS informed of this thread and the concerns of some very expert collectors. He was informed by me. And whatever happens after that... well, caveat emptor. Noone can say the seller was not informed.

Cheers,

Sirhr
 

DaleGribble82

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Not long before the auction ended, I sent a link to this thread to the seller. I said that I was not a participant in the thread, but as a Gold Gunbroker member who has been on GB about since it was founded... I was letting him know that the thread existed. And that some of the folks here really know their stuff.

His response was a one-word "Thanks." Which can be interpreted in a number of ways.

If he is honorable, he let the buyer know. If not... I have the e-mail trail that shows that he was made aware of these concerns before the auction ended.

We have no idea if the seller let the buyer know what was going on. We have no idea if the sale was completed. We have no idea if the seller 'did the right thing.' Which he may well have done if he was an honorable GB member, which we all try to be!

At this stage, we know pretty much that the gun has issues. And we know that it 'may' have sold on GB this weekend... but the seller (having been informed) may be a good guy and let the buyer know... or cancel the sale. And we don't know. I don't think we can impugn him yet.

So I'll let it go at that for now. But before the auction ended... the seller WAS informed of this thread and the concerns of some very expert collectors. He was informed by me. And whatever happens after that... well, caveat emptor. Noone can say the seller was not informed.

Cheers,

Sirhr
When one is called out on their bullshit “thanks” means “fuck you”, at least that is how it’s interpreted in my neck of the woods. I appreciate you letting him know though. I considered doing the same thing, but felt I would be too brash and just make matters worse so I opted to not do that. Maybe he told him, maybe he didn’t, but “thanks” was a big ole middle finger.
 
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sirhrmechanic

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When one is called out on their bullshit “thanks” means “fuck you”, at least that is how it’s interpreted in my neck of the woods. I appreciate you letting him know though. I considered doing the same thing, but felt I would be too brash and just make matters worse so I opted to not do that. Maybe he told him, maybe he didn’t, but “thanks” was a big ole middle finger.
I don't disagree. But if he carried through with the sale and there are any issues.... we have timestamps that indicate... he was warned.

Caveat emptor for the buyer. For the seller, he was given an opportunity to look at the discussion and do the right thing as far as informing the buyer or ending the auction.

We can't ask or demand more than that... until we know what he did.

Cheers,

Sirhr

P.S. Yes, I think "Thanks" = a less-than-adequate-response. But gotta give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Until it is time not to.
 

DaleGribble82

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I don't disagree. But if he carried through with the sale and there are any issues.... we have timestamps that indicate... he was warned.

Caveat emptor for the buyer. For the seller, he was given an opportunity to look at the discussion and do the right thing as far as informing the buyer or ending the auction.

We can't ask or demand more than that... until we know what he did.

Cheers,

Sirhr

P.S. Yes, I think "Thanks" = a less-than-adequate-response. But gotta give the guy the benefit of the doubt. Until it is time not to.
Oh agree 100%. As a buyer you have gotta verify, verify, verify when making a large purchase on a collectible firearm. At the end of the day everyone wants to trust people. In 2019 you can’t though that is the problem. One must trust but verify these days.

I hope it works out best for the both of them, and as you stated we do have timestamps. At a minimum the worst outcome is the guy now knows he can’t just peddle his BS onto our community. Too many knowledge nuggets on this forum for that nonsense to work.