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10/20/2017 1:01:18 AM
9/22/2017 12:11:25 AM
Posted: 10/6/2005 9:52:26 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 10/6/2005 10:37:00 AM EDT by _DR]
I am looking at ordering a 1903 from CMP. need some help deciding what is the best '03 to start with.

Assuming all other things being equal, which is more desirable from both a collector's and shooters standpoint.

Please state why if you have time.

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 2:35:01 PM EDT
The odds of getting any "collectable" 03 from the CMP thru luck of the draw is very slim. Nearly all have been rebuilt than severely abused by the Greeks.

If you just wan't a shooter either the Rem 03 or Rem 03A3 are the best for getting a fairly deceant rifle from the CMP selection choices.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 2:49:13 PM EDT
Just go for a shooter. A3 has the better sights, and if you can get one with a C stock, even better.

Worst case is the steel needs to be reparkerized (warbird), and the stock needs to replaced (boyds). The positive note, they are service rifle legal for DCM matchs.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 2:55:16 PM EDT
Pony up and get a start guage barrel
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 3:04:10 PM EDT
Local shop had four 03 03/A3 rifles onm consigignment that a guy had gotten from the CMP about 5 years ago. Three still in the cosmoline and CMP boxes, one he had cleaned up (way too much for a collector).

I bought the nicest today, a minty late Remington 03A3, that looked good (and matching) even through all the cosmoline. I might go back tomorrow and pick up the Rock Island 03; stock was rough, but I was was ina hurry and didn't clean off enough cosmoline to see if the receiver and barrel, matched. if they do, I'll probably buy it.

Link Posted: 10/6/2005 4:57:56 PM EDT
All I can offer is to avoid low serial number '03s if you plan on shooting it.
Some, not all, low serial numbered '03s have a problem with the heat treatment of the receiver. The metal may be brittle and become shrapnel when fired.
Jim
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 6:08:24 PM EDT
It would be a shooter primarily, but kept '03 configuration and not sporterized in any way.

Thanks for the advice, will try to get the later models and avoid Greek returns. Seems like everything coming from Greece has been abused. They must have very poor discipline in their military. I can't imagine soldiers in the US Army back when the Garands and 1903s were issued ever carving things into the stock like you see with the Greek returns.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 6:08:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By DavidC:
Local shop had four 03 03/A3 rifles onm consigignment that a guy had gotten from the CMP about 5 years ago. Three still in the cosmoline and CMP boxes, one he had cleaned up (way too much for a collector).

I bought the nicest today, a minty late Remington 03A3, that looked good (and matching) even through all the cosmoline. I might go back tomorrow and pick up the Rock Island 03; stock was rough, but I was was ina hurry and didn't clean off enough cosmoline to see if the receiver and barrel, matched. if they do, I'll probably buy it.




Can I ask about how much they were going for?
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 6:44:55 PM EDT

Originally Posted By _DR:

Originally Posted By DavidC:
Local shop had four 03 03/A3 rifles onm consigignment that a guy had gotten from the CMP about 5 years ago. Three still in the cosmoline and CMP boxes, one he had cleaned up (way too much for a collector).

I bought the nicest today, a minty late Remington 03A3, that looked good (and matching) even through all the cosmoline. I might go back tomorrow and pick up the Rock Island 03; stock was rough, but I was was ina hurry and didn't clean off enough cosmoline to see if the receiver and barrel, matched. if they do, I'll probably buy it.




Can I ask about how much they were going for?



$500-$550 which is $100 to $150 more than a gun from the CMP now. I just liked being able to pick a minty example that wasn't a greek issued pig-in-the-poke purchase.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 7:28:14 PM EDT
If you can go to the north store and pick one out yourself they are'nt a bad deal. I bought one at the north store this summer during the matches, I scrounged through the racks with the MW gage in my hand and found 2 that gaged less than 1 on the gage. Both had been rebuilt one had the ugly greek black park on it the other GI park,(which I bought) I'm assuming reparked after being rebuilt the barrel looks just about new and is orginial to the receiver, being from April '42. It had mostly Remington parts on it. Stock is not to bad, and should clean up nicely It will shoot very well, I have trouble seeing the sights, (I'm 51 with bifocals) But I've always liked the looks of a '03 over a '03A3, Trigger pull is pretty good, Since I was working in the area, I'd stop in at perry while the matches were going and check the '03's out at the CMP after I bought mine, I saw 3 other rifles there ('03's) that gaged less than 2 with the MW gage that had bbl dates of '18 '26 '35 They did'nt stay on the racks long..I guess my point is there are some good rifles on the racks up there yet, all'03's. '03A3's are coming from Annistion only, there are none at the north store at present, From what I've read on other boards, the '03A3's that have been shipped recently are very nice. If you want one I'd get a move on, I don't think they have many of either left These are really great rifles to shoot and they are very accurate.
Link Posted: 10/6/2005 7:41:22 PM EDT
I wish I could get to the North store. It's just too far for a day trip and I don't have another reason to be up there anytime soon.

Link Posted: 10/7/2005 5:37:35 AM EDT
I have owned many '03's and 03-A3's over the years and they were all great. Currently I have a high number '03 Greek re-build, and it is almost a "as brand new" rifle...except for a few dings in the scant stock, it is one of the nicest '03's I have ever seen. Barrel is pristine and it will shoot 1 1/2 in. at 100 yards, easy. Back in the 70's I had a pair of 03-A3's that were new in the cosmo, Remington's...this new '03 shoots just as good as those did. Both great rifles, a privilege to own.
Though the 03-A3's have easier to use and more durable sights, I always prefferred the classic "look" of the old '03...and I figured this might be my last chance to get one from CMP. The greeks I have seen are not beaters at all, and seem to have been re-built here in the US before heading off to Greece where it appears to me few if any were used very much. Just my .02
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:30:21 AM EDT
thanks for all the opinions as I am a complete neophyte when it comes to these older rifles.

So if I do happen to receive I real dog from CMP, can I send it back for another? Or does there have to be something mechanically wrong with it?
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 7:56:35 AM EDT
ALL the 03's that came from the CMP in this current batch were returned from Greece. They were used to fight the communists, that's why the well used condition.


The best to get would be an 03A3 with a C-stock. After that a scant stock would be a 2nd choice. Since the CMP doesn't differentiate between a straight and a scant stock, it's luck of the draw. Also, for the most part, the scant stocks seem to come in better shape than the other 2 with the straight stocks being the worst of the 3. The sights take less of a scientist to use and you have a better sight radius. 2nd choice would be a Rem M1903, same stock choices above. As with the 03A3s, they are relatively newer and stand a better chance of being less beat up.

Of the 30 or so CMP rifles I've helped clean and inspect, none are anything other than shooter grade. Some original reciever-bbl combinations but nothing resembling an "original rifle. All except 1 were either worn metal refinish, US grey park refinish, or Greek blue refinish (what folks are calling the ugly black park). The 1 odd one is a low# SA that has a pre-WW1 US blued refinish.

The positive note on all was the barrels. The Greeks may have trashed the wood, but the barrels were all shiny and strong. A couple of the muzzles have been counter-bored a 1/4-1/2", but the bore is strong as death. There have been reports of of shot-out and corroded bores. In those cases the CMP was very accomodating and replaced the rifles in question.

The "cosmoline" the rifles are slathered with is actually #2 axle grease. Greece used grease..how ironic is that. We had a contact at a local car dealership and used their parts washer to clean the rifles. Boiling water, Simple Green and gasoline (not recommended) are other cleaning methods suggested. If you have enough clout in your house, Simple Green in the bathtub or one of those big plastic storage containers is probably the easiest method for a 1 or 2 rifle cleaning.

In short, don't expect a collector but you'll probably get a good shooter. Expect to use a lot of elbow grease to remove the grease from Greece.
Link Posted: 10/7/2005 3:57:44 PM EDT
One other thing to consider with the '03A3's If you get one with a not so good bore, Aim Surplus (www.aimsurplus.com) has brand new Rem '03A3 bbls (2groove) for $80 or so, from what I've rerad on other boards these are new barrels and not take off's. I'm not sure but I think the front sight also comes with it already installed, so, it would be a simple matter for a good 'smith to install. Might not be a bad Idea to buy one anyway and keep it as a spare.
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