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Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

M1903, M1903A3 and M1917.
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Orroe
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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#16 Post by Orroe » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:18 am

Jekbrown the pictures you posted were not bad, just you did not cover the whole rifle. When dealing with authenticating these old rifle you have to literally need to take overlapping picture of the of the right & left sides, top & bottom, and front (muzzle) & rear (but plate) angles and close enough to show details. Your pictures show good details but just did not cover all the angels. I agree with the other post that it unlikely gun is from WWI because all the Remington parts (Remington did not make M1903 or parts for 1903 until 1941). As for if you rifle was re-arsenal? it probably was before it was surplus by the government. I kind of hard to tell if the parts on your rifle came that way when the bought from the government or if it was built up by someone from parts they gather together(part gun). It all depends on when and from whom your family got the rifle from. You defiantly put a pretty good puzzle here in figuring out the manufacture of your rifle. I think your rifle receiver is a Remington because the following,

1) lack of rights gas escape hole (Remington phase out this smaller hole during production since they also drilled the bigger Hatcher hole on the left side anyhow) all Springfield & Rock Island rifle have right side gas holes but not the left side hatcher modification. (My Remington M1903 ser# 3,186,xxx do not have the right side hole while the earlier rifles did have both). But do remember these rifles were not manufactured or completed numerically.

2) the lack of sculpting (shaping) of the recoil lug on the bottom of the receiver picture #28. it not shape like Springfield or Rock Island. it almost squared off like 1903A3 are.

3) the number of and location of the sub inspection stamps (just a feeling, no logic) I have a 2 Springfield, Rock Island , Remington M1903 and 5 Remington 1903A3 as I recalled those stamps on all my Remington seem to be in the grouped there as well. While my 2 Springfield and Rock Island had the stamps were on the bottom of the receiver.

4) some area of the receiver did not get fine surface finishing so milling marks were common as in pictures #26, 27 & 36 (beside the finishing job your great grandfather did on your rifle which is awesome job by the way).

5) it look like the stock lack the 1903A3 receiver ring cut out so it could be a early (Rem) non-grasping groove stock before Remington switch from stocking bolts to pins.

I'm not a fan of sporterizing military rifle but you have a very unique rifle there and I would not change, along with the family lure that rifle have a interesting story to tell if only it could talk. You can still find correct M1903s out there but not your rifle. Since the damage has already been done I would leave it alone. It is a good look rifle.

As for the missing Ser # done sweat it, if I remember correctly it was not until the 1968 Gun Control Act it was not required all guns in the USA to have serial numbers, and your rifle was modified a decade or 2 prior to that, God bless Great Grandpa he not going to the big house. (I know)

There are two individual that know a whole lot more about M1903s and hopefully they will pipe in on your mystery and correct anything we have convey to you incorrectly.

I hope I help some with your research and remember M1903s rifles are a addictive and tend to multiply in your gun safe. (just can't have one)

Owen
(recovering 1903 rifle collector/addict)
Last edited by Orroe on Thu Oct 26, 2017 11:11 am, edited 3 times in total.

Orroe
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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#17 Post by Orroe » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:34 am

That swivel is going to bug me until we figure out where it came from.

Owen

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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#18 Post by Orroe » Thu Oct 26, 2017 1:23 pm

I also look online at the requirement of serial numbers on firearm incurrence with the 1968 GCA and the 1934 NFA (national firearm act). According to 1968 GCA all firearm manufactured or imported firearm must have serial # and said serial # can not be removed after the enactment of 1968 GCA. Now since your rifle made prior the 1968 GCA, it might fall under the requirements of the 1934 NFA. According to the NFA the only rifle the fall under the NFA requirements are rifles with barrels length less then 16 inches have to be registered with BATF. By your pictures it doesn't look like great grandpa did not had the barrel shorten, so everything good for you to process it legally. As for removing the serial # was not illegal at the time because your rifle did not fall under FNA and serial # was removed prior to GCA (GCA was not retro active to firearm made prior to 1968), as long the rifle was not stolen that is. Feel free to get a second opinion because I'm not a lawyer, I don't profess to be a lawyer or play one on TV. I downloaded and read both GCA & NFA from the BAFT website.

Owen

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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#19 Post by ffuries » Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:13 pm

Stupid question time.....Can the OP have a SN engraved on it to make it legal by current standards?
Mike
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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#20 Post by Orroe » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:15 pm

ffuries wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:13 pm
Stupid question time.....Can the OP have a SN engraved on it to make it legal by current standards?
Yes, from what I read the BATF encouraged people to do so for identification purpose if the firearm is stolen. Even though the firearm fall in the rare category of not requiring one.

Owen

PS: There are no stupid questions, just bad genes.

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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#21 Post by ffuries » Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:55 pm

Orroe wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:15 pm
ffuries wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:13 pm
Stupid question time.....Can the OP have a SN engraved on it to make it legal by current standards?
Yes, from what I read the BATF encouraged people to do so for identification purpose if the firearm is stolen. Even though the firearm fall in the rare category of not requiring one.

Owen

PS: There are no stupid questions, just bad genes.
Cool and thank you, if I was the OP I would have the Army Serial Number of the original family member/owner engraved on it as a SN.
Mike
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Jan 86 - Sept 08
Aircrew Life Support
"Your Life Is Our Business"
(122X0, 1T1X1, 1P0X1)
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Orroe
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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#22 Post by Orroe » Thu Oct 26, 2017 5:01 pm

ffuries wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:55 pm
Orroe wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 4:15 pm
ffuries wrote:
Thu Oct 26, 2017 3:13 pm
Stupid question time.....Can the OP have a SN engraved on it to make it legal by current standards?
Yes, from what I read the BATF encouraged people to do so for identification purpose if the firearm is stolen. Even though the firearm fall in the rare category of not requiring one.

Owen

PS: There are no stupid questions, just bad genes.
Cool and thank you, if I was the OP I would have the Army Serial Number of the original family member/owner engraved on it as a SN.
That would be unique

Owen

AJMBLAZER
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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#23 Post by AJMBLAZER » Tue Nov 07, 2017 9:03 am

‘sup jek!

I’d check local laws in WA before bothering to get it serialed. In Michigan they required it when I lived there but I think they required the State Police’s lab to put the serial on! Turn around time was supposedly horrible.
1950-ish FN M1930 Carbine in .30-06
Variety of other, nonsurplus, guns.

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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#24 Post by M14man » Wed Nov 08, 2017 9:42 am

I would think it would be onfiscated at the least, and an arrest possible at the worst.

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Re: Help with 1903 that has no S/N? Lots of pics!

#25 Post by retread12345678 » Tue Nov 21, 2017 5:53 pm

Looks like a hatcher hole on the receiver left side. Stock may be a Remington stock without finger grooves. The numbers on the barrel may be steel lot numbers, trigger guard
mat be Remington as well. Might have been an original gun at one time, but has been customized. NO. EXPERT

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