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Price check on an M1903

M1903, M1903A3 and M1917.
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eboggs
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Price check on an M1903

#1 Post by eboggs » Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:44 pm

I have been in the market for an M1903 for quite some time, however I cannot seem to bite the bullet and pull out the ol plastic.

I have a few requirements, one being obvious - a good bore, and two, a C stock. I plan to send the rifle off and have a Unertl scope mounted to represent a USMC Sniper rifle during WWII. Unfortunately, this makes the C stock necessary to be period correct.

My problem is, I cant seem to find many M1903's already in C stocks, unless they are pretty rough around the edges...

I have found one, that seems to be in VG+ condition in a C stock with VG+ bore. Price is 1500.....This seems high to me, however there is no wiggle room. Im caught between just giving up and getting it, as it seems my other option is to purchase one without a C stock, and then get a C stock. However, C stocks do not seem to be cheap for a genuine piece, and I am not interested in the current production C stocks.

Should I hold off or snag the one up for 1500? Is this the "new" norm price wise? I have been out of the surplus game for several years now.

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Re: Price check on an M1903

#2 Post by Ghoulardi » Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:30 am

OK, let me get this straight, you're going to take a run of the mill M1903A3 then make it into something it never was; an A4, and you're against putting a commercial C stock on it?

OK, don't understand your thinking on that. no matter which way you slice, or how you slice it, it's still going to be a 1903A3, just with a scope on it. it isn't like you are restoring something that once was and putting it back to his former self. you're going to be making a fake A4. does it really matter that you have to hunt down a expensive USGI C stock to do something like that? when a commercial one will serve the same purpose, for a ton of money less


BTW, not all m1903A4 had C stock they also had scant stocks as well.
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eboggs
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Re: Price check on an M1903

#3 Post by eboggs » Thu Dec 21, 2017 9:38 am

I am very well aware that it will be a 'run of the mill' 1903, and that it will be a -fake- 1903a1. I am not against using a commercial stock, however it seems there are more negative reviews out there than positive when it comes to fit and wood quality.

I am also wanting to recreate a 1903a1, not an a4. I do not believe that I have ever seen a picture of one in a scant stock, nor am I a big fan of that style anyway.

Thanks.

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Re: Price check on an M1903

#4 Post by echo1 » Thu Dec 21, 2017 12:01 pm

eboggs wrote:
Wed Dec 20, 2017 11:44 pm
I have been in the market for an M1903 for quite some time, however I cannot seem to bite the bullet and pull out the ol plastic.
Should I hold off or snag the one up for 1500? Is this the "new" norm price wise? I have been out of the surplus game for several years now.
The new norm is that most all milsurps are gone, or in someone's possession already. The folks dying off with collections that they've spent their life putting together, are the next source. Time is not on your side. PAX

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Re: Price check on an M1903

#5 Post by M14man » Thu Dec 21, 2017 10:50 pm

Prices aren't going down. You worried about that $1500 price and "thinking" of mounting a Unertl?
That scope and work will be another $1000

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Re: Price check on an M1903

#6 Post by Hippycrowe » Fri Dec 22, 2017 1:56 pm

C stocks are over rated I have had 5 1903 rifles with c stocks they were no more accurate or more comfortable to shoot than a straight stock.

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Re: Price check on an M1903

#7 Post by Smokey » Fri Dec 22, 2017 2:54 pm

Using a M1903 as a utility rifle, I found I prefer the old straight grip stock. It's much easier to use and more comfortable, carrying it ready to shoot.
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Re: Price check on an M1903

#8 Post by lemmonhead » Sun Dec 24, 2017 11:50 pm

I'll add my 2 cents. I am never a proponent of D&Ting a non D&T receiver. There are plenty of sporter rifles out there to start with at good prices.

I don't know what your plan is with the rifle but It will always be a clone no matter what....so you might as well make it as accurate as possible.

This is what I am in the process of doing right now. I have a Remington 1903 receiver that was D&T for a Lyman/Redfield rear sight. I happen to have the Remington 1903 receiver but if I was to start from scratch I would still choose a Remington 1903. This could be debated and argued but I think the Remington 1903 receivers are the strongest; more technology and better steel being used. The holes on the receiver can be welded and dressed up to the point of not knowing there were holes there in the first place. If you can find a rifle that had some or all of the bands the better.
Are you planning on looking for a real Unertl 8x or using a Leatherwood?
The Minelli stocks from Brownells look nice but will need some fitting and finishing. The stocks from the CMP have improved over the past couple years and will need a little fitting. Pre War C-stock are out there but expensive. I have 2 pre war c-stocks that were broken when I purchased them. Expect to pay a premium for a nice pre war C-stock with cartouches and no issues.
Assuming you start from scratch here is a rough estimate of what it would cost to put together a good shooting 1903A1 Unertl. Some prices could change if you can find good deals or already have parts. These are the lower end of prices on parts from the usual sources of Ebay, Sarco Inc, Numerich, SSporters, etc. Obviously lower prices deadening on how much work you are able or willing to do yourself. These are rough estimates. Chuckindenver would be the one to contact, he is set up for building these rifles, he has a jig for D&T alignment for the Unertl blocks.

Receiver/sporter rifle ~$250-300
Minelli stock ~$240 A USGI C-stock $300-450
Upper band and swivel ~$35
Lower band and swivel ~$45
Buttplate ~$35
Barrel Criterion ~$220
Rear sight collar/sight ~$70
Leatherwood Unertl ~$550
Steve Earle Blocks ~$50
Totals ~$1450-1500

Gun Smithing Estimates
Rebarrel and Finish ream ~$100
Fill holes and dress up ~$50
D&T for Unertl Blocks ~$125
Parkerize ~$175
Silver sober Blocks ~$50
Trigger Job ~$50
Fit and finish new stock ~$150

Total ~700+

Total $2300 for a competition ready 1903A1 Unertl

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Re: Price check on an M1903

#9 Post by Ernest T » Sat Jan 13, 2018 3:54 pm

I bought a very nice 1903 Marine Sniper clone 2 months ago. The guy that I bought mine off of has built several of these rifles and shoots one of them very competitively in the CMP matches. Here is how he built this one:
1. High number Springfield 1903 (not sporter)
2. CMP C stock
3. New Criterion barrel
4. Steve Earle mounting blocks
5. Scope: Hilux Repro scope and mounts

I was lucky enough to be able to get an 8X Fecker scope and mounts for my rifle from him instead of the Hilux reproduction at no additional cost.

Total cost of this build was less than $2000 (I actually paid less, since the guy did not charge me anything for his time). I got an extremely accurate rifle that is legal for CMP matches. Of course, in order to do it right you really need a mill and gunsmithing skills. There are several guys that will build these for you once you locate the rifle and parts, and that is probably the way to go.

Here is a couple of photos of mine. Note that I broke a part on the rear scope mount and had to replace it, so that is why the front and rear mounts do not match in the photos.

Image
Image

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