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Great story about a safe find!

4950 Views 9 Replies 9 Participants Last post by  Will t
Evening and I can finally count myself as a true member of this group. If this thread belongs somewhere else, move it appropriately.

I recently came into possession of a M1A that caught me off guard. I'm always looking for a M1A but I just haven't found one I could settle with.

I have a good friend that told me about his M1A he had. I'm always in the market as I have (1) M1A and 4 Garands. Never hurts to have another. I offered to buy it off him if he ever wanted to sell. I never looked at it just made the offer. HE said he would think about it.

Recently he passed away. I forgot about our conversation until his wife asked if I wanted to purchase some of his weapons. When she showed me the list, I remembered the conversation about his M1A. I never looked at the serial number but when I looked at the barrel, low and behold it was marked RT1 BX 210, DEVINE, TEX. That jumped out at me. I quickly googled the serial number to see that it fits in the serial numbers range. It is serial number 1355. I was taken back as I realized it might be a unique rifle. I had to leave town the next day and told her I would take the rifle.

The back story is that my friend received the rifle from his father when he passed away. Supposedly, his father was a gunsmith that purchased the rifle in the early 70's. The rifle hasn't been shot much at all. I don't have a set of gauges to check the barrel and I haven't broken the rifle down yet.

Now that I am back, I'm starting the process of trying to value the rifle. She had it listed for $1200.00 and I let her know that was too low. So, I'm looking for the best way to value the rifle.
Please refrain from using the Firing Line as a substitute for each individuals responsibility. Any threads asking for a value will be deleted with this Sticky.

Also if you should decide to answer one of those questions, please refrain from giving a value. Without seeing the item, in your own hands to inspect completely you can be doing an injustice to either the buyer or seller by stating a value here.

You can research the Sold Classified Listings (SPF §) section below here which has over 9,800 listings, or other auction sites (Gun Broker, Cal Guns) across the internet to come up with a general price for your rifle.

Are there any build records for these rifles? Did Mr. Balance keep or send any records to Springfield Armory possibly? It is a wooden stock, not sure if it is bedded, but it has a square p stampeded on the hand guard. The proof mark on the M14 stock (square with P stamped) confirms that the stock was attached to a M14 rifle and test fired before leaving the factory.

All this fun. Nothing like this ever happens to me.

I've actually shot it 4 times since. It functions flawlessly. This is too much of a dream and I'm waiting to be pinched.
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I'm old enough to remember (in the early 1970s) when they were being advertised for around $250
Back when we had just come off the gold standard. Now they print our money so much that a roll of toilet paper is almost worth $1. A 90% silver 1964 or earlier quarter I do believe is worth $7 a coin presently.

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How are the barrels marked?
The complete rifles assembled at the Devine location usually are hand stamped with the RT I BX 210 Devine TX address on the bottom of the barrel above the gas plug. The stamping usually reads from left to right going towards the muzzle but also right to left appearing upside down. Some early Texas Springfield Armory M1A’s with serial numbers below 200 have the stamping under the hand guard area which requires removal of the action from the stock to find it. The Devine address can be one or two lines and also be stamped with BOX & TEX or BX TEX or BOX & TEX or just DEVINE TEX no box or route number. Above serial number 1500 until the end of Texas production a pantograph engraving machine was used to apply the barrel address. Around serial number 2200 the Barrel address changed to a Radium SA address. I highly recommend Lee Emerson’s book the History and Development of the M14 Rifle available on line and in hardback as a great resource
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