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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Ok Guys heres the deal,

A guy I work with has a Smith Corona 1903A3 serial #4817### and it belonged to his Dad, he has no interest in the rifle and wants to sell it for his Mom I personally would love to have it to own a piece of history but have no idea what to offer, heck I have not even seen it (bringing it to me after the holidays) I know these are 30.06 and thats about all I know, he has no idea what to ask he just said she wants a fair price
Where can I get a price to offer ?
 

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When I picked up my Smith Corona 03-A3 a year ago they were typically in the $500-700 range, depending on if it was refurbished or not. That SC that you are looking at it pretty late serial number (mine is a #4781XXX), hopefully it hasn't been sporterized or anything. Good luck!
 

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Agreed, it is hard to put a price on something that hasn't been seen. SC's can bring a premium depending on condition and originality. Take some pics when you see it and post them and maybe you will get a better idea.

I just ordered one of the Pacific miniseries O3A3's and asked for an SC and paid a premium, but I'm paying for the provenance of an O3A3 that was in that particular miniseries speculating it will increase in value because of it's connection to the show. Only time will tell...............................
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
When he comes back he is bringing it with him and he said I can take it wherever to get a price he just wants a fair price... my plan is to snap some pics and post and see what you experienced guys have to offer up... I may never shoot it if I offer up to buy it I just feel its an important part of history that I want to pass on to my son and or grandson
 

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If it is in the original military form still I would throw $500 out there and see if he took it if it is in decent shape. If it is in really good shape or has correct parts it might be worth $700-$1000. If it has been "sportirized" it is probably worth $250 or less depending up on how professional the Sportorizer was.
 

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My dad sold his SC A3 about 10 years ago for $600. It had a C stock but he had replaced the flooplate and front band with standard 1903 forged parts. Hope this gives you some idea.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I have been doing some research and it looks like it's going to be in the $500+ range, as stated I have not seen it and he knows nothing about them so I will have to wait until he brings it back so I can snap up some pics to post to see what you guys think, kinda getting excited as this is a part of history I want to pass on
 

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I think $500 is a pretty fair private-party price, as long as it is not sporterized and is in original military configuration.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
I plan on posting pics here for review, what should I be looking for ?
 

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Barrel date, any letters stamped near bolt handle, stock cartouches, any small parts stamped "R", would be helpful to determine value. BTW, nice original finish, and a bright-shiny bore, with a stock that isn't all beat up is a big plus, too.

Charlie

Charlie
 

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Most major Smith Corona parts are marked with an X. Small parts are unmarked. Stocks are noticably rougher than Remington stocks.





I've read elsewhere that the Marines in the Pacific did have 1903s , but not '03A3s.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well Guys my buddy brought back his dads rifle and told me to take it home and look at it, well what I know about these rifles you could put in a thimble so tell me what you think I should offer or should I pass.

The Stock has quite a few dings but I think they can be taken care of by refinishing, on the side of the stock their is a square outline that has some letters inside the only one I can make out is an A on the bottom their is a P inside a circle the barrel date is 3-43 and it looks like it has 4 grooves also the front sling hook has a gap in the middle ? is it missing something, the rifle looks like it has never been apart and the barrel has a residue inside kind of a powdery residue that appears to be light blue in color.
I do not have any 30.06 cartridges but I took a .308 Nosler CC and put it tip first into the barrel and outlined it with a marker I am hoping you guys can tell approx muzzle wear

















 

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It looks to be a fine example of a 1943 (March) manufactured 1903A3 by Smith Corona. The swivel, which you indicate has a gap, is the stacking swivel. This allows for three rifles to be "hooked" together (stacked) to form a tripod in a bivouac area.

The initials on the left side of the stock are probably "FJA" for Col. Frank J. Atwood, CO Springfield Armory and would constitute an acceptance stamp. The "P" in the circle on the pistol grip is the designation for "proof firing"/acceptance .

The .308 bullet you have stuck in the muzzle is the same diameter of the bullet (.308) used in 30.06 ammunition. In my opinion, one cannot tell or gauge the muzzle wear by inserting a bullet. I would suggest that you have the throat and muzzle gauged by a competent gunsmith who is familiar with U.S. military weapons.

While it is a matter of personal preference, I would suggest that the stock be left "as is" and not refinished. Again, it is my opinion that refinishing the stock could deminish the collector value.

The "blue powdery" substance is probably residue from copper fouling. The barrel and chamber would probably benefit from a through cleaning.

Based on what the picutures show and what these rifles are bringing, I would speculate that the value/price would be between $450 and $600. The condition of the bore will be a factor. If the bore is not pitted and the muzzle/throat wear is minimal, then the higher value may apply.

It looks like a very good rifle and a great pice of history! Make sure you get all the information you can from the seller regarding his father's aquisition and use of the rifle.
 

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Few of us have a borescope or access to one, but I'd volunteer to clean the barrel and chamber thoroughly in order to get a good look with a light and mirror. That'd help me with making an offer and help the owner sell it to somebody else if I decided to pass.
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
My Plan is to clean the rifle throughly from stem to stern, I asked him if he minded me doing it and he said no so I plan on soaking the bolt in Hoppes over night and also soak the barrel with Butch's Bore Shine and let it sit or use some type of foaming bore cleaner and if I do purchase it how would I improve the stock without stripping and refinishing it ?
 

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You're under no obligation to do anything w/ the wood and it's unlikely to add value to a collector. But if you want to spiff it up, you get the stock and handguards off the rifle, remove the band metal, get some wet rags and a steam iron. Give yourself plenty of time and figure having to steam the worst bruises several times. When all the water finally evaporates out and you've pulled out as many dents & cuts as you can fix, refinish in and out with BLO or Tung as close as you can get to what's there now. You'll likely need several coats, fine steel wool between them. I'd wager it comes out looking good. The USA used good straight walnut on that one.
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
My plan is to clean the rifle (Checked with my buddy and he said ok) I plan on pushing some Hoppes down the tube and follow with some Butch's Bore Shine and then some oil I also plan on cleaning the bolt and maybe just do the whole thing and then look at the barrel for pitting, the .30 cal bullet I pushed into the bore measured .307 on the inside of the line so I am guessing the muzzle wear to be ok ?

I am not sure of the value and neither is he so we both are not sure of it's worth he did say SC's were supposed to command a higher price than SA one's and I told him from what I could gather it all depended on condition, from the pics I have seen and the info I have gathered I am thinking if the bore is good and she shoots good would $400-$500 be good or would that be a low ball offer ?
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
Update with more pics and info:
Ok Guys,

Got back from the Dealer in League TX and the Owner said I have a very good rifle he did advise that the stacking swivel and the butt swivel were not original to that rifle he also adv the all the markings looked correct and it is a 4 groove barrel that is very good and should be a good shooter.

He seemed very knowledgeable on 1903's M1's and M-14 and told me the history of the design and etc... he advised me to get a box of ammo and sight it in and check for key holing, I asked about HS and other safety concerns and he said I should be GTG just bench it on bags and fire away

Here are some additional pics that are more what you seasoned guys may need to help me out, he also advised not to touch the stock other than using some BLO or True Oil he said True Oil drys faster than BLO and also said maybe rub a light reddish stain on it followed by a light paste wax for wood















 

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Looks good to me GI5
 
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