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Old 07-31-2018, 12:13 AM
ARAK1547 ARAK1547 is offline
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Default Chrome plated “parade” 3-43 dated 1903a3

What can you tell me about this rifle. I paid $385 OTD for it (20% off used gun sale). It is fully functional and the barrel is mirror bright with no residue in it. Did I just score a legit US Army parade rifle? If so, what’s its value worth today?







An M1903A3 "parade rifle"

Springfield Armory Museum - Collection Record
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Old 07-31-2018, 02:04 AM
merl67 merl67 is online now
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Looks legit to me...So if I understand you it hasn't been demilled which was done by torch cutting the bottom of the barrel, spot welding the barrel to receiver (these were done on the bottom so as not to be seen when the rifle was reassembled) and spot welding the cutoff to prevent the bolt from being removed. If you got a fully functional 03-A3 parade rifle fo under $400 I think you did very well.
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:15 AM
ARAK1547 ARAK1547 is offline
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I was able to take the bolt out of the receiver without issue. And barrel (bore) is in pristine condition. Do you have a pic of what you are talking about (torch cutting bottom of barrel?)
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Old 07-31-2018, 06:55 AM
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Torch cutting to De-Mil a firearm is a pretty ugly affair and insures that only a complete moron would ever try to fire the rifle. Basically what is done is a slot is cut in the bottom of the barrel from the chamber forward and then then any surface flash that would interfere with mounting the stock is ground away. Best way to see if this has been done is to simply remove the stock.

PS; IMO if yours hasn't been De-Miled consider that price you got it for as a good bargain. Because it's almost unheard of to find a Parade Rifle that has not been De-Miled. BTW, even though it may not look like it right now that stock is also a Parade quality piece of wood. While you would lose the current patena if you were to completely sand that stock down and finish with 400 grit and Tung Oil you would have what many would consider a Class A grade stock.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:05 AM
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You didn’t get hurt, but values have traditionally been low. It seems they’re finally getting some recognition and prices are increasing.

It’s probably out of a former American Legion Post. I’m just outside of the “Motor City” and a lot of surplus guns were chrome plated, courtesy of the “Big Three” afternoon shift bumper shops.
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Old 07-31-2018, 07:09 AM
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When I was on the JROTC drill team our 03-A3s had plugged barrels and welded firing pin holes'
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:00 AM
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That stock with the finger grooves is for an earlier 1903 not an A3, while a lot of drill rifles were deactivated many parade and honor guard rifles were left live for firing blanks at funerals etc.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:16 AM
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Early in WWII, Remington made 1903 and 03-A3 rifles, and A4's. Mack is correct about the stock with finger grooves. They were used on some of the Remington 1903s, but I believe the A3s had the newer stock with pistol grip and no grooves. Not a big deal really if all you wanted was a functional 1903.
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Old 07-31-2018, 10:47 AM
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Most of those seen were made up for use by ROTC color guards and organizations like the American Legion and VFW for use in parades and ceremonies. You didn't pay too much if it is still in shooting condition.

Last edited by DWalt; 07-31-2018 at 05:42 PM.
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Old 07-31-2018, 11:47 AM
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We have two of those at the Amvet post I'm a member of to my knowledge they have never been used by the honor guard they just sit in the safe and look pretty. The 8 M1 Garand's get used several times a week it's my duty to keep them clean and running it's amazing how dirty blanks are.
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Old 07-31-2018, 12:26 PM
ARAK1547 ARAK1547 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DWalt View Post
Most of those seen were made up for use by ROTC color guards and organizations like the American Legion and VFW for use in parades and ceremonies. You didn't pay too much is it is still in shooting condition.
Bore is immaculate, nothing is welded, and can’t find much (if any) powder residue anywhere. The place where I got it gets tons of old guns in.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:13 PM
Glashaus Glashaus is online now
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Those pictures look familiar, it’s a rifle, goes boom when you put a 30-06 cartridge in it and pull the trigger.
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:35 PM
Muley Gil Muley Gil is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shark Bait View Post
Early in WWII, Remington made 1903 and 03-A3 rifles, and A4's. Mack is correct about the stock with finger grooves. They were used on some of the Remington 1903s, but I believe the A3s had the newer stock with pistol grip and no grooves. Not a big deal really if all you wanted was a functional 1903.
The '03A3 that I drilled with had a straight stock.

I once responded to a burglar alarm at a funeral home. They had several '03 rifles used for veteran funeral services. I believe they were chromed. It was only 38 years ago!
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Old 07-31-2018, 01:36 PM
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Those pictures look familiar, it’s a rifle, goes boom when you put a 30-06 cartridge in it and pull the trigger.
Yes, they do
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Old 07-31-2018, 03:42 PM
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Nice find. Items as yours were common at many Amvets, American Legion, and VFW posts in the 1950's and 1960's. Some were shipped to them chromed, and many were chromed locally. They were used for parades in the days when these organizations could field a parade team. They were also used for honor guards at funerals and Veteran's Day parades. I've been to a thousand of these events and remember them clearly. Nice history in my opinion.
Many were 'liberated' through the years due to not being used often and post closures. Many were replaced when M1 Garands were made available to the posts.
I enjoyed looking at yours. I do not suspect that we will ever know if it was a military drill specimen or a 'post' specimen. In past years these had little appeal, but as we know the times they are a changin', and they are picking up in value.
Check it thoroughly prior to shooting 06 ball.
Oddly, I came across two 30-40 Krags recently that were chromed with black stocks. Same type of history. Just couldn't let them pass, so brought them home quite inexpensively. A U.S. military collector decided he needed them more than I did, so they have relocated......
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH1951 View Post
Nice find. Items as yours were common at many Amvets, American Legion, and VFW posts in the 1950's and 1960's. Some were shipped to them chromed, and many were chromed locally. They were used for parades in the days when these organizations could field a parade team. They were also used for honor guards at funerals and Veteran's Day parades. I've been to a thousand of these events and remember them clearly. Nice history in my opinion.
Many were 'liberated' through the years due to not being used often and post closures. Many were replaced when M1 Garands were made available to the posts.
I enjoyed looking at yours. I do not suspect that we will ever know if it was a military drill specimen or a 'post' specimen. In past years these had little appeal, but as we know the times they are a changin', and they are picking up in value.
Check it thoroughly prior to shooting 06 ball.
Oddly, I came across two 30-40 Krags recently that were chromed with black stocks. Same type of history. Just couldn't let them pass, so brought them home quite inexpensively. A U.S. military collector decided he needed them more than I did, so they have relocated......
Visually, everything looks A-OK everywhere. What should I really look out for before paying it off and taking it home?
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Old 07-31-2018, 04:24 PM
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Originally Posted by ARAK1547 View Post
Visually, everything looks A-OK everywhere. What should I really look out for before paying it off and taking it home?
One thing to be aware of is chrome plating extending part way into both ends of the barrel or possibly through it. That reduces the bore and groove diameters raising pressure. If it's there I would measure the bore by slugging it before deciding whether to fire regular cartridges.

I own a chrome plated but other wise original and functional U.S. 1917 .30-06. My guess is it was most likely plated by a veterans' organization but were any 1917s chromed by the military?
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:07 PM
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I would be very cautious about actually chambering and closing the bolt on that 03 until a competent gunsmith at least had a look see, preferably one with a Go-No-Go set of gauges for chamber and head spacing checks.

It appears to me that the chroming was a "dip" job, completely assembled as it appears the front sight hood was not removed. You really cannot tell for sure without some detail stripping but if it was a dip job then sure it looks terrific but all precision fits points will be off by the thickness of the plating which can be up to 0.040" thick in the old days.

The woodwork is definitely not Remington war II time, but as prior posts point out you could probably get a very good sum for that stock by itself.

Photos below are of my shipped Feb 1943, barrel marked 1/43 all correct Remington 1903-A3. That one left my safe for a new home with a military collector about a year ago for $900, so yes you got a terrific deal IF yours is shoot able, but be safe and have it checked and know for sure before injuring yourself or others, and even if it is not shoot able...you still got a very nice looking piece of history.
Attached Thumbnails
-1903a3-1-jpg   -1903a3-2-jpg   -1903a3-3-jpg   -1903a3-4-jpg  
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Old 07-31-2018, 05:45 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JH1951 View Post
Oddly, I came across two 30-40 Krags recently that were chromed with black stocks. Same type of history. Just couldn't let them pass, so brought them home quite inexpensively. A U.S. military collector decided he needed them more than I did, so they have relocated......
Back in my old home town, the American Legion color guard used some Krags which were chromed, with the stocks painted white.
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Old 07-31-2018, 08:17 PM
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I would be very cautious about actually chambering and closing the bolt on that 03 until a competent gunsmith at least had a look see, preferably one with a Go-No-Go set of gauges for chamber and head spacing checks.

It appears to me that the chroming was a "dip" job, completely assembled as it appears the front sight hood was not removed. You really cannot tell for sure without some detail stripping but if it was a dip job then sure it looks terrific but all precision fits points will be off by the thickness of the plating which can be up to 0.040" thick in the old days.

The woodwork is definitely not Remington war II time, but as prior posts point out you could probably get a very good sum for that stock by itself.

Photos below are of my shipped Feb 1943, barrel marked 1/43 all correct Remington 1903-A3. That one left my safe for a new home with a military collector about a year ago for $900, so yes you got a terrific deal IF yours is shoot able, but be safe and have it checked and know for sure before injuring yourself or others, and even if it is not shoot able...you still got a very nice looking piece of history.
That’s a beautiful war horse
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Old 08-08-2018, 06:52 PM
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Picked it up. Inside of the chamber is not chrome. Firing pin intact. Looks like it’ll be a great shooter
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Old 08-09-2018, 02:33 AM
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Quote:
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I was able to take the bolt out of the receiver without issue. And barrel (bore) is in pristine condition. Do you have a pic of what you are talking about (torch cutting bottom of barrel?)
I do not have a picture, but basically they would cut a notch into the barrel chamber making the gun incapable of chambering a round clearly visible by looking through the bore.
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Old 08-09-2018, 08:01 AM
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I think it was chrome plated by a previous owner. You could always re-finish it. Pretty cool though!
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Old 08-09-2018, 11:32 AM
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I do not have a picture, but basically they would cut a notch into the barrel chamber making the gun incapable of chambering a round clearly visible by looking through the bore.
I function tested it with live rounds. Worked perfectly
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Old 08-09-2018, 12:45 PM
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While in the Air Force security police a friend was part of the honor guard at 273 Vietnam era funerals. He never wanted to be in the military and preferred that duty over guarding bases. They shot blanks through fully functional Springfields that were not chrome plated.

To prevent hitting the man in front of them while spinning them in parades they practiced twirling their Springfields standing close to the wall. Also synchronizing their twirl was important to prevent over lapping rifles from clanging into each other. To get the rifle started spinning they moved one foot to the side away from the grounded rifle butt then swung that foot back over kicking the butt with the side of their foot. You could start with present arms.

By the way, their handguns were S&W Model 15s.

Last edited by k22fan; 08-09-2018 at 01:41 PM.
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Old 08-10-2018, 08:20 PM
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A number of years ago, a woman was selling her deceased husband's collection of chromed drill rifles at a Phoenix gun show. I had the choice of several, and chose one that was fully functional. I think I paid about $120 for it at the time.

I was nostalgic for me to have one; I had used them on a college Army ROTC drill team.

I searched long and hard for a chromed bayonet to go with it, finally found one and paid almost as much for it as for the rifle not long ago.

Mine is a Remington '03-A3, and the barrel date is 2-43.

John



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