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I purchased a Remington 1903A3 made in Dec 1943. It appears to be as new and mainly not fired. Does that seem possible for a 77 year old rifle. I talked to a gunsmith about doing a trigger job , I checked the pull weight and it was about 4.5 lbs.After dry firing several times the pull weight came down to about 3.8 lbs. What would I gain with a trigger job,lower pull, smother pull or what. Looking for advise. Thanks
 

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The Shadow
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1) I purchased a Remington 1903A3 made in Dec 1943. It appears to be as new and mainly not fired. Does that seem possible for a 77 year old rifle.
2) I talked to a gunsmith about doing a trigger job.... What would I gain with a trigger job,lower pull, smother pull or what. Looking for advise. Thanks
1) Possible, sure. I don't think it very likely, more likely that it's been refurbished. Whether arsenal after the war, or otherwise.

2) ..... Are you asking what a trigger job accomplishes? Or are you asking us, what the trigger that only you have pulled; needs to have done to it???
 

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That gun has a direct-acting sear. You only mess up a nice rifle by altering it. Buy a Timney over-ride trigger and you can adjust with a screwdriver.
 

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It is highly unlikely that the rifle was never fired. There are however a lot of 03A3's that made it out into the civilian population in very very good condition. I have Dad's that he purchased from an add in a hunting magazine in the late 50's I believe for $25. It looks like new issue, but it also has an RA stamp on it, which I believe is from where it went to Rock Island Arsenal for Refurbishment. Hard to tell what all they did then, but it still has a 43 barrel which looks like brand new on the inside.

As far as the trigger, you could probably lighten it up a bit or reduce the creep. But, I have always thought the trigger was pretty good for what it is.
 

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Late produced rifles were stored, as new. thousnads sold in mint condition in the '60s. So it could be mint original.

'03a3 has a double pull trigger, a weld on trigger and grind can get rid of that ;and polishing can improve sear. If you are going to do that, I'd buy a new trigger part and 'play' on the new part and keep the old trigger as a simple pin removes/installs the trigger. I'd just get a Timney; drop in, but some wood needs to be removed, as Timney is wider.

If you are keeping it full military a 3.8# trigger is fine for militaary peep sight shooting.

just some thoughts.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The rifle does not appear to have been arsenal refurbished because the stock does not have an arsenal mark on it. The question about having a trigger job done is should I do it at all or leave it alone. I have an M1A and a Garand and both were sent to Fulton for their NM rework and I really liked the results. I do not want to mess up the 1903A3.
 

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I assume it has the original approval cartouche's on the stock, but none for arsenal refurbishment. I didn't know that any were stored new and sold, but I am not the most knowledgeable military rifles. I do know there are people making stamps so that you can mark new stocks for people who are wanting to replicate the original cartouches on new stocks. I am not sure if an absolutely original 03A3 is that much more valuable than a perfectly refurbished or rebuilt one.

For what it is, I would probably leave the trigger the way it is. I can shoot pretty accurately with Dad's 03A3 with the standard military trigger. It is not great by current standards, but is way better in my opinion than what comes out on most AR's stock and is even better than a standard M1A.
 

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I learned to shoot on old milsurp rifles, so I don’t give a second thought to the original military triggers with lots of creep and 4# pulls. I’d leave it as it is, but that’s just me.

In the meantime, you should post some photos of this beauty.
 

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It depends what you prefer. An original Remington Model 1903A3 from WWII in excellent or mint condition would be more valuable without alteration. They are going for very high prices today. If I wanted to shoot or alter a classic military surplus rifle, I would look for one that was already on the used gun racks in the gun shops I visit.

It is possible that a military rifle from WWII was held in storage or in a private collection and then ended up in the market. Pictures would be helpful. All the best...
Gil
 

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The question about having a trigger job done is should I do it at all or leave it alone. I have an M1A and a Garand and both were sent to Fulton for their NM rework and I really liked the results. I do not want to mess up the 1903A3.
Well, I suppose it depends on what YOU want.
To me, all guns are appliances. I don't care what someone else thinks of my choice in color, or how taping kids drawings on the fridge, might hurt it's resale value.

So if you want to keep it original, either for collector sake or otherwise; that's fine. But if there is something you don't like about it, for whatever reason, then you should absolutely change it and don't look back.

Cheers
 

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An O3A3 in the condition you described should be placed in a display and kept in pristine condition as it is. It's worth a fortune and the second you fire it or mess with it you've destroyed 2 to 5 hundred dollars of it's value. There are plenty of old shooters out there for things like that. Leave it alone. There's a Bubba around every corner so don't listen to them. But in the end it's your rifle.
 

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Since it was at the end of the 1903A3 production, It most likely went straight into storage. I have an earlier A3 that was produced in Aug 43. And it was pretty clean. From what I could find out it went straight to the VFW after the end of the war and they used it for several years at formations and funerals. Be careful about trigger jobs. The CMP standard is a minimum of a 3.5 pond trigger pull for competitions. A trigger job will smooth out the trigger pull. Not important for just busting caps, but for competition it could be important. If you do it use a reputable gun smith that really KNOWS vintage military firearms. I personally use Fulton Armory.
 

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It is highly unlikely that the rifle was never fired. There are however a lot of 03A3's that made it out into the civilian population in very very good condition. I have Dad's that he purchased from an add in a hunting magazine in the late 50's I believe for $25. It looks like new issue, but it also has an RA stamp on it, which I believe is from where it went to Rock Island Arsenal for Refurbishment. Hard to tell what all they did then, but it still has a 43 barrel which looks like brand new on the inside.

As far as the trigger, you could probably lighten it up a bit or reduce the creep. But, I have always thought the trigger was pretty good for what it is.
If it went to Rock Island Arsenal then it should have been stamped RIA and not RA which I believe would be Remington Arms.
 

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Is the reciever marked National Ordinance ?
My 1903-A3 appeared brand new , unfired with a Remington 44 barrel ....
a few years later I discovered what the National Ordinance marking on the action meant and why the rifle appeared brand new .
Gary
 

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Leave your Springfield trigger original. You can, with little effort, remove the bolt and stone the cocking piece carefully just to smooth any roughness. Do not remove metal from the front edge of the cocking piece sear. I work with 98 Mauser style rifles as a hobby. Your Springfield is a Mauser design copy as are most other bolt actions. If you carefully remove the bolt and stone and polish the cocking piece and make sure the trigger pins are working free and smoothly, your Springfield trigger is good enough.

As other posters noted, military triggers are designed to take abuse and still be safe and adequate for hard use. You just have to learn how to control and shoot them, and they will give great accuracy. Many shooters are spoiled with lightweight, adjustable triggers. With bolt action military triggers, place your thumb under the center of the tang at the same point every shot. Hook your finger at the same place on the trigger each shot. Take a breath and try to make your pull as slow and smooth as possible. You will discover that your Springfield, with its military trigger, is capable of great accuracy.

After WWI, there was commentary that the Germans fought with hunting rifles (98 Mausers) Britain fought with military rifles (Enfields) and USA fought with target rifles (the 3006 Springfield).
Most Springfields with expertly cleaned barrels and smoothed trigger pulls are capable of very good accuracy. They have "cut" rifled barrels, which most top match rifles use nowadays. They were fewer US Springfields produced than US Enfields, so Springfields will become rare in the future. I would not modify one in any way that is not original. The value to collector value just keeps increasing.
 

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dave_72 - There were 3M 1903's built including all the variants. There were less 1903's built by the end of WWI than the 1917, but they continued to make 1903's and eventually in WWII the 1903A3. The poster has a 1903A3 which in my experience seem to be more plentiful in good shape than previous variants. I think the 1903's obviously saw many more years of hard service than many of the 1903A3's
 
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