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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hi all!

I acquired my first '03 a while back, now I'm looking to expand.....

My LGS has a few 03-A3s available (they have had them for quite some time):

First is a very late Remington, it's condition is very very nice, 2-groove bore for $895

Second is a Smith-Corona with mixed parts, not quite as nice, 2-groove bore for $795

Third is a Smith-Corona that is import marked, not as nice as the other 2, but has a 4-groove for $850

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Now for the dumb questions:

Are the 4-grooves more desirable?

These seem cheap by current standards, thoughts on prices?

It seems like SCs are a little more desirable?

The second rifle, with the mix of parts, is an earlier serial than the Remington. When did Smith-Corona begin production?

Is a mix of parts "correct"?

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Thank you all in advance for your help!
 

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Are the 4-grooves more desirable?
Not to me, tests have shown that the two groove barrels shoot the same as those with four grooves.

These seem cheap by current standards, thoughts on prices?
They seem to be withing current market prices.

It seems like SCs are a little more desirable?
Only if they are in original condition, otherwise they are just a typical arsenal rebuild.

The second rifle, with the mix of parts, is an earlier serial than the Remington. When did Smith-Corona begin production?
Mass production started in November 1942

Is a mix of parts "correct"
Only for a arsenal rebuild
 

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Your LGS has 3 on hand, you're lucky. Around here most shops don't want to mess around with mil-surps.

Go for the Rem. And take pics.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thinking at the prices they have them, and how long they've been there, could probably get each one down about $100.... typically they'll go 10%, but these have been there since before I got my '03 (from the same estate), so I could probably be more persuasive.
 

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Yep, cash is king too.

And for what it's worth, I had asked the 2 or 4 groove question here once and was told it didn't really matter much.
 

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2 or 4 are more accurate than my wobble zone. You will NEVER notice any practical difference.
 

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any stock markings? (OG etc)
any parts blued?

check the muzzle with a M2 ball round, and see if they have a throat gauge
 

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Don’t remember when I’ve last seen a real milsurp in a gunshop or pawnshop other than the occasional ak, sks or rough mosin.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Sounds like a pass on the 4-groove, sounds like I need to look at the Remington a little closer.

any stock markings? (OG etc)
Yes, but I can't remember what on which.
 

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Get the one with the most original parts and clear stock cartouches. The Remington sounds good, look for all parts marked with an R. Also nothing wrong with a rebuild if clearly marked as such and for a goodprice.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Well, I did the deed.

Went for the Remington, pics to follow.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
It's not a "very late" Remington, 1943 based on the Remington Society website. With its '44 dated barrel, I'd take this as a rebuild. All parts are Remington except the bolt, root is marked BP.

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Do you guys want more pictures?
 

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For your first...your in the money and condition I’d like
 

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Yep, cash is king too.

And for what it's worth, I had asked the 2 or 4 groove question here once and was told it didn't really matter much.

While I was not around for the era when the 4 vs 2 grove question was hot, when I first was shooting at the ranges in the mid 1980s there were some guys still around from the pre 1967 era when there rifles were very much competitive rifles for those who were not well healed or who had a sentimental attachment to the Springfield. By then (1980s) most of the WWI vets were gone off of the rifle ranges, but these were their sons, who were young teens/men in the 1930s when the M1903 was the rifle.

Being a young man I thought I would retain the info forever, but my father who was wiser told me to write it all down in a note book, as one's memory fades with years. Which it did. So while I really do not recall the conversations here is what is in my notebook on the topic. The date is Feb/March 1988, but the chaps who I discussed it with I had worked with in 1983/84 and it was happenchance I ran into them at a rifle match that spring. I don not recall exactly when they were shooting matches but it would have been in the 1960 to 1968 time frame, the club we were firing at had allowed the DCM program to elapse in 1968 and had just restarted the program in 1988.


“Some of the barrels made in WWII were over-sized, almost all were made by Remington and do not shot well past 200 yards. SA and High standard barrels were almost always true .308 diameter, they made the best match barrels for the full course.”


On two grove barrels: “It is often said that the two groove barrel was tested by ordnance and found to be equal to the 4 groove barrel. Well that might be true for a service barrel but in competition there was no comparison. The two-groove barrel would shoot well at 200 yards, but once you got to 300, 500 and 600 yards it would start to throw flyers. It was common knowledge and I have seen it more than once. The two-groove would start to throw flyers out at 300 yards. No one knows why, but I think it had something to do with the fouling pattern on these barrels; some of them were pretty rough inside. At 600 yards there was no comparison. Back then no one used two groove barrels for anything but cast bullets, but that is an entirely different story.”

On WWII wood stocks and the M1903A3: “There was nothing wrong with the M1903A3 accuracy wise in comparison to the M1903 as long as it had a good barrel. The big difference was the wood. Prewar Springfield’s had good walnut that had been quarter sawn, allowed to dry for a couple of years and then carefully inletted. WWII rifles, once they worked through the blanks on hand, had kiln dried walnut, poorly cut to boot, so that they would commonly warp in wet weather. That is why post war the DCM allowed match rifles to have cut down wood. The inletting was loose too, first thing one did with one of these rifles was to replace the wood.”

some folks may find that of interest.
 
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