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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. This is the 2nd gun I'm posting about from my wife's inherited collection. The first was the KAR98.

This is clearly a US Remington 03-A3. What I learned from the KAR and sporterizing is that, in this case, the stock appears newer. It is a White Line which I assume is from the 50s or 60s. That coincides with when her grandfather, a WWII Gunnery Sergeant, was probably tinkering with guns. Serial # suggests summer of '43 for manufacture.

Have added 5 photos and can add more if that helps or you are interested. Appreciate you taking a look.
 

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It appears from what i can see your guns have not been sporterized that much from what i can see in the pics. Some of them i can't open to full size. Both this gun and the KAR98 look like they have the front sights which means the barrel has not been cut which is a great thing. They also don't appear to be drilled and tapped for scopes, another great thing. Both of those were very common things to do which kills the value. To me it just looks like he swapped out the stocks and possibly made some other changes that could be corrected if you wished. You have several routes to follow in my opinion. First is to just keep them and cherish them as family heirlooms. Second would be to put them back to original. That would mean finding the correct stocks, upper wood, barrel bands, nose caps, sling swivels etc and of course you could keep them like that or sell them like that. If you chose the selling route most sporterized military rifles don't bring much money but yours "should" bring more as they can be put back to original from what i can tell anyway. One thing though, if you choose to make them back to original make sure you can find all the parts before buying any. I have seen some guys do this and they need say 5-6 parts and start buying them only to find one part impossible to find or if they do the prices is so obscene that it's not worth it. The A3-03 you should be able to find any and every part at reasonable prices, the 98 i don't know because i have never really looked. The other thing to note is the rifles put back to original won't be matching original guns which command a premium price but many or most(depending on the rifle) out there are like this as they were frequently refurbished at arsenals and keeping parts together was not a concern and of course replacement parts for anything damaged just came from other guns they had. Even non matching rifles are still very collectable to many people. Sort of curious to see what else you have....
Oh and the reason many of these old military guns were sporterized is when guys came back from the military they knew these guns so they just did this to hunt with and then non military guys realized they could buy these super cheap and sporterize them for much less than buying a newly manufactured rifle.
 
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They were also pretty cheap. The Springfield cost more than the mausers and ammunition was available, scarce but available. After WWII 8x57 ammo was hard to get especially in the US.

Garage gun smithing was common and depending on the skill and knowledge of the gunsmith, some really crappy jobs were produced. Likewise some beautiful and extremely accurate rifles were made. My father and grandfather belonged to the latter group. They made their deer rifles for around $50 total at a time when a model 70 was going for $75. With custom reloads they were miles ahead of any l anything commercially available.


Alan
 

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Awesome reply, square target 2! And, glad to hear that you don't see tons of sporterization. I assumed the stock, with its two tones, was an indicator that it was really modified.

We will probably leave it as is, keep it clean, and maybe shoot it on occasion. Mainly a memento from my wife's childhood having been raised by her grandparents.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Interesting, Alan. I think her grandfather was more along the lines of your father and grandfather in terms of craftsmanship. 8mm just sounds different to me, too.
 

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A lot of people these days pooh pooh sporterization, but these days aren't those days. 98 Mausers we're beyond plentiful and could be bought singly or by the shovel full for $15 or less. They were surplus and in addition were not under ANY restrictions except your ability to pay. The mailman would deliver them to you house. They were not worth stealing.

Those weren't all either. Pretty much any surplus military arm, barring full auto or explosives, could be bought the same way. It ain't those days any more. The military sporter craze supported a whole segment of the firearms industry. Stocks, accessories, barrels, etc. Not to mention boosting the gun smithing trades.

And until you have closed the bolt on a properly done 03 with lapped locking lugs and squeezed off a round from a polished crisp two stage trigger, there's really nothing to compare anything else to.

Alan
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Great background that I definitely wouldn't otherwise know. The last line was almost poetic and makes me eager to try it out.
 
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