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I just got this CMP reply from a buddy regarding the condition of the recent Cmp 1903 offerings... I hopes this helps you all who are interested...
Good Luck!... .50 BMG
As you can imagine, I've had about a zillion inquires about the CMP M1903 rifles. I tried to personally answer all, but have gotten so far behind it looks like the only way to catch up is to do a generic note and try to answer all the usual questions. Please excuse the non-personal response to your questions, and, if this doesn't answer them feel free to contact me again.
General condition of the rifles ? most are freshly rebuilt and have been in storage for quite a while. They are heavily coated in cosmoline, grease, wax, dirt and all combinations of the above. We will not clean the rifles, just the chamber and bolt face to check headspace. Count on several pleasant evenings cleaning your wonderful rifle. Most have a nearly new dull black finish on the metal parts. Some may have been bead blasted and
caustic blued. Others have a worn finish. Very few are rusty or pitted and we will try to use these for spare parts.
Almost none of the wood is original to the rifles. There are many WW2 replacement stocks and the finger groove stocks have almost all been heavily sanded. The typical rifle has a replacement barrel and stock and the wrong bolt but will have a very good to new barrel and good wood.
C stocks ? the C stock is a full pistol grip stock similar to the M1 stock. It is original only to the A1 National Match rifles and to some 03-A4 rifles. All other rifles fitted with the C stock are technically rebuilds, regardless of the manufacturer or barrel date. All M1903 rifles fitted with the C stocks are designated as M1903 A1 rifles fitted with a C stock are still 03-A3s. The C stock fits most shooters better than the S or scant stocks and looks
better (to me, anyhow). Almost all of the C stocks at CMP are WW2 replacement stocks ? Keystone, SA, etc. The very few prewar Cs are not in a good condition. None have original cartouches. A few may have Raritan, Augusta, Red River, and etc. rebuild cartouches. Very, very, few of the low numbered rifles will have original barrels. If we do see one, it will probably end up on the auction. Some may have 1918 or 1919 rebuild barrels, usually Avis. I've seen almost no WW1 or earlier stocks and they were in poor condition. Don't expect a collectable low number rifle. Most of the high number RIA receivers will have SA barrels from the late 1920s or WW2 barrels. Maybe 15% will have a RIA barrel, which may or may not match the receiver.
The high number SA receivers usually have WW2 replacement barrels, although some may have the original barrel. A few early barrels have been noticed on high number receivers. Most mismatched was a 05 barrel on a 151XXXX receiver. Almost none will have an original stock. There are quite a few Remington M1903 with original barrels, but some will have WW2 HS or Sedgley barrels. Some have original stock.
The 03-A3 rifles sometimes have virtually all-original parts, but many will have an incorrect bolt. Most of these rifles would be fairly easy to restore but don't count on getting a 100% correct new A3. Many are pretty well used.
If you order a rifle without a C stock, you may get a non-finger groove WW2 replacement stock or a scant stock. Most of the finger groove stocks are oil soaked and dented. Very few will have any cartouche left and most have been sanded heavily. The WW2 replacement stocks are usually in much better condition ? some in excellent condition.
All high numbered receivers will have curved back bolts; low numbered receivers will have straight down bolts. The bolts usually won't match the receiver but will headspace. MK1 rifles will often have WW2 replacement barrels. Almost none will have
any of the special MK1 parts. I've seen a few MK1 stocks, but almost none were on MK1s. Don't ask about changing out stocks or finding parts. No MK1s originally were fitted with a C stock.
I'm often asked which of the 16 options I would recommend. An easy question, since I collect only late SAs in C stocks. But I'm prejudiced and you will probably be happier with something else. Most likely to be in a restorable condition would be the A3s and Remington M1903s. Best shooter would be any high number SA, RIA, or Remington in a C Stock. Least likely to have any collector's value are the low numbered SA and RIA in the non C
stock. But you might get lucky.
We are really swamped with orders and cannot possibly select a rifle for you. We have received a huge response to our sales announcement already and ads will appear in several national magazines in the next few weeks so things will probably get busier.
Hope this answers your questions. Please feel free to ask more but it will probably take a few days to get a response.
Good luck with your rifle! Hope you get a great one.
Lynn Meredith
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