Rock Island what???

Discussion in 'The Powder Keg' started by JoeInCT, Aug 31, 2002.

  1. JoeInCT

    JoeInCT Guest

    1903 newbie, have a Rock Island 03, sn 1908xx,
    yr mfgrd 1910 per another site.

    However, has :
    - an SA 1-18 barrel MW gauges 1.5, no idea on TE
    - an 03a3 rear handguard. std Gi rear sight removed.
    - Lyman sights in place of GI. Front is post inside loop,
    rear peep mounted on right side of arch in front of
    the bolt and L's over the top
    - scant stock with finger groove, in great condition
    - JS in a box on left side of stock btwn trigger and bolt
    - the letters F and B descending in the safety cutout
    - no stock proof marks I can see behind trigger guard
    - a very light and unreadable stock marking on left side
    - a straight bolt handle
    - no other stock proof marks I can see

    Have not disassembled, want to get a good manual before I try that.

    What kind of modified 03 monster do I have?
  2. JackT

    JackT Guest

    I am no 03 expert, but just got my first RIA in the mail. I think you said it best, some kind of modified monster.

  3. JoeInCT

    JoeInCT Guest

    03 Monster

    Suspect that she was loved by her former owner, who fixed one of her major flaws once she was his. That conclusion comes from the condition of the stock, and the 03A3 rear handguard...he took care of her, and made her sexy-looking again after he took off her rear sight.

    Some kind of history here which intrigues me.
  4. Joe,
    Just to get the terminology right, what you have is a straight stock, not scant; a "scant is sort of a compromise between a straight stock and a Type C pistol grip stock.

    Is the stock cut down? Look a little closer at the JS -- is there a JSA instead? If so, the stock might date to 1918 or before the inspector, JS Adams. The F over B is an unknown sub-inspector mark - on later Remington stocks in the WWII era, it was possible to i.d. the mfg. of '03 stocks there.

    I might have replied to you on the CSP forum, but maybe you missed it.
  5. JoeInCT

    JoeInCT Guest

    Thanx Rick

    Saw your post on CSP...thanx for the reply.

    Understand straight stock now.

    Looked again at the mark, definitely only a JS, in a box, looks like it was burned into the wood, it is not stamped.

    Wish I could make out the stamped mark, it is essentially illegible.

    GunsAmerica RIA 03 has sn near mine, putting both in 1910 mfgr yr, owner suspects its RI 6-18 barrel is original, receiver possibly made in RIA's first prod run pre-WWI, but not finally assembled until production restarted at RIA for WWI. May also explain my SA 1-18 barrel.

    If so, sounds like a bit of history here.

    BTW, Lyman sights are 57SME rear, 17A front.
  6. You might contact John Beard ([email protected]) and ask him his opinion on the 1918 barrel. I would say there is a chance your receiver was "saved" and used later, but probably not.
  7. JoeInCT

    JoeInCT Guest

    Rick - JB opinion

    John says not likely original barrel.

    BTW, looked at stamp in another light ... it is J.S.A ... A was barely legible as an imprint in the wood, and only at a certain angle to the light. J. S. Adams, Springfield Armory Inspector 1890-1920.
    Have tried to do a pencil rubbing on the other mark...still no luck.
  8. I think I looked at you original post and went through my list of cartouches - the only combination that used a "JS" was indeed JSA.
  9. JoeInCT

    JoeInCT Guest

    A Mark

    My son, with much sharper eyes, saw the A when the light was just at the right angle. He suggested it was worn away because it's right under the shooter's thumb!

    We tried pencil rubbings on the other mark. Still no luck. Will try a magnifying glass. Gotta figure that one out!

    Appreciate everyone's input.
  10. Gyrene

    Gyrene Guest

    JoeInCt - The rear sight that "L's" over the rear of the receiver sounds like a Lyman 48B or 48C sight, which was installed by Springfield to produce rifles for the Director of Civilian Marksmanship (DCM) to be sold to NRA members for competition. It may not be one but it is very likely to be one. The Globe front sight is more indication of this being a NRA rifle.

    They are variations of the 1903 Springfield rifle, and as such are collectable. These were kind of forerunners to the civilian version of "National Match" rifles, and you may also find an 8 pointed "Star" imprinted at 6 O'clock on the muzzle. These are found, so they are not really rare, but they are still valuable to shooters and collectors.
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2002
  11. JoeInCT

    JoeInCT Guest

    Lyman sights

    Thanx for that info.

    I had initially had suspicions it may be an NRA/DCM set-up.

    As to the rear being a 48 model sight, the model number 57SME is clearly indicated on the back of the rear sight base, hiding behind the bolt handle. As for the front sight, the dealer gave me a little can with the rifle which says 17A on it.

    I have seen indications on the web that the services may have periodically sold 03s to service personnel during the 50s. The fact that the original GI rear sight was removed, reasonably priced Lyman sights installed, and that an 03A3 forearm was installed, leads me to believe she may have been made into a target shooter by a loving ex-GI.

    Any way one looks at it, there is an inkling of an intriguing story here.