I picked a Remington A303 in a gun/pawn shop in Seattle a few years ago. It was a great store that dealt with a lot of militaria, but unfortunately has since closed its doors. Really too bad, too, because the owner was a straight shooter (no pun intended), and you could believe what he told you. Anyway, I knew the gun was a parts gun when I bought it, but it looked like it was at least all Remington parts. I finally got around to researching it last week and confirmed pretty much what I already knew. The receiver was built in '42, it was rebarreled in '44, and the stock has all the appropriate marks and parts for a Remington. My one mystery, which I hope someone can solve, is the bolt. Remington bolts usually had a small "R" stamped on the underside. This bolt, which is blued while the rest of the metal parts are Parkerized, has on the flat spot on the top of the bolt a very tiny, as in a powerful magnifying glass was necessary to read it, capital "H." I have not been able to find any information about any model A303's that had this tiny "H" stamped on the top of the bolt. Anyone know anything about this? Many thanks.
Genuine, all original U.S. military arms of that vintage and earlier are super rare. I'd guess 99% are arsenal rebuilds, as the government kept these in shape to be issued if necessary. The rifle still mattered then,,,, no 'smart' bombs or drones. Those that aren't are in museums or in the safes of serious collectors. The "H",,,,, Harrington & Richardson. The entire country was involved with the war effort (WWII), unlike more current actions. The proper designation,,,, U.S. Model 1903A3. The title of this thread had me puzzled for a moment. Reminton made bolts are still quit available on the 'used' parts market (I think Sarco bought all of the new surplus parts when they were liquidated). Although, head space would need to be checked and verified before firing the rifle (or keeping the bolt with the rifle). It's still a keeper. Good examples in military configuration are getting harder to find. Just check the prices at the next gunshow.
"Shoots real good!": definition; it didn't blow-up in my face. 1993 graduate Montgomery Community College 2yr. gunsmithing program
Thanks to Feenix for the tip. I checked their site, but could not find anything. I sent them a message so I should hear back from them.
shortgrass: sorry about the title mix-up . I was doing about three things at once when I posted that and got my 0's and my 3's and my A's all mixed up. I do know that it should be 03A3 but I did not even notice my own mistake until you pointed it out. I thought about the "H" being H&R, but would have thought they would have added the "R". I'll have to see if I can pick up a Remington bolt, and at least the whole rifle will be Remington.
I also have a U.S. Model 1903 that is very nice that I picked up from a collector, but I have never researched it. Just looking at it, all the wear looks consistent, but that doesn't mean anything. My father-in-law was a tank commander and became a good friend of Patton. He was the consummate soldier and loved to tell war stories. Having two daughters with no interest in the war, he was in heaven when I came along and listened to his stories by the hour. He was also in the occupational government after the war, and having an agricultural degree, he was put in charge of all of Germany's forest resources. The German who had his job prior to the war was in prison but maintained that he was not a Nazi. My father-in-law went to Patton and said that he could do his job a lot better if this guy was released and made his assistant. Patton agreed, freed the guy to his family, and he and my FIL became good friends. This is where the story gets really good and then really tragic. The guy trusted my FIL and they became good friends. As I am sure you all know, no one in Germany at that time was allowed to own a firearm. This guy told my FIL that he had a gun hidden in his mountain cabin, and if he would take him up there to get it, he could have it. My FIL began to describe the gun and I began to drool because every US serviceman was allowed to bring back one enemy gun as a souvenir. My FIL's description was a bit sketchy, but he said that the gun was in a fancy leather case, had multiple barrels, and had a lot of engraving and had "Parker" printed on it. I was waiting on the edge of my chair for him to say that he still had it upstairs in his closet and that he was going to leave it to ME! That's not what he said. What he said was, "I traded it for a Luger that I sold for $50." Disappointment does not run any deeper than that, folks.
But back to the other Remington. When my FIL passed away, he had a military funeral with all the honors, the flag folding, etc. I had a picture of him in his uniform and I had all of his medals, citations, and decorations, 10 in all, and I picked up three empties from the salute. Then I started going to gun shows, and picked up a nice 1911, a very nice M-1 parts gun, an M-1 carbine which is all IBM but the stock, and bayonets for all of them. Then I built a fancy walnut case which turned out to be a bit larger than I intended, but all of that stuff with the flag are tastefully (IMHO) displayed therein. He was issued all of those weapons at some point in his military service. I built the case so that it is sealed...no door so people can't open it up and start playing with things. And that , in the very long form, is the story of why I have never researched the 1903 to see if it is original, but I also have no illusions of what it might be. Outside of museums, I have never seen a complete, original example of any of those weapons. I have dashed the hopes of a few people who have claimed to have one, which I probably should have not done, but we all have to live with disappointment somewhere along the line.
If you read this literary version of a Rube Goldberg invention, I thank you kindly. My Father-in Law was a special person who was very proud of his service in WWII and the Korean conflict, and no offense meant to those who shed tears when relating their war memories, we took Stan and one of his war buddies to see "Saving Private Ryan," and as the theater emptied of teary eyed people, Stan and his buddy had big grins on their faces and were slapping each other on the back as they traded old war stories. And this was a man who went back into a burning tank hit by a German 88 and brought out three of his crew. He was selected by Patton to be the first tank commander to cross the Rhine river, on a bridge built, ironically, by his cousin.