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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey can anyone help with a few questions about my Springfield rifle? First i just purchased this rifle and it has a replacement c style stock and I think it is walnut but im not 100% sure? Second i want to coat the stock with raw linseed oil for a more original look. Has anyone had any experience with the raw linseed oil and is it a good choice?
 

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Howdy

That looks like an A3-03. My A3-03 has a noticeably lighter colored stock than my 1903 does. It looks like the color of your from the pics.
I'm not sure I'd do anything to that.

Does it have the armorer's cartouches stamped on the side? Maybe a circled P underneath? That might indicate an original stock, or at least replaced with an original stock. Unless it has been sanded I wouldn't do a thing.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
It is an a3 03 but it is a replacement aftermarket stock. It does not have any cartouches. Guy said he replaced it himself with the c style stock
 

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Your replacement stock sorta looks like birch in the photos, but there's no way to tell from here. If it is birch, then some stain might be necessary to darken it a bit.

Don't despair if it is a birch after-market, replacement. It'd be a great-handling and very useful rifle if fitted with a C-Type pistol grip stock. I've had original Springfields with C-type stocks and they shoot a treat off the bench rest.

Here's an '03A3 stock for color comparison.





I've had this Smith Corona since the mid-1970s. I have no way to substantiate this but am of the opinion that it was a very early production (12-42) barreled action that was never used, was later taken from stores, and armory-assembled using a scant-grip stock to be sold through the DCM program of the 1950s-1960s. It then knocked around for a decade or two, mostly unused, until I purchased it from Prince Jewelry & Loan (pawn shop) in the fall of 1975.


The scant-grip stock was a expedient development which was the result of the use of straight stock blanks already on hand but forming them on C-stock (pistol grip style) manufacturing equipment. The completed Smith Corona '03A3s would not have been equipped with the scant-grip stock as they were originally supplied but were only supplied with straight-grip stocks. Scant grip stocks were kept in armorers' inventories for replacements and repairs.

After acquiring Brophy's 1903 Springfield reference work and finding out how a proper Smith Corona '03A3 should look, I came to despise the look of the scant-grip stock on my rifle. I've not changed it out though out of sentimentality. That's the way it came to me and that's the way I've used it.


I've used the hooey out of this rifle over the years. It was my first deer rifle, with great success, and it served on the firing line for my participation in local high-power competition for the first half of the 1980s, until I got a DCM M1. It's so smooth and feeding and function is so positive that I'd feel fortunate if it was the only rifle I had for all purposes.

Oh, and welcome to the Forum ADM1991! Glad you're here and what a great first post!
 

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Oh, one other incorrect revelation on my '03A3. The original front stacking swivel band on the rifle was blued. That was correct on the Smith Corona rifles, even though all other major external parts were Parkerized. I originally thought the stacking swivel band on my rifle was some sort of incorrect replacement because it looked so out-of-place with the Parkerizing. About 10 years after acquiring the rifle I met a gunsmith bud who had a sandblast machine and could Parkerize. I had him do my stacking swivel band so it would appear coordinated and "correct." I've got a proper blued stacking swivel band around here somewhere and have intended to put it back "right," but haven't gotten "a round tuit."
 

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Oh, one other incorrect revelation on my '03A3. The original front stacking swivel band on the rifle was blued. That was correct on the Smith Corona rifles, even though all other major external parts were Parkerized. I originally thought the stacking swivel band on my rifle was some sort of incorrect replacement because it looked so out-of-place with the Parkerizing. About 10 years after acquiring the rifle I met a gunsmith bud who had a sandblast machine and could Parkerize. I had him do my stacking swivel band so it would appear coordinated and "correct." I've got a proper blued stacking swivel band around here somewhere and have intended to put it back "right," but haven't gotten "a round tuit."
I just looked at my 03-A3 and both barrel bands are blued.
Maybe an indication of them not being stamped parts and being a smaller part?
 

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The '03A3 bands are stamped parts for sure, as are the stacking swivel, sling swivels, bayonet lug, butt plate, and even the trigger guard which is stamped and formed. It's amazing how Remington devised to significantly simplify and lessen the cost of production of the gun over the original 1903 variants. Yet, Remington and Smith Corona, who benefited from Remington's design revisions, cranked out one very good bolt-action military rifle. Sturdy, easily serviced, and highly accurate.

My only complaint about 1903 rifles is that all variants' stocks are just too short for me. I enthusiastically adapted to this characteristic years ago though and in no way hold this against my favorite military bolt-action rifles of all.

I love 'em!

Once kept a collection of the 1903s that was a tangent taken to excess. Let's see if I can recall them all. Still mourn selling them in order to buy a collectible car.

A 1905 vintage Springfield Armory, early enough to be a rod-bayonet arsenal upgraded rifle. Barrel dated 1905 with corresponding low five-digit serial number and its original arsenal-altered rod bayonet stock.

A 1908 vintage Springfield Armory, all correct.

A 1913 Rock Island, all correct (still have this one)

A 1915 Springfield Armory, all correct with the NRA stamping on the floor plated, indicating early civilian sales.

A 1917 Springfield Armory, original but a bit of a dog.

A 1918 Springfield Amory, dark early Parkerizing. Characteristics appeared to be early post WWI rebuild. (still have)

A 1918 Springfield Armory with plugged holes taking the mount for the Winchester A-5 scope (WWI sniper rifle?)

A 1919 Springfield Armory Mark I, original, with proper unique receiver, stock and small parts for the Pedersen device.

A late Rock Island '03 with 1920s Springfield barrel and parts.

A Model 1922AII (.22 training/target variant of the '03 - still have)

A super scarce original 1937 Springfield Armory 1903-A1 with very high serial number and C-Stock. One of the very last made.

A Remington Model 1903, original early production, made in December of 1941, before the advent of the '03A3

A late 1920s Springfield Armory rifle rebuilt during or immediately after WWII with High Standard contract barrel.

A Smith Corona '03A3, early serial number w/early six-groove barrel (still have)

A Remington Model 1903-A3 w/2-groove barrel (shot like a house afire)

A Remington Model 1903-A3 w/4-groove barrel

A Remington Model 1903-A4 sniper variant (an early 1990s DCM purchase)

These were all purchased for cheap, later sold for a tidy sum. Thing is, if I still had 'em they'd be worth a large pile that could have helped with that retirement investments we talked about in that other thread.
 

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Thanks for the info.
I didn't know the bands were stamped.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
Thanks for the welcome and all the information! This definitely helped out and i am thinking it may be a birch wood stalk also. I may think about a stain as well. Any recommendations?
 

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Dark Walnut?

I'm not good at recommending stains. The Springfield Armory-produced stocks were just dipped in hot raw linseed oil and hung to drain. The raw linseed oil will age to give a bit of a reddish hue to the dark brown color of the stock. Original Trapdoors, Krags, and Springfields stocks have this characteristic reddish hue. It's one way they can be determined to be original. I don't know how to duplicate the appearance. Always figured that one could perhaps mix walnut stain and fruitwood stain for the best possible match.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
The reddish hue is the color i would like it to be. I was going to go with the raw linseed oil for that reason. I just dont know how it would turn out with the lighter color of stalk i have on mine. Maybe ill try it on an inside part of the stock to see what it does to the color?
 

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I got an M1 that had the stock Bubba'd. After stripping the furniture I put Minwax Red Mahogany on it. I let it sit a while before wiping it off.
It came out better that it was going in.
Looked better in natural lighting, but this will give you an idea.
 

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Well, there ya' go! Red mahogany.

When put on the natural hue of the walnut of that stock, PAcanis, it does quite a good job of mimicking the hue to which I refer.

Good job and good lookin'!
 
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Yeah that m1 looks great. Really nice color to it and i think i will try the same with mine!
Can you boldly go where few have gone before? :tongue:

Stripping made easy.
You can see where the previous owner was trying to get the varnish or whatever off it.
 

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Dishwasher's way to brave for me. Besides, there's Mrs. BMc to contend with. I've always employed denatured alcohol for stock stripping. Seems stout enough for the job. Sucks a lot of oils and stains out of the wood surfaces. Evaporates quickly so one can either reapply or else begin his sanding step.

Wonder if one could go to the car wash and hit it with the whitewall cleaner and then the high-pressure soap and rinse?
 
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