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Old 12-09-2016, 07:58 AM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
 
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Default "Bataan" M1903s from Federal Ordnance, 1991 - ad

Some time ago, I posted about some "Bataan" M1903s that had been sold by Federal Ordnance over 25 years ago and sought some input. I was told that they had been imported from the Philippines but had been refinished and totally rebuilt.

On the M1903 Facebook page, someone posted an ad they saw in a 1991 issue of "Man at Arms" Magazine and this was the ad I remember. I saw it in a "pulp" magazine about WWii. The rifle sold for $599 and bayonets at $97.00. I thought the price was $800, but was obviously mistaken.

There was no finish left and my friend John Beard said a couple of parts had been replaced. There were 879 of them and they were sold with the usual "certificate of authenticity" and even a brass plate. Of course, the only thing that was certain was that they came from the Philippines. They could have been left by American troops in 1944-45 or imported at a later time.

However, if any of you happen to know someone who bought one of these and still has one, especially with proof they came from this lot, I would be GREATLY interested!!

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Old 12-09-2016, 09:43 AM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
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I don't know anything about those rifles but it looks like a bit of a marketing scheme to me. But for what it's worth I have a healthy streak of cynicism. It will be interesting seeing what you find.

Last edited by S99VG; 12-09-2016 at 10:33 AM.
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Old 12-09-2016, 10:01 AM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
 
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I admit, I'd like to at least be able to look over an original one. From what I was told before, it is a fact that Federal Ordnance did import a number of M1903s and other rifles from the Philippines during the period. Admittedly the exact origin in the Philippines and whether they really date from 1941-42, may be open to question.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:18 AM
Jeremy2171 Jeremy2171 is offline
 
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I had a really bad shape '03 800k-ish serial that was an import from around that timeframe...its condition showed jungle/wet area use.

I have no clue if it was one of those or not.... where else were ratty rusty '03s coming from back then?
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  #5  
Old 12-09-2016, 11:22 AM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
 
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The only thing these were said as, was that there was almost no finish remaining.
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:33 AM
Tam 3 Tam 3 is offline
 
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I remember the ad, but it wasn't that one. The rifles were purported to be 1903A1s and were pictured (one) as such. Was sorely tempted then. Looks as though I would have been disappointed.

Regards,

Tam 3
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Old 12-09-2016, 11:51 AM
Jeremy2171 Jeremy2171 is offline
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rick the Librarian View Post
The only thing these were said as, was that there was almost no finish remaining.
The odd thing about mine was the finish was brown patina...and all the markings including the barrel dates were scrubbed...only the serial number remained...at least on mine.

Wood was oil soaked and black bore was toast and IIRC there was a slight bulge near the muzzle.

After years I finally stripped and it's being rebuilt into my M-1941 with a new barrel and CMP wood.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:28 PM
S99VG S99VG is offline
 
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So this opens up an interesting topic. I know we blew a large stockpile of munitions right before Bataan surrendered, but what happened to the small arms? I'm sure the Japanese seized them and possibly issued a few to collaborators. But I wouldn't fully expect the presence of extreme wear to be the “end all” indicator for small arms use in the early war in the Philippines. As a matter of fact I would expect it to be a cliché ploy to get unwary buyers to believe such items to be true. I also believe that the small arms used by are military were used hard during that campaign and some likely exhibited it. But not knowing what happened to these small arms makes me wonder what happened to them between the Bataan surrender and the liberation of the Philippines, and it too would be telling of the amount of wear you’d expect them to exhibit.
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Old 12-09-2016, 07:39 PM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
 
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A number were used by Japanese occupation units and some were used by "puppet" forces. The guerrillas went through Bataan and seized weapons from battlefields. Many were taken with Americans and Filipinos when they went into the hills.

Here's a photo of a "puppet" soldier demonstrating the M1903 rifle for visiting Japanese prime minister Tojo in the Philippines in 1943.
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Last edited by Rick the Librarian; 12-09-2016 at 08:11 PM.
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Old 12-09-2016, 08:16 PM
Rick the Librarian Rick the Librarian is offline
 
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Here's a photo of some of the vast number of weapons turned in at the surrender of U.S. and Filipino forces at the fall of Bataan:



Here's a table of weapons and other equipment captured by the Japanese by mid-February, 1942, well before the fall of Bataan:

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