I purchased Remington SN 3004295 about 11 years ago for $550, manufactured in November 1941 the 2d month of production(Remington was assigned 3000001 as the start block for serial numbers). Remington was awarded a contract to produce the rifles using the old Rock Island tooling from WWI. The major issue with the rifle was a scant stock replacement. It should have had a Col Roy L Bowlin (RLB boxed) initials correct stock. About 10 years ago, I began the restoration. At that point I didn't know who Col. Roy Bowlin was and had little idea what I was getting into! The good news was I had a Remington hand guard and the front sight, both bands, elevation knob, rear sight base, bolt and parts and the follower were R marked. The bad news was I needed to find R marked cubby door and buttplate, triggerguard, follower spring, floorplate, rear sight friction knob and support, lower sling swivel base, on/off switch...all of which had to be milled and last but not least a RLB grasping groove stock. In 2009, in the mail, the last R marked part arrived(the rear sight friction knob). At long last, 4295 was back to a complete Remington rifle.
Some notes on these early Remingtons: 1. The rifle production started prior to WWII and the contract was to use the old RIA standards....Rust Blue on all parts, milled and only the action, floorplate and triggerguard Parked. 2. Obviously, Dec 7, 1941 changed everything. In Jan, 1942, the Army modified the contract to allow for stamped parts, plain stocks and more parkerization. 3. Simply put, the first three months of production are highly sought after because they were essentially hand made. 4. Adding to the rarity was the fact that Col Bolin was reassigned and the boxed RLB cartouche only appears on some 35,000 stocks. 5. How this rifle escaped rebuild is a total mystery....many of these were issued to NG units and survived overhaul. Finally, finding period milled R marked parts is becoming very difficult.
If you have any questions on these I'll be happy to try to answer any and all questions and yes, the handguard is Remington and different from all other 1903's! Enjoy. Regards, Rick.