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Patent date on my Model 03
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July 1, 2021 - 1:20 am
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According to the serial number (74767) on my Model 03 it was manufactured in 1912 (possibly 1913) so how can it have a Feb 8 17 patent date as one of the four patent dates on the barrel?

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July 1, 2021 - 3:31 am
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Model 1903 S/N 74767 was actually manufactured in October, 1911.  If it has a barrel marked “MOD 03” that tells us that it is not the original barrel.  The Feb 8, ’17 patent date is also another clue that it is not the original barrel.  Does the barrel have a “P” stamped in an oval on it ?

Bert

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July 1, 2021 - 1:43 pm
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My 03 has stamped to the rear of the sight  MOD. 1903. 22 CAL. AUTOMATIC.    On the second line is stamped   -WINCHESTER-  and on the third line  

TRADE MARK REG. IN U.S. PAT. OFF.

In front of the sight is stamped MANUFACTURED BY THE WINCHESTER REPEATING ARMS CO.

NEW HAVEN.CONN.U.S.A.PAT.AUG.27.01.FEB.25.02.FEB.3.17.DEC.22.03.

It also does have a small P over a small W in an oblong circle stamped on the top of the barrel almost touching the receiver and the same stamp on the top of the receiver just behind the barrel stamp. 

Beautiful gun in excellent shape. Been in the family since sometime not too long after WW1 

Is the 17 , between an 02 and an 03 stamp some sort of stamping mistake?  

Thanks

   

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July 1, 2021 - 2:27 pm
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Can you post (or send me) a clear picture of the patent marking on the barrel of your rifle?

Bert – [email protected]

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July 2, 2021 - 2:24 pm
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just emailed you the patent info photo on my 03. thanks Byron

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July 2, 2021 - 2:39 pm
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Byron Jones said
just emailed you the patent info photo on my 03. thanks Byron  

It has not arrived in my inbox yet…  please try sending it again, and put “Winchester Model 1903” in the subject line.

Bert

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July 2, 2021 - 4:20 pm
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Finally got the photo downloaded onto my computer and sent it from there. Failed to attach it to the first one, resent immediately with photo. Thanks again, Byron

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July 2, 2021 - 4:40 pm
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And here it is…

Patent-dates.jpgImage Enlarger

I am somewhat at a loss to explain the out of order date.  Typically, the patents dates marked on the barrels are in date order, earliest to latest.  The patent marking on your barrel is either out of order, or it was an error on the roll die.  It is also possible that the person who made the roll die transposed the date, and it should “FEB. 17. 03.” versus FEB. 3. 17.

A request… all of you who read this and own a Model 1903 rifle, please check the marking on the barrel and reply to this topic string.

Bert

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July 2, 2021 - 5:08 pm
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Bert look at the first rifle barrel marking I posted on my thread about “win 1903 opinions” It has the same thing feb.3.17

 

Steve

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July 2, 2021 - 5:24 pm
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The patent date is in error.  The actual patent for the “Tubular Magazine Gun” was granted to T.C. Johnson on Feb. 3, 1903. 

It was not transposed as there is no Winchester patent dated Feb. 3 1917 or Feb. 17 1903

The previous roll-marking with the full patent years (1901, 1902 and 1903) was correct.  The second roll-die with the erroneous marking was used for many years after that.

Below is an early roll-marking with the full years (serial #7424) and another 1911 era rifle with the error ’17 date (serial #70373).

Best Regards,

Patent-1903.jpgImage EnlargerWinchester-1903-70373-21.jpgImage Enlarger

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July 2, 2021 - 5:53 pm
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Jeff,

Thank you Sir for the research and accurate information!  This example is now just one of several known patent date errors that Winchester made.  The one error that I am most familiar with is the Model 1894 “AUGUST 14. 1894” error stamp.  This error is found in the 286000 – 400000 serial number range, and only on the Carbines and ELW rifles with a round barrel.

Error Patent date

365647-August-14th-Patent-date-error.jpgImage Enlarger

Correct Patent date

318257-August-21-Patent-date-Trapper.jpgImage Enlarger

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July 2, 2021 - 6:05 pm
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Hi Bert,

Always glad to help with rim fire stuff!  The patent date error on the 1903 has been known for quite awhile.  Unfortunately the 1903 is not high on my research priority list and I have not had the time to do a survey to narrow the serial number range down like you have for the 1894.  Maybe someone can volunteer to jump on that project?

Looking forward to seeing you and everyone at Cody!  Counting the days…tick, tick, tick.

Best Regards,

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July 10, 2021 - 2:21 pm
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I am thinking now of selling my 03 rimfire with the patent date error. Does anyone know if the error increases the value, lowers the value or has no effect on value. 

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July 10, 2021 - 3:19 pm
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error-pat.-date-model-03.jpgImage EnlargerModel-03-barrel-mark.jpgImage Enlarger

Here is my mod. 1903 ser. #84781 with the error patent date. I believe it was made in 1913.

I’m also wondering about the 03 barrel marking. Bert, you commented this marking designates a replacement barrel??

The proof mark is oval with WP on the barrel as well as the frame.

Darrin

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July 10, 2021 - 3:22 pm
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The “94 with a date error get no more value, it’s condition that counts to the majority of collectors. Are you thinking of putting your 03 on our swap meet forum ? From what I see in your picture you have a Winchester Proof on your barrel. Its a WP in a oval.. There’s never a OP on a receiver, at least I’ve never heard of one. 

Edit….. As pointed out later in these posts, the 03 roll mark rather than 1903 shows the barrel was replaced based on the date of production. 

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July 10, 2021 - 10:28 pm
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1903-16656.jpgImage Enlarger1903-16656-pat.-error.jpgImage EnlargerJP-LOWERS-Sons.jpgImage Enlarger1903-49087.jpgImage Enlarger1903-49087-pat.-error.jpgImage EnlargerOk, so much for the rarity of the error patent date. I have 2 other 1903’s ser. #16656 (1904) & ser. #49087 (1908) both of which are marked with the Feb 3 1917 date. One may deduce that all barrels between #16656 & #84781 are marked as such?

The earliest one has all the roll marks in line with top center of the barrel fore and aft of the sight. Number 49087 has patent dates on top in front of the sight and the rear roll marks are off to the left side.

Of more interest #49087 is stamped JP Lowers and I believe under that is Sons with Denver under that on the right side of the receiver.

Darrin

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July 10, 2021 - 11:18 pm
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What about the word Winchester in italic, and not in block letters? When was the change for that?

https://i.imgur.com/zyHvrj9.jpgImage Enlarger

 

What is this mark for on the lower side of my receiver.

https://i.imgur.com/yEw1rUg.jpgImage Enlarger

Steve

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July 11, 2021 - 4:34 am
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Byron Jones said
I am thinking now of selling my 03 rimfire with the patent date error. Does anyone know if the error increases the value, lowers the value or has no effect on value.   

The Patent date error has zero positive or negative affect on the value of the rifle. As mentioned by Vince, it is the graded condition of the rifle that will determine what its value is.

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July 11, 2021 - 4:41 am
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Darrin Smith said
error-pat.-date-model-03.jpgImage EnlargerModel-03-barrel-mark.jpgImage Enlarger

Here is my mod. 1903 ser. #84781 with the error patent date. I believe it was made in 1913.

I’m also wondering about the 03 barrel marking. Bert, you commented this marking designates a replacement barrel??

The proof mark is oval with WP on the barrel as well as the frame.

Darrin  

Yes, the “03” tells me that the barrel has been replaced.  A 1913 production barrel was marked “1903”.  Jeff (JWA) and I have had several lengthy discussions this weekend while at the Cody Show, and he mentioned to me that the Model 1903 has one of the highest rates of replacement barrels (reason unknown), but in his travels and experience, there are a substantial number of Model 1903 rifles found with replacement Model “03” barrels on them.

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July 11, 2021 - 4:51 am
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slk said
What about the word Winchester in italic, and not in block letters? When was the change for that?

What is this mark for on the lower side of my receiver.

https://i.imgur.com/yEw1rUg.jpgImage Enlarger

Steve  

I do not know or have an answer for your first question.  That stated, I highly suspect that the italic type marking was used after (later than) the block style marking.

In answer to your second question, that is an inspector’s stamp.

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