It would be nice to have some photographs of the actual firearm provided by the police both to verify the serial no. and barrel code and to confirm it was in fact a Remington 721 and not an 03 Springfield. As I said in an earlier post, and please by all means correct me if I'm wrong, Richard, if it was a 721 it would support the commonly-held view that this guy was well-off financially. After all, if he had a limited budget you'd expect him to buy a cheap surplus rifle that was originally military issue. At least that's what I'd think. I guess he could've bought the Remington used or traded something for it too...The Rifle was a Remington 721A which was chambered for, and loaded with .30-06 Springfield Ammunition.
Early reports were incorrect or somewhat misleading to state that the rifle was "a Springfield ". That 30 caliber rifle round was developed by the US government in1906 for use in the standard issue 1903 Rifle which was developed at Springfield Armory.
The confusion comes from someone referring to the Rifle by the Ammunition it fired. The 1939 date was clearly a typo.
The Remington 721A Rifle in question could be dated in two ways. First by its serial number, and secondly by what is called a Remington "barrel code". These are small letters stamped into the barrel just forward of the receiver and above the stock on the left side. Those codes can give you the month and year of manufacture.
I don't know what those markings are, and I don't know if police investigators checked them out. The Rifle had to have been made some time between 1948 and 1958.