Need some direction on an 03-A3


December 29, 2006, 08:08 PM
I inherited this 03-A3 from my Grandfather and I'm trying to figure out exactly what I have.

There are no markings on the barrel and it has 95, 82 on the right side of the bottom of the receiver and 08 on the left side of the bottom of the receiver, all of which are in squares.

The stock is cracked. Old age, being a 30-06 and being stored in a humid environment doesn't help. I'd like to put the correct stock on it.

I'm not going to shoot it, I have no use for a 30-06, but I'd like to get it back in working condition if I can find a stock for it.


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December 29, 2006, 08:24 PM
I did a quick ebay search and found some parts, there is a couple stocks listed

December 29, 2006, 08:25 PM
You ought to find a stock on ebay or the web, or get a new but correct one from boyds gunstocks. You can educate yourself pretty quickly on C and S stocks for the Springfield.

If your grandfather liked it this way, and you aren't going to shoot it, is there any chance you might leave it as is? Maybe your kid would like it later. Nice looking rifle. There were a million of them sporterized. Wonder how it shoots?

December 29, 2006, 08:32 PM

I saw those on ebay but my question is, which stock is right?

Did this come with a sporterized stock, I'd like to keep it that way, or was did it come with the military wood?

I'm completely ignorant on these things and it will be a few days before I can lay my hands on any kind of book that would help.

December 29, 2006, 08:41 PM

My grandfather actually didn't care much about guns, he quit hunting before I was born. We'd go out to the farm and drag some guns with us, but he wasn't a gun nut and saw them specifically as tools and not much else.

The stock is broken badly in the inlet and along the back of the pistol grip, so it would be unsafe at any rate.

My wife and I don't have any kids, not going to have any, so the kid aspect is out the window. I may leave my guns to a friend of mine's son but I'm not worried about what he likes. :D

I remember shooting this thing when I was about 12 at a stump out at the farm and after about 3 or 4 rounds I picked up my M1 carbine and left the 03-A3 alone. I think this rifle is still the reason why I don't care for a 30-06 much.

I should have said that I still want to go with a sporterized stock, I'm not convinced that it came with the military stock on it.

I'll check out Boyds and see what I can come up with.

December 30, 2006, 11:13 AM
Check Ebay, I just saw about 4 or 5 sporter stocks for the 03a3 on there as i was looking for a 03a3 original stock. They were all reasonably priced also

George S.
December 30, 2006, 01:04 PM
The most common military stock was the straight stock while the S stock and C stock were fairly rare. The stock on your rifle is a sporterized version and it was pretty common to take a military "03 or '03A3 and convert them to hunting rifles.

To return your rifle to it's original military configuration, you will need the stock set (like the straight stock in the eBay link) and the metal pieces (butt plate, stock bands and stacking swivel. You can get a Boyd's stock which will require finishing and maybe a little sanding but it will be a nice replica of a military stock. You only need to apply some boiled linseed oir or Tung oil to get the right military finish.

Smith-Corona was one of the manufacturers of the 03A3 (Remington was the big supplier); the serial number should date it sometime around 1943. Are there any markings on the barrel just behind the front sight? Military replacement barrels would have the US Army Ordnance "bomb" and a month-year date stamped on the top of the barrel right behind the sight.

If you don't hunt with it, I would vote for returning to the original military condition especially if you can find a USGI stock. It will be worth more in the long run and you will have a nice piece of military history.

December 30, 2006, 01:09 PM
Found out all the info on another site and also found out that I'm oblivious to stuff hidden in plain sight.

The barrel is original with an SC, flaming bomb, dimple "pass" mark, and 1 43 for the date. (

December 30, 2006, 11:17 PM
One of two WWII manufacturers of the M1903A3 rifle, the other being Remington. Smith-Corona M1903A3 rifles are less abundant than their Remington counterparts, and in original military configuration command good prices.

Looks like the barrel's uncut, so I'd say that rifle is a candidate for restoration back to full military condition.

Used stocks and handguards are a crapshoot with respect to condition and provenance. There are folks out there who have the cartouche stamps, just waiting to sell somebody a no-name straight, scant, or C-type stock for lots of money.

I restored a 1903A4 sniper - and went with new wood from Boyd's. Since it was a restoration, I didn't care about the cartouches. Your Smith-Corona M1903A3 would look quite smart in the proper WWII straight-grip stock and handguard.

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