Today I just picked up my "new" 1903A3. It is Remington manufacture made in Sept. 1943. All internal parts are of Reminton manufacture. The Rifling is crisp, and show absolutly no signs of corrosion or piting. I bought the rifle from a local for $585. When I took it home, there were signs of anti-corosion grease dried on the rifle, after a thorough cleaning, I it now has a flawless even parkerization coat. The only defects I see are a few dings in the stock, and the upper band has some pitting. I was amazed when I looked at the bore, it appears to be parkerized, and it looks as though it has rarely been used. Needless to say I am happy with my purchase, pictures now, range report to follow. Im thinkin about taking it out with a few rounds loaded with IMR- 4895 and Hornady A-max 168gr bullets.
My dad used to tell me they sold tons of these as surplus rifles in the 50's and 60's for real cheap. His sporterized 03A3 cost him under $40 when he purchased it in the 50's.Even more reason to cherish these rifle today. Back in the 50's and 60's most folks considered these as nothing more than cheap actions to build hunting rifles with.
September 16, 2007, 10:15 AM
You got a fair deal on an A3.
I have a SA M1903-A1 I've converted to a USMC 8X Unertl using some genuine WWII USMC sniper parts.
Here's an old pic before I refinished the wood.
I have two 03A3s, one Remington, one Smith-Corona. I mostly shoot cast 160-grain gas-checked bullets in them, loaded over 13 grains of Red Dot -- Ed Harris' "The Load."
September 16, 2007, 07:17 PM
Yep, I have an unfired A-4. Basic the same as your A3, but a
Sniper. It was one of the last of the 100,000 that was put out.
Acquired in the 60's from DCM for the sum of $14.50 and much luck!
Listen to Vern on the loads for it. Hey Vern, thanks for walking
through those Hornet loads. Those 35gr Vmax and I'l Gun chewed
up an inch at 100 yds with new brass. Have the collet dies for
Surely can remember those days when 03s were from around $14 to
30. Still keep four that were totally sporterized (Not Bubaized).
Milled parts and upgrade custom wood and blue. Those well known
smiths who turned functional, to a work of beauty are mostly all gone
now. Once in a while a for sale for one will pop up.
September 16, 2007, 07:22 PM
The Hornet will shoot, and no mistake about it -- you just gotta know how to sweet-talk it.:D
September 16, 2007, 07:23 PM
My dad used to tell me they sold tons of these as surplus rifles in the 50's and 60's for real cheap. His sporterized 03A3 cost him under $40 when he purchased it in the 50's.
Even more reason to cherish these rifle today. Back in the 50's and 60's most folks considered these as nothing more than cheap actions to build hunting rifles with.
I ordered some of the American Rifleman publications on various military rifles likes the Enfields, Mauser, Springfield 1903 etc. These booklets are just reprints of various American Rifleman articles over the years. Many of the articles written in the 50s and 60s concern mostly the suitability of and how to sporterize the rifles. You won't see articles like that today!
Here's my 2 cents. This is a Remington 03A3 I just finished building. Started as a $125 parts gun. Only thing I kept was the receiver, bolt, trigger, trigger guard, follower and spring. Got hold of a new 2 groove surplus barrel coded RA 7-44. Tracked down all the rest of the correct hardware. Found a beautiful thick grip C-type stock and handguard from Numrich. Don't know who made the stock but the workmanship is excellant and it fits perfectly, requiring virtually no work. Litterally a drop-in. A MRT repro sling. Yeah, yeah I know they didn't come with a polished bolt but I like a polished bolt. After all it is a trailer queen with a deadly bite. Had all metal correctly parkerized and blued. Took it to the range and shot it off the bench to sight it in. Used Winchester brass, CCI 250 primers, 48 gr. Varget powder, and 175 gr. Seirra MK rounds. Looks like it shoots pretty well inspite of my 50+ year old eyes. Only thing left to do is find or make a taller front sight blade as it shoots about 9 inches high with the rear sight set at 2, the lowest setting..
September 16, 2007, 11:22 PM
Ok, ok, I confess, now I'm just showin off. Here's some pics of my prize Springfield National Match 1903. Got it at an estate sale a few years back from a widow's estate that belonged to a Col. Oliver, USMC. It is documented and I paid $800 for it! It was used to compete in the Camp Perry matches. Date coded SA 9-23, sn# 1258261. Story has it that sometime in the 1940's it had the scope installed and it has 2 bolts, the original and a bolt to fit the scope. The fit and finish done by the armorers is awesome. They just don't make stuff like this anymore, and it is deadly accurate.
September 17, 2007, 02:55 AM
Nice rifles lencac, curious, how much did it end up costing you to rebuild that 03 if you don't mind me asking.
September 17, 2007, 04:23 AM
In all honesty this project rifle did cost me right at $900 just as you see it there. By no means was it cheap to build, but it is a brand new 1903A3 that does seem to shoot as well as it looks. Except for the parkerizing, blueing and rebarrel I did all the rest myself. Ok, ok I'll toss in a few pics of another 03A1 I aquired some time ago.
September 17, 2007, 06:17 AM
I mostly shoot cast 160-grain gas-checked bullets in them, loaded over 13 grains of Red Dot -- Ed Harris' "The Load."
If your chamber and bore looks parked, it probably is. That may mean the rifle was rearsenaled and never really fired afterwords.
I bought mine about last winter when CMP had them for sale. I paid 500.00 Mine is a Remington 03 with mixed parts but I always wanted one. My bore is pitted but it still holds a 6 to 8 inch group which is plenty enough "minute of nazi" of me. :D
Sorry, but was this a typo?
Nope. "The Load" is 13 grains of Red Dot in any .30 Caliber cartridge above the .30-30.
September 17, 2007, 12:36 PM
I knew it. Like a feeding frenzy, show 'em your stuff and the show and tellers come out of the the woodwork. I love it. No such thing as a bad 03, just some finer then others. Father, that is a superb looking 03. I know, I know, they are old and out of date compared to "modern" stuff but I still wouldn't stand in front of these old American veterans. Just something about them that few others have. When in the hands it makes a person say AHHHH. Ok, try this one on guys.
September 17, 2007, 01:12 PM
I love show and tell: Especially when losts of people put lots of pictures. You've got quite alot of nice 1903's. I'll say the same thing about the 03'a3 that I say about the Garand. Anyone who argues that they are obsolete or outdated will quickly change their mind when they are on the recieving end :evil::neener::D
September 17, 2007, 01:14 PM
oh and another question for Lencac: did you strip and polish the bolts yourself? or is there somewhere you can buy new manufactured bolts?
September 17, 2007, 02:29 PM
I did the polish job myself. Cheap pedistal grinder from Home Depot, rouge and a buffing wheel. Just takes some time and complete disassembly of bolt. Oh, and a good pair of safety glasses. Did I mention I also love Garands? Here's a few pics of mine. I admit I cheated, I bought a brand new one from SA :neener: Have to say a guy even today would feel pretty well armed with one of these American veterans also.
September 17, 2007, 06:18 PM
Really nice rifles guys. Lencac, that NM makes me drool.
I love my Garand, but there is just something special about the '03. Especially when you consider that it was the very first rifle chambered in 30-06.
September 17, 2007, 09:31 PM
I have a sporterized (Remington I think) 03a3 I got from my father in law. He got it for ten bucks through the NRA/CMP mail order program in the fifties, and sporterized it with a cut down stock, a leather cheekpiece, and a Weaver 4x scope. Used it as a deer/elk rifle in Montana for many years. He told me that when he got it it was unfired, in cosmoline, he had to de-cosmo it. It probably has less than 250 rounds through it, at least 150 of them I fired. It easily shoots 1 moa at the range with hunting ammo. Unbelievable.
I can't restore it to original because the receiver is drilled and tapped for the scope mount. But I like it anyway.
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