1903-a3 what are your thoughts on this one?


March 12, 2011, 07:51 PM
I just ordered this one....


What do you 03-a3 guys think of this one? I thought it looked good and hope it shoots good. I have got a couple boys that will be able to put it to good use someday.:cool:

If you enjoyed reading about "1903-a3 what are your thoughts on this one?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!
March 12, 2011, 08:12 PM
Let us know how it is. The email ad that I received intrigued me, but not enough to order one, yet.

March 12, 2011, 08:23 PM
Man, that looks like a nice specimen. If all numbers match it's even nicer. But as is would be fine for me. I have one now, made by Remington. I want to find another one with a better finish. Then I'd keep that one as a collector and sporterize this one I have, because it has major issues with its finish. Also the stock has been sanded so hard it lost its original shape. But I'm not touching it until i get another one in hand. The thing that gets me when I look at a rifle like this on here and see the price, I remember back in the 60s when my friend's dad got one in the mail (Yes the mail, rememeber prior to the Gun Control Act of 1968, you could recieve firearms through the mail.) and it cost them about $25-$30. Now I see this one for $795? LOL! My how times change.

March 12, 2011, 08:31 PM
Seems kinda pricey in my opinion, but I'm intrigued just the same. I too am curious to read some reviews.

March 12, 2011, 08:36 PM
Looks interesting!
I don't think I could ever buy one because it says "lightly refinished" for the stock. I'm sure it will be a darn good shooter though.

March 12, 2011, 08:38 PM
Yeah I will try to do a range report when it comes in.

March 12, 2011, 08:42 PM
Says its professionally refurbished sorta kills it as a collector.

March 12, 2011, 08:45 PM
It was commercially built, I would want to know who is doing the assembly. No collector value. For the money and maybe less you could have a very nice US Arsenal rebuilt rifle. JMO

March 12, 2011, 08:46 PM
I would buy one today if I had the money...... collector value is not important to me.... but it is just a beautiful rifle.....

March 12, 2011, 08:53 PM
I think if it says professionally refurbished would hint that it might be done more closely to original and my help its value. And lightly finished would tell me that it was just finished enough to get it back into original condition and no more. Wait and see how it looks. It may look pristine.

March 12, 2011, 09:01 PM
A new park job on a sows ear will look good.
Looks mean very little. I would be more concerned if it were built on a drill receiver.

March 12, 2011, 09:18 PM
To me, being built with a new USGI barrel and having the pistol grip were big sellers but they do have the straight stock as well. Also I have been wanting a true 1903 for awhile but kind of scared to have one where their metallurgy was lacking even in the good ones.

March 12, 2011, 09:35 PM
That price seems high for a 'not original' rifle. Then again, I got mine for a song.

How it shoots might be worth every penny, do let us know.

March 12, 2011, 09:36 PM
Looks like a "scant" stock to me, not a real pistol grip stock. Am I seeing it wrong?
I had one which was a junk yard dog built from parts, and it was a great rifle, very accurate.

March 12, 2011, 10:51 PM
I've bought a lot from AimSurplus and never got shortchanged. I'm sure it's a quality rifle.

March 13, 2011, 10:10 AM
I have an original Smith 03A3 from the days of the DCM (CMP) It shoots like a dream. $795 might be a little pricey but you will enjoy the gun. Put it up and see what it's worth in 10-15 years from now.

Cop Bob
March 13, 2011, 02:05 PM
Looks like a nice shooter, kinda pricey, but EVERYTHING IS these days. This is the one gun that I don't own, one day. I too am not overly concerned with the collector side, I'm a shooter....

March 13, 2011, 03:25 PM
Looks mean very little. I would be more concerned if it were built on a drill receiver.



March 13, 2011, 05:09 PM
I think it will be a nice rifle. It is a scant stock. I bought a 1903A3 off a CMP guy for 700.00....straight stock, its rearsenal by OG, but everything looks original to me including the 11-43' 2 groove barrel with MW-0. I like the nice kick it has.

March 13, 2011, 05:21 PM
You are getting into near new garand territory from the cmp at that price

March 13, 2011, 05:32 PM
"...professionally refurbished..." Gibbs Rifle Co. New barrels with new 'replica' stocks. Supposedly Old Western Scrounger found the last inventory of original M1903-A3 rifles, receivers and bolts anywhere.

Vern Humphrey
March 13, 2011, 05:46 PM
Man, that looks like a nice specimen. If all numbers match it's even nicer.
The ad copy says it's a Smith-Corona receiver with a 2-groove Remington barrel. So it's by no means original.

On the other hand, all-orginal Springfields are very rare, since almost all of them went through two or three arsenal re-builds.

March 13, 2011, 05:57 PM
In actuality the rifle already has collector value to a whole generation of shooters who are just entering the market. Any nice old milsurp, matching or not is going up in value not down.

March 19, 2011, 07:33 PM
Ok so the rifle is in! on the plus side it has a very good barrel, trigger, and bolt. ON the bad side the stock has a chip repair at the rear trang
Which is something you would hope they would not try to sneak by a guy that just plunked down 795. The receiver is off a drill rifle as you can see where the weld was removed from the mag cutoff area. It also has a smooth butt plate and very thin blade front sight and I am not sure if these things are USGI or not. I have cleaned it up and applied some blo to the stock and I do like the way it looks. I hope it is a shooter too!:cool:

March 19, 2011, 07:37 PM
So pricey in my opinion. I can get a nice new Bolt Action Remington 700 with scope for that price.

March 19, 2011, 07:41 PM
You wont like what I have to say but here goes
I would send that rifle back ASAP ,
CMP even recommends that the drill rifles they sold at one time are not to be fired
If it wasnt in the description of being a rebuilt drill rifle I would demand a refund and they pay shipping back.
IMO that is a $300.00 rifle

March 19, 2011, 08:50 PM
I would pull the action out of the stock and look at the bottom of the receiver. It it was only tack welded with a small weld to the barrel underneath, it's probably OK. I've built a couple guns on drill receivers so done, there simply wasnt much heat on them to do what they did. However, I've heard of some drill rifles that had the lower side of the receiver cut away (where the bolt's locking lug engages the lower receiver ring). If it was, and was rebuilt, I wouldnt shoot it. I'd look very closely since it was refinished. The work may be hard to see at a casual glance.

BTW, Springfield parts aren't numbered. They have makers marks, so the best your're going to get is matching maker parts, and a barrel that's in the correct time range if it's the right maker, but we know none of this really applies to this gun. Just mentioned it since someone brought up "numbers matching".

March 19, 2011, 09:47 PM
Orlando, I think you are right, about what I should do but not sure if I will try to send it back. BTW how do I take it down to check the receiver bottom? I took the action screws out but the bottom metal would not move. I guess I will have to look that up.

March 19, 2011, 09:54 PM
Why wouldnt you return it?
You were not told it was a drill rifle
You paid way to much for a drill rifle
You would have a real hard time getting half your money back out of it if you wanted to sell it unless the buyer didnt know anybetter

I would call Aim and calmly , nicely tell them that nowhere in the description did it say the receiver was from a drill rifle and you expect a full refund and return shipping.
Even if rifle is completely safe you were sold something worth alot less than what you paid.
Hope it all works out for you

March 19, 2011, 09:58 PM
You will have to take the front band screw out and move the cap (with the bayonet lug) and band forward, remove the middle band screw and band and upper handguard. The action should come free of the stock then. Try to avoid scratching the wood with the metal parts. The front band and cap won't fit over the front sight, so just let them sit forward of the stock, same for the rear band, but it may go past the other parts and front sight alright.

When reassembling it, loosely fit the screw until you know all the parts are fitting together properly, then carefully torque the forward screw first. The rear screw doesn't need as much torque. Neither have to be gorilla tight, just very firm for the front screw, a little less for the rear. Don't forget the magazine spring and follower when reassembling. There isn't any way to get them in without taking it back apart (but you wanted to practice some right?). Hope you have decent fitting screw drivers.

Orlando makes a good point. You can buy pretty good original condition 03-A3's for what this one cost. I built mine because I had about $300 or less in them. No hesitation to shoot them, just a different animal than buying one for similar money to what an original condition gun in decent shape would cost.

March 19, 2011, 10:47 PM
Wow, I'm going to have to take back what I said earlier about AimSurplus. I'd return it too.

March 19, 2011, 11:27 PM
That "scant" pistol-grip stock, to my mind, would have to go. A straight-grip stock looks way better. When you figure on replacing the stock, $795 for a mismatched gun is no great bargain.

The '03A3 is superior to the M1903 in one respect -- the receiver-mounted rear sight. The M1903 is better in every other way.

Once, just for giggles, I put a Remington '03A3 barreled receiver into the Type "C" stock and furniture from a 1942 Remington M1903. I even added a NM milled and checkered buttplate. Now, that's what I would call a "Super Springfield"!

March 19, 2011, 11:32 PM
The '03A3 is superior to the M1903 in one respect -- the receiver-mounted rear sight. The M1903 is better in every other way.

Once, just for giggles, I put a Remington '03A3 barreled receiver into the Type "C" stock and furniture from a 1942 Remington M1903. I even added a NM milled and checkered buttplate. Now, that's what I would call a "Super Springfield"!

That's close to how I built my drill rifle. All milled parts, checkered butt plate, grooved trigger, but in a straight grip stock.

March 20, 2011, 08:02 AM
I sent Aim a PM on another gun forum that they post on asking about these 1903's
I will let you know what they say

P5 Guy
March 20, 2011, 12:46 PM
All Remington parts, "R" marked. Arsenal rebuilt RA- mark on sanded straight stock with original 4 groove barrel.
I'd have to agree with the others as to it being over priced.

March 20, 2011, 03:07 PM

Smith and Corona started with serial #3,608,000 in 1943 and ended with serial# 4,992,000 for a total number of rifles of 234,000, Remember! serial numbers were issued in blocks.

47492 # number on the rifle in the ad would indicate the receivers have nothing to do with S&C but do indicate the serial numbers on the rifle has to do more confusion confusion between serial numbers and the total numbers of rifles made by C&R.

Think of National Ordnance and Santa Fa then consioder a cast receiver.

F. Guffey

March 20, 2011, 04:17 PM
I think the Serno in the last pic is shopped to obscure the last couple of digits and it is a real SC receiver. If you look at the 3rd picture from the left you can make out a 7 digit serno in that picture.
Seems like an awful lot of money for a drill rifle though.

March 20, 2011, 04:58 PM
I just got a PM from Bryan at AIM.
He said if you are not happy to call them Monday and they will take care of you.
He will probably tell you that Gibbs has reactivated so many drill rifles, bla, bla ,bla. Bottom line is they did not disclose that in the description and in my opinion that is very deceiving
Its up to you but if it were me that dog would go back.
Good luck

March 20, 2011, 05:09 PM
47492 by any excuse you want to make up can not be traced to a S&C receiver if there were 3 blocks of serial numbers, and no, when I look at the last picture of the receiver from the right side, I see no effort to represent the receiver as a S&C receiver with a correct receiver, one more time, question all the answers, ask the distributor where the receivers came from and or how old are? And ask if the receivers are cast.

F. Guffey

March 20, 2011, 05:16 PM
I already did
They are reactivated drill receivers, rifles assembled by Gibbs

March 20, 2011, 05:42 PM
I ordered one of the Remington 03's about 7 or 8 months ago. later on when cleaning the rifle I found out the receiver was welded up at the bolt release ( I hope i named that section of the receiver right). This was well after the 30 day warranty so i didn't bother calling them up. First off I knew I was paying to much for it but i really wanted it I just wish i knew I was buying something that was welded up. Needless to say it's just going to sit in the very back of my closest out of sight and i hope soon, out of mind.

March 20, 2011, 05:43 PM
Thanks Orlando, for making that contact. I am strongly considering that route.

March 20, 2011, 05:53 PM
I know what a drill rifle is, if it were not for 03 type drill rifle bolt handles I would have to purchase bolt handles.

In the last post I said 'again', this time I will try to type slower, the serial number on the rifle listed in the add is not a serial number found on a S&C receiver no matter how many numbers are hidden, covered or obscured.again, slower, ask if the receivers are new/cast receivers then ask if drill rifles had a different serial number than one of the 3 lots used by S&C, there is only one answer! "NO" Drill rifles were de-milled as in welding in various places, some were cut with a torch through the chamber with a metal rod welded inside the chamber.

F. Guffey

Then there is the P14 303 rifle, perfectly good rifles with a hole drilled though the chamber in front of the receiver ring, if it was not for the British turning P14s into DP rifles with the art work (red with white stripe) I would be desperate for receivers to build.

F. Guffey

March 20, 2011, 05:59 PM
or ask if the serial number was welded and then stamped with a new number, to the OP, in the de-mill process some bolts were welded on the left side of the receiver (to the receiver), and that leaves the bolt handle being one of the few good parts that can be used,

F. Guffey

March 20, 2011, 06:03 PM
Cmp garand

March 20, 2011, 06:06 PM
Maybe the wrong terms are being used here. Maybe isnt a drill rifle but a ceremonial rifle were the barrel was welded to the receiver etc and used to fire blanks

March 20, 2011, 06:17 PM
Ah, Fguffey, I believe that the people at AIM have used Photoshop or the like to obscure the last digits on the s/n. And, that who ever did this did too good a job at it, too (will guess that no one explained that this should be a case where things are obviously obscured).

Now, whether the photos give enough evidence of this being a reactivated DEWAT (whether for drill, Ceremonies, or the like), I cannot judge. But, that use is germane to the quality of what is being sold, and therefore the price, too.

The ubiquitous nature of photo software will probably change the way photos are published in their many ways. I know I'm been tempted more than once to add a label stating what digital changes I've included (like: "This photo has been cropped and resized, but no other changes.")

March 20, 2011, 11:58 PM

Typing slower, a serial number starting with 47492 as in 4749200 etc., etc. does not exist in any of the three three blocks of serial numbers issued to S&C I furnished a like in first response, I have included the same link with this post, typing even slower, MSHOOTNIT, check the serial number on your new purchase and compare the number with the serial numbers furnished under Smith & Corona.

CapnMac, I do not have two standards for behavior, the omission of welded receiver could look like an oversight to you, but, me? I do not make excuses for that kind of behavior.

F. Guffey

Ignition Override
March 21, 2011, 12:16 AM
mshootnit: Looking forward to reading that AIM really takes care of you. Being calm and impersonal when discussing the problem often produces much better results.

If you receive a different 1903, and the sights are similar to (or the basis for) the M-1 Garand's sights, you will like whichever Springfield you end up with.

"memphisjim" and somebody else said it first.
If you manage to get a full refund, would you consider a 'Service Grade' Garand from the CMP?

The Garand (and Enfields: #4/#5) really help to compensate for my lack of training (just a few tips from two friends) and limited practice at my first range. Quite frankly, the initial range shooting began less than two years ago, and not very frequently.

35 Whelen
March 21, 2011, 05:04 AM
So pricey in my opinion. I can get a nice new Bolt Action Remington 700 with scope for that price.

But a 700 isn't a 1903A3.

I was on board with AIM until it was pointed out that these are de-mills. NOW, that being said, my only issue is that the price is too much for a de-mill. Unlike some of the internet Chicken Little's who tell you de-mills will blow up, are unsafe, cluck, cluck, cluck the sky is falling....

I bought a de-mill 1903A3 2 or 3 years ago off GunBroker that had been done by an individual. He had redone the rifle and installed a new old stock (12-'43) barrel. I got it for $400 and it's a beautiful rifle and best of all it shoots way, way beyond my expectations and even rivals my K-31's for accuracy.

Malamute, watch GunBroker closely and be patient. Occassionally 1903A3's will sell in the $550 - $650 range.



March 21, 2011, 05:55 AM
Just for the record, the SN will tell you if it is possibly a brittle receiver or not. It is said that be suspect of any Springfield 03 Receiver with a SN below 900,000 could be brittle. And any Rock Island SN lower than 300,000 can be brittle. If your SN is lower than 900,000 for a Springfield or 300,000 for a Rock Island, it should be avoided for shooters.

March 21, 2011, 08:09 AM
For reference, here is a pic that I got years ago of one such "drill rifle" barreled receiver w/bolt from the CMP webpage.


March 21, 2011, 12:32 PM
Snake284, I am not a fan of Springfield, they produced 800,000 + rifles that were suspect, Rock Island produced 200,000 plus that were suspect, that is 1,000,000+ rifles, to me that is/was unacceptable, the 03 was make by the same Springfield that sent out troops to Cuba with the 30/40 Krag, bottom line on the Krag, IT FAILED MISERABLY, then in about 1942 Remington and Smith & Corona took over the production of the 1903, some were stamped 03 then they were stamped 03A3 or 03A4.

The problem with the serial number in the advertisement is, it does not exist no mater how cute the attempt to present it as being something it is not, I was asked by a rebuilder to help him in a lawsuit he was involved with, after listening to him for close to an hour I cautioned him to make sure the other side did not contact me for my help, because, I told the rebuilder he was guilty, and when he went to court he was found guilty over the wording and omissions in his advertisement as in overhaul and rebuild, at best he was replacing some of the moving/worn parts AND with a little training he could have gotten away with it, bad habits caught up with him.

F. Guffey

Vern Humphrey
March 21, 2011, 01:23 PM
What's your basis for saying the Krag failed? The cartridge is so close to the .303 Enfield and the 7.62X54 that they're difficult to tell apart. The rifle was one of the slickest handling ever produced.

But the Army was impressed with the clip loading system of the Mauser, and the Krag was not easily adapted for clip loading.

And while a few Springfields blew up in service, the same is true for both Enfields and Mausers -- but we don't know how many of those rifle blew up, because only the US Army kept records on blow-ups. And for all the bally-hoo, the Army never replaced the low number Springfields -- they were kept in service until they wore out. Then they were arsenal-reconditioned and placed in war time storage, with new rifles being issued to the unit as replacements -- and that was more of a ploy to keep Springfield making rifles during the '30s.

The Marines didn't even do that -- they wanted their reconditioned low number rifles back. There were men who landed on Guadalcanal carrying Springfields.

March 21, 2011, 01:46 PM
"and the Krag was not easily adapted for clip loading" that is not the only thing Springfield had difficult with, they could not figure out a way to build the rifle with two locking lugs, and everyone believed them when they said the rifle did not need two, so, they eliminated one of the two it had when they started building the rifle.

F. Guffey

March 21, 2011, 02:15 PM
and the 303 British rifle failed miserable in Africa against the Mauser or to be politically correct, the farmers of the OFS shot the Mauser better than the British shot the 303 so training was in order to improve marksmanship, and as an after thought the British cutoff the supply of Mausers going south, that would be the rifle the OFS farmers shot better than the British shot the 303.

And outside of the USA, England and Canada everyone used the Mauser, why? The British not being able to shoot the 303 as good as the OFS cause them to start an effort to replace it, and I am thankful, from their efforts we went to war against Germany with the M1917, a British design on their equipment, and there was no effort to fire Springfield after WW1??? After 23 years of WWHUA Springfield had to talk fast, I could not think of anything more embarrising for Springfield than to be forced closed by a British design rifle on equipment designed to build the P14. As a side note nickel steel was used by Browning/Winchester in 1895, Springfield could not find Winchester just a short byggy ride down the pike, they could not find Browning, they could not find the patent office, Browning found nickel steel and it's strentgth in the patent office, Springfield found nickel steel after the war was over, and their was a good reason to fire Springfield.

F. Guffey

March 21, 2011, 02:25 PM
and as a side note not all low numbers failures were reported, one very curious member of this forum, was curious, he had the opportunity to exchange a LN receiver for another (deemed safe) receiver, again curiosity got the best of him, so he hit the receiver with a hammer, the receiver was rendered scrap, something like the Deacons Master Piece, nothing before, then all of a sudden, the thing lay in one big heap.


F. Guffey

March 21, 2011, 02:49 PM
time for an update... showed the rifle to a very respected collector in my area the the fellow told me he knew what he would do if it was him... so I am sending the rifle back. I think it looked nice and may have made a nice shooter for me or someone or possibly been an ok candidate for an 03-a4 copy, but these are not what I intended to order. this has been an education. I could not find any evidence of the weld on the bottom of the receiver ring so I don't think on this particular one they got very far onto the ring, but the visible cut weld on the cutoff made the difference for me. If they had repaired that to be invisible I may have kept it. Thanks for the input. So now the question is where is a good 03? :D

Vern Humphrey
March 21, 2011, 03:52 PM
that is not the only thing Springfield had difficult with, they could not figure out a way to build the rifle with two locking lugs, and everyone believed them when they said the rifle did not need two, so, they eliminated one of the two it had when they started building the rifle.
The Krag was not designed by Springfield. It was designed in Norway. And it never had two locking lugs, not even in the design stage.

Later on, American gunsmiths, sporterizing surplus Krags would lap the bearing surface of the locking log, setting the bolt back for enough so the safety lug would also bear -- but that's not as good an idea as it appeared at the time.

March 21, 2011, 05:16 PM
"with two locking lugs, and everyone believed them when they said the rifle did not need two, so, they eliminated one of the two it had when they started building the rifle" When Springfield started on the Krag it came to them with two locking lugs, one was a locking lug the other was a guide that served as a locking lug when the bolt was rotated, the bolt handle served as a safety lug as you pointed out getting the bolt handle and the locking lug to hit at the same time required time, time Springfield did not have if they were required to get into a hurry, like an emergency as when war breaks out.

As when war brakes out? Springfield did not have a plan or a clue, if not for the M1917 we would have gone to war (again) with the 30/40 Krag and the 47-70 had they been available. The British tooled up to build the 303 and lucky for us they made arrangements for us to modify the P14 303 to the M1917 30/06 and in my opinion was very wise to selected Remington. Winchester and Eddystone to build their rifles, again the British had problems in the beginning with the new creation, they went with nickel and changed the powder, it did not take them as long to look at as it did Springfield, they found nickel steel 14 years after Browning/Winchester, and remember, Winchester was one of the builders of the P14.

Springfield could have hired J Browning but I do not believe it would have worked out for Springfield, Springfield was building single shot rifles, Browning was building a machine gun, it was used against American miners in Ludlow, Colorado, it was called the potato digger.

F. Guffey

Vern Humphrey
March 21, 2011, 05:46 PM
Are we on the same sheet or paper here?

The Krag works just fine -- I shoot mine quite a bit. It's every bit as good as an Enfield.

As for World War I, you may recall our President was Woodrow Wilson, a Democrat. The Democrat Party then as now was a coalition party -- and the members of the coalition had to have their due. As a result, people like William Jennings Bryan (who made the "Cross of Gold" speech) wound up in the cabinet. Bryan was a pacifist -- and resigned when we finally were forced into war.

Wilson ran for re-election in 1916 on the slogan, "He kept us out of war."

Now just how would the Army draft troops, and Springfield go into overtime making rifles under those circumstances? We were unprepared for political reasons -- and Springfield Armory had nothing to do with it.

And Browning did build a machinegun for the Army -- in fact the Potato Digger had been used in the Spanish American war. And when war was declared against Germany, the Army asked Browning for a heavy machinegun, and he produced the water-cooled M1917.

Troops in France were issued the miserable French Chauchau, so Browning produced the M1918 Browning Automatic Rifle. And when the war ended, he was working on a medium machine gun, the M1919. And then at Pershing's request, he designed the M2 Browning, orginally intended for anti-tank use.

March 22, 2011, 01:11 PM
mshootnit, Is AIM going to take care of the issue?

March 22, 2011, 02:46 PM

I like the direction this is headed, I see a correlation between zombies and the person running the furnaces at Springfield again I do not make excuses for Springfield's behavior with the furnaces and quality control, and I said hiring J. Browning may not have worked out for Springfield, I believe he would have fired most of them.

Zombies/Democrats? The problem with Springfield rifles were found after being issued. Springfield could not trace a failure to a week, day or hour, minute or second, some failed some did not? and they knew nothing about apples, they did not make test billets along with the receivers to test for brittle, yield pressure and Resistance to being crushed or bending.

And there was Springfield after the war fixing old problems and not being asked to participate in building new designs, it goes back to Springfield not being able to find the Patent office. John Browning, Smith and Wesson and other successful manufactures of arms spent as much if not more time at the patent office as they did at their plant.

I do not know how long it took Springfield to look at something before someone told them what was wrong, they started double heat treat in 1918, they found nickel steel in 1927,, 13 years after it was used in the P14, that would be 31 years after Browning/Winchester used it in the 30/30 Model 94,and Browning would not allow the Model 94 to be released in 94 because it failed to handle smokeless powder to Browning's satisfaction, Browning was not a zombie.

Reminds me of the black smith hammering out horse shoes, he flipped one over into the sand then someone from Springfield went over and picked it up....and dropped it as fast as he could, the black smith asked the man if the shoe was hot, the man replied "NO SIR!!! It just does not take me long to look at it"

And john Garand designer of the M1, John Garand was from Canada.

Then there is Hatcher thinking head space was a/the culprit, with no way to determine head space he created head space by modifying the chamber, he created the 30/06 Hatcher Modified chamber, that would be a 30/06 chamber with the shoulder forward of the parent chamber .080 thousands, +?, cases when fired became fire formed 30/06 Hatcher modified cases. He did not use other rifles, he did not use Springfield 03 rifles selected from random groups and did not get the results he expected. I have fired 8mm57 ammo in an 8mm06 chamber, that is .127 thousands head space and got the results I predicted, a most dangerous practice if the shooter does not understand Hatcher's Hypotheses and why he did not get the results he predicted.

F. Guffey

March 26, 2011, 12:27 AM
resurecting this thread...
I noticed that chronologically after I sent mine back at some point AIM has pulled the scant stock 1903's (or run out?) Anybody know what happened there?
Orlando... It is my understanding they are going to take care of it. They told me to put in a note and send it back.
Thanks again.

Big Bill
March 26, 2011, 01:29 AM
So pricey in my opinion. I can get a nice new Bolt Action Remington 700 with scope for that price.But, then all you have is a Remington 700 instead of a nice copy of a slice of history.

March 26, 2011, 06:46 AM
mshootnit, remember, if it's a 1903 Springfield built at Springfield Armory, Serial Numbers below about 900,000 were questionably metalurgically, and below 300,00 if it was built at the Rock Island aresnal.

March 26, 2011, 08:06 AM
Since such slimy behavior (selling reworked DR 03A3s for high prices without mentioning the DR origins) is so unlike the AIM Surplus that I long ago came to respect so much ...

... my guess is that someone there who had no knowledge of the DR Thing made a BAD Deal to buy-up the stock of these rifles ... and then they found themselves stuck between the proverbial rock & hard place, financially ...

... and decided that they would-not-risk or could-not-risk dealing with this in their normally honorable way (providing an honest, complete description and hoping that folks would still pay 800 bucks).

Well, they are still honorable vis-a-vis their Return Policy, thank goodness, but failing to provide a full and honest description so that a buyer can make a fully-informed decision strikes me as quite SOG-like (reference to the reputation SOG earned years ago, they may have cleaned up their act since then).

BTW, last week I emailed them my thoughts on this ... their response:

"the deactivated barrel and welded safety were both removed and replaced by original unissued parts, refinished (refurbished), original unissued stocks replaced the used ones and you end up with the rifle as described. we never mention the dummy barrel as it was removed and replaced. These aren't being sold as all original collector guns, they are sold as a refurbished guns to be fun shooters.

and if the customer is not happy we will get a return set up and refund him. We want him to be happy with the purchase."

Well, if you mention, up front, the DR Origin of the receiver on this rebuilt rifle, you will avoid upsetting your customers who buy one and rightfully feel deceived.

Sad ... but Life goes on ... ;)

March 26, 2011, 10:39 AM
BTW, here is how *I* became aware of the DR Thing.

I had just received the nice-looking Smith Corona that I purchased on Gunbroker (this was ~5-6 years ago). As is my habit with all milsurp firearms, I detail-stripped/cleaned/closely-inspected the piece before firing it ... which in this case was a very good thing, I think.

When I popped the handguard, this is what I saw:


It took a couple of heartbeats for my brain to match what I was seeing with a vaguely-remembered image of a DR barrelled receiver that I had seen on the CMP website (image posted earlier in this thread) ... and then my heart went into my throat ...

... some jackleg had weld-repaired the torch-cut gash in the DR barrel and recut the chamber ... no telling how long that repair would hold before failing catastrophically.

WHEW! Dodged a bullet ... and got a refund.

Actually, a couple of years later I unknowingly purchased another DR Rebuilt 03A3 online (refunded again) before deciding to purchase any future 03A3s only FTF following close inspection.

March 26, 2011, 11:28 AM
wow I can't believe that someone would try to salvage a cut barrel. That's almost ill will toward man. The AIM rifle I had did not use a salvaged barrel (as far as I could tell)

March 26, 2011, 11:34 AM
Aim 1903'a had new barrels but salvaged receivers.
Again, they may be perfectly safe but the buyer should be informed by Aim to what they are buying especially at that price

March 26, 2011, 04:22 PM
Again, they may be perfectly safe but the buyer should be informed by Aim to what they are buying especially at that price

My sentiments exactly!

I, for one, have never been convinced that these DR receivers were fatally damaged/weakened by spot-welds at the rcvr-bbl junction ...

... but I want to be informed before deciding if I want to buy the rifle ... "especially at that price".

mshootnit, that 2nd 03A3 that I purchased had had the barrel replaced with an undamaged one ... it may have been new, it was so nice ... but I didn't want to pay ~$600 for a rebuilt 03A3 Drill Rifle with weld tracks around the mag cut-off when the same money would buy me an un-messed-with 03A3.

Nowadays, for $800 you can probably find a very nice original 03A3.

March 27, 2011, 01:10 PM
what do you guys think of the national ordnance 03-a3 rifles which can be found on the used market?

March 27, 2011, 05:24 PM
A matter of personal preference, but I would not buy one. I would stick with original military rifles.

March 27, 2011, 05:41 PM
Exactly, there are good all USGI 1903a3's available, stick with them

March 27, 2011, 09:01 PM
Yep, good advice.

Patience in finding a good one is the key. ;)

If you enjoyed reading about "1903-a3 what are your thoughts on this one?" here in TheHighRoad.org archive, you'll LOVE our community. Come join TheHighRoad.org today for the full version!