I went out on a limb...


January 30, 2012, 07:56 PM
I glommed a rifle last week at an on-line auction. I went out on a limb because the price was really low...It was described as a "US Rockland 1903 A3 Rifle" (???)


What I'm hoping is that the auction house meant "Rock Island" 1903 and that the C stock has not been cut and the bore is good

Obviously the receiver has been D&T'd for the Redfield sight, the hand guard has been trimmed and the bolt handle has been ground.

It appears that there are some kind of mounting blocks affixed to the receiver and the barrel. The rear sight, but not the base, has been removed. The rear sight base looks like it is does not have the lightening cuts. I do not know whether the receiver is high or low number.

Like I said, I went out on a limb.

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Buck Kramer
January 30, 2012, 09:27 PM
Looks nice, what was your intended use? Or just a whim?

January 30, 2012, 09:58 PM
I have a thing for 1903 based target rifles. Will probably shoot it in various competitions that my sons and I participate in.

I've got Remington and Springfield 1903 target rifles and enjoy shooting them.


January 31, 2012, 12:12 AM
Mustang, those are truly gorgeous rifles. Never owned one but did shoot one a couple months back while at the range with my M98k mauser. It was 1903A3 and was silky smooth and accurate too! 3" @ 100yards, open sights. the fellow and I each shot 10 rounds from the other ones gun. Great fun !! We talked for a while. A quite enjoyable afternoon.

January 31, 2012, 06:27 AM
I think you may have scored big. This rifle has had considerable work done to it, so I assume it has very accurate to start with. A NM clone? Rock Island Arsenal ended production right after war1 ended. Ten years later the unassembled RIA parts were sent to Springfield Arsenal and completed. These RIA rifle well have a RIA serial number in the 380K to 430K +/- and 1928 dated SA barrels. Could have a mix of RIA or SA parts. A few of these RIA receivers had not received the serial number yet and were serial numbered at SA, in the 1 million plus range. About 1K of these serial numbered rifles were produced.

Let us know how it shoots and more pic's. Nice rifle.

January 31, 2012, 08:42 AM
Truly jealous of those beautiful rifles
I have yet to see one I can afford but I love them too.

January 31, 2012, 09:56 AM
Thanks, guys.

I'll definitely post better pics and description when it arrives.

January 31, 2012, 10:17 AM
I think the previous owner did an outstanding job of upgrades. I'd keep it just the way it is (unless it needs a barrel ?) and shoot it :)

That's a fine period example of a target "any sight" or "irons only" Mil-Spec'ish comp rifle :)

January 31, 2012, 12:35 PM
Super Springfields, all of them!

Mustang 51, the blocks on your rifle are for an old-type target scope - Unertl, Lyman, Fecker and others. The scopes' windage and elevation adjustments were in the rear mount.

February 1, 2012, 02:14 AM
that might also be a target rifle issued by the nra.might want to send the serial number to them with pics and ask.


February 10, 2012, 05:42 PM
The "Rockland 1903 A3" arrived today and as I hoped, it is a "Rock Island". Looks like I made out ok on this...it is high number and has a beautiful Sedgley barrel, gauging between "0" and "1" on the CMP muzzle gauge. Has the Unertl scope blocks mounted and the Redfield sight works well.

The bad news...the stock, which is a beautiful Springfield C stock looks like it has been cut short at the butt.

I'll post a range report shortly


February 11, 2012, 08:01 PM
too bad about the stock cut. but congrats ! it looks awesome!! I'll bet it shoots great too !! again congrats !!
that's a good lookin chunk O wood !

February 14, 2012, 04:04 PM
Thanks, T2

Sun came out and I was able to get a few pics of the bore...

February 14, 2012, 04:23 PM
I had one years ago. Beautiful rifle but the barrel was shot out. These are some fine examples of the Springfield!

February 21, 2012, 10:07 PM
Thanks warbirdlover (I'm a warbirdlover myself).

I got to the range last week and fired a few through my "out on a limb" rifle. I didn't want to waste much ammo, because I had to use the threaded hole that the aperture screws into as the rear "aperture". I tried to use a couple of my other apertures and they either wouldn't screw in far enough or were too large to operate the bolt with.

Fired a few @ 50 yards to make sure the windage on the sights was good...

Moved the target back to 100 and got this...

Without an aperture this was more of a Ghost ring sight than a target sight. I'm pretty sure that the flyers that went high were my fault. I usually do fine with the windage using aperture sights, but have some trouble reproducing the elevation aim from shot to shot.

June 21, 2012, 11:00 PM
I finally got an aperture for the Redfield sight that would fit and allow the bolt to operate.

My son and I went to the Lincoln, CA range for the afternoon and I had him give the "Rockland 1903" a try ...

First he shot it at 50 yards, just to see if it was centered and on paper. His first 5 @ 50


Since it was hitting pretty good at 50, he tried the rifle at 100 yards.


I tried it at 100 yards, but wasn't able to keep up with my son.


We were shooting the last of some mid-60's LC match ammo that a friend gave me.

Sock Puppet
June 21, 2012, 11:14 PM
Very nice! Accurate, too!

Ignition Override
June 22, 2012, 01:24 AM

Those rifles, along with the Enfield 1917 can be as fun to shoot as an M-1 Garand.

June 22, 2012, 02:02 AM
Just thought I'd throw a link in of a thread I started to to show Mustang 51 what his mounts are for.


June 22, 2012, 02:51 AM
Looks like you gambled and won!

June 22, 2012, 02:58 AM
Just thought I'd throw a link in of a thread I started to to show Mustang 51 what his mounts are for.

Hahaha, I saw one of those mounted on a Model 70 in .225 Winchester once. Now *that* was funny. What an odd combination.

Beautiful rifle, Mustang. I've been wanting a 1903, but can't afford one right now.

June 22, 2012, 06:20 AM
RIA 420184 was one of the unfinished 03's left when RIA closed. These unused parts went to SA in 1928 and were assembled using RIA and SA parts, most notably SA barrels.

About 25,000-27,000 RIA marked receivers were sent to Springfield Armory. The majority from 405,000-430,000, and remaining from 375,000-405,000. A rare few did not have serial numbers but have the RIA name. These were stamped with SA serial numbers in the 1,xxx,xxx range.

I have 426263 with a 4-28 SA barrel, RIA stock, DAL inspection mark.

June 22, 2012, 11:35 PM
Thanks guys. I appreciate the feedback.

This thing is definitely a shooter and has the potential to be converted into a USMC 1941A1 sniper clone for use in the CMP vintage sniper matches.

Now that I know it shoots well, I need to get a 6x or 8x Uertl or Lyman like Deadeye's. I also need to re-contour the butt to accept a standard butt plate. I've done some measurements and it appears that the butt has only been shaved 1/8 or 3/32's of an inch. If I re-contour it, It shouldn't have too much affect on the length of pull.

Once I've done that, it should qualify for the CMP vintage sniper match.

June 22, 2012, 11:47 PM
I have 426263 with a 4-28 SA barrel, RIA stock, DAL inspection mark.

Crate, do you know anything about the Sedgley barrels? I've heard that the USMC used replacement Sedgley barrels, but that they were marked "USMC". I can find no such markings on this one and it seems to be a later date than the USMC Sedgleys

How does your RI shoot?

I've got another RI, serial 370185. But it has been rebarreled with a 42 SA barrel


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