Am I a Fool? Camp Perry M1903


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CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 10:22 PM
I want to spend upwards of $800 to build a "Camp Perry" style M1903 Springfield Rifle. Before you tell me whether or not I should do it, allow my 1975 American Rifleman clipping to explain what a Camp Perry M1903 is:

The so called Camp Perry M1903 .30-06 rifles were made in the inter-war years. They were based upon handpicked M1903 barreled actions (taken from the M1903's the NRA was selling to members at the time) generally, they were outfitted with pistol grip or Monte Carlo stocks, usually made of very high quality and attractive walnut, and all metal was deeply blued. The barrels were sometimes replaced with higher quality after market barrels. Early bedding and free floating techniques were used. The bolts handles were checkered, rounded off and swept back and the bolts and moving parts were expertly tuned for superb fit and finish. Malcom and Unertl rifle scopes or a variety of peep sights (based on competition class) were added.

They were beautiful rifles and set many long range records which went unbroken until the arrival of more modern rifles, metallic/polymer chassis and higher magnification optics. Sadly few remain and fewer still are up for sale. So I'm planning on buying a battle dressed or poorly sporterized M1903 and having all this work done to by a gunsmith to get the full Camp Perry M1903 look and feel. So here is my question:

-Should I do this?
-Am I silly for wanting such an outdated target rifle design?

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Sam1911
February 4, 2012, 10:43 PM
"Should" is going to be hard for any of us to answer for you.

"Silly?" No. It rather depends on your end goal.

If you're thinking that you'll compete in NRA and CMP high-power competition and this will be your competition rifle, well, it could work. But it's going to be a tough road. AR-15s will outshoot your rifle, easily, in bare mechanical accuracy. And, they'll be easier to shoot well, so shooters on your right and left will be having an easier time shooting well, with more accurate rifles. Part of that will be matters of ergonomics and weight, and part of that will be the fatigue and stress of being thumped soundly, round after round, by a big bolt-action .30-'06, while the guy next to you is popping away like he's shooting a .22.

(Oh, and then you'll be wanting to feed the '06. Whatever your budget, and whether you're shooting factory or handloads, you can shoot more rounds per dollar in 5.56mm.)

So, this isn't necessarily setting yourself up for maximum success in competition.

On the other hand, maybe this rifle excites you in ways an AR-15 just can't -- no matter how good a rifle it is -- and this will get you onto the competition line when you'd otherwise be home in front of the 'tube. Well, then that's great!

Or maybe you're just into an odd corner of nostalgia and collecting. Maybe nothing else will do it for you, then.

One last thought though is that I can't picture how you'll get this quantity -- and quality! -- of work done for $800 total, including rifle and parts. But if you've got it figured out, cool.

sixgunner455
February 4, 2012, 10:43 PM
Certainly not silly for wanting something like that. You should do it if it's what you want.

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 10:49 PM
Or maybe you're just into an odd corner of nostalgia and collecting. Maybe nothing else will do it for you, then.
You've got it. I do not shoot competitively but a well done Camp Perry M1903 just oozes 1920's class. Also $800 was my guess and I low balled it b/c I figured if I put $1200 I would get the "$1200! I could do that build for $500 in 40 minutes equipped with only duct tape and a spork" response which you see a lot on internet forums.

dprice3844444
February 4, 2012, 10:51 PM
http://www.gunbroker.com/All/BI.aspx?Keywords=03+springfield

Sam Cade
February 4, 2012, 10:54 PM
It could be a fun exercise but you would definitely be competing against yourself.

If you are the kinda guy that internal competition works for, go for it.

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 10:57 PM
What do you mean by competing against myself?

Sam Cade
February 4, 2012, 11:08 PM
What do you mean by competing against myself?

In competition you would be shooting against guys with much superior equipment.


It would be sort of like riding a British single in an AMA supersport race. You aren't ever going to win, all you can do is try to better your personal best while looking cool.:cool:

CmdrSlander
February 4, 2012, 11:09 PM
@Sam Cade: see post#4

Rancho Relaxo
February 4, 2012, 11:12 PM
Sounds like a rifle that would be very satisfying to own. I would be skeptical that you could get it done for $800.

velocette
February 4, 2012, 11:21 PM
Go ahead and DO it! It's your rifle, your money, your time and your happiness. Don't let 'em get you down. There were hundreds of thousands of the '03 Springfields made. Your modification of one of them will not make a darn bit of difference to the world.
I just finished spending a year and a half taking a bubba'd M 1917 Enfield and making it a very nice looking excellent shooting sporting rifle with nice walnut, deep rich blue and a nice scope. It shoots even better than it looks.
It can be done and you can do it too.
Follow your own road and march to the beat of your own drum. Oh yeah, build the rifle you want to build your way.

Oh yes, one final thought. You might be able to do it for $800.00 or less without any aiming device and you do the hand work like I did.

Roger

madcratebuilder
February 5, 2012, 07:33 AM
Damn the cost, full speed ahead! Do it. We are here one time only.

kaferhaus
February 5, 2012, 08:23 AM
As you already figured out.... isn't going to happen for anywhere close to 800.00, or 1200.00 for that matter. You could cobble something together for that but a "fine quality" repro using high quality parts.... not happening. I match quality barrel from Shilen, Hart etc is going to be over 500.00 once it's threaded, chambered and fitted to your action. And that's only the start.

But it would be a cool piece and if you're so inclined to do it, have at it. Just make sure you post pictures!

Hummer70
February 5, 2012, 08:59 AM
There is another alternative. Get a 1903A3 with original sights, buy a "C" stock from the CMP, put it in it and come to Camp Perry and shoot it in the Springfield Match. If the barrel is bad you can get a replacement barrel from CMP.
You will get to meet lots of good folks, have a great time and have something you can talk about the rest of your life.
If you have kids, bring them too.

A good load for the 1903 is 43.3 gr. 4895 with 168 to 175 grain Sierra MK bullets.

kaferhaus
February 5, 2012, 09:28 AM
There is another alternative. Get a 1903A3 with original sights, buy a "C" stock from the CMP, put it in it and come to Camp Perry and shoot it in the Springfield Match. If the barrel is bad you can get a replacement barrel from CMP.
You will get to meet lots of good folks, have a great time and have something you can talk about the rest of your life.
If you have kids, bring them too.


The above is the best advice you've been given!

velocette
February 5, 2012, 10:26 AM
I gotta disagree on the cost guesstimates. When I built my 17 Enfield, I paid $200.00 for the bubba'd rifle, $75.00 for the walnut stock (right here on this forum), $50.00 for the Dayton Traister trigger + $25.00 for the cock on opening option, $235.00 for the blue work and $125.00 for a real gunsmith to shorten, re-crown the original GI barrel and drill & tap the receiver for scope mounts. Sling mounts & swivels were $35.00, finally, $35.00 for the recoil pad. Wood finishing materials were on hand in my shop.
All the metal work, wood work was done by hand with files & sandpaper.
The result, net cost around $800.00, while not perfect is a fine shooting (consistent 1 ~ 1.5" groups @ 100 yds) rifle that looks as good as it shoots.
Not to mention, the pride in having built it myself and saved a bubba'd old rifle from a fate worse than death.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/RogerS_photo/Enfielddone003.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/RogerS_photo/Enfielddone006.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/RogerS_photo/17Enfield001.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p235/RogerS_photo/17Enfield008.jpg

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