Bubbatized 1903 Remington


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Blanco
December 29, 2013, 08:08 PM
I need to tap the knowledge Base of the THR brotherhood here. I happened across a good winter project rifle. It looks to be an old 1903 Remington. The guy I got it from told me it was one of his grandfathers project guns. It actually looks pretty good overall. I'm not very knowledgeable on these rifles. If I wanted to do some custom touches what are some good sources for parts and reference material?
I know a lot of you guys are gonna scream about hacking a piece of history. Trust me I get it. In this case the damage was already done. I would just like to make it as tasteful as possible.
I will get some pictures up in just a bit.

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rcmodel
December 29, 2013, 08:58 PM
Emmmmm?

You could do this.

The first rifle I ever built in 1962, when I was 18 years old.
http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/photo03A31_zpsfab8e5a6.jpg

Here is an old catalog on sportizing an 03 Springfield.

http://i81.photobucket.com/albums/j219/rcmodel/KTOG/photo03A32_zpse558971a.jpg

rc

Blanco
December 29, 2013, 11:01 PM
That's a really nice job you did on that 03 RC.
The more I look at mine the more it looks like a hack job. Someone tried to do it but just missed the mark a bit. They put on a nice folding rear sight but got it very crooked. The ramp on the back of the front sight looks like it was contoured with a hatchet. It has a really beautiful Fajen stock though, then they hacked on a big ugly hunk of black plastic to the tip of the forearm. Honestly it looks like someone was trying to emulate a 70's~80's Remington.
I like the Remingtons, but this one needs some serious help.

ColtPythonElite
December 29, 2013, 11:14 PM
You could always hack one up like mine was.


http://www.thehighroad.org/attachment.php?attachmentid=166089&d=1339461731

Blanco
December 30, 2013, 06:15 AM
WOW CPE
That's one nice hack you have there
Mine is a masterpiece in progress I guess

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm118/cnctooltek007/1b9ec0ed-9010-4090-b691-5f065136ba50.jpg

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm118/cnctooltek007/DSC_0114.jpg

Blanco
December 30, 2013, 06:22 AM
I did a bit of cleaning on it last night. As a surprise the bore of the barrel looks to be in pretty good shape it was just filthy.
Here is a question for RC. I see the picture in the book/catalog of a really nice rifle. It wears a really nice lo mount scope and then they put sights on it?
I guess that was for when you knocked the scope off ? Or maybe it was just a habit to put iron sights on everything??

rcmodel
December 30, 2013, 01:35 PM
Yea!
Back then, scopes were not as 100% reliable as they are today, so a set of back-up iron sights on a hunting rifle was something a lot of folks insisted on.

rc

jimmyraythomason
December 30, 2013, 04:07 PM
I know a lot of you guys are gonna scream about hacking a piece of history. Everybody has an opinion...but it isn't everybody's gun, it's yours and your opinion is the ONLY one that counts. I think you have the makings of a very fine hunting rifle. I have found Gunbroker.com/rifleparts to be a great place to find components for a custom build.

Jim Watson
December 30, 2013, 04:48 PM
Not bad looking, Blanco.

The bolt handle is crucial, it must be altered for a low scope mount. Has it been?

The stock has musket grain, not following the pistol grip. The bedding must be right to protect against splits. And don't drop it.

For looks, I would delete the rough open sights you describe and look for a 1903 milled trigger guard of one can be had for nt too much money.

Blanco
December 31, 2013, 09:14 AM
JimmyRay
I agree 100%
What I find interesting is that in cruising the internet, people who asked the same question as me seem to get bludgeoned first thing. I got this rifle to practice my gunsmithing skills on.
So if I spend a bit of my time and a bit of my money and I get something like RC and CPE have, I think I might just be tickled.

Blanco
December 31, 2013, 09:20 AM
The stock had already been bedded quite well. Very nice fit.
Not sure if the bolt has been altered but it did have a scope on it with the old weaver set screw mounts, and the bolt cleared.

Blanco
December 31, 2013, 09:55 AM
I had a project rifle almost 2 yrs ago
http://www.thehighroad.org/showthread.php?t=648514
That one grew into a bit of a monster, but I finally got it to shoot 1/2" at 100 yds, and I still kept a pretty small budget.
Not sure which way this one will go, but I had a lot of fun with that one.

Buzsaw
December 31, 2013, 10:43 AM
I had a Rock Island that was sporterized. The scope needed replaced, so I bought a Leupold. Bolt handle wouldn't clear and couldn't find higher rings for the Beuhler rings that came on it, so had to replace rings and bases, which required some new holes in the superhard action.
Then, I installed a Timney trigger, speed spring, glass bedded the action and installed a recoil pad.
Bottom line, the rifle shot 1.5 inch groups before and after all the work, but would shoot about any ammo well. I had $600 in the gun and it was a great hunting rifle. I would still have that rifle, except that my brother in law borrowed it, fell in love with it, and gave me what I had in it.
It was a fun project, but putting a bunch of time and money into a gun like this usually isn't a great investment.

RaceM
December 31, 2013, 12:02 PM
Was just gifted with the remains of a barn find 03A3. Not much here but a stripped receiver and stripped bolt. The barrel, chambered for some kind of 22 cartridge (.223/.243?) was a total write-off.

Anyone know if an 03A4 bolt will drop into this without issue?

Blanco
December 31, 2013, 12:49 PM
I have noticed that the upper rear of the receiver has quite a few squared off corners and edges. I know it was originally for an adjustable military sight. What would be the harm in rounding and smoothing some of those hard edges? Nothing radical maybe an 1/8" at most and not on any mating or hardened machined surfaces?

Jim Watson
December 31, 2013, 01:09 PM
Blanco,
Most scope bases for the A3 take into account the big peep sight dovetail on the receiver bridge. If you round off the wrong corner, you will lose the ability to install a common scope mount.

RaceM,
The 1903A4 bolt is the same as the 1903A3 except it is scalloped out to clear the scope. It should go right in. Headspace will be dealt with when you fit a new barrel.

Blanco
December 31, 2013, 01:21 PM
Thanks Jim
This one has the Weaver type scope mounts already. I see what you are saying about the dovetail. I am interested in going a bit South of there. Where the locking lug engages the rear of the receiver that area has a bunch of high corners and edges. Trust me I'm not taking a Sawzall to it. Just rounding and smoothing.
I will take a few more pictures so you can see it a bit more clearly.
I also found this website and I really like their 1 piece mount

http://scopemounts.com/index.html?main.html#

RaceM
December 31, 2013, 10:18 PM
Thanks Jim. A new bolt, sear, and trigger and I'll have a working receiver to build on.

Blanco
January 1, 2014, 12:33 AM
I got motivated today and used a chemical stripper on the wood. Not sure what the original finish was, but the stripper turned it into stringy sticky boogers. Pretty nasty stuff.
Sanded on it a bit and discovered that the black tip is in fact Ebony or a black stained wood. I finished it off with a nice coat of Watco oil. Already looks so much better. I also found a thin shotgun recoil pad that looks much better than the black plastic butt cap.

Blanco
January 2, 2014, 04:01 PM
Had a bit of time to spend on Gunzilla.
I stripped all the old finish on the stock and sanded and went with some dark Walnut Watco, then with the hand rubbed linseed oil.
While that was drying in the sun I started cleaning up those sharp edges on the receiver that bothered me so much. Nothing radical. In fact the rounded edges kinda blend well with the rest of the contours (in my opinion.... )

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm118/cnctooltek007/DSC_0117.jpg

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm118/cnctooltek007/DSC_0115.jpg

http://i294.photobucket.com/albums/mm118/cnctooltek007/DSC_0113-1.jpg

IROCZ
January 5, 2014, 04:45 PM
Nice work on the build. These old Springfields have a unique elegance when done right. I'm looking for an action for a sporter build to compliment my Mausers.

krs
January 6, 2014, 01:23 PM
Blanco,

Don't let anyone give you gas about a sporterized 1903. After WW1 they were released for sale to the public and a whole industry in sporterizing developed. Some very fine and even now collectible rifles resulted but for the better part many of those rifles went into the hands of people who used them to keep their folks fed during the worst of the depression.

There's about as much history to the sporterized 03 as there is to the military use of the weapon.

desidog
January 6, 2014, 02:44 PM
Well, it's an 03-A3 receiver, and it appears to have been drilled and tapped with the rear hole off-center...but that might just be the perspective.

Since it's been messed with, i'd start by seeing if its numbers match - and make sure it hasn't been re-barreled in something that ain't 30-06...

Blanco
January 10, 2014, 06:17 AM
desidog
It would appear just about everything that was done to this poor rifle was a bit off center. I get the feeling it was a fellas garage project that he took to with a craftsman hand drill type of thing.
It looks a though the original barrel is still on there, just shortened and with crooked, out of alignment sights on it.
It won't make the pages of G&A but I might make it presentable enough to test my 30-06 reloads ?

BBBBill
January 10, 2014, 10:10 AM
My father-in-law has an O3A3 that is in similar bubbafied condition. Someone talked him into letting them D&T it for a scope. The got it mounted at about the 11:45 position as view from the rear. Another one I've got to fix when time allows.

kwg020
January 12, 2014, 11:09 PM
Blanco said:
I have noticed that the upper rear of the receiver has quite a few squared off corners and edges. I know it was originally for an adjustable military sight. What would be the harm in rounding and smoothing some of those hard edges? Nothing radical maybe an 1/8" at most and not on any mating or hardened machined surfaces?

Don't!!!! That's where you can mount your scope base. Don't change the receiver. Someday you will want to make it all original. kwg

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