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Remington 1903A3 Range Report

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by GarandOwner, Sep 18, 2007.

  1. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Well-Known Member

    This range report is for a US Rifle Model 1903A3. Manufactured in September 1943. It is Remington manufacture and all internal parts are Remington. The Rifling is crisp, and show absolutely no signs of corrosion or pitting. This was my first time taking the rifle out to the range. The rifle exceeded my expectations as I haven't been shooting as frequently as I would like recently. Heres the report.

    Partly Cloudy

    Temp: 81F
    Wind: Moderate 5-8 MPH
    Humidity: 67%

    Me: slightly tired (I include this because emotional state does affect performance) :D

    The firing sequence consisted of 5 shots of 3 at 100 yards. The first group was at about 2 o'clock and high around 7 inches. It was almost off the paper. The second group was on level with the bullseye, but were still about 3.5" off bull. Third group was on center as was fourth and fifth. The picture below was from the fourth group (It was also the tightest grouping of the 5.) The average grouping was about 1.5" with the smallest being about 1" and the largest being 2" Time between shots was 1-2 minutes. All groups were fired from sitting off of a bench rest. I stopped after the fifth because during the fifth the wind began to pick up and gust as a storm is moving in. Ammo was commercial Federal American Eagle 150 grain FMJBT. I plan on going out next week with some handloads using 168 grain A-Max bullets.

    I would have posted pictures from the range, but the batteries in my camera were dead.




    Attached Files:

  2. Dr. Peter Venkman

    Dr. Peter Venkman Well-Known Member


    Just kidding. Excellent results. Now all you need to post is a better picture of the rifle!
  3. DMK

    DMK Well-Known Member

    Nice shooting! :)

    I've got a Remmy 03A3 just like that except mine was made in Feb. '43. Was yours a CMP rifle too?

    First time I took it out it was doing maybe 5-6" groups with Korean KA M2. However, recently I took a good look at it and realized that it's not bedded properly. The barrel is pressing against the top on the metal bayonet mount instead of down onto the stock with about 4lbs of pressure as the TM says it's supposed to be. I need to fix that with some shims under the action. Your experience gives me hope that it should improve as my bore's shiny with good rifling too.
  4. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    Nice Job Soldier

    Good shootin Garandowner. Looks like you have a winner. Looking at your group I'd say it's a fair statement this ain't your first day on the job ;) I think we are in simular situations as I am breaking in a new 1903A3 Remington I built also. Here's a couple of pics of the finished product and the last group I shot. Handloads, Berger 168 gr. Match, 48 gr. Varget powder, Lake City Match brass, CCI 250 primers. Very simular conditions as you had. 100 yrds. off the bench. 5 shot group. Last one got away from me a little bit, but still very happy also. Ain't this fun :)

    Attached Files:

  5. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Well-Known Member

    I'm still drooling of your referb job on that 03a3 Lencac, NICELY done, Im waiting on my order of 168 gr. Federal A-Max bullets to get here so I can try some handloads out of mine. Im prob gonna start with 55 grains of H4350 and go from there.
  6. Robert Hairless

    Robert Hairless Well-Known Member

    They do have a tendency to behave that way, don't they. :) Just curious about how you like shooting it from the shoulder. Bit of a handful isn't it?
  7. U.S.SFC_RET

    U.S.SFC_RET Well-Known Member

    I have one with some irreparable rust towards the end of the barrel and shoots just as good. Ya got yourself a winner there.:)
  8. M110

    M110 Well-Known Member

    Very nice Garandowner.

    I also have a 43 remmy 03a3 in great condition.
  9. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    Thanks Garand

    Thanks Garandowner, I appreciate the kudos. It started out as a $125 beater parts gun and ended up there. Labor of love and all that you know. I'm getting ready to go today again with it. Today's load is 175 gr. Sierra MK, 47 gr. Varget, BR primers, Win brass. According to the info I have read Varget has the same burn rate a 4064 but measures easier due to slightly shorter grain. Also try some 4895 and 4064 powders. They work well too. I installed a .035 in. taller front sight blade and got a spare rear sight apperture and opened it up a wee bit.
  10. Hutch

    Hutch Well-Known Member

    Seems to shoot okay...
  11. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member


    "It seems to shoot okay" ........ Really, do ya think it's "ok" Anybody thinks shooting the kind of groups that Garand show pic of with iron miltary sights is easy. Think again. That kind of group not only shows a beautifully built firearm but also a very compedent shooter, not to mention the ammo. Really? Do you really think it shoots "okay" ????:scrutiny:
  12. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Well-Known Member

    I have some 4895 from my garand, which I might use to push some 178 gr. A-max bullets Im thinkin of also testing. Ive had good results with 150 gr. A-max bullets through the garand, and their high Ballistic Coefficient give me a bias towards them. Depending on how these loads due, I might diversify a little. Oh and Robert, I thought that it would kick hard due to the lighter weight compaired to the garand ..........but boy was I supprised :eek: I think this one kicks harder than my Mosin. :D
  13. hps1

    hps1 Well-Known Member

    Nice shooting rifle. Is it a two or four groove barrel? I've had several two groove Remingtons and never found one that wouldn't shoot on a par with the 4 grooved ones.

    You might try 4895 behind a 168 gr Matchking. I found 45 to 47 gr. shot very well in a number of different rifles. 47 gr. is max. so work up carefully; (I used H4895 which is a bit slower than IMR). Had to cut to 45 gr. in a couple of target rifles; the 47 gr load was just too hot in them.

  14. lionking

    lionking Well-Known Member

    dang man,All I can say is that you get alot better groups than I do,I average 2-3 inch groups.
  15. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    Garand curious to see how 178 gr. rds. will work. Wondering is that is pushing the weight limit to stabalize the round. I think these things are twisted 1/10. Let me know.
  16. hps1

    hps1 Well-Known Member

    US M72 Match ammo loaded for the M1 Garand which has a 1 in 10 twist used 173 gr. bullets. I have used 180 gr Matchkings in the M1A and M1 and 190's in bolt guns with 1 in 10 twist out to 1000 yds and they stabilized just fine. The 178's should do so as well.

  17. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    Wow HPS1 your a regular fountain of info :uhoh:
  18. GarandOwner

    GarandOwner Well-Known Member

    The rifle is has a 4 groove barrel, On paper the H4350 looks like a good match for the 168 gr. bullet, which I am guessing will do better than the 178 gr. I read somewhere that the less empty space there is in the case the more accurate the ammunition tends to be. ( I believe I heard this in one of Lee's books) a starting load of 55 grains of H4350 should take up about 3.99 cc of the 4.38 cc capacity of the .30-06 cartridge. The 178 gr. would have a starting load of 52 grains which has more empty space. As I mentioned before, just waiting for my order of bullets to arrive, and a break in class to go out to the range on a good windless day and test this.

    Also Lencac, I see that you use CCI 250 (magnum primers) just curious, where do you get your load info for that? Or are you experienced enough that you can judge your own loads? Im fairly new to reloading, so I look up each load when I try something new.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2007
  19. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    Hey Garand. I to tend to pay attention to how much empty volume there is, especially with 30.06 due to the somewhat spacious volume of the casing. With .308 this is not a concern. I have been handloading for many years and have tried virtually any reasonable combo. A couple of golden rules I do use though. 1, I never use max loads. Max loads are never, in my experience the most accurate anyway so why go there. 2, I always use at least 2 different sources for loading info. I do find with a great many load combos the spec. calls for mag primers. Although 30.06 is technically not a magnum with some powders due to the case volume they need to be treated as such. I will always start with a load in the middle of the range and work from there. My max loads for anything is at least 1 gr. under the published max. I will try mag, standard and BR primers and look for "signs" of pressure. Then I will start to work the seating depth out in .010 in. increments and check for pressure and accuracy. I have never had a problem caused by mag primers in 30.06 loads. Better flame from the flash hole means more complete and consistant combustion of the powder. On the other hand I don't think the "flash" consistancy of mag primiers is as consistant as BR primers. Right now I've been using Varget powder in both my 30.06 and .308 loads and have been having pretty good results. I have had with some powders using standard primers in 30.06 the round acted like a hang fire but worked fine with mag primers. I also look at the firearm used with the loading info. Is it same barrel length, same twist, bolt or auto-loader. So inconclusion with the use of Varget powder which may not fill the case as much as some powders I have been using mag primers although the last couple of batches of 20 rds. I used BR primers and they seem to work well also with the Varget powder. Also keep in mind that commercial brass and mil-spec brass have internal case volume difference that is great enough to affect things. Mil-spec brass always has less internal volume due to it's heavier construction. Case prep is crucial to overall repeatablity. Case length must be the same for any given batch of loads. I prep cases in batches so they are all the same. Those cases stay together for the rest of there operational lives and are used for the same firearm only. If one case splits or separates from use I toss the whole batch. Be sure to deburr and chamfer the case mouth after cutting to length. Deburr the flash holes inside the case. Cut the primers pockets to a uniform depth. In bolt rifles after the case is fireformed I will only neck size. This is easier on the brass and can be slightly more accurate. If I really get crazed I will cut the case necks so the necks are of a uniform thickness. All brass will vary up to .002 in. in thickness at the neck. This will allow the bullet to release more consistantly when discharged. I true the bottom of the cases before cutting to length. Meaning the headstamp on the case causes high spots on the bottom of the case. I eliminate this with 400 wet sandpaper and a flat stone surface by hand. It only takes a 15 or 20 secs. for each. It makes them stay the same length longer after multiple uses because they mate better to the bolt face. I try to keep at least 75% of the dia. of the bullet pressed into the case. Meaning if using a .308 bullet then somewhere about .250 in. of the bullet bearing surface is pressed into the case. Once again when I'm creazed I will check each case for runout on a device called a NECO. Due to the length of 30.06 cases they had a tendency of doing the "bannana" thing after fired and cooled because of the inconsistancy of the wall thickness of the cases. I will at times check runout of the loaded rds, looking for .005 in. or less and indexing the rd. with a Sharpee to allow each to go into the chamber with runout all going the same way. A good quick way to get an idea of how much case wall inconsistancy there is, is to get a piece of flat, very smooth stone tile, like used for flooring. Place the stone tile on a very slight incline. Place the case on it and let it roll. It then becomes obvious just how inconsistant the cases are. Some cases will roll only to where the heavy/thick side of the brass is down and stop. How they sound as they roll is an indicator also. I know some folks "weigh" the brass and this is fine but that method is in reality only a reflection of something you want to know about the case which is, what is the internal volume of the case. A better way to do that but is more time consuming is to use a ball powder with very small grains because it flows like water. Fill each case to the brim, then weigh the amount of powder in the case. Weigh each bullet and separate them into groups of a 10th of a gr. Uniform the mepblat with a Tubbs tools. This uniforms the ballistic coefficient. So as you can see it can be a chore to take raw brass to a state of usability for me. But at the same time a throughly prepped case will provide consistant accuracy, lasts longer than most, cleans up and repreps very easily and quickly. That's why when using my auto-loaders and it throws the brass, I will hunt the brass down like a dirty dog. Hell, you'd think I was looking for Osama himself. Too much time in each case to loose. Fortunately my M1A, M1 carbine and AR throw the brass very consistantly. Heck my AR throws the brass in tighter groups than most of these yokals shoot groups with the "hunting/can&bottle" guns :D Anyway I hope that helps you same :)

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  20. lencac

    lencac Well-Known Member

    New Sight Blade

    Went to the range today and gave the new/old 03A3 with the taller blade installed. Now it was shooting only 4 to 5 inches high as opposed to the 9 to 10 inches with the "C" blade. Reinstalled the original mil-spec rear peep. The rear peep I enlarged was better to see the target but proved not as accurate. Anyway the pic of the target. The one rd. to the right was before I put in one click to the left. Not too bad if I say so myself :) OH and how do I put a pic in with the body of the text. When I click the "insert picture" icon it does nothing and just goes boink

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