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1903 A3 Remington

Discussion in 'Rifle Country' started by KY DAN, May 1, 2019.

  1. KY DAN

    KY DAN Member

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    What accuracy should be expected from this type of service rifle? I have never shot it and would like to know what direction to take hand loads with.
     
  2. lionking

    lionking Member

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    Depending on condition of rifle my experience is when using factory or surplus ammo, 3 inch to 4 inch groups of 5 shots at 100 yds on average sometimes 2 1/2 inch groups of 5 using a front rest
     
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  3. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Deleted for stupidity ;)
     
    Last edited: May 2, 2019
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  4. troy fairweather

    troy fairweather Member

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    depends on ammo, and if the gun likes it. you could get 3 or 4 inch at 100 yards i have had some that would shoot under a inch at 100 yards.
     
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  5. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    DSC_0017.jpeg

    Remington 1903A3 with a 4 groove barrel from 1943 would shoot with me doing the holding using rounds like those in the photo would go just under 4" at 100 yards. HXP 1969 I bought a bunch from the CMP. The HXP ran about the same accuracy in the M1 Garand too.
    Handloads with 168 match kings did about 2.5" at 100 yards, I did not do much experimenting.
     
  6. P5 Guy

    P5 Guy Member

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    1903A3 is NOT in the exploding serial range which pertained only to Springfield and Rock Island made guns.
     
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  7. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Regards,
    hps
     
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  8. lionking

    lionking Member

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    I haven't shot mine in a while because they are stuffed back in the safe, but here are results last time I photoed them. I have a lot of HXP left, as you can see from the one photo using a different lot can change impact area even without adjusting the sights. This is my Greek return with a c-stock, the 1903 action is one of the slickest I have ever tried on a mil-surp. Also reminds me haven't looked at my bayonet collection in a while lol

    106.jpg


    062.jpg


    200.jpg

    also have one with straight stock only have cataloged results with a paper plate. really need to bring this one out more and shoot more
    008.jpg

    043.jpg
     
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  9. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    Thanks P5, I misread the CMP warning... they have it filed under both 1903 and 1903A3, but I see that you're right.
     
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  10. George Dickel

    George Dickel Member

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    I can't do it but I let a young soldier shoot my 03 and he put 3 rounds inside 2" at 100 yards. The best I can do is 3-4 inch groups, but my eyes are 71 yrs old and use bifocals. Ammo used was my own reloads. My gunsmith installed a new old stock 1944 two groove barrel and apparently it was a good one.
     
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  11. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    I've owned a couple of 03's and quite a few A3's. Most were capable of 2-2.5" 100 yd. groups w/M2 Ball. The two groove barrels would hold their own against the 4 grooves, too.

    Regards,
    hps
     
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  12. mustanger98

    mustanger98 Member

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    The 2-groove barrels... I've heard plenty of times that also they're great for cast lead.
     
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  13. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    The 03A3 is capable of even more accuracy in a sporterized configuration.

    Here’s mine that includes its original 2 groove military barrel

    6973F32E-8F29-4114-8D6F-C12E701647B1.jpg

    0E01C132-585F-4276-9F73-EEA528F8834C.jpg

    Shot this group at 200 yards, just a hair over 1 MOA

    88BC61CB-0BB3-4257-8965-3D6B2895DF07.jpg
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  14. DukeConnor

    DukeConnor Member

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    I don't have much experience with them. My buddy can consistently hit a 20 inch gong at 400 with his. He is sort of a freak at shooting. Somehow can shoot anything well.
     
  15. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    Double post. Missed it being addressed above. No 1903A3 is a low number with improper heat treatment. However, some are restored drill rifles which is a whole nother issue.
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
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  16. Laphroaig

    Laphroaig Member

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    CMP games type competitions are shot on the SR target at 200 yards. The 10 ring is 7 inches, or 3 1/2 minutes. Good shooters clean that target more often than not, prone with a sling and the issue sights. I'm a believer that shots outside the 10 ring are usually not the rifles fault.

    Vintage sniper matches are shot with 1903 A4 rifles, which are 1903 A3's drilled and tapped, with a bent bolt handle to clear a 2 1/2 power scope. Competitions are shot at 300 and 600 yards. The 300 yard version is shot on the SR-3 target, which also has a 7 inch 10 ring. Scores in the high 90's are fairly common.

    I have a Gibbs 1903-A4 reproduction with a Weaver K2.5. These are restored drill rifles. Mine is a legitimate 5 shot 1 1/2 minute rifle at 100 yards off of sand bags. Sometimes better.
     
  17. hps1

    hps1 Member

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    Very nice rifle, NB. I have a soft spot for the old Springfields.

    It had been 21 years since I had shot HP competition in 1983 when I learned the TSRA was planning an 80 year commemorative match for 1903 Springfields at the state service rifle matches. This match would be 20 rounds, unlimited sighters (not many folks still had 600 yard zeros for their 03's.) , @ 600 yards with a 22 minute time limit. Rifles restricted to "as issued".

    What an opportunity to see that many old 03's on the firing line at one time. I had an 03 which was one year older than I was, but it was unfired by all appearances and I had elected to keep it that way, so ordered an A3 for the match. The A3 sight is much better than the 03 sight anyway. Notice I said shoot, not compete; after all I hadn't picked up a match rifle for a long time!

    Started scrounging enough brass to shoot the entire match, since I would have to travel 300 miles, might as well shoot the entire match which would require a total of 300 rounds for all matches, sighters and an extra 20 rounds in case a rapid fire alibi string or two might be needed.

    Since Uncle Sam had been so kind as to supply all my match ammo in the past, I had to work up a load and had only a few weeks to get it all together. Talked to the match director and he was kind enough to share his pet load for the M1, which duplicated M2 ball.

    By the time the rifle arrived, I had sorted all the scrap GI brass into lots w/same headstamp, tumbled, swaged primer pockets of all and loaded up 20 rounds using 168 gr. SMK's which shot right at moa @ 100 in this rifle.

    I was tickled pink when my rifle arrived; it was a nice one.
    29463678628_709c9ab97d.jpg
    Messed up somewhere on my calculations and, attempting to sight in high enough @ 200 to be on @ 6, found it necessary to file front sight off a bit. That bothered me, but I didn't tumble to the error until my first sighter @ Camp Bullis on match day. Fortunately, I was squadded on a target in front of a long limestone slope and saw a dustcloud way high on my first sighter. Slid rear sight down a few notches by guess and by golly; the 2nd sighter was a 9!:what: Told my scorer I was going for record.

    Unfortunately, every third shot or so was dropping low, requiring a click of elevation to get back in neighborhood of the 10 ring. About half way through the string, I just started taking that click after every 2nd shot. As it turned out the spring detent was weak and recoil was causing rear sight to run down.

    My classification had long since expired so I was entered in the Unclassified division. Made some new friends, great memories and found I was hooked again, leading to nearly another 20 years of competitive HP shooting.

    35571915572_a63396166e_n.jpg

    Regards,
    hps
     
    Last edited: May 1, 2019
  18. boom boom
    • Contributing Member

    boom boom Contributing Member

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    A common thing that can affect accuracy on the 1903a3 is if your front bayonet band is loose. Bayonet practice was hard on these rifles and sometimes as a result the band is loose. Check the receiver relief in the stock at the tang area can prevent cracking and splitting in this area. Another issue can be the stamped trigger guard and last but not least, sometimes you can have feeding issues with the forged follower and get better feeding results with the WWII era stamped one.
     
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  19. tactikel

    tactikel Member

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    My Remington '03-A3 2 groove will group cast boolits 1" at 50 yards off sand bags with GI sights. SMK 168gr handloads will easily group 2 MOA.
     
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  20. Jim Watson

    Jim Watson Member

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    My neighbor the gunsmith's wife took over his A3. He loaded cast bullets for her.
    She considered scope sights and rests to be crutches.
    Stand on your hind legs and shoot like a woman. And she shot well.

    She shot Trap, too. When her right eye failed, I showed him some pictures and he built her an offset rib to let her shoot right shoulder, left eye.
     
  21. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    Awesome story @hps1
     
  22. fpgt72

    fpgt72 Member

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  23. telomerase

    telomerase Member

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    My error was addressed above. However, there was this comment:

    "No 1903A3 is a low number with improper heat treatment. However, some are restored drill rifles which is a whole nother issue."

    Anyway, everyone knows you reloaders load everything with compressed pistol-powder loads anyway ;)
     
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  24. 25-5
    • Contributing Member

    25-5 Contributing Member

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    I have been reloading for my 1943 M1903A3 many years. Settled on 168gr A-Max & Varget, neck sized.
    Bench rest at 200yds. 2" to 2.5" MOA now, though I didn't start out that way.
    For factory ammo I suggest you try Black Hills.
     
  25. Nature Boy

    Nature Boy Member

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    I find my sporterized 03A3 very easy to tune as long as I keep my expectations in check and remember that it’s a 70 year old military rifle, not a custom target rifle and it’s only purpose in life is to slay deer

    770CD677-DE8E-4A75-AB40-85031FC1CFAF.jpg
     
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