1903-A3 Springfield

Discussion in 'General Military Arms & History Forum' started by 45nut, Aug 7, 2009.

  1. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    I'm thinking about getting one and want input from you guys about:

    What's a fair price?
    What maker / model variant?
    Sporter stock or straight military version?

    I plan on using it with the open sights, so I think I'd like to get one that hasn't been sporterized.

    What say you?
  2. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    45, any of the 1903 series are great rifles, you won't be disappointed. The only two complaints I have with the as issue 03A3 is the short length of pull, at least with the straight stock, which makes it hard to get into a good prone shooting position and the need to file down the front sight to properly zero the rifle. As issue 03 and 03A3 rifles sell for anywhere from $600 to $1,000 for a decent shooter.

    Sporterized 03's and 03A3's go for about 1/2 to 1/3 of the as issue rifles but shoot just as well. If you go that route look for one with a good Lyman or Redfield peep sight, has the stripper clip notch unobstructed and has a stock that fits you.
  3. 45nut

    45nut Active Member

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    I called my gun shop and he has 2 Remington military versions starting at $600 and one sporterized going for $300.

    I'm going to look at them on Monday.

    Anyone else??
  4. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    A couple of other quick thoughts, 45. Don't be afraid of 2-groove barrels; unless your shooting long range with match ammunition you won't be able to tell the difference from a 4-groove, and probably not even then. Also, dark bores are ok; it just means that there was corrosive primed ammo shot through the rifle and not cleaned as well as it should have been. As long as there is no pitting it shouldn't affect accuracy. Check the muzzle crown and chamber out well though.
  5. Teejay9

    Teejay9 New Member

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    I let a very nice example go last year for $600. All Remington, all military, all as it should be. Sometimes you get the bear. Sometimes the bear gets you. TJ
  6. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    I really prefer the full military 03-A3, to me it is a beautiful rifle. If the sporterized one is in good shape, $300 doesn't seem like a bad price and you can probably put it back in its original condition relatively cheap.
  7. Alpo

    Alpo Well-Known Member

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    There is a brand out there. National Ordnance. Not a military rifle. Cast receivers put together with surplus parts, in the 60s. I've heard bad things about 'em.
  8. wabryan1

    wabryan1 New Member

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    I have a Nat'l Ord 03A3. I is pretty rough looking. It has a poorly finished cast reciever w/ poor engraving. Everything else is real GI. I got it cheap and it is "interesting"
  9. gdmoody

    gdmoody Moderator Supporting Member

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    If you are not in a great hurry for a 1903, the CMP website says (not on so many words) that they might have some in stock in 2010 http://www.thecmp.org/m1903.htm
  10. Thomas G

    Thomas G New Member

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    Just a thought on pitted Barrels, I have a "sportized" Krag that has a barrel that looks like 40 miles of bad road. It will still hit a beer can at 100yds. every time. I would like to put a new barrel on it but can't justify, it's as good a shooter as it ever was. I have to say though, if it wasn't dirt cheap, I wouldn't have bought it.
  11. JLA

    JLA Well-Known Member

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    I have an 03A3 that I put an A4 sniper stock on. Boy is it a shooter. Buy one. Heck save the money, buy the sporter, provided it still has its original sights, and get online to numrichs and get an A4 sniper stock for about 160 bucks... YOU WONT BE DISAPPOINTED.
  12. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    A lot of interesting opinions here. It is my sincere belief that all original Model 1903 A4 were issued with Remington 2 groove barrels. {Remington has always made relatively straight barrels}. They distinguished themselves in actual combat!
  13. Hammerslagger

    Hammerslagger New Member

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    A word of warning about 1903A3 and A4 rifles that one might encounter today.

    About 10 years ago the CMP sold 1903A3 (and at least one 1903A4) rifles that had been "de-milled" into non-functional "Drill Rifles" by arc welding the barrel to the receiver, welding the magazine "cut off" to the "off" position, welding the bolt's firing pin hole closed, and plugging the barrel, Etc. The price was $50 each, and they were sold as firearms using BATF paperwork and Fed. Background check. I know, because I bought one and a friend bought several.

    Some of the techs doing the welding must have been "gun lovers" because they barely welded the barrel to the bottom of the receiver, and barely damaged the receiver at the magazine "cut off". Other techs did their jobs quite destructively, to insure against any restoration. Knowledgeable buyers with gunsmith experience and extra Springfield bolts, barrels, and other misc. parts looked for receivers with no significant heat damage, for obvious reasons.

    The point is that I have seen several rifles at gun shows that were obviously made functional from the above described rifles. The receivers of several of these rifles should probably not have been returned to service.

    The CMP discontinued their sale, reportedly after there was a problem with one rifle that was not properly restored (and was likely unsuitable for restoration, but restored anyway), and sold as if it was a rifle originally sold by the CMP as a functional rifle.

    Buyers beware!!
  14. mrkirker

    mrkirker New Member

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    Isn't there an issue with early versions of the receiver not being able to withstand modern ammo? I mention this, as I'm in the market for an example as well, and have read of this as I've attempted to 'bone-up' on what to look for.
  15. USMC-03

    USMC-03 New Member

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    The only rifles to be concerned with are M1903's with low numbered receivers; 03A3's are not in this group. These are serial numbers below 800,000 made at Springfield Armory, and below 286,506 made at Rock Island Arsenal. The problem was the metallurgy use at the time making the receiver brittle and thus prone to catastrophic failure when greatly exceeding ammunition pressure limits. Failures are rare but enough to cause the Army to relegate rifles with these serial number ranges to war reserve only although most still served in some form or fashion up through WW2.
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