Page 1 of 2 12 LastLast
Results 1 to 10 of 17

Thread: M1903A3 resto project

  1. #1

    M1903A3 resto project

    So, I've been looking for an American battle rifle to complete my collection of combatants during WWII, I have a couple of Enfields, a nice k98k, a fin nagant and a Tula Nagant, but no .30-06 American boomstick.

    Most Springfields I have seen are at about the 1k mark, I don't mind spending that sort of cash, but I've always been much more interested in restoring my classic rifles, i have a brilliantly well equiped workshop for my general tinkering activities, and i have a ton of m1903 bits in the parts bin, collected over many years. My general web perusing was fruitful recently and I think I've struck pay dirt with a find this weekend! I found an m1903-A3 which some prat has attempted to sporterise, it currently lives in a ram line black synth stock, and has a b-square non smithed scope mount, the bore is mint as is the bolt, parkerised finish is nice a satin grey, but it is missing a few bits (Mag cut off assembly - all springs, plunger etc, hand guard retainer ring which I think I may have knocking about in the parts bin), but the real kicker is that the seller has included the original S type pinned stock which is matched to the rifle! Serial number places this rifle at February 1942, all parts are matching too!Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.jpg 
Views:	71 
Size:	73.3 KB 
ID:	32208Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.jpg 
Views:	63 
Size:	108.6 KB 
ID:	32209Click image for larger version. 

Name:	image.jpg 
Views:	60 
Size:	105.1 KB 
ID:	32210

    Managed to purchase the rifle plus it's original stock for about one tenth of its potential resale value once I'm done returning it to its original configuration. I will keep all updated with images of the restoration! Here are some images of the rifle as it is.

    p.s. synthetic stock and scope mount are for sale, pm me if you are in need.

    james

  2. #2
    It's always good to see someone restoring the historical rifles. It's also a hobby of mine, there's a certain satisfaction in bringing a bubba'd ( amateur sporterized) war horse back to its original configuration. There is a very large community of shooters in Canada who do the same. We constantly help each other out with hard to find parts. If you can't find the parts you need, drop me a line and we'll get you sorted out.

    Good Luck AB

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by alberta boy View Post
    It's always good to see someone restoring the historical rifles. It's also a hobby of mine, there's a certain satisfaction in bringing a bubba'd ( amateur sporterized) war horse back to its original configuration. There is a very large community of shooters in Canada who do the same. We constantly help each other out with hard to find parts. If you can't find the parts you need, drop me a line and we'll get you sorted out.

    Good Luck AB

    Dear AB,

    Returning anything back to its original condition is possibly the most rewarding thing anyone can do, all of my classic rifles get painstakingly put back to their original set up by hook or by crook! Your offer for parts is very kind and will be probably most welcome in the next few weeks - In the UK there is a distinct shortage of gun parts (most of which are regulated under firearms laws) but also the whole subject matter is slightly taboo making all parts very scarce, I have been lucky enough over the years to just buy bulk job lots of parts whenever i can, even if the parts belong to rifles I do not own nor have permission to purchase! (UK firearms Laws operate on a closed permission system, whereby you need to submit, in advance, the calibers you prospectively wish to buy)

    I got a few parts in a spares bin from a hobbyist gunsmith here in Windsor - it mainly consisted of Lee Enfield SMLE and No.4 parts, however I did identify a number of M1903 parts too.

    In any respect I will send updated images as the project progresses, I can't wait to undo the mindless vandalism to this rifle! I just count my blessing that the guy who modded this rifle kept the original stock and din't do any amateur smithing for mounting a scope by drilling and tapping holes int he receiver! This perhaps suggests to me that he himself probably knew what he was doing was naughty!

    ​J

  4. #4
    Have fun. I have a 03-A3 National Match with Lyman #48 long slide and globe front sight. It sits in a C-stock and is screamingly accurate. I admit that these days, it only gets shot with cast bullets but I can drop all my rounds into the "X" ring of a 100M small bore target.

    Here the 03A3 parts are pretty common. I have at least one 2-groove barrel still in the grease, a couple of stocks, extractors, triggers, barrel bands, and assorted small bits. Also have 5 bolts. If we were closer I'd let you pick through them.~Muir

  5. #5
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    Have fun. I have a 03-A3 National Match with Lyman #48 long slide and globe front sight. It sits in a C-stock and is screamingly accurate. I admit that these days, it only gets shot with cast bullets but I can drop all my rounds into the "X" ring of a 100M small bore target.

    Here the 03A3 parts are pretty common. I have at least one 2-groove barrel still in the grease, a couple of stocks, extractors, triggers, barrel bands, and assorted small bits. Also have 5 bolts. If we were closer I'd let you pick through them.~Muir

    Muir,

    I'm not adverse to getting on a plane to do some picking! Providing I can get the correct export documents done for me somehow! The US has some weird laws about export of gun parts, even some scope mounts are regulated by International Trade Administration - so I would have to be careful not to wind up in a prison somewhere! I think the law for import into the UK is okay for componentry, like stocks, barrel bands and non-pressure bearing surfaces - I know that trigger assemblies and bolts are out of the question!

    So what is the accuracy like on these 03A3s? mine has the 2 groove barrel - looks good as new though! My dad has a No4 Enfield with a two groove and it can shoot the flea off a dog's back at 300 yards! wondering if its the same case for a .30-06?

    Best

    ​James

  6. #6
    Those 03s are pretty darn accurate. The saying was "The Germans went into WWI with the best sporting rifle, the British had the best battle rifle and the Americans the best sniper's rifle so that tells you something.

    David.

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by Kalahari View Post
    Those 03s are pretty darn accurate. The saying was "The Germans went into WWI with the best sporting rifle, the British had the best battle rifle and the Americans the best sniper's rifle so that tells you something.

    David.
    Can't wait to take it down to century at Bisley and stretch it out! Personally I think it looks cool, my Enfield will always be very close to my heart, but these Springfields are beautiful, I'm sure it will earn equal standing in my estimations as my No.4.

    anyone have any tasty recipes for hand loads? I currently load bloody stout rounds for my m50 colombian mauser in 30-06, using 42 grains of N140 and 180gr lapua Scenars.

  8. #8
    I do have a lot of data for 30-06 match loads ( but I bet Muir has more lol ) most of my loads get used in the M-1 Garand so they use older slower powders such as 4895 and 4064, etc. The velocities are lower than the newer loads but my god do they shoot well. To be honest I don't see these lower velocities as a disadvantage when target shooting and these loads replicate the loads that were used in the A3's and Garands during the war. I'll PM them to you, sorry I'm still a little sqeamish about posting loads on a public forum.With decent loads a good Springfield will shoot some unbelievable groups. A good friend of mine has a mint A3 that he's been torturing me with for about a year now ( and a Johnson too ) I'll get it eventually, but he loves torturing me more than money .

    As Muir says, parts are in abundance here. I think the problem is what I can legally send you not what I can get. I'm sure the mag cut-off assembly would be fine. If I can help, feel free to let me know.

    Later AB.

  9. #9
    The most universally accurate load I've shot in a Springfield, either 1903 or 03A3, two groove or four, is 45 grains of H-4895 and a 168 Sierra Match King. ( I use Remington 9.5 primers) It used to be like the current "13.0 grains of Lil Gun" load is to the Hornet: Mild and super accurate -and the favorite of many High Power Rifle match shooters.~Muir

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Muir View Post
    The most universally accurate load I've shot in a Springfield, either 1903 or 03A3, two groove or four, is 45 grains of H-4895 and a 168 Sierra Match King. ( I use Remington 9.5 primers) It used to be like the current "13.0 grains of Lil Gun" load is to the Hornet: Mild and super accurate -and the favorite of many High Power Rifle match shooters.~Muir
    Well that saved me some typing, that is one of the loads I use.It would also be the load I'd recommend................. get out of my head Andy.

    AB
    Last edited by alberta boy; 10-09-2013 at 01:43.

Similar Threads

  1. Wanted Scope for .22lr project.
    By flash222004 in forum Optics
    Replies: 0
    Last Post: 16-08-2013, 12:06
  2. Tractor Project
    By DavieH in forum Deer Stalking General
    Replies: 17
    Last Post: 13-09-2012, 19:22
  3. *SOLD* project rifle
    By chrisc in forum Firearms
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: 02-08-2012, 18:30
  4. bit of a project
    By fly tyer in forum Rifles & Calibres
    Replies: 4
    Last Post: 28-02-2011, 21:10
  5. Another Project.
    By Muir in forum Rifles & Calibres
    Replies: 8
    Last Post: 01-04-2010, 01:47

Tags for this Thread

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •