Springfield 1903a3 question

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  • Moonpie

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    Gunz are icky.
    The price seems a bit high for a non-collector gun.
    If you're wanting to shoot the gun a lot I say get it.
    The A3 is a fine rifle. With a new barrel it should shoot very well for you.
    Original rifles are hitting 65 yrs old and have been fired a lot hence they don't always shoot well.
    Many shooters prefer the rear aperture sight on the A3 vs. the leaf type on the 1903. It's definitely better if your vision ins't that great.
    Almost every one I've ever handled had a good trigger in it and cycled flawlessly.
    The standard 1907 sling is correct for it.
    Stripper clips are nice but not really needed.
    The 16" 1942 bayonet is a must have. :-)
    I will tell you this: standard modern off the shelf hunting .30-06 ammo is punishing recoil wise.
    Reloading down to standard WW2 M-2 ball specs makes it more enjoyable to shoot.
    Overall its a fine rifle.
    Post pics and range report please.
     

    Mikeinhistory

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    I have a 1903 Remington made in '42 all matching serials. Looks just like a WWI rifle but used in WWII along with the A3s. I agree with Spouthpaw on a lot of that, but I think it is a pretty typical price. Wether or not that is a "good" price is debatable. I got mine for $650. Of course that was at the end of a 4-6 month search. I think the one in the ad is high because the Smith Corona receivers are very sought after in their own right. In general 1903s shoot very well. If you do get one, use the M2 ball ammo. It is pretty easy to find. It is the same ammo as the Garand uses. The 1903s as I understand will handle modern loads, but it was designed around the M2 ball and specifically for it. If I were still looking for one and had the money I would have no problem buying from Classic. I have several times in the past and know many people who have without any problems. If you wanted to expend the energy you might be able to find a "better" deal out there, but I doubt you will pay much less money. You might just be able to find a more "collector" wise desirable one. For some people, like me that is a fun part of it in itself, but you better make sure you know what you are looking at. There are several fakes and they are getting harder to tell apart. Also, to add to the mess, there were several commercial outfits that "rebuilt" 1903s in the 1960s and 70s from scrap parts by wielding the receivers back together. These ones are obviously flat out dangerous and I have seen the damage they can cause. Although everyone was alright that time. I hope that is a helpful answer.

    Oops. I mean what Moonpie said. For some reason I though that was Southpaw's avatar.
     

    ROGER4314

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    I shot my 1903A3 in NRA and CMP John C Garand competition for many years. My usual score with the rifle was 450/500 from NRA positions. I had four groove barrels and the one I shot most was a two groove barrel. I could detect no difference in accuracy. M2 ball works great in these rifles and they will outshoot an M1 Garand any day!

    When you shoot a lot of rounds like in a match, the rear sight elevation slider moves. There is a tiny spring that holds the slider in position by friction. I removed that spring and installed a small set screw in the slider to hold it in position. It worked great and I never had a bit of trouble from it again.

    The rifles in that ad are expensive there no way of getting around that. The thing that I like best is that they have the "C" pistol grip stock. That's beautiful! I have a "scant" stock on the rifle that I shot most. I do NOT like the straight stocks and just don't shoot them well.

    Hey...it's only money. That's what the 1903A3 rifles can bring today. It's not collectable but when you get accustomed to that rifle, it will be hard to get you away from it. I sold several others but there's not enough money available to buy my old match rifle. I won't part with it!

    Flash
     

    OIF2

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    Probably a little high, but the supply of nice 03A3s that are mostly original are drying up. And like Flash said, you get a great C-stock. Much better than the old straight stock The CMP is now using Criterion barrels for rebuild. You'll be getting a 1st-rate shooter.
    Bob

    '03A1 from 1936 (top) and a nice, 4-groove Remington 1903A3
    DSC_0537.jpg
     
    Last edited:

    ROGER4314

    Been Called "Flash" Since I Was A Kid!
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    If I was still working, I'd pounce on one of those rifles! The Criterion barrels is/was a Krieger product and it's excellent in all respects. Krieger just doesn't put his name on the less expensive line. (Check that...it may have changed)

    It all depends on what you want the rifle for. It is not an item that you can buy then trade later for a profit. You'd probably get your butt kicked financially if you did that. As I suggested with my old match rifle, there isn't enough money to buy that rifle. I simply won't part with it! The reason is that that rifle and I "click". Anything within 200 yards will be hit and there's no maybes about it! It's not even a pretty rifle and the Garand web sling that I always used on it is ragged. But as a team, we rock!

    If you can snag this rifle and develop that kind of relationship with it, the price would be chump change. If you want to buy then resell it, I'd avoid it.

    I could knock out "Expert" to "Master" level scores out of that ugly rifle at 200 yards and it would do that in any weather all day. That's not from a bench, either! That was standing, rapid fire sitting, rapid fire prone and slow fire prone at 200 yards. That rifle would smoke those targets and made me look great as the shooter! It was absolutely stock with a military two groove barrel.

    I shot Lake City M2 ball in it but Sierra Match Kings would do very well. The Palma Match King at around 155 grains would be a great substitute for the 147 grain M2 Ball.

    That's how I see it.

    Flash
     

    ROGER4314

    Been Called "Flash" Since I Was A Kid!
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    Something that you might consider.......

    The Lake City M2 ball ammo is gone. Some folks saw that coming and put it and the Greek M2 ball away. Later, machine gun links were disassembled so we got "delinked" M2 and the Garand m2 in enblock clips (yes...that's a "clip") appeared for a while, too. We saw that drying up and squirreled it away, too. The point is that most of that ammo is gone and when some of it surfaces, it's $1/round.

    I told the truth about 1903A3 rifles from actual hands on experience. You must be prepared to feed this rifle if you choose to go that way. If you reload, that's solved. If not, ammo supplies might be something to consider.

    Flash
     

    Moonpie

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    Gunz are icky.
    The history of the A3 rifle is kinda interesting.
    By the very late 30's the supply of 1903 rifles the US Army had was getting pretty worn. The last 03 rifles were produced in the late 20's/early 30's.
    So Remington was contracted to start production back up on the 1903.
    Big Green started turning out new 1903 rifles. These are sometimes incorrectly referred to as A1 rifles. They are 1903 rifles.
    Then the war came.
    Rifles, of all kinds, were in extremely short supply. Especially the M-1 Garand. Springfield Armory was the only producer of the M-1 at this point.
    Since Springfield couldn't possibly supply enough M-1's Winchester was contracted to begin production of the M-1 as well.
    Meanwhile Remington came up with the A3 design to speed up and ease production of the 1903 design. The design was approved and Remington began production of the A3 full time and stopped the 1903 design.
    Even Big Green couldn't produce enough rifles so a second contract was approved for Smith-Corona to begin A3 production.
    By early 1943 the production of M-1's was up and running full blast so the A3 rifle contracts were stopped.
    IIRC, Remington made something like 1.2 million A3's and SC made 200,000 or so before production ceased.
    They were issued and used in combat but were quickly "lost" and replaced by M-1's by the doggies who were issued one.
    They were also converted into sniper rifles and used good effect.
     
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