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Thread: Took my 03A3 to the Range

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  1. #1
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    Took my 03A3 to the Range

    I have a 1919 1903 from my Dad and a 1930 1903 with a WWII barrel, bolt, and scant stock that I put together from a barreled receiver. Both are wonderful guns - I consider the 1930 rifle my "shooter" since the other has sentimental value.

    Last weekend I picked up a 1943 (correction, probably January 1944 with a 12-43 barrel) Remington 1903A3 at the CMP South Store (Anniston, AL). As nearly as I can tell, it is correct with the exception of the trigger guard and lower band (both are Remington but parked, not blued).

    I made a quick range trip with the rifle today and am very impressed so far. I remembered targets but not a holder so was pretty much limited to shooting clay pigeon fragments left on the 200 yard berm. First shot - fragment gone. Thought it was a pretty lucky shot and did not expect to do it again. I was wrong - 5 rounds of M2 ball, 4 chunks obliterated. Reload, repeat, etc.

    Lighting was near perfect with the sun at my back shooting from shade at a well lit berm, but that is much better than I normally shoot iron sights. You could say I am a fan of the rifle and recoil was not an issue wearing a jacket that kept me warm at 34 degrees.

    Its not much to look at compared to some, but I an definitely happy I bought it.





    P.S. I know I need to shoot it for actual groups.
    Last edited by AndyLate; 03-05-23 at 09:02.

  2. #2
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    Sweet... my Uncle had an '03 Springfield that he's shoot for us at the range when taking us plinking with the 22LRs. We were <15 at the time and no one had the courage to try the Thirty-augh-Six. But we'd hold our ears and laugh to high heaven after the BOOOOOOM when he'd fire one of maybe 5-10 shots per range trip. One of his sons has the rifle now and I'm sure it hasn't been fired in the 30+ years since he died, which is a shame.

  3. #3
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    I have 2 O3A3 rifles. Very handy rifles. I added a USMC front sight loop many years ago. It helped reduce the front sight glint and took some of the bite off that sharp point when stored in the safe.

    https://1903partshop.com/shop/u-s-m-...-usa-made-usmc

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    Quote Originally Posted by Krazykarl View Post
    I have 2 O3A3 rifles. Very handy rifles. I added a USMC front sight loop many years ago. It helped reduce the front sight glint and took some of the bite off that sharp point when stored in the safe.

    https://1903partshop.com/shop/u-s-m-...-usa-made-usmc
    Thank you for the link. They also have the best price I have seen for the blued band I want.

    Andy

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyLate View Post
    Its not much to look at compared to some, but I an definitely happy I bought it.
    Sorry, I beg to differ; that's beautiful in it's own right. Congrats, and thank you for saving a piece of America.


    -Rainman

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    That sounds like a great day Andy! I find it pretty amazing that these 80yr old rifles shoot as they do. I have my expensive "precision" rifles that can shoot one hole, but there is something about shooting and hitting stuff with iron sights on these old war relics @ distances & sometimes great distances that brings a smile to my face and many others for that matter. I think I posted this someplace else but I mean really, this is a target I shot with my stock Remington 1903A3 that is turned into an A4 with a Weaver 10X scope from 1955. Traditional mount and rings and from a solid rest @ 100 yards with my 68 yr old eyes! Anyways not bad and like I say these guns always make me smile. Congrats on your great shooter, have fun with it, and keep us posted. I hear ya say it was 34 degrees for ya, I'm looking @ 40 on Friday with no rain or snow so I'm hoping to get out and shoot, I'll keep ya posted!

  7. #7
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    I definitely need a range trip to put the 03A3 on paper and see how it groups. I will bring my '03 with a SA 42 barrel along too, they will make for an interesting comparison.

    I shot this 20 shot group with the '03 using 59 year old surplus M2 (bull is 2") at 50 yards. I bet if I tighten up I could get decent groups at 100.



    Andy

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    Quote Originally Posted by AndyLate View Post
    I definitely need a range trip to put the 03A3 on paper and see how it groups. I will bring my '03 with a SA 42 barrel along too, they will make for an interesting comparison.

    I shot this 20 shot group with the '03 using 59 year old surplus M2 (bull is 2") at 50 yards. I bet if I tighten up I could get decent groups at 100.



    Andy
    Oh, yea dude, that's outstanding! And that's surplus, mine was reloaded ammo with a little tweak here and there, LOL Yea bring them both and compare, I'm sure the results will be similar and will be more than adequate considering the rifles. It's always fun comparing other people's rifles & groups & it really shows how consistent these old rifles really were. Keep it up & enjoy.
    Also depending on the Surplus, you have, if it's the Greek HXP put it in your press and just seat/push the bullet in a tiny, tiny bit, and you will hear the sealant "crack". It's so old and hard that doing this will tighten up your groups even more, I had a noticeable difference when I did it with mine. I have never tried it with my LC stuff but with the HXP it is a big help.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by RHINOWSO View Post
    Sweet... my Uncle had an '03 Springfield that he's shoot for us at the range when taking us plinking with the 22LRs. We were <15 at the time and no one had the courage to try the Thirty-augh-Six. But we'd hold our ears and laugh to high heaven after the BOOOOOOM when he'd fire one of maybe 5-10 shots per range trip. One of his sons has the rifle now and I'm sure it hasn't been fired in the 30+ years since he died, which is a shame.
    The first centerfire rifle I ever shot was an '03 Springfield, "sporterized" by cutting the forend and removing the handguard and bands. I was probably not much taller than it was and we shot mostly surplus ammo old enough to occasionally hang fire. I learned pretty quickly not to be hasty about relaxing if a round didn't fire - you don't want to give a steel buttplate a head start. Still love the Springfields.

    Andy

  10. #10
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    My dad moved to Oregon in 1968. His first hunting rifle was a sporterized 03/a3. It had a shortened after market stock that was fitted to the entire action and barrel with a fiberglass epoxy. The barrel and action was blued. The scope was a weaver K4 made in Texas. In 1992 he upgraded to a custom 375hh on a Whitworth action and gave me the old 3006. I free floated the barrel and began my own experimenting with handloads. My dad was dedicated to Imr 4320 and speer 180gr bullets. I found that the 2 groove barrel loved 3006 accelerators, AA3100 was a preferred powder, growing up in Bend Oregon I had walk in access to the Nosler pro shop and cases of factory second ballistic tips shot extremely well.

    But, like any teenager. Faster is better. So the rifle went off to the same gunsmith who sold him the rifle in 1968 and built the 375hh. The old O3a3 came back with a Douglas premium in 3006 AI, a trued action, timney trigger, and a beautiful stock made from blond Oregon maple. The weaver k4 long died and was replaced with a leupold. As the rifle sits today it is a sentimental collection from men long dead. I still use it on High Desert mule deer. My current load is Sierra 180 GK with IMR 4350 producing 2910 fps.

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