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View Full Version : Thinking of building an 03A3 or A4 from a receiver


Chris_B
January 29, 2012, 03:36 PM
It has crossed my mind to do an 03A3 or even A4 project from a receiver up. I am not thinking of doing a strictly WWII correct replica, with all the proper drawing numbers etc and just correct-to-manufacturer parts. I would use USGI parts in almost every instance. I also wouldn't worry too much if they were 'incorrect'-I wouldn't mind a Remington buttplate on a Smith Corona for example; I would get a new barrel definitely, and if I go the A4 route, I am not going to go find an original sight unless one falls in my lap for cheap. Plus I'd like to set it up so that I could use the irons too.

But that's just details; first I need an 03A3 receiver, and first things first.

I'd prefer Smith-Corona if I had a choice. I see some at various places online. Are there any recommendations as to where I should consider buying?

HiBC
January 29, 2012, 05:01 PM
Great thing to do !The world can use another Springfield.

For what it is worth,Kreiger barrels offer a line named Criterion.There is a Criterion barrel made to be a direct replacement for a Springfield.It may even come finished.I think it is in the $260 range.

I do not know if they still have them,but Gibbs Rifles/Old Western Scrounger had some replica scopes made up when they offered an A-4 clone .OWS may have some parts for you.

Chris_B
January 29, 2012, 06:56 PM
That place was a good suggestion, since they have S-C receivers and bolts, and the entire scope kit with scope rings and mounts :) Reviews on the scopes have been positive. Downside is I can't use the irons too, but I think I'd regret it if I made the build and didn't go whole hog

Add in the barrel (I already have the C Stock available) and I'm looking at a fair price, plus the fun of the project. Add in smithing costs and unforseen things, plus small parts...I think I'm jumping into the 03A4 build. Coincidentally I just paid off my CC, too, and I still need to sell a vintage Rickenbacker bass guitar so the money is available. I'm running out of excuses not to do it.

I'll pick up the Canfield book or the Brophy book for reference. Thanks!

madcratebuilder
January 30, 2012, 10:58 AM
Chris, the C stock is not a SC part and SC parts cost more than the same part with a R stamp. Maybe go with a Remington build to offset the scope and mount cost. They well shoot the same.

I can highly recommend the Kreiger barrels.

1903 barrels on this page, half way down. $$$

http://www.kriegerbarrels.com/AR_10DPMS_LR-c1246-wp3393.htm#AR-10/DPMS-LR

Chris_B
January 30, 2012, 05:49 PM
:) I know that the stock is a type of stock and not just a Smith-Corona part

I sent you a reply to your PM

Chris_B
February 6, 2012, 05:15 PM
This project may be back on :) OWS receivers may not be what I'd be looking for

But I am talking to a fellow with a Remington 03A3 barreled action minus bolt, and the receiver is already drilled and tapped; Dec 1943. He is willing to sell. I may have a line on an A4 bolt too

HiBC
February 7, 2012, 01:07 AM
Springfield bolts,and modified springfield bolts,should be easy,and not expensive.

I noticed in the Midway #35 catalogue,the brand new one,they have those direct replacement Criterion Springfield barrels,finished(the pic looked like it may have been parked,hard to say) for about $265.

It will have the right threads and profile.

Likely there are still a few new military barrels around,try Gunlist,Shotgun News,etc.Sarco,Springfield Sporters,J=G,all those big ads.

F. Guffey
February 7, 2012, 08:01 AM
http://ows-ammo.com/store/index.php?main_page=index&cPath=46

F. Guffey

madcratebuilder
February 7, 2012, 08:53 AM
Dang it Chris, now you got my wanting to build a scoped 03A3.:D I'm telling the wife it's all your fault.

Chris_B
February 7, 2012, 04:48 PM
Springfield bolts,and modified springfield bolts,should be easy,and not expensive.

I noticed in the Midway #35 catalogue,the brand new one,they have those direct replacement Criterion Springfield barrels,finished(the pic looked like it may have been parked,hard to say) for about $265.

It will have the right threads and profile.

Likely there are still a few new military barrels around,try Gunlist,Shotgun News,etc.Sarco,Springfield Sporters,J=G,all those big ads.

Thanks :) The Remmie 03A3 I'm looking into now has it's DEC 1943 barrel in good shape attached. If I get that barreled action, my problem will be a good one to have- use the original barrel or get a new one. If the original is good and gauges well, I won't bother replacing it- it will outlast me. If it's bad, so be it, I'll find a replacement. But I'm hoping it's in good shape.

Numrich looks like they have my bolt

Chris_B
February 7, 2012, 04:51 PM
http://ows-ammo.com/store/index.php?...index&cPath=46

F. Guffey

Thanks. That's OWS (Old Western Scrounger) and at first that looks great. However, they are down to 'drill rifle' receivers from what I'm reading, that have had things like the cut-off welded to the receiver. I am not afraid that spot welding anneals the metal, I'm afraid that aesthetically, it will look like a receiver that had once been spot welded, and if I can manage to get something better, I want the something better. And after that, the receiver needs to be drilled and tapped. The one I'm looking into has already been drilled and tapped and it's not an ex-drill rifle.

Chris_B
February 7, 2012, 04:52 PM
Dang it Chris, now you got my wanting to build a scoped 03A3. I'm telling the wife it's all your fault.

I do a fair bit of customer service; I'm used to being blamed for things I didn't do ;)

HiBC
February 8, 2012, 04:21 AM
Late 70's,maybe 80,I bought an 03A3 Remington action only.Mine was the double nheat treat,case hardened nickel steel.

As I recall,that was a choice reciever,Machining was a bit rough,but it was slick.

I agree,the drill rifle route is not so good.

Mine ended up a 35 Whelen Sporter.Back then,not a bad idea.Today,not so much.

F. Guffey
February 8, 2012, 07:41 AM
HiBC, the rifle could be double heat treat, or nickel steel or a 1903A3 Remington, nickel steel and double heat treat happen before Remington, your rifle could be a Remington 03 or 03A3 but not double heat treat or nickel steel.

I will call the Old Western Scrounger today, seems a drill rifle omission is too big to ignore. There are a couple of feed-backs, the purchasers furnishing the feed back also failed to mention ‘drill rifle’, or welds on the receiver, or welds on the cut-off, that could happen when builders are not sticklers for detail. Any how, a couple of friends are building 6 03A4 with the understanding they have no intensions of passing a fake off as the real thing.

F. Guffey

Chris_B
February 8, 2012, 07:30 PM
I will call the Old Western Scrounger today, seems a drill rifle omission is too big to ignore. There are a couple of feed-backs, the purchasers furnishing the feed back also failed to mention ‘drill rifle’, or welds on the receiver, or welds on the cut-off, that could happen when builders are not sticklers for detail. Any how, a couple of friends are building 6 03A4 with the understanding they have no intensions of passing a fake off as the real thing.

F. Guffey

Please tell us what they say. When I was looking at the Gibbs Rifles 1903A4 replica, I went to their website, and found they list links for other firms in their corporate family. OWS is one of them.

Here is a link that gives a message about the receivers Gibbs' 03A4s use:
http://www.gibbsrifle.com/files/val_message.pdf

I believe it re: the safety factor but still- drill rifle receivers. My information is that the receivers Forgett uses in the Gibbs 03A4 are from the same quantity as the ones for sale at OWS. Like anything else- that info could be wrong

Chris_B
February 8, 2012, 07:33 PM
I ordered my bent and relieved bolt from Numrich today. Fingers crossed that they don't tell me it's out of stock :D

F. Guffey
February 9, 2012, 10:06 AM
I called, the receivers are drill rifle receivers, the lady I talked to was most pleasant...and proud of the receivers, she did say the receivers are the same receivers used on the 03A4 being used on ‘the games’ and the receivers sold by ‘AIMS SURPLUS.COM’. And she said it has been 15 years since The Old Western Scrounger was in California.

I called him, I thought I had an interest in Berdan primers, he ask “WHY????” he informed me I could not afford his, his primers were more expensive than bullets, so, I got over it.

http://www.aimsurplus.com/catalog.aspx?groupid=254

F. Guffey

Chris_B
February 11, 2012, 08:08 AM
Hmmm. I thought that was what they would say. It's too bad. The receivers are almost certainly plenty strong too. I just can't bring myself to buy one

Chris_B
February 15, 2012, 08:36 PM
I am wrapping up my deal to buy a drilled and tapped 1903A3 barreled action, minus bolt. Also, my bent 1903A4 type bolt arrived today, from Numrich. It begins :)