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Old March 26, 2006, 03:18 PM   #1
Varmint Eviscerator
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Springfield 1903 info?

Well, I was thinking about the 03 in 06 and was wondering how these guns shoot at 100yrds, their condition and reliability. Also I would like to know what one in good condition would go for? Also could they handle light mag loads in 06, I hear the 03 action is weaker then mausers by alot due to the fact the gov't tried to skirt mauser royalty payments. So how how about giving me the dirt on the 06.. PLEASE
Thanks guys, I am taking my time on considering my first big bore rifle (definitly in 30-06 as i love that cal) due to cost and overall signifigance of a big bore
Chase
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Old March 26, 2006, 03:45 PM   #2
marks655
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I have two rifles from the recent CMP batch of Remington 03A3's. They function very smooth and I get 1.5 MOA with my 55 yr old eyes. Really nice rifles.

I'm not sure what you want from an 03. If you want to put a scope on it for hunting I suggest you buy one that is already 'sporterized.' As per iron sights, the 03A3 has better sights in my opinion.

Don't know much about 'magnum loads.' I have seen threads on failures in 03's with heavy loads (beyond published load data). If you want to shoot such loads in 30-'06 from a military bolt gun you might want to look at a model 1917 instead of a 03. They have a heavier action and barrel, and may be better suited for heavy 30-'06 loads. Sporterized ones are pretty cheap. I just sold one with a 'good' barrel and Winchester receiver, Fagen stock, for $200.

Better yet, for 'magnum' 30-'06 loads you may be better of with a Remington 700 or a Ruger 77.
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Old March 26, 2006, 06:59 PM   #3
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I also have 2 of the 03A3's and they are Great rifles. 1-1/2 MOA of less is possible at 100 yards. I have own mine since 1970. hpg
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Old March 26, 2006, 08:17 PM   #4
an82cj7
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i have a 1903 springfield and just finished shooting a military target match
with a bone stock rifle. our targets were set at 110 yards 147 yards 428 yards and 547yards. with stock lader sights this gun a great long range shooter with 168gr hpbt bullets hitting a 60 lb steel ram at 547 yards was very easy from a sand bag rest and with a little sight adjustment the 110 yard targets were just as easy. as for hot 30-06 loads Why? this round is shot in 1000 yard matches all the time and has taken every big game kritter in north american.
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Old March 26, 2006, 09:02 PM   #5
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I thought the 03 were model designations, not production dates- i do know the first few were invented and produced in 03, so, what about the 17/
Chase
Thanks guys
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Old March 26, 2006, 09:59 PM   #6
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Thanks all, i did a google search and pulled up little on the 1917 itself, just info on the 1903 and its spinoff's
Chase
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Old March 27, 2006, 09:50 PM   #7
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The model 1917 is a completely different rifle than the '03. It is a British design, based on the Pattern or 'P14,' chambered for .303.

The Model 1917 has a very heavy, strong action and is sometimes re-chambered for magnums such as 300 Win mag. If you want a military-based magnum it would be a good choice. Original ones are selling for well over $500so its best to get a sporterized one - often inexpensive.
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Old March 28, 2006, 09:52 AM   #8
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There aren't really any additional concerns as far as ammo with the M1903 other than the low-number RIA and SA ones which have questionable heat treatment.

Mine will shoot 1MoA until it warms up.
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Old March 28, 2006, 08:09 PM   #9
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I have three 1903 rifles they all shoot great and I got them all pretty cheap because they had been sporterized. I have the standard .30-06 I picked up 2 years ago for $150 as a basket case, but all parts were there to assemble it. I bought the cheap 1903 to build a .338-06 for elk hunting but found one for $625 two weeks later on a 1903 action. I just picked up a 35 Whelen for $585 on a 1903 action. I'm shooting 1.5" or less from the bench with the 338 & 35, and my best day I shoot around 2" with the .30-06 with Iron sights. I would like to continue with my collection of 1903 rifles by adding a 25-06, .270, & .280.

I wouldn't alter a 1903 in original configuration but I do like to play with the sporterized versions out there.
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Old March 30, 2006, 06:13 AM   #10
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I spoke with Dr. Atwater recently, he is the guy that you see on the history channel and the discovery channel. He is the Ordnance museum curator at Aberdeen proving Ground. He Stated the germans complained that we were not paying the royalties for the stolen mauser design so in WWI we were paying them their royalties at the same time shooting them with their Mauser action.
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Old March 30, 2006, 09:43 AM   #11
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Quote:
so in WWI we were paying them their royalties at the same time shooting them with their Mauser action.
I've read several places the royalties were not paid until WWI was over, believe it was the early 20s.
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Old April 2, 2006, 07:44 PM   #12
patrickd
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1903 Spr.

I have an 03-A3 that has worked perfectly every time for it's whole life and it was built many years ago. So, yes it /they are very reliable as long as they aren't abused too much. Mine will shoot much better than my old eyes can see at 100 yds, but I can easily shoot 1 1/2" groups at 100 yds. I'd bet that if it were scoped and with handloads it would shoot under moa.
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Old April 3, 2006, 12:16 PM   #13
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I can't see putting "magnum" loads in a 100yo rifle. If the standard '06 won't do what you want, then you need a bigger bullet, not a few more fps.
My '03 has a fairly dark bore, but it will still shoot 2"-3" at 100 yards with surplus ammo. There are lots of parts still around, so there's no reason not shoot them, with reasonable loads. I like 150gr flat base bullets over 47-49grs of IMR 4895.
CMP rifles are about $400, if you qualify. If not, then $400-$600 or more, depending on specific model ('03, '03A1, '03A3, '03 Mk. 1, etc.).
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