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Old December 8, 2011, 08:53 PM   #1
snakestrikeace
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Scope for 1903 A3

Hi there I have a 1903 A3 that I would like to scope to use for hunting and was wondering if anyone out there has done this or has any suggestions for mounting kits as well as scope suggestions. I would primarily be using for deer and elk if that helps. I love this rifle and it is a very good shooter extremely accurate even with the standard military sights, but I would like a good hunting rifle and rather than going out to buy a new rifle I would rather turn a rifle I already love into a good hunting platform. Thank you for your input.
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Old December 8, 2011, 09:14 PM   #2
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If the rifle is as issued, unmodified, it will be worth a lot less when you get through with it then it is now.

Unmodified 03 Springfield's in good shape are getting rare. I HIGHLY recommend against modifying it.

If the rifle has been modified already, then get some weaver rings and Weaver 4X Scope. Perfect for hunting.

If you need a rifle, you can buy a used rifle with scope that will get you by, probably at less then the cost of mounts, rings and scope, plus the mounting which would require drilling and tapping.

If you decide to mount glass anyway, and its a unmodified "03, then I would recommend getting a Gibbs mount and scope that would allow you to convert the rifle to an 03-A4.

http://www.gibbsrifle.com/1903-a4_sniper_rifle.html

At least this will give you a clone for CMP-GSM games, (Vintage Sniper Match)

The Gibbs scope will more then be adequate for hunting deer and elk.
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Old December 8, 2011, 09:23 PM   #3
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It is unmodified and it is not a springfield it is actually a smith-corona with a Remington bolt which severely affects the price of this rifle unfortunately. I have looked for a replacement smith-corona bolt. With the original bolt the rifle would fetch a pretty nice $800, it's just I have had a time trying to find a good matching bolt for this rifle. I ultimately would like to keep it all original, but it sounds like that would be impossible, I was just wondering if there was anyway of mounting a scope without altering the weapon. I would also happily take suggestions for a good replacement 30-06 hunting rifle that is fairly reasonably priced.

Last edited by snakestrikeace; December 8, 2011 at 09:29 PM.
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Old December 8, 2011, 09:31 PM   #4
the rifleer
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+1 for leaving it alone. Id rather buy you a new rifle and trade you for that 03' than have you put a scope on it.
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Old December 8, 2011, 11:52 PM   #5
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A lot of SC 'a3s came with remington bolts. Not uncommon. Still, if in any shape at all, its worth between $650 and 750, higher in some locations.

CMP just sold off a group of '03s, They were pretty beat up. They were drill rifles returns. They went pretty high and they went fast.

Unmodified O3s, 'a3s, even SCs with Remington bolts are gonna go no where but up and up fast. Look at the Carbine prices after CMP ran out.

Go to this web site and ask these guys about the value of SCs. Also they are the most accurate of the 1903 series.

Still think you can buy a nice used hunting rifle for what it would cost to drill/tap and scope this one.

Nothing else you can sell it and buy a great rifle. (But not as great as an unmodified 1903a3).

But hey, its your rifle.
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Old December 9, 2011, 12:11 AM   #6
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You could probably find a nice gently used rifle WITH a scope for less than what you could sell this one for.
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Old December 9, 2011, 12:38 AM   #7
snakestrikeace
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Thanks kraigwy you really confirmed a lot of beliefs I had about this rifle. I recently went to have it appraised and the first store told me $400 and I laughed, but nothing to the next store who told me $200. It truly is a beautiful rifle. I didnt realize all that would need to be done to modify this gun
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Old December 9, 2011, 12:47 AM   #8
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Plus I would never want to sell this rifle, I couldn't think of anything that I would even want to try to replace it with even with just iron sights it is one of the most accurate rifles I own still with a great bore still.
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Old December 9, 2011, 01:28 AM   #9
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Plus I would never want to sell this rifle
You're grandkids will appreciate that. They arn't making any more of them.

Mine is extremely accurate also. That's why Springfields (O3's) have their own class in CMP GSM matches and don't compete with other vintage military rifles.

Now you need to go to the CMP website, "sales" and order a bayonet for you 'A3.

I added bayonets to all my US Military Rifles.
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Old December 9, 2011, 11:53 AM   #10
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Remington bolt or not, the milsurp collectors and fanatics will curse you to eternity if you make any permanent alteration to that rifle.

40-50 years ago, we still modified, drilled and tapped, and sporterized them. Because they were common and cheap as dirt.

Today they are much less common and as expencsive as precious gems, because of it.

Being in GI issue condition is most important. Haveing a mis-matched bolt, or other parts, done by the military still makes it a worthwhile collectable, just not worth as much as one in complete original condition the way it first came from the factory or arsenal.

The guys who told you $400 or $200 bucks were hoping you would sell them that rifle at that price!
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Old December 9, 2011, 12:05 PM   #11
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There is a way.

About three years ago, a freind of mine had a 1903a3 with a scope mount adapter that did not require any permanent modification to the rifle. In fact, prior to selling it, he put it back to it's original configuration. I do recal that it was a B-Square and at that time, pretty pricey. Cannot recall the exact number. You had to disassemble some lever on the side, in order to mount the base. Cannot speak for it's effectiveness but he seemed to be happy with it at that time. The link below, may or may not be the one but certainly looks like it. Again, I do know it was a B-Square ....

http://www.midwayusa.com/product/739...eld-1903-matte

Be Safe !!!
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Old December 9, 2011, 01:40 PM   #12
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Unless a rifle is going to bring several thousand dollars I do not worry about decreasing its value from $800 to $400 unless I want to sell it soon. What is an 03/A3 really worth?
Personally I like the Springfield action, and have had a couple of 03/A3s customized into sporting rifles.

Unless one is a collector or wants to sell the gun why should he care if the custom works knocks a few hundred off the value?
Jerry
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Old December 10, 2011, 09:03 AM   #13
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Quote:
It is unmodified and it is not a springfield it is actually a smith-corona with a Remington bolt which severely affects the price of this rifle unfortunately. I have looked for a replacement smith-corona bolt. With the original bolt the rifle would fetch a pretty nice $800, it's just I have had a time trying to find a good matching bolt for this rifle. I ultimately would like to keep it all original
Sounds like an ORIGINAL arsenal rebuild. My SC has R bolt. Found a guy on one of the forums that has a R with a SC both, we are swapping.

A miss-matched SC in nice condition is an easy $800, a few matched SC's have sold on GB for over a grand.
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Old December 10, 2011, 09:38 AM   #14
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If you decide to mount glass anyway, and its a unmodified "03, then I would recommend getting a Gibbs mount and scope that would allow you to convert the rifle to an 03-A4.
ETA I'm not sure I would do this with a SC as nice as yours. My Remington had a cracked stock.
I have a Remington 03A3 that I was concidering this and while I was researching the Gibbs setup I ran across a thread on snipershide a couple posters said the Gibbs scope is a fair reproduction of a 70 year old scope one claimed he shot better with the irons.
Another poster made a suggestion to use the Gibb's mount and use a Weaver K4 apparently this was a scope commonly used in to replace the 330c durring the latter parts of Korea up til the early part of the Viet Nam. He had pictures of his father in laws 03A4. The story of his FIL's heroics moved me to copy his rifle.
Here's mine
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Last edited by mavracer; December 10, 2011 at 11:32 AM.
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Old December 10, 2011, 01:52 PM   #15
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Just curious, have you shot it with the irons? O3A3 iron sights are excellent, and I can hit a 400 yard gong at my local range at will with mine. I wouldn't be afraid of deer hunting with it as is.
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Old December 16, 2011, 01:33 PM   #16
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I have a Springfield mod. 1903 30 -06 cal. shoot only 150 gr. Had it drilled & tapped by Williams put a 3-9 nikon scope on it, it's just great to shoot. I'll never sell it just enjoy it. Thats what it's all about,do whats right for you.Enjoy and Be SAFE
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Old December 16, 2011, 02:31 PM   #17
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Unless one is a collector or wants to sell the gun why should he care if the custom works knocks a few hundred off the value?
Jerry
It's not about reducing the value, its about destroying American History.

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Old December 16, 2011, 02:44 PM   #18
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Save your cash and track down a another "deer rifle", some can be had for as little as 267.00 brand new that'll kill deer all day at any range. Save the old SC O3A3, but remember that at the end of the day it's yours and you have the right to do what you will, it's just hard to see an old "war-horse" get modified.
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Old April 26, 2012, 09:36 AM   #19
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Mavracer I have a few questions for you.

I just recently purchased a Gibbs 03A4 and find the scope to be ok but I am wanting a little more magnifcation. I would like however to upgrade to the Weaver K4 scope. In my opinion 4x is about the lowest power I need to get any sort of meaningful precision out of the rifle. The problem I have is the rings on the gibbs M73B1 scope is the rings are 3/4" and the weaver K4 Classic Scope has a 1" tube. Sere did you get the rings to convert the gibbs mount to use 1" rings? Or does the Weaver K4 scope you are using have a 3/4" tube? If so where did you get that?

Thanks,

Sig
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Old April 26, 2012, 09:47 AM   #20
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From a money standpoint, and considering today's economy, I'd be checking pawn shops for a clean, used rifle. Generalizing, the store would have about half of the asking price actually invested in the rifle and scope.

Know the going price, and offer about half the asking as a starting point in the bargaining process.
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Old April 28, 2012, 09:03 AM   #21
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Snakestrikeease

I paid over $1000 for a rifle just like yours, I wouldnt have paid it if the rifle had been modified in any way. Good clean examples are getting harder to find.
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Old April 29, 2012, 07:10 AM   #22
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A friend has a MINT '03 "sniper" model that he used to hunt with. I made him up some handloads that worked just super in that rifle. Watched him make a shot on a running doe at 500 yards using the open peep sight system on the rifle and nail it right through the heart. Of course he is also one of the best shots I've ever seen.
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Old April 29, 2012, 11:23 AM   #23
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mavracer what rings are those?
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Old April 29, 2012, 11:56 AM   #24
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Let me add to the list of those who urge you to leave it alone. That rifle would go for around $700-800 in this neck of the woods.

After you drill and tap it it would then be a $300 gun.

If you are hell bent on losing $500, why not just spend the money and find a decent hunting rifle? A sporting rifle will generally be lighter and easier to mount a scope on.

As was mentioned, a lot of SC's came with Remington bolts. It is very likely that your rifle is original as issued, and altering it would just be destroying another piece of history.
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Old April 29, 2012, 02:11 PM   #25
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Quote:
mavracer what rings are those?
60s vintage Redfields.

Quote:
After you drill and tap it it would then be a $300 gun
That's not necessarily true if you use the Gibbs or a Redfield mount you can make a sniper copy they bring good money.
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