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Old June 25, 2012, 11:37 AM   #1
tahunua001
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1903A4 trouble

hello all.
as many of you know I was in the process of backwards converting a 1903A4 action into a 1303A3 and recently had a change of heart and decided to go scoped again. unfortunately the redfield mounts just arraived and I found out why this action was just sitting in a pile of parts in someones basement. the rear threads for the scope mount in the receiver have been stripped.

the deeper threads are still good so my question is:

does anyone know where to get a longer screw that will not impede the movement of the bolt

OR

does anyone know of a way to fix the threads currently in place?
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Old June 25, 2012, 12:46 PM   #2
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Easiest fix: drill all the holes out to the next larger size, typically 8-40. You may have to modify the mounts for clearance.

If there are specific reasons you do not want to drill the action to the next larger size, you can have the hole in the rear receiver bridge filled/welded and re-drilled. Don't try this on the front receiver ring.
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Old June 25, 2012, 01:16 PM   #3
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It can be done on the front receiver ring, but you have to control the heat very carefully and/or use heliarc or MIG/TIG to keep the heat area small. On the rear ring, the heat is not so critical, but it is still best to minimize the heated area. Use a soft steel rod so drilling and tapping will be no problem.

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Old June 25, 2012, 02:31 PM   #4
tahunua001
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the forward mount still has good threads it's just the back I'm worried about. I've considered both the weld and retap, and the larger hole method. I just really don't want to take the chance of completely fuggering up this gun so I am being very cautious with whatever action I take.

would applying loctite to the holes and then loctiting the screws give enought hold that the front half could hold it in place or would that be a poor choice?
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Old June 25, 2012, 07:15 PM   #5
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A poor choice - Bubba's, in fact.

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Old June 25, 2012, 09:45 PM   #6
kilimanjaro
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The proper fix is to either bore out and rethread the holes, or fill and restore to original diameter and threading.
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Old June 26, 2012, 07:07 AM   #7
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Quote:
the forward mount still has good threads it's just the back I'm worried about. I've considered both the weld and retap, and the larger hole method. I just really don't want to take the chance of completely fuggering up this gun so I am being very cautious with whatever action I take.

would applying loctite to the holes and then loctiting the screws give enought hold that the front half could hold it in place or would that be a poor choice?
#1 choice is the next size up on the screw. This works IF you have enough steel to work with.

#2 choice is a heli-coil or thread-sert repair. You can get these ultra small sizes but they are spendy, $70-100 for the kit.

TIG weld would safe one the rear of the receiver.
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Old June 26, 2012, 07:18 AM   #8
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Without a doubt mechanical repair is the proper way. That being said, I once had Marlin 94 come in with the lifter screw stripped. Going with replacement using a made-up larger screw opens a huge can of worms. Tried some of the Loc-Tite thread repair from Brownells, followed the directions, and wound up with a solid repair, no marks on the gun, and a happy customer. Goat
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Old June 26, 2012, 09:46 AM   #9
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Try stainless steel filled Devcon epoxy. Coat the screws with Johnson paste wax, and anything else you don't want the epoxy to stick to. Clean the stripped out holes and using a tooth pick, coat the internal threads with epoxy. Screw the base on and let cure.
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Old June 26, 2012, 12:59 PM   #10
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Those fillers, like epoxy, will work OK as long as there is no real strain, but they strip pretty easily if the screw has to be torqued down or if it has to hold against pressure. Scope mount screws take a lot of strain when the rifle is fired and the recoil tries to jerk the rifle out from under the scope. On some high recoil rifles, it is common for gunsmiths to drill and re-tap for 8x40 screws on brand new rifles just to keep the customer from having broken off screws later on. (The worst case is a light rifle in a big caliber and a large scope; that combination is brutal on scope mounts and screws, as well as on the scope itself - not to mention the shooter.)

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Old June 29, 2012, 05:01 AM   #11
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Talk to a gunsmith
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Old July 3, 2012, 01:25 PM   #12
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well, not wanting to completely fugger up my reciever I took it to a local gunsmith that has done a lot of work on springfields(he estimates to be done with it by friday). while i was in the shop though I noticed that he has what appears to be a 100% legitimate 1903A4(though I don't know how to tell the difference between the repro scopes and originals). their ticket price on it is $3900

is that the usual going price for one of these in original condition or is he just overly optimistic?
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Old July 3, 2012, 01:55 PM   #13
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Tahun

4 Grand is about the going rate on an original. Good luck with your project
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Old July 3, 2012, 02:46 PM   #14
tahunua001
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how much could a guy expect to get out of a bubba'd A4 like mine?
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Old July 3, 2012, 04:21 PM   #15
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Nice Clean Repros are going for about a thousand sporters much less unless very well done. Look up AIM Surplus. They are selling reproduction 1903 A3s and 1903A4S. Check Gunbroker for Sporter Prices.
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Old July 3, 2012, 05:55 PM   #16
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this is where I'm having all the trouble trying to figure out what it's worth.
gibbs and whatever the AIM A4 repros are are built on A3 receivers and use modified A3 bolts and reproduction barrels while mine is all original(although I haven't checked to see if the barrel is parked under the front sight post). I don't have the proper stock style but neither does the AIM(unless the A4s were made with the scant style as well as C style) and to my knowledge the gibbs rifles are reproduction stocks while mine will be authentic(I ordered a c style this morning). I'm not certain but I believe the bayonet lug and floor plate are smith corona and I decided to go with modern style redfield rings and scope instead of the reproduction scopes that from all accounts are just plain awful.

I need to get a new camera and have some of the more experienced springfield guys give it a proper appraisal. I'm fairly certain that it has to have a little more value than a gibbs or AIM special though I am also sure that it probably wont fetch 4 grand either.
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:11 PM   #17
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...I am also sure that it probably wont fetch 4 grand either.
This might surprise you, or might not, but it is why some told you to put her back as close as you can to A4 configuration. I really thought you were pulling legs when you wanted to go the other way, myself.

tahunua, You are sitting on a bit of value to someone somewhere. Seriously. Who knows where it's been or what it has seen? And it is yours. For now. Make it right. Enjoy it.

Or, go make it an A3.
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Old July 3, 2012, 07:15 PM   #18
tahunua001
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^ hey it's already at the smiths and I've already dumped about $1500 into it so it's a little late to back out now
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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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Old July 3, 2012, 09:40 PM   #19
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Tahun

You have a Valuable Firearm, that will not depreciate in value unless you modify it into a Sporter. If you stay as original as possible its worth alot.
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Old July 6, 2012, 05:37 PM   #20
tahunua001
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well

I got the springfield back from the gunsmith today, it looks great, they really did a great job and they charged me about 1/4 of what I though I was going to get charged so that made the deal even sweeter. I did take it in for a preliminary appraisal at my LGS and I must say that I might not want to go there with my milsurps I am admitedly a novice but he tried telling me that the scope was killing the value on it and appraised it at $300 and told me that I needed to switch back to the iron sights if I wanted to sell it.

funnily enough the only thing he said "for a fact" that was original was the stock, even though it's the wrong stock style and the inlet for the bolt is wrong. I think I'll take it somewhere else once I get the correct stock on.

now for the downer, I decided to knock the front sight post off and... it's not parkerized underneath, which means that this barrel was destined for an A3. would having the thing reparked kill the value or is this an acceptable practice for a restoration project?
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Old July 6, 2012, 06:45 PM   #21
Baba Louie
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now for the downer, I decided to knock the front sight post off and... it's not parkerized underneath, which means that this barrel was destined for an A3. would having the thing reparked kill the value or is this an acceptable practice for a restoration project?
When my Dad got "our" 03-A4 back in the day from the old DCM, it wore both a rear A3 sight and has the front blade as well. He pulled both off. Oops, no park'g under the front sight, put that sight back on, found a one piece redfield and an old Weaver 330 and voila, good enough for him/me.

Not unusual for them to be rebarreled post war. Don't sweat the small stuff. If it has the split receiver markings it is the real deal tho maybe not 100% fresh from the battlefield as issued. These things happen. M2Carbine sportorized his back in the day as I recall, because, well, these things were cheap and who cared back then?

Tho the Weaver 2.5X scope is kind of limiting, they used what they had and called it good enough. Put a quality 4X optics on it and you'll own anything out to 500 yds I betcha. And more than likely, someone knowledgable will offer you an obscene amount of money for it at the range someday. You can smile and say, "Nah, it's not all original. Don't wanna sell it today"
Quote:
he tried telling me that the scope was killing the value on it and appraised it at $300 and told me that I needed to switch back to the iron sights if I wanted to sell it.
Hopefully you shared a good laugh with him on that, eh? (grumble)
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Old July 6, 2012, 07:01 PM   #22
tahunua001
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they have cheap FFL transfer fees and they aren't all that bad on their prices although the owner is cranky and the son(guy who appraised it) is a bit of a know-it-all but if I can get their stuff for cheap and not have to drive 15 miles to the rest of the gun stores in my area, I'd rather not burn the bridge. I just let him sit there and tell me that my gun was worth nothing and politely said I'd keep it for now.

on the other hand the place that worked on it fixed the reciever, attached the mount, mounted the scope(redfield revolution 3-9) and even bore sighted it all for 37 bucks(I was expecting over $200) and they seem to know their stuff when it comes to milsurps, they have a lot of them move through there but a number of them have been sporterized.
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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
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You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.
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Old July 6, 2012, 08:57 PM   #23
tahunua001
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finally some pics

well the screen on my camera is smashed but apparently it still takes pictures, only problem now is I have no idea how they turn out until after I hook up to a computer. of about 50 attempts here are the nicest of the bunch.





this is where I need madcratebuilder to tell me whether this is a smith corona floor plate or a remington floor plate.


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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.

Last edited by tahunua001; July 6, 2012 at 09:08 PM.
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Old July 7, 2012, 05:34 AM   #24
Baba Louie
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A beauty tahunua.

Might want to pull the front sight base spline out of the I slot before you go shootin' or risk losing it on the range. Rub some grease or oil in the I slot to prohibit/slow rusting.

Also, might want to begin a quest for an older Weaver or Lyman scope and rings... just because. Not that it'll be easier to or better to shoot with, just to take it back to warhorse status should you decide to dress it up for re-enactment sake.

But, I'd say your value of that A4 is far far north of $300, by a factor of X8 or X9 at least. Find a period scope/rings, maybe X10 or more to the right buyer someday.

Really nice.

ETA, might also want to look for a C or scant stock as the straight wrist was NOT correct for the A4 as I recall.
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Old July 7, 2012, 09:44 AM   #25
tahunua001
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I ordered a C stock 2 days ago so hopefully it will look similar to the real deal by then. thanks for the assessment, makes me feel a little better than $300 I went with modern optics just because I didn't want to get too deep into the restoration so I picked a 150 dollar optics settup rather than a 450 dollar setup. it's a decent scope but I agree that it does kindof detract from the overall appearance of the rifle.
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ignore my complete lack of capitalization. I still have no problem correcting your grammar.
I never said half the crap people said I did-Albert Einstein
You can't believe everything you read on the internet-Benjamin Franklin
Bean counters told me I couldn't fire a man for being in a wheelchair, did it anyway. Ramps are expensive.-Cave Johnson.

Last edited by tahunua001; July 7, 2012 at 09:52 AM.
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