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Old March 14, 2013, 09:46 AM   #1
bamato
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Remington 1903a3 Questions

Good morning all,
I recently traded my bow with someone for a 1903a3. I'm having some trouble figuring out what exactly I have here. After some research, it appears to be a "sporter" and was made in August of 1943. The stock has me confused as I can't find any similar, and the sight looks to be somewhat uncommon. Any comments or info would be helpful. Thanks so much!











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Old March 14, 2013, 09:47 AM   #2
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:15 AM   #3
Jim Watson
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You have a 1903A3 barrelled action. Everything else has been changed.

The stock is a 1903A1 Type C pistol grip stock that has been cut down and reshaped to the taste of a previous owner, with slick finish and recoil pad.

The trigger guard and floorplate are milled 1903 parts replacing the stamped 1903A3 bottom metal.

The sights are a Lyman 48 peep rear and 17 globe front.

From the sights and sling, I think it was set up as an economy target rifle.
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Old March 14, 2013, 10:35 AM   #4
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DANG IT JIM! I WANTED THIS ONE =]
pretty much everything jim said, these rifles were hacked, drilled and modified like there was no tomorrow back in the 60s and 70s. whoever did this one did an amazing job as far as stock chop jobs go. it's got next to no collectors value left but I am willing to wager that it is a fantastic shooter.
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Old March 14, 2013, 12:03 PM   #5
vba
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The barreled action seems to be one that has been arsenal reconditioned. You can tell by the parkerizing on the bolt and other parts. These parts would have been blued originally.
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:23 PM   #6
TomL
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Remington1903A3

I can't say for sure but the type C stock from those I have seen didn't have a cheek rest as shown and I say that becasue as a Veteran the Military didn't distiguish between left and right hand shooters so all stocks were made you might say, as universal for l&r handers. What I do remember from my readings was there was a leather cheek pad that could be used on the 03's, don't recall if they were lefty/righty as I have only seen the RH version.
Also as mentioned all A3's used stampings for the trigger guard/floorplate and in the pics it appears that someone turned the bolt handle as it looks like a weld was done from the finish on the bolt handle.
I am from the era of the mods that were going on to the 03's and 98 Mausers so someone might have had that stock custom built to resemble and fit an 03 type C with a cheek rest.
A classmate of mine built a custom 03 in High School Shop Class..imagine that happening today!
I did see in my pursuit of an 03-A1 where someone converted to a pistol grip the straight grip stock and tried to pass it off as a type C because of the rarity and desirabilty of the C's. Overall it is a nice appearing piece of work. TomL
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:41 PM   #7
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Thanks for all the help gents! Haven't had the pleasure of shooting it yet. I'm looking forward to it!
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:43 PM   #8
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And not that I expect anyone to verify it's worth, but was it a good trade for a bow I was asking 275 for?
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Old March 14, 2013, 01:53 PM   #9
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very good deal, now time to restore it.
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Old March 14, 2013, 02:15 PM   #10
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And well you should!

Thats a very well done target/sporter with the heritage to the A3 with the finish intact. Should be an attention grabber at the range. In a good way as you strike up a lot of conversations with people.

Shame it got the peep (by someone else) that takes away the value of the receiver. All first class stuff though and the milled furniture is better than stamped even if non OEM as it were.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:35 PM   #11
jrothWA
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Does the pistol grip of the stock ...

seem to be added on?? There seem a definite line showing.

BUT a heck of a job on sporterizing it!

The barrel is likely the two-groove rifling of that series, only the Smith-Carona did the four-groove.

ENJOY IT!
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:46 PM   #12
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I have seen examples of type C stocks were enough material was removed to form a cheekpiece. Obviously the cheekpiece was no higher than when it started out, just wood was removed around it.

For $275 you did great. I would keep all the pieces but I would replace the stock with an original military type C stock. The CMP had barrels of new original WWII C stocks, so they are out there. Upper handguards and the upper band can be found.

I would leave the Lyman 48 S on and also the Lyman 17 front. People used these in competition, the 48S is an excellent sight and one in good condition is worth about what you paid for the rifle. Lyman 17's are hard to find.
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Old March 14, 2013, 03:51 PM   #13
Jim Watson
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Agree with Slamfire, there is plenty of walnut in a C stock to form a cheekpiece.
There is a pistol grip cap made out of similar color and grain wood.
There is a plug in the middle of the cheekpiece. A repair to a defect exposed by reshaping the stock, maybe.

The military crossbolts behind the recoil lug and magazine well are pretty good identifiers, and if they are not enough, the band spring is not something you would likely put on a replacement stock. I see the band is stamped, they didn't replace it like they did the trigger guard.

For $275 you pretty much stole it. The Lyman sights are worth a good portion of that.
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Old March 14, 2013, 04:11 PM   #14
Slamfire
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The unfortunate thing is someone took a prewar type C stock and cut that down. I don't know what an excellent condition prewar type C stock is worth, but I bet it is a lot more than the $150.00 I paid the CMP for a new WW2 version.

Maybe $300? $400?

I have a beat up one and it cost me a like new scant grip and some money, and that was twenty years ago.

A guy I knew showed me a M1903A4 rifle his Dad had acquired. Dad got it while in post WW2 service in Japan. The stock was cut down, recoil pad installed, carved with monkeys and bamboo patterns, with a pseudo cheek piece. It was a real work of wood carving art. It had been blued and a modern scope installed.

It would have been worth a thousand in original condition with the original scope. What it was worth after all the oriental artwork, heck if I know. I wanted it for the action, did not get action, stock or scope, because it was his Dad's, but I would not paid much anyway.
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Last edited by Slamfire; March 14, 2013 at 04:17 PM.
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Old March 14, 2013, 06:03 PM   #15
HiBC
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CMP has repro type "C" stocks for under $200.Sarco has one for about the same price,I was disappointed by my Sarco stock.The wood likely was not dry enough when shaped,now it is not straight enough to use,IMO.

I then bought a brand new,original old stock type "C" from Northridge International.Not cheap,but a very nice,tight,straight grain stock with proper grain layout.

But that will cost more than you paid for the rifle.

It does look like an honest,period conversion to a target rifle.

I suggest shooting it !!Let it be what it is.For position rifle shooting,iron sights and a sling,prone,offhand,etc,you'll be a darn good shot if you can outshoot that rifle.

For a look at a similar pattern of rifle,there was a Swedish military target rifle that was quite similar..
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Old March 14, 2013, 08:44 PM   #16
tahunua001
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for $275 you stole that rifle. normally $350 is going rate for sporterized springfields and that is one of the nicest, most thought out sport jobs I've seen. it looks like the gent was attempting to make it emulate a enfield jungle carbine, while improving the sights and feel of the stock by adding the grip cap(yes that is a different piece of wood) and giving it a right hand shooters cheek rest.

it's a well done rifle, great shooter, not something that Patton saw while in europe.
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Old March 14, 2013, 11:06 PM   #17
bamato
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I'll be taking it out this weekend. I'll let you know how it goes. Once again, thanks for all the remarks and info. Very helpful!
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Old March 15, 2013, 07:04 AM   #18
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A considerable amount of wood was added to the stock and reformed. Compare it to a unaltered stock.


Being drilled and tapped for the rear sight I would not waste money trying to restore it. Lot of 03A3's around in original condition. Price seems about right for my AO. Looks like the typical sporter job from the 50's and 60's, great hunting and target rifle.
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:09 AM   #19
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Looks like it's got an aftermarket safety as well.
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:11 AM   #20
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You've got a real gem there if the bore hasn't been shot out or damaged by corrosive ammo. That is someone's customized target rifle from decades back. IMHO It's not a resotration candidate since it will have some extra holes in the action making it incorrect in a true sense of the restoration. Enjoy the rifle as a shooter as it's previous owner intended.
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Old March 15, 2013, 09:00 PM   #21
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Don't go into mourning over the loss of a pre-war Type C stock, because that isn't one. It is (or was) a pistol grip "combination stock" which will take both the M1903 and the M1903A3 barrelled actions. Most of those were made as replacement stocks, and they are almost always thicker and "clubbier" than the pre-war real C stock. There is plenty of wood in those wartime stocks for a cheekpiece; it might be a bit tighter fit with the slimmer C stock.

Jim
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Old March 15, 2013, 11:39 PM   #22
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My 1903 was built from parts for my dad in WWII when he was in the coastal militia. It defended our country by taking the lives of two unfortunate "Jap" welders trying to fix their damaged submarine. They had beached the sub in a small cove in California at low tide to make repairs. Two of them made an attempt to get out of the hatch before the P-40's from Santa Rosa airport bombed them. Not many know about that one. It still shoots sub moa with hand loads to this day.
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Old March 18, 2013, 02:01 PM   #23
bamato
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Rifle shot beautifully this weekend. Put about 40 rounds through it. Very happy!
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Old March 18, 2013, 05:35 PM   #24
bamato
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Also meant to ask, what are the options for the butt on this stock? The "limbsaver" that's on there is hard as a rock and looks gross.
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Old March 18, 2013, 06:58 PM   #25
TomL
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Remington 1903a3

Check Brownell's, I think they would have a replacement but you may have to do some fitting, not a big challenge tho. TomL
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