View Full Version : What might the caliber of this rifle be?

August 21, 2007, 10:32 PM
I recently inherited a rifle and I'm trying to find out its caliber. The only marking I can find are under the front mount of the scope. It is a Smith Corona and it looks like 03-A3. I've done some research and think this might be a 1903-A3 and it might be a 30-06. Any insight?

Jim Watson
August 21, 2007, 10:44 PM
Only rifle I ever heard of Smith Corona making was a 1903A3, in .30-06.
Of course if somebody has messed with it to the point of installing a scope, they might have changed the caliber, too. I would hope they would have marked it if they did.

T. O'Heir
August 24, 2007, 11:27 PM
Like Jim says, Smith Corona was one of the contracted makers of the 1903A3 Springfield rifle. They were made in .30-06 only. Your rifle very likely is one of them that has been "sporterized". This isn't unusual, but it means there is no collector value. Not that value matters for a rifle you inherited. Inheriting any rifle isn't a bad thing. Inheriting an Smith Corona '03A3, even a sporterized one, is friggin' great.
Does the forestock end about half way along the barrel?
Are there any markings on the barrel itself? You may have to take off the stock to find them. If there are, post all of them.
If there are no markings, it has an aftermarket barrel that may or may not be a .30-06. No markings will also mean you should go to a smithy to have a chamber cast done and the barrel slugged(you could do that yourself. Hammer a cast .30 calibre bullet through the barrel using a brass rod and a plastic hammer and measure the bullet with a micrometer. A .30-06 bullet will measure .308".) Look for any markings and post them first though. There are lots of .30 calibre cartridges.
Post the serial number without the last two digits, (put 2 X's) and somebody will give you the year and month your rifle's receiver was made. It'll be sometime between 24 Oct., 1942 and 19 Feb., 1944. SC made a total of 234,580 rifles. SC was the only W.W. II manufacturer of the '03A3 rifle other than Remington. Full military configuration(no scopes) SC's are highly prized by collectors and shooters.

August 27, 2007, 06:38 PM
Thank you for the responses. The stock does end about half way up the barrel. The serial number is 48190. I haven't removed the barrel so I don't know if there are any markings that are hidden but there arren't any others visible.

Jim Watson
August 27, 2007, 08:04 PM
No need to remove the barrel, it would be marked on top, right behind the front sight. Ought to have S.C., an Army Ordnance bomb symbol, and a date like 8-43 if original to the rifle. Unless Bubba shortened the barrel or buffed off the tool marks from a wartime barrel.

Trapper L
August 27, 2007, 08:07 PM
There are not enough digits in the serial numbers for it to be a SC. You might want to look again and it should be 4,819,0XX. This would be consistant with the serial block numbers for the SC production ending WWII. If there is no date code on the top of the barrel near the crown, it most likely has been replaced and there is not much tellin' what it is. You might want to take it to a gunshop and have them give it a look. They can tell you more about it with it in their hands. It doesn't necessarily have to be a 30-06 as these actions were very popular for custom rifles. I have a 6.5x06, 270 Win, 35 Whelen, all on the same 1903A3 action with sporter stocks and barrels. Here's the 6.5x 06

August 28, 2007, 06:18 PM
Sorry about the missing numbers. They were a little worn. The number is 4819052.

T. O'Heir
August 28, 2007, 09:40 PM
The receiver was made in December of 1943.
The shortened stock definitely makes it a sporterized rifle. AKA bubba'd. Not to worry.
I should have asked before, How long is the barrel? Close the action and run a cleaning rod into the barrel until it stops, mark the rod at the muzzle and measure. 24" is the original length. That doesn't mean it hasn't been rebarreled though.
If you could post a picture, it might help.