View Full Version : Sportered 1917 and 03A3

November 15, 2009, 12:19 AM
RRecently picked up a sportered 1917 and 1903A3. Both look like they can be re militarized fairly easily:

The 1917 is an Eddystone, with a High Standard barrel. The bore gauges just over a "0" on the CMP muzzle gauge and is shiny with strong rifling. The bolt will not close on a field gauge.


The 03A3 is in a nice looking maple stock. Hasn't arrived yet, but is described as being a Remington with metal intact and having a Smith Corona barrel with a "very good bore" . Came with a nice looking leather sling


Plan is to re-militarize them when I can find the wood.

DT Guy
November 15, 2009, 10:00 AM
I know it is the loyal duty of every C&R lover to despise bubba'd rifles.

That's why I feel guilty admitting I'd probably leave those both as they are and shoot the snot out of them. :(


November 15, 2009, 10:33 AM
I'd try to find a mil stock for the 1917. Looks like Bubba at least left the metal alone on it.

I have an all original 1917 Winchester that I love and would never do anything like that to it.

November 15, 2009, 11:17 AM
Start scavenging on e-bay,bands,buttplates,etc..show up on a regular basis.Stocks are getting a little harder to find,they are out there ,just not for $10 like a few years ago.

November 16, 2009, 01:49 AM
The 03A3 still has not arrived, but I discovered this additional pic on the auction house website:


November 16, 2009, 08:53 PM
I agree with DT Guy on the '03A3. That's a nice looking stock, be a shame to waste something like that.

November 16, 2009, 08:56 PM
Well, the original plan was to re -mil it when I found a stock.

I won't do anything till I've had a chance to look it over and shoot it. If it shoots well and looks good in person, I may have to leave it alone and enjoy it for what it is.

November 16, 2009, 09:36 PM
Believe it or not at one time these rifles couldn't be given away. I was given a very nice 03 for free, I had it re barrel for then new 25-06, had it re blued, had a bu-tee-full figured walnut stock made for it. I spent about 350 dollars on it, when I finished , I had a 350 dollar gun, but it was mine, no other one like in the world, shot like a dream and very accurate. So there are Bubas and there are Bubas.:)

November 20, 2009, 11:32 AM
The sported 03A3 arrived at my FFL's yesterday and I got a chance to look it over before it went into the safe for the obligatory 10 day "coolin off" period.

It is as described, metal is unmolested, SC barrel on a Remington receiver. Bore is shiny, rifling is strong, muzzle gauges a "1" on the CMP gauge, won't close on a field gauge. The stock is as pretty in person as in the pictures.

Now, to see how it shoots..

November 20, 2009, 02:31 PM
There's a place for sportered milsurp rifles out there (and not in the trash!) For those who have a passion for history and collect those rifles because of that (like me), a well-done sporterized rifle represents a period in history when a fine game rifle was well beyond the means of most people.

As was pointed out earlier, there was a point in time when you couldn't seem to give the milsurps away, but it didn't take a rocket surgeon to figure out that those 1903s, 1917s and Mausers were pretty doggone accurate weapons that packed a heck of a punch. The problem? They weighed a ton. The solution was obvious and suddenly a whole lot of hunters could afford to purchase a fairly high performance deer rifle for not a whole lot of money.

In fact, from a purely philosophical point of view, there's a certain poetic feeling of a tool of war being turned into a tool...well, not of peace, exactly, but into something more utilitarian. Kind of like putting it into retirement, but not out to pasture. All of those rifles could have been scrapped or squirreled away, never to be used again, but a number of very creative craftsmen turned many of them into, if not works of art, at least very fine examples of form following function.

I have no problem putting my sporterized 1903 MkI and Argentine Mauser next to my original milsurp rifles. They all represent their period of history and they all had a purpose that deserves acknowledgment.

And, after all that blather, there's also no problem with buying up all the goodies and putting it back to the way it was, either.

November 20, 2009, 02:52 PM
I would definitely leave the '03 in the maple, you've got a beautiful rifle with history, enjoy it.

DT Guy
November 27, 2009, 10:20 PM
I realize it's a minority view, but I've always thought that a well-sporterized mil-surp was just as 'historical' as an original configuration military arm.

People like Ackley were using something nobody had much use for and learning to turn them into beautiful, useful weapons that would go out every year and continue to 'work for their living' as opposed to being hung on a wall and collected. There's a tremendous amount of history in American gunsmithing conversions, and a well done one (and that '03 certainly looks to qualify) is a snapshot of what a hunter and a gunsmith tried to accomplish.

Just MHO, of course.