View Full Version : Spingfield Sporter

May 6, 2000, 06:06 PM
I recently came across a 03 springfield sporter mfg. by Remington. The owner of the shop claims that it was originaly built by Springfield for 1000 yd competion and that it is quite rare.The rifle has a Lyman receiver site with a high band type front site.It is not drilled or tapped for any other site or scope mount.The stock has a cheek rest and quite a high comb.The forend is a bit heavy for a sporter and has a slight swell or snobble at the end.The wood apears to be walnut with a dark finish and it has a wood butt plate.The ser. no. is 3116986. I like the gun and the price seems fair ($300) but I want to know what I am buying. Can you Help me on this one? I live only 2 miles from the shop that has it so if you need more info just ask.

[This message has been edited by wildcat (edited May 06, 2000).]

Magnum Man
May 6, 2000, 09:27 PM

Remington Model 1903A3 rifles were manufactured from 1942 to 1944. There were approximately 700,000 made, all chambered in .30/06. However, unless the rifle is stamped Model 03-A3 the rifle is probably the 1903(modified). Remington made about 365,000 of these rifles from 1941 to 1942. Hope this helps.

Magnum Man

May 6, 2000, 10:09 PM
Since the rifle was made by Remington, it obviously was not originally built by Springfield as a competition rifle. The dealer is confused.
Many of these rifles were modified and used by competition shooters in the 50's and 60's. You probably have one of these. The price is not very high, so if the gun suits your fancy, it is probably a good deal. These privately modified rifles can go for a song these days and might be real steals depending upon condition and the quality of the original work.
A rare government issued Springfield of any type would almost certainly cost a pretty penny, as collectors love these rifles.

4V50 Gary
May 6, 2000, 10:25 PM
From your description which includes a high comb and cheekrest along with a snabel foreend makes it sound like a privately sporterized Springfield.

Springfield Armory did sporterize some Springfields and this includes mounting of the Lyman 48 rear aperture sight, they were built on Springfield receivers (slightly rounded atop where the barrel meets the receiver), used star gauged barrels, and were produced from 1923 to 1938. A total of 5,538 were produced.

Is it worth $300? If the gun is in good shape, it shoots well, sure. But it's definitely a shooter and unless you can trace it to a particular owner/gunsmith, there isn't any special I can think about it.

James K
May 6, 2000, 11:04 PM
The serial is in the Remington M1903-M1903 modified range. Springfield built match rifles on their own recievers and I think I am safe in saying that they never put on a stock like you describe. Someone simply wanted a target rifle built to his own ideas, and a gunsmith was happy to take his money. With the receiver tapped, converting the rifle back to military configuration would not be easy. As it is, if you like it, buy it, but it has no military or historical value.

This is another example of "sporterizing", which is defined as paying $400 to convert a $700 gun into a $200 gun.


Harley Nolden
May 7, 2000, 05:41 AM
1903's that were termed as "Sniper" or used for competitive shooting had a star marked on the crown of the barrel.

I will have to agree with Jim and the rest of them. In my time, I have sporterized many a -03 with the stlyle stock you describe. Had one myself and they are great rifles. In my opinion, if the gun is in good condition, metal and wood, the price is OK. It makes a good hunter, and a beautiful rifle.


May 7, 2000, 06:33 AM
Thanks guys for the strait answers, you have confermed my suspsions. The local gun dealer is known for B.S. and I have all of the good shooters that I need (bout 20 last time I counted).I am going to wait for something better.

Fear a government that fears your guns

James K
May 8, 2000, 05:43 PM
Hi, guys,

The star mark Harley is referring to is the star gauge marking. A star gauge was a sort of an inside micrometer that was on the end of a rod and was small enough to go into the barrel. It had four arms (the "star") to measure the rifling grooves of the barrel. Measurements were taken every inch, and recorded on a card that went along with the rifle.

When a target shooter received a star gauged DCM rifle that had a clean card (one with the same measurement for every inch) joy and rapture knew no bounds. There was only one problem. The star gauge showed uniformity of the barrel interior, it did not prove the gun would shoot worth a darn, and many star-gauged barrels were only mediocre shooters.

Later, a second fly appeared in the ointment. If star-gauged barrels made an '03 more valuable, star gauge stamps would be made available, and they were. If warnings were issued about making sure the star-gauge card accompanied the rifle, star gauge cards would be made available, and they were. Like Krag carbines, more star gauged '03s may have been made outside Springfield than inside.

With improved barrel steel and rifling machinery in the late 30's and 40's, uniformity became routine, and star gauging came to mean less and less. It was finally dropped for good when the war began.


4V50 Gary
May 10, 2000, 09:36 AM
Air gauging was more accurate and faster than star gauging. Ultimately, it helped star gauging's demise.