View Full Version : 1903 advice needed.

June 17, 2012, 07:45 PM
hello all.
recently I went to a friends house to play around with gun parts and managed to find a complete remington 1903A4 barrel, receiver and bolt assembly. there wasn't much else there and the only stocks she had were all for non bent bolt models so with a quick 5 minutes with a dremel, few trips to evil bay and numrich arms I now have about a 95% complete remington 1903A3(the final parts were ordered today. I was forced to use a smith corona floor plate and rather than take the time to try and find a replica scope and base I just ordered an A3 rear sight and decided to go with irons. however it is complete enough to fire and today I put it on paper for the first time. inside of 10 rounds I had it zeroed at 35 yards with 3 shot groups touching using surplus M2 ball ammo. I am rather impressed because my other springfield barely keeps inside the bullseye at that range. so I am just curious what you guys would do in my situation.

would you hold out for a remington floorplate and scope base and turn it back into an A4 or would you just leave it as a very accurate A3 mix master.

June 17, 2012, 09:13 PM
03A3s are common

Real 03A4s are not.

Here's a comparison to your project:

You have a 1970 Chevelle SS convertible with an 454 cubic inch LS6 engine

And you're laboring mightily to turn it into a hardtop 1970 Chevelle SS with a 350

It's your car, do what you want, but I wonder if you'll be happy when you are done

Baba Louie
June 20, 2012, 02:52 PM
...would you hold out for a remington floorplate and scope base and turn it back into an A4... This. Seriously. How many A4s came off the line? Less than 30,000. Kinda rare.

James K
June 20, 2012, 05:30 PM
Just to be sure of what you have, the M1903A4 receiver is marked M1903A3 but the marking and serial number are offset so they can be seen with the scope mount in place. Also the A4 barrel is cut for the front sight base but the base was not installed and the key was never put in place so the Parkerizing will be in the key way and cross cuts. (A3 barrels had the front sight base installed before Parkerizing; A4 barrels were Parkerized without the base.)


June 20, 2012, 08:58 PM
the reciever markings are off center to allow for the sight base but I'm not sure about the barrel parkerizing. the bolt is bent down and then curved out to allow for a scope so I'm 100% that at the minimum the bolt and receiver are from an A4. I never knew to look for the barrel though. is there any way to tell without having to remove the whole front sight post?

Baba Louie
June 21, 2012, 07:37 AM
is there any way to tell without having to remove the whole front sight post?Not really. If it is an original A4 barrel it will be park'd in the I slot. Barrel Date should range from 2-43 on up to late 44.

Might check out this link to see if barrel date and serial number coincide...


June 21, 2012, 11:17 AM
thanks for the link, I found it a while back while I was researching my first 1903 but haven't been able to find a month to month list of serials. this rifle was manufactured after Remington discontinued A3s and started focusing solely on A4s. the serial dates to march of 1944 and the barrel is marked 8-44 so I'm not sure ho long these receivers sat around waiting for barrels. from what I understand however there was little special attention given to the rifling on A4 barrels so many had to be re-barreled a few times before they found one with above average accuracy but that's just going off of what I've read in forums and heard on history channel specials.

James K
June 21, 2012, 01:38 PM
If the barrel was originally on an A4, it has no front sight base unless someone put it there. All A3/A4 barrels had the slots milled, but those destined for A4's never had the front sight base installed and were Parkerized without it.


June 21, 2012, 02:05 PM
so by the standard logic, wouldn't remington have made any barrels for nothing other than the A4 since that was the only variant that they made after 1943? which would mean that someone else would have put the front sight on after parkerizing.