View Full Version : M1903A4 replica range report

September 8, 2012, 03:01 PM
As you probably read previously, I built an 03A4 from an 03A3 barreled receiver that had been drilled and tapped already. I chased down all the rest of the parts this year and the rifle has been together about a month. It's a 1943 Remington action with a relieved Remington bolt. Everything is USGI except the forward band, the mount, rings, and scope which are all reproductions. I had my first chance to go to the range today.

Fortunately it took only 10 shoots to zero it in at 50 yards. The 10th shot was about a half bullet diameter to the right of perfect center.

At 100 yards I had less results at first. I think I turned the windage turret the wrong way at one point while trying to bring my POI to the left, and I lost zero. But by the end of the session I could hit a 2" target dot at 100 yards, which was success enough for my first outing with the rifle.

Quite pleased actually. Firstly- it didn't explode! Secondly- everything worked and worked well. lastly-probably as accurate as a vintage, legit 03A4 was when new, but this rifle isn't something I'm afraid to take out in sunlight

Only real downside would be the trigger- really not good. My 1944 M1 rifle's trigger is match-grade by comparison. It needs some rough edge or other stoned. I'll have to take a close look and see what's making the trigger stiff and draggy.

But- great day at the range today :D

September 8, 2012, 03:21 PM
No Pics :(

September 8, 2012, 03:37 PM
You're right!

here's one I call "jetliner against sunset #6"


....and also, here's the rifle I was shooting today:


4V50 Gary
September 8, 2012, 03:59 PM
Nice figure on that wood. :eek:

September 8, 2012, 04:14 PM
Thanks Gary. And would you believe- that wood is USGI surplus

James K
September 8, 2012, 06:35 PM
You can stone the sear and cocking piece to improve the trigger pull a lot. Do not mess with the sear spring, and do not do more than light stoning to the sear/cocking piece. If you take too much off you could have a sear reset failure and a very dangerous condition.

Always make sure the safety will work properly after any sear or cocking piece work.


September 13, 2012, 11:34 AM
No target pictures? Was the plane a target? Nice looking rifle.



September 13, 2012, 03:51 PM
Hey, they want photos, they get photos ;)

At my range, calling a cease fire to get my last target of the day just to retrieve a target for photos or to snap photos at my convenience makes a person a very UN-popular fellow with the folks that would like to shoot :) I rarely take home targets; when I'm done shooting, I leave

That's a nice '03 by the way. Such a well made rifle.

It shouldn't be misinterpreted that rifle requires a scope to hit a target. I can do the same thing as displayed in your photo with my M1 rifle, my Father's 03A3, or my M1 carbine, all with open sights on a standard rifle target. The scope is only an 2.5x telescope, it provides better precision with mild magnification and it takes sight picture issues nearly away. I will say that although I can clearly see a 2" orange dot at 100 yards, since the target is much smaller than the black area on a standard target, the task of hitting that 2" dot is much easier with my 03A4gery

September 14, 2012, 09:32 AM
Nice work Chris, I think that looks better than the commercial A4's. Certainly shoots as well if not better, well done sir.

September 14, 2012, 10:39 AM
here's one I call "jetliner against sunset #6"
Ooooooooooh! Colors, wow, man! Reminds me of 1975 . . .

Oh, and that other one, the wood and steel thingy, it looks pretty good, too.;)

September 14, 2012, 11:41 AM
I don't understand the target comment but them I'm slow. Still I like the photo of your rifle and I love my sunsets too.




September 15, 2012, 06:24 AM
I just mean that on a regular target, the black is say 6 3/8" across. There's concentric circles around that (and in it) making up the various rings. The ten ring (or X ring depending) is in the center, about 2" across.

Open sights for me, at 100 yards on that target is no problem. I can hit the black no sweat, which means a shot in the 10 or 9 ring (or 10 9 or 8 if the target has no 'x' ring)

To do that I center the entire 6 3/8" black in my open sights.

I was shooting at a 2" target dot, stand-alone on the paper, that was the whole target. That would be tough for me with say my M1 even though I could see the 2" dot through the open sights because the target is visually so small compared to the sights- on that 2" target, I'd have to center a target roughly 1/3 the size of the 100 yard target in my open sights

With my scoped 03A4 replica, the mild magnification plus the precision of the crosshairs makes that a much easier shot, even though, say, my M1 and that 1903A4 replica are probably equally as accurate.

September 15, 2012, 06:32 AM
Nice work Chris, I think that looks better than the commercial A4's. Certainly shoots as well if not better, well done sir.

Thanks. The 'smith said that the barrel was only "within spec" but plenty of rifles with middle of the road 'numbers' shoot well so I had reasonable hope it would be OK. The mounting holes in the receiver made me hope that it was accurate at first but then I though "wait, if this thing was such a laser, why was it sold off without even a bolt?!" :D So I was ready for it to be a scattergun. I want to look at a few little things on it to see if I can improve the accuracy

I'd like to really sandbag it good and use some good ammo to see what it really does. The 1970 HXP I was using is OK I guess

September 15, 2012, 07:24 AM
If you got that with HXP I would think some M72 would shrink that up 40-50%.

September 15, 2012, 10:47 AM
That is a nice bit of wood on your rifle.

TX Hunter
September 15, 2012, 12:32 PM
You did a beautifull job, I really love the Tiger Striping on the stock, It looks really good. Hitting a Two inch Dot at 100 yards is really good accuracy.
Thanks for posting the pictures and for restoring the Rifle to Arsenal Condition. You made the best of the situation, and it turned out fantastic.:)