View Full Version : Correct scope for Springfield O3A4

January 15, 2001, 02:29 PM
What would be the correct scope for a Springfield 1903A4 dated 6-44???

January 15, 2001, 02:38 PM
My book lists the Weaver 330c in redfield junior mounts

4V50 Gary
January 15, 2001, 09:20 PM
Generally the Weaver 330c was used (known in the military as the M73B1). However, alternates like the Lyman Alaskan (M73), M81 (military Alaskan modified with sliding scope shade and crosshair reticle) and M82 (military Alaskan w/sliding scope shade and post/crosshair reticle) were alternate substitutes after adoption of the M1C in late 1944 when the M73B1 was not available. In late 1945, the M84 scope was also an authorized substitute scope for the 03A4.

As mentioned above, the proper base was the Redfield Jr. and rings. For more reading, check out Bruce Canfield's books. He's an excellant researcher (and one time contributer to this board).

Oh, if you haven't seen Saving Private Ryan, the sniper has an M81 equipped 03A4 which somehow transforms into the USMC 8x Unertl during the course of the movie. Doncha just love Hollywood?

January 16, 2001, 09:25 AM
Thanks.. I have the base, now I just need the rings, and scope. About how much does one M73B1 cost in Very Good Condition?

January 16, 2001, 09:26 AM
Gary, maybe he got an "upgrade" while wondering around the woods in France? I never paid that close attention to those details when watching the movie, now I will have to :)

4V50 Gary
January 16, 2001, 12:28 PM
Last gunshow I went to I found one and the fellow wanted $300! Here's a tip. Go to gun shows and look for used scoped rifles. You may be able to find one on some beat up rifle for less than $200. I bought a Redfield Jr. base/ring with Weaver 330 on a poorly sporterized Mauser 98K (along with Lyman 48 Rear Aperture Sights - worth $65) for $75.

4V50 Gary
January 16, 2001, 08:58 PM
BTW, the US Army used three different size shims underneath the forward portion of the Redfield Jr. base. This was to ensure that the scope would be centerline with the bore. Sorry but I can't tell you what size those shims were. You have to fiddle with it once you get the scope and rings.

January 17, 2001, 09:55 AM
Thanks Again Gary! I will have to keep a look out for those at the next show I attend. I think that would be Ft. Washington in PA??

January 21, 2001, 04:10 PM
I will need to actually find out what these scopes look like!!!! Or I could ask a collector to go with me to a show. Turns out I know someone who collects o3's (yes yes they would kill for the a4 I have) :)

4V50 Gary
January 22, 2001, 09:31 PM
Sniper Rifles of WW II by Tatum is only about $6.95. The Brophy book on the Springfield is better and don't rule of Peter Senich's books on sniping.

Congratulations on getting your 03-A4 (I assume the designation is parallel with the bore). I almost had one but was too slow.

January 22, 2001, 09:48 PM
Gary I barely know a thing about it at all. I do however know I got it a good price, and the Collector that I now know wants it BAD :)

Now if I could just talk one of my friends into selling me his O3a3 (i think) would be happy. Re-barrel it (barrel is kinda bad from what I remember), and put the correct stock on it also and :D

4V50 Gary
January 23, 2001, 12:53 AM
M1 Garand researcher, Scott Duff, republished TM 9-270, the War Department's Technical Manual on the U.S. Rifle, Cal. 30, M1903A4 (Sniper's) Characteristics and Operation; and Use of Telescopic Sight 28 September 1943. While the photographs are not as sharp as they should be (well, it's a reprint), the manual is pretty nifty and has some pretty good info. For instance, those shims I mentioned range in thickness from 0.005 +/- (can't do the normal plus minus) 0.001 inch to 0.020 +/- 0.001 inch. It also gives you the firing table for the Weaver 330C. He wants $6 for it plus postage.

Go to his website ( http://www.scottduff.com ) for more info. You'll find a picture of a forged 1903A4 with a Weaver 330C mounted on it (and yes, the rifle with scope is for sale).

January 25, 2001, 10:00 PM
Thanks again for the info Gary! :)

February 6, 2002, 08:02 PM
Using just the 1903A4 receiver and bolt, this one was restored back to it's original military configuration, after two years of loving work and parts scrounging:


Mike Irwin
February 7, 2002, 01:20 AM
Friend of mine has a Winchester 70 with a Lyman Alaskan on it. I've wanted that scope for YEARS, and he won't sell it to me...

February 10, 2002, 01:36 AM
With the fine crosshair and dot, as opposed to the tapered post on the '03A4.

Thought about mounting it on my .45-70 Siamese Mauser, but not so sure about thumping it hard with my .458 Win Mag-type loads.

It has the split-top Redfield rings still mounted, just needs one of the turret caps to be complete.;)

February 10, 2002, 07:07 PM
Check out Peter Senich's book on US sniping, lots of good info.