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Old August 17, 2008, 08:24 PM   #1
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Remington 03A3 sling

I got a real nice looking Remington 1903A3 at the gun show in Columbus OH recently. I took it out to shoot, and it is definitely a rifle I am going to keep.

There was no sling mounted on the rifle, and I would like to put one on, basically just to enhance the appearance. I shoot at the 100 yard state park ranges and I shoot from a front sandbag, so I don't really need a leather shooting sling, although I may try one later to learn how to shoot with it. I was thinking right now of a cotton web sling, which I see listed in various places on-line as an M-1 Garand sling.

Does anyone know if the 1903's were ever issued with web slings? Historical accuracy is not my main goal either, but I am interested in the historical aspect of the 03's, and I am curious if the web slings were used prior to the
M1 Garands. I did some searching on-line, but I couldn't home in on anything this specific.

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Old August 17, 2008, 08:49 PM   #2
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I use a M1 web sling on my 1903A3 and love it. I dont know if it was a issue item for 1903A3's but it is certainly at least the correct time frame, so its not out of place. I beleive the correct issue sling for a 1903A3 would be either a 1907 style leather sling or the 1923 style web sling.
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Old August 17, 2008, 10:14 PM   #3
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The original sling on an 03 is pretty darn close to the M1 sling if not identical. Two leathers, two frogs, two keepers, etc.
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Old August 17, 2008, 10:35 PM   #4
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The 1903-A3 was a WWII issue rifle.
During the war, while a rifle might have an "official" type of sling, the truth is, when you went to the Ordnance shed to draw equipment for a rifle, you got what the Ordnance shed had available.

During WWII there were a number of slings available for issue including the WWI canvas Kerr "No-Bucle", the Model 1907 leather sling, and the Model M1 canvas sling.
Whatever you got was what was available.

Probably the best looking sling for your rifle would be a Turner Leather Model 1907, in Tan.
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Old August 18, 2008, 12:04 AM   #5
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Pre-CISELY on point and likely 100 pct. correct

The 03A3 was stopgap rifle, to fill in for the lack of M1 Garand rifles in the fairly early days of WWII. the M1s needed to go to the units shipping out and the 03A3s were used largely for training. A great many also went directly to war: As arms for the rifle grenadiers, and esecially in 03A4 format, which made good sniper arms before the M1Cs were widely distributed.

Typically, those 03A3s issued in training units were distibuted with whatever slings were available, per Dfariswheel's post. While I agree that the Turner sling in tan would look very nice, and be exactly proper, I'll throw in a couple of observations. One, there were a lot of used 1907 slings in stock. Any which had been in service for any time at all were likely pretty dark, from deep russet to near-black. And even the new ones darkened rapidly. Remember, in those days, there was pretty close to ZERO air conditioning in common use, especially in the military enviornment. In hot weather, there was a lot of perspiring going on. Leather exposed to sweat darkens rapidly. Also, the application of neatsfoot oil, for preservation and to add flexibility, also darkens leather.

The Kerr NoBuckl sling (proper spelling - - I just looked at mine ) was made of rather light webbing. While indeed issued for rifle use, the majority of them seem to have ended up on Thompson SMGs and, for some reason, the substitute-standard M1917 rifles and "riot" shotguns. By the time the supply of the rather over-complicated (new and used) 1907 slings was exhausted, there were apparently plenty of the newer, M1-type heavy web slings available. (Since I began writing this reply, I am reminded that the heavy web sling was not in issue until 1944 and afterward.) The nylon M1-type sling cam along much later.

chaz12, congratulations on your getting that nice 03A3. In short, almost any authentic WWII era sling will be proper for it. Now, aren't you glad you asked?

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Old August 18, 2008, 07:58 AM   #6
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I've fired an 03A3 with a Turner 1907 sling (in biothane! ) and the M-1 sling. Not to be historically accurate, but to use in J.C. Garand and vintage matches locally.

As a carry strap and quick sling, the M-1 web sling seems superior. It is also less prone to slippage when slung up as a shooting sling on my skinny arms. That said, as a competition sling, especially tied into my AR-15, I prefer the 1907. It has less tendency to turn into a blood-pressure cuff, in my opinion.

Aww heck, get a nice leather 1907 sling. Authentic or not, it just looks right!
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