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Old January 2, 2020, 09:54 PM   #1
Mattj4867
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1903a3 stock

Hi all, I just picked up a 1903a3 at a pawn shop for well less than <$400. It is a smith corona made in October of 1943 and surprisingly has a squeaky clean correct barrel on it. Upon initial inspection the gun is very clean and looks like fresh Arsenal rebuild with the green parkerization and everything. The only downsides are that it has a aftermarket stock (actually a very nice one), Remington bolt, and the magazine lets the bolt close on empty. I’ve tried emailing the CMP about what the correct stock should be for this rifle but I have yet to get a response. Does anyone know what type of stock would be correct?
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Old January 3, 2020, 11:44 AM   #2
martin08
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You will need a stock "set", with handguard, bands, bayonet lug and sling swivels.

If you are looking specifically for a Smith Corona stock, be prepared to pay, perhaps as much as you paid for the gun. There are far fewer Smith Corona stocks, and they are in high demand.

But if you are willing to take a post-war scant stock and/or Remington stock with rebuild marks, you can usually find a full set for under $200 if you have patience.

Good luck.
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Old January 3, 2020, 02:27 PM   #3
T. O'Heir
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"...the green Parkerization..." There's no such thing. The green colour is the result of long term storage in Cosmoline.
"...well less than <$400..." Is a good price for an '03A3 in good condition.
Rummage around here for a boat load of info.
https://m1903.com/
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Old January 4, 2020, 07:04 PM   #4
shuvelrider
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Rather than email, join the CMP Forum on their website. Then you could post pictures of what you have, someone with knowledge on the A3's will have your answer.
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Old January 7, 2020, 02:30 PM   #5
'88Scrat
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Seems like most gun shows (around here at least) always seem to have one or two guys who specialize in Garand, M1 Carbine, and 1903 stuff. They always seem to have oodles of old GI stocks laying around. I'd start there after you get in touch with the CMP in some way.
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Old January 8, 2020, 03:50 AM   #6
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, and the magazine lets the bolt close on empty.
You probably already know this, but I have to ask, what position is the magazine cutoff in, when the bolt closes over the empty magazine?

If you can read the word OFF the bolt should close over the empty magazine. If you can read the word ON, it should NOT.
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Old January 8, 2020, 10:07 AM   #7
Jim Watson
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All I know is what I read on the Internet, but it looks like an A3 ought to have a straight grip stock without the finger grooves of the 03. The handguard is different and the stock has to be cut for its retainer. There are a lot of "scant" grip stocks out there but they seem to have been replacements.
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Old January 8, 2020, 12:16 PM   #8
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Pictures in my reference books (not the internet) show the 1903A3 with a straight grip stock without finger grooves in the forend. The handguard wood is different than the 1903 and 1903A1 because the A3 does not have the rear sight on the barrel.

This would be the correct "as originally issued" condition. Any combination of parts can be found as the "in service" condition. In time of peace, if the stock needed replacement, and the correct one was not on hand, the correct stock would be ordered, and installed when received.

In time of war, particularly at the end of an overseas supply line, if the stock needed replacement what ever stock that was on hand and fit (or could be made to fit) was used, so that the rifle was returned to service as rapidly as possible.
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Old January 9, 2020, 05:25 PM   #9
Mattj4867
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Wow thanks for the information guys. I used your advise and got a type 10 smith corona stock. This leads to another question, is there a way to prevent the stock from cracking at the tang? I’m seeing that this is a big issue for the 1903a3s thanks
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Old January 11, 2020, 02:27 AM   #10
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is there a way to prevent the stock from cracking at the tang?
yes. PROPER inletting and bedding the action.

Remember the military cares about good enough to work and parts are made for a "drop in and work" fit. Not a precise fit for maximum longevity. Stocks are machine cut to fit, in the field just by "bolting them on" and the repairguy isn't expected, or taught to do the kind of bedding fit work you find in a quality sporting rifle.

Things will likely be slightly oversize and sloppy but also could be slightly undersized, tolerances vary, anything is possible. Usually a cracked tang means the steel is getting a "running start" during recoil and hits the wood, rather than the two being a solidly fitted unit recoiling together. HOWEVER, a "too tight" fit can also cause cracked stocks as well.

And, both the front or the action and the rear have to have the wood properly fitted. If one isn't right, the stock will (eventually) be overstressed and fracture.

And, you're dealing with pretty old wood I expect, its condition can complicate matters as well.

Check the fit of what you have, carefully. Do any needed work in TINY steps, and consider some kind of "glass" bedding might be the best way to go...

good luck!
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