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Old July 13, 2021, 01:21 AM   #1
Join Date: January 8, 2021
Location: Texas
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Smith Corona 1903A3

I have fired my SC 1903A3 and feel it needs a new trigger. The one it has now is so long and creepy that it is hard to find a load for it. Mind you I have handled it ok so far but it would be much better with either a trigger job or a new trigger.

What suggestions if any?
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Old July 13, 2021, 05:54 AM   #2
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One of the activities you might really enjoy with your 1903A3 is participating in the Civiian Marksmanship Program (CMP) games. Look up the CMP and do some research. Look at the rules.

The rifles must be in "issue" configuration. An aftermarket or modified trigger or one too light would not be allowed to compete.

I would recommend slowing down,taking a few deep breaths,and focus on enjoying that rifle as it is.

If it has not been has a two stage military trigger. Its a simple,rugged,and safe trigger. There is very generous sear engagement (safe)while the rifle is cocked . The first stage of the trigger is "takeup" That reduces the sear engagement so the second stage "just a bit more" will fire the rifle.

In most cases,its the same trigger millions of other 1903A3 shooters have mastered and shoot very well.

I suggest that with practice,you can,too.

I won't say its not possible to improve the trigger. I will say its very unlikely a person who is not skilled and experienced in gunsmithing can watch a youtube video made at a kitchen table by an amateur hack is going to get acceptable results.

If you find yourself reaching for an unlicensed Dremel tool ...STOP!! Just don't.
Go shoot the rifle,and develop skill.
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Old July 13, 2021, 08:34 AM   #3
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I believe HiBC really covered it well. A good smith can remove some of the crunchy feeling and improve a consistent release but without the skill and knowledge the trigger is ruined for life. My 03A3 is Remington and all I did was polish a little, much like I learned to do with a M1 Garand trigger. When shooting an as issued match they hang a weight on the trigger and it had better not release. Been years but I want to remember maybe 5.0 Lbs. Not sure about that. Anyway I suggest, as above, learn to work with what you have.

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Old July 13, 2021, 03:11 PM   #4
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I would start by a very thorough cleaning to wash anything out of the trigger. You never know what may have accumulated, or been used for a preservative, in the many years since that rifle was built. Then lube.

After that, practice, practice, practice. Dry fire is cheap.
All data is flawed, some just less so.
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Old July 16, 2021, 12:13 PM   #5
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If the rifle has been sporterized, do what ever you want. IF the rifle is still in GI issue configuration, ANY alteration is potentially throwing money away if you think you might ever sell the gun.

Any permanent modification lowers or destroys the collector value. Its your gun, do what you want.

Excellent replacement triggers for the 1903 were made by Timney, Canjar, and a lot of other trigger makers over the years. There are probably some still on the market, though there is little demand these days.

The advantage to a replacement trigger is that it can be undone and the rifle returned to original condition (provided you KEEP the parts).

The downside is the cost. Both ways. Cost of buying the trigger, and tht cost in value the new replacement trigger removes from the rifle.

50 years ago, the situation was the exact opposite. GOOD QUALTIY modifications (sportizing) ADDED to the value of the rifle, because the buying public wanted a good looking, good handling rifle to USE, more than they wanted a pristine GI issue condition milsurp to collect.

I've got a beautiful 1903 sporter, masterfully redone, rebarreled to .25-06, restocked, scope mounted, reblued & polished, 32 oz trigger on my scale. Lovely rifle. Shoots pretty good, too!

That gun, even with a scope on it isn't worth much on today's market. Not even half what a collector would pay for the very same gun still in GI configuration. Its a crazy world nowdays...probably always was, just seems moreso lately, but, that could just be me....
All else being equal (and it almost never is) bigger bullets tend to work better.
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Old July 16, 2021, 02:01 PM   #6
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While,IMO,Timney,Canjar,etc a great triggers,its often true they require removing some wood from the stock. Not a lot,but some.

Its my opinion that one of the more attractive things about owning a GI trim

03.03A3,03A4 or a Garand s the option of CMP Vintage games.

These shoots are not about equipment advantage.Everybody is shooting an issue grade,relatively equal rifle. As much as possible.its more about shooting skill.

IF you feel you must have an improved trigger, find a source and order the new GI parts. They are not all that expensive or hard to find.

I do not suggest a first timer try a DIY project on them.

An experience gunsmith can improve smoothness and surface finish without altering the geometry.

It should not cost much. As you are using interchangable GI parts and preserving your originals,no catastrophe is likely.

Of course.when the job is done,testing for safety must be done.

My 1903A4 clone has a military 2 stage trigger. I understand the trigger,and I massaged it some.

Its NOT a single stage ,glass rod break. Its definitely a military two stage.

I will pass the CMP pull weight test.(The spec might be 3 lbs,I forget. I'm not looking it up. I know my rifle passed)

The thing is,its a good trigger.Its honest. And I don't think a Timney or Canjar would significantly improve my shooting.
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Old July 22, 2021, 06:52 AM   #7
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I have an SC that looks too nice for shooting but I have shot it a few times using my lite hand loads. [FJA] refurb stamp on the left wrist but I think it was a complete stock replacement.

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Old July 22, 2021, 10:57 AM   #8
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What caliber is the grill and do you hand load for it?

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